Firearms are relatively simple machines to understand. You load them, you point them at something you want to put a hole in, and then you pull the trigger. Easy, right?
So why in the name of Zeus is it so bloody hard to get people to avoid pointing guns at things they don’t want to blow a hole in?
“Excuse me, sir, but would you like to put a bullet through your hand? No? THEN DON’T POINT THE GUN AT YOUR HAND!”
I see this kind of stuff far too often when I’m at the range. On more than one occasion I have actually laid hands on another person to redirect the muzzle of their weapon away from either an innocent person who did not deserve to get shot, or in a couple of cases their own anatomy.
On a trip to the NRA range when I was shooting a drill, out of the corner of my eye I saw Todd Green dive into the next lane. I immediately ceased fire, brought my gun to a ready position and moved. I looked over to see Todd shoving an 8mm Mauser rifle away from my direction. The woman handling the rifle had it pointed directly at me.
Todd got a few inches away from the woman’s face and very sternly said “Do not point guns at my friends.”
Was he being rude? Hell no. He was doing exactly what everybody should do when someone POINTS A LETHAL WEAPON AT ANOTHER HUMAN BEING. Endangering the life of another person REQUIRES an immediate and stern rebuke.
You know what is rude? POINTING A LETHAL WEAPON AT ANOTHER HUMAN BEING.
In this video we have a clear example of where an immediate and unmistakable correction could have prevented gunshot wound. The victim here appears to be the person who is less familiar with firearms of the pair in the video. I’m all for taking people to the range, but when we do it is incumbent upon us to emphasize safe handling and correct any mistakes instantly and unmistakably.
When the shooter here put his hand in front of the muzzle the proper response would have been to IMMEDIATELY direct the gun away from his anatomy and very simply say “Don’t point guns at anything you don’t want to kill!”
If someone is unable to take that sort of correction, they don’t need to be handling a gun.
Of course, the shooter here did not mean to do any harm to himself or anyone else. He was simply being careless with a very dangerous object.
But tell me…did his lack of malice matter? Did he get any less shot because he didn’t mean to do it?
Bullets are stupid. They do the same amount of damage whether you intended to launch one or not. So it is not a trivial matter when someone puts the muzzle on human anatomy…be it yours or theirs.
Rule 1 is rule 1 for a reason. You can screw up every other rule of handling a firearm, but if you observe rule 1 then there is some embarrassment and perhaps some drywall to repair but that’s it. If you screw up Rule 1 then somebody bleeds. Someone is permanently injured. Someone dies.