I hate returning to topics over and over, but in this case I refuse to apologize because the top of safe firearms management is just too critical.

In “All Guns Are Always Loaded” I presented a case where carelessness at an Old West Gunfight show nearly caused a tragedy, and I presented the following:

MM – Standard procedure for most Police departments conducting training exercises involving firearms require EVERY participant to inspect EVERY gun prior to the start of training.
Most cases of accidental shootings during training are a result of this practice not being followed, and the results are usually tragic. 

The foregoing statement was based on my own training, and much of the training materials I have studied since. In the initial article I presented this case to make my point:

Officer Killed in Arlington Texas

Now we have another case that illustrates the very same point:

Civilian Killed Accidentally in Police Training

I agree with   on his position “This is the consequence of hiring cops who aren’t “gun people.”

When my academy class was preparing for firearms qualification, one cadet appeared for weapon inspection carrying a brand new S&W 9mm that had been purchased on the way to the meeting. When we got to the range the following day, this cadet stepped to the line with 12 other cadets. The drill was simple. Place 2 shots in the chest area of a human silhouette target at a range of 1 yard from low ready. (That’s pistol pointed at the ground in front of the shooter at an angle of approximately 45 degrees.)

Yep, 3 whole feet.

The cadet in question closed her eyes and fired. The first round went into the railroad tie that made up the lower part of the backstop beneath the target. The second round was fired after she jerked her arms to approximately 45 degrees above horizontal sending the bullet over the target, the berm behind the target, and probably over the length of the Elm Fork Country Club gold course that backed up to the shooting range.

At this point she opened her eyes and turned to her right, “Did I hit it?” Yes, she swept the entire line of shooters with her muzzle in the process. Fortunately the instructors arrived almost immediately, disarmed her, and escorted her politely off the range while “politely” suggesting she look into another profession.

I never made it into law enforcement, but I hold a CHL, I am a hobbyist, author, and I work in a business that deals in firearms. I come into contact with guns every day. Everyone who handles firearms in a professional capacity (“professional” meaning someone paid to to do this) MUST, MUST, MUST educate themselves on the tools of the trade.

Lives depend on our skill, care, and knowledge. Please get the best training you can afford. Invest in yourself, it may save a life.