Over at evylrobot.com, the non-blogging brother of the resident blogmeister chronicles his negligent discharge via a slightly modded Remington 870 Wingmaster. Aside from the retinal damage caused by white text on a black background, Microcosm Overlord and bro’ have crafted a highly enjoyable read. I know I shouldn’t take pleasure in such a serious event, but this kind of high-res ND mea culpa is as rare as a 1911 owner who admits his safety could present a problem in an armed encounter. That said, while we see an ND’s effects on a door, wall and stereo in great detail, we don’t get a very clear picture of what actually went wrong . . .
I had been manipulating it earlier in the day and had put it away next to the bed where it generally stays. Later I was demonstrating a feature/function of operation to my wife and that’s when instead of “chuck chuck” *click* happened, it went “chuck-chuck” BOOM. I had neglected to clear the magazine . . .
This is a slightly embarrassing confession for me. This was a beginner mistake and I know better. But I hope that it can also be a learning experience for those who may read it.
This explanation raises more questions than it answers. What exactly does Microcosm Overlord mean by “manipulating it”? Was he loading, unloading or some combination thereof? Whatever he was doing, why didn’t he keep track of the weapon’s state before and after the manipulation, and before dry firing the gun?
It’s absolutely critical to safety check a gun before putting it away, and every time you pick it up. If Jesus Christ himself hands you a gun (if only) and says it’s unloaded, safety check it. If you have an OCD tendencies within you, focus them here.
Meanwhile, note that MO is expressing a dangerous, oft-held belief: one gets safer over time. I disagree. In fact, one must constantly be aware that one’s gun safety gets worse over time. As you lose firearms fear, familiarity diminishes care and concern. And if not that, old age does nothing good for one’s memory.
As the Brits say, start as you mean to finish. Safety check all weapons the moment you come into contact with them. And while we’re at it, don’t photograph a ND and post it on the web. If Microcosm Overlord has the misfortune to have to resort to a defensive gun use, or has another ND that leads to an injury or fatality, this account can and most probably will be used against him in a court of law.