Saturday, May 2, 2009

Accidents Don't Happen

Stupid does.

Accidents are a by-product of stupid.

Thankfully, no accident happened this time. Because I was stupid.

Dangerously stupid.

Last weekend I took Lefty out to the range to punch some holes and re-do the sight settings on Beauty. Everything went very well. Lefty is an excellent shot and likes to shoot Beauty. Other than a couple of hot cases on bare skin, no problems.

After shooting our last rounds we decided to pack up. The range went cold. Red Lights lit. Magazine out and action locked open, rifle on the table on its bipod.

We collect our used targets and return to the line and police our brass. I opened the rifle case behind the red line and started to put away the accessories. So we are all behind the line and I am below the table cleaning up. I put the magazines away, and the unopened ammo, the sand bag and scope.

Without thinking about the range condition, I reached up and grabbed Beauty by the butt and began to lift it to put it away when another shooter yelled at me.

Like I would have done in the same situation to another person.

I immediately set it back down and thanked the other shooter for calling me out. I apologized to the guys on the line, and to the RSO (who didn't see it).

Even though I KNEW the gun was empty and I KNEW that I was done and I KNEW that the ammo was already put away, it was still STUPID of me to touch the gun. And I KNEW that, too. Red light ON, no contact with the weapons. Period.

I know the rules. I broke the rules.

In front of my daughter.

A moment's distraction is all it takes. I know better and I still broke a safety rule. Don't let it happen to you. The rules are there to keep people alive.

To the shooter who called me out on the rules, thank you again. I wish that everybody on the line would have had the same level of diligence as you did. If I ever meet you again, I owe you a beer. Or two.

Remember, accidents don't happen. Stupid does.

Stay smart.



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