…from laughing so much reading this list of negligent discharges (via SayUncle). Look there are two types of gun owners, those that have had an ND and those that will. I had an ND and I admit that freely. 20 years or so ago when I was a noob and hadn’t had the 4 rules properly ingrained into me. I was in my house moving a loaded gun from one room to the next with my finger resting on the trigger. Bang. Hole in the floor. Lucky it wasn’t my foot. Stupido.
The list is from the San Francisco Police Department so you’d expect they would have had some decent training. But still, people make mistakes which is why it is stupid to put anyone on a pedestal as some sort of expert that we should always trust.
So why am I laughing? Because of this:
A SWAT team entered a smoke-filled house on New Year’s Day 2007 to capture a parole violator believed to be armed and dangerous. Wearing a gas mask and tasked with conducting a search of the rear bedroom, one officer swung his M-4 rifle to his rear side in order to use both his hands to open closet doors and sift through dresser drawers. “It is suspected that the officer’s rifle snagged upon his equipment with sufficient force to disengage the safety and discharge his weapon,” the report reads.
I promise I will look high and low, but I bet I will not find a single firearms instructor who believes this story. Come one fella, you already had the ND and you are responsible for it no matter what, just say you didn’t put the safety on.
So that little switch on the right is the “safety”. On mine it has two positions, since SWAT dude is extra special his probably has 3 positions (one for full auto). But the “safe” position is the same. So whatever gear snaggage there was had to rotate that lever in one direction while pulling the trigger in another direction? Really? When your rifle comes out of ready position the safety goes on. You didn’t do that, no need to make up a story. Heck, your brothers in arms though the right way to clear a shotgun was to pull the trigger without physically checking to see if it was loaded. Not putting the safety on seems minor compared to that.
All kidding aside. These are negligent discharges, not “misfires” as the article labels them and not “accidental discharges.” The SF P.D. label of “unplanned shooting” is a good description but makes light of what could otherwise have been tragic. No one died in the list of shootings compiled for the article, but they very easily could have. These are all negligent discharges (NDs), because if the proper procedure for handling firearms had been followed not a single one of them — none — would have happened.
We have 4 rules of firearm safety because they work. There are procedures in place to handle, clear, clean, and maintain firearms. We have them because they work. If you don’t know those procedures, then find a competent instructor and have them teach you.