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Follow the Rules or You’ll Get Your Finger Shot Off…or Worse (Video)

How difficult is it…REALLY…to follow Colonel Jeff Coopers 4 simple rules to firearm safety?

They’ve been around for DECADES so they should be ingrained in every gun owner and should be instilled in new gun owners before they ever pick up their first firearm.

The rules that go like this:

  • All guns are always loaded. Even if they are not, treat them as if they are.
  • Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy. (For those who insist that this particular gun is unloaded, see Rule 1.)
  • Keep your finger off the trigger till your sights are on the target. This is the Golden Rule. Its violation is directly responsible for about 60 percent of inadvertent discharges.
  • Identify your target, and what is behind it. Never shoot at anything that you have not positively identified.

Nearly every negligent discharge that I have ever heard of is due to the failure of a person following one or more of these rules.

In the following video you will see 2 people ignoring these rules that, fortunately, only resulted in the loss of a finger.

Let’s go over all of the fail that we see in this video shall we?

First, the clerk hands the officer a loaded weapon.  The clerk didn’t check to see if it was loaded, didn’t pull back the slide or drop the magazine.  He just picked it up from under the glass and handed it to the officer.

I’m actually willing to give a small pass to the clerk with regards to the question of whom should get the lion’s share of the blame for this; only because the actions of the officer are so idiotic and foolish that one can say that between his finger and the lives of those people at the end of the counter, he got off lucky.

Feel free to watch the video once more.  This cop is a jack ass.  He holds the gun with his finger on the trigger, has his other hand over the muzzle and just keeps pulling the trigger without ever checking to see if it was loaded.  He’s damn lucky that he didn’t kill the guy in blue jeans at the end of the counter.

What exactly was Barney Fife actually looking for, to see if the trigger worked?

So he shoots the tip of his finger off and I will once again say he is damn lucky he didn’t murder anyone by his carelessness.

Yet, since we live in a world where people think the results of their idiocy is someone else’s fault, former Glasgow Police Officer Darrell Smith is suing the gun shop, Barren Outdoors, for an undisclosed amount of money.

Smith reportedly lost his job from the injury, but he may have just as easily been fired for nearly killing an innocent bystander by his own carelessness.

What is known is that in the deposition, Smith lied and stated that the gun “accidentally” went off…with his finger on the trigger…pulling it.  That is NOT an accident, that is negligence and while I do believe the shop and clerk have some SMALL responsibility in this matter, it would be very limited as Smith himself did everything wrong in order to put himself at 9 digits.

The closest thing I could think of would be buying a car and driving it to the desert and running out of gas because you ASSUMED that it had a full tank without ever looking at the fuel gauge.  You get heat stroke and severe sun burn and then you sue the car dealership for not giving you a full tank even though it is SO easy to just look and check yourself.

Smith actually has the gall to put into his lawsuit that the store employee didn’t do a safety check to ensure the gun was unloaded, therefore he is suing for negligence.  How about your own negligence Mr. Smith.  I mean, who flashes their own hand and pulls the trigger?  I learned when I got my first gun that I never treat it as unloaded, even without the magazine in and the slide locked back.  To do otherwise is to invite bad habits…habits that will be paid for in blood.

I hope that Smith loses his case because if he simply followed Cooper’s 4 rules he’d still have a job and all of his fingers.

Perhaps it’s just the arrogance that some police officers have since they are so well “trained.”  The Smith story reminded me of another officer from a few years ago who negligently shot himself in a classroom full of children…right after crowing about how well trained he was.

And I quote: “I’m the only one, in this room, professional enough that I know of who can carry this Glock .40”  BANG

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.  I wouldn’t be laughing if he killed himself but since it was just a leg wound it’s funny.  Humor that is only exacerbated by the arrogance of the officer.  A good lesson for gun owners to heed.  Don’t become arrogant with your firearms, you are only one trigger pull away from disaster.

This video was one of the reasons I never cared for Glocks.

Suffice it to say…this officers “professionalism” aside…follow Coopers 4 Rules and you probably won’t shoot yourself like an idiot and end up on youtube.


  • Hop

    It’s been said that there are two kinds of shooters, those who have had a negligent discharge, and those who will. But the ultimate responsibility lies with the person holding the firearm. Period. End of litigation.

  • durabo

    I am a proud NRA and CCW instructor, and I can attest to the fact that the ONLY accidental discharge I ever had was the first time I had sex. Nope – no negligent discharges either.

    • Bullets First

      Hahaha…classic durabo.

  • BlueEyedAl

    Now I know where the term “Dumb Cops” comes from.


    Geez! And this guy is a cop? Why?

    • constitutionalist

      Not a cop, a DEA agent. When he found out that the DEA released this video on YouTube he attempted to sue them.

  • RJ

    I was with you until you started calling out Glocks, like they’re some kind of anomaly to the rules you wisely posted above. Safeties are for suckers. While that’s not any more fair than calling out a Glock (which incidentally has three safeties, none of which are manually engaged), reliance on safeties for “gun safety” is as equally mindless as driving into the desert with ill-enough gasoline.

    Also, your site’s incessant popup ads make it impossible to leave a comment on mobile. Had to copy/paste this in. Just a friendly FYI.

  • MadRex McVicker

    Not sure what Glock’s have to do with poor gun handling. The firing mechanism in a Glock makes it virtually impossible to strike the primer without pulling the trigger. I won’t go into the physics behind this because I’m sure it’s been done elsewhere if you are interested in a lesson on how safe Glock firing mechanisms are. The problem in both of these examples as stated was unsafe gun handling. When people make comments like “This video is one of the reasons I never liked Glocks” it shows another form of negligence. That statement shows a superficial (at best) understanding of guns, probably narrow personal experience with different gun types and a tendency to repeat what someone else has said. Worst of all is the affirmation that the anti-gunner claim that guns “just go off and kill people” is true. Please don’t make comments like that. It only helps the anti-gun crowd and adds no value to the ownership and safe handling of guns. If you don’t like a design element, quality control, color, shape or name of a firearm state it. It’s more constructive and shows you might actually know something.

  • CBDS

    Treat all guns like they are loaded!

  • Don

    An external thumb safety would not have helped this idiot – he would have thumbed it off then negligently pulled the trigger. I agree with RJ below – if you handle the gun properly, the external thumb safety is only useful if you have cocked a single action pistol, reducing the trigger pull significantly. Glocks don’t have this problem. You can drop a cocked and loaded Glock from a helicopter a couple of hundred feed in the air and it won’t discharge. You have to pull the trigger to get it to fire, and you have to cover enough of the trigger to depress the trigger safety or the trigger will not function.
    I would suppose that you don’t use revolvers any more, either, since they don’t have an external thumb safety.
    The gun’s safeties are not to guard against stupidity. They are to keep the gun from discharging unless the trigger is pulled. The best safety to engage is the one between your ears.

  • Paradox

    LOL! Mention one little thing about why you PERSONALLY don’t like Glocks… and all the striker-fire fan boys loose their minds. Some of us are old fashion and like hammer fired sidearms. It’s no big deal guys… if we don’t like your favorite flavor of ice cream.

  • Jerry Verdugo

    No! I would not have shot the suspect–just yet! A warning to stop or we’ll shoot should be enough. If not, then a shot on the leg would have enough.

  • Cobranut

    I darn near fell off my chair ROTFLMAO!!!
    This guy’s an IDIOT. Just lucky he didn’t kill someone.

    That second video is a classic also. LOL

  • Cobranut

    I don’t particularly like Glocks either, but you insinuate that there is something wrong with the design.
    Glocks have proven to be reliable weapons, and they work as designed. One must understand his weapon and how it works to handle it safely though.
    My dislike for them is a PREFERENCE for a particular type of action, not a condemnation of the design.

  • Every responsible gun owner knows the first thing you do when handling a gun is to assume it is loaded and immediately check both the chamber and the magazine.

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