Posted by: ENDO-Mike February 8, 2016
I was getting tagged dozens of times in a 5 second clip of this video on Instagram. I had no idea what the context was since the clip was so short, so I gave Travis the benefit of the doubt initially. In this full video we see him demonstrating pushing his index finger on the magazine release at 1:46 when it slips off and hits the trigger which fires a round off. Embarrassing? Sure. No one died and hopefully he learned from the incident. What else can a person do right? I’ve never had an accidental or negligent discharge, but I also don’t handle firearms day in and day out, and manipulate loaded firearms in front of cameras while talking and demonstrating different things.
TOO MUCH TO SAY .. I don't know where to start!
Okay, here's a place to start:
The only 'safe place" to put your trigger finger when you have no intention to shoot is along the receiver above the trigger group.
When I saw the video and heard "Haley" say he would put his finger inside the trigger guard, but in front of the trigger .. or rest it on the magazine release housing (in front of the trigger) but "put tension on the trigger finger" I knew that was a recipe for disaster. It made me cringe to watch it.
"Disaster" is defined as ND (Negligent Discharge).
Still, it shocked me when the (tense) trigger-finger slipped off the trigger group housing and fired a shot. Even though when I watched the video, I was expecting an ND, I still couldn't believe it happened.
But it did. And anyone who watched the video and didn't anticipate the consequences of this 'unsafe act' just hasn't fucked up with guns enough.
I think Travis Haley is now qualified to say that he has 'fucked up enough".
I've only been teaching this stuff (firearms safety) as part of my "Introduction to USPSA" class for about six years. And I've only been competing in IPSC matches for just under 30 years. And I only spend one year as a Platoon Sergeant in Vietnam. So I am not going present my self as the guru of firearms safety.
But even *_I_* know that in stressful situations that finger is going to slip. IF the "tension on the finger" had not been stressed during the presentation, I would't have been so apprehensive.
I'm grateful to the folks who actually put this video online. If nothing else, it proves that even the most experienced of shooters ("operators"?) can muck it up.
Hope this video remains online forever. It provides a valuable 'teaching moment', and we can all learn from that. It takes a lot of courage to face the shit-storm of criticism (including mine) to show how easily even the most experienced shooters can err in even the most controlled situation.
Oh, and whatever they say in the cover text for the video, he wasn't
"focusing on pushing the magazine release" (housing?) when it happened, so don't believe that. In fact, he was just saying how he put tension on the trigger finger so .. BLAM! (oops)
BTW: A lot of comments here are saying "Okay, gun pointed in a safe direction, nobody died, no big deal" etc.
No. That's not the right attitude to take. That's just brushing off a major firearms safety lapse as "NO BIG DEAL".
It is a very big deal.
To say "it could have happened to anyone" is bullshit. It doesn't happen to everyone, it happened to this man, right here, and it could have been prevented if he had been less nonchalant about firearms safety.
Finger on the trigger (yes, I know it "slipped"; no excuse!)
Safety off. (No, I don't believe in 'safeties', but I use them all the time unless and untill I actually intend to shoot something .. and so should you. And so should he.)
Yes, it's nice that he had the gun pointed in a 'safe' direction, we don't always see that in firearms videos on youtube.
He wasn't looking 'downrange', he didn't know what or who was there; he assumed it was safe.
So there are two of the five rules of firearms safety which he violated, right there. Unintentionally, yes.
I am SO going to use this video in future Firearms Safety classes that I teach!
PS: Travis, Tex Grebner is your new best friend!