Friday, August 25, 2006

Councilman In Jail Accused Of Shooting Man

FORT WORTH, Texas -- A Glenn Heights city councilman is in jail accused of shooting a man in the face.

There is lots to be written about when a local elected representative ends up in jail, especially when it is firearm related. As I was reading through the article, the all too common excuse was presented in the councilman's defense. Yep, you guessed it:

A friend of the councilman said Brown insists the gun fired accidentally.

There is no such thing as "accidentally" shooting someone in the face. The article does not go into the reasons why the councilman was pointing the gun at another man's face, it just indicates that the guy was a boyfriend of a woman he knows. If he did not intend to shoot this person, then he discharged his firearm negligently and he is at fault in this incident. He did not follow the four basic rules of firearm handling. Now is as good a time as any to go over these four rules.

  1. All firearms are loaded - There are no exceptions, period. Know this rule and live it. Handle all firearms accordingly.
  2. Never let the muzzle of a firearm point at anything you are not willing to destroy - If you are not willing to see a bullet hole in it, do not allow a firearm's muzzle to point at it. If you are doing dry fire drills in your home, extra care needs to be made to insure that ammo is not even in the same room as you are. Dry fire drills can be dangerous because they do violate Rule #2.
  3. Keep your finger off the trigger unless your sights are on the target - You do not gain any speed at all by keeping your finger on the trigger. Keep it out of the guard until you are sighted on the target. Practice this until it becomes second nature. If this rule were followed 100% of the time, there would be no accidental discharges.
  4. Be sure of your target and what is behind it - Be aware of your surroundings whether on a range, in the woods, or in a potentially lethal conflict. Never shoot at sounds or at a target you can not positively identify.

Tragedies could be avoided if everyone involved with firearms followed these rules all the time.

Fr. Frog lists these rules and other firearm safety procedures here. It is very well put together and even old hands at the firing range would be advised to look it over.

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