There was a poorly crafted news story gathering local opinion on an out-of-state incident which happened last month and while the story was mostly a useless waste of time, there was one fact which was stated in an interview which is worth repeating. A gentlemen was discussing squeezing (he called it pulling IIRC) the trigger and he correctly stated that once you do and the bullet fires, you cannot take it back.
Many times in life we get a second chance in the things we do. But with a firearm you only get a single chance in many instances. If you are careless with a firearm in some instances the consequences are lethal. Even if they are not lethal they can cause damage or pain. My own father was carrying an old style 22 pistol to clean it and it slipped out of his hand. This particular pistol did not have a hammer block and so once the hammer struck the floor the firing pin hit the rim of the 22 and caused a discharge which hit him in the back of the leg and lodged in his hip. On a forum recently a gentleman was building a 1911 and he thought he was complete and while sitting in the living room, loaded the magazine with live rounds and inserted them into the pistol and the gun fired into the room. He had made an error with the build which caused the firing pin to make contact with the primer cap. At the range while handing the firearm to a shooting partner they accidentally put their finger in the trigger guard and fired the pistol, luckily it was pointed downrange. Recently at a Charlotte range two gentlemen were shooting together one finished, but had not cleared the gun, turned from the lane and shot his friend in the thigh.
My point is you must always practice safety prior to squeezing the trigger. In my father’s case he broke two rules. The firearm was not pointed in a safe direction and he did not treat the firearm as if it was loaded. In the case of the 1911 discharge he did have it in a safe direction, but did not treat it as if it were loaded. At the range with my shooting partner the direction was safe, but the finger was not off the trigger until ready to fire. In Charlotte the pistol was not in a safe direction and the finger was not off the trigger. These were all accidental discharges of the firearm. Two were mechanical in nature, two were failure to adhere to safe firearm handling rules.
There is one other thing to consider. Let’s say you are in danger, in your home, and pull out a pistol or long gun for protection. Be darn sure of your target and that you want to pull the trigger before you do because you cannot take it back. The teenage mother in Oklahoma made the correct call when she shot an intruder trying to get into her home to steal drugs and potentially harm her and her infant, but she will still have to live with the fact she ended someone’s existence on the planet for the rest of her life. Perhaps the last rule to remember should be you cannot take it back!