A Facebook page today posted this picture:
and asked who had an "accidental" discharge.
I left a comment telling my story, but challenged their terminology. I am an advocate for the term "negligent discharge." I believe that by calling something an accident, it removes personal responsibility. Kind of like saying, "he made a mistake" when talking about a guy getting arrested. No, he didn't make a mistake, he used poor judgement. If you pull the trigger on your gun without intending to, then you are negligent. I might give an "accident" to someone who is doing everything right, but the gun has an unanticipated malfunction... if all other safety precautions were in place and the bullet impacts in a safe location.
I also think that using the term "accidental" discharge gives ammo - no pun intended - to the anti-gunners. "See, these guns shouldn't be owned because it is so easy to have an accident with them." It's just semantics, but I really believe that we need to take ownership of our screw-ups and accept blame where due.
In the interest of full disclosure, I have had one negligent discharge. I was 14, and at my dad's house alone. I had my Raven P25 automatic out ($39.99 brand new in the early 80s) and was messing around with it, seeing if I could get the firing pin to stay all the way forward, trying to set it up for a full magazine of slam firing... OK, really stupid I know, but that's what happens with 14 year old boys left alone with their pistols. Anyway, I was doing this at the kitchen table, watching a little 12 inch black and white TV. I get done with my experiment, and Happy Days comes on with the flipping records. I started some dry fire practice on the pictures, racking the slide after each trigger pull. Apparently, I then put a full magazine in the well, getting ready to put the gun up. But then a commercial for Crystal Light drink mix came on and I forgot that I had put a mag in, so as I tried to dry fire on the dancers moving about the screen... BLAM! A .25 caliber hole, right smack in the middle of the screen. There was a part of the copper FMJ on the floor beside my leg that had gotten shaved off by the glass. The rest of the bullet was inside the TV. Needless to say, it scared the crap out of me, and I got in some trouble... but not as much as one would expect. It also gave me a valuable lesson. Thirty years later, I've handled guns almost daily and put tens of thousands of rounds down range, and I've never had another ND.
Anyone care to share their ND stories and lessons learned in the comments?
I like to mark things... containers, boxes, multiple units... Label makers are fine, but they can get expensive, and the label tape doesn't always stick if the item is a little rough textured. Most folks have a black Sharpie marker around the house, perhaps even multiple colors. The problem is that these colors don't show up on dark backgrounds. At work for the past few months I have been inventorying and labeling all of our UHF radios. I found these metallic silver Sharpie markers and really like them. They show up nicely, and can go on any surface. Around the preps, they are great for labeling pistol or rifle magazines (if you have one that doesn't feed great, you can label it and just use it for plinking, or label all of them to rotate what you keep loaded), Rubbermaid bins, canned goods, or pretty much anything else that doesn't have a light colored background.