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Don't Shoot! It's Rosh Hashanah!

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This is why I don't go to High Holy Days services: Shit is dangerous.

About an hour ago I talked to an old friend, whose mother had gone to Temple Emanu-El on Hillcrest Road and Northwest Highway for Rosh Hashanah services tonight. And my friend told me one hell of a story that I have since confirmed with Chief David Kunkle and one of his assistants.

An 81-year-old retired Dallas County Sheriff's Department officer who has a valid right-to-carry permit brought a .380 pistol to temple tonight -- why, beats me. At around 7 p.m. the man, who worked for the Sheriff's Department for 25 years, accidentally dropped the gun when he stood for a prayer, it fell to the floor and discharged, and a single round hit the man's 42-year-old daughter in the foot. The ambulance was called, naturally; doubtful EMS carries anything for the schpilkes. A couple in their early 70s were grazed by some from shrapnel, according to the chief. But they got a Band-Aid and were sent home -- and mazel tov, seriously.

Assistant Chief Ron Waldrop says the temple doesn't actually have signs posted prohibiting licensed guns on the property. He also says the gun fell out of the man's suit when he stood for a prayer. "It's fortunate more people weren't seriously injured," Waldrop says, adding that no criminal offense report has been filed since it was an accidental discharge with a permitted weapon.

Why the man felt the need to bring a gun into Rosh Hashanah services is still a mystery. At least it wasn't during Yom Kippur, as day-long fasting can make a man extra cranky. I believe the proper response is: Oy gevalt. --Robert Wilonsky

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