OOPS! Bad Day At The Office…

“a local police officer aiding in the security detail for the President’s visit accidentally discharged his weapon. The officer is a sniper and was positioned on top of a building”
 
See Gun goes off during French President’s speech; 1 man injured
A rifle can be a fine precise instrument of policing but only if used properly. It can’t be at its best with a human calling the shots. Accidental discharges of firearms usually happen with pistols during load/unload or holster/unholster operations. For a rifleman to have an accidental discharge takes real skill or some failure of equipment. It’s very rare. My father went through a whole war and encountered only one, on the parade-square… He wasn’t the shooter. In all my years I’ve encountered only one. The guy to whom I handed a shotgun pulled the trigger… What was he thinking? I was too young to have learned to unload before doing that…

I guess someone is lucky no one was killed. I guess refresher courses will be given, memos written, lessons learned, and rifles will go on being accurate, reliable, dependable tools.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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11 Responses to OOPS! Bad Day At The Office…

  1. oiaohm says:

    The sniper, in a non-firefight non-high-alert situation fucked up. A bullet should not have been chambered.
    ram security detail for a president of any country is classed as high-alert.

    The odds of a slip, trip, or fall, are far higher than any “mobile situation” developing.
    If you are obeying proper carry policy like hand over trigger guard not on trigger until lining up to possible fire the odds of slip,trip or fall causing a weapon to fire is almost zero. You would be more likely to be hit by lighting because you are on top of a building.

    So weapon firing by mistake should say the sniper was targeting a possible threat and everything went wrong. Now if that is the case it was one of the rare errors and a very hard call because if the hostile is truly hostile time to load bullet could result in protection failure. If sniper was not targeting anyone and the weapon fired then sniper should be in trouble. Problem is we don’t have enough information and the sniper weapon was not a smart weapon recording all target acquirements.

    No doubt the shooter is to blame but why was he relocating in the middle of an event?
    This can be as simple as seen possible hostile target moving to get clean shot.

    Not all possible hostile targets are are in fact hostile. You don’t unload you weapon when hunting deer or the like because the deer moves and you have to move a bit to maintain a clean shot. Snipers from buildings do the same thing just the target is a human. So moving with a load weapon while targeting is in fact very rare to mess up. Be it snipers or hunters.

  2. ram wrote, “A bullet should not have been chambered.”

    Police and others regularly carry pistols cocked and loaded. Best practices depend a lot on training and situations. No doubt the shooter is to blame but why was he relocating in the middle of an event?

  3. ram says:

    I ALWAYS unloaded and removed any bullets from the chamber of any firearm I handed over. Likewise, I always unloaded (if it needed it or not) any firearm I was handed. In a non-combat (as in non-firefight) situation that is best practice. The sniper, in a non-firefight non-high-alert situation fucked up. A bullet should not have been chambered. The odds of a slip, trip, or fall, are far higher than any “mobile situation” developing. That sniper was more a threat to himself and his squad than to any tentative “terrorist” threat.

  4. oiaohm says:

    The recipient was an adult. I was a kid. The responsibility lay with the adult.

    That why in Australia everyone handling firearms is meant to handling training before they get given a weapon. Be them kid or adult. Yes even kids are taught only to give firearms to trained people. Because untrained will do stupid handling mistakes and might kill them. Yes those words are used with children.

  5. oiaohm wrote, “its part on Robert for not checking person safe handling skill first.”

    The recipient was an adult. I was a kid. The responsibility lay with the adult.

  6. oiaohm says:

    Wait, you hand someone a loaded gun and blame him that it went off? That was all on you, Bob.
    Ivan also this is not exactly the case.

    Passing a loaded shotgun is done quite a bit. Of course if doing only people trained to keep finger off trigger should be doing it. Yes you are right its part on Robert for not checking person safe handling skill first.

    I was too young to have learned to unload before doing that…
    Robert was partly right. At first you pass around the weapon unloaded and make sure everyone knows how to handle it correctly. Not firing means hands on stock and barrel no where near trigger. So you hands have to be totally in the wrong place for a shot gun or rifle to fire when passed to you. You should always presume a round is in breach and handle the weapon as it is unless the breach is open and you can see through the barrel or other wise confirm that there is no round. Lot of people have the bad habit of holding a unloaded weapon incorrectly the they day the breach has a round left in it for some reason someone gets hurt.

  7. oiaohm says:

    No excuse for that kind of error. A bullet should have not been in the chamber. This was NOT an active firefight.
    Ram that is in fact wrong. Snipers for security common do have a bullet in the chamber. Because if something does happen where a shot need to be taken quickly may not be time to bolt load the round.

    Sniper rifle is not meant to be hair trigger. Should require a good solid squeeze to fire. Now there is quite a difference between a proper sniper rifle and a general rifle in trigger pull weight even if the guns are absolutely identical on the outside.

    USA mil and police specs say the following 3.5-4 lbs your general rifle pull weight. You competition sniper shooter pull weight 4.5lb and greater this is called duty weight by US Mil. US Mil rifles with by 3-5lbs for trigger pull weight. So a sniper rifle trigger should be 4.5-5lb.

    Duty weight of trigger is you are in a sniper position with round in the chamber and it should not fire if you don’t pull trigger. Should be resistant to reasonable amount of bumping.

    So the complete problem could have been caused because he picked up the wrong gun. Yes a 3lb trigger gun can be exactly the same model as a 5lb trigger gun and in fact look absolutely the same from the outside. Major difference in safety.

    The fact of the different trigger weights is why at time on a battle field you will see a sniper with two rifles. One will be for general combat and one will be sniper. Even if to you the two rifles look identical as they could be identical for everything bar the trigger. Yes someone could have incorrectly serviced the snipers rifle and weakened the trigger load.

    So someone will be in trouble over this. Might not be the sniper might be the one in charge of supply of weapon or servicing weapons. Someone stuffed up.

  8. Ivan wrote, “That was all on you, Bob.”

    I was 10 years old at the time. At least the muzzle was pointed in a safe direction.

  9. ram says:

    No excuse for that kind of error. A bullet should have not been in the chamber. This was NOT an active firefight.

  10. Ivan says:

    Wait, you hand someone a loaded gun and blame him that it went off? That was all on you, Bob.

  11. dougman says:

    Stupid frogs.

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