“[Sheriff Bob] Bezotte said his department’s investigation revealed that [Charles Robert] Kimball was shot about 12:45 p.m. with an AK-47 while his friend was applying lubricant after the assault rifle jammed while shooting it at the Livingston [Michigan] Conservation & Sports Association’s gun range,” freep.com reports. “He said Kimball was standing about 12 feet ‘down range’ from his friend when the weapon discharged. Kimball was instantly killed, the sheriff said.” I mention this because training is THE key to armed self-defense. Provided you’re doing “proper” training, practice that increases your ability to defend yourself rather than merely punching holes in paper, more is better. But the more you do, the greater you TED (Time Exposed to Danger). Never let your guard down, both about your own gun safety and that of the shooters around you. Never become complacent. One bullet can ruin your whole day. That is all.

26 Responses to Self-Defense Tip: Always Follow Gun Safety Rules

  1. Tragic.

    I do not mean to insult anyone by stating this, but with greater use of firearms comes the greater probability of accidents. It is inevitable some of them will be tragic. Considering the millions of guns in circulation its a testament to gun safety that so few tragedies like this happen , compared to tools like automobiles which kill tens of thousands of people annually.

    • It’s true. Also, the more people ski, snowboard, jetski, quad-bike and snowmobile, the more people will be killed in ski, snowboard, jetski, quad-bike and snowmobile -related accidents.

  2. “…Kimball was shot about 12:45 p.m. with an AK-47 while his friend was applying lubricant after the assault rifle jammed while shooting it at the Livingston [Michigan] Conservation & Sports Association’s gun range.” What?? Rifle jams, and he doesn’t clear the weapon and starts to apply lubricant??? The story sounds preposterous…and what an incredible screw up. I hope the guy get’s jail time for this.

    • “He said his officers are not requesting specific charges, but possible charges could be negligent homicide or trespassing. The prosecutor’s office decides what, if any, charges are filed.”

      And how was this guy lubing the gun if it wasnt disassembled?

  3. you’re at a range, the gun malfunctions, your buddy is downrange, you don’t clear it-and you start lubing, BANG-dead buddy. OK, both of them are at fault, both were negligent. One is dead, the other is likely gonna be in a world of trouble-and short a buddy. Gonna be hard to get over that goof-up. Questions that begs to be asked beyond the carelessness of both is-WHERE WERE THE RANGE OFFICER(S)? WHY WERE PEOPLE ON THE FIRING LINE WHILE OTHERS WERE DOWNRANGE? I often hear bitching about the overzealousness of range officers at various ranges in my area (south Florida). I personally welcome it, rather than witnessing an event such as this.

    • When the article said down range, I read it as the muzzle was pointed at a person who was downrange of said muzzle, not that his buddy was beyond the firing line.

      Some private (and presumably public) ranges dont have ROs on staff 24/7. It is up to whoever is there to be the RO. The article also said these people were not members, and were trespassing.

    • Range officer? I’ve never seen one. I shoot on BLM land set up as a range and relatively small indoor range. There has never been a range officer present at either. Sometimes someone is wandering around at the skeet/trap club, but usually only when there’s a meet, and never on the rifle/pistol range. Then again, I’ve never heard of anyone getting shot.

    • The range that I use has no officer and is generally occupied by at most two other shooters across a wide field. Most of us keep an eye out for each other and declare a cold range whenever someone needs to walk down. There are a few idiots who just saunter out into the open with nary a word. It teaches me to watch my surroundings.

  4. I really think all ranges should have RSOs. I was at my favorite range a month ago loading a magazine when I noticed someone on the ooposite end of the line pointing a loaded 357 magnum at me while showing it off to his buds. No ex use whatsoever to be pointing a wheel gun, wheel closed and loaded at people.

    • Remember, “I think ____ should _____ for their own good” is 90% of the reason we’re in the mess of a country we’re in right now.

  5. I like the use of AK-47 to describe a gun that more than likely is not an AK-47, but a semi-auto variant. (But WSAR-10 just doesn’t sound so scary!)

    It’s not really clear in this story if the guy who was shot was downrange (of the firing line) or simply “downrange” of the muzzle.

    So it could be the guy fixing said gun was not necessarily at fault. If I’m working on a gun pointed safely downrange, am I at fault if someone walks unsafely into what could be considered a live range, who’s at fault?

    As for lubricating, all you have to do is pop off the dust cover on an AK variant and you’ve got access to pretty much everything you’d need to clean and lubricate. But then again, why would you? It’s an AK-47, it doesn’t operate correctly without a handful of sand in there. ;p

  6. I would venture to say it probably jammed in battery and the guy was lubing it while at the bench and while trying to pull the bolt to the rear shot his buddy. It’s tragic but if he had followed the rules the weapon still may have discharged but no one would have died. It’s wierd though as at my range you can’t even be NEAR. A weapon with people down range

  7. Not that it would stop a rifle round, but I’ve been considering wearing body armor to the outdoor range that I frequent the most. There are always ROs there and they do a decent job, but it can gat pretty crowded occasionally. There are not designated lanes or stations. No walls or barriers between shooters. You just pick a spot beside the next guy and set up. There are often, as with most public ranges, inexperienced people being tutored by other inexperienced people. I’ve sometimes worried that one of them might hurt themselves, and if I’m worried about them I should probably be worried about myself. Has anyone else considered this type of precaution? I’m sure I’d get some strange looks.

    • The Range Officers at the Smith & Wesson public range (now not open to the public, as reported here recently) wore vests. To me it looked smart, not strange. As an RO myself I have considered it and I probably should just do it. Nothing holding me back but inertia…and a busy schedule!

  8. Oh man, this is horrible, horrible, terrible, I’m not sure if I could live with myself if I killed my buddy on the range, this is……..just horrible.

  9. I feel I need to share this with fellow shooters. LaserLyte has LOST my business. I got my S & W shield in the mail and it came with a booklet for accessories. In the booklet was a LaserMax, Inc. laser sight description. Later, I went to LaserLyte’s website and saw they copied the LaserMax description from the booklet, word for word! Even the headline. Not cool. I hope LaserMax calls them out for this.. if they even know yet.

  10. Charlie is my brother. And to the people whom are saying that he is an “idiot” for being “down range”. That is MERELY what the so called “FRIEND” whom KILLED my baby brother is claiming! Here are some other things that are NOT mentioned about the murder of my baby brother…
    1. HE claimed to HAVE a membership to the conservation club and was permitted access with nothing more than that. JUST HIS word!
    2. 12 hours prior to killing my brother this kid was at a bar where he threatened 3 other boys, with that same gun. Placing the gun directly on one of the boys head!
    (I AM HAPPY to say that one of these boys FINALLY went to the police ~EVEN THOUGH he is afraid of this murder because, HE IS the one who had the gun placed at his head and, his LIFE threatened as well, just the night before~ Anyways, he filled a complaint or statement to that said incident from the night before AND… INCLUDED the names of over 20 witnesses!!!)
    3. NO CHARGES have been brought upon him as of yet.
    AND, WHY have NO charges been made? On ANYTHING? Trespassing, Neglect, Murder? ANYTHING??? Because, HIS DADDY is an officer for this area!!! So, MY brother is GONE and NO ONE is to blame??? He gets to walk around FREE with NO CARES that he took somebody’s son, brother, uncle, and dear friend. And, certainly NO REMORSE!
    4. I do NOT even understand WHY my brother was even with him. I do NOT understand WHY he remained “friends” with him when, a week prior to this, my brother put a chip in another gun this kid had and, he threatened to KILL him that night as well!!!!

    I HATE this!!! My brother is GONE!!! I CAN NOT HAVE HIM BACK!!! And, that kid is walking around FREE. To threaten and bully people with NO REMORSE for what he has done! Charlie was the youngest of 9 children. 6 girls and 3 boys. He also has 7 (that I can think of, off the top of my head) nieces and nephews. My 11 year old son being one of them and, it tore my heart out to watch him cry at his Uncles funeral.

    And, to those who have mentioned that certain aspects seem “weird”, YES, I agree!!! I am happy to report though that as of THIS morning (8/2/2012) the local radio station reported that it IS FINALLY being looked into by Lansing and NOT JUST the area where his Dad is gainfully employed as an police officer. Ballistics will be looking at the angle in which the bullet hit my brother.

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