I Hate This Video

Recently, this video was posted to a Facebook group I admin. Watch it, then read on why I hate it.

Shooting firearms can be great fun when treated with the appropriate level of respect. Remember, the main purpose of any firearm is to render another living being incapacitated. It does this through injury or death. You may use it to dissuade an attacker through fear (of being incapacitated) or to punch holes in targets, but its main purpose is to fire a projectile into another living being and do enough damage to stop it.

Here’s why this video is not funny.

First, she obviously knows very little about firearms. She has not been taught proper respect nor safety, nor does she have any specific training on this firearm. Notice that her finger is on the trigger the entire time. In and of itself, leaving a complete novice with a firearm is a potentially dangerous situation.

Husband leaves her in care of a firearm. When he returns to “teach her a lesson”, he has no idea if the gun is loaded or not. You may argue that he didn’t leave her any ammo, but we don’t know that. And besides, you should always treat a firearm as if it were loaded, even if its been solely in your custody the entire time. Careless handling of firearms is what leads to accidents. Most of the time, being careless with a firearm comes with a cavalier attitude, ignorance or both.

Startling ANYONE holding a firearm is dangerous, especially someone who has no training. If the firearm is loaded, the person could cause it to discharge, leading to injury or death. Suppose a child or neighbor had innocently walked up on her, startled her, the gun had been loaded and she pulled the trigger? This video could have ended up as evidence in a court trial, not on YouTube.

I’ve taught proper firearms handling, safety and shooting to hundreds of boys over the years. I’ve taught a great many adults as well. It’s one of the things I do. Inevitably, one or two in the group think they know everything already because they hunt or have had a BB gun since birth. “Dad” taught them everything they know and I’m not as smart as “Dad”. Then I tell them about my wife’s uncle being shot while hunting and dying a few days later from his injuries. His best friend of 50+ years accidentally shot him during a turkey hunt. They had hunted together for decades without an incident. This time, his friend relaxed and didn’t follow the safety rules. He shot in a direction where he heard movement, but had no clear target. I always ask them “Can you imagine how guilty you would feel if you killed your best friend or your Dad simply because YOU didn’t follow the safety rules?” It usually get’s their attention. If it doesn’t, I don’t let them have access to a loaded firearm until they can demonstrate to me they are safe. If during the course of the training, they don’t or won’t follow the rules, they won’t pass.

I recently had an elderly woman as a student. She had never fired a firearm before. A local gun store sold her a revolver and she found couldn’t manage it on the range, so I went with her to look at some other models. We asked to look at a Glock 17. The clerk, a retired police officer, locked the slide back and presented it to her. She closed the slide and in a very joking manner, pointed the gun at him and said “Pow!”. Instinctively, I reached for the pistol from the bottom, grabbed the barrel and pointed it skyward. By the time she had uttered “Pow!”, it was pointing up and the clerk had ducked. We both knew it was unloaded, but our training took over. I gently rebuked her for not showing proper respect for a firearm nor for another human being, reminding her of the safety training she had taken earlier. She sheepishly apologized to him and then me. She is still my student today and she’s SAFE now. I’ll go shooting with her anytime.

Nope, this video is not funny. Too many ways to end up dead with shenanigans like this.


About Mark Andrews

Software Engineer, Geek, Family Man
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