A loud “grrrrr!” escaped from my lips yesterday evening as I read the news headline “Rural Mayville, ND woman suffers self-inflicted gunshot wound”. In the back of my mind I was pretty positive that the article would confirm the word that is a sore spot with me: accidentally.
“The unidentified rural Mayville woman was handling a firearm when she accidentally discharged it, resulting in a gunshot wound to her hand, Traill County Sheriff Steve Hunt said in a statement”. There it was! Accidentally. Nope. Not buying it. Accidental, no. Negligent, yes!
Plain and simple. Practice and live the four safety rules. Gun safety is plain and simple. Practice and live the four safety rules. The more you practice the safety rules, the more it will become ingrained.
The Four Safety Rules
1. Treat every firearm as if it’s loaded.
2. Never point a firearm at anything you are not willing to destroy.
3. Always be sure of your target and what is beyond it.
4. Keep you finger off the trigger until you are on target and ready to fire.
When I teach handgun courses or concealed weapons test sessions I give examples from our local community of times when folks did not practicing the safety rules. My hope is that by sharing these examples it will plant a seed in my students minds to live the safety rules.
Ways you can stay on top of your safety discipline can include:
* Keep a list of the rules with your gun.
* Train properly and develop safe habits.
* Simply practice picking up a gun with your finger off the trigger.
* Promote safety, especially when you see someone not practicing safety rules.
Practicing firearms safety 100% of the time will help prevent a negligent discharge. As our hero, R Lee Ermey (GUNNY!) said, “one rule is just as important as the other”. Be safe and practice firearms safety. Always.