Each year many people in the United States are injured by
accidental and negligent discharge of firearms.
When the records for 2008 come out, I will be
one of those people in the report.
Each year people are also killed by accidental and negligent discharge of firearms.
At about 5:15 PM on January 19, 2008 I had a negligent
discharge of my Rock Island .45 ACP 1911 pistol.
It was NOT an accidental discharge.
It was caused by negligence.
I thought that I followed all of the safety rules.
But I became complacent.
I let my guard down just one time.
That was all it took.
I was in my basement sitting at my reloading bench. I was changing the grip safety on my pistol. It was so easy to do that I didn't take the time to field strip my pistol. This would have removed the slide and barrel assembly, making it incapable of firing. I also forgot to clear the pistol. This is done by removing the magazine and racking the slide, thereby removing the live round from the chamber. I actually pulled the pistol from my holster and removed the grip safety without unloading it. I will never understand how I could have been so careless when I've always been so careful before. After I installed the safety, I pulled the trigger to test it to see if it would have to be "fitted", which involved filing on the front of the grip safety where it interacts with the back of the trigger bar. I pointed it in a "safe direction" which was at the floor in about a 45 degree angle. In retrospect, sitting in the corner of a basement there really WAS no "safe direction" when you take into account the possibility of a ricochet. If I had been standing, that would have been a "safe direction" otherwise, but since I was sitting my legs were in the path of the resulting bullet.
This is my account of what happened after the shot rang out.
The reason I have created this page is to raise awareness of firearm safety and hopefully prevent other people from injuring or killing themselves or others. Hopefully when others read in detail all that can ensue from a momentary lapse in awareness, they will keep safety in the forefront EVERY time they handle a firearm.
Here is where I'm supposed to say "If I save just one person from getting hurt, than my injury will be worth it." Bullshit. Even if I save 10,000 people from getting hurt, it still won't make what my wife, family and I have been through "worth it". Learn from my mistake.