Massad Ayoob ND

Lessons from a Negligent Discharge at MAG-40

As I sit down to write, it has been just over 72 hours since 26 people stood dumbfounded on a North East Ohio range. What had taken place seemed nothing short of unbelievable. Regardless of how it seemed, it had happened. Our ears were ringing and the gun had fired…

72 hours seems like a long time. In fact it seems like an eternity. It’s taken 3 days to start actually assembling the situation into a shareable format for several reasons, but maybe the most important reason is that the lessons to be learned are so important that they need to be clear and well organized despite the fact that I don’t really want to write them…

My goal is simple with what I am going to share:

I want to help others to avoid the situation that the 26 of us faced. I want others to avoid the potential consequences that could result from the mistakes that we made on the range.

What I don’t want to do is place blame. Instead, I think it is most appropriate for me to simply accept responsibility for my own actions where appropriate. I will not avoid pointing out where I disagree with the assumptions, policies and actions of others. My intention is not to disparage or disrespect anyone. Instead, my goal is to provide appropriate lessons so that this type of situation can be avoided in the future.

You see, LUCK is the only thing that kept someone from death or serious injury. CHANCE is the only reason an amazing firearm training facility isn’t facing closure. A ROLL OF THE DICE and the kind nature of the range owner is the only reason I’m still allowed to conduct firearms training at the facility. I don’t want to rely on LUCK and as difficult as it may be to admit, we didn’t have to rely on luck. We could have taken steps that would have certainly prevented the situation.

We didn’t take those steps. Hell, we didn’t even recognize them at the time. Instead, lack of attention followed some small errors that followed simple oversights which resulted in a potential catastrophe. If you spend any time studying disasters, you quickly find out that rarely is a single decision or action the cause of the misfortune. Instead, errors stack and eventually reach a point where the situation is virtually irrecoverable. A perfect example of the compounding impact of stacked errors is the sinking of the container ship El Faro. It isn’t a gun story, but the conceptual transfer is there. I think it is worth a read especially if you find yourself in a position of leadership on the range.

 

The Incident

Here is a general account of what happened:
Beginning on May 19 as the owner of Safety Solutions Academy, I was acting as the host for the Massad Ayoob Group MAG-40. We spent two days in the classroom which was followed by two days on the range.

Sometime between 1:00 and 1:30 PM on our fourth day of training, while standing on a “cold” range, in a group away from the firing line, Massad Ayoob drew a .38 double action revolver from a Massad Ayoob Group Instructor’s holster in order to demonstrate the proper trigger press of the DA revolver. Mas opened the cylinder of the gun to verify that it was unloaded, and then closed the cylinder as he raised the gun slightly above his head and directed the muzzle skyward. Massad spoke briefly about the trigger press, placed his finger on the trigger and pressed it smoothly to the rear. The wheel gun bucked and barked and a .38 caliber slug left the range.

 

Accepting Responsibility

As I mentioned above my primary goal is to analyze my actions (or lack of action) in this situation. No, I am not ultimately responsible for the situation. I had the opportunity to speak with Massad by phone briefly yesterday afternoon, (May 24, 2018,) and he made it clear that he accepted responsibility for the negligent discharge. We will take some time to examine what Mas (and others) could have done differently to prevent the situation, but neither you nor I will ever have the ability to control other people. What we do have the ability to control is our own behavior.

 

I failed.

 

I could have taken action to prevent this incident and I did not. With the aid of hindsight it is easy to see the chain of decisions I made that allowed the situation to take place. Looking back it is easy for me to identify key moments where taking some uncomfortable but simple action would have changed the course of the day.

 

Many folks have communicated with me both publicly and privately encouraging me to stop kicking myself. The sentiment is appreciated, however, I don’t feel like I am beating myself up. Instead I am openly and honestly taking stock. Just because we got lucky this time doesn’t mean we will get lucky next time. Instead, as a professional defensive shooting instructor that hosts other instructors, I need to be ready to seize the opportunity and create a safer situation on the range for all involved when necessary.

 

A Cold Range Mentality

The range portion of the MAG-40 is run as a “cold” range. On a cold range, every time a shooter completes their turn on the firing line, their gun is inspected to ensure that it is unloaded. Cold ranges are typically run with the objective of increasing the level of safety for all involved. Theoretically, if a student makes an error with gun handling or gun safety, the consequences will be avoided because of course, the gun is unloaded.

 

I don’t run a cold range. Instead, for Safety Solutions Academy courses, I run a “hot range.” I expect students to assume the very serious responsibility for the loaded gun that they are carrying on the range and intend to carry in the real world.

 

In my experience, cold ranges, can foster a mentality that the unloaded gun can be handled with a different set of rules than the loaded gun. The problem is that because people make mistakes, eventually a gun that is assumed to be unloaded isn’t. I saw the cold range double standard developing with both students and instructors as the course progressed. The primary example that I should have been more aware of was how safety infractions were assessed. One student in particular had two relatively serious safety infractions. MAG instructors allowed the student to continue with the course after the safety violations. I actually don’t have an issue with the continuation. What I do take issue with is that it seems that the condition of the gun was a significant factor in why the student was allowed to continue. In the case of both situations the continuation was justified with a statement of something like, “and the gun was unloaded.”

 

My failure in this situation was the fact that I did not protest the justification for the continuation of the student. A simple protest of, “the condition of the gun is irrelevant to this situation” could have spurred a conversation to help and dispel the cold range mentality that had developed.

 

Cold ranges are a thing and cold ranges are utilized frequently. I doubt I am going to have a significant impact on the practice. What I do hope to do is impact YOUR mentality when on a cold range.

 

As I saw the issues developing I should have had the courage to speak up and make my observations clear to all involved.

 

The Bystander Effect

Speaking of having the courage to speak up, I feel fairly confident that I allowed the “Bystander Effect” to prevent me from intervening when I needed to stop our progression toward potential disaster. You can read a bit about the bystander effect here or here.

 

I feel like the primary aspect of the bystander effect that was at play was “Pluralistic Ignorance.” The gist is relatively simple, when in a group of people are faced with a situation that presents some kind of a gray area, people are less likely to intervene. It could be a fear of embarrassment if you find that you are wrong or overreacting, or even just a questioning of your desire to react when you see others not reacting. The larger the group the stronger the bystander effect seems to be.

 

Looking back, I can distinctly remember specific points in class where I was uncomfortable with actions that were being taken. Moments before the gun fired, when it was being drawn, I made eye contact with another instructor who was in attendance at the class as a student and he made eye contact with me. It’s as if we were both sizing up the situation and the other’s reaction to it to decide our course of action. Obviously, I know now that I should have acted. At the time, however, that was not the conclusion I came to. Instead I made the decision to ride it out.

 

Here is what I know now about these types of situations:
  1. I don’t need the approval of others in order to take action
  2. The larger the group of people, the more committed I need to be to take action.

     

Size Matters
Speaking up in this MAG-40 wasn’t an easy task. After all, the group of people was 26 strong and included a significant number of firearms educators. Despite the fact that I was the host and my extensive experience teaching, it simply seemed that my interruption would likely be just that, an interruption. Let’s face it, no one wants to be THAT GUY!

 

The tone of the class had been set from day 1 at an intense rate. Mas rarely took the time to allow students to finish their questions before rolling into his answer. On the range, the pace was similar and with 26 people there was a push to keep things moving so that we could finish on time.

 

The size of the group and the pace shouldn’t have entered in to my willingness to interject with regards to safety, but that may have been a factor.

 

 

I Don’t Need Your Approval
You and I might disagree about cold ranges vs. hot ranges. I am O.K. with that disagreement and a difference of opinions can’t keep me from speaking up when things seem to be headed sideways. As an accomplished instructor, I know where the boundaries lie when it comes to safety and safe gun handling for me and it is imperative that I hold my ground related to these beliefs.

 

Mas’ actions were clearly outside my gun safety comfort zone. I don’t prefer to draw a gun from a holster in a gaggle of people. Instead, I prefer to have the person with the holster gun step to the firing line and when given the command draw to the low ready. I can then take the gun from the individuals hand and have the students assemble in a semi-circle around me to witness whatever demo I have planned. Why in the world would I allow another instructor to operate at a lower standard than I expect of myself when it comes to range safety?

 

I also require that any gun that will be used for a dry-fire demonstration be cleared by a minimum of two people directly before the demonstration. After the gun came out of the holster only one person cleared the gun. I didn’t stop the action. Instead, I let it ride.

 

On the range, I teach that there are two directions that can be considered “relatively safe” and are acceptable directions to point the gun; at the ground and at the backstop. The ground must be a relatively safe direction or we would never be able to draw a gun from a holster. The good news is that the ground is a relatively safe direction at our range with its soft sandy floor. The other “safe” direction is the backstop. Made of soft sandstone and 90 feet tall it is about as forgiving as it gets. Although there are times when muzzle up can be a relatively safe direction, on the range in our circumstances, it wasn’t.

 

I did not interfere when a hastily “cleared” gun was pointed skyward with the intent of pressing the trigger. It was an UNSAFE direction and an unsafe action.

 

Instead, I rolled the dice.

 

And I lost.

 

At any of these times I could have spoken up and potentially altered the course of events, but I did not. Was it the bystander effect? It seems to fit. Others have suggested that I didn’t speak because I was kneeling at the feet of my guru… I suppose that could be the case too, but I don’t really think so. I don’t think I held my tongue because I held Massad Ayoob in high regard. It is much more likely that I stayed quiet because I held my own beliefs in an unfortunately low regard.

 

We will never know what role the size of the group, their potential disapproval or what role the industry status of Massad Ayoob played in my failure to speak up. I do believe that all of these factors need to be considered the next time I host or attend a course so that I can be more prepared to act should a safety situation develop.

 

Exhaustion

The negligent discharge took place at the halfway point of day 4 and there is no doubt that everyone involved was spent. Some may have been more fatigued than others. As we are learning more and more about fatigue it is becoming clear that being tired can significantly impair our motor skills and even our ability to make good decisions. As I look back on the incident I can’t help but wonder what role fatigue may have played.

 

Mental Fatigue
I am a prime example of how fatigue may have been an issue. As the course host I had been awake late at night and up early each morning to make sure everything was in order for class. Although I am used to a hard schedule, when it is a class it is more intense than usual, but I don’t think that was the tough part. Remember our student with safety issues? I was his shadow making constant corrections and physically interacting to ensure safe trigger finger discipline and muzzle orientation when the gun was coming out of the holster and moving back in. Often I was dealing with both trigger and muzzle issues at the same time. This was mentally exhausting. When Mas was teaching and students were off the line, it was my time to grab a couple of deep breaths, a sip of water and get re-energized for the next experience at the line physically correcting this student’s trigger finger and muzzle direction.

 

The Environmental Push
The weather can have an unfortunate impact on firearms courses that are held outdoors. Unfortunately, the course was threatened with a severe thunderstorm watch throughout day 4 and as a result we pushed the course hard to avoid delays from the impending storm. To that end it was decided that we should skip lunch and continue shooting. In hindsight, that may not have been the best choice. The decision to skip lunch both intensified the pace of class and eliminated a rest period. Could these factors have an impact on the situation? No one will know for sure, but it certainly is plausible. If you have ever taught you will understand that it can be a particularly fatiguing activity and when that teaching takes place under a time crunch the fatigue can be intensified. I know that it was that way for me and my fatigue could have been a reason I didn’t speak up. I don’t presume to know how fatigue may have impacted others that were involved, but it doesn’t take much imagination to consider how it could have been a factor.

 

It is certainly possible that exhaustion played a role in the ND. Keep in mind, in the minutes preceding the ND 3 capable Massad Ayoob Group Instructors visually examined the gun to verify that it was unloaded (two instructors interacted with, checked and holstered the gun before we grouped up.) All three were incorrect regarding the condition of the gun. I suppose it may have been carelessness or simply a cursory check without the required attention for it to actually matter. Even if it was one of those situations, what contribution did fatigue have? We can’t ever answer the question, but we can and should factor fatigue in future safety related decisions.

 

Final Thoughts

As the saying goes, hindsight is 20/20 and in my opinion it is imperative that we take advantage of that clear vision so that we can cull the most important lessons and move forward toward a safer next time. To that end I want my final thoughts to include the most important lessons that I have learned from this incident.

 

The condition of your gun shouldn’t change how you handle it.
If you are a firearms instructor you have to decide what the best way is to run your range. I know what I believe to be the best way in most circumstances and that is a hot range where guns are loaded in the same condition they would be in if you were carrying them on the street. You may decide differently. If you run a cold range or you participate in events or courses on a cold range you must recognize that the “unloaded” condition of your gun should not effect the manner in which your gun is handled. If you find yourself with one set of rules when your gun is loaded and another set of rules when it is not, you are setting up yourself and those around you for a potentially tragic situation.

 

Factor in Fatigue.
When it comes to training, practice and handling of firearms you need to consider your level of rest. An increase in fatigue brings with it a compromise in your ability to perform physical skills and a decreased ability to make quality decisions. When you are tired you should consider significantly increasing your attentiveness to firearm safety and accept that getting rest prior to continuing your activity may be the safest choice even if it has inconvenient implications.

 

In General, Up is NOT the Safest Direction.
There are certainly times when the safest direction to point a firearm is up. In general, up is NOT the safest direction. On the range, performing a demonstration, especially one where the trigger is being pulled, up is a poor choice. On the range, the best direction for a gun to be pointed is at the backstop which is the specific place where we want bullets to impact. In Massad Ayoob’s blog post detailing the incident he comments,

 

“What prevented tragedy was Layer five: the gun pointed skyward, in an area where there was virtually no likelihood of a bullet fired straight up coming down anywhere it couldn’t be safely absorbed.”

 

I respectfully but firmly disagree with Mas on this point. The only thing that prevented tragedy in this situation is the luck that we have enjoyed because the slug doesn’t seem to have caused any harm.

 

The backstop is the best direction to point a gun regardless of it’s condition. Having an ND is nothing to laugh off, however, having an ND where a round leaves the range is significantly more dangerous than an ND where a round impacts the backstop. Taking the time to physically move students so they can safely see the demonstration, or taking the time to repeat the demonstration is well worth eliminating the real risk that EVERY round that leaves the range carries with it.

 

Take action!
The most important lesson that I am taking away from this situation is the lesson that I need to take action and speak up. Throughout the course of the weekend I saw the problems stacking, but I didn’t think they would lead to the ND. Each problem on it’s own seemed manageable, but when they were all combined the outcome was unacceptable. I now have a frame of reference as to how important each individual problem can be and as a result I know how important it is for me as a shooter, a course host and a competent firearms instructor to take action and make my voice heard.

 

The simple article would have been to lay the blame at the feet of the man who pressed the trigger. Of course there is truth there. Massad Ayoob failed to properly ensure that a gun was unloaded and when he pointed it in the air and pressed the trigger the gun fired. In my opinion, that needs no clarification due to its obvious nature. The fact is these situations are more complex than the obvious shows. Placing the blame solely on Mas stifles the examination of the totality of the circumstances and it would be parallel to exclaiming that the cargo ship El Faro sank because it wasn’t strong enough to weather the storm. This type of oversimplification circumvents the opportunity for growth and learning and that is what I am after both personally, professionally and if possible for the industry as a whole. That growth requires difficult conversations, in-depth consideration, and relentless accountability all followed by an increase in expectations from all involved.

 

I hope that in reading this account you were able to take away some important lessons that make your next trip to the range to practice or train a safer experience for yourself, those that you love and others that are involved.

 

You can read Mas’ account of the event at his blog here and John Johnston’s thoughts here as he was also on the range at the time. Massad has requested that questions and comments be posted at his blog so that he may respond. I think it makes sense to carry on a conversation with Mas. At the same time, I would guess that Mas has already taken his lessons from this situation. For that reason I would ask that if you feel there are valuable lessons to be learned from what I have written spread the article and the conversation far and wide so that as many people as possible can benefit from those this unfortunate incident.

19 replies
  1. Rob Pincus
    Rob Pincus says:

    Well written, Paul.

    I appreciate the amount of candor you offered here. You are correct that everyone that everyone standing there shar s some of the blame, trickling down in lesser and lesser amounts From Mas to his instructors, to you as the host and to the other Instructors who were attending as students and, finally, down to the students in descending order of prior training experience. Hell, I feel a little responsible for not speaking up more adamantly against “cold range” training environments and other issues that might have influenced more people in attendance and contributed to avoiding the incident.

    As you well know from all the Instructor Development work and the times we’ve taught together, I would never say that “everyone is a safety officer”…. safety is ultimately the ultimate responsibility of the instructor… but, everyone present has an obligation (even if only for selfish reasons) tomspeak up when safety corners are being cut or when unnecessary risk is being created or tolerated.

    In the aftermath, calling out complacency and negligence is necessary so that others can learn from it and those involved can’t simply shrug their shoulders and say “shit happens”… which is ultimately exactly what is being said if nothing changes. “The Rules” and “Cold Ranges” have proven to not work well enough… we owe our students more and should demand more of those who would run ranges.

    -Rob

    Reply
  2. Jeffrey Abraham
    Jeffrey Abraham says:

    Excellent presentation of the events leading up to the ND. Lots of details to consider and it is critical that we take every opportunity to learn from these events. The fact that it ended with no serious injury or worse does not change the need to evaluate and learn. Huge respect for you putting this out there for all of us to become better. Thank you.

    Reply
  3. Scott Stewart
    Scott Stewart says:

    Paul, your candor and ability to break events down I why I follow and listen to you. It can be uncomfortable for some of us less experienced instructors and students to speak up when attending other classes but this is a prime example of the need to do just that when warranted. I share your opinion of the “cold range” mentality. Thank you for this write up.

    Reply
  4. Carlos
    Carlos says:

    What really sucks is, in most cases, had you acted the way that you have identified, you probably would be vilified and labelled an “a**hole” by some pf those present. I used to run a “Tactical Shooters Group” that I founded and wrote the SOP for at my Gun Club. I gave that up because I was constantly getting bombarded about my conduct when I made on the spot corrections on behavior at the firing line that could have dire consequences if left uncorrected. And it seemed that most of the instigators of the correction and complainers were the most experienced shooters. It got to the point that I finally gave up organizing and running the range sessions.

    I hope people take your lessons to heart and that these types of situations are prevented in the future.

    Reply
  5. Doug Rehman
    Doug Rehman says:

    Thank you so much for writing this detailed analysis of everything that went wrong in order for the ND to occur. What was previously in the public realm left out so much of the backstory details you have provided that it was useless for anything aside from spin control.

    Your article identifies all of the places where, done differently, the ND could have been headed off. It is only a teachable moment if the details are presented in an intellectually honest manner such as yours.

    We stress “see something, say something” with everyone that trains at our facility, from students to Instructor Candidates. Your account of the events leading up to the ND will now be referenced in that conversation so that there is a concrete example to illustrate the failure to “say something”.

    I wasn’t familiar with you before reading this article, but it is very clear that you are among the finest in our industry!

    Reply
  6. John Sabatini
    John Sabatini says:

    Strange how a story about an ND on your range makes me more interested in training with you.

    Everything you said here is excellent info for newbies and veterans. One less than thoughtful moment is all it takes to create a very bad situation.

    Reply
  7. Tim Reedy
    Tim Reedy says:

    Outstanding treatment of a difficult subject. Excellent insights that will stay with me in my classes.

    Reply
  8. Ed Sileo
    Ed Sileo says:

    A couple of thoughts from an “average” guy who shoots a few times a year:
    I came across a recent post from Mike Rowe (the “Dirty Jobs” guy). It is an elequent piece on the concept of true safety vs following the safety rules. (Link below).
    Also, in Jon Krakauer’s book “Into Thin Air” about the Mt. Everest climbing tragedy, he looks at the concept that, despite most of the climbers were very highly experienced, they did not “call out” their paid guide on what they all recognized as serious safety related decisions. It certainly sounds like a parallel to what happened with Mas’s ND.
    That said, I’m glad this can be discussed in a rational level headed manner. We all benefit by looking hard at our shortcomings when they come to light in the shooting community.
    P.S. On my bucket list are 3 people to train with. Mas Ayoob has been in that list the longest.
    Link to Mine Rowe’s post:
    https://www.facebook.com/TheRealMikeRowe/posts/1926764604000340

    Reply
  9. Matthew Guest
    Matthew Guest says:

    Paul, this was an impressive examination, and I have nothing to add to it, other than that I will be sharing it with my department.

    Massad Ayoob is a giant in the firearms training industry, who still works hands-on with neophytes. It is difficult to give one’s-self permission to question a giant.

    Reply
  10. Ken Murray
    Ken Murray says:

    Hey Paul …

    A very cogent and cathartic response. I heard about the incident while I was away training and reposted your first response on the RBTA website and have reposted this response there as well. Concurring with all, I am happy that no one was injured. We get into this business often with little experience and a bag full of luck. In my own journey over the past three decades I have dipped too many times into my bag of luck. Fortunately there has always seemed to be some left, and tragedy avoided – but irreplaceable lessons have been learned and hard/fast rules installed. In our classes we teach that people/organizations change one of three ways … Evolution, Psychotherapy and Emotionally Significant Events. How those changes manifest are not always best for those involved, but the emotionally significant event we have all experienced through this incident will, HOPEFULLY, reconnect people from just how easily things like this can happen when we get complacent. In the excellent book Checklist Manifesto, Atul Gawande speaks of two of the major causes of catastrophes … Ignorance and Ineptitude. I add to that Hubris … I see it all the time in my world and have the images of dozens of dead people at the back of my book laying in heartbreaking tribute to the failures that put them in the grave. The incident at your range may well serve as a hard reminder to those who might have needed a reality-check tune up.

    Thanks for your insight in this post. I will add one final point that might assist some folks in the future during “cold” ranges or non conventional training settings. In our classes we are very firm on the fact that an empty gun is NOT a cold gun. It is an unloaded hot gun. The only thing that will be considered a cold gun is an unloaded gun that has been rendered temporarily INCAPABLE of firing any type of ammunition. There are plenty of inexpensive and professionally engineered solutions for doing this. PM me if you want to discuss. As you recognize, there are far too many people that have been shot or shot around with “cold” weapons and this must stop.

    With much respect.

    Ken Murray

    Reply
  11. Tionico
    Tionico says:

    Excellent analisis of the situation, and to a surprisingly comprehensive level.

    One factor you brought up that I believe was key, and could well be considered by all of us, is the “shall I make a scene and speak up or shall I shut up and let it ride” diilemma. I believe HAD you or someone else set aside whatever compulsion to lt it ride, and opened yer yap and SAID something this may well not have happened. I can also guess basied on what I know of Mas, that HAD a second person “safed” that revolver, or HAD he taken a well advised second CAREFUL look, his own shock at how close he had come to the eventual ND would have been a wakeup call, and changed his own protocol in such situations.

    I was invided to join a group of dads and sones on a weekend campout at a private range, and was glad to come along. I was invided to bring whatever arms I cared to. There was a shooter’s station near the main camp (central gethering place and cooking site) comprising a few benches and a rough overhead cover. The range itself was against a small backstop, but the owner of the property knew there was nothing to hit for a few miles in that general direction. OK, that was acceptable. As the guns came out and I took opportunity to observe, I was shocked at how lax safety wass. Loaded weapons haphazerdly tossed about, left o the bench, muzzle sweeps in unverified condition, etc. I played the uninterested bystander, preferring to keep a good distance from the range and visit with some of the non-shooting men. Later the next day things settled down a bit, and when the range was relatively quiet I cautiously approached, and was invited to try out a “communist peasant rifle”, which opportunty I gladly took. I think ther were onl three of us at the range then. I was comfortable with the way things were going then… but I knew I could not do a thing to change the chaos that reigned ost of that day and the previous evening. I was a nobody, new to the group, and these guys had been coming here and behaving like that for years, it seemed. I never went back with that group again.

    I’ve been involved as an Instructor in the Appleseed programme for some years now, and really appreciate the way safety is handled in that organisation. We have shooters of all levels show up.. from “this is the small end so I think that’s where the bullet comes out” to active duty Green Berets. As they arrive, we tell them “leave your rifles in the car until we are called to get them”. Part of the very first gathering is the safety briefing. We have four rules, we name them, explain them and why, then have them repeat them back to us until they have them word for word, and can say them in oud chorius together. We intermittentl ask “what’s the (whichever) safety rule?”. of any random shooter. Everything stops until they all know them.
    Our fourth deals directly with your “shall I say something…” dilemma. We make certain they ALL understand safety us YOUR responsibitliy. Our “rule number four” is “make sure those around ou are follwing these safety rules”. We clearly place the expectation on each shooter that we ALL own safety, and it is our OBLIGATION to speak up. We also tell them everyone owns the CEASE FIRE command.. see anything that warrrants concern, it is YOUR duty to holler this commmand three times. In the entire xixtence of the programme with well over a hudnred thousand shooters on the line, there has yet to be any injury caused by any discharge from a firearm. Do we see muzzle sweeps, have ND’s, AD’s, early shots, etc? Oh yes. They are always dealt with swiftly, firmly, yet used as an instructional incident. We use an alternating hot/cold range system, and it seems to me that all the shooters “get” safety right along with the six steps of firing a shot, trigger press and all the rest. After each day on the range, we Instructors always have a debrief.. scary events, what went well, what did not, how can we improve.increase safety. The After Action Report back to “headquarters” always has room for any ideas that make things better. Annd National listen to what they get, too.

    Reply
  12. Martha Wardell
    Martha Wardell says:

    I find the same kinds of nose hail curling situations in gun stores. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve had bozos point a gun at me in a store, and when I move out of the way, and complain, I get the response “It ain’t loaded. Chill out.”

    I usually leave the store.

    Considering there are 40 – 80 million gun owners, and this kind of stupidity, it’s amazing that there aren’t more accidents.

    Reply
  13. Ish Kabibil
    Ish Kabibil says:

    How can anyone with vision of at least 20/40 miss a round in a revolver inspection. Swing the cylinder out and look. If there are any rounds in the cylinder it is as obvious as the dickens. Call it whatever , but it is careless action.

    Reply

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. FOLLOW-UP says:

    […] the class.  Paul is in my opinion one of the best of the current crop of firearms instructors: https://safetysolutionsacademy.com/lessons-from-a-negligent-discharge-at-mag-40/ […]

  2. […] can read Mas’ account of the incident HERE, and also Paul Carlson’s (the class host) account HERE. In the interest of full disclosure, I was the other instructor that Paul mentions in his account […]

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