Watch this video. 28 seconds into the video, look closely at the right side of the frame.

How close was that guy to the line of fire from the shots taken at 19 seconds? This makes my heart beat faster just watching it.

If the guy who was down there had been shot, who would have been at fault?

  • The designer of the stage who designed a stage where the ENTIRE stage wasn’t visible to the RSO
  • The RSO who didn’t make sure the down range area was clear before calling “hot range”
  • The shooter for taking the shot without verifying what was behind his target
  • The guy who was downrange for being where he was
  • The bystanders who didn’t keep an eye out and speak up

My answer? All of the above. We as shooters are ALL collectively responsible when things like this happened. There is a lesson to be learned from every incident. If we are unwilling to look at it with an honest eye towards safety, things like this will happen more often.

Safety isn’t just the responsibility of the RSO. Nor the shooter. It is everyone’s responsibility.

Design the environment so the RSO can see the entire shooting area. As the RSO, make sure that you are aware of the environment. The shooter needs to follow the four rules. The bystanders should keep an eye out for each other to make sure that every one of those who go down range to paste targets come back.

I have supervised people in all sorts of environments. SCUBA Diving, firefighting, HAZMAT, all sorts of things. Safety incidents are rarely the result of one thing that went wrong. It is often the result of a list of minor things that each went wrong. Each of us is responsible for what happens.

Like many shooters, I have had an ND myself. Two, in fact. I was much younger, and not as experienced as now. The first happened when I was 20 years old. I was at the range and pulled the trigger on my S&W 4506. I pulled the trigger, and nothing happened. I pointed the gun at a 45 degree angle, sort of down range, and sort of in the air. I pulled the trigger again. I was surprised when it went bang the second time. Luckily, the weapon wasn’t pointed at anyone.

The second was entirely my fault. I was doing dry fire practice. After being done with that, I reloaded the pistol. For some reason, I forgot what I had done, dry fired again, and blew a hole in the front of my dresser. Again, at least I wasn’t pointing it at a person. A violation of Rules 1 and 2.

Both of those incidents were more than 30 years ago. I have never forgotten them.

Categories: Firearms


Anon please · October 25, 2021 at 3:10 pm

Familiarity Breeds Complacency.
Complacency breeds Unconscious Action
Unconscious Action is 50/50 at BEST.

No matter how much you Train.

WOW! The timing of this post.

I got a story…
Smart folks come here. I think, you can figure the rest of the story.

There is NOTHING Wrong with Revisiting 101 numerous times a year folks.
Egos are cheap. Meat prices are rising!

Great Post sir!

Max Barrage · October 25, 2021 at 4:22 pm

Holy shit!! In the words of Pres John F Kennedy, “well, this is obviously a fuck up”

Matthew W · October 25, 2021 at 6:24 pm

Even though there was “No harm done”, how would one ever recover from making a mistake like that?

Mike_C · October 25, 2021 at 6:39 pm

Holy shit is right.

Note that we (and the shooter) can see the man downrange in the white shirt at around 0:27 or 0:28. The shooter fires four times to the left, then transitions to the right, sweeping white-shirt man with his muzzle — and presumably his eyes, yet fires four times to the right before it registers that there is a human being where there should not be. “Hey! What’s going on?”

I wonder whether I would have done the same, being fixated on the exercise, or would I have stopped the instant I saw white-shirt man. I’m not certain that I would have done better than the shooter in this video. Thanks for posting this — definitely gives me something to think about.

Therefore · October 25, 2021 at 10:21 pm

It would not surprise me to learn that the white shirt saved his life. White is normally the “no shoot”. The shooter didn’t “see” a person. He saw a no shoot and continued his scan for targets.

    Skeptic · October 26, 2021 at 5:42 pm

    The reason they stopped is because White Shirt yelled, not because they saw him proactively.

E M Johnson · October 26, 2021 at 5:39 am

will aesop make a response post about this?

    Divemedic · October 26, 2021 at 3:54 pm

    He did today. Two, in fact. His post today was another passive aggressive screed, which links to an industry safety bulletin that he thinks absolves everyone of their legal responsibilities. The post then goes on to accuse everyone who disagrees with him as being an idiot who can’t read. The money quote:
    “Try to Andrew Branca your way out of that predicament, soopergeniusii.”
    Just like the conversation he had at this link.

    He is a tool who can’t have an honest discussion with someone of a differing opinion without ad hominem attacks, and the only way to deal with people like that is avoid them. I am done reading his blog. I didn’t have a real problem with him until today. Life is too short to deal with his stupid antics.

      Skeptic · October 26, 2021 at 5:41 pm

      He’s a little cunt.

Dirk Diggler · October 27, 2021 at 11:26 am

Had a “not” friend who was blase’ about gun safety around my place. I have a private range and had kicked him off it forever for being an unsafe douche’. Somehow some of my friends had begged me to let him come back and I had finally caved as they said he had learned his lesson. I put several pistols on the table, unloaded and slides open, and a glock 20C, slide closed and pointed down range. It was cleared twice before I “prepped” it. I had loaded up a blank on my Dillon, with black powder and a small piece of construction paper, in case douche’nozzle pointed it at someone. We were off about 20 feet talking when a load “BOOM” was heard, and we turned to see the idiot standing there in a cloud of smoke. He had pulled the trigger without checking it as I thought he would. I kicked ALL of them off my range and proceeded to have a good time with my other friends who weren’t idiots. I did not invite them back. Ever. I did hear through the grapevine that douchnozzle had pullet a trigger on a Glock21 while at a range somewhere and grazed a buddies leg. That was years ago. I wonder if he’s killed someone by now.

Comments are closed.