How do NDs happen?


October 6, 2003, 01:09 AM
I'm still a pretty new shooter (just a few months) and have never seen or caused an ND. :knockonwood:
I want to keep things that way. So far I'm still extremely cautious, almost paranoid, but I can already feel that I'm getting more at ease with guns. And so far, I'm only around them a little bit, at times of my choice.
If I ever need to carry, or have little kids around :eek: where guns are stored, I want to know the typical causes of ND.

(That's right, ND, not ED. I'm getting old but not that old.)

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October 6, 2003, 01:16 AM

October 6, 2003, 01:18 AM
Of course carelessness.
I am careless. To avoid accidents I have to know:
(1) what things do I have to keep in mind all the time,
(2) what things do I have to pay close attention to at specific times.

Has anyone published a log of NDs comparable to the Hurt report on motorcycle accidents? (Hurt is somebody's name.)

October 6, 2003, 01:28 AM
You know the four rules right?

Treat all guns as if they are loaded. Mind your muzzle. Keep your finger off the trigger until you're ready to shoot. Be sure of your target and what's behind it.

Breaking those rules is what causes ND's.

October 6, 2003, 02:38 AM
Well - the keyword must be negligence .......

This can only occur if concentration is lacking and the four rules are totally or partially flouted. Any and every time a firearm is handled, in any way ... those rules MUST be paramount. I have been shooting for a quarter century and have had a couple of ''incidents'' .... they were fortunately harmless ....... but only because my mistakes were due to lack of observance of ONE rule ....... not all.

That way - an ND can occur but no one gets hurt. I admit to this with some embarrassment but also do so because none of us is perfect ..... we are fallible beings.

My overall concern is always the rule that states .... ''never point the gun at anything you would not wish to destroy'' ......... so even if the damn thing goes off due to lack of observance of other rules .... trigger is one of course and loaded gun is another ....... at least an errant bullet cannot cause harm.

Familiarity breeds contempt ....... and with familiarity also comes carelessness, if not careful.

THINK ..... and be careful .... and always be mindful of the damage you can do.

October 6, 2003, 04:38 AM
.....There was this Russian expatriate (pre-bolshevik) who somehow ended up teaching a sniper course for the Canadian Army. He taught the course very well for years and years, and all of his former pupils were dead shots and cool-headed ethical people. Well, one day PC reared its ugly Hydra head in the poor old guy's happy little enclave.

They (AKA those who behave in a They-like manner) sent down a fiat from on high that the first lecture in the sniper course should include, nay, mostly consist of , a SAFETY LECTURE!

Well, the old fellow, knowing which side his bread was buttered on,agreed to co-operate. The eager learners filed into the room and waited with bated breath for the old master to share his wisdom. He strode out and stepped up on the podium; he raised his 280 Ross above his head, and said, in his antique Russian accent,


Edit: changed for emphasis and to make it sound more Russian (?)

October 6, 2003, 05:00 AM
Most of the cases I hear of have to do with reliance on a "system." That is, a person goes to the range and has a routine that he’s been following for the last 15 years. When he gets home and starts cleaning the guns, he “knows” for a fact that they are unloaded and proceeds to pull triggers and whatnot because he “knows” the guns are safe.

Invariably, the routine suffers a break for some reason or another. I remember one case where the family dog suddenly ran off and dad had to drop everything (in the middle of his routine) and chase the dog. He gets home, prepares to clean by pulling a trigger, BAM!

The solution is simple. Gun safety is active, never passive. When you pickup an auto with the action closed, pull back the slide and note the condition of the chamber (loaded or empty.) Do this regardless of whether or not you were the last person to handle the gun. Any gun you pick up, regardless of type, always check it’s condition AT THAT MOMENT. If you do this, you will never pull a trigger with a round loaded while thinking the gun is empty.

October 6, 2003, 05:10 AM

I think I want to use it in my .sig from now on.

Roadkill Coyote
October 6, 2003, 08:06 AM
One word,


it has snuck up on me before :rolleyes:,

given the chance it will sneak up on you :uhoh: .

October 6, 2003, 08:18 AM
(1) what things do I have to keep in mind all the time,
(2) what things do I have to pay close attention to at specific times.

Treat all guns as if they are loaded!
Never forget that one.
Never assume otherwise.

If you check and check again that there is no round present in the weapon, then your off to a great start.

Heck most of the time when I check them I verbally assure myself "chamber empty" SO I KNOW that the chamber is clear.
It works for me.


October 6, 2003, 08:30 AM
Negligent Discharge:
Three words..............
Finger on trigger.

An accidental discharge, by contrast, involves slam fires, etc.

October 6, 2003, 08:39 AM
I think the biggest reasons for NDs is: Guns are loaded when folks don't expect them to be. Folks can't keep their da** fingers off the da** trigger. Folks don't treat weapons with the respect they deserve.

Everytime I pick up a firearm, I open the action and carefully check to see if there is a round in the chamber, magazine or cylinder. Every Time. If you forget once, that will be the time it is loaded. If you put the gun down and pick it up again, check it again! Every time. It only takes a second and it's good practice of manipulating the weapon's controls.

Never touch the trigger until after you have verified that it is unloaded.

Don't holster or handle the weapon carelessly. I was reading a story recently of a Marine who shot himself in the chest while jamming his Beretta in his shoulder holster. The trigger caught on his clothing and the gun fired, killing him. There was a case a while back where a deputy put his service weapon on top of a pile of stuff and carried it that way to his car. Along the way, it slipped off, hit the ground, discharged and killed him. Those two people did not give the weapons the respect required and paid the ultimate price for lazyness and carelessness.

We talk about guns as tools here, but they do require a considerably more care and attention than most tools in your toolbox. Never daydream about other things while handling a firearm. Keep your thoughts on that gun in your hands. Other things can wait on your attention, but you can kill yourself right now if you handle that firearm improperly.

October 6, 2003, 08:40 AM
So far I'm still extremely cautious, almost paranoid, but I can already feel that I'm getting more at ease with guns.

I have been handling guns aver 30 years and I'm still a lot paranoid. If someome clears a weapon and hands it to me, I clear it myself. I check and receheck and check again when dry-firing. NEVER does live ammo even sit in the same area where dryfiring. Even when in field, ammo stays in vehicle...even, esp. with snap caps. Do NOT feel paranoid. Paranoia is unjustified caution. Fell Very Alert.

Gun Safety (

October 6, 2003, 08:50 AM
So does that mean that when the Tec-9 went off while clearing the chamber that was an AD as opposed to a ND.

Don't worry I got rid of it.

El Tejon
October 6, 2003, 08:59 AM

Thus, we follow the Four Rules. We internalize them. They always apply. The Four Rules are life.:)

October 6, 2003, 01:09 PM
Actually, I think Xavier nailed it!

There's really only one rule that prevents a Negligent Discharge. The other three only mitigate the damage if you ignore that primary rule.

Keep your finger off the trigger.
No touchy trigger, no ND.
Finger - trigger - NO!

And weirdly, it is this rule that is the one most commonly ignored! I see people of vast experience pick up guns and allow their finger to slip onto the trigger as a matter of habit. And if you point it out they say "It ain't loaded" or " It's pointed in a safe direction" or even "Mind your own business"...


October 6, 2003, 01:32 PM
If someome clears a weapon and hands it to me, I clear it myself.

If you practice this you will get flamed. That's good.

Then you know to avoid any combination of guns that includes those people. You are now safer.

In my circle of friends, if you DON'T clear a weapon that was handed to you, you will be CORRected. If you don't change your ways, you will be EEEjected. From the group.

Complacency. It will happen. If you are absolutely insanely obsessive about the 4 Rules, you will still break one of them from time to time. But if you only break one at a time, it is much less likely that someone will get hurt.

There are no guarantees.


Good advice.

October 6, 2003, 01:35 PM
A little healthy paranoia is NOT a bad thing when it comes to the state of a firearm.


Personally, I will stick my little finger into the action and make SURE that there is not a case present. Vision can be decieving, and there are people who I care about living above me. Better safe than sorry.

Double Naught Spy
October 6, 2003, 01:50 PM
Contrary to SaxonPig, very few gun 'accidents' are accidents. They may be events that happen unexpectantly, but are also events that happen as a result of improper gun handling. While unexpected, the event is the fault of the gun handler. I don't care if you call it assigning legal blame or not when the term ND is used. The fact still remains that in virtually every case of unexpected discharges, somebody did something wrong and as such were negligent in their behavior relative to the gun and safety. Calling it an accident makes people feel good because 'accident' doesn't imply blame or accountability, but accountability will remain. "Accident" is a feel good word for dumb*** behavior.

If you read the paperwork from your insurance company dealing with 'auto accidents' you will find that in the legal jargon, there are no accidents for the most part. They are called 'wrecks' and they are called this because the cause of the event was somehow due to human error, either directly in driving, maintenance, or via the bystander who interacts with the car and gets hit.

To suggest an event was an accident is to suggest that there is no blame or nothing that could have been done to avoid it. That is bunk.

Negligent discharges go beyond the finger on the trigger, however. There are the occasional events of improper securing of the weapon such as in collapsible holsters that manage to have a flap that folds in while holstering, catching the trigger. Similar events have happened when a person has managed to holster a shirt tail along with the gun and the trigger get snagged. Accidents? Nope. These are people who were using improper equipment or were not verifying that the procedure of holstering went as expected.

Ala Dan
October 6, 2003, 02:07 PM
Keep Your Finger Off The Trigger

Until the weapon is pointed safely downrange, and you
are sure of your back-stop! :uhoh: :)

Best Wishes,
Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member

October 6, 2003, 02:52 PM
A lot of the ND/AD/ooops go boom booms I have heard/read about involve another party. Example:

1. Person A leaves pistol sitting on bed/car seat/girlfriend's ample butt.
2. Person B comes up and says, "gee, person A always keeps a round chambered, I better do that for them!"
3. Person A comes back and retrieves piece, doesn't check chamber, and proceeds to pull trigger.

Usually, as people have said, it is a breakdown in methodology/routine. You can't hurt yourself if you check that chamber more, but you could possibly hurt yourself if you check it less. That is why even if I put the pistol in the safe myself, and I know it is totally empty, I still pull the pistol out and rack the slide back to check ANYWAY, even though I know I'm the only one to handle it. I never put a hole in anything from checking it too many times.

October 6, 2003, 03:07 PM
ND's dont just happen to rookies, or noobs, or the uneducated. there are some people who post here that have admitted that the one time they failed to obey all 4 rules is the one time they had a ND.

while some have a ND due to carelessness, all it takes is forgetting the respect you must have for the weapon you are handling for just one brief moment.

while i have not yet experienced the ND, i have caught myself forgetting to check the weapon clear while dryfiring. thankfully, i had unloaded and unchambered, yet i had no recollection of doing so. it was just as the hammer was falling that the thought popped in my head 'did you clear?'

my unloading and unchambering have become a habit. when i remove the weapon from the holster, it is to dryfire or clean, so the first thing i do is drop the mag and rack the slide, then rack it once more and then take a look into the chamber.

October 6, 2003, 03:32 PM
Seen two. Had one. One caused by incompetence. Guy fired a load of shot into the ground on a trap range. He should have been kicked out. The 2nd a youth thinking he had more skill than he did. "I was testing the safety." He got a blast of excrement. It wasonly a blank, but the principles are the same. My own was caused by a rifle with too light a trigger going bang while I adjusted my position while hunting groundhogs. Scared me and the ground hog something awful. Nobody hurt in any case.
ALL the serious ND incidents I've ever heard of involved cops. They are forever shooting themselves, each other or something or body that did not need to be shot.

October 6, 2003, 04:06 PM
How do NDs happen?
Oh, it's really quite easy ...

1) "Don't worry, it ain't loaded"

2) "Check out the size of the bore on this baby"

3) "Nice smooth trigger pull, too"

4) "Oops, I'm sorry ....." :eek:

October 6, 2003, 04:19 PM
Ten years ago I'm sitting in my office in a crowded military clinic. A friend walks in carrying a knapsack - he's just gotten off a C-130 after a few days leave. He pulls out a 9mm pistol he bought somewhere; a used CZ clone of some kind - Tanfoglio or one of those Springfields that were popular back then.
And he proceeds to tell me about the great double-action trigger pull, a subject we had discussed at some length previously, after he had shot my CZ 85...

And he hands me the pistol and says "Go ahead, try it out - it's not loaded..."
There's no magazine in the gun.
I take the gun and point it at the calendar on the wall and realize somebody sits on the opposite side of that wall. I point it out the window and a car goes by. I point it at the ceiling and still can't pull the trigger...

I rack the slide and a loaded round ejects and lands on the floor with a loud click...

I didn't say a word, I just handed him the gun back and stared at him until he turned around and left.

And since that day I've never failed to check the action on any gun I pick up.


October 6, 2003, 04:42 PM
It's really not that hard to get in the habit of checking the chamber twice every single time you pick the thing up. Habit. Habit. Do it every single time. Soon, it just happens all by itself. Drop mag, pull back slide and check, close slide, insert mag, pull back slide and check. It happens in two seconds. Just start doing it to every gun you meet and soon you'll forget you ever handled guns any other way.

- Gabe

Black Snowman
October 6, 2003, 05:24 PM
Ignorance, hubris, complacancy.

October 6, 2003, 08:26 PM
There's many many reasons why they happen. But complacency is the main culprit.

The Four Rules are great, and observing them is paramount, BUT..1) Unless the end of your barrel is buried in the earth, it will cover something you don't want to destroy (where's it pointing right now?)- 2) You WILL touch the trigger on many occassions when you are not pointing it safely down range (look at some photo's of Jeff Cooper or a number of other professional folks)- 3) Guns are obviously not always loaded (treat them as they are though) - 4) Unless you are target shooting, or hunting, you may not know what is behind your target ( I think that would be rare in real life shootouts).

Don't handle guns when your impaired in any way. That includes fatigue. Never get TOO used to them. Remember Roy and his Tiger!!!

Standing Wolf
October 6, 2003, 08:34 PM
Knowing the safety rules isn't enough. Only living them gets the job done.

Double Naught Spy
October 6, 2003, 09:10 PM
SaxonPig, I see we have a fundamental difference of opinion when it comes to what is accidental or negligental.

Since such discharges are called unexpected, why not call them "surprises." When a gun goes off unexpectantly, we should call it a "discharge surprise." When such a shot harms somebody or some thing, it is a "detrimental discharge surprise." When such a shot kills, it is a "lethal discharge surprise."

Would that work?

I do think you have minimalized responsibility of such events as have many people. They also call it an accident when they run a red light and kill a family of four. The courts end up calling it vehicular manslaughter, but the driver of the errant vehicle and the lawyer for that person will never refer to the event as anything other than an accident. Maybe a better term would be "catastrophic vehicular collision surprises."

October 6, 2003, 09:30 PM
How about UD (unintentional discharge)? The whole ND/AD/UD is an old and tired argument. I agree that most UD's involve negligence, but they are also unplanned and unintentional (the definition of accidental). To call everything a ND, when you may not have the facts at hand to make that judgement, could be irresponsible - which I believe is part of SP's argument.

October 6, 2003, 09:35 PM
Keep your finger off the trigger.
No touchy trigger, no ND.

Don't you believe this!! It is not so. Keeping your finger off the trigger will only save you from having a ND maybe 99% of the time. I have a scar on my left palm from believing this. (Luckily it was only a 25acp). I sure wish I had followed rule #2 at the same time.

That 1% will creep up on you. My finger never got near the trigger and the safety was on...

October 6, 2003, 09:46 PM
You got it, Edward! That's why there are FOUR rules.



Mike Irwin
October 6, 2003, 10:56 PM
Unfamiliarity, ignorance, and/or complacency, or a combination of the three.

October 6, 2003, 11:01 PM
Keeping your finger off the trigger will only save you from having a ND maybe 99% of the time. I have a scar on my left palm from believing this. (Luckily it was only a 25acp)

OK, I'll bend to the extent that you CAN have an "accidental discharge" if:

a; The trigger has been "slicked up" by some guy named Bubba that you met at the gun store.
b; The gun is some beat up antique made in Spain about 1906.
c; The gun is a nickel alloy piece of junk that you found in an alley.

Other than that, I don't think so!

Oh, and how about "Premature Discharge" instead of negligent or accidental? It sounds vaguely sexual, and you were gonna shoot the gun eventually so "premature" sounds about right....


October 7, 2003, 02:33 AM
SaxonPig wrote, "AD describes the event but some people insist on saying ND which assigns legal blame and is a very dangerous habit to develop. Uttering ND at the wrong time and to the wrong person could prove very costly. "

In response, I have no problem with this at all. Why should anyone? It should prove to be very costly IF in fact the act turns out to be caused by negligence. Do you think just because an act isn't intentional that blame should not be placed, even when there is negligence involved?

DoubleNaughtSpy wrote, "To suggest an event was an accident is to suggest that there is no blame or nothing that could have been done to avoid it. That is bunk."

Agreed. I can barely think of an example where this may be untrue. Perhaps a freak mechanical thing such as described in previous replies to this thread. And these, only if there is no background suggesting that a person would have been prudent to not use the weapon should there have been something obviously wrong with it.

SaxonPig: "Nearly every accident is the result of some error, hence "negligence" can be assumed to have played a role. I am not trying to minimize the seriousness of the AD, or trivialize it, or shelter from blame a person who experiences an AD. I just think that saying ND is a mistake."

On the contrary, by not saying it's an ND, you are doing exactly that. By merely substituting a word, you are minimizing the connection of the doer to the act.

SaxonPig: " Getting in the habit of saying ND will get you hung out to dry if you are ever involved in a legal situation regarding an unwanted and unexpected event with a firearm causing damage, injury or death."

Again, being hung out to dry is exactly what one should deserve if you are at fault through negligence. For example then - someone leaves a firearm, loaded, at home with a 10 year old. It's accessible and he gets it and kills a playmate. Pure negligence and in my opinion, should be dealt with severely. That's negligence also, not an accident!

SaxonPig: "The other problem I have with saying ND is that it appears to have developed as a popular term among some self-righteous folks who want to assign blame and belittle others, perhaps to make themselves feel superior. "

I believe it's popular for a reason - it's correct, and accepted. Whether they are acting self-righteous or not has nothing to do with it. Blame won't need to be assigned, it'll be rather obvious. SaxonPig, you write that in talking about your one "AD" (the one you admit fault with) that it was unwanted and unexpected. It may have been unexpected to you at the time, but to someone who was thinking clearly at the time, or paying better attention, or was more knowledgeable of safety rules, or had a better technique, etc., it would not have been. It would have never happened. So, it was negligence on your part. It can and does happen. Live with it, admit it, get over it. It can happen to experienced gun handlers. It shouldn't, but it can, and does.


October 7, 2003, 02:48 AM
DMK wrote, "I was reading a story recently of a Marine who shot himself in the chest while jamming his Beretta in his shoulder holster. The trigger caught on his clothing and the gun fired, killing him."

DoubleNaughtSpy wrote, "
These are people who were using improper equipment or were not verifying that the procedure of holstering went as expected. "

The procedure of reholstering.
I believe everyone should know this. A tip from Massad Ayoob (I first read of it from him, if he got it from someone else, then kudos to them) is to touch the hammer of your double action revolver or exposed traditional DA (decocked) semi-auto when reholstering so you'll feel it begin to move backwards if the trigger hangs up on something. You'll be able to stop and correct the problem. Also, when done with a 1911 (the thumb rests on top of the hammer where it won't allow it to fall), this action also releases pressure from your grip safety as well - simply fabulous!

Also, and this is a pet peeve of mine. What's with all the psuedo armchair commando types who think that it's impressive if they shove their handgun into their holster so quickly and fiercely? That's an accident waiting to happen, either a dropped gun or it catches on something and fires into their leg. Do it smoothly and don't shove or jab it there. Place it into the holster. "No one has ever won a gunfight with a speed reholster!" (I love that line, isn't it great! If anyone knows who to credit with that one, let me know pls.)


Snake Eyes
October 7, 2003, 04:08 AM
Complacency, carelessness, negligence, outright stupidity and breaking the 4Rs have all been mentioned a few times and I agree completely. Sometimes alcohol adds a little extra punch.

For your consideration, another influencing factor:


I've heard more than once from "old timers" (not necessarily old aged, but much more gun experience than I) that there were only two kinds of gun owners: Those that have had a ND and those that haven't had a ND yet. I would listen, nod and think smugly to myself: "Not Me! I'm NEVER going to have a ND! I'm too careful! Too smart!" My buddies told stories about their NDs and swore I'd never make those mistakes--I was too careful! Too smart!

I made sure to be careful, keep a healthy respect--with a smidgeon of fear to keep my on my toes. I was never afraid of looking stupid by asking about operating a gun I didn't know or understand. And it seems to me that I am as, or more, cautious/strict/anal about the 4Rs than most of the people I shoot around.

One day last month I came home around 10pm. I had plans to go to the range early the next day and decided to pack up the guns I wanted before going to bed, so I'd be ready to go in the AM. I was a little buzzed but not drunk. I considered my rule against guns and alcohol but decided it would be ok since I wouldn't be doing any real gun handling--just picking them out of the safe, putting them into rugs and then into a range bag (rationalization=bad).

I was standing in front of the safe holding a Colt Model M 1903 in each hand, thinking about what I wanted to take out next


I had put fingers on the triggers of BOTH guns and pressed. I THOUGHT the guns were unloaded but I hadn't checked. I noticed that, with my arms hanging at my sides, the guns were essentially pointed at my bare feet. I had no idea where the bullet went. I couldn't find a hole or a lump in the carpet. I couldn't see a sign of it anywhere. For several panicked minutes I thought it might have ricocheted and hit one of my cats.

Fortunately I missed my foot, all the cats, .32 isn't loud enough to really ring ears, and my wife wasn't home to go ballistic and demand disposal of all firearms. The carpet and pad sit on a slab and I guess if anyone ever replaces it they'll find the slug. I think I broke all 4Rs in 3 seconds.

I was damn lucky.

Complacency, carelessness, negligence, outright stupidity and the breaking of the 4Rs--borne of time. I forgot that I was too careful and too smart.

The empty .32 case now sits balanced on the dial of my safe. I have to remove it every time I open the safe door. It's my little added reminder that I'm not as smart and careful as I thought I was. Hopefully it will help me remember better discipline and avoid a second ND.

Furthermore, I don't believe in "AD"s. I don't think "accidental" implies enough responsibility, if any. I have had "unexpected" discharges--where I expected a click and got a bang--but only with the gun pointed down range. I don't think that's what we're talking about. I suppose "Unintended Discharge" is passable, but my opinion is that you have to do break a rule to have one and that's just plain negligent. I know mine was a ND.

I figure that a if person walking The High Road through life has a negligent or unintended discharge that damages some one else's property or causes injury, they would step up and take responsibility--without being compelled by force of law. I would.



October 7, 2003, 09:06 AM
"I don't think that's what we're talking about. I suppose "Unintended Discharge" is passable, but my opinion is that you have to do break a rule to have one and that's just plain negligent. I know mine was a ND."

And mine was as well, but I refuse to judge others without the facts in front of me.

October 7, 2003, 09:25 AM
I was holding one of those once, obeying the Four Rules, when the hammer fell with a very scary, subjectively loud CLICK! Let me re-iterate, my finger was nowhere near the trigger, and I don't think I even moved the thing! A friend had a similar incident once, but hers really WAS loaded. Gave her quite a start, and reduced her confidence in that particular weapon.

October 7, 2003, 09:29 AM
:o I've committed two. Both were the result of not following the four rules.

One was an incredible brain fart, for which I have no explanation for whatsoever, except apparently it involved one of those momentary brain lapses.

The second was the result of not checking visually and tactically that there was not a round in the chamber.

Do you know what happens to paranoids? Damn little, that's what.

Paranoia and humility are good. I am afraid of me. I can't be trusted. It is necessary to check up on me regularly, and then necessary to check up on the checkup. Complacency and self-confidence can kill me, sooner or later, one way or another.

God bless and y'all be careful out there.:cool:

October 7, 2003, 10:04 AM
What is an ND?

Best regards

October 7, 2003, 10:55 AM
Welcome Alexey. ND is "Negligent Discharge".

I had my one and only about 25 years ago, when my fixed routine of "shoot, then clean" was interupted by a possible self defense situation (turned out to be nothing), in which I loaded and chambered a round in my 1911. That followed by distractions at home, led me to almost plant a .45 round right between my running lights when I tried to break said 1911 down to clean it. Fortunately for me, "rule 2" had kicked in, and all I ended up with was a hole in the ceiling, and bullet grazed knuckles.

Complacency bad. :scrutiny:

October 7, 2003, 11:43 AM
SaxonPig: I think I see your point. You're just worried about verbally announcing the word Negligence to anyone directly afterwards (and in the immediate vicinity) your "accident." Somehow you feel that this will save your butt from the lawyers. That's simply ridiculous. As I wrote earlier, it won't be difficult to ascertain that negligence was responsible, it will be obvious. It won't matter if you clam up or not. Sure, you don't want to spew forth with, "I'm at fault, I'm at fault, it was an negligental discharge!" They (the prosecuting att) will arrive at that soon enough, you won't need to admit it.

However, now that, in your case, your "accidental discharge" is over and done with, and you paid your dues you can admit that it really was a Negligental discharge.

There's no need to change the wording on this folks. There's no need to PC it, to soften it or to lessen the association of guilt. It was either a mechanical freak accident (for which one can still be negligental responsiblity) or it was negligence.


Double Naught Spy
October 7, 2003, 12:18 PM
SaxonPig, I think you are worrying way too much about the wrong aspect of negligental discharges. They are not 'accidents' even if they are surprises. I don't see why you have a problem with folks being accountable for their screw-ups with proper terminology. Even by YOUR own description, accidental discharges are negligent. Both accident and negligent describe the discharge. Negligent does also assign blame, no friggin' doubt about it and no friggin' doubt it should be assigned.

I just love this touchy feely world of kinder, gentler terms. I am sure a lot of people really go through life with the self-centered (not self righteous) perspective that they had an 'accident' and that it sure is a shame somebody died because of it. The 'accident' happened becuase the person was negligent in some aspect of what they were doing.

As mentioned previously, if you want to use a word that fails to assign blame, then it is NOT 'accident' but 'unintentional' in relation to discharges. "Unintentional" covers the bases of your concern of not assigning blame and yet reflecting that it was not an expected event. They are still negligent as hell and they are not accidents.

October 8, 2003, 03:15 PM
Semantics aside, one would do well to be able to admit this of themselves:

Paranoia and humility are good. I am afraid of me. I can't be trusted. It is necessary to check up on me regularly, and then necessary to check up on the checkup.

While realizing that if you adhere to the 4R's, even true AD's will be harmless to life. Well said sir.

Keith, it was #3, although not found in an alley. Unfamilier POS weapon, too much complacency and trust in mechanical safeties, and no #2. Firends POS he couldn't figure out how to remove slide. Asked me cause he knew I was the village expert on guns. Guess I showed him, huh?:rolleyes: :D

October 9, 2003, 06:43 PM
Hey, m@#%~*#&f&@#&!*#@, don't point that thing at me!

Abominable No-Man
October 9, 2003, 11:32 PM
The Army recently changed it's policy regarding AD's.

Simply put, AD's do not exist anymore. They are all Negligent Discharges,
the reasoning being that you a) had a round in the chamber when you weren't supposed to b)had a magazine in the weapon when you weren't supposed to c) had your finger on the trigger when you weren't supposed to, or d)had your safety off when you weren't supposed to.

If you have a ND for any reason, it's an automatic Article 15.

I've seen a few ND's, had two happen to me.
Two of them involved worn-out parts; one was me not minding where my trigger finger was.

#1 Pistol range with our old ragged-out 1911's. Hot day; sweaty, greasy hands; a string of fire where I had to reload fast; dropped the pistol fumbling the slide release; pistol fell muzzle-down on a shooting bench;
bang! Armorer determined it to be a worn-out sear.

#2 Loooong desert exercise; buddy of mine packing a .45 in the tanker holster with one in the chamber (against regs) as a precaution against coyotes and such; loading up to get the hell out of the kitty litter box; hard knock from a piece of gear; bang; noe one hurt, thank God; Armorer determined it to be another worn sear.

We got the Beretta not too long after that.

#3 Rifle range; part of the course was a "run, drop, and fire" kind of a thing(the military guys will know them as "Fire Team Rushes"); I ran; I dropped; my finger was on the trigger and safety was off; bang (had it on semi); in that instance no one but me noticed....but it made a lasting impression.


October 10, 2003, 03:20 AM
What is Article 15?

Best regards

Abominable No-Man
October 10, 2003, 09:57 AM
An Article 15 is Commanding Officers Non-Judicial Punishment. It is part of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. It can be applied to everyone, commissioned officers, warrant officers, noncoms, and enlisted. In order to get an Article 15 you must violate some part of the UCMJ, but article 15's are usually only given for minor crimes which don't warrant a court martial or dishonorable discharge.

There are different categories by which it can be applied by different levels of command: Company Grade Commanders (usually Captain or Major) and Field Grade Commanders (usually Lieutenant Colonel or above). A superior may nor direct a subordinate commander to give an article 15 nor can he dictate the punishment. The accused reserves the right to appeal and have a court martial instead of an Article 15, but appeals are usually only done by aggrieved screwups anyway. Once in a while, someone requests a court martial instead, but there are typically other circumstances when that happens. In any case, Article 15's are not done out of hand and when one is given, care is taken to make sure it is appropriate in light of the individual's service record, personal history, and nature of the offense.


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