Firearm Safety Rule #1 — Assume the Firearm is LOADED!

There's a reason we assume a firearm is loaded... until we prove otherwise. It's the only safe approach to dealing with firearms. Ignoring this Prime Directive of firearms safety can have some pretty drastic consequences, as one Quebec man learned today.

An unnamed man accidentally shot himself in the face about 9:30am, according to this CNews report.

He’s very lucky to be alive.

He’s obviously suffered some major damage, but that he didn’t actually kill himself is truly a miracle, and one we can be grateful for.

Apparently the rifle had been put away loaded back in December, and when the man was cleaning it, he managed somehow to pull the trigger, firing the rifle round through his face, but somehow managing to not kill instantly.

Sadly, that’s what usually happens in cases like this, where someone is cleaning a firearm and they don’t realize it’s loaded.

Firearms are great tools.  They’re also very effective at what they do.  Negligent discharges, like this one, generally don’t leave you the opportunity to learn from your mistake.

Although the police are calling it an accidental discharge, you’ll never hear me call it that.

Why not?

Because it’s NOT an accident.  The firearm was loaded.  The man in control of the firearm failed to perform the most basic firearm safety checks to ensure his own safety, and the safety of anyone near him.

That’s negligence.

It will happen to pretty much every firearm owner at one time in their life or another.  Usually it’s a case of not paying close enough attention to your trigger finger, and you inadvertently discharge your firearm when you don’t intend to.   At worst, you’ve got to clean your shorts, if you get my drift.

But sometimes, like in this case, you come close to killing yourself.

It’s a wakeup call for all of us firearm owners… PAY ATTENTION when you’re handling your firearms.  It only takes five seconds to make sure it’s not loaded.

That five seconds can mean life or death… or in this case, serious injury.  Not to mention an embarrassing one.

On the bright side, at least he’s still alive so he can feel that embarrassment!  And for that, I am grateful.

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