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Incomprehensible Stupidity...

There are several of us here who can claim Gunsite (nee API) as our alma mater. And if nothing else, we came away with a firm understanding of Cooper's codified Four Rules of Firearms Safety.

Wednesday evening, two clowns in their late 30s who had apparently slept through Monday afternoon's lecture as part of their Louis Awerbuck-instructed 250 Class, returned to their Prescott hotel room and decided to check one another's presentation techniques using one another as targets during dry fire practice.

Now Greg Prophet, a pawn shop proprietor of Mesa, Arizona, is dead from one .45 ACP round deliverer center mass by "his best friend," John Angal.

There's no way that the school can be held responsible, either legally or ethically, of course, but it… and all of us, actually, graduates or not… will suffer a black eye.

But that still doesn't explain what could have led to so many of The Rules having been violated all at once, and I aver without any sense of vindication, that Rule #1… are ya finally running with me, Rob?… really is just what Jeff stated: "All guns are always loaded." (Okay, well mebbe just a teensy bit of validation….)

The story is being somewhat reported ("…the gun went off…") in today's Daily Courier, but it won't be long before it's all over the place.
 

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Way too sad and a double failure. I can't imagine getting into that situation in the first place and even if imaginable, I find it hard to believe that both guns were not checked individually by both people.
 

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Arrogance?

It is barely imaginable that anybody could be this careless with a firearm before going to Gunsite. It is downright incomprehensible that after three full days of 250 that anyone could even think that it might be a good idea to dry-fire practice using your friend as a backstop.

The only possible explanations I could come up with was that:

A. One or both parties were under the influance of drugs or alcohol.

or

B. One or both parties were of the "Rules Don't Apply to Me" or "I've Had Guns for So-and-So Many Years, I Know What I'm Doing" types.

Either way, everyone loses here. One lost a life, another lost a friend, others lost a son, maybe others lost a father, and although unjustified, Gunsite's safety record is somehow going to suffer in the eyes of the public.

...just a bad scene all the way around.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Don't hotel rooms come with mirrors?
Yeah!, but as everyone knows, Ed, it's bad luck to break one of those!
The only possible explanations I could come up with was that:
  • One or both parties were under the influance of drugs or alcohol.[/*:1jtfd7jl]

    or
  • One or both parties were of the "Rules Don't Apply to Me" or "I've Had Guns for So-and-So Many Years, I Know What I'm Doing" types.[/*:1jtfd7jl]
Disclaimer: This is pure speculation/random rumination… it was after dinner, so there's a good possibility that there was imbibition, Matt, but the almost certain likelihood, although not to rule out #1, was an unconscious #2.

BTW, nice avatar… it looks like you and Tim Burke shoot at the same place.
 

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The frustrating thing about something like this is EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US is going to have to answer for it.

I'm going to give NSSF a heads-up this morning in case the story gets some traction, so we can have a team in place in we have to deal with it. This is something we have to be extremely aware of as we move to a training environment where force-on-force simulations are the norm. It *is* possible to become inured to having guns pointed at your person. Yes, they're Sim guns or Airsofts or the new .40 cal paintballs, but they *look* real. We've spent a lot of time explaining over the years that the mind can't tell the difference between live shooting and dry fire; it stands to reason that as we spend more time pointing "play" guns at each other, we need to ratchet up our awareness of the Four Rules.

At the start of any force-on-force scenario, I insist (no, make that demand) to see and check all the weapons used in the sim. With Sims rounds, I want armor. Even in our Airsoft simulation events we film, we armor the participants. Damn cheap insurance, and a way of emphasizing that having *any* gun pointed at you is Serious Business.

Got off on a tangent there; Walt Rauch and I have been discussing these very issues recently, and it's on my mind.

BTW, I have an analogy I've used pretty extensively with the national media that helps to explain shooting competition/training in a context they understand. I've said that sports or activites that have an element of risk tend to have very few "rules," but you break one of them at the risk of dire, perhaps fatal, consequences. Because I'm a cave diver, that's the one I usually use...really simple--be trained, have redundant everything, always have a line back to the surface and be conservative with your air (Rule of Thirds, for you diver types). Break one of those rules, and you get a nightmare death. Same with mountaineering, ice climbing, hang/para gliding, skydiving, etc. Break a rule and pay with your, or someone else's, life.

Michael B
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ironically, while Googlin' the 'Net yesterday to see if the Arizona story had broken yet, a fellow alumnus in Phoenix found the following, from just 25 miles west of me:
Mason inductee killed during initiation rite

PATCHOGUE, N.Y. - A man was shot in the face and killed during a Masonic initiation ceremony by a fellow member who mistakenly pulled out a real pistol instead of a blank gun, police said Tuesday.

The 76-year-old man who fired the shot, Albert Eid, was charged with manslaughter. William James, 47, was killed Monday night at the Southside Masonic Lodge.

According to police, the Masons sat James in a chair and placed cans on a platform around his head. Eid, standing about 20 feet away, was supposed to fire a blank gun, and a man holding a stick was supposed to knock the cans over to make James think they had been hit by bullets.

Eid had two guns - a .22-caliber pistol loaded with blanks and a .38-caliber with real bullets - and apparently pulled the wrong one out of his pocket, police said.
I thought of you, Michael, and the terrific efforts you and Walt and Chris Edwards, et al, have made on the firearms/media education front the past couple of years, and things like this don't make it any easier!

And it wasn't but a year or so ago that a FTO in a higher-speed-than-usual law enforcement training course drew and killed a student somewhere in the Southwest… just back from their lunch break and apparently forgot that he was "hot." Upon recollection and belief, it was a Sim course for SWAT personnel.
 

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This is a bit different but did you read abut the two Mexican cousins? One was 80 and the other in his 70's. Apparently they had been arguing for years over the right to a spring and they finally settled the other day with a duel. One had a .45acp and the other a .22. Both dead with one shot kills. They were not only cousins but Brothers- in-law as well. This was in the news yesterday.

Ed
 

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DeanSpeir said:
But that still doesn't explain what could have led to so many of The Rules having been violated all at once, and I aver without any sense of vindication, that Rule #1… are ya finally running with me, Rob?… really is just what Jeff stated: "All guns are always loaded." (Okay, well mebbe just a teensy bit of validation….)
Sorry, no. Not to quibble about semantics, but I think it could be argued that the episode helps support my point, i.e., that teaching a rule that is demonstrably untrue (since we all know guns can be unloaded) fosters contempt for that rule.

"Treat all guns as if they are loaded" is a command that acknowledges reality and, if followed, means nobody gets hurt. "All guns are always loaded" is not only demonstrably false but does not give a direction for action, and is thus less useful as a safety rule for the average gun handler.
 

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In my world rule #1 is Muzzle control. "Never point your gun at anything you aren't willing to destroy." If you follow that one rule it will save you even if you break all the others.

IMHO,

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Update…

From a trusted source:
No booze involved, verified by cop who was at dinner with them. No other contributing factors at this time.
Well, that removes one element from the menu of possibilities.
 

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Ed said:
Don't hotel rooms come with mirrors?
I shot one of those back in the lake 1950s. I was using wax loads outside and didn't count or clear the pistol. Came in the house, saw my reflection in the full-length mirror, drew and fired from the hip. Perfect center mass - well almost perfect. Ruined the mirror.
 

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Gee Top. I've scared myself before when looking in the mirror but never enough to fire! :lol:
 

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Reminds me of that scene in"The Rock" where Nick Cage hands the balls of VX to Sean Connery and says "The second you disrespect this, it kills you." That's how I view firearms. I think one of the major differences between proper use and abuse is true respect for what your are really holding in your hand. Another sad part is how quickly you can go online and find such cases of disrespect.
 

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Murphy was an optimist?

Since were tellin' tales...

Two USAF gate guards on duty/on post drawing on each other w weapons they knew damn well were loaded... one shot the other COM. Mil spec .38 Special FMJ went through insulated winter coat, unifrom shirt, undershirt, idiot, undershirt, shirt, was found between shirt and coat.

No, that's not what the scar on my chest is from! ;)

Cadet at local police academy shot herself in the leg couple of weeks ago w her Safe Action pistol. Minor injury, she was allowed to continue in class until investigation is completed.

Didn't some cop just have a ND at a basketball game somewhere?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Re: Murphy was an optimist?

Busted Arrow said:
Didn't some cop just have a ND at a basketball game somewhere?
Aye-yup!

Bal'mur, Mur'lun Homicide dick ND'd at an ACC quarter-final game… stupid move, and a strong reaction, albeit of the wrong kind, I'm afraid!

Yup, it wuz a Glock.

Meanwhile, PPB has just done something which Glock, Inc. has never in its history done: issued a recall of the polymer pistol!
 

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The USAF has Broken Arrows, Dull Swords, and Bent Spears. I earned that particular nickname the old fashioned way: I screwed up big time. Details are still classified. :twisted:

"The design of the 9mm Glock is different and would eliminate the possibility of this happening," said training Lt. John Tellis. "That's why in our opinion, the 9 mm is the safer gun."

Maybe not as "safer" as we thought?

9 minimeter? Wonder why Glock didn't offer 'em some free G37s in GAP? :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Busted Arrow said:
Wonder why Glock didn't offer 'em some free G37s in GAP?
Now that, Michael, is one of the brighter suggestions you'be ever made… except that the guy at PPB who's doing the work on this issue (and feeding it up to Chief Foxworth) has clearly researched this matter, made at least one visit to The Gun Zone's Glock section, and understands that the safest Glocks in this regard (kB!s) are those chambered in 9 X 19mm.

There hasn't been a catastrophic Model 37/.45 G.A.P. event yet, but given the Kool Aid crew's blasé attitude and tightly-held denials, I've got the low field in the Forum pool.
 

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That was an interesting charge they brought against the cop:

"He is charged with carrying a gun into an assembly where admission is charged. "

In DE a legal CCW carrier is no permitted to carry within 1000 feet of a school, school property, on a bus or vehicle on school business or in a stadium being used for school purposes but I've never seen anything about "an assembly where admission is charged. "

Ed
 
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