I was on a crusade a while back to try to promote gun safety by pointing out how easily and often handguns go off unintentionally. Some handguns are prone to that particular happening due to their light trigger pulls and lack of manual safeties. But it was a losing battle. Gun buyers love those type guns.
Furthermore, a friend pointed out that my efforts might be construed as promoting gun control. I scoffed at that, but he was onto something. Look at the comments left at HuffPo about this particular event to see for yourself.
But never mind all of that. It still serves a purpose to ridicule someone who inadvertently allows a bullet to fly away at the wrong time, provided no one is seriously hurt. And this one was a very wrong time -- a concealed handgun class.
Mary Beth Lane appears to be the only newsie who did any real reporting about it. See Gun-safety student shot in class. Here are the first two paragraphs:
LANCASTER, Ohio — A firearms instructor accidentally shot a student while teaching a gun-safety class on Saturday in Fairfield County to people seeking permits to carry concealed weapons.
Terry J. Dunlap, Sr., who runs a shooting range and training center near Lancaster, was demonstrating a handgun when he fired a .38-caliber bullet that ricocheted off a desk and into student Michael Piemonte’s right arm.
According to Ms. Lane's article, Piermonte was treated at a medical center and released, so that's a relief. But missing from the article was the make and model of the gun. Reporters are notorious for that. Apparently they think all guns are the same. But if it really was a .38 caliber bullet, that suggests it could have been a revolver, and that makes it quite an unusual event. Revolvers don't have manual safeties, but the mechanics of the firing mechanism are so highly visible that the handler really does have to be careless to shoot it accidentally.
In any event, the students in that concealed handgun class learned a valuable lesson, and it's no doubt they came away with a full understanding of the reasons for the rules of gun safety.
It's doubtful that anyone reading this blog needs a review of those rules, but let's take another look at Richard Fairburn's Causes and cures for the negligent discharge anyway:
1. All guns are always loaded. (Even if they are not, treat them as if they are.)
2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy. (For those who insist “this particular gun is unloaded,” see Rule 1.)
3. Keep your finger off the trigger till your sights are on the target. (This is the Golden Rule. Its violation is directly responsible for about 60 percent of inadvertent discharges.)
4. Identify your target, and what is behind it. (Never shoot at anything that you have not positively identified.)
Instructors, try not to shoot your students.