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Yessterday’s IGOTD highlighted the horrors that can happen when a well-armed human pack fails to incorporate gun safety into its culture; creating a system of gun handling that’s literally an accident waiting to happen. Unless someone speaks up, unless someone takes responsibility, it’s only a matter of time before bad shit goes down. This principle us no less valid on the micro-level. When someone hands you a gun and says “It’s unloaded,” those words are completely meaningless. If Jesus Christ materializes out of the ether, hands you a Glock 26 and tells you it’s ammo free, do not believe Him. Check. As George Bush said, “Trust but verify.” If an accidental discharge occurs after that point, it was your fault. Period. By the same token, when hunting with a friend or friends, paranoia is a prerequisite . . .

When I’m out shooting [relatively] defenseless animals, I consider my weapon a danger to my life. Unless I’m standing stock still, waiting, I don’t keep a round in the chamber. You know that buck that suddenly appears, where you have seconds to drill baby drill? Gone. There’s no safety in the world that I trust enough that I’m willing to walk with a loaded gun. And until I get on scene, and the second the fun is over, my gun is FULLY unloaded. And checked. Repeatedly.

The next mortal threat: my hunter partner(s)’ gun. I am aware of their muzzle(s) as I am of my own. It’s one reason I detest hunting with more than one best bud. I find it extremely difficult to concentrate on killing when I’m so worried about getting killed. I have to SEE where my cohorts are, and what their gun is doing. If I get shot, it’s one of those Nixonian deals: I take all of the responsibility but none of the blame. Talk about your cold comfort . . .

All of which brings us to Mr. Sargent, via the stargazette:

Charles D. Sargent, 54, was struck by shotgun pellets in the left side of his head, neck, shoulder, chest and abdomen, according to the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office.

Sargent was hit by a shotgun blast fired by Anthony Gabriele, 53, of Youngstown, N.Y., deputies said.

I realize I’m being a little harsh in the assigning of blame department, but see: above. And consider this:

The two men had entered the area together and set up a decoy to attract male turkeys, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office.

The two hunters, both dressed in full camouflage, split up to observe the area. After an hour or so, they worked back closer to each other than either realized, deputies said.

Gabrielle was using a mouth call and a slate call when he saw what he thought was a tom turkey about 70 feet away and fired, according to the sheriff’s office.

Once Gabrielle realized he had shot his partner, he used his cell phone to dial 911.

Bottom line: a responsible gun owner trusts no one. Not even themself.

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  1. My wife’s girl friend, boyfriend, will call him Mike, is in the car with us and he points something out to us and I notice that his pointing finger is really pointed, and short, what happened to your finger mike, The story goes something like this, He take his Family to a Dude Ranch in Penn that has a outside Range, he waits his turn at the 22 rifles, the guy in charge hands him a 22 rifle telling him its not loaded, he starts loading it you know the one the tube loading type, next think he knows his finger is hanging by a thread. he had shot his knuckle out, he has the nail no knuckle, so much for someone handing you a gun an telling you its not loaded, in all honesty I don’t think he had a gun in his hand in 20 plus years if ever, maybe in Coney Island where they hand you a gun loaded on a chain. I’m thinking we all know the rules but what about the person who takes his family for a weekend no background with guns and gets handed a weapon, no training no nothing and shoots his finger off, where is the responsibility. Now if that had happened to one of my family members the least would be I would own that dude ranch.
    Maybe some day I’ll get a picture of the finger and post it. Someday.
    J. Stravage From the South Bronx, Now living 365 in South Florida, Thank God..


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