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Mr. Kirk has muzzle discipline issues, obviously [:25]. But first, one wonders about his racking style. When pumping a shotgun action, the best direction for the muzzle is forward, downrange. I’m not suggesting that Mr. Kirk is in danger of shooting down a passing microlight, but bad habits are a bitch. What if Mr. Kirk takes his shotgun to an indoor range? Or uses a shotgun for home defense? Once you learn to shoot a certain way, it’s very difficult to modify your behavior. Under stress, it’s damn near impossible. Remember: there are many kinds of stress other than violent confrontation. All of them degrade firearms safety. For example, peer pressure.

Humans are pack animals. An individual’s access to the best resources—be it babes, bucks or Budweiser—depends on their position in the pecking order. Achieving and maintaining social status is a life or death survival skill. No surprise, then, that the need to save face is hard-wired into our brains.

Or, in fact, lower.

For high testosterone males at the alpha end of the spectrum, the need to protect and gain status is fraught with danger. They’re genetically pre-disposed towards high risk behavior and confrontation. If you want to know why anyone would jump out of a perfectly good airplane, there’s your answer. If you can’t understand why two guys would fight over a Mountain Dew, there you go.

Common sense suggests they’re also the males most likely to take to firearms. And most likely to do so with a cavalier attitude. And show off whilst shooting. And reach for a gun to establish dominance.

Put two or more alphas together with a gun and add YouTube documentation and you have a recipe for a bad behavior. (Notice the videographer’s subtle diss at the beginning of the clip.) It doesn’t have to be “over the top” behavior either. The pressure to perform can lead to a small mistake like, say, aiming the gun at the camera for a fraction of a second.

These instincts can be managed. If young alphas receive their initial gun instruction from an older alpha with impeccable gun safety and an infectious attitude, they can channel their natural urge to excel. Hopefully, they link serious gun-handling skills with enhanced status.

After watching thousands of YouTube shooting videos, I can tell within seconds if the shooter has been taught to differentiate shit from shinola, safety-wise. To quote David Bowie, it’s in the way of my eyes. If a shooter has focus, if they’re oblivious to the camera, they get it. If not . . .

Avoid this situation at all costs. Seriously. You do NOT want to be around when non-professional shooters are showing off with guns. If you can’t pull yourself away from the pack, at least move out of the line of fire.

Gun safety is everyone’s responsibility. But your safety is your first responsibility. The best way to watch big-balled bozos with bullets is from the safety of your home computer.

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