Negative Outcomes: Self-Inflicted Gunshot Wounds (Part I)

This is the second installment of my Negative Outcomes series. I’ve already been taken to task for commenting about imprecise language and I understand where he’s coming from. The fact of the matter is, however, that we, in the instructional community, take a lot of our subject matter knowledge for granted.

Frequently, I hear comments to the effect that NRA courses go too much into depth about things like the individual components of ammunition, etc. I disagree with that completely. The influx of new gunowners requires that we educate them thoroughly. Many of the new owners have never operated any hand held device more complicated than an electric toothbrush.

As I commented to a student last night, I previously had a student in a class who was using a Sig pistol. He had owned and been shooting it regularly for almost two years. When I told him to ‘decock,’ he looked at me and said “What does that mean?” He had never used the decocking lever before and didn’t understand what its function was. He was actually a good shot, too. But elements of the pistol’s manual of arms had never been explained to him.

When dealing with deadly weapons, we can leave nothing to chance, including our vocabulary and students’ understanding thereof.

8 responses

  1. The link at the article’s end doesn’t work – the http code behind it is incorrect.

    1. Thanks for the heads up. I’m not sure how that happened but it’s fixed now.

  2. Reblogged this on disturbeddeputy and commented:
    Sure it’s ugly. It would be even uglier if the hand was your own. Think! Practice! Live the safety rules!

  3. Reblogged this on West Coast Shooting Stars and commented:
    I completely agree, and think most gun owners don’t read the manual or learn the mechanics of their gun.

    1. Even when they understand the workings of the gun initially, it’s perishable for new owners. I was introduced to someone at a party who told me “I have a Glock 23 but I’m not sure where it is.” Even if he had gone through the full NRA Basic Pistol program months before, it’s a sure bet that he’s going to ‘re-familiarize’ himself when he finally finds it.

  4. Thank you. You’ve tightened up my shot group with regard to how I explain what “safe gunhandling” is. I will also make certain future students are flat-out warned about the danger inherent to “reacquainting” themselves with a handgun they have not recently handled.

  5. Reblogged this on Women and Guns and commented:
    I always tell my students, “which ever gun you choose, make sure you fully understand how to operate it, and then train regularly with it.” Excellent article with advise that all instructors should follow.

  6. […] set of conditions, the stage is set for bad things to happen. Although ‘bad things’ can include unintentional and negligent gunshot wounds, it doesn’t have to be anything that newsworthy. A fellow NRA Instructor was once asked by a long […]

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