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Things I Have Learned

Dixie Dave Of Weedeater On Guns & Shooting Off His Own Toe
Toby Cook , June 28th, 2011 11:52

Despite the fact that he shot off his own toe, Weedeater's 'Dixie' Dave says, controversially, that he's against American gun controls. Interview by Toby Cook. Photograph courtesy of Markus Shaffer

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Firstly, don't ever shoot yourself in the foot

The pain isn't as bad as you would think it would be to be honest with you, not at the moment it happens. After that though? Yeah, it's pretty fucking bad. But, I had it sitting directly on my toe so it [the buck shot] never had time to spread – which was lucky for me, otherwise it would have blown all of my toes off, instead of just one.

Secondly, never try to multi-task when you're handling a gun

If you have a gun in your hand, don't be doing anything else like doing the dishes or changing a baby.... or doing a bong hit! I would say that you should focus on exactly what you're doing any time that you have any sort of fire arm in your hands, that's how my accident happened.

I just got stupid – I wasn't drunk or anything, it was just carelessness. I got off work and had two drinks, which is nothing, and went to my house and met a friend of mine – we were going to go out for his birthday and have some drinks. So I've got the shotgun resting on my toe as I'm attempting to spray down the outside, just to keep it from corroding, and he goes to hand me a bong and I just accidently pulled the trigger. My gun's never usually loaded, but I'd loaded it on New Year's Eve to shoot one shot in the air at midnight and afterwards had just passed out and left the other shell in; nine days later I blew my toe of with it trying to do two things at once.

Thirdly, keep it clean

You don't want it to blow up in your face, do you! The barrel can't be plugged with anything and it's best to ream it out well whenever you can, especially if it's not been used for a while. Annoyingly when my accident happened I wasn't even cleaning the inside, it was the outside that I was concerned about, I was just spraying in down to keep it from corroding. So yeah, that's all you really need to do, as long as you keep all the parts moving you should be ok.

Believe it or not, I was actually really lucky

The doctor that treated me actually said that as far as shooting yourself anywhere I was about as lucky as you can get; had the barrel been two inches further back I would have blown all my toes off. And the fact that it was so close meant that the heat cauterised it, so it barely bled – I was lucky in several ways, I lost a little more than half my toe, but as far as shooting yourself I was about as lucky as you can get. My soccer career's over, but I've still been able to skateboard and shit.

Aside from the pain, the worst thing is being couch bound afterwards

I move around a lot, and I'm a busy person with a high metabolism, and lying around watching TV for a month almost fucking killed me mentally, it drove me fucking crazy. Right after it happened whenever I wanted to move I had to use crutches, and I was on them for about two weeks – they told me originally that I might be on crutches for up to a year and then have to use a cane for up to two years – but in the end I was on crutches for about two weeks and then a cane for another two weeks, then I was done.

Despite what you may have heard I'm not actually a huge gun enthusiast

Everybody has guns where I live, so I'll tell you what I am an enthusiast of is not being the only person in the neighbourhood without a gun! But I only have two guns, a Mossberg 12 gauge shotgun – which is the one I shot myself with, and a 357 Magnum Taurus. I'm glad I didn't shoot myself with the pistol otherwise I'd have damn sure blown my whole foot off.

I'm much more into collecting weaponry that'll be useful in a Zombie apocalypse

I have a bunch of swords and battle axes and most of the stuff I have is like Zombie weaponry, y'know? If we end up with Zombies rolling about I'll be prepared for that – a Mossberg shotgun is great for that because it'll clean your whole head off, and the 357 will blow you across the room. But the real reason I have those two guns is that my friend who owns the head-shop I work in gave me both of them; he actually gave me the 357 for my birthday a couple of years back.

It's definitely too easy to buy guns in the Sates

Really it's far too easy to purchase a shotgun or a rifle in the US. You do have to have to jump some hurdles to get a pistol and you don't walk out of the store – in most states – with a pistol that day; they do a background check and all that before you can get a pistol. Unless one is given to you by someone, and then it's completely legal – as long as I'm not a felon, if you give me a gun, it's my gun. No paper work involved and no one knows I have that gun except for you. Although if a dead body turns up and they trace the ballistics back to that same gun, the first person that gets dealt with is you. And then you say ‘fuck! I gave Dixie Dave that gun', and then they come and deal with me.

It's got to the point in the US where we need to look at solving societal problems that lead to gun crime, not just at ways to tighten gun laws

I don't know if there is really any other way to look at it now because everyone has guns. If you made handguns illegal in the US the only people who'll have them will be people with illegal handguns. So therefore you're not dealing with the problem at all, your taking the option away from the people who want to protect themselves – no criminal is going to fill out a piece of paper work and any felon can't legally own one, so therefore if you took legal guns away you'd have an even bigger problem because then only the criminals would have them. So I think we're beyond looking at it from that end because it's too late, there's too many of them. If I go in to a pawn shop – there's about 40 pawn shops in my little town that I live in – and in any one of them there's about 100 hand guns, 100 rifles and 50 shot guns, in any one of them.

It's just too easy to get one, and anyone who really means to do ill has no problem going and purchasing and illegal hand gun for $25 on the street corner in America, and shooting the same guy that they bought it from in the face if they wanted to. So, I think you have to somehow appeal to the whole other side of it, to peoples rational and mental health – which there's a lot of problems with in the States as well, as with anywhere – but gun accessibility does weight heavier there.

But the fact remains...

The US ain't Canada, if you pull a knife on someone in the States you're likely to get shot.

Fenrir
Jun 29, 2011 7:24am

What a picture!

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John Doran
Jun 29, 2011 10:10am

There's a link to more of Markus Shaffer's photography at the top of the feature. He kindly let us use this for free...

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