We have all seen those YouTube videos where some poor, unprepared, inexperienced shooter is handed a firearm they are not prepared for, and the jackass with the camera catches the ensuing “hilarity”on video. While I will admit, I have found a few of those clips entertaining on occasion, that is the rare occasion. I usually find them frustrating to say the least. Not only is doing something like that very unsafe, both for the shooter and for those around them, but it also is likely to traumatize the victim of the joke. Stunts like that, at the minimum will leave a “training scar” in the way of a huge anticipation/flinching problem, and at the worst, will scare the new shooter away from guns for life.
Even worse than any fear of guns, is the very real possibility of serious injury or death. As every gun owner with a speck of common sense knows, guns can be dangerous, which is why we treat them with a healthy amount of respect. I absolutely love shooting, but always present in my mind is the very real possibility that complacency when shooting can get someone injured. Handing an unprepared shooter a gun far too powerful for them goes way beyond complacency, it is reckless.
Sadly, on Sunday November 3rd, a perfect example of that reckless behavior occurred. At a range in New London, Missouri, a South American woman was handed a S&W 500 pistol to shoot. I have no idea what her firearms experience was, but based on the results, she was far under-prepared for the power of that handgun. She fired the gun and the resulting recoil caused the gun to flip in her hands, ending with the barrel pointing back at her, and then, likely while trying to maintain control of the gun, the trigger was pulled a second time, and she shot herself in the head killing her, hopefully instantly.
The resulting scene was likely a traumatic one for everyone at that range. Having seen firsthand on many occasions, the absolute mess created by a close range head shot from a powerful firearm, the devastation is catastrophic. Fortunately for most of the people there, they will live to see another day, but unfortunately the female shooter paid for someone’s huge lapse in good judgment with her life.
This is another situation where we (gun owners) become our own worst enemy. Situations like this only serve to fuel the fire of the gun grabbers. The actions of one or two irresponsible gun owners give them valid ammunition to use against us, because the non-gun owning people out there view the gun owners as a group, not as individuals.
It should never ever take an incident like this to remind us that guns can be dangerous, and that safety is paramount when operating them, but apparently it does. Please, please do not do stupid stuff like this with your friends. If you see some yokel at the range doing something like this, either bring it to their attention or the attention of the rangemaster. We need to police ourselves, otherwise the gun grabbing politicians are going to be successful in doing that for us.
As always, your questions and comments are welcome.
Be safe out there,