NYPD Shoots another innocent – but it’s not negligence this time.

It was, however, fatal.

Dramatic security video released by police shows the uniformed officer, his gun drawn, positioned outside the Bronx shop’s front door moments after a 911 call. In a flash, the store manager rushes out the door. Closely behind with his head down is Renaldo Cuevas, who runs full speed into the officer, sending both men tumbling to the sidewalk.

A pool of blood appears to form on the ground the instant Cuevas lands on his back. The officer is kneeling and pointing his semiautomatic at Cuevas when the video clip ends.

I may catch flak for this, but because of how things happened, this looks to be truly an accident, not negligence. I can’t even call a Rule 3 violation, here, given the situation. From the surveillance video, it’s obvious that something from the other direction spooked the officer so that, while he was still monitoring the door next to him, his attention was mainly focused in the other direction.  So when the robbery victims ran out of the shop, he was completely surprised by them and was ready to shoot. The fact that he didn’t shoot either person intentionally is a testament to his restraint, but he didn’t have time to transition from “ready to shoot” mode when the second robbery victim came out the door and ran into him (seriously, watch the video – if you blink, you can miss it). His finger was likely still on the trigger, and the impact either hit just right to manipulate the gun in his hand so the trigger was pulled, or it triggered the officer’s “monkey grip” reflex and he pulled the trigger in the process.

This is a tragedy, but it looks like the only ones at fault are the robbers for creating the situation in the first place. I can’t blame the officer this time. Fortunately, the suspects are in custody, and are facing murder charges.

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[Source: AP article on Yahoo! News, retrieved 9/8/12]

Basic gun safety, lesson 2: Use a holster!

Otherwise, we see headlines like this one.

SPARKS, Nev. – Police say a man accidentally shot himself in the buttocks at a Nevada movie theatre during a showing of “The Bourne Legacy.”

Police in Sparks, Nev., say the 56-year-old man’s injuries are not life-threatening and no others were hurt.

Authorities say the man had a permit to carry a concealed firearm. The man told officers the gun fell from his pocket Tuesday night as he was adjusting himself in the seat and that it discharged when it dropped to the floor.

Pocket carry without a holster is a bad idea! Especially if your carry gun isn’t one designed to be drop-safe (and even with a good holster, you should upgrade to a gun that is drop-safe, because stuff happens).

Spending a mere $13 could have been enough to prevent this headline. This guy is lucky that his negligence didn’t kill anyone.

Don’t be That Guy. Use a holster!

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[Source: AP article on Yahoo! News, retrieved 8/15/12]

Why we have FOUR Rules.

Cornered Cat has a good post up on why there are four safety rules in The Four Rules. As Uncle said, it takes violating two or more of The Four Rules to cause tragedy.

Not one of the safety rules, by itself, will prevent an unintentional shot. Not one. They are intended to overlap and provide redundant layers of safety. Even all four of the rules together do not entirely prevent unintentional shots. Following all four safety rules simply reduces the consequences when mistakes are made, ensuring that only things we don’t mind shooting get shot.

Read the whole thing, it’s well worth your time.

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(h/t SayUncle)

I assume he failed the course

Husband accidentally shoots self, wife at Bedford County gun safety course

A firearms safety course went awry in Bedford County on Saturday afternoon when a participant shot himself in the hand with a .45-caliber handgun and the bullet passed through his hand and struck his wife, seated next to him, in the leg.

Look, gun safety is not that hard. There are only four simple Rules:

  1. The Gun is ALWAYS loaded.
  2. Never point the gun at anything you do not want to destroy or kill.
  3. Keep your finger away from the trigger until you are ready to fire.
  4. Be sure of your target, what is near your target, and what is BEHIND your target.

Obey those Four Rules, and you will never shoot someone unintentionally.

There is also an oft stated Fifth Rule: “Never try to catch a dropped gun.” Most modern guns are drop safe, and there is a good chance you’ll accidentally pull the trigger trying to catch it. Letting it hit the ground may be bad for the finish, but it won’t get anyone shot.

Oh, by the way, this was done negligently, not “accidentally”. There is a pretty significant difference. Number one, he was fiddling with a gun unnecessarily. Number two, he probably assumed that it wasn’t loaded. Number three, he wasn’t watching where it was pointed. Number four, he pulled the trigger. Even if nothing else did it, that last point would make it negligence.

Stop giving the anti-Rights cultists more ammunition to use against us. It’s really simple – just follow The Four Rules.

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[Source: Roanoke Times article, retrieved 4/24/12]

Broken thought process

Courtesy of GayCynic, we see an example at the Seattle Times of the broken thought processes of the Anti-Rights crowd.

An 8-year-old Bremerton girl was shot and seriously injured at her elementary school. Separately, an unloaded handgun was found in the backpack of a Seattle middle-school student.

In the Bremerton case, police believe a 9-year-old classmate got the handgun during a visit with his mother, a felon whose right to own a firearm has been revoked. The gun was in his backpack when it accidentally discharged.

Guns are already banned at school. But it is appalling that a third-grader was able to get the gun at his mother’s house. Safe gun storage might have prevented it.

The quoted editorial article is calling for the Washington state legislature to enact a trigger lock law.

Now, ignoring the inherent stupidity of trigger locks for a moment, how on earth do they reconcile “the mother broke the law against felons possessing a firearm” and “the mother would have obeyed a safe storage law”? While they are not really mutually exclusive, they are pretty contradictory. If she’s breaking the law by having the gun in the first place, why would she care about obeying a law regarding how it should be stored? There’s been a significant failure in their critical thinking process.

Criminals who are actively breaking laws tend to not worry about any other laws they might be breaking at the same time. Duh.

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[Source: Seattle Times editorial, retrieved 3/9/12]

(h/t – GayCynic at FreeThinker)

Use a holster!

Simply carrying in your waistband is stupidly dangerous. A man is dead, and a family fatherless, because of an easily avoidable negligent discharge.

SPOTSYLVANIA COUNTY, VA (WTVR) – Officials have released new information about a Virginia father who accidentally shot and killed himself at a grocery store Sunday evening in Spotsylvania County.

The father, a 45-year-old Spotsylvania man, was in his minivan with his children waiting for his wife to return a DVD to the Redbox outside the Giant Food Store in Harrison Crossing when he was shot, said Captain Elizabeth Scott with the Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office.

Investigators said Wednesday that the gun the victim was carrying was not housed in a holster. They think it was simply tucked into the waistband of the man’s pants.

The victim’s wife said she believes that when her husband went to adjust the gun, which had likely shifted and become uncomfortable, accidentally discharged.

[Emphasis mine]

Holsters have two main purposes – to hold the gun securely, and to protect the trigger against accidental manipulation. A simple holster – even a cheap one – could have prevented this tragedy.

Carry your gun, and USE A HOLSTER!

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[Source: WTVR.com article, retrieved 11/17/11]

The Four Rules

Break one, and somebody gets hurt.

The Marshall County Sheriff’s Department says two employees were injured when a gun they were working on accidentally discharged.

[...]

Sheriff John Gruzinskas said one of the deputies was supposed to qualify with his gun this morning, so last night he was cleaning it, when a spring broke.

The two were working on the gun– a .45-caliber glock semi-automatic, when the gun accidentally fired. It hit one deputy in the hand, and hit the other in the hand and the hip. They were both rushed to Wheeling Hospital.

No, it wasn’t accidental, it was negligent. There were at least two Rule violations, possibly three. The deputy holding the gun was pointing it at something he didn’t want to destroy – his hand and his coworker – in a clear Rule 2 violation. He failed to treat it as one would treat a loaded weapon, a clear Rule 1 violation. The article didn’t say which spring broke or what effect that could have, and Glocks require that you pull the trigger for disassembly, so there may or may not have been a Rule 3 violation.

There are only four rules, and they’re very simple. Learn them, and live them! There is absolutely no excuse for violating even one of them, much less two or more. Fortunately, no one was killed this time, but it sounds like it came close.

Also note that these were “Only Ones”. The same people the anti-Rights cultists would have you believe are somehow immune to these kind of incidents because of some unspecified magical property of their badges. It seems to have failed in this case.

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[Source: Officer.com article, retrieved 9/1/11]

(h/t MADDENED FOWL)

Exercises in situational awareness

Required equipment: One (1) kitten. One (1) kitchen.

Exercise 1: While kitten is between roughly 8 and 12 weeks old, cook dinner. Awareness of the kitten’s position and expected movements must be maintained at all times. Stepping on the kitten indicates a failure to maintain proper situational awareness. If you are using the oven, additional care must be taken to ensure that the kitten does not jump or reach up to hot parts of the oven that are within its range (the open door, etc.).

Exercise 2: Around approximately 12 weeks old, the kitten will be able to jump onto the countertops unassisted. Cook again. In addition to the precautions from Exercise 1, note that the stovetop is at counter height, and that the burners are close enough to the edge that a leap from floor to stovetop will result in the kitten landing on a hot burner. Also note that most cooking involves using dangerously sharp implements such as kitchen knives while handling kitten bait (i.e., most types of food, especially anything involving dairy or meat). As in Exercise 1, any injury to the kitten indicates a failure to maintain proper situational awareness.

Apply the lessons learned in these exercises to your daily life, and to firearms safety.

(Guess what D’Artagnan started being able to do over the weekend.)

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I know people hate the media, but that doesn’t excuse a deliberate Rule 2 violation!

So don’t point it at a reporter!

Arizona senator’s handling of her gun draws fire

An Arizona Republic story about Anthem Republican Lori Klein’s carrying of a gun in her purse while at the Legislature said she showed off its laser sighting by pointing it at a reporter interviewing her in the Senate lounge.

According to Klein, the gun has no safety but there was no danger because she didn’t have her hand on the trigger.

I don’t care if your finger “isn’t on the trigger,” you don’t point a gun at someone unless you plan to shoot them! Senator, that was stupid!

And remember, actions have consequences.

Democratic Sen. Steve Gallardo of Phoenix called for an ethics inquiry and said lawmakers should be prohibited from taking guns into the Senate.

Stupidity hurts us more than it hurts the anti-rights crowd. Knock it off!

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[Source: AP article on Yahoo! News, retrieved 7/12/11]

Quote of the Day: 2011-04-12

Today’s Quote of the Day comes from Tam, in comments about a negligent discharge that took place at a gun show.

If your daily rounds require handling your pistol that much, invest in a holster that allows you to take it off with the gun.

If your state has dumb laws that make you finger-[frig] your pistol in the name of safety, get the laws overturned.

Emphasis mine. No, she did not say “frig”, but I do generally try to keep at least a PG-13 rating here. Remember, it’s not going to fire if you’re not fiddling with it. If you leave it in the holster and don’t touch it unless you need it, there is effectively zero chance of a discharge – negligent or otherwise. No matter how skilled and careful you are, every time you load or unload there is a small-but-non-zero chance of a mechanical failure causing it to fire (i.e., slam-fire in a semi-auto), and a small but distinct chance of unintentionally frobbing the trigger either during the process or when holstering the loaded weapon.

Don’t mess with it unless you have to. If you have to take it off, leave it in the holster and take the whole holster off – which is why all my holsters have (secure) clips rather than belt loops. Constantly having to load and unload it in the name of safety isn’t safe.

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