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View Diary: A 45 Caliber Smith & Wesson Revolver (116 comments)

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  •  We nearly had a tragedy at my house... (19+ / 0-)

    When I was a kid. We were the prototypical responsible rural gun owning family that had guns for hunting and personal protection, and were all well trained at young ages. We had a couple of deer rifles, 4-5 shotguns, a .38 revolver, a .22 pistol, a 10 shot automatic pellet pistol, and maybe one or two others. We loaded our own shotgun shells. We took proper care of our guns. They were kept locked in a cabinet with ammo locked in a separate drawer. I was the youngest of four, with two older brothers and an older sister. One night when I was in about the 4th grade, I heard a loud bang and my mother scream. My brother was cleaning the gun closet, picked up a 30.06 rifle, aimed it at the wall, and pulled the trigger. Fortunately, nobody was hit, although the entire family of six were home. The bullet went through the wall, hit a pipe, which exploded through the shower. The shower looked like it was hit by a shotgun blast. If someone was taking a shower, it would have been a very bad scene. Nobody seems to know how that gun got loaded. That gun was rarely used. My dad thinks one of my brothers was playing with it one time, loaded it, couldn't figure out how to unload it, then put it back into the closet, only for it to be fired maybe a couple of years later. Anyway, if an accident like that could happen in our house, it could happen in any house. My kids are 15 and 17. We've never had a gun in the house. Why put them at risk?

    "It is easier to fool people, than to convince them they've been fooled" - Mark Twain

    by Sarge in Seattle on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 07:44:12 PM PST

    •  anyone ever take a hunter safety class? (8+ / 0-)

      Every gun is loaded, even if it isn't.

      First thing you do when being handed or picking up a gun is to check the action to make sure it's empty. I must have checked the actions on my guns a million times, never found a round in the chamber yet, still I do it, even if the person handing me the gun just did so.

      How big is your personal carbon footprint?

      by ban nock on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 08:06:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's the point (7+ / 0-)

        No matter how much you give these safety lectures, even the most well trained people will get it wrong sometimes.  Often enough that people will die in these "accidents."  I was in my country's military (Canada).  I saw at least a dozen negligent discharges (mostly blank ammo so no one ever hurt thankfully) - but all well trained fully qualified infantry soldiers somehow managing to set off a round unintentionally, despite all the safety drills and training (and well enforced by NCOs, officers, and all ND's were prosecuted immediately)

        You're not immune.   Ever have a brain fart and pour milk or cream into the sugar bowl instead of your coffee/tea cup one morning?  Ever forget your car was in reverse when you meant it to go forward?  What if you had a moment like that with a gun?  You consciously meant to pull the action back, but instead your hand goes to the trigger and pulls it...

        These little mistakes happen all the time.  With most things, the consequences are nada.  With guns, the severity of a single mistake rises easily to fatality.

        This blog does a great job highlighting the endless litany of legal "responsible" gun owners killing themselves or loved ones in just these sorts of "I didn't think it was loaded" moments.  They're able to post about a story a day.  Of course, most gun mistakes probably don't get newspaper articles unless someone is actually shot.  No one calls the media or the police when they shoot out their shower tiles.  

        Humans are inherently error prone.  Why elevate the consequences of our errors to death when it isn't necessary?

        •  I've always preferred the way my grandfather (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ban nock, Bisbonian

          said The Gun Rule. There was a good example in a comment at the top.

          Always handle a gun as though it is loaded.
          Never pretend, never assume, never go through the motions unless you are aiming at a target or an animal you want to shoot.

           I would also treat one like it could explode.

          "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

          by Ginny in CO on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 11:22:25 PM PST

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        •  Actually not (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          gun accidents have fallen off a cliff statistically. I didn't fallow the link to some blog that tracks accidents and I don't know why the Canadien armed forces are shooting blanks (population control?) but here gun accidents are much more rare than falling and hurting yourself. Gun accidents began their drop when we instituted hunter safety classes. Blogs lie, statistics from the CDC don't.

          How big is your personal carbon footprint?

          by ban nock on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 06:19:54 AM PST

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    •  Many years ago my husband, 2 and a half year old (0+ / 0-)

      and newborn infant were visiting my husband'sparents.

      Unknown to me my husbands  younger brothers liked to shoot groundhogs from the windows of their farm house.

      We were visiting when my 2 and a half year old came from another room dragging a long gun to give to his mother.

      I became unhinged that anyone would leave a gun where a 2 and a half year old could get to it. I let them know in no uncertain terms that there was no excuse for what had happened.

      Well, you know the rest of the story.

      They weren't at fault for leaving a gun where a 2 year and a half year old could play with it.

      I was the one at fault for calling their attention to the fact that my child could have been killed by their lax handling of firearms.

      One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors." -- Plato

      by Jane Lew on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 12:19:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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