This is my third letter dealing with “accidental shootings.” The recent anti-gun article “Arming Adults in Schools” by the Associated Press stated “If this (accidental shooting) can happen with a highly trained police officer, why would we give teachers guns?” A fair statement at first glance.
However, I am calling "horse puckey" to the phrase “highly-trained.” The poor police officer very obviously was never properly trained in the basic safety rules and proper gun handling. Rule number two is “ALWAYS keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.” Since the invention of the trigger bar in 1975 and other refinements, no pistol manufactured in the US will fire unless the trigger is pulled. Even if the pistol is dropped from 10 feet onto concrete directly onto the hammer (drop test), the firing pin cannot strike the primer and discharge the weapon. Just isn’t happening. It isn’t an “accidental shooting.” It is a negligent shooting.
Rookies and the naive beginner naturally put their finger on the trigger when first picking up a pistol. But teaching them to automatically place the trigger finger above the trigger and along side the slide is pretty easy to do; it's a simple matter of an astute teacher watching the student like a hawk until the student can be trusted to ALWAYS keep the finger off the trigger until ready to shoot. A very simple habit to learn.
The AP newspaper article infers that if a “highly trained” cop can not properly handle a firearm then poor, ignorant teachers certainly can’t be trusted with a pistol in a school setting. My answer is that ignorance can be cured with knowledge but stupidity is forever. My small arms unit supervised over 20,000 soldiers on the range for live fire and we didn’t have one “accidental shooting.” And many of them were very young and new to the pistol. I would expect teachers to be even more teachable, responsible and trainable than a 19-year-old.
Thanks to the CST for the opportunity to correct some myths and misconceptions.