Here’s a tip: when practicing loading and unloading your shotgun—an extremely worthwhile endeavor—ALWAYS USE DUMMY AMMUNITION. Not blanks. Dummies. The all-metal shells are cheap and largely non-lethal (they eject pretty damn fast). Otherwise, you could end up here, wearing a dummies’ hat, sitting in TTAG’s Irresponsibility Corner. Or in jail. Or dead. Luckily, a former Marine (are there such things?) will only suffer the indignity of public embarrassment. Well, that and a civil suit. Anyway, here’s the deal [via wjla.com]: “A shotgun went off as a man was practicing loading it inside his home in Dumfries. The buck shot traveled through his house and into his neighbor’s home, injuring the woman . . . The shotgun blast put a hole through the gun owner’s bedroom wall out through his house. The pellets fired into the house next door, then hit the next door neighbor who was standing on her deck. The 42-year-old woman was struck in the face. The gun owner immediately called for help. She was flown to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Neighbors say the gun owner is a retired Marine, who wounded himself in the first Gulf War, and is a well-loved neighbor.” Perhaps not quite as well-loved as before . . .