More stuff I didn’t write: Thinking Critically on Safety by Tim at Gun Nuts.
TL;DR version is that a guy gets on YouTube, shows video where he shoots himself while holstering at a USPSA match, then defends to high heaven that he wasn’t responsible. Next, Byron over at pistol-forum.com looks through a bunch of videos of the same guy shooting other pistol matches and finds countless examples of him putting his finger on the trigger when he shouldn’t.
Tim then goes on to discuss what I call the Safety Sin.
The shooting community, especially at the shallower end of the pool, tends to treat firearms safety less as logical guidelines and more as holy writ. This results in two related problems:
- Any time someone makes a mistake, the Monks of the Holy Order of Self-Righteous Range Safety (HOSRS) jump up and down pointing at the offender as if he committed a mortal sin. The accused is instantly and irrevocably excommunicated from the Church of Guys Who Like to Shoot.
- Any time someone makes a mistake, he has to try like hell to hide it or make excuses for it so he doesn’t get flagellated by said Monks of Self-Righteousness.
So we end up with an atmosphere where little scientific, rational examination of human error is conducted. Why? Because all human error when it comes to firearms safety is considered inexcusable and an affront unto Pope Jeff Cooper and the Gods of War.
Contrast this with, say, absolutely any profession in the world and you’ll see how backwards we are. When pilots screw up, other pilots try to learn from it and figure out ways to avoid making the same mistakes by changing procedures, equipment, or both. When military or LE teams get shot up, they write after action reports and then examine what went wrong so they can figure out ways to avoid making the same mistakes again. And so on and so on.
Shooters who admit they make mistakes tend to make fewer of mistakes, make less egregious mistakes, and correct their mistakes sooner than the guy who always insists he never made a mistake. It’s not about being without sin. It’s about being honest with yourself, being your own worst critic, and then changing what needs to be changed so you don’t make the same mistake again.
Train hard & stay safe! ToddG