Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Apparent Disregard For Firearms Safety Reportedly Leads To Shooting Death

In the attached video, you will see what evidently amounts to the total disregard for firearms safety if the accompanying write up at the video source is correct. Many of the rules (and I do not mean only the so called 4 Rules because there are many more than 4) are violated by a novice shooter, as his so called firearms instructor watches, even instructs him, in what leads up to the shooting of another person downrange.

Please be advised, this is a graphic video and actually shows someone being killed.

So, what rules were broken:

Be aware that firearms have the potential to be deadly weapons and they are not toys to be trifled with in any unsafe manner.

Every time you pick up a weapon you should treat it like it is loaded and if not about to fire it you should check to see if it is loaded and unload as appropriate.

Never take anyone's word for the condition of a weapon, as I indicated above you are responsible for checking it.

Always point weapon in a relatively safe direction. (Relatively because you may someday need to shoot an assailant and what is safe for you will surely not be for him or her.)

Be sure of your target and what is around it.

Never place your finger on the trigger until ready to shoot (this also applies to dry firing or pulling the trigger for disassembly  - consider  both to be the equivalent of shooting so you should have your weapon pointed in a relatively safe direction to avoid accidents).

Never handle any weapons while someone is downrange. This is a cardinal rule of firearms safety at any firearms range; any instructor with any firearms instructor training at all should know this. (The instructor in this video was foolish enough as to stand in front of her student and then to instruct him to pick it up while others were downrange.)

Train new shooters completely about firearms safety, and test them to assure that they understand it, before ever allowing them to handle a weapon.

As the Smith & Wesson firearms safety page says:

"As a firearm owner, you accept a demanding responsibility. How serious you take this responsibility can be the difference between life and death. There is no excuse for careless or abusive handling of your firearm. At all times handle your firearm with intense respect for its power and potential danger."

They have a pretty decent web page dedicated to firearms safety located at this link.

The blame for this shooting death falls squarely on the shoulders of the shooter and his instructor and I would think more so onto those of the instructor if the shooter was a novice. Now, as to what I am about to say, please do not take me wrong, I am not assigning any responsibility to the deceased but am about to tell you how he and the other guy downrange could possibly have avoided this tragedy. While handling firearms you should must be aware of your situation and your surrounding environment. The same is true whenever anyone else is handling firearms around you and that includes during a break in the shooting at a range. So, when you go downrange, it is a good idea to remain alert and to scan your surroundings to assure you are not in any danger as was posed by the shooter in the video. A look back over your shoulder now and again is not a guarantee you will always be able to prevent an incident like this but it tends to slant the odds in your favor. Again, I place no responsibility at all on the deceased, it is just something to bear in mind and to practice when you are at the range. It's sort of like making sure to look both ways not only before you cross the street but again as you cross the street. Stay alert of your surroundings at all times.

Folks, just one other thing. It is a good idea to have some sort of first aid training if you are a shooter, at least the basics and to have a first aid kit on hand while shooting. You will note, that in the video, the guy who was reportedly shot fell to the ground and it appears as if no one went to check on him; although, one cannot say with certainty because of the editing. In any given shooting, the person who was shot possibly could still be alive and rapid application of first aid may save that person's life.

Video source:

All the best,
Glenn B