They say that there are two types of gun owners: those who have had a negligent discharge, and those who will have a negligent discharge. A negligent discharge is when the gun goes bang without you intending it to. By that definition, you can count me as being in the group that has experienced a negligent discharge. Twice. No one was hurt. Why? Because I was careful to observe basic safety rules. Sorta. Let me explain. First, just so we are on the same page, let’s review those rules:

1 Assume that all firearms are loaded until proven otherwise, and treat them accordingly.

2 Do not place your finger inside the trigger guard until you are ready to shoot.

3 Do not point the gun at anything you do not want to destroy, and that includes remembering that bullets do not always stop when they hit even an intended target. Know what lies beyond your target.

You can violate one of these rules at a time, and there will never be a problem. Some examples:
Rule one can be violated, and as long as you don’t violate the other two, you are OK. Rule two is routinely violated during dry fire practice. Rule three is routinely violated when holster carrying, as my muzzle points at things whilst the gun is holstered.

Both of my negligent discharges were the result of violating rules one and two simultaneously. One of the two resulted from a violation of all three simultaneously. I shot a large hole in my bedroom mirror. It was the result of dry fire practice where I was drawing and firing at the critter in the mirror, and when I was done, I reloaded my pistol. Then I did what I had been doing for the past 20 minutes. I drew and fired into the guy in the mirror.

About a year later, I was at the range, and pulled the trigger on what I thought was an unloaded gun, and it surprised me when it went bang. It was pointed downrange, so no harm- no foul.

That was over 20 years ago. I have not had a single mishap since then, and I hope that I never will. I can help that by always being careful and following those rules.

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1 Comment

Anonymous · November 4, 2010 at 2:07 am

I vividly remember in basic training at Fort Knox when someone violated one of those rules. He was so drenched in sweat after the drill seargent was finished with him (I even took a picture of him).

Someone else, he ached so badly that he could hardly walk for PT next morning.

So that ended any possible negligent discharges for the rest of basic training

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