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In terms of gun safety, hunting is a dangerous business. IGOTD has cited numerous examples of hunters who accidentally discharged their firearm, forgetting to keep their gun unloaded and/or their barrel pointed in a safe direction at all times. Experienced hunters don’t need me to tell them that there’s another serious threat out there, somewhere. Other hunters. You gotta stay alert, both in terms of not shooting other hunters AND not getting shot by them. Example: “Last October, Ricky Brunelle, 43, of Ellenburg Depot, was hunting in Potsdam when he fired his gun at what he thought was a deer,” reports. “But it was another hunter. Bernard Sharlow, 39, was hit in the stomach. Sharlow survived.” As did Brunelle’s career as . . . a prison guard. “Brunelle pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of assault. He originally was charged with a felony count of assault. The lesser charge will allow Brunelle to keep his job as a corrections officer in New York. He will be formally sentenced in May.” Top hat and tails? Or dunce’s cap?

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  1. I’m for everyone having the right to own a gun. And to hunt.

    And if a lack of training or common sense limited the gun owners/hunters to self-inflicted wounds or death, I’d chalk such experiences up to Mr Darwin and offer my sympathies to the families of the deceased.

    But unfortunately, hunting/gun accidents such as this happen with regularity.

    So with that right, comes hunter (and gun owner) responsibility. You will hear it from me loudly and often. Train, train, train, and then train some more. You never know as much as you think you do. And you’re never as good as you think you are.

    Me, especially.

    Whether your gun ownership involves protection, sport shooting, hunting or all of the above, get some classroom time, then spend some time afield or at the range with experienced shooters/hunters.

    I don’t know Mr Brunelle. He may be a great guy. He may be a hunting noob. He may be a good corrections officer, proud yet underpaid. He likely was overcome with buck fever and went all stupid. Seen it happen with otherwise well-balanced men. Ain’t pretty. Had the buck shakes pretty bad when I was a young kid starting out.

    But I’ll bet you anything that right about now, Mr Brunelle is embarrassed, ashamed, and very regretful. And what happened could have probably been prevented with the proper hunting and firearm training — and spending some time afield with a more experienced friend.

    Unless he was drunk. In which case, lock him up in the very cells he guards.

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