Not trying to pick on you, Grump, a few people said something like this.
I totally reject the idea that a negligent discharge is inevitable. You're dealing with a deadly object. If a person's job is to handle dynamite or haul fuel, I don't consider accidental explosions or spills inevitable. Observing proper safety precautions it's possible - in fact, should be the norm - to never have any sort of ND.
Been shooting for about 19 years now, few tens of thousands of rounds fired, about 60-70 guns fired, from muzzle loaders to revolvers to shotguns to semi pistols to full auto P90 and MP5. No NDs, knock on wood, through scrupulous observance of safety rules. I realize I've barely started compared to some of you, but I think I'll get through the next 19 without an ND too.
An adult with a professional attitude toward his guns should never laugh off an ND or consider it inevitable. Rest assured the civil court system will not agree.
Go ahead and pick, I was shooting for 20 years before you was born unless you were a late starter and the first 20 years I had no accidental or negligent discharges and then wham, it happens. Only safety that works is the one between your ears. No matter how many times you handle a weapon someday there will be an oops moment.
You learn. you pray nothing bad happens and if you were otherwise safe and didn't shoot your favorite beer mug or your mother in law in the tush you can relax, have a nervous giggle and know that you won't do that stupid thing again unless you are a real idiot.
I know people who lost their TV sets and have quick draw scars on their legs, they are not people I want walking behind me in the woods and are not invited to shoot on my land. A man who makes a mistake, admits a mistake and his otherwise safe habits prevented a tragedy is a man who won't make that mistake again and I will be happy to shoot with him. Only time I am dead bone super critical about safe gun handling is when I am on the firing line or running the firing line. Put a hole in the wrong target I will laugh, put a hole in my shooting bench and I will get a bit owly but sweep somebody with a gun barrel or handle a firearm when somebody is down range will get me on your neck big time and you won't be shooting again on that range.
It's a big club like I said and most of us are in it. Those who are not in it are not in it yet or are lying so never say never.
Be careful out there but don't take things so seriously or you will have a very miserable life.