I don’t know that much about guns, but I can’t see why there wouldn’t be a good chance of a recoil injury under the circumstances that GZ described, which are about as far from optimal as you can get. Sure, experienced shooters tend to think a recoil injury from the Kel-Tec 9 is unlikely, but GZ was very inexperienced, and they may be thinking about shooting under normal conditions. Here are the issues that make me think it is likely.

  • GZ had very little practice shooting. As far as I know, he passed his gun safety class to get his concealed carry permit, and that was it.
  • He was under enormous stress and would likely not have remembered anything he was taught, most of which he couldn’t have done anyway.
  • He didn’t have any time to prepare for the shot and the resulting recoil.
  • He fired as quickly as possible.
  • He fired with one hand.
  • The hand he fired with was possibly not his dominant hand. He writes left-handed. I’ve heard he shoots right-handed, but usually when they teach you to shoot, they teach you to shoot with both hands holding the gun. Although it’s possible he got in some one-handed practice.
  • He had to shoot from an incredibly awkward position.
  • His arm was not only not outstretched, the gun had to have been very close to his body. I don’t see how his hand could have been much more than a few inches away from his body. Imagine there’s a person straddling you and beating you up. How much room is there to fit a gun between you and that person’s chest? That person is almost certainly not going to be sitting upright; they are going to be leaning forward at least a little, probably a lot. So there’s maybe 12″ between GZ’s body and the bullet wound, certainly not much more, probably less. The gun itself is nearly 6″ long.
  • That gun certainly can have a lot of kick. Take a look at this video.