I am heartened by the hue and cry being raised by actual hunters across the country (not including Texas, where "safety" apparently means "one more damn thing I can saw off my gun to cut weight") about the Blam Blam Cheney incident. I don't hunt, but I deeply appreciate that there is only one right way to do it. Most of the men in my family hunted in their younger days, and most have since gotten to a place where they prefer to watch and photograph wild animals rather than shooting them for dinner, but we all retain an absolute asshole level of obsession with gun safety. Let's review, shall we?
* All guns are loaded. Even if it's really not, you always treat a firearm as if a round's in the chamber. This gets you in the habit of handling your guns very carefully and reduces the risk of an accidental discharge, should you, say, remove the magazine but forget to check the chamber.
* Always point the muzzle in a safe direction. This follows from the mantra that your gun is always loaded, even when it's not. You keep the muzzle pointed to safety. Always. This means not swinging the end of the gun toward a person or dog while you're looking at it. This means carrying with the muzzle pointed down at the ground. This means not looking into the bore from the business end.
* Safety stays on and finger stays off the trigger until right before shooting. You never, never, never walk through a field with your safety off. You absolutely never walk with your finger on the trigger, never place your finger on the trigger as you raise your weapon. Doing otherwise risks an accidental discharge should you stumble, cough, or, oh, I don't know, get a jolt from your pacemaker.
* Never shoot until your line of fire is safe. You don't shoot, obviously, if a person or non-target animal is between you and your target. But you also don't shoot if people are forward of your position in the firing line. You never shoot in open country (i.e., not in an enclosed range) if you're not sure where some of your party is. You don't shoot until you know that everyone in the area is accounted for and safely behind you. You absoutely don't swing around to follow a target moving, at shoulder level, on a trajectory taking it behind your position, with your finger on the trigger, firing without determining the safety of the several new firing lines you're establishing through 180 degrees in the span of less than a second, Mr. Vice President.
Yes, I'm a liberal tree-hugger who's never shot anything more sentient than an old can. But I have the utmost respect for the power of firearms and doggedly follow the safety rules associated with them. Anyone who injures someone through their arrogant disregard of the safety rules all outdoorsmen are responsible for exercising should be charged with assault. Even if the other guy was ignorant enough to join in a three-gun hunt. It's not a hell of a lot different from hopping in the car after a drink or two too many.
Got a lovely card and single rose, and--AND--a gift card to Home Depot. I am in Lesbian Heaven. Hoping the girlfriend will request a new piece of furniture requiring purchase of a dado set for the table saw. Homer, that's dado, not dildo.