The police are the only ones

The police are not “the only ones qualified to handle guns”.

This appears to be a training issue:

When one of the women involved in the brawl took off running across the street, the officer jumped out of his patrol car and pursued her on foot and approached the woman in the parking lot of a nearby business.

In the lot, the woman refused to show her hands and show she was not armed, prompting the officer to draw his firearm. While drawing his gun, the officer unintentionally fired one shot, striking the woman in the leg.

Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot.

There have been many times I’ve had a gun go off unexpectedly but only when I was planning to shoot anyway. Your training should include drawing a gun without actually firing. And when you do plan to actually shoot you draw while keeping your finger off the trigger until the sights are on the target.

10 thoughts on “The police are the only ones

  1. At least they say it was unintentional. It was negligence on the officer’s part, not an “accident.”
    But that said, why don’t the Brady’s talk about getting guns out of the hands of unsafe cops? They shoot five times more “wrong people” than civilians do.

  2. As another writer pointed out, “accidental discharge” is when the gun malfunctions and fires a round when it isn’t supposed to. “Negligent discharge” is when a round is fired because the operator incorrectly operates the gun and the gun operates as designed.
    In the real world, accidental discharge is essentially nonexistent; only negligent discharge actually exists. (“essentially” because there may be a few rare cases of broken sear that allows a gun carried with cocked hammer to fire. One reason why I don’t care for such designs.)

    • I’ll also define as “accidental discharges” those cases where the gun is unintentionally fired due to causes beyond the control of the user, who was acting in a prudent and reasonable manner until then.

      Unanticipated seizures, falls during pursuit, etc. — all of these can result in a true accidental discharge, without requiring a malfunction. (Yes, even if you have a proper finger index beforehand. Fingers can move, such as during impact after a fall, a seizure, etc.)

      • Some of those, yes. A seizure, if the person had no prior history of seizures. Falling, I don’t think so. If you can’t absolutely control the gun while running even if you trip and fall, maybe you should leave it in the holster.

        • If the person has a history of seizures I would consider that person to not be qualified to be a LEO.

        • Agreed on the “no prior history of seizures” (unless the seizure disorder is reasonably believed to be fully controlled, or the previous seizures were caused by specific triggers not an underlying disorder – I don’t count going down with the kickin’ chicken from heat stroke as a “history of seizures”). If you have an on going seizure disorder that is not being treated, then, yeah, you’re on the hook for the results — and shouldn’t a LEO, armed security guard, or other “official” gun toter, just as you shouldn’t be a school bus driver or airline pilot.

          You can trip and fall in cirumstances where you absolutely COULD NOT reasonably anticipate it. (Hell, I once almost went to sea while walking on land — because the seawall sidewalk collapsed underneath me. . . had I been holding a gun at the time, it would have been on its own. . . ) You can further land in completely unanticipated ways. I’ll give you a pass for making an unintentional loud noise when you fall down, so long as you were being reasonably prudent up to that point.

          “Negligence” doesn’t mean “Something bad happened”. It means “Something bad happened BECAUSE you did not take reasonable care under the totality of circumstances as known by you at the time.”

          • Yes, that definition of negligence is the one I was using.
            And the way I apply it goes like this: keep your gun holstered, unless you can make a reasonable argument that the imminent threat which requires you to have the gun in hand outweighs the risk of tripping and firing the weapon.
            How that balancing decision works depends on the individual. If you’re a clumsy bear, you may need to leave your weapon in the holster pretty much all the time. And if so, you may want to avoid high-risk professions. On the other hand, if you can cope with a pro football tackle without pulling the trigger, you’re more able to go around gun in hand. (But even then, prudence, and Col. Cooper’s rules, say you should not, unless there is an imminent threat.)

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  5. Many times ?!!! I have had one negligent discharge. It happened while waterfowling, I was alone I had purchased new gloves which is something I had never used while hunting before. It was just before shooting light so in “warming” up I stood up shouldering the weapon in one fluid motion, the shotgun slipped through the gloves and I clutched at the weapon causing a discharge. Very disconcerting, I was so embarrassed that I unloaded the gun put it away picked up my set and went home. I gave the gloves to a buddy that afternoon. I vowed this would never happen again. That was just over thirty years ago now. This is the only time I have told anyone about this. I am still humbled by the experience

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