Not accidental

In Nebraska, a man is facing 3rd degree assault charges for a negligent discharge at the shooting range.  The person in question was taking about his Glock, and apparently failed to do a chamber check before beginning the takedown process, and then inadvertently shot a fellow range patron in the shoulder.

Two things of note, I am beginning to dislike how the media represents negligent discharges; they’re almost always referred to as “accidental”, and usually accompanyed by a statement like “the gun went off”, or “then the gun fired” as if by some magic the gun just went off.  The second thing I want to point out is safety – all firearms are always loaded, and if you’re taking a firearm down, especially a Glock you need to be double sure that the firearm is unloaded.

Safety is key, in this case the person was negligent in his safety procedures and ended up injuring someone.  Remember the Four Rules.


  1. Although I usually don’t play “blame the victim”, any time someone inadvertently points a gun at me, I move and loudly complain.

    I realize I don’t know if the victim was even faced in the shooter’s direction, but the rules apply across the board.

  2. American Heritage Dictionary
    ac·ci·den·tal (āk’sĭ-děn’tl)

    1. Occurring unexpectedly, unintentionally, or by chance.
    2. Music Of or relating to an accidental.

    Since it was not intentional, yes, it was accidental. Negligent may be a cool word, and emphasizes that the one who was holding the gun made a mistake, but it does not change the fact that since the shooter did not intend to put a hole in the guy, it was, by definition, an accident.

  3. There’s probably something wrong with the fact that every time I hear about someone having an accidental or negligent discharge I expect to see the word “GLOCK” and I’m almost always right.

  4. Actually, no I agree with you. The one thing that really gives me the heebie-jeebies about Glocks is that you have to pull the trigger to take the gun apart. I don’t think it’s unsafe per se, but I do think that if you’re going to carry a Glock you need to be double-plus sure that your gun is unloaded before you take it apart.

    And to Valen, the point of using negligent instead of accidental is to reinforce that this sort of mistake is 100% preventable, had proper gunhandling safety been observed.

  5. Jesus. If you’re taking down a Glock and are thus going to have to pull the trigger to do so it’d damn well better be pointed in a safe direction.

    My range doesn’t allow you to handle guns unless you’re actually ON the firing line.

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