...A local man ignored the Four Rules and killed his wife. He was trying out a new magazine for his handgun and forgot at least three of the rules. He put a bullet through an interior wall and his wife was on the other side. He's widower now. It's been ruled an accident and he won't be facing charges from anyone but himself.
Because the Other Side will exploit it, some gunnies don't like mentioning this kind of situation. I think we shouldn't look away and we darned well ought not leave it to the blood-dancers. It is a tragedy. All the more so in that there is a succinct guide to avoiding this exact situation:
1. All guns are always loaded. (All the time.)
2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
3. Keep your finger off the trigger until the sights are on the target. (Or, "until you are ready to shoot.")
4. Be sure of your target and what's behind it.
You will have a negligent discharge some day. Col. Cooper went to a lot of trouble to figure out how to limit the damage. Please pay attention.
Tamara points out that any -- any -- autoloader can discharge when you drop the slide on a live round. It doesn't happen very often; designers work to prevent it; but it does happen. (This is how come they have sand barrels in places where you've got to reload and there's no proper range and backstop). When it does, you'd better be pointed in a safe direction.
With the Four Rules, a hole in the floor and ringing ears; maybe a hole in something in the basement. Without 'em, a life lost.
T. R. MCELROY'S STREAMLINED TELEGRAPH KEYS
6 months ago