LANCASTER, OHIO — In the wake of the tragedy at Chattanooga where 4 Marines and 1 Petty Officer were killed, armed citizens have been stepping up to guard local recruitment centers until legislation is passed allowing military service members to protect themselves.
Unfortunately, one of those armed volunteers didn’t know how to properly clear his AR-15. According to KXAN, a citizen negligently discharged his rifle into the pavement after a curious bystander asked to see his firearm.
Police report that no one was hurt and, outside of a piece of pavement, nothing was destroyed. It’s still incredibly stupid.
If you’re going to roll out in front of a recruiter’s office in Condition 1 (“magazine loaded, round in the chamber”), you ought to know how to transition to Condition 4 (“magazine unloaded, no round in the chamber”).
The guy who did this got his rifle confiscated until he makes an appearance in court later on in the month. Depending on your locality or state laws, discharging a firearm within city limits or on another’s property can be construed as a crime. Who knows what he’ll be charged with but it sets a real bad stereotype for the rest of the Americans who are responsibly armed and guarding recruitment centers around the country.
This is a great opportunity to educate.
Condition 4 – No magazine is loaded. Magazine well is empty. Firearm selector switch is on safe (“S”). No round in the chamber. To inspect for this condition, rack the charging handle to the rear and lock in place so you can visually inspect the inside of the chamber to ensure that there are no rounds present.
Condition 3 – Firearm on safe, chamber is empty. Bolt is slid all the way forward. Magazine is inserted into the magazine well until it clicks into place.
Condition 2 – Does not apply to the AR-15.
Condition 1 – Firearm is still on safe. With a loaded magazine inserted, rack the bolt to the rear – allowing a round to enter the chamber. Release the bolt, thereby loading the rifle. The rifle is now loaded.
If you can’t transition back and forth between these conditions without discharging your rifle, it is most likely operator error. The rifle is extremely well designed and will not discharge a round unless it is literally fired so much and so often that rounds are “cooking off” inside of it. That’s surprisingly hard to do. Here’s a YouTube video that demonstrates how much torture an AR-15 has to take before it starts cooking off rounds.
So for everything outside of that – practice switching between these conditions while at the range.
And, for the love of everything, do not make those recruiters fear that the person outside guarding them is more of a danger than the person who may attack.