A Hewitt (TX) Police Sargent shot himself in the left hand while teaching his family how to shoot. Somehow, I don’t think this is what he had in mind when he started the day. He managed to do this while demonstrating how to clear a jam in a semi-automatic pistol, typically a simple procedure. Did I mention he is the firearms instructor for his department? Presumably, he is an expert in gun safety, too.
That is today’s lesson in irony, kids.
I can think of a couple of things he did wrong. Namely, putting his hand over the muzzle. To the uninitiated, that is the business end. It usually isn’t dangerous (and believe it or not, it is only dangerous in one linear, very predictable direction), but every now and then, a hunk of metal comes flying out of it really, really fast. I’ve been told it hurts.
The second mistake this gentleman made was putting his finger on the trigger when he should not have. Contrary to popular belief, firearms do not just go off. It simply does not happen with a modern firearm. Keep your finger off that little curved bit of metal (or God forbid, plastic….Ick), and I guarantee you it will not fire regardless of what you do to the rest of the firearm. If Sargent Hole-in-Hand offered me that excuse, I would immediately fire him and take out an ad in every form of media across the country to ridicule him as a fool.
When you handle a gun every day, you will drop it, you will tip over your coffee with it, and it will get caught on things to the point where you get knocked on your ass. I was rushing through a doorway last week, got my shoulder holster tangled in the door frame, and jabbed myself in ribs hard enough to leave a bruise. As much as that hurt, I can only imagine what getting shot feels like.
I have been injured by guns any number of ways that do not involve being shot just by virtue of the fact they are heavy, awkward pieces of metal with sharp corners and parts that close together without mercy or any regard for what might get caught. Oddly enough, I have yet to put a bullet in anything I did not intend.
So what are the firearms safety lessons we have learned today?
- Keep your booger hook off the bang switch.
- Small objects travelling very, very fast will hurt you.
- I have a bruise on my rib cage.
- Texas figures “shit happens.”
- Firearms actually become a nuisance at times.
- I have probably just ruined a Negligent Discharge-free run of thirty years.
- Most importantly, just because someone has the title “expert” or something equally impressive sounding, doesn’t make them any better at it than you.