Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Accidental Discharges–Not Just for Lovers Anymore

posted by Bill Arnett @ 11:16 AM Permalink


From Reuters.com:
Two Secret Service officers were injured on Tuesday after a gun held by another Secret Service officer accidentally fired inside the White House gate, according to a spokesman, Darrin Blackford.…Their injuries are non-life threatening, the spokesman said.…One officer suffered a shrapnel wound to the face, and the other was wounded in the leg.…They were taken to George Washington Hospital.…"It appears that at approximately 2:10 p.m. (1810 GMT) there was an accidental discharge of a service issued weapon, which occurred inside the Southwest Gate at a security post near the White House," Blackford said.…
Every military policeman, and most soldiers, have heard repeated the warning that their weapon is not a toy, games such as "quickdraw" should never be played with even an empty weapon, for that weapon will be loaded at some time and, should the quickdraw game start anew, it is very possible that someone will be shot. All weapons bearing personnel also are told not to un-holster their weapon for any reasons but loading, unloading, and for possible use in dangerous circumstances and that even then it should not be drawn unless you may have to shoot and then you shoot to kill (center mass, technically, but the home of the heart).

The old .38 Special that used to be standard issue for Air Force police have a special "trigger-block" internally that prevents a weapon from firing if dropped (even from great height) so if any discharge occurred all that had to be done was to take the weapon to the Armory, disassemble it, and if the trigger block was still in place it told you that contrary to whatever story was told, the only way that gun went off was through pulling the trigger.

Many agencies have switched to 9mm handguns, primarily for the increased ammunition holding capacity (15-16 rounds compared to 6), and bearers of this type of weapon are trained to keep the safety on at all times while holstered to prevent accidental discharge, then after drawing the weapon, releasing the safety only when ready or forced to fire.

Secret Service personnel are taught to do those two things simultaneously, while drawing the weapon they will release the safety while the gun is coming out of the holster so it is ready to fire immediately.

Draw your own inferences, the results of a shooting investigation of this type are not generally released to the public, but it's very difficult to accept an "accidental" discharge of a weapon in such a high security location.

Makes me wonder if bush has loaded up the Secret Service with political cronies, too.

2 Comments:

At 1:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Secret Service personnel are taught to do those two things simultaneously, while drawing the weapon they will release the safety while the gun is coming out of the holster so it is ready to fire immediately."

From my understanding, the Secret Service Carries the Sigarms 229 chambered in .357 Sig. That pistol has no safety.

 
At 11:39 AM, Anonymous Bill Arnett said...

Standard weapons change from time to time, the new generation of SS weapons may indeed have no safety, but virtually every automatic has a safety and that is the training they receive. I did not know they had changed weapons.

Thank you for making an excellent point.

 

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