Repeat NDer

You know that Ohio instructor who shot one of his students in class? Turns out this isn’t the first time he’s shot someone, the last incident being in 1977, and is coming to light now because when the person he accidentally shot read about the latest incident, she spoke up.

“Oh no, he’s done it again,” Hessler, now Cathy Schmelzer, 50, told the paper after she heard of the latest shooting.  “I said, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me!’” she said, according to the Dispatch.

I’d say if you find yourself at a point in life where you’ve shot two people accidentally, it’s probably a really good idea to seriously examine your relationship with firearms, and decide if maybe you’d be better off taking up a hobby where reckless abandon is considerably less consequential. Chess is a good hobby.

28 thoughts on “Repeat NDer”

  1. The reckless behavior of instructors is concerning. Yellow training barrels are just $13 and you can get a red/blue training gun for less than $50 buck. People moan and groan when someone says it’s a cold range or cold classroom. Stories like this are the exact reason why those cold rules exist and work.

    1. And you can get a realistically shaped squirt gun or other toy for about $10 or less.

      NO EXCUSE for using a “live” firearm in such a manner that there is any chance of an ND in the classroom. If it’s “live”, it stays in the holster or case until you get it on the firing line or a clearing barrel. Period.

      (And no, I don’t count an “Ooops!” that goes into a clearing barrel or right into the berm where you safely aimed it a “negligent” discharge — stupid, embarassing, and possibly accidental, YES, but by definition you removed “negligence” from the equation by treating it as a loaded gun and intentionally pointing it somewhere you don;t really mind a bullet going.)

  2. Anybody remember the story a little while back about the instructor that kept muzzling students and then telling them to stop whining? Yeah, this is why guys like that are asshats.

    1. Awesome and fitting. If you go on youtube and look for old Jeff Cooper videos you’ll see him muzzle the heck out of people in the classroom.

        1. I see you’ve brought your special brand of attitude here in the comments. I wasn’t talking to you.

          1. So what of it? Do qualifications, awards, citations, metals of valor still get you out of following good gun safety rules? This is not a case of “in the heat of the moment”. This instructor has the luxury of time and clear thought. Like I mention below, keep it up, and it only gives our enemies (you know, the ones that actually project this kind of thing onto us) more ammunition.

  3. I’ve had two accidental/negligent discharges in the past 20 years. One happened when I as I was attempting to draw a 1911 under duress. Damn near blew my dick off. It was probably a good thing that my firearm went off when it did, because I had every intention of opening fire on several attackers – who had instead opted to turn tail and run. I probably would be in prison right now if that hadn’t happened.

    The last one was less than a year ago, and I was very drunk when someone handed me a firearm to “check out”. I did not have the presence of mind to check the chamber, nor to realize that I shouldn’t have allowed him to hand the firearm to me in the first place. One second I was standing there minding my business without any thought of firearms, and the next I was unexpectedly handed a loaded 1911 (I have bad luck with 1911’s!). The bullet went through a door buck and then bounced off of three walls before settling on the landing in the stairway below.

    But anyway, I consider myself to be VERY disciplined when it comes to muzzle control and keeping my finger off the trigger. But even I have had two unintentional discharges in 20 years. And I’ve been “muzzled” more times than I care to admit by people who really should know better.

    Just keep in mind that you WILL go to prison if you kill somebody with a NG, and all it takes is a split-second of indiscretion to make a lifetime of carefully following every safety precaution for nothing.

    1. Gee, if I were an anti-gunner I know I would have plenty more ammunition after reading this post. Thanks.

    2. “Bad luck” with 1911s? If you are a competent and conscientious gun handler, “luck” is not part of your vocabulary. It’s not luck, and it’s not the gun.

    3. “I was very drunk”: There’s the starting point for the mistake. Drunkenness and guns don’t mix well; neither does Drunkenness and power tools; Drunkenness and cars; Drunkenness and ladders; Drunkenness and members of the opposite sex (or even the same sex, if you swing that way).

  4. Interesting comments. “I’d say if you find yourself at a point in life where you’ve shot two people accidentally, it’s probably a really good idea to seriously examine your relationship with firearms, and decide if maybe you’d be better off taking up a hobby where reckless abandon is considerably less consequential. Chess is a good hobby.”

    You should look up a guy named Bill Jordan. He shot two people inadvertently, one of whom was his partner. Should he have given up guns for chess, smart guy?

    You might also look up Jeff Cooper. Already mentioned above for poor muzzle discipline. What is not as well known is just why he was a “former” Marine. That can be found if you do some research. Turns out he was thrown out of the Marines because he was considered to be dangerous with firearms.

    You might also look up a man named George S. Patton, Jr. He had a “negligent discharge” with a 1911, too. Should Patton have given up guns for chess?

    Real easy for you to hide behind your blog-identity and throw your witty firebolts at this instructor, but I am quite sure you would not be so smart mouthed in front of his face, or in front of Jordan’s, Cooper’s, or Patton’s faces, either.

    1. I had to look up who Bill Jordan was. And yes, I will stand by that if you shoot two people by accident, you should reconsider things. That calls for serious introspection. I don’t care how famous you think you are, or are.

      I know people who have had NDs, but because they were following other rules of gun safety, it was just embarrassing rather than something that required medical attention. Note I am not talking about NDs. I am talking shooting two live human beings by accident through the course of a “career” of gun handling. An ND that puts a hole through a floorboard and an ND that put a hole through a live human are two very distinct things.

      1. Yup. Even one AD that caused someone injury would almost certainly cause me to put away my guns forever (unless I lived in one of the 100 or so zipcodes in America that are actually dangerous). Two ADs that caused injuries? Yes, an instructor is going to be at higher exposure than the average person, but guns aren’t magic; one AD causing an injury might be bad luck; two is a pretty clear sign of carelessness.

    2. Well, Ursa Ele, could you provide a cite on LTC Cooper being “thrown out” of the Marine Corps for being unsafe?

      He was denied the opportunity to remain on active duty as a Reservist* at a time when the Regular USMC officer corps was busy trying to make sure all the regulars had billets, and was turning down a LOT of reservists who wanted to stay on active duty. This happened to quite a few officers — they falt out had more guys competing for active duty billets than they had billets, by a VERY long shot.

      * Despite having gotten a Regular commission in 1941, he was on active duty as USMCR in 1955 since he had resigned his Regular commission after WWII, because he frankly had way more officers ahead of him who had vastly more infantry combat experience and wasn’t going to get promoted very fast in the post-WWII way cut back USMC.

  5. Unless someone was extraordinarily unlucky, wouldn’t having two AD/NDs injure a human, seem to suggest they had a lot more that hadn’t hurt someone and thus could easily be lost down the memory tubes? And if so, did they learn nothing from any of them?

    I’ll admit to having had several ADs in my lifetime, even though I don’t have to, because no one was present so no one was hurt, and no one knows about them but me. Only one of them sort of embarrasses me, but I was a kid of about ten carrying a really dangerous design of single-shot .22. The others involved firearm malfunctions including inadequately cleaned (rifle) target triggers, of an older generation, that went off when I wasn’t even touching the gun on the rest (with the muzzle down range, of course), and a 700 Rem. that would go off when you released the safety, exactly as many were alleged to do. (That stripped and modified action is now sitting on a shelf of my cabinet awaiting reincarnation, and the “friend” who sold me the rifle is on my permanent shit-list.)

    But the point is, I had bad experiences, and none of them were inside a building or a car, and no humans or property was damaged. And I learned of all the factors that would contribute to such things happening.

  6. In the 1977 incident, according to a Dispatch account at the time, Dunlap said he fired his .38-caliber handgun into the air to create, in his words, “a scary effect,” while taking his daughter and her friends for a “haunted hayride.”

    Seriously? This goes way beyond negligence. I’m pretty sure if he wasn’t attached to the police department, that would be something along the lines of reckless endangerment. How is it even still his choice whether he gets to wander around armed in public, much less retain his certification to teach others about gun safety?

  7. Without getting into the heat of argument over who or what was bad, it’s nice to see that our community actually gets worked up over these things. That tells me two things:

    1) We care enough to analyze the snot out of them and to publicly shame those who do dumb things, so to prevent them from happening again.

    2) They are not as common as the other side alleges. If they were, we would not have time to dissect each one the way we do.

    And in an interesting twist, it was our community that came up with the term “negligent discharge” to replace the term accidental. It was about assignment of responsibility to the operator of a firearm – something you won’t catch the anti-rights crowd ever doing.

    1. I wouldn’t say ND replaces AD wholly. There are still accidental discharges, which happen because of mechanical failure. But most of the time the Cletii let one fly in a pizza shop it’s ND rather than AD.

      1. Yep I’ve had 3 Unintentional discharges, all three of them at the range, all three rounds stopped by the berm.

        Two were me dropping the hammer on an “Empty” gun before putting the gun away, and surprised by the “Bang”. The range couldn’t tell the difference between that and my shooting. But those were NDs.

        Had one AD where I racked the slide on a tuned competition 1911 and the force of my rack caused the hammer to follow and the gun discharged a round into the berm with my finger still on the frame.

        That’s an honest-to-god AD.

        1. Oh and since all the other safety rules were being followed ZERO harm was done.

          I’m lucky that way, I know people who have had ND’s at home where their “safe direction” worked, but damage needed to be repaired.

          1. Personally I’d say the 1911 was negligent on the part of whoever “tuned” that gun. If the trigger doesn’t hold it’s too damn light. Target or otherwise.

      2. Agreed: mechanical failure is sometimes an issue. But even then, following the rules of gun safety means mechanical failure should not be an issue. The father of a friend went to prison in California for second degree murder. He tried to argue in court that it was manslaughter, because the thumb safety on the Llama .380 was defective; he was only trying to scare the guy who was having sex with his wife, and did not expect the gun to fire. Mechanical failure? Sure. Brain failure? Yes, and without it, the mechanical failure meant nothing.

        1. Personally I’d be hard pressed to convict a guy who shoots any guy who’s banging his wife, no matter the circumstances. There’s a list of things no man should ever do, and murder and banging someone else s wife are both on it. It’s called the Ten Commandments.
          I’d say they cancel each other out.
          Up to God to decide the subtleties, not me.

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