Sunday, January 27, 2008

A different take on the recent Negligent Discharge incident

Regarding the negligent discharge that many people have linked to recently, Grant Cunningham of The Revolver Liberation Alliance comes at it from a different angle, and I tend to agree with him.

It's not often someone is willing to admit to doing dumb things:
Once again, I'm going to place the blame squarely on Traditional Rule #1: "All guns are always loaded", or any variant thereof. He felt free to do something blatantly stupid with his gun, because he was sure that he had unloaded it. Since he was sure that he unloaded it, in his mind the other rules obviously didn't apply.

If they did, he wouldn't have pointed it at his leg as he intentionally pulled the trigger! What bothers me most about this fellow's misfortune isn't that he was injured, but that he still doesn't get why it happened in the first place. He is so clueless about this, in fact, that he cites the classic Four Rules of Firearms Safety, starting with the offending Traditional Rule #1 in his article, and explaining to his readers that they should follow them. This is in fact the wrong thing to do, and is what caused his injuries.
He also suggests a Three Rules set of commandments that should be used instead of the Four Rules. Personally, I have always followed this set of three rules without them. Even a gun that I have personally unloaded and kept in my hand since that unloading is treated as though it were loaded. So yeah, Cunningham's Three Rules is what I already use. I just never really thought about it that way.


  1. I'm willing to bet that you have violated the first rule, and even the 3-rule version of it.

    Either that, or you've never checked the condition of the bore of a gun. Or cleaned the barrel from the muzzle end. I mean, who would be so stupid as to shove a cleaning rod down the barrel of a loaded gun? Or done any dry firing except when at the range under standard shooting conditions.

    I'm just sayin'.....

  2. I don't think the rules should be numbered unless it's a set of instructions. For my son, he knows the steps if he sees a gun: 1) Stop what you're doing. 2) Don't touch it. 3) Leave the room and get a grown-up. But having a Rule #1 that's not in a set of instructions can be perceived that if you're following the first rule, you're in the clear. (ie: "It's not loaded, I can point it wherever!")

    What about carrying IWB "appendix carry" though? Doesn't it point at your leg whenever you sit - whether driving or at a restaurant somewhere?

  3. Yes, there will always be exceptions to the rules, by sheer necessity. You both got me there.

  4. Was going to make mention of the story but would have to break my own rule of never, ever, referring to anyone who calls Federal's ammunition hydro-shok.