I don’t like to pile it higher on someone when they are already swimming at the local waste treatment plant as it is, but I think we need to talk about the difference between “accidental” and “negligence.”
If you remember at the beginning of the week I had a little article in regards to the instructor in Lancaster Ohio who shot one of his students. Well It turns out this isn’t his first rodeo at putting holes in someone that didn’t need new holes applied. In 1977 instructor Dunlap was then Officer Dunlap and was assisting with a Halloween hayride. Instead of the typical mask and some fake blood, Officer Dunlap decided that his .38 revolver (again seriously?) was a better prop and shot what he assumed to be blanks into the air. Unfortunately, once again those pesky live rounds found their way into the gun and a struck Cathy Hessler who was 14 years old at the time.
We need to take a few things away from this. First, Mr. Dunlap needs to hang up the revolvers. And secondly the difference between a Negligent Discharge vs. an Accidental Discharge are vast. My view is that an Accidental Discharge is a mechanical malfunction of the firearm that caused the firearm to discharge. A Negligent Discharge is what we are seeing both times with Mr. Dunlap. It was shooter error that was to blame in both of his “oops” moments. Sadly, this is actually the cause of most all unwanted firearm discharges when you get down to it.
I still can’t wrap my head around pulling the trigger of a gun at a class full of students even if I knew it was unloaded or not, I’m sorry, but I just can’t. The definition of negligent is “habitually careless: habitually careless or irresponsible” and to me it describes the situation down in Lancaster pretty well in both cases. We need to keep the rules for safe gun handling in mind at all times so we can minimize these sorts of things from happening and make sure we don’t get anymore bad press.
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