Joe Riggs out of UFN 51 after ‘unfortunate accident’ with gun, the headline at mmafighting.com proclaims. Setting aside the “unfortunate” descriptor, I’m not a big fan of the word “accident” when it comes to negligent discharges. I prefer “negligent discharge.” It’s a term that ascribes blame for an inadvertent ballistic event. “The UFC announced Tuesday that ‘Diesel’ injured his hand while cleaning his own pistol and won’t be able to recover in time for the UFC Fight Night 51 card in Brasilia, Brazil, on Oct. 13.” Yeah, about that cleaning thing. Are there really people stupid enough to shoot their hand before cleaning their gun? Shouldn’t that whole “accidentally shot himself while cleaning his gun” thing be reserved for police suicides, protecting widows’ pensions? Anyway, the passive part . . .
“We were made aware that newly-signed UFC competitor Joe Riggs was involved in an unfortunate accident last night,” the UFC statement read. “While cleaning his permitted firearm (a pistol), the gun discharged, injuring his hand and upper thigh. Riggs was transported to a nearby hospital in Arizona where he is being treated by physicians. We wish Joe a speedy recovery.”
A source close to Riggs told MMAFighting.com that he is in stable condition and the injuries he suffered in the accident are not life-threatening.
Hmmm. Riggs’ injured hand and upper thigh indicates that yup, he was stupid enough to forget to clear his weapon (GLOCK?) before pulling the trigger so he could remove the slide. In other words, the gun was pointed downwards at his own body. Riggs broke not one but two safety rules: never point your gun at something you’re not willing to destroy and treat all guns as if they’re loaded.
However you look at it, guns don’t discharge unless someone pulls the trigger. Any news report written in such a way as to make such a thing seem possible demonizes firearms and fails to educate gun owners and non-gun owners alike on an important aspect – or two – of firearm safety. But I’m thinking, hoping you already knew that. [h/t AV]