October 26, 2006

Tragic But Possibly Avoidable

A man killed his father in a hunting accident.

First, is it just me or does the press seem to usually mention the caliber of firearm involved in a hunting accident but almost never mentions that in a self defense shooting? Not that it means anything I'm just wondering.

Now the story says that the son had the rifle on his shoulder. The sling broke & in an effort to gain control of the rifle he accidentally pulled the trigger.

Assuming that's accurate this very horrible incident may have been avoided if the safety had been on. It does not seem likely that he'd have wiped the safety & pulled the trigger in an effort to stabilize the rifle. It'd possibly help to know the model of rifle involved.

Course it is possible (just not probable) that the safety was on & was wiped off prior to accidentally engaging the trigger. I assume the local sheriff's department will get to the bottom of things, though they don't expect to file any charges against the man.

But as a general rule when I go hunting (though it's been ages) I do keep the chamber loaded. I have the safety on & if I use a sling (I normally carry the long arm in my hands) I don't rely on it totally for control of the rifle. (Hell I'm still getting used to the idea of using slings as a carrying aid - them things is meant to aid field accuracy).& unless there are special circumstances I carry the rifle muzzle down on the off shoulder. It's quicker to unsling in a hurry from that position. At least for me. An added plus is I have better control of the muzzle that way.

All the details are not in so it's hard to say what could have or could not have been done. But it does seem that given the scant details I have that having the safety engaged & possibly carrying the rifle in a different position could have helped to prevent a very awful occurrence.

Posted by Publicola at October 26, 2006 04:59 AM | TrackBack