Our good friends over at The Truth About Guns have a little feature they call the Irresponsible Gun Owner of The Day (or IGOTD for the acronymically inclined) where the tell us about people who do boneheaded, stupid and/or unsafe (and usually all three) things in the news. These articles (or more accurately, the people in them) are the perfect fodder for me to use to show what happens to people who fail to follow the Firearms Code of Responsibility. So without further ado let me introduce:
Moises gets the honor of being our first example of why the Firearms Code of Responsibility is a good idea. Moises was at church when he decided to show some of his friends (I assume) how that safeties of his gun work. This man, who according to his Facebook photo (right) is some form of LEO, removed the magazine from his firearm and was showing his friends the firearm’s safeties when it discharged through the wall and struck the pastor’s daughter (who was one the the two friends’ girlfriend).
Who here knows what went wrong? First, he obviously didn’t clear the action and lock the slide back as anyone familiar with firearms or who carries with one in the chamber should know; second, third and fourth he ignored rules 8-1, 8-3 and 8-4. Lets break it down:
Rule 8 – I will aways obey the rules of firearms safety:
Rule 8-1 – All guns are always loaded.
Moises was not paying attention to this rule when he did not clear the action and lock the slide back. This simple action that can be done with a single motion and should be second nature would have ensured the firearm was NOT loaded and impossible to fire.
Rule 8-3 – Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target.
There is no other way with a properly functioning firearm to cause it to fire than to pull the trigger. The fact that he broke this rule says that he is either a very irresponsible firearms handler or perhaps the firearm was in the hands of someone less experienced with them than he (an interesting possibility, huh?). The only way I have ever heard of a firearm discharging accidentally (and I use that word VERY loosely) is when dropped, and most of those firearms are revolvers. Even so it is exceedingly rare, if the stories are to believed. Which makes me certain he broke this rule.
Rule 8-4 – Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.
While it could be argued that he did not have a target (a scarey thought by itself) he should have been thinking “What is on the other side of that wall?” As, my friends over at The Box Of Truth have shown, most walls are exceedingly poor at shopping projectiles of any kind. You should never point even a supposedly unloaded gun at a wall where there may be people on the other side. If you are unsure, don’t point it that way!
This is a very good example of how good the rules of gun safety put down by Jeff Cooper really are. If Moises had followed even one of these rules properly a young girl would not have been shot. If you are going to show someone your firearm: Don’t do it in a public place (church closets are public places!), unload the gun the right way (drop the clip, rack the slide back and lock it in place) and never point (or allow someone else) to point your firearm in a direction that may possibly have people.