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.
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
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
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, 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
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.
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?
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.
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!
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.
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.
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?
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.
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
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
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.
18-1-2015 by waynos because: (no reason given)
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
The Above Top Secret Web site is a wholly owned social content community of AboveTopSecret.com.
This content community relies on user-generated content from our member contributors. The opinions of our members are not those of site ownership who maintains strict editorial agnosticism and simply provides a collaborative venue for free expression.