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Negligent Discharge: Time to Talk About Gun Safety

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posted on Jan, 15 2015 @ 08:22 PM
You hear it time and time again. A child accidentally shoots another with a found firearm. A grown man shoots his wife or kid while cleaning his loaded weapon. These stories all have a common thread and that is negligence.

To understand where I am going to go with this we need to define the terms that will be used in this topic.


An accident is defined as an injurious occurrence whose circumstances were beyond the capability of the individual to avoid. With prudence and caution accidents can be avoided, but things can still happen regardless of the risk mitigators we put in place. You can never really remove risk entirely. But what happens cannot be attributed or faulted to any particular party or person.


Negligence is the FAILURE to take ANY precautions at all. Drinking and driving without a seatbelt on while speeding is negligent. Whereas accidental occurances happen despite risk mitigators, negligent occurences happen IN SPITE of risk mitigators. How many times do people have to be told and shown why drinking and driving is so bad? Still they do it anyway.

The Rules:

Rule #1. ALWAYS treat ALL firearms as if they're loaded. Regardless of who hands it to you. ALWAYS clear that weapon upon receiving it.

Rule #2. NEVER Point a firearm at anything you don't intend to destroy.

Rule #3. DO NOT put your finger on the trigger UNLESS YOU INTEND TO FIRE THAT WEAPON.

Rule #4. ALWAYS be sure of your target and WHAT IS BEYOND IT.

To add this:

Rule #5. ALWAYS be aware of where your firearms are. When they are not PHYSICALLY ON YOUR PERSON or ACTIVELY IN USE, secure them. I understand the home defense weapon that should be kept loaded and within quick reach. But there are ways of doing that in a SECURE way so that unauthorized persons(i.e. children) are not able to reach them.

The Heart Of The Matter:

Here I have compiled a list of negligent incidents. Many have been billed as "accidents". But as some of you know, when it comes to firearms, I don't believe in accidents. There have been extremely few incidents where it was the fault of the gun itself(to read fault of the manufacturing of said gun), where a discharge has injured or killed someone. THAT is an accident because it was beyond the control and risk mitigators of the operators of the weapons in question.

The following video is of a cop handling a .380 caliber weapon in a gun shop. This cop is now suing the gun shop for his own negligence. But that does not mean the gun shop is free of guilt here. They put a loaded magazine in a CASE DISPLAY weapon to be handled by the public. The employee did not clear the weapon before handing it to the officer. The officer racked the slide back which would have thrown out a round if it had been chambered, but it chambered a round from the magazine he NEGLECTED to remove. He then flagged(pointed the weapon at) everyone in the store while handling a weapon he didn't properly clear. He then pulled the trigger on a weapon he didn't properly clear with his OWN HAND covering the muzzle, blowing his finger off.

How many rules did this COP break? ALL OF THEM. How many rules did the gun shop employee break? All but one. This is how negligent discharges happen folks.

Cops: Tot accidentally shoots, kills mom in Idaho Walmart

HAYDEN, Idaho - A 2-year-old boy accidentally shot and killed his mother after he reached into her purse at a northern Idaho Walmart and her concealed gun fired, authorities said Tuesday.

Kootenai County sheriff's spokesman Stu Miller told The Associated Press the woman was shopping with her son and three other children. Her family had come to the area to visit relatives, he said.

The woman was identified as Veronica J. Rutledge, 29, of Blackfoot, Idaho. Authorities said she had a concealed weapons permit. Miller said the young boy was left in a shopping cart, reached into the victim's purse and grabbed a small caliber handgun, which discharged one time.

"It appears to be a pretty tragic accident," Miller said.

This was not an accident. This was negligence with a heavy and tragic price. This woman was carrying a loaded weapon in a purse designed for concealed carry. She left her purse with a LOADED GUN within reach of a 2 year old child(unauthorized person).

Greenwood boy hurt in accidental shooting

GREENWOOD, Ind. (WISH) – A 10-year-old was accidentally shot in the leg when his father was cleaning a gun that had not been unloaded, police said.

According to the Daily Journal, the father and son had been target shooting, and returned to their home in Greenwood shortly before 5 p.m. Saturday.

A police report says the father and son were cleaning their guns when a bullet was fired from the father’s 9mm handgun.

The boy wasn't seriously hurt, but was taken to a hospital to be checked out, the report said.

This man should be in JAIL for this kind of recklessness and negligence. How the hell do you clean a gun you don't unload and clear? he shot his own son for god sake! Some weapons require that you pull the trigger after disengaging the slide retaining pin to pull the slide off. Knowing this, why would you not clear the weapon first? The hammer or striker WILL strike whatever round is in the chamber as the slide comes off. That kid is lucky to be alive. What kind of lessons in firearms safety are being taught to this kid by his own father? Once again, this is NOT an accident. This is a FAILURE to take precautions to prevent injury.

Recently there was this post right here on ATS about a man who had been jailed for armed robbery. His phone was sifted through by police where they found a video of him and his stupid ass girlfriend giving a 1 year old baby a .40 caliber handgun. I didn't think I had to explain to ANYONE why this is so stupid. But unfortunately some people said things that really solidified why gun safety is so important. Some people took the attitude of "If it wasn't loaded it doesn't matter". YES IT DOES MATTER. What if that gun had been loaded? The people who did this aren't exactly shining examples of intelligence and responsibility now are they? We could be reading a story far more tragic than this!

I am a father of one very beautiful little girl. Soon to be a father of two kids. I have extensive experience in firearms, shooting, and maintenance. I am a soldier and in the Army negligent discharges are punishable by UCMJ. I own guns and LOVE to shoot and train with them. I ALWAYS follow the rules above. The weapons I own are to safe guard my life and the lives of the people I care about. If I am negligent in my responsibility to always observe the rules listed above what good is the purpose of my weapons if I am the one who is the source of danger?

Happy-AND SAFE-Shooting!

posted on Jan, 15 2015 @ 09:59 PM
Thank you! I hate it when I read stories of people getting hurt or killed when it comes to basic stupidity where guns are involved. People always blame the guns and not the idiots that use them. I always tell people that gun safety starts between the ears. It's common sense. The cop the shot his finger off had me rolling my eyes because, working with weapons as part of his job, he should have known better and obviously lacked common sense. Anywho, thanks for getting the message out.

posted on Jan, 15 2015 @ 10:02 PM
This is always a terrible thing to worry about. A lot of people joke around and act so comfortable around guns to seem confident to others (everyone wants to be a macho man). But this is when negligent discharges happen.

It only takes one time for all hell to break loose. Don't be stupid!

posted on Jan, 15 2015 @ 10:16 PM
a reply to: projectvxn

Around 300 Million rifles and hand guns in the U.S.. Only if cars were this safe, or swimming pools, bath tubs, ex-wives, food...oh forget it, might as well be talking to an elected representative....

posted on Jan, 15 2015 @ 10:18 PM
a reply to: projectvxn

The Golden Rules of firearm safety... It amazes me how many do not know these rules yet hold a Concealed and Carry permit or even an Armed Security license.

Unbelievable that the man in the video did that, he even racked the weapon before activating the boom switch.

posted on Jan, 15 2015 @ 10:20 PM
I store my water pistols in an underground vault, covered by a tonne of dirt. I keep all my real firearms on the moon.

posted on Jan, 16 2015 @ 12:09 AM
One day,Rail Guns will be available commercially.Imagine some blasted idiot shooting a porcelain pellet through DOZENS of people because they don't realise that a loaded gun can be dangerous.

posted on Jan, 16 2015 @ 12:12 AM
two words

Gun safe....

posted on Jan, 16 2015 @ 02:39 AM
Great distinction between "Accidents" and "Negligence".
OP should be required reading for anyone ever handling a firearm.
Amazing abuse of the word accident, isn't it?
edit on 16-1-2015 by Asktheanimals because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 16 2015 @ 06:34 AM
I've seen more reports of police getting shot or shooting someone else due to negligence in the past couple weeks then I have kids. I worry a little more when an adult does it.

posted on Jan, 16 2015 @ 08:27 AM

originally posted by: projectvxn
How the hell do you clean a gun you don't unload and clear?

Better yet, how do you leave the range and pack up your weapons without clearing them and removing the magazine first? I guess they could have been out on someone's property shooting grapefruit, but still...

Good post. I disagree with some of your opinions, but the facts are spot on and the overall point is a very good and timely one.

posted on Jan, 16 2015 @ 09:09 AM
a reply to: SlapMonkey

I disagree with some of your opinions


posted on Jan, 16 2015 @ 10:04 AM
Thank you Sir...

It's not often that people expose the true fault in mistakes like this as you have - people typically go on rants about how dangerous guns are and how people shouldn't be allowed them - but the reality is that a gun is as safe as its handler - for better or worse; and reiterating the above rules on a regular is something that I believe the gun community is missing. Not everybody knows or follows all of them; but we all should.

posted on Jan, 16 2015 @ 10:05 AM

originally posted by: Asktheanimals
Great distinction between "Accidents" and "Negligence".
OP should be required reading for anyone ever handling a firearm.
Amazing abuse of the word accident, isn't it?


posted on Jan, 16 2015 @ 10:53 AM
a reply to: projectvxn

Like that the father who accidentally wounded his son while cleaning the pistol should go to jail--it was not a criminal act, there was no intent to harm. It may have been negligence--possibly even criminal negligence...possibly--but to say the father, who could be a wonderful father in every other scenario other than this, deserves jail time for the act goes a bit far for me.

Also, the cop isn't suing the shop for his own negligence, but for theirs, which truly is the definition of criminal negligence (and regardless of a customer's training, the shop is responsible for not handing a customer a firearm with a loaded magazine). We may agree that, logically speaking, the negligence on both parties should cancel each other out and the cop should just suck up the consequences of his stupidity, but in the judicial world, that wouldn't remove culpability from the shop, although it might result in a very small settlement.

That's really about it--the rest of the post was spot on. Don't let small disagreements soil the thread

Also, I was a 27D in the Army, and luckily we never had to write up an Article 15 or DD 458 for negligent discharge of a firearm, although I heard a few stories about it happening. Glad it never resulted in injury.

Take care!

posted on Jan, 16 2015 @ 11:02 AM
Stupid lazy people with firearms.
Maybe everyone buying a weapon needs boot camp from this Gunny.
Warning, Strong language, but I feel is worthy of posting due to serious nature of thread.

It was the FIRST thing I ever learned about firearms, got my ass kicked, literally, by my father.

Another sad result of the pussification of the world.

posted on Jan, 16 2015 @ 01:40 PM
a reply to: projectvxn

Your thread should be stickied in the Weaponry Forum, and required reading before entering the Forum.

Safety First and Make It Last!

posted on Jan, 17 2015 @ 02:13 AM
a reply to: projectvxn

S&F, as always, for this very well presented thread.

Reminds me of a computer tech support acronym, PEBCAK. Problem Exists Between Chair And Keyboard. (A nicer way of saying IDIOT DOESN'T KNOW WHAT THEY'RE DOING.)

As Spidey says, with great power comes great responsibility. Too many don't understand this core concept.

I think a lot of these incidents stem from two factors: Not being raised with a healthy fear/respect of firearms from a young age, or over-confidence which leads to complacency and letting your guard down. "Don't worry, it's not loaded." Famous last words.

The true shame though, is those who are in most desperate need of this knowledge, are the least likely to seek it out. Keep fighting the good fight though!

posted on Jan, 18 2015 @ 07:18 AM
a reply to: projectvxn

Excellent OP. Fascinating reading. I believe that stories like these on the news are, I think, the major reason that you get people from here in the UK posting in amazement that Americans are so attached to gun ownership. We don't get the ones where a gun owner has foiled some nefarious scheme (or at least far fewer of them), but we seem to see these stories all the time and it leaves us astonished that anyone would want to live like that. The reason for that may well be a subject for another thread, but it's why so many of us simply gasp in amazement when, for example, following a school massacre the call is not to ban guns or enhance security at the school, but to arm the teachers. More guns inevitably means more gun deaths because, whatever the position of sensible and responsible gun owners may be, there will always be cases like this where a person's guard dropped momentarily, or they were too dumb to have one in the first place.

It's a fact that without public gun ownership here in the UK, these kind of incidents simply don't happen.

In this matter we are two very different societies that are poles apart and while I agree that gun ownership is so ingrained in the U.S. that we don't understand it here and shouldn't comment or judge you for it. Please understand also that the overwhelming majority here don't want, and have never had, general gun ownership and that the views posted by some that we surrendered our guns or had them taken away is equally wrong and fails to understand us too.

Britain and America are so closely related on so many levels, it's fascintating to me that we are so far apart on this matter.
edit on 18-1-2015 by waynos because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 18 2015 @ 09:06 AM
I grew up in the country in a house filled with loaded guns. How did we all manage to survive such a death trap? By following the basic rules outlined by OP. And for gun owners with kids: take them out and show them the parts of a gun and the destructive capabilities of a gun. Don't keep it a mystery.

When my daughter was 4 years old there was a opossum in the garage eating the cat food. All the animals were riled up, he was probably teeming with disease- he had to go. I told my girl, "I've got to shoot this opossum, come with me." One shot to the head and he was done. He had the courtesy to fall into an empty cardboard box. It was pretty clear what happens when something gets shot and I guarantee my daughter has a healthy respect for firearms.

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