15 Aug 19
“If you haven’t figured it out yet, an absolutely certain way to lose something as quickly as possible is to forget the privilege you have to possess it in the first place.”
With legal, private ownership of guns among the general population in the USA at an all-time high, one might expect gun-accidents (UDs) to be at an all-time high too.
Not the case!
Just as improvements in automobile safety have actually reduced traffic deaths and injuries, despite record-numbers of miles traveled daily by the car-owning American public, modern guns and ammunition, along with modern materials, coatings, and manufacturing methods, have today given us commonly-available weapons that are inherently safer than guns have ever been.
In fact, I’m not sure it is possible to make serious guns any “safer” than they are now, and still have them reasonably functional for their intended purpose.
All attempts at designing and manufacturing so-called “smart guns” have been an uncompromising nonstarter. Americans will never willingly bet their lives on this dubious, mythical “technology!”
Curiously, I don’t see any politicians rushing-out to buy “smart guns” for their bodyguards!
For many years, I’ve been personally involved in the investigation and subsequent litigation surrounding gun-accidents (and “alleged” accidents) resulting in injury and death, and I’ve yet to see a modern firearm, from a reputable manufacture, that was “inherently unsafe,” nor that “malfunctioned,” nor “misfired” (a favorite term of media ignoramuses).
In nearly all cases, gun and ammunition in question functioned normally, and precisely as they were designed to do.
Careless (stupid) gun-handling, storage, and incorrect procedure (usually combined) are invariably the culprits!
“Guns are dangerous, Councilor. Your client needs to be more careful!”
… is my usual response while under cross-examination.
Yet, in addition to guns themselves, modern, universally-taught gun-handling philosophy and procedure has also been largely responsible for the current relatively low level of gun accidents we realize today.
Long-obsolete “condition-based gun-handling” has been mostly replaced with “Universal Gun-Handling Procedure”
With the former, guns that were presumed to be unloaded, and thus “safe,” were handled carelessly, because they were assumed to be benign.
Conversely, “loaded guns” were “dangerous” and thus surrounded by a maniacal preoccupation with an interminable, and mostly nonsensical, set of “rules” with which it was impossible for anyone to comply.
For example, “Never load a gun until you’re ready to fire.”
When I carry a gun for personal protection, how am I supposed to know when I’ll have to be “ready to fire?”
According to this “rule,” only prophets can carry guns!
Of course, when “dangerous” guns occasionally got mixed-in with “safe” guns, accidents were the logical and predictable result.
In his day, Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) said:
“In the typical American household, there is no commonly-found item quite so dangerous as an ‘unloaded’ gun!”
Even back then, inadvertent mixing-together of “safe” and “dangerous” guns was a well-recognized cause of gun accidents!
There are only two answers to this dilemma:
Weld them all shut, so that they can never be made to fire. They would then all be continually, permanently “safe,” and advocacy for this or that handling method/procedure would become irrelevant.
Of course, in that case it is hard to imagine anyone wanting one!
So long as the same gun is capable of firing, and also of not firing, and there is no way of discerning the gun’s current status by external appearance, correct procedure is going to be critical to the continued good health of the gun-owner, and everyone around him!
Thus, our only logical choice is a “Single Gun-Handling Procedure” that is the same, regardless of the gun’s supposed “condition.”
Philosophically, there is no longer any such thing as a “safe” gun. That entire “category” of weapons has been banished!
Accordingly, finger-discipline, muzzle-consciousness, alertness, correct storage mandatorily apply to every gun-handling episode.
General adherence to the foregoing is what has, probably more than anything else, reduced the incidences of gun-accidents to the relatively low level we enjoy today, as noted above. And, as it becomes more widely accepted and practiced, we’ll see gun-accidents continue to decline, despite exponential growth in gun-ownership!
As I’ve said so many times before, “safety” and “readiness” are always going to be mutually antagonistic. A serious gun’s “condition” will ever be a “reasonable compromise” between the two.
Absolute “safety” is probably not possible when handling deadly weapons.
But, we can handle them carefully!
Careless gun-handling is never “reasonable!”
“Careless minds build rotten buildings!”
Mehmet Murat ildan