Monday, November 14, 2005

Speaking of Hunting...

The other night, as I was cleaning my shotgun, I was brought to mind of the phenomenon of people either blowing holes in their walls, or more unfortunately, in their limbs or heads, while "cleaning their gun". It struck me at that moment that, in order for such a thing to really happen, the victim/perpetrator would have to exhibit an almost mind-boggling degree of stupidity. (I leave aside situations where the "gun cleaning accident" is a euphemism for suicide.)

This should be obvious to anyone familiar with how guns work. For those of you unversed in the arcana of firearms, let me explain: You see, in order to clean a gun, the action (that is, the parts which move the shell/bullet into the firing chamber and actuate the firing pin) must of necessity be open. And a gun simply cannot fire if the action is open. Not only that, but it is inconceivable to me how a shell/bullet could remain in the chamber once the action is open. I suppose someone could attempt to clean a gun without opening the action, but once again you enter the realm of extreme stupidity. Trying to clean a gun without opening the action would be rather like trying to go to the bathroom whilst leaving your pants on: one could do it, but it should be intuitively obvious that the result will be unsatisfactory.

That should give you a little insight with which to understand "gun cleaning accidents" in a new light.