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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.

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  1. At least he was more than willing to admit his mistake, and then show video of that mistake. To me, it seems as though he was hoping to help others learn from his mistake. He didn’t blame the gun, he didnt blame the holster. He took responsibility. You have to give him credit for that.

  2. Ouch! But he didn’t “cowboy up” and shoot the bad guy! I give him credit for driving home a real risk, but need I say it: you don’t put your finger on the trigger until you’re ready to fire. That trigger finger should stay out straight, like it was, at first, until you are on target. It also graphically shows that you need to practice with all the holsters you use, and not go full speed until you are well practiced. I am happy for him he didn’t hit an artery and bleed out before help arrived, or blow his kneecap off. If that bullet had tumbled he probably wouldn’t be here today.

    • A note of caution: I have remote land where I shoot sometimes. I have a designated red bag with Quik Clot-probably the only thing short of a tourniquet that will save you with arterial bleeding, gauze, military compress bandages, military 90mph tape-great emergency band-aids, and the odd assortment of general first aid kit ointments, as well as treatment for poisonous bites-except snake. Only for poisonous spiders and stinging bugs. I also always carry burn ointment-hot shell casings, and water for flushing and for heat stress. I have it for me and thee, because the ambulance sometimes isn’t as fast as you need it. I also never go w/o a fully charged cell phone.

  3. How about this: Quick draw practice is kiddie bullshit and you are going to shoot yourself sooner or later. Why do you THINK most commercial ranges don’t allow it? Because they’re mean old grownups and don’t want anyone to have fun?

    No, because it is stupid and dangerous and places you and everyone in the facility in needless danger. And unless you are planning to run away to join the circus, it doesn’t teach a useful skill.

    Quote: “I just fucking shot myself. Son of a bitch!” Priceless. “After the shot went off, my training took over. I called my parents…” Sure, that’s exactly what Seal Team 6 does, too. It’s impossible to parody this material.

    • “Why do you THINK most commercial ranges don’t allow it?”

      Liability is a big concern for most ranges. As usual you are half right. Most ranges do not allow holster work for non members (visiting public) but often do so for members. At my club in CA, one can draw from a holster on our member’s only ranges if they have attended a formal school (Front Sight, Gun Site, ITTS, Thunder Ranch, etc). We also run ladies classes that include holster work for instance. My Dad in AZ is not a member if his club yet can wear a holstered gun everywhere on club property.

      And of course, some of the more popular venues IPSC, IDPA and 3 gun draw from the holster as part of competition. Its a normal activity.

      No, because it is stupid and dangerous and places you and everyone in the facility in needless danger. And unless you are planning to run away to join the circus, it doesn’t teach a useful skill.

      Its a training issue. ‘Presenting’ from a holster to the ready is a useful skill both for CCW holders and Police. This is not ‘target’ shooting where one is looking for 1 hole. Its a different venue altogether where good groups may be a handspan across under the pressure of time.

      • I took my laptop to lunch with me so I could show this video to my Dad, a life-long shooter who is now 82. He can’t believe that this is now considered proper firearms drill for civilians.

        I tried to explain the whole gun owner 2.0 philosophy to him but he wasn’t having it. The terms “hatchet catcher”and “grenade juggling” came up. “How is it self-defense when you shoot yourself?” he asked. I couldn’t give him an answer. He shrugged. “Maybe you will get robbed or mugged, or maybe you won’t,” he said. “Nobody knows what will happen tomorrow. But I’ll tell you this. Play around with guns like they are toys like this fella did and somebody is going to get shot. It’s not a matter of if but when.”

        • “Play around with guns like they are toys” I seriously doubt that Tex was playing with his gun. And why can’t he practice/learn to quick draw. That can be an invaluable asset if you come face to face with another gun toting person bent on hurting you. The people on here act as if they are so sophisticated that whenever an accident like this happens, they can just ridicule them over and over, citing gun rules and all the other shit. It was a mistake, get over it. Plus “proper firearms drill for civilians”, really? You need to get real!

        • It’s not drawing fast that wins a gunfight, it’s keeping your head, and firing a well placed shot. If you practice sound fundamentals, every time, lots of times, speed will come.

          You should not have 2 different draws, regular and speed/quick. There can only be one main effort.

  4. Cujo, you are one prepared shooter.

    I like what you said about the finger on the trigger, too. That’s the whole story right there.

    What do you think about my theory which says that folks who do this once should lose their right to own guns because they’re more likely to do it again. One who has proven himself capable fo such stupidity, is just not safe.

    I know thr opposite argument, that people learn from their mistakes and a guy like this is LESS likely to repeat it. But I don’t think that’s consistent with human nature, do you?

    What do you think?

    • Honestly, I have learned to be, or try, to be more forgiving as I’ve aged. Since the fact was he shot himself, I think he’ll never forget-especially once the arthritis sets in! Had he pulled a “Dick Cheney”, I don’t know. I’ve never even come close to accidentally shooting someone. I think I’d leave it to the authorities-but I’d never be around him shooting or go hunting with him. Unfortunately, the closest I’ve come to being accidentally/negligently shot, has been with Law Enforcement Officers. Experienced officers. I’ve seen rounds fired off in patrol cars, offices, the ceilings of ranges, the floors of ranges and through the dividers between shooters. On the firing line I had an officer, who had gone through the academy with me, 2 years earlier, turn with her finger on the trigger and point the weapon dead at me. Her words were “this gun doesn’t work.” I took her weapon, after I reholstered mine, and threw her off the range. She was fired that same day-I was the line Instructor. I still remember how close I came to having to shoot a fellow officer. I legally could have shot her by the range standards, and department policy. So, I guess I’m saying if someone is determined to have a negligent discharge, at least if he shoots himself, he has no one to blame but himself. I equate it to training and practice. A high school buddy got his first motorcycle as soon as he was promoted in the Army. I begged him to go slow and take time to learn. The next time I saw him was his funeral.

      • “I legally could have shot her by the range standards, and department policy. ” Sounds harsh, but makes people sit up and take notice that we all need to be aware of all the weapons around us.

        First day at the range for OCSO back in ’93, before any cadets handled any weapons, that was pointed out by the rangemaster. “If I or any of my range officers see you doing something dangerous or stupid, we will shoot you.”

        He didn’t have to shoot anyone in my class, nor have they had to shoot any other cadets, as far as I know, but I have no quarrel with the policy.

    • I know thr opposite argument, that people learn from their mistakes and a guy like this is LESS likely to repeat it. But I don’t think that’s consistent with human nature, do you?

      Perhaps your human nature.

      • I guess that’s why you don’t lose your license to drive permanently if you run, stone cold sober, into a tree. Or, to take it further, I have a wayward cousin who drove dangerously, crossed the center line and killed a family of three. One was a toddler. She was in a huge Chevy truck, they were in a compact car. They didn’t have any seatbelts on, no baby seat either, but it wouldn’t have mattered-at 53mph. She is doing 9 months in prison-I was betting on 12 years. She gets her license back in 5 years.

    • I don’t think much of that idea, Mike. The guy says in the video that he’s done this maneuver 1,000s of times, and this is the first time he’s shot himself.

      What if you’ve driven thousands of miles, and had one serious but non-fatal accident? Should you lose the right to ever drive again? *rolls eyes* Guns are not magic, Mike. Guns cannot do anything in and of themselves. They are inanimate tools that we make function. We can use them wisely, or we can be stupid with them, or we can even use them with malevolence. Whatever the choice, whatever the outcome, it is the Human making the tool function and cause the result.

        • I once worked for a contractor, who as part of my introductory training was showing me around a folding table saw. He pointed to one part of the saw that could close on an unsuspecting hand and do a lot of damage. He said, “It hurts a lot when you close that corner on your hand. You’ll do it… once.” For my money, an ND victim is far less likely to ND again.

  5. My #1 rule is to keep my finger away from the trigger at ALL times except when actually shooting. The reason for this is because any relaxation of a rule, even if very rarely, can send a subconscious signal that it’s not that important, that you’re just being anal. I realized I laser myself with some frequency ( a hip for a second, an ankle for a fraction of a second) .So now it’s muscle memory for me to keep my damn finger away from the trigger unless I’m shooting. Hopefully, this will allow me to avoid any negligent discharges.

  6. I believe the actual cause of this is something that Tex doesn’t even realize himself. He has become too sure of his safety. At the point the finger goes and curls to press the trigger is normally the point many begin to sweep the safety off. I think he has subconsciously been putting his finger on the trigger, then sweeping off the safety as he lines up his shot. Except this time the safety was off. And this time he put a little bit more pressure on the trigger during his draw. I think this was the accident waiting to happen. Carrying fully loaded, hammer back and thumb safety engaged is for the very well practiced. There’s a reason why a single action auto carried in this manner is so fast. And (potentially) dangerous.

      • i agree i can easily see him saying i’m safe and losing that mental edge you need to stay safe.

        • I know one thing-don’t stand next to Tex when he’s carving the Thanksgiving day turkey! You might get a vasectomy and a free meal.

        • He doesn’t want to blame the holster but I think that was the central issue. He holster retention required pressure from his trigger finger to release the pistol.

          He mentioned in the video that he pressed on the retention button and the gun didn’t come free. Eventually, it did however, his brain was probably sending messages to his finger “press hard – push in”,etc.

          The gun got free but the messages were still being sent. His finger got in the trigger guard and the rest is history.

          Personally, his video is a reminder to me. I’m going to practice drawing with a focus on where my finger is.

          • I really only use one type of retention holster, besides thumb break, and that is the Black Hawk Serpa series. That way all my holsters are universal, if you mix different retention methods, especially the ones with some sort of “trick” lever or “push button”, you have to be always aware of which one you’re using and mentally locked in to it. It gets even trickier when you go up from level 1 retention up to level 3 retention L/E holsters.

  7. I’ve had two unintentional/accidental/negligent discharges in my 63 years of life. Hopefully, I will live much longer and never have another. However, the experiences are humbling. You lose your cockiness after one of those experiences. You figure you’ve learned a powerful lesson. Then you forget about it, get cocky again and, sure enough, you do something dumb and get knocked off your high horse once more.

    Luckily, I followed the One Safety Rule To Rule Them All on both occasions and the rounds went into the dirt.

  8. The one time I had what might be called a ND was when I was trying out a Savage 750 12 ga. that my grandfather gave me. I was out on some family property and not at a range. I walked out to what would be called the firing line with the gun already loaded and the safety on. I disengaged the safety and began to raise the gun to my shoulder but I had already placed my finger on the trigger and the gun discharged. The trigger was lighter than I thought. Fortunately the load buried itself in the dirt some 15 ft away from me. I was surprised and humbled. It also made me think about what might have happened.
    Guns, like cars and heavy machinery, have to be respected. It helps to be a little afraid of them.

  9. This is what happens when you move faster than your ability. Slow down until the muscle memory is ingrained. Pick a holster system and stick with it consistently regardless of sidearm.

    I will give him some credit though. After he shot himself, he put his gun on safe and lowered it to the ground. He didn’t panic. I’ll also give him credit for putting it up on youtube. Putting yourself out there when you hurt yourself takes some stones.

  10. Takes balls to post a video of you torching one off into your thigh.

    Out of deference to the self-inflicted victim’s wishes, I won’t ridicule, but there are a few things worth noting.

    Keep your finger off the trigger until you are on target and ready to shoot.

    If you resign yourself to the fact that you will at one have a negligent discharge, you probably will.
    If you actively and diligently practice safe handling techniques all the time, always, and strive to NEVER allow it to happen, you may find yourself a safer shooter. Proper firearms education from qualified instructors is key to developing good habits and breaking bad ones before you have to dress your wounds and call your parents.

  11. RF, always keep your gun pointed in a safe direction is good advice at the range or when practicing, dry-firing, loading, unloading, removing a firearm etc., but the original Jeff Cooper rule is correct. How are you going to “always” point the gun in a safe direction if you’re forced to shoot at a bad guy? Won’t that make you miss?

  12. I feel safe carrying with a round chambered in a single action semi auto but not cocked and locked. To that end I practice drawing, finger straight while thumbing the safety first, the hammer second. Not the quickest way to get a round downrange, but quick enough for me.

  13. The holster WAS the problem, but not for any reason due to design or construction – it was clear operator error.

    The user went too fast, probably had a nice testosterone and adrenaline boost going since he was filming for all of “us” then fell prey to a perfect storm of bad habits, improper use of equipment, and lack of respect for the fundamentals.

    A person could spend quite a bit of time analyzing what fell apart – I for one will be using this as an invaluable training tool for my friends, family, and students.

  14. Never play poker with a guy named Slim, never play pool with a guy named Fats, and never go shooting with a guy named Tex.

  15. I have only experienced one ND, It happened last year while hunting. We were walking though a field and my friend and his girlfriend where walking behind me.

    My friend had already filled his tag and we had just seen a good looking
    Doe so he handed his rifle to his girlfriend, the next thing I know I hear a deafening BOOOOM!

    I thought someone had just been shot. I spun around only to find both of them holding the rifle, in mid-pass, barrel strait up in the air. They said that the sling had gotten cought up in the trigger guard but I am willing to bet good money that she put her finger on the trigger as soon as the gun was most-of-the-way in her grasp.

    The lesson learned shit happens but sometimes it’s perventible shit.


    I’ve had discussions with Tex, he is a good guy but its plane to see he was trying to do things that were past his ability and it resulted in a negligent discharge.

    This comes down to either improper training &/or poor execution. When it comes to training, you have to train using the “crawl, walk, run” format. First, dry fire only, then once that is mastered thru the “crawl, walk, run” stages & only then, does one move on to live fire training, where you once again go thru “crawl, walk, run” format again. Then to keep your skills up to par you have to conduct concurrent training, which again follows the same format.

    Some have said the Serpa 2 holster was at fault, that it’s a bad design & Tex should sue Blackhawk. I think this is stupid. The Serpa 2 holster actually has groove where the index finger not only disengages the lock but places the trigger finger on the slide of the firearm. No other holster company I know does this (help ensure shooter’s finger is placed along side the slide of the firearm by using a groove). When you watch the video, it’s not an equipment design problem; it’s the operator who is at fault. Claiming it was the equipment is like saying the spoon made Rosie O’Donnell fat! Fact remains instead of clearing the gun from the holster, rotating it on target, then firing, he opted to rush & the result is obvious.

    I have seen this before (in the military and as a firearms instructor) with many people – they get excited and are so concentrated on firing fast they skip some important steps. Again it comes down to a lack of perfect practice. If your practice is not perfect then your muscle memory will not be to standard and that’s when people get hurt.

    The other thing that bothers me is many have called this an “unintentional discharge” or an “accidental discharge”. I don’t agree with those terms – this incident was a “negligent discharge” plain & simple. For those that are wondering what the differences are here are my definitions…

    Unintentional Discharge – is caused when there is an equipment malfunction of the firearm or its associated equipment, that results in the firearm discharging at an time that is unintended by the shooter.

    Accidental Discharge – is caused when an unforeseen incident/s occurs and there are no reasonable precautions which can be taken to keep the firearm from discharging. To explain it simply, if I am driving down a mountain road & boulder rolls down, crushes my car & kills me, that is an accident. There is no way for me to take the precautions for such an event. Now when it comes to children we have a slightly different scenario – young children do not have the mental capacity &/or training to understand the inherent risks & dangers of a firearm. For example, when a toddler picks up a firearm, pulls the trigger injuring or killing someone that is an ‘accident’. However when we look at the adult who left out the firearm for the child to find, that is called negligence.

    First we have to define negligence. It’s defined as the failure to exercise the degree of care that, in the circumstances, the law requires for the protection of the other persons or those interests of the persons that may be injuriously affected by the want of such care.

    So a Negligent Discharge is caused when a shooter by their neglect (action or inactions) fails to follow &/or ignores the safety rules, is improperly trained, does not perform a technique or drill to standard, which results in the damage, loss of property &/or the injury or death of a person (or a combination of these).

    Fact remains that it was the shooter’s negligence that led to this discharge. Most likely it was due to improper training &/or poor execution. There is also something say when it comes to the type of training we do. In the scenario Tex was attempting a close contact drill, he brought up his left arm & hand to defend against the threat. Its possible he made a fist and that at times when we make a fist in one hand the other has a sympathetic/mirrored response & follows suit, which resulted in a ND; or it he did not practice enough to keep his booger hooker off the bang switch till he was on target. Either way I’m glad he did not receive greater injuries. I hope that he and many others will look at their training & skills and not forget that firearms are indeed dangerous.

    • Couldn’t agree with you (and myself) more. Grebner was guilty of rushing things. An accident waiting to happen.

      Saw the same thing at the gun range last night. Some OFWGs were “training” against the stop watch. OMG. The largest of them was literally shaking with adrenalin, drawing from a shoulder holster. The “best” of them was drawing his gun and swooping it upwards with his finger on the trigger.

      SLOW DOWN people. For the love of God, go for smooth over fast. In fact, forget fast as fast as you can.

  17. I don’t know what your trip is, but sooooo be it. I have no dishonorable discharges on my record, and I was never fired from L/E. I had a stroke and had to retire. As for the line instructor after 2 years-wrong again-I was put into the next class immediately after the academy. I have a strong background and I guess it is because I didn’t waste my time being some rager on people on line. This is why I have been able to do things like be the first firearms instructor to ever be accepted straight into the state firearms training for trainers class. If ya don’t like the fact I’ve done positive things with my life-tough. If you don’t like the fact I try to help others and enjoy being a part of things-tough. If you can’t deal, don’t hang.` If I worried about a gentleman such as yourself, who obviously has inferiority issues, well, I guess I’d be about as insignificant as you are making yourself right now.

    • Oh yes, if you make a dangerous error like pointing a loaded weapon on the firing line, the state would and did fire officers immediately. As for your bizarre rapist and child molester claims-what are you smoking? And again-for the record, I was an 1811 in the Corps, a 4731 in the Navy and an 18 Bravo for the Army. I served for two sheriff’s offices and for the state department of corrections. ‘Nuff said. Get a life. And a personality that doesn’t require you to have to live far away from everyone on some remote island. Then find some traffic. And step into it.

  18. You gotta give him credit for having a cool enough head to put the safety on and the gun down in a safe direction.

  19. This article author should not be calling Tex a fool.

    We are human and accidents happen. That does not make us fools.

    Hindsight is 20/20, and the author has that luxury.

    Tex took responsibility, acted appropriately, and is educating others about it so they do not suffer the same fate.

    Some might even call him a hero.

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