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Apparently “Negligent Discharge” is unintentional

“Negligent discharge” refers to the discharge of firearm as a result of carelessness. It is a primary cause of death and injuries in the United States. Tragically, most cases of “Negligent Discharge” are classified as “accidental discharge” or “unintentional shooting.” Only a few cases are valid instances of accidental discharge of firearm. All other cases are purely based on irrational decision. How the words “negligent” and “unintentional” mean the same thing in this context is beyond me.

The difference between “Negligent” and “Accidental” discharge.

Journalists, blogs and media posts use the terms “accidental” and “negligent” interchangeably when describing unintended shootings. These terms are entirely different. There are accidents and there are needless accidents. “Accidental discharge” or “unintentional discharge” of firearm occurs when the gun fires due to reasons beyond the owner or user’s control. The case of the NFAC shooting is an example of an accidental discharge. According to ABC news, a local protester who experienced a heat stroke while carrying an old shot gun dropped the gun as he collapsed. The gun which had a slam-fire feature ended up firing bullets that hit three people in their extremities. January 7th, 2020 in Texas, a student accidentally pulled the trigger on a handgun while he was flaunting it. The bullet hit an upperclassman who had already enlisted in the Army. He obviously did not intend to shoot the man but his actions were a result of neglect and disregard for rules.

Practical examples of “Negligent discharge”

There are various instances in which individuals’ carefree attitude led to casualties. The sad part in most of these cases is that it’s not the guilty party that becomes the resulting victim. Ninety percent of the time, it’s an innocent passerby or bystander that pays the price for someone else’s nonchalance. Maybe if violators shot themselves more often, people will adhere to rules. Here are some examples of “Negligent Discharge.”

Pointing your gun at what you do not intend to shoot

much life threatening injuries and deaths have occurred from this act of recklessness. In December 2019, a 24-year-old man identified as Jeremiah Isom shot a Family member in the head. His excuse, “he thought the safety was on.” The police report stated that Isom and the victim were together with other family members at Hudson Street where the victim was throwing rocks at Isom’s car. Isom pulled out his gun and pointed it at the victim saying “I have something for you,” then he pulled the trigger. Wow! Giving your pal a headshot as a Christmas present, that gives new meaning to “Christmas spirit.” He broke not one, but all the gun safety measures I can think of. He had probably seen a lot of superhero movies and thought the victim had “bullet immunity.”

Not offloading your gun while you clean

leaving your gun loaded while you clean it guarantees you at least a 50% chance something will go wrong and that’s a lot of risk-taking considering the fact you are working with a gun. A misfire can lead to some serious injuries not just to you but to anyone around you, especially if the bullet hits a vital part of the body. January 2019. Keanu Kishimoto was cleaning his gun when it accidentally fired, wounding him and sending a bullet into his next-door neighbor’s bed.  Imagine laying on your bed binge-watching your favorite series on Netflix and all of a sudden, a stray bullet hits your bed, just missing your body by a few centimeters all because your nut job neighbor decided to clean his loaded gun. At least this culprit got burned. I bet he isn’t going to be cleaning a loaded gun anytime soon.

Celebratory gunfire

I’m surprised how this act is gradually becoming a publicly acceptable gesture. Probably, individuals who partake in this act are trying to emulate the US army when they bust caps in the air to pay their respects to dead comrades. However, it doesn’t take a wiz to let you know these soldiers are trained professionals with years of experience. More so, this singular act takes precision, care and training. There is no reason why you should attempt shooting in the air during events. Asides the obvious effect of noise pollution and the possibility of causing panic attacks to people around, you are also endangering lives. In 2015, a falling bullet killed Javier Rivera while he was gazing at the New Year’s firework display with his wife in the driveway. He died on the spot. A happy moment turned sour by a simpleton who decided to play target practice with the sky. Again, the culprit is not the victim.

Taking a picture with your firearm to flex on the gram

CBS News reported a 19-year-old male identified as Alonso Smith accidentally kills himself while taking a selfie with his gun. I honestly understand the urge to want more followers and generate more traffic on your Instagram feed. Posting a picture with your ammo is a killer to the ladies. What I don’t understand is why you would do this with a loaded rifle. It’s not like anyone would notice if your gun was loaded or not. It’s a pretty dumb move. At least, he was his own victim. Such a shame he wouldn’t be able to flaunt his picture to the ladies.

There are other instances of poor gun control and disregard for rules leading to negligent discharge like firing warning shots. An example is the unfortunate episode of Marissa Alexander who wanted to discourage her abusive husband from hitting her child. Surprisingly in Florida, that is a felony, and she was sentenced to 20 years. Luckily she got out after 4 years.

Conclusively, if you follow the rules guiding gun usage, no one will get hurt. It’s that simple. Even if you feel you have got yourself covered, you can’t always account for others around you. No one likes a show-off so keep it real.

Rell is a network engineer with over 10 years of experience in IT management and network optimization. He has a passion for firearms and previously worked with the US military in California, where he gained knowledge and experience in the gun world. Rell is a firearm instructor and range safety officer who runs a website for gun enthusiasts, where he provides information on gun culture, safety, and maintenance.

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