Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Preventable Tragedies

Of all the tragic events that occur daily, can any be more tragic than the death of a child?  There is one.  The death of a child that could have been prevented.

Now I’m not hitting you up for money.  I am hitting you up to think things through a little more carefully, especially if you carry a gun. 

Rachel Yoder was 15 years old and she was driving her buggy home from a Christmas party at the produce shop she worked at.  Her family found her bleeding on the ground outside her house.  First thought to be a victim of a head injury, doctors at Akron City Hospital discovered a gunshot wound.  Rachel died December 16, 2011.

Police followed the blood trail to the intersection of Country Road 229 and Township Road 614.  There were no witnesses, no evidence, just a dead girl in a hospital bed.

By 20 Dec 2011, the police had a suspect.  This wanker apparently pointed his muzzle loader into the air and unloaded it by firing it.  Now firing a muzzle loader to unload it at the end of a day’s hunt prior to cleaning is not unusual.

“I shot a bullet into the air, it fell to earth I knew not where.”  Apologies to H.W. Longfellow. 

Did this wanker think the bullet would just evaporate?  Didn’t he ever hear of the expression what goes up, must come down?

Rachel was almost 1.5 miles away.  One-and-a-half miles.

I don’t know if there will be charges.  I think there should be.  Firing a gun into the air with no apparent safe impact zone is, in my opinion, gross negligence.

This is where you’re going to disagree with me.  

The NRA says a .22 LR will go over 2 miles.  An AD during your survival gun fight may kill someone a distance away.  Killing people you didn't mean to shoot is a good way to get set up for a gang banging in jail.

Pointing a gun up into the air and over the berm during a slide lock reload is almost as negligent as discharging a gun into space with no particular target in mind.

I don’t care what your department says.  I don’t care what the professional trainer says, having an AD during a slide lock reload is more than just possible.  All it takes is a finger in the wrong place, a gun that’s a little worn, a speck of dirt or metal shavings in the wrong place, and an AD will occur.

The odds that a person would be in the wrong place 1.5 miles away and intersect a random discharge are too big to have any meaning, but it happened.

Every professional firearms trainer knows they have to keep up with current thought as well as develop a hook for their continued employment.  It’s a tough business.  Training dollars can be scarce.  Many of our techniques come from the shooting sports and the look-through-the-trigger-guard reload sounds like one of them. 
Yes, you can see where the cardboard targets have moved to during your reload so you know what to shoot.  But in a real fight why would you have your head sticking out from behind cover, rubber necking about during a reload?  No cover?  Why are you standing still, reloading?  MOVE!!  Moving targets are much harder to hit.

During a reload I think your gun should be pointed at the object (person, steel, cardboard) you are trying to shoot.  Bring the gun up to eye level if you need to peek around cover to keep track of people trying to kill you. 

Don’t let someone with a photographer’s vest sell you his newest snake oil.  Let someone else be the poster child for bad ju-ju.

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