Gun Safety: Are Negligent
Discharges Inevitable?

By Mike McDaniel. December 7, 2020

An "accidental discharge" is more accurately known as a negligent discharge (ND). One second you're admiring a brilliantly designed and executed piece of wood (or plastic) and steel and the next, your ears are ringing, you're blinking furiously, you smell smoke and the unmistakable odor of gunpowder. Your first conscious thought: "Oh s**t!"

If you're fortunate, the only holes present are in furniture, walls and appliances rather than yourself or someone else. If it was a rifle round, there will tend to be rather more holes than if it were a handgun round. If you're really fortunate, no one else was aware of your ND, somewhat minimizing the damage to your self-image …

Police officers are often thought to be experts in the handling of firearms. This is, as I explained in another post, it ain't necessarily so. Police agencies are severely handicapped by being limited to recruiting solely from the human race, as these anecdotes reveal:

A Sweetwater, Fla., police officer was recovering Monday after his holstered gun discharged and hit him in the leg while he was chasing shoplifting suspects at Dolphin Mall.

The officer, Joel Bosque, was responding to a shoplifting report at the mall when he was injured. He was taken to the hospital and is "doing fine," police spokesman Jorge Fernandez de Lara said.

Bosque, who has been with the department for a year, will likely be placed on administrative leave while Miami-Dade police investigate, the Miami Herald reports.

Ah yes; another of those mysterious cases of a holstered gun going off all by itself. ....

Not the first time safety issues have been discussed but it is a subject that in many ways can never be given enough exposure. Complacency is a major factor such that long term confidence and familiarity can lead to lapses in attention with resulting carelessness in handling. All rules of safety are important but perhaps the most vital is "never point at anything you do not wish to destroy" - the rule that can prevent injury or death.


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