The police chief in Portland, Oregon has been placed on administrative leave while an investigation is being conducted about an incident last month in which he apparently shot a hunting companion, the Portland Oregonian reports:
“Portland Police Chief Larry O’Dea, at least two retired Portland tactical officers and other friends were on vacation in eastern Oregon, sitting around a makeshift campsite, drinking beer and shooting at squirrels when one of them suddenly screamed out in pain.
“They realized he’d been shot and got the wounded 54-year-old into a silver Dodge Ram pickup and drove to a spot where they could get cellphone coverage.”
But cases like this, where a high-profile law enforcement official has an embarrassing incident involving a gun, create headaches for the gun prohibitionists who take the extremist position that only police should have guns.
When former Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske’s pistol was stolen out of his parked department car while he and his wife were on a post-Christmas shopping trek in downtown Seattle several years ago, it was an egg-on-his-face moment. Kerlikowske had testified in favor of gun control before the Washington Legislature prior to the gun loss. The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms posted a reward for recovery of the gun and the arrest and prosecution of the thief. The gun has never been recovered.
Other police administrators have left guns in restrooms and one left a gun in an oven.
Making matters worse, the Oregonian noted that one of the other people present was a now-retired Portland officer who had been a “supervisor of firearms instruction.”
Responsible gun owners do not mix firearms and alcohol. Recall the aftermath of former Vice President Dick Cheney’s hunting accident in Texas several years ago. Any time a high-profile official has a firearms-related mishap, it is exploited and it could go that way for the police chief.