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Could Gun Used in Deadly Shooting be Safer?

Ever since a 10-year-old boy was shot and killed in Pike County over the weekend when his uncle was showing off weapons he thought were unloaded, There has been attention and scrutiny on the safety of the gun that went off.

Northeast Firearms in Honesdale sells the Glock 27, the weapon used in the shooting death of Hunter Pedersen.

State police said his uncle was showing off the weapon and pulled the trigger not realizing there was a bullet in the chamber.

The question now is: Could the gun be made safer?

Mike Jones took apart a Glock 27 for us at his gun shop. He said the Glock 27 is a popular model, one that comes without a so-called “external safety.”

It was the same gun, equipped with a laser sight, that wound up killing a 5th grader from Wayne County over the weekend.

Hunter Pedersen was killed when his uncle showed off the weapon Saturday and pulled the trigger.

People came out to support the boy’s family during a candlelight vigil near Honesdale Tuesday.

“I don’t want to ever see another family go through something like this. We are all heartbroken,” said Linda Honickel, the boy’s grandmother.

Chad Olm, the boy’s uncle, is charged with homicide. Investigators said he never checked to see if there was a bullet in the chamber.

“All guns are dangerous and sometimes people disrespect them. And that’s where the problems begin,” said Jones.

Jones said the first rule of gun safety is not to point the gun at anything or anyone unless you intend to shoot. Jones doesn’t believe the gun is to blame for Hunter’s death. The Glock, he said, does not go off unless you pull the trigger.

“It doesn’t take a person to say the safety would have saved this problem, the guy had a bullet in the chamber and pulled the trigger,” added Jones.

There are lots of handguns on the market these days without a safety switch and that’s enough to surprise some who think a safety is a must-have.

“That should be a mandatory requirement for all guns, because accidents do happen,” said Jennifer Vecchio of Honesdale.

Others point directly at the gun’s owner, the man accused of taking the life of his 10-year-old nephew.

“He should never have had it pointed at anyone, especially his nephew,” said Rob Beam of Honesdale.

Gun makers choose to leave a safety switch off some handguns because it may prevent a quick reaction if someone needs to fire in self-defense, according to Jones.

There’s no telling if a safety would have prevented the deadly shooting this weekend.

30 comments

  • Safe Call

    People need to be trained or should have so many hours of training in order to purchase a “GUN” not just a clean record. I feel training and a certificate would greatly reduce these accidents

  • F. R. K.

    He did not know the gun was loaded. Rule #1 broken. Had a loaded gun around children rule # 2 broken. Now I guess it was the guns fault When guns come alive then I will believe that one.

  • lwk2431

    Consider this. If this guy had a 1911 with an external safety instead of a Glock he would have just flipped off the manual safety and pulled the trigger anyway. There is no safety on stupid. :)

    lwk

    • F.T.

      Some pistols have a little port or window where you can just look and see if there is a round in the chamber or not. This guy was not a responsible gun owner. Did not show the gun or the child respect. He will pay as he should although I’m sure he is being tougher on himself than the court will be. Was this guy drinking by any chance?

  • Bob

    The gun was not the problem; it was the operator. He broke all four cardinal rules for gun safety and the child paid the ultimate price for his carelessness.

  • JP

    I’m going to answer with a question – should your car be equipped with additional safeties, i.e. DUI tester, Drug Test, cell phone disable technology, etc.? Most things can be made safer but stupid or irresponsible people will always be the same and cannot be legally fixed. I wish there is a simple answer to prevent stupid or irresponsible decisions, as it only takes a split second.

  • chendojoe

    I have owned guns my entire life. I own a Ruger P90 model which does not have a safety. I purchased it because of this. It functions like a double action revolver. Anybody see a safety on a revolver? It is my defense weapon of choice. I own it 20+ years and it has never went out on its own to shoot anybody! Unfortunately idiots can own guns!! But we blame the gun! Pointing a gun at anybody you do not intend to shoot was the first mistake. Not knowing your firearm and that it was loaded second mistake. Showing off wrecklessly with any firearm third mistake. Being an idiot BIGGEST mistake!!! A moron like this outrages responsible gun owners. It is always one idiot who makes people question the thousands of responsible people!

  • quikdraw67

    The most important safety is the one betwen your ears. You do not point a gun at anyone EVER, unless you intend to shoot them in slef-defense. All the safety devices in the world cannot prevent stupidity.

  • Mad In Hazleton

    The Glock when it first arrived in the gun world was made more towards the professional aka law enforcement who use and train with their weapon all the time… Glocks have become more main stream because they are a very good gun…if you are a home owner like me who owns several weapons I choose not to buy Glocks for that reason no safety, but it all comes down to the guy pointing it at that poor kid…

    • lwk2431

      “I choose not to buy Glocks for that reason no safety,…”

      The Glock design in fact DOES have a built in safeties. They call it the “Safe Action System” (quoting from Glock):

      “GLOCK pistols are equipped with the “Safe
      Action”® System, a fully automatic safety system
      consisting of three passive, independently oper-
      ating, mechanical safeties, which sequentially
      disengage when the trigger is pulled and auto-
      matically reengage when the trigger is released”

      If you deliberately pull the trigger you are deactivating these safeties which is how it is supposed to work.

    • XDFan

      That’s why I traded in my Glock for a Springfield XD. The XD has an additional grip safety.

    • Lee cruse

      Certainly Glocks have several automatic safeties and are considered by most as one of the safest guns available. The issue with an external safety is that they are all in different locations and the safe setting is exactly opposite on 50% of the guns. So, if you have more than one gun you can be confused as to is up safe or is down safe? Safeties are also one more thing to catch on clothing and get changed. I have both guns with external safeties and Glocks. I would never carry one with an external safety for self defense.

  • Mad In Hazleton

    The Glock when it first arrived in the gun world was made more towards the professional aka law enforcement who use and train with their weapon all the time… Glocks have become more main stream because they are a very good gun…it you are a home owner like me who owns several weapons I choice not to buy Glocks for that reason no safety, but it all comes down to the guy pointing it at that poor kid…

  • John Watson

    Actually it’s those democrats. Take guns away from democrats and all of those mass shooting in the last fiftty years wouldn’t have happened. Take guns away from democrats and our crime rate would be as much as Switzerland’s.

  • Arvin

    The answer to the question is, “No, it’s made correctly.” As for fixing stupid, that’s something you can’t do either.

  • Sue

    like everyone else has been saying, a safety would not have made a difference when someone is just plain being stupid. Have been around guns since I was younger than the boy who was killed. We were taught that, loaded or not, NEVER point at anything or person unless you intend to pull the trigger. My parents included cap guns in this rule regardless of whether they could do harm. A gun is a weapon.

  • PP McGee

    The gun didn’t “GO OFF”. He pulled the trigger. I’ll say the same as everyone else…Never point a gun at anything you don’t intend to kill. That is the very first thing that most of us in NEPA learn as children.

  • MsM

    I love this newsite but this is a really dumb question. Yes, guns can be made safer if idiots don’t point it at other peoples heads unless it’s in self defense? Is that a good answer?

  • Thomas Stratford

    ““That should be a mandatory requirement for all guns, because accidents do happen,” said Jennifer Vecchio of Honesdale.”..Yup you guessed it we’re dealing with an idiot. Revolvers have been around for 170 or so years, and don’t employ safeties, like most guns it’s point and shoot technology. Blaming the gun is more ignorant drivel. Move along.

    • jbrony

      I love the random person off the street interviews. “Oh well, accidents happeh”. No, they don’t, Jennifer. ‘Accidents’ are the outcome of a series of events that enabled the event to happen, most of which are preventable.

  • lwk2431

    “The question now is: Could the gun be made safer?”

    This guy violated one of the prime commandments of gun safety. The Glock is a very safe design if the person who is holding it has a brain and knows basic tenets of gun safety, for example, DO NOT POINT A GUN AT SOMETHING YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO DESTROY AND PULL THE F**KING TRIGGER!” :)

    regards,

    lwk

  • titsmagee

    how would anymore safety features have helped? He was dumb enough to point a gun at someone he didn’t intend to shoot, obviously he wasn’t acting/treating the gun like it was loaded, and he didn’t keep his finger off the trigger. All of these are simple rules to follow that prevent dumb stuff like this from happening. He probably wouldn’t have been smart enough to use any sort of additional safeties judging by his lack of common sense. You can’t fix stupid.

  • Garrett smith

    For the millionth time guns don’t kill people , people kill people this guy should reach the same fate his nephew did

  • Jonathan M

    Even if there was an “external” safety on that gun, it very well may have gotten disengaged. Then what? This is purely neglect. The gun should have never been pointed in the child’s direction whether it was checked to be loaded or not. Doing so to a child is setting a bad example, especially if the child does not know how to properly check if the firearm is loaded.

  • gfl ne

    For the millionth time : guns are safe. Unfortunately some of the people that handle them are dumber than a box of rocks. This person will have to live with his idiotic action for the rest of his life. I hope he thinks about his stupid decision every minute of every hour for the rest of his life. All the safeties in the world will not prevent stupid decisions.

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