Eugene Earl Martin (courtesy wistv.com)

Campaigns calling for owners to lock up their guns are dangerously misguided. Even if an owner locks up their gun, children, teens and others can unlock it. If a child is young, Eddie the Eagle’s advice is spot on: leave it alone and go tell an adult. But at a certain point in the aging process, the best advice for gun safety is to focus on safety in a more practical manner: make sure the gun is pointed in a safe direction. Then deal with it. For the simple reason that otherwise sensible folks may find themselves in the presence of an idiot: someone else brings out a loaded gun for show-and-tell/playtime. Which is why . . .

the pro- AND anti-gun communities should launch a gun safety campaign warning owners not to play with guns. The campaign might stress the “treat all guns as if they’re loaded” rule, but it should emphasize the one gun safety rule to rule them all: never point a gun at something you’re not willing to destroy (PR-friendly wording to be determined later). Never allow anyone else to do it, either. That would save lives.

It’s also true that anyone who violates the four safety rules, death or grievous bodily harm resulting, is guilty of a negligent discharge. I’ll say it again. Gun safety is no accident, but 99.9% of all unintentional firearms-related injuries and deaths are negligent discharges. It’s past time the mainstream media labelled them as such. Not like this [via wistv.com]:

Man accidentally kills friend while showing off handgun

The Sumter [SC] Police Department is investigating an accidental shooting that killed a 24-year-old man.

Police responded to the scene 10 p.m. on Monday at a home in the 300 block of Bowman Drive.

Officials say DiQuon Jadar Morgan had been shot in the upper torso. He was later pronounced dead at Tuomey Regional Medical Center.

According to officials, Eugene Earl Martin, 22, [above] was showing a semi-automatic handgun to friends when it fired and struck Morgan. A clip was not in the handgun at the time of the shooting, witnesses say.

Martin was taken into custody and charged with involuntary manslaughter. He is being held at the Sumter-Lee Regional Detention Center pending bond.

The gun didn’t fire itself. Martin pulled the trigger. Suggesting anything else vilifies guns and misses a teachable moment. Hey professional news hounds. You listening? No, obviously not. Sigh. Over to you NRA. Or, WTH, Moms Demanding Civilian Disarmament or Everygun Banned for Town Safety. As if. If only.

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40 Responses to Passively Constructed Negligent Discharge of the Day: SC Show-Off Edition

  1. Man every single time I hand one of my firearms to a friend to show it to the, it is locked open and the mag is out. It is the only way I know how to do it. If it is my revolver the ammo is dumped out and the chamber is open. How do you “accidentally” kill a friend? All guns are ALWAYS loaded. unless broken down to it’s base parts, and even than I consider it loaded.

    • Correct. This was murder. However, you can’t prove it, particularly with every jury member well educated in the fact that guns sometimes just “go off”, even without the clip involved.

      But for the question of who SHOULD be convicted, we should visit who sold a firearm to this dipshit? That was just wrong. And I bet it was not a gunstore, and I bet we will never figure out who it was. And I’m guessing this is a photo of a prohibited person. Which did not preclude the murder. Duh.

  2. Wow, a Mauser Broomhandle? Or is there another semi-automatic handgun which is loaded with a “clip”?

  3. Campaigns calling for owners to lock up their guns are dangerously misguided. Even if an owner locks up their gun, children, teens and others can unlock it.

    Ok. That’s just f*cking stupid.

  4. Some people obviously do need a no mag lockout because if the mag well is empty, then the “gun” is empty.
    Ignorance is dangerous.

  5. When is the media going to get this right. Guns don’t fire by themselves, I have a bunch of guns and not a single one has fired without me pulling the trigger. Just another “idiot” pulling the trigger pointing in an unsafe direction. Oh my there was one in the chamber. So sorry!!

    • Yesterday on the evening news (I don’t recall the particulars) the reporter quoted a witness as saying the gun went off twice. No mention was made of anyone pulling the trigger. Made it seem as no one was at fault except the gun.

  6. How smart does someone have to be to know that even when the magazine is removed there may well be a round in the chamber? This is BASIC stuff. People that are that stupid should never handle a firearm. Besides obviously ignoring rule #1, he had to violate at least 2 of the other basic safety rules to shoot someone. There is NO excuse for that.

    • “Should” is a lot of fun to discuss, but bears no resemblance to reality. When I was young (long ago) there was a story, not confirmed anywhere I know, of a police officer who served a small town, over decades rising to chief. After he retired, one day someone invited him to go shooting, and his gun would not fire. Turned out it had no firing pin.

      From the picture, this loser could have been told a hundred times, and remembered none, in fact nothing beyond where his dealer was so he could get another fix.

      There have also been good guys saved because the would-be killer put a loaded mag (clip, for the uninitiated) into the gun and thought it was ready to fire.

    • His entire gun “education” no doubt came from Hollywood where no matter how long you own, carry, or brandish a pistol you ALWAYS have to rack the slide before it will fire. Duh.

  7. Firearms 101: This course will enable the student to recognize various types of firearms, and to understand and describe the characteristics and operation of each type of firearm. Coursework will stress the safe handling of firearms.

    Firearms 102: Using firearms. Prerequisite: Firearms 101.

  8. Jesus, WHY do all the stupid people keep calling magazines “clips”!?!? I highly doubt this idiot had a handgun capable of accepting a clip.

  9. I have a rule #5. If you carry a gun in remains in the holster unless needed or to secure it. No show and tell.

  10. “The gun didn’t fire itself. Martin pulled the trigger. Suggesting anything else vilifies guns and misses a teachable moment.”

    I take issue with this statement, as the story never suggested that the gun fired itself. One of the persistent irritations I have with this site is that some people read a news story say “the gun fired,” and believe that the story is implying that there was no agent causing the action. Perhaps an example is in order:

    Suppose in an account of some events we were to read, “A large, black SUV with tinted windows stopped outside. The door opened, and out stepped a man in a dark suit.” Would we claim that the author was stating that the door opened of its own accord, or that the SUV stopped without any cause beyond itself? Hardly! We would, instead, understand that the author was simply focusing on the action being performed rather than on what was performing the action.

    Now, if one were to claim that the focus should properly be on the person doing the firing rather than on the act of the gun being fired, I would heartily agree, but this is very different from claiming that the author is being grammatically incorrect or even dishonest by doing the latter.

    • I agree that, “the gun fired” doesn’t rob the subject of agency, like “the gun went off” does. I think the author, like many of us, no longer gives the media the benefit of the doubt when it comes to writing about shootings in general and negligent discharges in particular. And, though the media may not be writing from a position of dishonesty in all cases, they certainly could be using clearer language, and not missing the “teachable moment” the author mentions.

  11. I wonder if inner city schools offered handgun classes (not CCW) would the classroom be full…

    • It would be full just like it would be ina rural area. Its a damn good idea to. Ccw classes and all. If you cab learn to operate a car at 16 handling a firearm is no more or less dangerous than driving. It would also stop many of these incidents as well. People would learn to handle guns from competent instructors not young jeezy and lil wayne music videos

    • With the quality of schools in Sumter county believe me you don’t want them teaching it. I live in the next town over and I wont go into Sumter without Gaston’s finest.

  12. OOOOH, what a teachable moment about Darwinian selection! The selectee obviously had a problem picking friends.

  13. I’m betting Obumers son here can even spell roads much less Rhodes. Can’t expect much from a moron.

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