Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Repeat after me

  1. All guns are always loaded.
  2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
  3. Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target.
  4. Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.
A man and his wife are being treated for gunshot wounds after he shot himself in the hand with a pistol, the bullet passed through him, and then it struck his wife in the leg.   This negligent discharge happened during a handgun safety course at a residence in Virginia.  The instructor reports that he had left the room when the gun discharged.

Let's see here:
  • Rule 1 violation - Why was a loaded gun being handled at someone's house during firearms safety instruction? Why was live ammunition even in the room?
  • Rule 2 violation - The guy muzzled himself and his wife.
  • Rule 3 violation - Unless the gun malfunctioned, it didn't "just go off"
  • I'm sure there's a rule 4 violation in here somewhere, but I can't articulate it, so I'll give him a pass on that one. 
  • Why were inexperienced shooters being left alone with a loaded gun?
Ladies and gentlemen, this wasn't a "stupid accident".   A "stupid accident" is when a normally responsible driver hits a patch of black ice and slides into a bus stop.  A "stupid accident" would have been if the gun was faulty and discharged on its own.  Based on what I can see here, I don't call this an "accident".  I call this "negligence stacking".  There was live ammunition in the gun during non-firing training, there wasn't proper supervision of a new shooter, the shooter pointed the gun at himself and his wife, and he probably had his finger on the trigger.

Ladies and gentlemen, I've said it before:  We will not be judged based on our most responsible and safe gun owners.  We will be judged by the mistakes, negligence, and damage done by those who are not responsible and safe.  We owe it to ourselves to be safe and to police up those who have a lapse in judgement.

Update - Jake does an excellent job summing up the situation.


Keads said...

Here here! You are absolutely correct! I have a no live ammo policy in the classroom.

DaddyBear said...

Keads, question: When you're training a new shooter, do you provide the gun or do you ask the student to bring their own?

Keads said...

DB, I bring the guns. If they have one I let them bring it, but mostly in my Basic class they are slick.

Anonymous said...

Some students are both fast and sneaky, especially in smaller classes such as a semi-private lesson with only two students who both know each other. I had a similar situation once (no shots fired, thankfully) when I absolutely had to step off the range for two minutes during a private lesson. I said, "Please do not handle any firearms while I am gone. I'll be right back!" When I returned less than two minutes later, the man's wife was yelling at him because he had swept her when he drew his firearm to "check" it.

Firearms students are adults, not children, and they always expect to be treated as such. But how can a conscientious instructor do that when people are also so damnably stupid sometimes?

GunDiva said...

Stupid people. I agree with your negligence stacking comment. There were multiple violations of the four rules and it bit them (the idiots AND the instructor) in the ass. Grrr...

DaddyBear said...

I'm not really blaming the instructor here. You're correct, a student in a firearms class is an adult, and should act like one. My one quibble would have been to make sure that all guns in the room were cleared, assuming that he or she couldn't force the students to remove all live ammunition from the environment.

What I did when I was teaching rifle marksmanship in the Army was to have each student confirm that they had no ammunition in their pockets and to have them do a function check on their rifle, which cycles the action often enough to make sure there isn't a round in the chamber, before the start of every class.

When I took my CCDW class, our instructor did something similar, and every time he picked up a gun to demonstrate something, he cleared and had at least one person verify that it was empty.

The Four Rules allow for us to mess up (I've had an ND, and everyone who shoots guns either has had one or will have one), but you have to make a bunch of mistakes before you hurt someone with your gun.

Keads said...

Oh, if they bring a firearm to class, I clear it and inspect it, lock the slide to the rear, remove the magazine and lay it on the table in plain view. If a revolver, I open the cylinder.

I also insure I have no ammo, and that is the one I always triple check!

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

Thanks for the link!

I almost got into the live ammo issue, but decided not to for a couple of reasons. One being that I suspect this was a class set up for people to use to get a CHP - VA doesn't require a CCW specific class, only a "safety" class - so the students are not necessarily new shooters. Second is that open carry is perfectly legal in VA, so one of the students may have been OC'ing for whatever reason.

It makes me wonder if it happened something like: Dumbass asks OC'er "What's that you're carrying, can I see it?" OC'er, being a nice guy (tm) says "Sure," hands it over without clearing it (or drops the mag and doesn't think about the one in the chamber), and Dumbass proceeds to shoot his wife through his own hand.

But, yeah, one of my first thoughts was also "Why was there a live-and-loaded firearm in that room at all?" (Of course, the first thought was "What is the media lying about in this story," but that's a whole other issue.)

Anonymous said...

I contend it was a "Stupid" accident. Stupidity played a major role in it. Hitting black ice is a "random" accident

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