20 Oct 99

This from a friend in Wyoming:

“Two teenage boys in the Worland area were recently fooling around with a Ruger New Model Super Blackhawk 44 Magnum in the front seat of a truck. One young man decided it would be better to place the weapon on half-cock rather than leave it laying on the front seat with a round under the hammer. Of course, the New Model has no half-cock notch.

At any rate, the young man manually cocked the hammer and attempted to lower it to half cock. Upon discovering there was no such position he continued to lower the hammer in an attempt to get it to full rest, holding the trigger back all the time and absent-mindedly pointing the weapon at his friend. His thumb suddenly slipped off the hammer and, since he was holding the trigger back, the weapon immediately discharged, striking the other boy through both calves and inflicting serious damage. They were many miles from help at the time, and the victim nearly bled to death before they got help. Several surgeries have been performed in the last month, and it appears the injured boy will get to keep both of his legs, though I doubt either will ever work properly again.”

Lesson: It can’t be said too often, any time you handle a gun, under any circumstances, you must be constantly aware of where you have it pointed. The real tragedy here is that this is yet another accidental shooting which was completely preventable with just a little good training.