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Once is an accident. Twice is an indictment. For Blair Margiotti, it’s proof that he shouldn’t be anywhere near a gun. For a long, long time . . .

According to South Dakota’s Capitol Journal, Margiotti recently pled guilty to shooting his friend and roommate, Rocky Reuer.

Police say Margiotti admitted to handling a loaded firearm while he was drunk and shooting Reuer in the right knee as he was either unloading or taking the firearm apart

Who remembers? Margiotti will be spending 10 days as the guest of the taxpayers of Davison County. He’ll also be forking-over $1,000 in fines and $7,178.15 in restitution to his friend. Because friendship has its limits.

Reuer said in a letter to the court that he did not want Margiotti to serve jail time because it was accident. Reuer did ask for restitution.

Here’s the kicker: this wasn’t Margiotti’s first Negligent Discharge (ND). He’d let one fly at his girlfriend’s home in December. Fortunately, no one was down range at that time.

This time round, the judge banned Margiotti from possessing a firearm for one year. Which seems too lenient by a factor of about ten.

Margiotti’s shown he can’t be trusted to handle a firearm in anything approaching a safe manner. At a minimum, the 25-year old needs to do a lot of growing up. I’m not sure the people of Mitchell, SD should be put at risk during that process.

Here’s a lesson that can be drawn from this: if you have an ND, a near ND or simply a safety violation (e.g., mistakenly point a gun at someone), it’s time to slow down and reevaluate your gun handling skills. Oops sorry doesn’t cut it.

Go back to basics. A lot of NDs/safety violations are the result of too many variables. Too many guns, too many targets, too many people, too much excitement, too many distractions, alcohol, etc. After a “scare” (a.k.a., “warning from God”), go shooting when it’s quiet, take one gun and do one thing. And do it perfectly.

When it comes to firearms, a second chance is a blessing. Unless it isn’t.

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  1. I want a lot more than 7k for a shot to the knee, but it’s better than nothing. This guy should never own a gun because he’s a complete moron with no regard for other people’s safety.

  2. Should’ve also sent him to classes on safety and proper gunhandling, like how judges send negligent drivers to defensive driving classes.

  3. I would like to get some feedback from others on something. The number 1 place I get lasered is in gun showrooms at the display counter. I would say it happens half the time I am perousing the goods behind the glass.

    I either get lasered by the clerk showing the gun, or some other patron handling a firearm. Do others have this same experience? Do you say anything?

    • Gun shows are the absolute worst. I can’t go an hour at a gun show without saying “idiot” or “moron” at least a dozen times, and that’s only to the ones not close enough to hear me.

      I am not sure what it is about the shows, maybe it is all the guns just laying there invitingly on the tables. Maybe it is that there are a lot of people that are new to guns. Maybe because the guns are usually cabled down so you can’t lift them very high. But there are a lot of people that grab the guns with the finger on or dangerously near the trigger and start sweeping literally hundreds of their fellow gun show attendees. It is scary stuff. Even though accidents are extremely rare at gun shows, they can and have happened.

      Some basic rules I follow at gun shows:
      -Always ask the merchant before handling one of their guns. Some of them look at me crazy like “duh, just pick it up” but many respect it and will un-cable it or even cut the zip tie holding the bolt closed. This helps because if I am serious about buying it, which would be why I want to touch it, the next thing I am going to ask is if they mind me probing it with my bore light and possibly removing some parts to get a good look at the barrel and other mechanisms. If I have already established a respectful relationship by asking first to touch, then I find getting permission to manhandle comes easier.

      -When you get the gun, always aim the barrel at the ceiling. Typically I would say the ground, except I have never been to a gun show that was not on hardened concrete that just screams ricochet, discharge one into the ground at a gunshow and you at least doubled the chances you hit someone. At the ceiling, maybe a ceiling light gets murdered or the roof springs a leak, not nearly as bad as causing a child or other human to spring a leak.

      -As always avoid touching the trigger at all costs. I can’t say never touch it, because there are some cases where you have to (removing the bolt from that $90 moisin you wanna look down the barrel of before buying for example). Dry firing is a sure fire way to tick off the merchant, and piss off those around you. Dry firing an unfamiliar firearm while it is aimed at somebody should be a felony, but it happens way too often at gun shows.

      -As always, assume every gun is loaded and treat it as such. Do you really know if the merchant unloaded that gun you are about to dry fire? Can you be certain some prankster didn’t slip one of the rounds he bought while at the show into the gun? No, you can’t! And if YOU pull the trigger and YOU kill someone, YOU are going to pay dearly for it with your freedom, your cash, and your gun collection/aspirations. And guess what, YOU deserve it because YOU are the idiot who neglected the cardinal rule of gun safety.

      -Last and most important, tell your friends the rules and smack them if they break them. I have never gone to a gun show alone. Most of my friends know my passion for guns and the list of people I have to call the week before going to a gun show fills several pages. Always at least one or two on that list want to come along, usually so I can help them find a gun that is right for them (takes practice to perform without looking like a straw purchaser). Now obviously you wouldn’t be reading TTAG and/or this comment if you were not at least more into guns than the average bear, chances are you know more than most of your friends you go to gun shows with. So, on the way to the show carefully explain the rules repeating them if necessary, and make sure they know it is for their safety/benefit.

      Sorry for the book. But yah, if someone sweeps me at a gun show or store my response is to throw my hands up in the air and loudly scream “Don’t shoot, I’m innocent”. It is embarrassing enough for the offender that they remember it for a little while, and serves as a reminder to everyone who looks at the commotion that sweeping people with a gun is not cool, not even at a gun show.

  4. “I either get lasered by the clerk showing the gun, or some other patron handling a firearm. Do others have this same experience? Do you say anything?”

    That’s only happened to me once and I absolutely said something. As firmly as I could while wearing a smile I reminded the fellow about never letting the muzzle cover something you don’t want to kill.

  5. It is reasonable to revoke an individual’s rights when they have demonstrated with certainty they are not responsible enough to exercise them without causing critical harm to others.


  6. Blair Margiotti just needs a badge. Then he can shoot whoever he wants, no questions asked.

    • Dang, you beat me to it. I was going to suggest he put in an application for the Pima County Sheriff’s Department. Or Las Vegas Metro PD. Or Miami. Or….

  7. “This time round, the judge banned Margiotti from possessing a firearm for one year.”

    Let’s see that happen to LEOs who do NDs.

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