One of the four Cardinal gun safety rules is “Know your target and what is beyond it.” There’s a good reason that rule was established. Consider the foolishness and stupidity of shooting at something you have not identified. Furthermore, if you miss or if the bullet passes through what you’re shooting at, where is the bullet going and what might it hit?

A man in New Jersey doesn’t have a son anymore because of neglecting this basic safety rule. The man shot and killed his son while hunting.

An article on Fox News reports “Dad accidentally shoots adult son to death during hunting trip in New Jersey.” The article states “…Police say the older man mistakenly shot his 45-year-old son in the back of the head. The son later died from his injuries…”

This tragic accident could have easily been avoided. If the father had simply verified what he was looking at before he pulled the trigger, he would have realized what he was about to shoot was the back of his son’s head.

I’m sure you’ve seen me use the phrase “I can’t count the times…” That would apply to stories just like this one. It really amazes me how often I read stories like this. It begs the question “Are there really that many people out there that are that stupid?” I will not apologize for offending anyone with that word. If you will shoot at something you have not positively identified, you’re stupid. It’s just that simple.

How much time and difficulty is involved in visually identifying a target? If you cannot positively say “That’s a deer”, how do you know it’s not a person? But people get shot and killed because some hunter THINKS what he sees is a deer. And a life is taken.

The article states the father “…mistakenly…” shot his son. That is correct. The father did not accidentally shoot his son. There has never been a case of a firearm accidentally discharging by itself. Firearms go off because of operator error, not mechanical failure.

Some would say anyone guilty of such negligence should spend time behind bars. If some idiot killed a member of my family due to stupidity, I would feel the same way. This father, however, wouldn’t need to serve one day of incarceration. He’ll live with what he did every day in the prison of his mind.

I hope I have impressed upon you the importance of verifying what you’re about to shoot at before you pull the trigger. What is beyond your target is just as important also. Once that bullet is fired, there’s no controlling it or stopping it.

You are responsible for safely operating your firearms. If you fail to do so, are you prepared to live in the prison of your mind the rest of your life?




About Jim

Retired from industrial construction and livin' the dream in the mountains of Virginia.
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