On CBS’s Tuesday night broadcast of The Late Show, host Stephen Colbert dedicated a short segment of his “Meanwhile…” bit to making fun of a man who accidentally shot himself in the groin inside an Arizona Walmart store. Momentarily striking a more serious tone, however, Colbert also said that the incident was “further proof that all of our gun laws are too lax” and ridiculed the NRA for its well-known stance that individual people are responsible for shootings, not their guns.
Colbert introduced the story to his audience shortly before midnight:
COLBERT: Meanwhile, in Arizona, a man — who is alive — has been hospitalized after shooting himself in the groin inside a Walmart. And I'm being told we have a picture of one of the witnesses. [LAUGHTER] The man in question was holding a semiautomatic handgun in his waistband, and it discharged as he attempted to reposition it. Did no one ever teach you not to adjust yourself in public? Also, not to shoot yourself in the junk drawer? [LAUGHTER] When officers arrived at the Walmart, the man was found in the store's meat section. [LAUGHTER] So he shot himself in the meat section.
Using the disingenuous phrasing of “some say” when he meant to say “I believe,” Colbert continued: “Some say this is just further proof that all of our gun laws are too lax, but the NRA has released a statement: Guns don't shoot people in the penis. Penises shoot penises in the penis.”
In reality, based on the Newsweek story that Colbert cited, the real problem in this case seems to be not a lack of gun control, but an absence of common sense [emphasis mine]:
The Arizona Republic newspaper reported the incident occurred at around 6:30 p.m. after a semiautomatic handgun that was being held in the man’s waistband began to slip. The gun, which was not in a holster, discharged as he attempted to reposition it, the man told cops.
The Arizona Republic reported when police officers responded to the gun shot the man was found in the meat section of the Walmart store with “survivable injuries.” Officers said they filed a report for the unlawful discharge of a firearm but it was believed to be accidental.
Carrying a gun without a holster, especially just free-hanging in your waistband, is widely recognized as an incredibly dangerous way to handle a gun. The practice regularly results in people shooting themselves accidentally and is not encouraged by any person who is even mildly concerned with basic gun safety.
Unfortunately, the Arizona man from the Newsweek story is just one more person who had to learn that lesson the hard way.