Now that that's out of the way it seems like it's time for a quick refresher on Colonel Jeff Cooper's firearms safety rules:
1 - All guns are always loaded. Even if they are not, treat them as if they are.
2 - Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy. (For those who insist that this particular gun is unloaded, see Rule 1.)
3 - Keep your finger off the trigger till your sights are on the target. This is the Golden Rule. Its violation is directly responsible for about 80 percent of inadvertent discharges.
4 - Identify your target, and what is behind it. Never shoot at anything that you have not positively identified.
Other than the video of the Top Gear guys using the terrorist chamber clearing method, why was it time for a refresher? Because the last few days have had even more "idiot shoots himself" and "the gun just went off stories" than usual. What makes me say that?
Examples abound from Minnesota to,Hawaii,California, andGeorgia. And let's not forget the Fullerton, California police officer who accidentally shot himself in the leg. Thanks the thegunwire.com for sourcing the stories.
How do accidents like this happen? I don't even like to call these accidents because, bluntly, there's no good answer other than negligence. Colonel Coopers rules, as well as the NRA safety rules, are so effective that an accidental / negligent discharge can only happen if you break two of the rules at the same time. That's right, it takes two rule violations to cause an accident.
If you assume the gun is unloaded - well, you're an idiot. But as long as you have your finger off the trigger and you are keeping the barrel from flagging anything you aren't willing to destroy then - guess what? No negligent discharge.
If you let the muzzle flag something you aren't willing to destroy - well, you're an even bigger idiot. But as long as you treat the gun as if it's loaded and you keep your finger away from the trigger, guess what? No negligent discharge.
If you have your finger on the trigger when you aren't on target - you're an even bigger idiot. Again, as long as you treat the weapon as if it's loaded and don't put the muzzle on anything you aren't willing to destroy - no negligent discharge.
There are literally dozens of circumstances and everyone can say that there was an extenuating circumstance to their negligent discharge but in reality, it means that at least two of the four basic firearm safety rules were broken at the same time.