How to Avoid Negligent Discharges
For the second time that morning, I had admonished the student to keep his finger straight and off the trigger, unless his sights were on the target.
Once again, I explained to him why it was important and he told me he understood. As I turned to walk down the shooting line, the student holstered his striker-fired pistol and shot himself in the thigh. Fortunately, it was not a serious injury, only an 8-inch gouge. His first words to me as I began giving first aid, were, “I’m sorry. It was an accident.”
Recently, a group of guys were filming a music video. For some reason, one of them decided he would put an “unloaded” gun to his head and pull the trigger. He shot himself in the head and was dead on the spot. In reporting this tragedy, the news referred to it as a “shooting accident.”
Let’s be really clear about this: For our purposes, an accident is something that occurs, usually resulting in damage or injury, and is completely beyond our control. Being struck by lightning, for example, might qualify as an accident. Negligence, on the other hand, is an incident within our control that often causes damage or injury, but it could have been avoided had we been paying attention.
Both of the incidents I cited above are examples of gross negligence—not accidents. In fact, most cases of a firearm discharging unintentionally are properly called a “negligent discharge,” although I suspect people prefer to use the term accident because it somehow implies no one was really at fault. It also opens the door to being able to claim there was probably something wrong with the gun. In fact, this sort of thinking is no different than the anti-gun crowd blaming an object, instead of a person, for a crime. Fortunately, negligent discharges don’t occur often, but that is not much consolation if you are the victim of the negligence.
I suspect the main reason novice shooters experience negligent discharges is because they try to do too much, too fast. They buy a gun they don’t really understand and they immediately set out to start handling it the same way they see some experienced shooter performing on TV. In my younger days, cowboy fast draw was all the rage, and it was not uncommon to hear of some neophyte whose trigger finger was faster than his draw. This generally resulted in a bullet hole somewhere in the lower part of his anatomy. When dealing with loaded firearms, instant gratification should not be a goal.
The second pitfall for new shooters is the failure to get professional training. Folks have a tendency to assume we should learn to shoot the same way our dads and granddads did—by doing it. After all, this is America, isn’t it? While there are a number of excellent firearms training facilities around the country, some folks think they are just too expensive. Often overlooked are the excellent classes offered by the National Rifle Association that can be taken at a very reasonable cost. Professional gun training is a shortcut to efficient, safe gun handling, usually without the expense of stitches, Band-Aids and potential hospital bills.
Just to be fair, we have to realize experienced shooters can also be guilty of negligent discharges. It is the rare police station that doesn’t have a hole or two in the ceiling, a wall or some other place where bullet holes should not be. The same can be said for some shooting ranges and hunting lodges.
I think the main reason negligent discharges occur with experienced shooters is because the shooter has handled guns for so long, he no longer truly believes they are dangerous. It is the same sort of complacency that causes farmers to get hurt with chain saws and tractors, or ranchers to get gored by their cattle or kicked by that gentle horse. A little bit of fear is a good thing.
The other night I was headed into Wally world and as usual, I was scanning everyone around me. A group of three young men caught my attention. They were dressed like young grunge types do with multi colored hair, painted finger nailed, the emo haircut and tattered clothes. I noticed a holster with something bright yellow on hip of the biggest one. It had the shape of a firearm but the color of a toy. I was not sure what to make of them but I did not want them to get into trouble because they did not know open carry rules in SC so I approached them. I said hi gentlemen, my names is Curtis Arrowood, as I extended my hand for a shake. As I guessed, the big guy shook my hand so I asked him if he was from around here. He said "No, we are from NC". I then told the group. "I do not have a problem with open carry but it’s illegal in SC". With a grin on his face the big guy said "Yep for firearms only". I then said “I figured you did not have a real firearm in your holster but you know how some gun grabbers are". The group laughed out loud and we continued to discuss open carry for several minutes. We said good bye and I walked away with a smile because I had just made three new friends because of open carry. This interaction enforces my belief that most of Americans are pro second amendment no matter what the gun grabbers say.
Yesterday the House made some progress on HB 3930, a "constitutional carry" bill. In our opinion, this bill will face a fight but will make the crossover date to the Senate. What should you be doing?
1. OBJECT to this bill because it is not perfect? NO. Do not let perfection become the enemy of the good. It's a constitutional carry bill. Hello?Read more
Thirty three states allow the open carry of a handgun without a permit.
Twelve states allow the open carry of a handgun with a permit.
Five states do not allow the open carry of a handgun under any circumstances: California, New York, Illinois, Florida . . . and South Carolina.Read more
SENATOR KIMPSON WANTS ANOTHER TAXPAYER FUNDED BOONDOGGLE
We just saw the conclusion of the political theater circus promoted by Senator Kimpson on “gun violence” over the summer months. Now the Senator wants back in the limelight – once again at taxpayer expense.
S. 516, filed March 8, 2017, sponsored by Senators Gregory and Kimpson, would establish a “Judicial Criminal Information Technology Committee”. The purpose of the committee is essentially to study and report on centralized information technology for law enforcement and the courts.
WILL 2017 BE THE YEAR THAT SOUTH CAROLINA ALLOWS CONSTITUTIONAL CARRY?
Lawmakers have introduced two bills thus far that would establish “constitutional carry” in South Carolina, H.B. 3700 and S. 449. The purpose of these bills would be to allow anyone not otherwise prohibited by State or federal law to carry a handgun, openly or concealed.
Exceptions include the familiar locations such as school grounds, courthouses, polling places, and so forth, as well as property posted with a sign banning carry.
Undoubtedly, like the concealed weapons permit statutes some decades back and then “stand your ground” laws, constitutional carry legislation has become a national trend. The National Review cites a report that the number of constitutional carry states will reach 17 or 18 by the end of this year.
Will South Carolina be one of these States?
Eric Holder stated in his speech to Democratic Women in 1995 that people need to be brain washed to think of guns in a different way. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rY-HdiR5a0g . Merriam-Webster has two definitions of brain washing. The first one is “A forcible indoctrination to induce someone to give up basic political, social, or religious beliefs and attitudes and to accept contrasting regimented ideas”. The second one is “persuasion by propaganda or salesmanship”
On February 8, 2017, Representative Jonathan Hill introduced a “Constitutional Carry” bill in the SC House. “Constitutional Carry” though is a loosely defined term that even the most knowledgeable gun rights advocates cannot agree upon. Thus it is not enough to state the intent of the bill; the real question is : What will it do?Read more
The assault against our 2nd Amendment right had increased dramatically during the last administration. With a wink and a nod from the administration, groups such as Mayor’s Against Illegal Guns, Mom’s Demand Action, and The Brady Campaign, used every resource available to attack our God given right to defend ourselves and our loved ones.
Many of these groups receive funds through organizations created by “Silent Partners” to hide their involvement. The “partners” assist these groups with money, organization, data, personnel, and media. They all claim to want to enact “sensible” gun regulations, and close loopholes which allow criminals to acquire guns. But their true motives are revealed when we pay attention to their actions, and listen to what they’re saying. “It’s not always what you say, but how you say it.”
The façade was lifted through numerous interviews. Group members along with congressmen were heard speaking while “off the record” through live mics. When they believed the conversation was private, they spoke honestly of gun confiscation, and the best course of action to achieve their goals. Then when confronted, they obfuscated the issue, and claimed to be “taken out of perspective”.
This is from the NRA-ILA's news release
One of NRA-ILA’s top priorities this session is the passage of H. 3240, introduced by state Representative Alan Clemmons (R-107). This legislation would establish that South Carolina recognizes all valid Right-to-Carry (RTC) permits issued by other states. Efforts have already been launched to gut this legislation, so it is critical that you contact your state Representative and urge them to support H. 3240 without any amendments that would weaken its goal of establishing true RTC recognition in South Carolina.