Last night a woman was killed while handing her new rifle to her husband to be shown to friends or neighbors. While passing it to her husband it fired and struck the woman. She died before getting to the hospital. Here is the full story from 9News:
Well, obviously she and her husband were breaking a lot of safety rules. I would suggest we take three big lessons from this incident.
First, do you keep your guns loaded? I know a lot of people who feel they need to keep the magazine full and in the gun. I understand the need to have emergency access to a weapon for home defense but at very least you could keep the magazine out of the gun. It doesn't take that long to insert the magazine and chamber a round.
Second, the premise of this story is disheartening. Why are we showing the gun to neighbors in the garage? I have a lot of close friends that I too like to show them my favorite purchase but I think there is a time and a place for that. Go out to the range and in a safer environment with the firearm pointed down range allow them to take a closer look. Don't forget that no matter how well you may think you currently obey the firearm safety rules, you always have to keep an eye out for the other shooters.
Third, the news story suggests that they may have been drinking. My students are probably sick of hearing me talk about the poor combination between direct access to firearms and alcohol. If you are going to consume any level of alcohol you should fully remove firearms from the direct environment and be committed to keeping it that way.
Bottom line is you have to set standards and rules for yourself and for those around you. Set standards of safety and don't cross your own rules. Plan ahead now and save a life later.
Jacob S Paulsen