"accident" shouldn't exist as a word around firearms?


January 29, 2003, 10:25 PM
After reading that article about the "tragic accident" regarding the police chief's daughter..

It makes me beg the question:

Is there such a thing as an "accident" around a firearm EVER???

First, muskets aside, most modern firearms are so loaded with safeties that everything short of a trigger pull will set it off. So 99.999% of all guns require INTENTIONAL pulling of the trigger.

Second, if the gun "goes off by itself" that's not an accident, that's neglect of cleaning, examination of wear and tear on the weapon.

So anything something "bad" happens around a firearm, I maintain that it's one of three reasons:


On somebody's part. If a child is involved, that is Neglect on the parents part, almost blanket across the board...

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Kahr carrier
January 29, 2003, 10:27 PM
One word NEGLIGENCE.:what:

January 29, 2003, 10:28 PM
Accidents happen, usually as a result of negligence.:rolleyes:

January 29, 2003, 10:39 PM
I disagree.

Accidents happen. I have two wheelguns with very light triggers. Occasionally at the range one of them goes off a split second before I get on target. That is an accident. It is not a negligent "I shot my foot because I stuck my finger where it did not belong".

It is an accidental discharge.

January 29, 2003, 10:42 PM

That's not an accident.. Your FINGER was inside the trigger well!! At that point in time, there are NO ACCIDENTS!! You meant to discharge the gun; but timing is just off...

How light's the triggers???

January 29, 2003, 10:52 PM
It's more of an issue of "how heavy's the gun?"

The trigger is splendid. On an eight inch .44 magnum, it is sometimes hard to control the single action trigger pull. It is a very light pull, and occaisionally I get a surprise. I don't miss the mark on purpose, and I am not being negligent.

You define it.:p

January 29, 2003, 10:57 PM
I stated in my prior post "wheelguns". Both .44 Mag.

Eight inch Anaconda, nine and one half inch Super RedHawk, scope on the Ruger.

That bugger is heavy.

January 29, 2003, 11:06 PM
Last year, a woman put a chambered Glock in the broiler section of her gas oven to get it out of the way while she was cleaning.

Then she forgot about it.

She was babysitting her infant grandson, who was asleep in another room.

She turned on the oven to heat some pizza.

The Glock cooked off, and the bullet went through the oven wall, another wall, and ended up killing the baby.

Lots of safety rules broken, lots of negligence and stupidity involved topped off with a HUGE batch of ignorance.

But most accidents share those characteristics.

Human error. People cause accidents.

Double Naught Spy
January 29, 2003, 11:08 PM
twoblink is right. That is not an 'accident' if your gun goes off before you expect it to if your finger is on the trigger. That is more akin to negligence and poor gun skills given the gun used. You know the gun has a light trigger, and yet you handle it as if it had a heavier trigger and the result is that you have discharges that do not occur at the proper time.

"Accident" as I understand it, has more often been attributed to some sort of mechanical malfunction or event not associated with the person handling the gun in a wrong manner. By called these "accidents," it seems to indicate that there was nothing anybody could do to prevent the occurence. Such "accidents" may be the result of a design problem, defect in the material or labor, problems of modification, or due to parts wearing out. Why these types of unintended discharges may be called "accidents," the truth of the matter is that somebody is to blame. Maybe it is the manufacturer who makes the gun, the gunsmith who improperly modified it, or the shooter for not performing proper inspection and maintenance. So in some respect, there is still negligence involved.

One classic example of an "accident" occured to Gus Barber when his mother shot him with a Rem 700. They had gone out hunting and returned. The mother went to unload her Rem 700, took off the safety and the gun discharged. According to her lawyer, as I recall, he reported that she was handling the gun in a safe manner when she had difficulties with unloading. She turned the gun so as to get better leverage. When the safey finally was disengaged, the gun was pointed toward a horse trailer behind which her son was sitting. The bullet hit the son and he died from his wound. So the safety was defective and not the mother's fault, but had she not violated gun safety rules, her son would not have been shot. In other words, Remington is apparently responsible for the defective rifle and the mother for unsafe gun handling.

Something I learned from my insurance agent is that they don't call traffic accidents "accidents" but wrecks. Wrecks almost always occur as the result of some sort of driver error. For example, a driver may be driving too fast for the current road conditions and as a result not be able to stop in time to avoid hitting a car ahead of them. The wreck could have been avoided had the driver been driving appropriately for the conditions. And this is where AR-10's revolver discharges figure in. He knows the gun has a light trigger, but does not handle it in a manner conducive to preventing unintended discharges. The fault is not with the gun, but the shooter. In other words, the unexpected discharge is due to negligence.

January 29, 2003, 11:17 PM
For most news stories where someone is "accidentaly" killed, many things have gone wrong. Most of the times people have not followed the basic rules of handling firearms. Or, in the case of the oven Glock, someone was very stupid in the storage of their firearms. Every now and again something comes down the manufacturing pipeline, like the Rem saftey example, that can be something inherently wrong with the design of the gun. But she broke the 4 rules, and her son was killed.

AR-10 in your example, you are at least aiming your revolver's down range. So if there is an ND the projectile is moving down range where it is supposed to even if it isn't hitting paper. But if your triggers are that light, then maybe you should have them tuned or not have your finger in the trigger guard until you are right on target. I don't think anyone's questioning your saftey procedures, but you do know of the pre-existing condition of those two revolvers, and aparently are handilng them accordingly (for the most part :p ).

January 29, 2003, 11:26 PM
Semantics. The broad and widely accepted definition of accident is "unplanned event ". Accidents can, and often do involve negligence, but that term is very specific. It might apply to a specific situation..it might not. I don't know why folks get their panties in such a bunch over this terminology. If you want to get really philosophical about it.....is there ever a true accident? Fault can be found somewhere along the line in nearly every event.

Per Websters:

Main Entry: ac·ci·dent
Pronunciation: 'ak-s&-d&nt, -"dent; 'aks-d&nt
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin accident-, accidens nonessential quality, chance, from present participle of accidere to happen, from ad- + cadere to fall -- more at CHANCE
Date: 14th century
1 a : an unforeseen and unplanned event or circumstance b : lack of intention or necessity : CHANCE <met by accident rather than by design>
2 a : an unfortunate event resulting especially from carelessness or ignorance b : an unexpected and medically important bodily event especially when injurious <a cerebrovascular accident> c : an unexpected happening causing loss or injury which is not due to any fault or misconduct on the part of the person injured but for which legal relief may be sought

January 29, 2003, 11:29 PM
Mine are unplanned events. I am a responsible gun owner. :rolleyes:

And I certainly will not "tune" the triggers. It took a lot of work to get the Ruger where it is. The Anaconda came with the blessing.

January 29, 2003, 11:52 PM
You got me on that one AR. Touche!

January 30, 2003, 12:37 AM
What I meant when I started this thread was; I'm sick of hearing people writing things off as "gun accidents" as to sound like it was 100% unpreventable and a freak of nature, the gods must be mad at us, syndrome that some people take.

I had an AD before. But guess what?? The gun was pointed downrange, and so it fired (and hit someone else's target, who was a little pissed at me) but guess what???? NOBODY GOT HURT. Why? I pointed that muzzle in a safe direction...

There are rules, and when a rule or rules are broken, "bad things happen". To write it off as an accident (like I couldn't do anything to prevent it), not accident (unplanned event) is to lay blame on nobody, which is BS in my book.


Accidents happen, because someone was having a senior moment at some point in time...

January 30, 2003, 12:57 AM
Accident- The gun went off by itself.

Negligence- The gun went off as someone had their hands on it.

Anyone ever see a gun fire all on its lonesome?

January 30, 2003, 01:43 AM
If you say there are no gun "accidents" because there was a chain of events leading up to the discharge that caused the gun to fire, then nothing should ever be call an "accident". It doesn't matter whether you are talking about a car, a gun, or slipping on the ice. If someone had done something different prior to the "accident" it wouldn't have happened.

January 30, 2003, 08:45 AM
Accidents are when things occur that no reasonable person could anticipate or effectively control.

Negligence is when a person fails to anticipate or control that which a reasonable person would.

As for myself, I almost had an ND last week based on violating every safety rule because I "knew" a weapon my brother-in-law had just checked was clear. Unfortunately, it wasn't. But for the grace of God, I would have put on through a wall. It wouldn't have been an accident; it would have been stupidity on my part.

January 30, 2003, 09:23 AM
If I run a stop sign and kill somebody... Court trial.
If a politician does it... Accident.

If my kid blows his head off with one of my guns... Court trial.
If a state cop's kid does it... Accident???

Sure keeps me from having accidents, of any kind! Not sure what anyone else's excuse is. Must be nice though.

January 30, 2003, 09:46 AM
There is only negligence.
Using any other term is an attempt to make one feel better about their negligence.

El Tejon
January 30, 2003, 11:07 AM
What buzz sez. However, if you follow the 4 Rules, then there would be no NDs and very few ADs with injury.

January 30, 2003, 12:13 PM
What I am getting at is not playing dictionary; I'm saying, think first, and then think again before you act. If you obey the gun safety rules, it's pretty hard to hurt someone..

All things happen for a reason, tragic deaths caused by a gun, 99.9999% of the time, negligence.

January 30, 2003, 06:05 PM
"There is only negligence.
Using any other term is an attempt to make one feel better about their negligence."

Spoken like a Personal Injury Lawyer. If the person committing the negligence is poor ...then the manufacturer of the gun is negligent for making it too easy...or the ammunition maker....or the Gun Dealer.....or ..... The terms cut both ways.

The term accident includes negligence. The LEO's daughter was definately killed by negligence on the part of the father ( for a variey of reasons). It was still a very tragic accident.

January 30, 2003, 06:12 PM
Sorry Atticus, when you press on the trigger when you don't mean to, it is not an accident.
It is negligence.
You are talking about gun design and ammo, I am talking about people who discharge their weapon by activating the trigger, it's not an accident, it is negligence.

BTW, the crack about sounding like a personal injury lawyer really hurt. :( :neener:

January 30, 2003, 08:17 PM
Delta Elite: I agree. If you read my earlier posts, I say that. The word accident includes negligence as part of it's definition. A negligent discharge is still an accident since it was unplanned and unintentional. When a news source reports an accident, it is not implying that no one was at fault. They are saying it wasn't homicide.

January 30, 2003, 08:30 PM
Ok, I reread and I agree.
See, I can admit I was wrong. :)

January 30, 2003, 08:32 PM
"Accident" is used instead of negligence because some people have a problem admitting they were the ones at fault and not the gun.

Bob Locke
January 30, 2003, 08:49 PM
To me, an accident occurs when something happens that is
beyond the control or influence of the person or people involved.

Negligence is the general cause of most mishaps, however, and not only those involving firearms.

And as stated previously, the term "accident" is generally applied to absolve the responsible, negligent party from taking responsibility for that negligence. It is this sort of avoidance of accountability that is helping bring down this country. And if we as gun owners, who are among the most responsible people in this society, join right in, then who's gonna stand up?

January 30, 2003, 09:36 PM
Unfortunately firearms are simply tools--
Tools that are sometimes//often used as/by hobbyists --

Berating the fact that virtually all "accidents"with firearms are negligence percipitated just hurts the cause--

If an idiot gets him/herself or his/her kid killed with a power tool/chainsaw-- the media allows for a TRAGIC accident--

Let's not take the acident concept away from ourselves and our profession or hobby--
whether or not negligence is evidently involved--

The media and public is all too quick and ready to vilify the firearm and firearm owner--

January 30, 2003, 10:09 PM
Gee whiz guys - words have meanings but I think the word accident still belongs in the dictionary!
Every accident has events which lead up to the accident. Even though those events may involve negligence - IT WAS STILL AN ACCIDENT! if it was not intended.

Bob Locke
January 31, 2003, 01:35 PM
Even though those events may involve negligence - IT WAS STILL AN ACCIDENT! if it was not intended.
So if I cock my pistol, point it at your head, and hold back the hammer with my thumb, it's just an "accident" if my thumb slips (unintentionally, of course) and you end up dead?

January 31, 2003, 02:05 PM
That would be PURE Negligence

January 31, 2003, 02:07 PM
Negligence is a cause of accidents. It is entirely possible for a discharge to be both accidental and negligent. Very few accidents are purely random and most involve negligence on someones part. However that does not stop the accident from being an accident. Unfortunately using the word "accident" automatically invokes some sort of denial of blame. This is wrong and should be avoided. Accidents still have causes and it is with those causes and individuals that blame should be placed.

The reason the ND language is so favored is because it makes the gun seem harmless and the people bad. The truth is guns are dangerous objects, useful but dangerous. They have much more potential for harm than many other things. I've never seen a ten commandments of ballpoint pen handling for instance.

January 31, 2003, 11:21 PM
Today, 1/31/03, downtown Nashville,Tn., a security guard was showing his Glock to a hotdog vendor on the corner. Finger MUST have been on the trigger...he shot a man in the leg.The victim was across the street and there were dozens of other people standing/walking in the area. Its a wonder someone wasn't killed.
No doubt someone need a refresher on some safty rules!
Mark. :D

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