There’s an awful lot of stupid that flows around on social media. It’s really not that hard to imagine why, either. After all, you have a fairly representative population of society as a whole on there, but with the ability to magnify each other’s opinions to the point that the truly brilliant and the truly dumb are able to be spotlighted like never before in human history.

Most of the time, the dumb is pretty well self-contained, but there are moments when it’s not.

Most of the time, the only ones impacted by the stupidity directly are the stupid people themselves. They might inspire other stupid people, sure, but they tend to shoot themselves or have someone else shoot them so even many of the dumb people see it and think, “No, that’s a bad idea.”

Yet there’s a post floating around social media that is generally mocked, but some might actually take seriously, so I thought I’d address it.

Protip: if you own a gun over a year without NDing (negligent discharge) at least once, you aren’t handling it enough. NDs are a natural part of handling weapons, just like tweaking your back is part of weightlifting and car accidents are part of driving. I ND several times a year because I actually HANDLE and know how to USE my weapons. It makes me a better firearms handler and marksman, and it’s a small part of the price you pay in the sheepdog lifestyle

Simple fact is, the “safety mentality” will build mental blocks in your head that will get you killed. You need to be comfortable putting your finger on the trigger and pointing the gun wherever you want no matter the time, place, or status of the weapon. Taking time to check whether the gun is loaded whenever you pick one up will serve to make you hesitate in a personal defense scenario. You safety idiots are going to get people killed all because of this “ND” shaming. Guns are inherently dangerous, you need to accept it.

Now, I’d like to believe this is a parody. I really would.

Unfortunately, in this day and age, there are people who would see this and accept it. Especially as it touches on just enough reality that it can easily confuse the uninitiated.

And with so many new gun owners running around, now is probably not the best time to confuse them.

So, with those people in mind, allow me to address this point by point.

Protip: if you own a gun over a year without NDing (negligent discharge) at least once, you aren’t handling it enough.

Actual pros think you’re a freaking idiot. While negligent discharges happen, they’re not some market that you should pride yourself on. They’re not a sign that you’re handling your firearm enough. They’re a sign that you’re unsafe and that it’s only a matter of time before you kill someone.

NDs are a natural part of handling weapons, just like tweaking your back is part of weightlifting and car accidents are part of driving.

Negligent discharges are a fairly common occurrence, enough that some might consider them “natural.” And yes, going back to the whole “protip” thing, many professionals have negligent discharges.

However, what happens is that because of that familiarity, they become complacent. That complacency leads to a negligent discharge. It’s not a good thing.

Of course, the fact that they also think tweaking your back is a natural part of lifting weights and car accidents are a natural part of driving is one reason I think this was meant as satire.

Moving on, though:

I ND several times a year because I actually HANDLE and know how to USE my weapons.

Thank you for confirming you’re a complete and total idiot.

For the record, I actually handle and know how to use my weapons too. I don’t have negligent discharges several times a year. Again, because I’m careful. I’d prefer not to put extra holes in my walls.

It makes me a better firearms handler and marksman, and it’s a small part of the price you pay in the sheepdog lifestyle.

And this is why so many people are actively sick of the whole “sheepdog” thing. It’s not that some people consider themselves sheepdogs, but that so many in the gun community are complete idiots and throw around the term while also being morons. Case in point.

Further, there’s no evidence it would make anyone a better firearms handler and marksman except if a negligent discharge teaches you what not to do. If you’re having several a year, though, you’re clearly not getting the lesson.

Simple fact is, the “safety mentality” will build mental blocks in your head that will get you killed.

Really? I guess that’s why the military and law enforcement just completely ignore safety in their training, right? Right?

Oh, wait. They don’t.

See, this is one of those points that touch on just enough truth to trip someone up. Training improperly can build mental blocks that may cause problems in an actual fight. Safety, however, is unlikely to be one of them.

Sure, being told not to point guns at people can make people reluctant to point a gun at a bad guy, but the rule is generally given as “do not point your weapon at anything you don’t intend to destroy.” That includes bad people looking to do bad things to good people.

In fact, one thing we haven’t seen in years of following self-defense shootings and violent crime are people who die because they can’t put their finger on the trigger when a person is in their sights.

You need to be comfortable putting your finger on the trigger and pointing the gun wherever you want no matter the time, place, or status of the weapon.

You first. Point it at your wife or kids and put the finger on the trigger and be perfectly comfortable. I dare you.

Only, I don’t. You’ll probably get them killed with your “several” negligent discharges a year butt.

Honestly, this is beyond stupid. Now, I’m not saying to never to put your finger on the trigger. Hell, I’m a big believer in dry firing as part of my training, which requires a finger on the trigger. However, I also religiously check to make sure my chamber is empty and still point it in as safe a direction as possible should something happen.

Look, there’s some validity to being comfortable putting your finger on the trigger at certain times, but there’s nothing wrong with being uncomfortable at others.

Taking time to check whether the gun is loaded whenever you pick one up will serve to make you hesitate in a personal defense scenario.

I’d say I feel attacked, but I don’t. Anyone who buys this nonsense is literally too stupid for me to take seriously.

After all, we decades upon decades of data showing people with firearms in military and civilian contexts. Guess what we don’t see? Like, at all?

That’s because the way most people train doesn’t have them checking a chamber every time they draw a weapon with the intent to fire it.

Checking a chamber when you pick up a firearm isn’t just a safety thing, either. It makes tactical sense. After all, you need to make sure there’s a round in the chamber before holstering your weapon for the day, right? Saying you shouldn’t do it because it could cause a problem in a fight ignores the potential for having an empty weapon.

No, it’s not likely, but it’s far more likely than you simply forgetting you’re in a gunfight and checking the chamber first.

You safety idiots are going to get people killed all because of this “ND” shaming.

Citation needed. Especially since we have evidence of people being killed due to negligent discharges, but none for people dying because they were “too safe” with a firearm.

Guns are inherently dangerous, you need to accept it.

Oh, but we do. That’s why we have safety rules. They exist to help mitigate the risk. In that way, it’s no different than table saws, cranes, or cars. All are inherently dangerous, so we create rules to mitigate the risk.

Pretending you’re doing something stupid by not needlessly putting human lives at risk isn’t edgy or clever. It doesn’t mean your tactical Jesus either. It means you’re a moron who probably has their phone set to remind them to breathe occasionally because they’re too stupid to do it on their own.

Again, this might be a parody, but it’s irresponsible parody if it is. There are some who will see this and think it’s legitimate. Others will see this and use it to justify their unsafe behavior.

The problem is, we can’t just allow things like this to go unanswered. If we do, others will take that silence as approval when no one should approve of this knuckle-dragging stupidity.

Look, if you want to ignore me and follow this advice, then please do me a favor. Make it so the only life you take with your stupidity is your own. I’d rather no one gets hurt, but if you’re bound and determined to believe your irresponsible behavior somehow makes you a badass, then let’s at least home no one else has to pay for your stupidity.