Man Killed Testing '21-Foot Rule'

Photo via Pixabay

From time to time, there come moments that make me want to reevaluate whether humanity even deserves to remain on this Earth.

Many great things come from our species, but I also see a lot of stupid things too. I have to remind myself of the George Carlin bit, “Think of how stupid the average person is, then remember, half of the people are even dumber.”

That really applied when I read the story of a man killed while he and his buddy decided to test the 21-foot rule.

Spencer Warren told investigators he and Splichal has been debating the “21-foot rule” and were going to see how close Splichal could get to Warren before Warren could fire his gun. Warren says he emptied his .387 revolver but did not fully clear it. When Splichal lunged toward him to test the theory, Warren squeezed the trigger twice, firing 1 round into Splichal’s chest.

Warren was arrested and charged with involuntary manslaughter and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.

I’m going to assume they meant a .357 revolver instead of “.387.”

I’m also going to start by saying that my thoughts and prayers go out to the loved ones of the deceased. It’s a shame something like this happened, and I can only imagine what they’re going through. That said…

What the hell were they doing testing this with a freaking live weapon? What kind of moron does something like that?

Look, I get curiosity. I think it serves us well not to take every “rule” as gospel and to maintain a bit of skepticism until we see something like that for ourselves. Yes, even the 21-foot rule.

However, the basic rules for firearm safety alone should tell you that something like this is a bad idea. At best, you use training weapons or airsoft guns — things where any injury is likely to be minor. You don’t use a real damn firearm.

“Oh, but he thought it was unloaded.”

No, the only thing unloaded was his mental capacity. Rule one is to always treat a firearm as if it’s loaded. That rule exists explicitly to prevent crap like this from happening. If you follow those rules, you don’t end up shooting your buddy while trying to test a rule that’s been tested before by people who know how to test these things. They’ve videoed it so you can watch it, for crying out loud.

Now, two lives are destroyed due to stupidity. One is ended, and another will likely land a man in prison.

So how did that testing go? Well, they successfully proved the Four Rules are still a good idea.

You know, the kind of thing anyone could have told them without shooting someone in the chest.

Honestly, I’m furious over this kind of thing. Right now, we’re fighting for our right to keep and bear arms. There are people who want to strip us of that right, and we counter their efforts by arguing that responsible gun owners shouldn’t be punished for the actions of criminals. So what do we get? These two giving ammunition to the other side for them to claim we’re not all that responsible.