I recently happened across the YouTube video below. This video was taken in a classroom and shows a DEA agent who shoots himself in the foot while trying to teach the kids not to play with guns. Ironic? Yes. There are some valuable lessons to learn here though and I recommend you take a minute to watch it.
My first observation is this guy should never be carrying a gun. His gun handling is so careless it really demonstrates a lack of training. Just before he shoots himself, he tells the kids "I'm the only one in this room professional enough to handle a gun." Meanwhile, he breaks all of the rules of safe gun handling! Rule #1 is to always keep your finger off of the trigger until ready to shoot. Guns don't shoot by themselves, they only shoot when the trigger is pulled. If your finger is not on the trigger, you can't accidentally shoot. Rule #2 is always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction (his foot is not safe). A safe direction is one in which you could shoot a bullet and no one and nothing is going to get hurt. There is no safe direction anywhere in that classroom. Because of that, he never should have unholstered his gun (even if he thought it was unloaded). When they get out the rifle at the end, notice it is being pointed right at the guy standing against the wall! This DEA agent is incredibly lucky that he didn't shoot a kid when he shot himself.
Rule #3 for safe gun handling is to always keep the gun unloaded until ready to use. This rule leads to my second observation, he does not know how to correctly check if the gun is loaded or not. He pulls back the slide to demonstrate that he has an empty chamber but never removes the magazine (which is loaded). Once he releases the slide, the gun is loaded. A proper chamber check for an unloaded gun is executed without a magazine in the gun.
My third observation and probably most upsetting to me is his poor attitude towards guns. After he shoots himself and he calms the crowd down a bit, the agent tells the kids:
In essence, he's saying that you can't protect yourself against guns. His opinion is that they are inherently dangerous and if you have one long enough you are going to have an accident and hurt someone. All of his statements are 100% wrong. What this video showed was negligence, not an accident. He handled a gun carelessly and incorrectly and got caught.
Accidents don't just happen, they are caused by ignorance (not knowing) or negligence (not applying). I know many people (myself included) that have owned and shot guns their whole lives and never had an accident - not even a close call. If you haven't been taught how to safely handle guns, please take the time to learn the rules today.
Jon Woodard - NRA certified instructor. Passionate about gun safety, shooting and self-defense.