Despite the gun community having a lot of resources for education and training, we keep running into people doing dumb things with guns. TomoNews made a very interesting YouTube video going over a number of different scenarios that involved negligent deaths. You may be tempted to dismiss this as “silly” until you realize that some of those deaths take place at the hands of trained law enforcement and former military.
The complacency of prior experience is a dangerous trap. We’ll try to highlight some of the major mistakes so we can keep them fresh in our minds.
Toddler Accidentally Shooting Mother/Relative
This one is the most painful to hear about. Not only is a small child not responsible for his or her actions when in custody of a loaded firearm, the parent or guardian is jeopardizing the child’s life as well as his own.
In the video, there are two notable cases. The first involves a toddler accidentally shooting his mother in a Walmart after gaining custody of the handgun in her purse. The second is a toddler that got a loaded revolver out of the passenger seat’s rear pocket and shot his grandmother through the back.
Point: keep guns well out of reach of curious, young hands.
If they’re not old enough to learn and practice firearm safety, they’re not old enough to have even the potential of having access to that firearm.
Young Man Negligently Shoots Friend
In this case, we’re dealing with a young man who was trying to show off for a 16-year-old by posing with his guns. When she refused to take his handgun, he unloaded the magazine and pointed it at her to show her “it was safe”. He pulled the trigger, too ignorant to realize unloading the magazine does not make a handgun unloaded. Clearing the chamber does. He discharged a round into her chest and she died.
Point: always treat every firearm as if it is loaded. It is only unloaded after you have ejected the magazine AND inspected the chamber.
Off-Duty Police Officer Shoots Himself
An off-duty police officer, returning home with his wife after a night out, accidentally shot himself in the stomach when he negligently fired his handgun trying to put it back in the holster. It’s not the holster’s fault. It’s trigger discipline. And this police officer didn’t have it but thought he did. How many experienced gun owners will do the same?
Point: keep your finger off the trigger. Drawing and reholstering is not a complicated task. When you can’t keep your finger away from the trigger, it’s life threatening. If nothing pushes the trigger, there’s no way for a bullet to magic it’s way out of the barrel.
There’s plenty more hair-brained gun accidents that resulted in loss of life or injury in this video. To condense it down, there’s three basic varieties for law-abiding gun owners:
- Experienced gun owner becomes complacent and breaks a basic safety rule.
- Inexperienced gun owner doesn’t understand his gun and negligently discharges it.
- A gun owner allows his or her children access to firearms without knowing and dies.
What do all three have in common? Complacency.
Complacency kills. Being complacent in how we treat firearms and the respect we have for them as tools opens us up to tragedy. Don’t let this happen to you — always fight complacency in your daily carry routine.