“A 21-year-old man accidentally shot his father in the leg Monday night while cleaning a .22-caliber rifle at a cabin in Ogden,” deseretnews.com reports. What is it with cleaning firearms and negligent discharges? I don’t know about you but I have never been in any danger of cleaning a loaded firearm. Unload, clean. Seems instinctive to me. Yes, you have to pull the trigger on some handguns before you can remove the slide (e.g. GLOCK-brand GLOCKs). All the more reason to be sure the firearm’s clear and safe and point it in a safe direction before pulling the bang switch. I think this whole “cleaning a gun and it went off” thing started with the police . . .
When a police officer commits suicide, his or her higher-ups have been known to manipulate the official report to state that the officer died from an accidental discharge while cleaning the gun. The officer’s survivors get full benefits, the cop’s rep is protected and who’s really hurt from that anyway?
The only negative effect: the idea that it’s common for people to shoot themselves – or others – while cleaning their firearms. I’m not saying it doesn’t happen. But it’s always a “negligent discharge” when it does and it just doesn’t happen often. OK, so, back to our story . . .
Earlier in the evening, the man and one of his friends went shooting and came home about dark. A couple of hours later, the man decided to clean the rifle, police said. He claims he took the magazine out and cleared the gun, but when he sat down, his finger accidentally pulled the trigger and a chambered round discharged, according to Weber County Sheriff’s Sgt. Lane Findlay.
The bullet struck the man’s 49-year-old father, shattering his femur, Findlay said.
How could the unnamed man have cleared the gun when he didn’t clear the gun? More to the point (of our headline), how does one’s finger operate independently of one’s will? That’s some spooky sh*t right there. Or not. In fact, this story fails to state the blindingly obvious: the man broke at least three of the four safety rules. The only question is, did his finger fall or was it pushed? A question yet another journalist fails to address.