It’s time to declare The One Safety Rule to Rule Them All: never point your gun at something you don’t want to destroy. Hmmm. That’s a bit obtuse. You don’t really want to “destroy” a paper target—and paper targets are the target of choice for target shooters (99% of people practicing with a gun, including this poor fool).
How about: always keep your gun pointed in a safe direction. Yup, that’ll do it. That said, there are times when finding a safe direction for a gun’s muzzle is difficult (e.g. the middle of an apartment building).
Still, The Rule must be simple above all. Which is another lesson we can learn from this negligent discharge (ND): keep it simple.
In this case, as far as I can tell, Tex was messing around with his holsters and guns. Anytime you switch, swap or generally play with guns and holsters, you’re looking for trouble. When it comes to deadly weapons, confusion is not your friend. ANY change in your weapons carry and delivery system is inherently confusing. And thus, dangerous.
Remember Johannes Mehserle? The BART cop shot Oscar Grant with a gun instead of a Taser. Mehserle had recently added the Taser to his duty belt, hadn’t trained with his new set-up and (according to some) put the Taser in the wrong place. The end result was entirely predictable.
Generally speaking, you need to shoot at least 1000 rounds to learn, un-learn or re-learn a technique. If you’re going to change something—trigger control, drawing from a new holster, using a safety—you need to start all over again.
Dry fire, slow fire, then gradually increase speed (whilst maintaining accuracy). Spread the practice sessions out over a period of days or weeks.
I test a lot of guns: revolvers, semi-automatics; handguns, rifles, shotguns. I fire as many rounds as I can. I also test holsters. I run a very real risk of confusing myself if and when push comes to shove. So I carry a point-‘n-shoot GLOCK 30 and always finish my session firing the GLOCK from my Remora and Del Santis Speed Scabbard holsters. At least 100 rounds. Every time.
I recommend the same protocol for anyone firing more than one gun. Another good idea: technique first, speed second. When training, never make speed in and of itself your goal. Go for smooth. Make your moves as smooth as possible. The speed will come on its own. Recording a video adds pressure to perform you don’t need. Don’t do it until you’re ready. That would be about 500 rounds after you think you’re ready.
Don’t forget to NOT shoot. If you’re doing something new—especially drawing or any other kind of movement—start by doing it without sending lead downrange. Lastly, never shoot alone. All sort of bad things can happen when you’re shooting a gun. There’s no guarantee you’ll be able to dial 911. You could bleed to death all by yourself in a few minutes.
Tex reckons “shit happens.” Unfortunately, roger that. So always keep your gun pointed in a safe direction. And no matter what happens, you won’t shoot anyone. Including yourself. That is all.