Recent Firearms Accidents, Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself

By John Farnam

Revolver Gun Table
Recent Firearms Accidents, Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself…
Defense Training International, Inc
Defense Training International, Inc

Ft Collins, CO –-( “The moving finger writes; and, having writ, moves on: Nor all your piety nor wit Shall lure it back to cancel half a line, Nor all your tears wash away a word of it” ~ Omar Khayyam (1048-1131AD)

Gun Accidents:

Several tragic, high-profile gun accidents over the Holidays should cause all Operators to look once again at our own routines and review the way we teach our students about this subject.

I'm not sure all tragic accidents, involving guns or otherwise, are preventable. But. I am persuaded that the vast majority are.

Answers” offered-up by the shallow and self-centered always involve additional restrictions on gun-ownership, and manufacturing mandates deigned to render guns impotent.

At least at the federal level, none of that is likely any time soon.

On a personal level, we all need to reemphasize:

Guns, regardless of their supposed condition, need to be either “attended,” or locked-up! All guns during untended storage need to be (1) out of sight and (2) “appropriately secured.”

It is perfectly acceptable for one to carry a gun as a daily practice, on his person and in a high state of readiness, so long as the gun remains under the direct control of the carrier. All modern, reputable pistols, and holsters, are specifically designed to facilitate this practice. In fact, we Operators have adopted the convention as a lifestyle and do it daily, by choice.

However, “off-body” carry presents a particular challenge in this regard. Thus, those who choose to carry off-body need to be made acutely aware of the necessity of employing only purses and handbags specifically designed for the concealed carrying of pistols, and even then, keeping the ensemble under their continuous “direct control.

A brief lapse can be disastrous, as we have seen!

Unnecessary gun-handling needs to be eliminated. Guns, no mater their supposed “condition,” are far less likely to be involved in an unintentional discharge when they are simply left in their holsters and not touched, than when they are incessantly handled, particularly when such “handing” serves no logical function. Constantly loading, “clearing,” and reloading of guns during the course of the day is seldom necessary for any legitimate purpose. And, there is rarely a “safe direction” handy in which to point a gun during such unneeded handling.

It is better by far, to remove a loaded pistol from a holster and, without doing anything to it, simply secure it, as-is, in a locked container, than it is to “clear” it in a place that has no safe direction in which it can be pointed during the “clearing” process, and then subsequently leave it laying around, unsecured!

All gun-owners need to attend a competent and serious defensive shooting course, so they can learn, hands-on, from accomplished instructors how to handle guns safely and proficiently, how to keep guns continuously pointed in relatively safe directions, and how to insure finger(s) don't come into contact with triggers at inappropriate times.

Merely reading a book or manual, no matter how thorough or well-written, will not suffice!

There are inherent risks that attach to gun-ownership, and particularly to routine gun-carrying. These risks can be drastically reduced through good procedure and correct gun-handling, but risk can never be eliminated altogether, no matter what procedure to which you adhere, nor what kind nor brand of gun(s) you own.

Of course, risk also attaches to not having access to guns! But this is America, and the choice is left to the individual (at least for now).

With that said, ultimately the overly-casual, nonchalant, absent-minded, and neglectful, even when they are otherwise “good” people, should voluntarily pass on gun-ownership, for the sake of their own safety and for the safety of others with whom the come in contact.

Once your bullet leaves the muzzle, for any reason and under any circumstance, it has no “friends!”

“Who cannot be made to heed, shall be made to feel.” ~ Confucius (attributed), 551-479BC


About John Farnam & Defense Training International, Inc
As a defensive weapons and tactics instructor John Farnam will urge you, based on your own beliefs, to make up your mind in advance as to what you would do when faced with an imminent and unlawful lethal threat. You should, of course, also decide what preparations you should make in advance, if any. Defense Training International wants to make sure that their students fully understand the physical, legal, psychological, and societal consequences of their actions or inactions.

It is our duty to make you aware of certain unpleasant physical realities intrinsic to the Planet Earth. Mr Farnam is happy to be your counselor and advisor. Visit:

  • 3 thoughts on “Recent Firearms Accidents, Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself

    1. I make my living working with safety issues, and I have several leisure activities that can be unsafe under the wrong circumstances. One of those activities is flying. I am aware of all too many accidents involving very responsible people who have a momentary lapse, or who make a mistake. I think the author is dead on when he suggests that clearing a firearm presents a risk. A safety conscious individual will almost always get it right, but there is no such thing as perfect. If you perform an action enough times, you will eventually make a mistake. The best way to manage risk is to take a two pronged approach. Reduce the number of times you must perform a safety-critical function, and improve your practices in performing safety critical functions. I used to think the Army was insane for requiring soldiers to clear their pistols at a clearing barrel to enter a mess hall. Soldiers all understand how to clear their pistols, but inevitable a day would come when a soldier would rack the slide then drop the magazine, instead of dropping the magazine and then racking the slide, and the clearing barrel would receive another round in its sand. Of course, having a clearing barrel made the process safer, but it would have been even safer to avoid the extra clearing before entering the mess hall. The clearing could have been limited to times when the soldier had to turn in his weapon. Let me be clear- training in how to clear a weapon was important, and the clearing barrel provided a safety backup, but reducing the exposure by reducing the number of times weapons had to be cleared would have reduced risk even further.

    2. I dont really think there are firearm accidents ! I think it’s firearm stupid ! Accidental discharges (AD’s) is an example where the trigger was squeezed to discharge the weapon.How in the hell is it an accident when you squeeze the damn trigger ??? The gun-grabbers love it when this type shit happens and exploit it bigtime. It hurts all responsible firearm owners too because there is absolutley no logical defense to it. Keep your finger out of the trigger guard and off the trigger until you see your target and whats behind it !!!!

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