Always practice best gun safety when handling a firearm.
by Chris Catanese
Part of practicing gun safety is never ever firing when you don’t mean to. This is called unintentional discharge. Did you know there is a difference between a negligent discharge (ND) and an accidental discharge (AD).
An accidental discharge is a fault or defect in the firearm. A worn sear, spring or component in the firearm fails and the weapon self detonates. This is rare, but it can happen. Proper firearms maintenance and a visual inspection on a regular basis can prevent this from occurring. A round cooking off from the heat of the barrel or a slam fire can also occur but these are also rare. Modern firearms are made to last and firearms manufactures have the best quality control known to man. Mechanical failures do occur and if they do, it is best to have the firearm repaired by a certified gunsmith. The gunsmith might be able to see if there is another issue with the weapon that caused the mechanical failure to occur.
A negligent discharge is caused by the neglect of the operator. The person behind the trigger failed to act in a safe and responsible manner. The shooter neglected due care in the safe handling of a firearm. In almost every death or injury incident, there is a neglect to follow at least 2 or more of the firearm safety rules. If a shooter fails to keep their finger off the trigger and negligently discharges the firearm, if that shooter has observed the other firearm safety rules then no one is injured or killed. If that same shooter has the firearm pointed at a bystander and manipulates the trigger, an injury or fatality occurs.
Every negligent discharge is avoidable. There is a failure to follow at least one of the firearm safety rules and if there is an injury, death or property damage, then there is a failure of at least two. Getting rushed, becoming complacent, and not focusing at the task at hand will cause you to become neglectful. Slow down, stay focus at the task at hand and stay sharp every time you handle a firearm. If you find that you are being pulled in too many directions at once, stop handling the firearm and deal with the other situations.
Firearms safety is every ones responsibility. If you see a dangerous situation, speak up. No matter who the person is, they have caused a risk to life and limb. There is no need to be disrespectful or over react but address the situation immediately and directly. People make mistakes; just don’t allow them to continue.
Remember, a bullet doesn’t know that you are a wonderful person. A bullet has no conscious.
You are responsible for every round that leaves the barrel. Today, every firearm owner is under close scrutiny and increasing legal liability for their actions. Every day we hear about a person that used a firearm in self defense being torn apart in the media. Even if that person did nothing wrong, they are immediately vilified and become the target of the anti gun community. Police are no acceptation to this witch hunting. By not following safe firearm handling procedures and causing an injury or fatality, you are feeding the fire. Don’t give the anti gun community any more ammunition to black list firearms and make every firearm owner look like a menace to society.
Be responsible, be safe and protect the freedoms that this country has to offer.
Have you been or know a victim of negligent discharge? We pray that this never happens, but it does, and when it does we want to know about. Share your own stories in the comments below. Let’s discuss all the possible scenarios, so we can learn to avoid them.