ORIGINAL: Ben Sobieck
What would you have done? Post your decision below.
I'd like to think that everyone eats, drinks and breathes the rules of gun safety. Know your target and what is beyond is one of those rules. It's what I've taught my kids (even though they're too young to shoot) and I make sure I live by the same rules as them. Sure, it's easy to say that in this case, no human life was at stake but it really doesn't matter. The rules apply in every case.
Here's an example I like to use: We like to say "accidental discharge" but pulling the trigger while you have your gun pointed at a target is no accident. Start calling them "negligent discharges" and think about how it sounds when you describe it that way.
I've given up opportunities to hunt nice private land in areas known for producing monsters simply because I knew the guy I'd be hunting with is a little lazy when it comes to safety. Generally, it's not beginners that have "accidents". They're fresh from a hunter's education course or basic NRA course and they can recite the gun safety rules backwards and forwards. The real danger occurs when experienced hunters have a lackadaisical attitude towards gun safety. It's all too easy to talk yourself into believing you're not being unsafe by stretching the rules a bit. You've climbed over that fence hundreds of times with a loaded gun. You've taken shots at deer that were barely visible and the only thing that happened is that you came home with meat to put in the freezer. Well, all it takes is one mistake to possibly ruin the lives of you, your victim and the families of both of you. I explained to my three year old son this evening that there are no do overs when it comes to shooting. You can't take that bullet back once you pull the trigger.
Set a positive example for the next generation. Shoot safely.