Safety FAIL

*sigh*

“Don’t worry, it’s unloaded”. She didn’t get to hear it, but she was affected by it.

Around 12:30 p.m., the gun accidentally went off, according to the Sheriff’s Office, sending a bullet through the wall and into the head of Hannah Kelley, 20, — Bueller’s girlfriend and daughter of the church’s pastor, Tim Kelley. “It does appear this was a tragic accident,” said Cecilia Barreda, a sheriff’s spokeswoman.

No, guns do not accidentally go off.

If anything, they negligently go off.

ST. PETERSBURG — Dustin Bueller wanted to see Moises Zambrana’s gun, according to authorities.

Bueller turns 21 next week and was thinking about buying one for himself, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said.

So after a Sunday morning service let out and parishioners were still milling about inside the Lealman church, he asked Zambrana, 48, to show him his Ruger 9mm.

The men took precautions. They walked away from the crowd in a recreation room at Grace Connection Church and into a closet. Zambrana removed the Ruger’s magazine, the Sheriff’s Office said, and started to explain the gun’s safety features.

But he forgot about the round in the chamber.

There’s nothing wrong with having a gun in church. There’s nothing wrong with showing the gun and talking about the gun. And yes, they opted to take some level of precautions (or did they? why go into a closet? I don’t see how that affords safety… maybe just keeps others from seeing what you’re doing). But they forgot at least two key things:

1. How to properly unload a semi-automatic handgun.

You first remove the magazine. You then pull the slide all the way back and LOCK it back. You then check the magazine well to ensure it is empty. You then check the chamber to ensure it is empty; check it visually, check it tactilely . In this case, you had multiple people in the room; have each of them check as well to verify, verify again, and re-verify yet again.

2. What a safe direction is.

Just because you didn’t see anyone doesn’t mean the direction is safe. Sheet rock, interior doors, none of these things will stop a handgun bullet, as they unfortunately found out. A safe direction considers where the bullet will come to rest — a location you may not be able to see. Click to read more about what is a safe direction.

And yes, we can probably guess a few other rules were violated, such as not keeping your finger off the trigger. I’d also wonder if they were treating the gun as a loaded gun or not — #1 on Col. Cooper’s rule list for a reason.

This is why we have safety rules, to avoid tragedy such as this. Above all things is to ALWAYS keep the gun pointed in a safe direction. Even if every other rule gets violated, if pointed in a safe direction generally the worst you’ll deal with is ringing ears, a hole in the wall, and embarrassment.

I really don’t care how good of a shooter you are. I do care about your ability to handle a gun safely.

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