How I Blew Off a Leg With a 12 Gauge Shotgun, Part One

There was a man outside throwing stuff into the back of his truck. Wrench sets, tools, wood, just random things- and this wasn’t the first time. Tweakers often try to rummage through the large collection of years of auction-hunting for copper and anything else of value, so when I saw him I immediately grabbed my shotgun from my room, loaded it up (three magnum buckshot and two AA birdshot loads) and ran to the foyer. I opened the door slightly to see if he would notice, and sure enough he pulled his truck around and came back to the pile to thieve.

Killer looks!

Not the Blackhawk grip that was on it, but a photo of the gun a few days before installing it.

Jumping out the door, wielding my gun and screaming “GETONTHEGODDAMNGROUND MOTHERFUCKER! DOITNOW GODDAMMIT!” like a wild man, I put the side of his head in my sights and racked in a round just before he took off running to his truck yelling Spanish. He might have a gun, I thought, or maybe just yelling “don’t shoot!” Legally, I had the right to take the shot, but I didn’t want to kill someone over stolen tools. Yelling back all manner of curse words and reaching for my phone, I dove back into the small, enclosed foyer and went to call the police.

Holding my pistol-gripped WesternField 550ABD (Mossberg 500 clone) by my side, shaking from the adrenaline while still observing proper weapons safety (finger off the trigger, pointed downward, the usual lot). I held up my iPhone 4 and dialed nine, one, one and BOOM! A thunderous blast concussed my body as I dropped to the ground and ate shit on the pavement floor of the front entrance with my face, thinking and yelling “AD! AD!” (gun nerd for accidental discharge) as I went to stand back up and move to the house. I made it about six to ten inches off the floor before a sickening snap-crackle-pop-grind-scratch sound met my brain with a searing jet of absolutely brilliant, nerve-pulling, all-consuming pain- and when I looked, my leg was mostly gone, and the grinding pain was my bone currently jutting out and snapping under my weight against the concrete as the flesh and lead mired in spongy fat hung precariously off and set an overwhelming fiery burn to my senses. Not physically dust or completely absent, but definitely mangled and just gushing blood with each fevered pump of my quickly-rising heartbeat.

Ugh, I need a Xanax...

My (old) foyer is a PTSD anxiety attack you can walk through!

The muzzle had been against or within a few inches of my lower left leg, as the Winchester AA wad and shot cup had stayed together and thus let it punch a smooth hole for an entry channel and then expand like a .72 caliber hollowpoint slug extremely rapidly as it burrowed into my body fat and tissues, sending well over a full ounce of #7 1/2 lead shot barreling (bad analogies and puns only get worse from here, folks!) into and then out of me, causing the leg itself to be fitted into one of three major categories: the upper and sides of my foot sported a relatively clean, round cavity neat the back leftmost area; my shin was attached from my ankle to the stump that was formerly my shin by a strip of calloused, burnt skin no larger than the size of two postage stamps; my calf and all tissue six inches below the kneecap were absolutely shredded like shitty fast-food hamburger. The red West Texas dust and colichi powder that covered the floor soaked the blood and bits of me into round little balls, seeming to hold shape by surface tension. Being that my face was smashed fairly well against the ground, I noticed these stupid little things.

It was a sight to behold that would (and does) cast shock on even the most Rotten.com-loving sadist, as the idea of a living, breathing and all-too-aware person having that kind of traumatic injury is almost inconceivable. Indeed many who have seen it reflexively dismiss it as a hoax or some visual media their minds simply refuse to comprehend, but it’s the truth. And it’s the best damn story to tell at a bar, hands down.

An illustration of what a man-killing weapon can do if handled incorrectly in the slightest manner. Thanks and gratitude are due to what (or whoever) circumstances led to the firing of a AA birdshot shell instead of the military-grade 00 buckshot I normally carry as at least 3/5 of my HD ammunition supply- had it been anything different the outcome could be changed immeasurably, though I do tend to believe that the sheer muzzle velocity and violent matter displacement of a 00 buck shell at such a short range might have killed me outright from trauma and blood loss. Thank Christ for small miracles, right?

I didn’t believe what I was seeing at first, so I screamed “WAKE UP! WAKE UP! OH FUCK OH FUCK WAAAAAAKE UUUUUUP!” because things like this just don’t happen. Losing a leg so quickly and senselessly like that is something that happens on The Walking Dead! Guns are serious business and demand all due attention (duh), but shooting yourself point-blank with your own 12 gauge shotgun during a robbery sits far into “Nightmare Scenario” with tremendous losses, inconceivable pain and more sober reality than any drugs I’ve heard of.

I didn’t wake up. My first thought: grab the gun, rack it twice to chamber some magnum 00-buck shot and place a shell under my chin. “There’s no shame or cowardice here,” I recall thinking distinctly, “because you can die screaming, or you can save yourself the agony. Just own up, dude. Grandpa Jarcy did it. It’s the best choice. No shame, no shame.” My grandfather, father of my father, had killed himself in the same way while drunk and heartbroken one night. Rationally, I figured, it’s kind of like fate that way.

I then remembered how my grandma tripped over an acorn several months back, shattering something like 46 bones and almost dying yet still crawled up an incline for over 100 feet and had my grandpa drive her to the ER. She’s tough as hell: cancer, trauma, strokes, illness and sheer acts of wanton, godlike brain-bashing experiences and more have yet to slow her down or keep her from doing as she pleases. “Grambo” is a fitting nom de plume for her old-leatherneck level of grace under fire and unstoppably positive attitude. In the mere moments that my brain made and analyzed these memories, I found myself beginning to instinctively crawl towards the bathroom.

Grenade are just too messy for home defense.

Thankfully, I did not use the 37mm that day. All about the little things in life!

The next second I told myself that Uncle John, my mom, my little brother and especially little sister and friends and family and classmates would all understand me electing to “opt out” after such a disastrous event in such hopeless circumstances- but why not try to live? A least drag my carcass to the bathroom or call for an ambulance before the relentless brutality my body overtook my will to keep breathing. “Grandma did this, you’re a man in the same bloodline, so fucking GO!” was my panicked inner monologue as I clawed my way across the dirty wooden floor to the back restroom. To be honest, I’m not sure what drove me to call 911 and hang on for as long as I could. Panic and human desperation, I suppose.

I screamed. I asked God for help countless times. I begged for a quick ending or a warm embrace of magically-appearing dopamine to ease the living hell at hand. I was convinced momentarily that it must be a nightmare, or a really awful dream that just doesn’t happen to real people in real life. I mean, fuck- this pain and this grievous wound and this situation? Really? I am alone and dying from an accidental shotgun blast to the foot, seriouslyWhy is everything still badThe more I tried to deny my reality, the more I had to face facts. Shit had gotten very real, very quickly.

When I reached the dirty old bathroom, I immediately ripped off the shower curtain and reached for a towel (belonging to my roommate, heh heh) with which to build a simple yet gently efficient tourniquet to slow the outward flow of arterial and venous blood that could take my consciousness at a moment’s notice. I applied the town to the large patch of missing skin very, very gingerly tied it off while the EMT burst in through the door. On a side note: according to the 911 dispatcher, EMT crew and hospital doctors, doing this likely saved my life. I’m sort of proud of that- seems I do have the balls to fight for my own life under fairly nasty circumstances.

A towering, clearly former military man carrying a large duffel bag bellowed “MISTER JARCY? SIR? MR. JARCY? DID YOU CALL 9-1-1? WHERE ARE YOU AND WHERE IS THE GUN?” I replied weakly with “in here, gun’s by the door I thin– AHHHHH FUUUUUUUUUCK” and continued yelling from the lowest depths known to be existing in my balls as another surge of screeching pain ran through my body and mind. As long as I yelled, I was alive, and that simple equation meant I gave myself tinnitus in short order.

What the first responder said will stick with me as both the least professional yet most understandable remark said at a horrifically bloody gun accident: “Oh shit, son.” He stood wide-eyed in the doorway for what seemed like eternity (yet lasted probably one third of a second) as I lie there screaming bloody murder and carrying on. He quick said “Blemish, stop yelling and breathe. Just hold my hand and squeeze it ’til it breaks, brother, and concentrate on your breaths. I’ve been in [unintelligible military branch/deployment] and I’ve seen much worse pull through. Just breathe.”

If those two words weren’t so cliché (being the lyric for some popular band) I’d have them tattooed on me. Focusing on inhaling through my nose and out of my mouth made me a tiny fraction of a degree calmer and let my frenzied psyche reassure itself that I may not die here, today, alone and maimed. I thought of my little sister, then my uncle with who I lived- and before I knew it we were en route (on some of the shittiest roads in all of Texas) to the emergency room, every bump a fresh new hell to endure. Just breathe, old friends and family told my loose-screw mind, dancing about my head in vivid flashes of lifetimes compressed into single-shot panoramas of memories. Just breathe. They will see you and you will see them again, so long as you just breathe… In this manner and time, I knew deep inside that everything was being taken care of. I might not die like they do on The Walking Dead, I remember telling myself at the sight of the gore and ogrish ugliness. My speech was dismal.

The nurse closest to me, holding my hand and giving me instructions, told me to breathe, and asked if I felt better. I didn’t, and I conveyed that via a flurry of curse words. She looked puzzled, and asked if I had taken any recreational drugs- so I gripped her hand tightly and squeezed it again, weakly crying out in pain as my body began to shut down. She flipped. “FENTANYL! FENTANYL! HE’S GOING DOWN! FILL HIS IV!” The crowd of angels complied, and my brain slipped into la-la land in a minute or two as she smiled at me, telling me what a strong man and brave boy I was. I didn’t understand any of it- the pain just stopped, and so did I.

The IV administration of the opioid painkiller Fentanyl is what saved my life at that moment in time. With eighty times the potency of pure morphine, mega-high receptor binding affinity and an ultra-short onset and duration, this heavy-hitting drug is one of only a handful of opiate-derived chemicals that can help someone in need of immediate pain cessation more quickly than morphine. Nevertheless, that shit was straight painful. Fuck. I qualified.

I awoke groggily to see my foot on one small cookie sheet, what was left and looked like a bloody sponge that was my lower leg, and then my thigh replete with naked, unsightly balls hanging out of my white and green gown. The doctor- a man I respect and like SO much more than Dr. He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named, the biggest asshole I have ever met- said I had to choose between two options.

“We can reattach your foot, but it’ll take two years at minimum to get you standing and it will be hell on earth, honestly. It’s amazing and quite possible, but it’s going to involve teaching your brain 26 years worth of muscle memory and nociception while walking on hot coals. It will be the toughest thing you will ever do, if you choose to.” He was calm, but cold and appropriately matter-of-fact about it. I asked what my other choice was. He looked at my mom, who started crying, and lowered his head. I knew it was amputation, and he told me that keeping my knee and ability to live a full life would be a “good” outcome.

I didn’t need to think. “Lop it off,” I said flatly, “it’s easier than learning a lifetime of lesson, and there’s just no sense in prolonging anything,” I said just as matter-of-factly as he did, fully aware of my predicament and the grasping at straws the full foot-back-together surgical procedure, decades of physical therapy and pain beyond belief would have resulted in- for a “pretty decent” final result at best. Not worth it to anyone, I thought to myself, not even to those wounded Marines and military hard-ass types. He nodded solemnly and told me they’d be giving me something to sleep on, and I speculated that it was that infamous pink Propofol to which he affirmed, impressed by my knowledge of anesthetic drugs and trivia.

I woke up in awful pain and missing my leg six inches under the knee. I cried. I sobbed. I cursed God, whom the presence or grace of I had not felt at any time during this shitty-ass day. I wanted to believe that finally the big man and I were to meet, but I did not feel him in the awful heat of the moment- I only felt me and everyone else. To me, that was God incarnate: humans saving humans- made in his image and given free choice by Him- they don’t even know by doing some of the hardest jobs on Earth simply because they can. Priceless. I’ll have to ruminate on the particulars at another time, as this is and was a giant wall of text since two or three pages ago.

Oh, and did I mention that this all happened the day after my 26th birthday? The day when I lost my health insurance under my parents? Well, it did. So in my first morning of having no insurance I couldn’t make it a damned half-day before Misfire McCoy here made a $45,000+ error in judgement. I shot myself, simple as that, and it’s all up to me to stand on my own two feet (heh) and walk it off (heh heh) since it’s my own doing. Just my kind of luck and habitual carelessness!

And to clarify: the gun slipped from my hand as I dialed 911 (or I knocked the muzzle against the ground and dropped it, who knows) and in my hopped-up adrenaline haze I instinctively clenched my hand shut, putting my finger through the trigger frame, pulling the shotty about halfway up my calf and BOOM! Bad time to have a careless reaction. Ignorant of the four rules, unprepared to use a weapon, flat-out dumb as a post: all are valid points. I fucked up, I owned up, so I super-appreciate all the support and “shit happens man” threads I see out there as well as the “lol dumbass,” “well if it were ME I would have…” and “lol ruhpublikan gun faggot, waddle on home” ones. It’s the internet, y’all, and my lack of preparedness has left me without a leg to stand on! Really shot myself in the foot on that one 🙂

No support from the government as of yet (not that I really deserve it, I guess, no sarcasm) and no one to help with the thousands of dollars in medical bills and subsequent rehabilitation. Any finger-pointing or arguments or lawsuits would be utterly retarded as shit just happens when you pull the trigger: I sorta think the grip might have been slippery and less-than-optimally designed, but I shot myself and blaming the grip or anything else would be dishonest and responsibility-diverting on a disgusting level; sure the doctor was cold, mean-spirited and gruff at best in his job yet he did stitch me up and give me my smiley-stump, but I’m the only one at fault by any measure- gotta own up if you fuck up!

GROSS!

A scar now, but a happy face with eyes tattooed on when it’s all grown up!

Let’s be friends. http://www.facebook.com/ryanjarcy is where you should add me as a friend or send me any questions. Or ryanjarcy@gmail.com. Either way!

UPDATE!

A lot of folks have been asking to see “those photos” of the accident- namely, the horribly grisly ones that artfully depict my severed and smashed self. I’m not normally up to showing such personal (and disgusting) things on the internet of all places, but posting links to the photographs does add some humanity to all this writing and text by way of showing, incontrovertibly, what happened to me was very real and can happen to anyone in a bad situation. As such, I’ve posted links only to three pictures my nurse snapped for me while wheeling me in, and if/when I can get the rest from my medical files I’ll put up more, and the x-rays I’ll post tomorrow when I get a chance to scan them. Again, they’re hosted elsewhere since I don’t want my mom or something to see something that terrible while idly browsing my site. Look at these at your own risk: they are HIGHLY graphic and, well, pretty fucking gross, but they are part of my shotgun story here.

ABANDON ALL HOPE, YE WHO ENTER HERE — REALLY FRIGGIN’ NASTY MEDIA HERE!

http://wp.me/aqSh5-bG  —  Exit would and shredded meat.

http://wp.me/aqSh5-bH  —  Another exit wound angle, shows the sheer carnage done to the tissue by the blast.

http://wp.me/aqSh5-bF   —  VERY graphic photo of my leg with exit wound.

DONATE

Since March 14th of 2014 my website, RyanJarcy.com, has received over 35,000 hits and is way bigger than I could have ever imagined it being. Thank you all for your support and kind words (even the trolls!) over my dumb, easily-avoidable mistake. Accidents happen, even embarrassingly weird ones, and it speaks volumes of people when they reach out to the victims in thanks for their story.

Since things kicked off last week I have been asked by a shockingly large amount of people about where to make a donation to my medical bills. That means more to me than anyone could ever possibly know, and I could never verbalize how incredibly kind it is to offer me some help for my troubles, but I am conflicted about taking money from readers when it could be going to something much more important.

As such, I’m working with the Wounded Warrior Project to get a donation campaign on my site for readers to give to a charity that’s actually out there doing real good for true heroes, with 100% of the proceeds from my blog going directly to them. There’s a link to give at the bottom of the page, and we’ve been putting together a fundraising drive for RyanJarcy.com to use exclusively with the WWP that should be online by the end of the week after we meet with the Jacksonville, Florida HQ.

If my little misadventure-turned-PSA has entertained you, helped you review your own gun safety practices, given you a dude to make fun of or simply made you throw up in your mouth a little please throw some support behind the Wounded Warrior Project. Any amount helps, so please give today.

Give to the Wounded Warrior Project

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Posted on March 31, 2013, in shotgunamputation, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 40 Comments.

  1. Rhonda Frachiseur

    What a hellish set of events and your amazing way of sharing. I am sure your family is incredibly proud of choices made. Your a force to be respected and many will in some way benefit as a result of your honesty and bravery. Thanks for sharing. Lots of love your way and continued healing.

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  2. Ryan! No matter the circumstances of how this happened, I do believe that this was some how in the plan for you! You are an incredible person and brilliant writer! I am so glad you choose to not “opt out”! To me, the choice you made is the bravest thing you could do! Thank you for sharing the story! You are in my thoughts!

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  3. Jesus fucking christ.

    I’m glad you’re alive. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone. You’re braver than I.

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  4. Ryan I have known u for a very long time! Hell you were my first boyfriend and first kiss! I’m glad u made the choice to stay! I admire the way you came out of this situation and send my prayers for a speedy recovery! If you ever need anyone to talk to I’m here! Miss you tons!

    Love,
    Lauren

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  5. Woah. I was just looking on Amazon for pepper spray when I saw your review and link to web page. I wasn’t expecting to read your latest post “how I blew off a leg with a shotgun” in the literal sense, but it seems (graphically) that I have. With that said, thank you for sharing your gritty and honest story. I pray for your recovery-of all types. Stay strong. Keep us posted. And know that you are here for a purpose beyond the concievable. Your writing is fantastic and I see a memoir in your future. Hold strong.

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  6. It’s very horrible to hear terrible stories.And you should thank GOD that’s all that happened! Your extremely lucky you didn’t bleed to death! , but can’t help to notice that you were the one in the panic mode as hey I would have been too. I notice a lot of blame was mentioned as a product flaw. I don’t mean to be a smart alek and maybe others have asked but how does a shotgun go off with your finger not on trigger? I don’t see anywhere in the text that you dropped it? I’m not trying to put you down and will pray that your leg gets better. Guess just trying to understand was this a scenario where someone got panicky and easier to point to the overpriced unvalued pistol grip? Or was it just easier to say it was a freak accident?

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    • it was a freak accident, in the sense that it was unexpected and rather magnanimous, but i don’t blame the grip for everything (or much, really). i have some issues with the design, sure, and have since been in close contact with Blackhawk who have acknowledged the product’s flaws and set me up with a new full-length stock (thanks Kirk @ BH!). i initially posted this while still in heavy recovery (a carnival of wincing and whining on my part for a few months) and while in incredible pain so i’m sure it came off as me blaming the pistol grip. since then i’ve come to terms with things and certainly don’t believe Blackhawk’s product took off my foot, but rather that i used it as instructed and had an accident that could have occurred with any other PGO 12 gauge- though i do think the lack of a textured hand grip helped me screw up a little faster. but hey, Blackhawk’s redesigned their new models to have interchangeable rubber pads since i told them about my foot-shootin’ boogie, so perhaps my dumb misadventure will keep some other like-minded moron from having to pick lead from their extremities 🙂

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  7. I don’t understand. How (why?) did the gun go off? Did it just spontaneously go off?

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    • it didn’t go off spontaneously. what precisely happened i’m not entirely sure of, but i think it was one of two things:
      1. shaking with adrenaline, the pistol grip slipped out of my hand and my first gut reaction was to tighten my hand. in doing so i put my finger through the trigger frame and set it off.
      2. i knocked the muzzle against the ground while looking down at my phone to dial 911, dropped it and did the same i explained above.
      in any case, it was/is my own fault that i pulled the trigger- should have switched on the safety or held it securely (or not used a PGO shotgun to begin with :P) before attempting to call the police. a tense situation, my frazzled nerves and a single moment of less-than-stellar gun control equates to a mega-fun time as an amputee and a great Halloween costume from now on 🙂

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  8. You sure are a stupid fucking idiot!

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  9. Ow dude,seriously fuckin’ OW!

    Been a gun person all my life and it’s good you owned up to it.

    That said this shows why one doesn’t mess with a 12ga or any shotgun,they will fuck shit up but good!

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  10. Wow thanks for posting your story! It’s a good lesson on proper gun safety. I’m glad you’re alive though! Now you can get a cool fake leg.

    I’ve been a gun guy all my life and the safety rules are there for a reason and written in blood. Sorry you had to do this the hard way 😦

    Take care and get better!

    Found this here:
    http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_1_5/1602914_How_I_Shot_My_Leg_Off_with_a_Shotgun____Graphic.html

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  11. I’m really glad your still with us bro. I’m one of the few who understand what your going through. I lost my dominant hand due to an “unintentional discharge” of a piece of shit Glock as it fell from my kitchen table. My fault anyway you look at it but a life altering experience none the less. Accidents do happen regardless of the reason. I’m hoping you’ll have the same great support I have had from those who love me. Your going to make it! Hope your pains are gone soon, Don’t ever give up bro.

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  12. Damn. Thank you for posting this. I trust you’re all recovered now?

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    • my stump is all healed, it can support my weight on the workout bench and i’ve been doing physical therapy for a while now, but this coming week i have to go and try to finally get fitted for a prosthesis. it’s CRAZY expensive to get anything done without insurance, but i’ve saved up over the past several months and am sweating bullets about walking again- i see a lot of falls, scrapes and curse words in my future! the town i live in is VERY remote and only there for the oil, plus the medical system is so bad that my nurses and caseworker told me to move 100 miles north to a college town if i want proper treatment. there’s nothing here as far as amputee support groups or county aid, but the money’s so good it’s tough to leave- hopefully, i can save up enough to spend a month in DFW doing all my medical acrobatics before coming back out here to work. time will tell.

      by the way, you’re a paramedic i assume? you guys really, truly, honestly are guardian angels- if you ever come through Texas i owe you a beer, my friend. thank you for all you do.

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  13. Ryan,

    Been around guns all my life and while I have not perforated my or anyone else’s hide I had a gun accident when I was 17. Scared the heck out of me (.30/30 going off in the bedroom due to broken extractor, I ‘thought it was empty’, as they say, but it sure wasn’t.)

    A 12 gauge is awful thing to be hit with, not at all like the movies. Thankfully you were hit below the knee. My wife, a nurse, says they can get a real good artificial limb and it will work well for you.

    Look on the bright side. Now your ‘toes’ on that side won’t get cold! And if you are in marital arts (as I am) you can now make one wicked kick using that leg.

    Unlike some stupid posters above I don’t point fingers or call you names. You are a ok guy.

    Anyway, get well and God bless.

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    • wow, that woulda scared the hell out of me too! a .30-30 has some roar to it, i bet you had tinnitus for a few days 😛 your wife is 100% right (as i’m sure you know), the technology in modern prosthetic medicine is amazing- there are even entire wiki projects online abut how to build your own! what i need at this point is the socket for my stump so i can get used to the pressure/weight/pain of it, then i’ll just have to thread on a prosthesis and i’ll be walking tall within a few months. doing it without insurance is a whole new level of hell and taxes, but i’ve made it this far with naught but my bad puns and winning smile, so i’m excited 🙂 and thanks man, some posters are jackasses but honestly i’ve been floored with the support from so many people like yourself. i can’t tell you what it means to have total strangers pat you on the back and wish you the best after they’ve read an extremely embarrassing and ripe-for-trolling story like mine. it means more than you’ll ever know, and hopefully it helps someone avoid my fate. and i save loads of money on socks, too!

      what martial arts do you train in? my good friend is into MMA (aikido and jujitsu, i think?) and said the same thing about me having a killer leg. what would you suggest to start with?

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  14. What did the burglar do? Was he long gone when your ND happened?

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    • took off after I decided not to shoot him, and i can only imagine that he heard the shot and kept on moving. he was probably at the T-junction at the end of the road or around the corner by the time i had my ND. can’t even remember his license plate number 😦

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  15. Holy crap! I hope your recovery goes well — that truly is a cautionary tale. I’ve only had one AD, with an “unloaded” Makarov 9X18 back in 1993. The only casualty was my favorite chair, but it could have gone much worse.

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  16. Sorry for your AD, after seeing this, makes me not even want to own a firearm.. Accidents do and will happen.. Sorry it was you dude. Guns are meant for one reason only and that’s to kill.. Just think if you would have had a Easton in your hands you might have just got a stumped toe.. I hope you continue to recover.. Good luck ..

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  17. I found your blog through reddit.
    You’re an amazing writer, I was either giggling or cringing throughout the read. Very entertaining and my god you described it fantastically, perhaps too much for some people who may be a bit green faced (please don’t let them see the images, they’ll go right from green to white).
    Glad you survived the ordeal and I hope you go on doing the things you love, as for Halloween… will you be adopting a parrot? Just don’t shoot off your hand for extra authenticity on the hook. 😛

    If you have a twitter I’d love to follow you, I need a bit of your humour in my everyday life. I’m off to browse the rest of your site. Love, light and happiness to you.

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  18. I was getting ready to buy a pistol-gripped shotgun. Not now. Thanks Ryan – you may have prevented another AD. I’m going to send you a check when I get my taxes paid (I run my own business.)

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  19. Ryan, I have known you for a short period of time and you have become one of my best friends. I am so sorry this happened to you but it has brought us to know each other. I wish this was nothing more than a hellish nightmare that you could wake from but unfortunately it is the reality. You have been so much stronger than I could ever begin to think of imagining in an alternate reality of a different dimension in another universe. You have used your terrible luck to help others and that is something not many people would do. It will work out for you in the end. You have my support in anything that you decide to do. Thank you for being a great neighbor and an amazing friend!!!

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  20. Kathleen Bedard

    ALTHOUGH WE’VE NEVER MET, AFTER SPEAKING TO YOU BRIEFLY, AND READING YOUR STORY, YOU ARE A BRAVE SOLE WHO LEARNED A HARSH LESSION. ALL THE BEST TO YOU MY FRIEND, AND ALL YOUR FUTURE TRAVELS. KATHLEEN, YOUR UHAUL GAL…:)

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  21. Ryan,
    I was brought to your site as I was trying to look up tattoo scar covering. I too was shot at point blank range with a 12 gauge. Fortunately for me it was bird shot, but it went in so close it might as well have been a slug. By the grace of God I didn’t lose my entire left leg. Due to the nature of the wound I large amount of my quad was cut out and in turn my femur has tried to grow in for the loss of muscle. This happened back in 2004… It has been a long road. Everything you have explained I have endured. Anger at God, the man who shot me, me putting myself in that situation, the pain and the mental and physical rehab. I commended you being able to laugh at it… I took the same route. I have a built in beer holder… So I guess it is kind of a win, lol. Stay strong, stay focused and take it one day at a time. Those days you are angry remember you survived what most shouldn’t and wouldn’t. You serve a purpose… Hold onto that!

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  22. Wow, crazy story!

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  23. Incredible story, and to have the sense of humor you have about it is great… You seem like a good dude. I hate this happened to you but if it were to happen to anybody, I believe you were chosen. I know that sounds weird but not a lot of people could have handled something like this. Maybe it will help others show how easy it is for such horrific accident to happen. Your also a great writer if this is all your writing. Maybe that was your calling and you needed this to show you.

    Like

  24. I found your page through your article with Cracked. Thank you, thank you, thank you for taking a horrible experience and making it into something worthwhile- a platform for education. The single best thing gun owners can give anyone interested in ownership these days is a solid education, and your willingness to share your story (and own up to your mistake) will do more for that forum than any police officer in front of a classroom could ever hope to. Moreover, thank you for helping out myself and my fellow Veterans. As a WWP alum, it means a great deal to me that you have taken your horrible ordeal and are working to dedicate the funds your story has generated to an organization that has had such a positive impact in my life and the life of my friends. I hope you’re recovering well and I admire your positive spirit. Keep it up!

    Like

  25. Jeez , I am without words . Almost got yourself a Darwin Award there ! Could have been a lot worse , but still not something i would try- and i have done some pretty fuckn stupid shit myself ! But like they say , cars dont drive drunk , neither does guns rob , murder or maim . A gun just make it a wee bit easier . I hope you get some financial support and wish upon you only the best with your recovery. You really did a good job of telling your story.
    Cheers , JP

    Like

  26. Sorry for your pain. Glad that you are getting along much better now? My adult son racked his 40 cal 😄 and was sure he had all the rounds cleared however, he pulled the trigger and fired a bullet into his left calf, inside 5″ from his knee, coming out on the outside of his ankle. That was a year ago and he still has pins and screws inside holding it together. Lots of pain for sure. Both bones were completely severed and he also bled heavily before the paramedics got there. He was also lucky to have his brother there to hep stop the bleeding. I hope you get to the point you are very used to your hardware and have very little pain as wel
    . Thanks for sharing your story. Good luck.

    Like

  27. Glad you made it through… and with a sense of humour to boot. Here in Canada, of course, it would probably not happen. First, crime is much lower. Second; If you called the cops, you would have been arrested, regardless of you injury, as it is illegal to point a firearm at another person, regardless of the circumstances. So in Canada, if you were a law abiding citizen, you would not have reached for your gun in the first place. If you 10 year old was about to be killed and you pointed your gun at the perp and said “freeze” and he did, your family would think you’re a hero, but you’d spend a couple of years in prison for pointing the gun. In Canada you would probably not have a gun. Your stuff would be safe. You would be in jail. And you would have no problem paying your medical bills of $0.00. ALL necessary medical care is free. I live in a city of about a million people. We had 5 shootings last year. The city of Washington DC had three hundred. Of the five shootings we had all of them were from guns that originated in the USA. About ten years ago I lost the keys to my house. I have not locked the doors since. I do not live in fear, except for the fear an American might come to my city. IF I had a gun and IF somebody tried to stal from me, I would certainly not aim my gun at him… well unless he was an American, of course. I’m sorry you lost your foot, but at the same time I really hope this wakes you up and you destroy your guns. I doubt it will though. The NRA and the gun manufacturers have propagandized you into believing that a gun is needed “for protection”.
    Cheers
    Mike

    Like

    • Most Canadians I’ve worked with have been great folks, but Mike here had to be the exception! What a smug, self righteous douchbag!

      Like

  28. You can add me to the list of people who think you are an idiot. It’s not just what you did to yourself that’s so bad, it’s what you’re doing to all responsible gun owners with your little website here; you did all of us a disservice. I doubt the example you set with your life altering event will ever save anyone from the same fate, but it will most certainly add fuel to the fire of the people who want to take away our 2nd Amendment rights.

    For the sake of everyone around you, please sell your firearms to someone who will be safer and more responsible with them.

    Like

  29. I do not even know how I finished up right here, but I believed this publish was once great.
    I do not realize who you might be however definitely you’re
    going to a well-known blogger in case you aren’t
    already. Cheers!

    Like

  30. Jesus titty-fucking Christ!

    You Sir, are one lucky man and the fact that you’ve kept your sense of humor about this is quite frankly amazing.

    I’m not going to judge you here, as you say “Shit happens” and it does. Sometimes seriously fucked up shit happens. I’ve seen it.

    May your recovery be swift and as complete as possible.

    Like

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