“North Charleston police officers responded to Trader World Gun Shop on Cross County Road around 5 p.m. Monday and located a victim suffering from a gunshot wound,” South Carolina’s live5news.com reports. “According to witnesses at the gun range, Patteron was shooting on a lane when he stopped to inspect the weapon. He turned the handgun toward himself when it discharged, striking him. Patterson was taken to MUSC where he died a short time later.” Obviously, the gun didn’t discharge itself . . .
Truth be told—as it rarely is after a fatal negligent discharge—Patterson shot himself. He violated at least two of Col. Jeff Cooper’s gun safety rules.
Here’s the thing: Patterson was in a relatively low-stress environment. The odds of a negligent discharge increase arithmetically in a high-stress defensive gun use (DGU). “Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target” still applies when your life is at stake, only more so.
Always maintain rigorous trigger discipline, especially when training. And again, practice aiming your gun at the target and NOT firing. The life you save during a DGU could be your own. Or someone else’s—who wasn’t as much of a lethal threat as you first thought. [h/t to JeffD]