It seems today that the media gets things wrong more than they get them right. This applies to nearly every type of story, too. If they’re caught in their “mistakes,” they make a token apology and move on. Accuracy and truth are no longer tenets of journalism. Don’t get me started on the abject deterioration of spelling and grammar in the media!
It just went off!
One topic that the news media consistently gets wrong is anything involving guns. Guns reportedly “go off.” No. They don’t. They’re inanimate objects. They no more “go off” than cars “drive themselves off.” (Yet, there’s another such story you’ll see below.)
Guns have to be fired, just as cars have to be driven… by humans. But, the media doesn’t like to place the blame where it belongs. They specifically confer animating qualities to guns making them seemingly autonomous rather than even suggesting that firing a gun requires human manipulation. Hollywood movies are also responsible for misinformation about how guns work (and don’t work).
I was just cleanin’ my gun.
One persistent and perennial story is the case of a gun owner “cleaning” his / her gun and it “going off.” Or the gun was dropped and fired upon striking the floor. And, someone “accidentally” gets shot. Let me put this as simply as possible: That’s BULLSHIT. Absolute bullshit! Earlier this week, my hygienist brought me this article. The newspaper story is full of “fail” and full of shit. (See news article after the jump)
Even the POLICE are complicit in perpetuating the myth! The police should know better!
Let’s break this bullshit story down. The gun in this news story is a .38-Special. That means it’s a revolver. The gun in the photos I’ve provided here is a very popular .38-Special revolver.
1. You cannot clean a loaded gun. It’s physically impossible. The most basic and essential part of cleaning a gun is inside the barrel. The reason we clean guns is to rid the internals of residue, dirt, lead, etc. If a gun is loaded, the barrel and chamber(s) are BLOCKED. The internals are not accessible.
In the case of a loaded revolver, the only part that could be “cleaned” would be the external surface.
Being loaded, it means the cylinder chambers have cartridges in place, and the cylinder is closed. So, none of the internal parts of the gun are even available for cleaning. So, in the traditional sense of cleaning a gun, this guy wasn’t doing that. It’s simply not possible to clean a loaded revolver.
2. FACT: A handgun… even loaded and cocked… will NOT fire by being dropped on the floor or even thrown forcibly against a brick wall. This has been the case
since the invention of the firing pin block, hammer block, and transfer bar. All of these safety devices prevent the pin from striking the primer (igniting the cartridge) unless the trigger is pulled.
Drop safeties became standard in revolvers around 1944. So, unless this guy’s gun was a single-action revolver made before 1944 (unlikely), it has a drop safety of some kind.
3. Most revolvers are “double-action.” That means it has a trigger that is rather heavy to pull and has a long “travel” to fire the gun. In other words, pulling the trigger has to be very much intentional.
And, now for the real story.
So, what REALLY happened? The dude pulled the trigger on a loaded gun. BANG! Period. “People of the gun” (POTG) call it a “negligent discharge.” It’s not an “accident.” It’s negligence. Most likely, he was “playing” with the gun, put his finger on the trigger, and then pulled it. Or perhaps he “thought it was unloaded” and wanted to “dry fire” the gun. That’s still negligence. The other possibility is that a piece of loose clothing (or other object, maybe including his finger) got in front of the trigger as he was holstering it. Pushing the gun into the holster with something then pushing on the trigger = BANG! Or even more likely… he was stuffing the gun into his waistband WITHOUT a holster (trigger is not covered), and it went BANG, shooting himself in the ass.
The bottom line is that the gun did NOT fire by being dropped on the floor.
What did the redneck say right before he died? “Hey… hold my beer and watch this.”
Ultimately, very few men will admit to being or doing something stupid or especially criminal activity. This gun-drop-fired story has been around and repeated for so long, that unenlightened people believe it. I am not the first to point out the fallacy. But, this myth needs to be exposed at every opportunity. There have been cases of men “cleaning” their guns and “accidentally” shooting their wives. Uh-huh…. Yeah… NO. That’s not how it happened.
Modern guns with modern internal safety devices do not fire when dropped (or “cleaned”). For a gun to fire, a round must be in the chamber, and the trigger must be pulled. If you follow the Four Rules of Gun Safety, it will not unexpectedly go “bang,” and nobody gets hurt.
The two loudest sounds a gun owner can hear is a “bang” when he expects a “click” and a “click” when he expects a “bang.”
The only true fact we can glean from the newspaper story seen above is that a man shot himself in the ass. The rest of the story is pure fiction. It’s the same for nearly all the “gun went off” stories in the news. His ass has an extra hole, but I suppose his ego and pride remain intact. He fooled them all! They bought his story!