Irresponsible Gun Owner of the Day: Chris

It’s hard to know where to start with this one. We could start at the end (1:35), with an assortment of rifles lying on the ground pointing in the general direction of the area where the pistoleros were showing their stuff moments before. Or we could back it up a bit and watch “Alex” swing his handgun like a scythe (1:25). Or further back, to where headstrong851 and his BFF Chris “debate” whether or not the Desert Eagle is still loaded (1:13), as the newbie walks around without removing the magazine or checking the chamber. (Where did that gun go anyway?) But let’s focus on the bigger picture: the complete lack of eye, ear, head and body protection.

Firearms safety isn’t just a matter of avoiding a Darwin Award (or, from another perspective, earning one on our collective behalf). It’s also about the safety of those around you. I’ve seen more than one handgunner dance around with a loaded weapon in their hand reacting to hot brass landing on their head or fall down their shirt/into their cleavage. (Chris seems perplexed when a casing singes his slender frame.)

Eye protection? Same deal. If you think that there’s danger from a handgun shooter who’s “shaking off” hot brass, imagine their reaction if a casing hits their eyeball. There are more nerve endings on your eyeballs than shirtless gun owners screwing around with firearms in fields across America. The INSTANT your eyes are assaulted, NOTHING else matters.

What are the odds that an eye injury would lead to a negligent discharge? Who knows? But gun safety must always come first; it can’t he your top priority if you’re dropping to the ground screaming “MY EYES! MY EYES!”

As for hearing protection, a responsible gun owner never fires a weapon without checking to make sure all observers are wearing ear protection—in the same way that a responsible driver doesn’t move until everyone in the car is wearing a seatbelt. Friends don’t let friends listen to gunfire without hearing protection.

Oh, and anyone want to guess if these guys know what’s behind their target? If they even HAVE a target . . . Firearms safety isn’t just everyone’s responsibility. It’s everyone’s problem, too. Sad, but true.