AP Photo/ Rick Bowmer
In this tense political environment, it’s important that anyone who supports gun rights does things correctly every step of the way. We can’t afford to be stupid, and that doesn’t just apply to politics. We have to be careful in our handling of firearms. After all, don’t a lot of our arguments hinge on the idea of responsible gun ownership?
Now, let’s be fair. The vast majority of gun owners are responsible. If they weren’t, we’d have a real problem in this country since we’ve got more guns than people (and it’s glorious). The fact that we don’t tells us that most gun owners aren’t stupid.
Anti-gunners, however, think we are. They think we need to undergo professional training before we’re permitted to exercise fundamental human rights like the right to keep and bear arms.
But what happens when the person being stupid is the one charged with training folks?
A Riverside, California man attending a firearms training class to get his concealed weapons permit was accidentally shot by a Riverside County Sheriff’s Department trainer, the department told The Desert Sun.
On Aug. 10, the man, identified only as a civilian, was participating in a course at the Ben Clark Training Center’s gun range in Riverside.
According to a department news release issued in response to questions from The Desert Sun, gun range staff inspect students’ firearms during the course and students are instructed to unload their guns.
During the inspection, the range staff member — a civilian instructor the department did not identify — administered a “trigger pull test” and shot the student in the leg. Range staff initially treated the injured man.
“Paramedics arrived and the citizen was transported to a local hospital where he received treatment for a non-life-threatening wound,” according to the department’s statement.
I saw this story for the first time over the weekend and was scratching my head, trying to figure out what the hell a “trigger pull test” is.
One of the basic rules of firearm safety is that you never even put your finger on the trigger unless you’re ready to fire. Granted, if you have a Glock, you break that rule every time you take down your weapon for cleaning. You also “break” it if you do dry-fire practice, but the point remains. You don’t put your finger on the trigger for funsies.
You also make sure your weapon isn’t pointing at anything you aren’t prepared to shoot. That includes your students, for the record.
So, for the life of me, I can’t figure out what a “trigger pull test” is in a context like this. I know the FBI has used something that went by that name in the past, which is a possibility, but stupid if it is since it’s unnecessary for citizens carrying a firearm. There are also “trigger pull tests” when evaluating firearms, but again, that doesn’t apply.
Regardless of whatever it was, the instructor still screwed the pooch by not maintaining good muzzle discipline.
Folks, if you’re in a class like this and the instructor is acting this stupid, call them on it. It’s creating an unsafe environment, and while the instructor may not like it, they’ll get over it. Not to sound cliche here, but safety on the range is everyone’s job. If the instructor is botching it, call them on it. If they’re a decent sort, they’ll appreciate it. If they’re not, well, file a complaint with whoever certified them to be a concealed carry instructor.
If it’s a general firearms class, leave if you must. Whatever you paid for the class is a drop in the bucket compared to the medical expenses if you get shot because of their stupidity.
With that said, I’d be remiss not to point out these mistakes don’t happen in “Shall Issue” states, by and large. You can’t get shot in concealed carry weapon training if you don’t require it.
I’m just saying.