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Old August 12, 2013, 08:18 PM   #1
Garycw
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Gun safety instructor shoots student

This is just amazing ! I realize accidents can happen BUT, an instructor teaching gun safety accidentally discharging a 38 in the classroom ?
Said he didn't know it was loaded. Isn't this the very basic first rule when handling any firearm ?
Here's a link to the news story

http://www.lex18.com/news/instructor...n-safety-class
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Old August 12, 2013, 08:36 PM   #2
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It can happen very easily, which is why civilian instructors up here use deactivated firearms in their classes; that still doesn't stop things like the following from happening: http://www.ottawasun.com/2013/08/08/...aining-session In this case, a police trainer forgot that he had swapped out his red "training" Glock for a live pistol, and fired a shot into a neighboring classroom.
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Old August 12, 2013, 08:39 PM   #3
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To me, this just emphasizes how important the four safety rules are. People in the firearms industry who handle guns all day, every day, can get complacent: We become used to knowing if a gun is loaded before we even check it. But, as the story shows, sometimes we're surprised by a loaded gun that we thought was unloaded.

This is why safety should become automatic until it's second nature. Luckily, every time I've ever been surprised by a gun I though was unloaded, I was in the process of clearing it. Now I'm no longer surprised; when a customer hands me a gun they say is unloaded and I drop the mag, rack the slide, and a live round pops out, it doesn't even phase me.

I'll bet the instructor in this case is mortified because he knows all too well that he violated the first rule of firearms safety.
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Old August 12, 2013, 09:06 PM   #4
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I know that I have found myself getting complacent at times. Especially when I take my CCW in and out at home. Have to really realize what you are doing and fight that part of your habits.

I do find it a little ironic based on the setting though. Too bad...
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Old August 12, 2013, 10:09 PM   #5
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It's not the first time, and it won't be the last. There are two things to bear in mind here.

The first is complacency. I know more instructors and competitive shooters who've had ND's than any other segment of the population. In fact, that small group has had more than everybody else put together. Every story comes back to "it was a split-second lapse."

The second is the importance of knowing how to treat trauma. Many larger cities have security companies or instructors who teach the basics.
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Old August 12, 2013, 10:29 PM   #6
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Here in MN this spring we had another Negligent discharge of a firearm in a youth firearms safety class, again! This time with a handgun.
Every instructor in the state is getting re-instructed that chamber flags are mandatory with every firearm in classroom.
A length of heavy weedwhip line is allowed in place of a commercial one.
Dummy ammunition is also in that re-instruction.
I am still waiting to hear what became of the advisory panels that were conducted this spring throughout the State.
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Old August 12, 2013, 10:50 PM   #7
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Wife and I took our CCW course from this guy a few years ago. I'm just surprised it didn't happen sooner, as he displayed some of the worst gun handling I've ever seen, and I've seen plenty bad. During one lecture part of the course, while standing at the front of the room, he pulled several handguns he had concealed on his person out to demonstrate ... I still don't know what. How cool he was ( a recurring theme) maybe? He swept the entire class with his muzzle numerous times. I wouldn't be surprised if this is where the negligent discharge occurred.

During the first gun handling session of the course, he and his assistant instructors (two county deputies when I was in the class) have the students clear their weapons, then stand in a circle and then dry fire at the instructors (with other students in background, of course) so they can check student's trigger control. I almost, and should have, walked out a few times. Personally, I hope this ends his operation.
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Old August 12, 2013, 11:01 PM   #8
AL45
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Just today, I heard about a former Hunter's Safety instructor who had the brilliant idea to pop a cap on a muzzleloader, in the classroom, so the students could hear what it sounds like. His fellow instructor had brought the muzzleloader and neither one checked to see if it was loaded. It was, and luckily it was the ceiling that wound up with a hole and not someone's head.
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Old August 12, 2013, 11:09 PM   #9
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This is why one of the cardinal rules (for instructors) is "NO LIVE AMMO IN THE CLASSROOM."

Period!

I use blue guns for a majority of my instructional purposes, but for some parts you want a "real" gun so you can show how this little thingie here moves that little thingie there, and then that little thingie hits this other thingie and the gun goes bang.

For a single action revolver, I use a black powder replica of a Colt. I have a loose cylinder to show loading (dummy) cartridges. For now, at least, for a DA revolver I use a Taurus chambered in .327 Magnum -- it's highly unlikely (albeit admittedly possible) that a student who ignores the "NO LIVE AMMO IN THE CLASSROOM" admonition will have any of those stuffed in his pocket. For a semi-auto I use a 1911, and I have one of those yellow plastic training barrels for it.

I still need to find a DA/SA semi-auto in some obscure caliber -- or just buy a cheap one and sabotage the firing pin.

There was a case a few years ago in which a veteran police firearms instructor shot one of his trainees because he got complacent and violated his own "NO LIVE AMMO IN THE CLASSROOM" rule. And another where two trainees left class for lunch, loaded up with live ammo when they left the classroom, and forgot to unload when they came back. The next exercise involved pointing the weapon at a partner and pulling the trigger. Oops ...
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Old August 12, 2013, 11:42 PM   #10
ClydeFrog
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Orlando FL....

A NRA firearm instructor shot a student in the side of the leg.
The event took place in metro Orlando Florida about 4 years ago.
I agree that all safety and SOPs should be followed in a class environment.
Instructor & sworn LE officer Massad Ayoob wrote in the past that he would require students tape off the muzzle of their weapons & mag wells to prevent mishaps.

LE officers have tragic mistakes too. I read a item of 2 police officers in San Diego CA who had a ND. A Sgt wanted to show a patrol officer a tactical reloading drill & SHOT the cop by mistake. This event was around 2 years back.

Clyde
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Old August 13, 2013, 08:23 AM   #11
Gbro
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Quote:
AL45
Just today, I heard about a former Hunter's Safety instructor who had the brilliant idea to pop a cap on a muzzleloader, in the classroom, so the students could hear what it sounds like. His fellow instructor had brought the muzzleloader and neither one checked to see if it was loaded. It was, and luckily it was the ceiling that wound up with a hole and not someone's head.
Back when I was an assistant instructor (Youth Program) we had a parent bring a Cap Lock to class and when I checked it with the ram rod I determined it to be loaded. The owner claimed it wasn't. I won, he left with his loaded rifle as it wasn't coming into our classroom.
A number of years later while shooting muzzle loaders with a co-worker at the range I was showing him the snap a cap to clear the nipple after cleaning/storing etc. Well there was no gas movement out of the barrel when i snapped the 1st cap and when i snapped the second one, well, Ahh, Errr, well there was more movement than I was expecting!
I had stored it in the legally unloaded condition and then thinking it was fully unloaded the next year, and didn't run the rod down the barrel at the range.
Very humbling experience
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Old August 13, 2013, 09:58 AM   #12
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It is is a very bad for business when you shoot your paying clients.
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Old August 13, 2013, 10:52 AM   #13
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Yes, it is that simple.

Quote:
This is why one of the cardinal rules (for instructors) is "NO LIVE AMMO IN THE CLASSROOM."
Whenever I teach in a classroom environment, either M/L's or modern, I have no live ammo but do bring a good supply of Dummies and empty powder cans. I do bring M/L primers; the hot ones stay in the tins and we only handle the deactivated ones.. ...

On one occasion, during our field day, it rained and taught this M/L class, inside. Sadly the live firing was omitted. The sponsor suggested that I load on round and discharge it out the back deck. I just shook my head and taught the class. ....

Be Safe !!!
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Old August 13, 2013, 02:04 PM   #14
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This really bothers me.

I don't mean to sound like an anti gun guy here but if all these folks with LOTS and LOTS of experience have these problems what chance does the average Joe (me) have of NOT having an accident?
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Old August 13, 2013, 02:26 PM   #15
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The instructors of the classes that run at my range have a rule of not even using dummy guns in the class room, or club house. There is an area where dummy guns are used, and all safty rules are followed. When dummy guns are out instructors, and students are not allowed to have thier carry guns, or any other guns in the area. Any demonstrations of real guns happens on a cleared range.

I almost though that those rules were overboard for insurance reasons. It is when I see incidents like this on the news that I not only understand those rules. I totaly agree with them.

Safety comes before everthing else.
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Old August 13, 2013, 03:15 PM   #16
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simunition guns, ASP, Blackhawk, Ring....

I agree that dummy or demo firearms can be used in most classes & cases but some cadre or gun instructors are either reluctant or cheap or both to buy safety orange guns/ASP duty guns for training.
I've done re-quals with a few "hammer-heads" who think every student is a ACE commando or SEAL. They are not!
Some teachers and class cadre get frustrated & want to speed things up. That's when safety & range ADs occur.
Firearm & tactical skill training is a slow, involved process.
Class teachers need to be a + role model & lead by example. If they can't be safe or run the program correctly then they shouldn't do it.
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Old August 13, 2013, 03:36 PM   #17
Brian Pfleuger
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I find these incidents disturbing simply because they happen but more so because of the way that folks seem to think they can be prevented... more rules.

All guns are always loaded. Period.

That really ought to be the only rule we need, right?

The "other 3" flow from common sense application of that rule. It turns out that "common sense" wasn't quite useful enough, so the "other 3" had to be codified.

Always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction. Why? Because all guns are always loaded.

Always keep your finger off the trigger unless you are aiming/pointed at a target that you are willing to destroy. Why? Because all guns are always loaded.

Always be sure of your target (really, that you are willing to destroy your target) and what is beyond your target (be sure that you are willing to destroy whatever is a reasonable distance/angle beyond your target). Why? Because all guns are always loaded. Not because you are intentionally shooting something but because you are intentionally PULLING THE TRIGGER. Doesn't matter WHY you're pulling the trigger. Demonstrations, unloading, dry-fire, you're intending to pull the trigger and the gun is loaded. Why? All guns are always loaded.

So, the obviousness of Rule #1 wasn't enough so we made 2, 3 and 4.

Those rules aren't enough, so we want to make more.

Why do we think THOSE rules are enough? You already can't possibly shoot someone without violating AT LEAST THREE rules. What good is the 5th, 6th, 7th?
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Old August 13, 2013, 03:44 PM   #18
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Not an average Joe !!

Quote:
I don't mean to sound like an anti gun guy here but if all these folks with LOTS and LOTS of experience have these problems what chance does the average Joe (me) have of NOT having an accident?
Well, consider yourself ahead of the game as too many folks have not come to the same realization as you. I like the way you think. .....

When teaching Hunter Safety, I often have to remind myself not to relate to too many horror stories as I don't want to scare the students. I want to keep it positive and yet make them aware of what can happen. .....

Be Aware and;
Be Safe !!!
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Old August 13, 2013, 03:45 PM   #19
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Please let that be the last firearms instructing that 76-yr-old ever does... Reminds me of when my 87-yr-old father lurched his Buick forward (instead of the intended reverse) into his woodshop. He stopped all driving after that and I breathed a lot easier.
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Old August 13, 2013, 04:34 PM   #20
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Dale,

ANY profession suffers from errors -surgery, rocketry...I was ready to send a pistol in for repair because the thing stopped firing....turned out I got my ammo boxes confused and was loading .380 in a 9mm.

The most we can do is have the procedures in place to minimize errors as much as possible.
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Old August 13, 2013, 04:54 PM   #21
Garycw
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Gun safety instructor shoots student

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaleA View Post
This really bothers me.

I don't mean to sound like an anti gun guy here but if all these folks with LOTS and LOTS of experience have these problems what chance does the average Joe (me) have of NOT having an accident?
Not having a accident is easy.. Follow all common sense safety precautions. Obviously this guy didn't and should be banned from all future class instruction as a professional. IMO Accidents can happen as in out hunting or something, but a controlled environment like a classroom isn't one of them. Especially a gun safety course.
I was surprised that a newsletter I got from buckeye firearms today had no mention about this incident?
As for treating all guns as if they are loaded, is easy for me because mine are.
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Old August 13, 2013, 05:03 PM   #22
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I think there are enough rules, but not everybody understands fully enough where each rule came from and what it means. For example, I never was comfortable with quoting the rule "always keep it pointed in a safe direction" without going into details like the fact that no matter where you are, there are people who will walk right in front of it and it's your responsibility not to let it get pointed at them. What is a "safe direction"? Up? Down? Left? Right? Depends a lot on where you are, doesn't it? Not everybody just takes to gun safety naturally. Most are capable of figuring it out, if their instructor gives them enough to work with.
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Old August 13, 2013, 05:18 PM   #23
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Quote:
Please let that be the last firearms instructing that 76-yr-old ever does... Reminds me of when my 87-yr-old father lurched his Buick forward (instead of the intended reverse) into his woodshop. He stopped all driving after that and I breathed a lot easier.
You have assumed without any other evidence that the cause of the problem was age-related. Why not blame it on the fact that the guy was male? After all, these things seem to happen more with males than females, right?

In 2010, the NRA instructor that shot a student in Florida was just 32 years of age.
http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/...tions-director

-----------------------------

This incident happened here in Texas. The age and sex of the instructor are not stated, however.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/0...n_2781762.html

----------------------------

Another incident in Texas where one instructor shot another one multiple times, not from an ND, but failure to follow basic range safety rules.
http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...highlight=tdsa

The shooter is/was not anywhere near retirement of mental senility.

------------------------------
http://www.wbal.com/article/98600/2/...ainee-Shooting

46 year old instructor Kern shot a cadet in the head in Maryland
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Old August 13, 2013, 07:08 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SDC
In this case, a police trainer forgot that he had swapped out his red "training" Glock for a live pistol, and fired a shot into a neighboring classroom.
I am officially color-deficient, and even I can tell the difference between red and black.
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Old August 13, 2013, 07:30 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Pfleuger
So, the obviousness of Rule #1 wasn't enough so we made 2, 3 and 4.

Those rules aren't enough, so we want to make more.

Why do we think THOSE rules are enough? You already can't possibly shoot someone without violating AT LEAST THREE rules. What good is the 5th, 6th, 7th?
You are right, of course, but there are classes, and then there are classes. I don't teach advanced tactical shootouts with bad guys at Thunder Ranch, I teach mostly NRA Basic Pistol, to people who are just setting out to get a carry license. Some may have shot before (usually a rifle rather than a handgun, but most have not shot before. many have never even held a gun before.

Of course, the NRA doesn't teach Cooper's four rules, the NRA teaches the NRA's three rules, plus ten (or so) sub-rules. But ... I'm teaching the NRA's course so I teach the NRA's rules. Either way, though, by the time you get past Rule #2 you can see that you've already lost some of the class. It isn't that they aren't listening, and it isn't that they aren't trying ... it's just that they don't really "get it" at a core level. And one class isn't likely to fully hammer it into their heads.

IMHO the worst of the worst are the young studs who just got out of the military and think they know everything. If there's anyone in a class whose going to have a live 9mm or .45 ACP round in his pocket, and just HAS to try it in a gun you pass around, it's going to be one of these hot-shots. THEY know how to shoot, so the rules don't apply to them. They aren't there to learn, they're only there to get their piece of paper so they can take it to the state and apply for the license.

It warms the cockles of my black l'il heart when one of these clowns comes with his significant other, who has never held a handgun (or any gun) before, and she outshoots him on the live fire portion of the class.

But ... I digress. I suppose I'm being illogical, but I don't see a "NO AMMO IN THE CLASSROOM" rule as being "another" rule. It's not one that needs to be remembered and practiced by the students every day. It's a one-time rule that the instructor remembers FOR the students, and promulgates through course announcements, signs at the door, and an announcement at the beginning of the class. (And, yes, even after all that, there will inevitably be that one clown who keeps his live round and can't resist seeing how it fits in the gun that's being passed around.)

Back to my basic point (before I lose sight of it forever): The four rules (or the NRA's 3+10 rules) are enough, IF the student can remember them and grasp them. That's actually asking a lot from people who are new to guns, and are somewhat intimidated by just being in a room in close proximity to guns. So we (as instructors, or coaches, or whatever) need to remember that rookies ARE rookies, that they DON'T know the rules cold, and that they need coaching to ease them into feeling comfortable with handling guns while remembering the four rules.
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