Thursday, July 20, 2017

Negligent Discharges

In the approximately nine years I've been playing gun games, I've seen a few DQ's for safety reasons. (The percentage of DQs to shooters is actually quite minuscule.) These are typically 180° violations, or negligent discharges when reloading or moving. In the interest of full disclosure, my own DQ was for a dropped gun. There's a reason for the strict safety rules in USPSA and IDPA and a reason all gun handling happens under the watchful eye of a safety officer. Thanks to those strict rules, the sports have an excellent safety record. Even experienced competitors make mistakes, and when it happens, it's only right that they are done for the day. It hurts, but if your brain isn't fully engaged, it could hurt even more more.

What brings this to mind? Recently, for the second time in about two years I witnessed a negligent discharge, up close. Neither was during a sanctioned match. The first time was when I arrived at the range as an acquaintance was leaving. He knew I was fan of SIG Sauer guns, and wanted to show me a SIG he had with him. We stood at the back of his pickup truck, he uncased the gun and went through his clearing routine; rack the slide, then drop the mag and pull the trigger. The round went right into the bed of his truck. Fortunately, I was very aware of his muzzle and had positioned myself to his side. This man is a very experienced shooter and retired federal law enforcement. 

The most recent occurrence was at another shooting club. I was standing at my car going through the gear I was going to need for shooting that day. Suddenly I heard what sounded like a gun shot, though the sound was somewhat muted. There was a bit of commotion two vehicles over, where I saw two men looking through the cab of their truck. I later heard bits of a conversation regarding "lowering the hammer on a 1911." 

Both of these events occurred at a gun club, but away from the firing line. Both events occurred at the gun owner's vehicle. Both shooters were showing the gun to someone or (apparently) otherwise distracted by another person. I've often remarked that one of the reasons I dislike "gun free zones" and gun shows is that people are fiddling with guns in their cars. There are times when I need to remove a firearm from my belt while in a vehicle. I strive to be attentive and undistracted when I find myself doing that.

Firearms are tools. In fact, they are relatively simple tools. And those four rules work pretty well. 

2 comments:

  1. You know, in the years I've been doing this in one fashion or another, which stretches into four decades now, I've seen two.

    Which is pretty impressive, really.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In the grand scheme, its a safe sport of sure!

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