This entire tragedy is brought to you by Rule 4: Be sure of your target and what is behind it.
If either of these officers had considered Rule 4, this would never have happened.
Now, for review purposes, let’s go over Col. Cooper’s 4 Rules, with a bit of input from yours truly, shall we?
1. All firearms are always loaded
That means always. ALWAYS. I don’t care if you just looked, it’s still loaded. I don’t care if your buddy just took it out of the safe, checked it, showed you the empty chamber and then handed you the gun. You check the chamber, it’s empty, and the THE DAMN THING IS STILL LOADED. Got that?
2. Never let the muzzle of a firearm point at anything you are not willing to destroy
Guns are fun. They are also destructive when used improperly. Once fired, a bullet has no eyes, no ears and no sympathy. Point the muzzle in a safe direction all the time.
3. Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot
This is simple. GUNS JUST DON’T “GO OFF”. Got that? I don’t care if the moron who was playing with the .357 said so to the oh-so-sympathetic reporter after he just shot his kid sister. It went off because you pulled the f’ing trigger. If you keep you finger off the trigger, no boom. Very simple.
4. Be sure of your target and what is behind it
The most anemic round ever invented can kill you from a lot further away than anyone should be comfortable with. It is a moral imperative that you, the person who has successfully followed Rules 1, 2 and 3, know exactly what it is you just aimed the muzzle at, and know what is behind it to stop that bullet should it go through the intended target. And if it isn’t safe–if you wouldn’t want your sainted maiden aunt 200 yards behind that target when you pull the trigger–then you take your finger off the trigger, point the muzzle in a safe direction and carefully safe the gun.
These moronic “police officers” (and I use quotes because no one this stupid truly deserves the title) should have the book thrown at them. And when it smacks them upside the head, I hope it hurts just as hard as the parents of Austin Gabriel Haley, dead on August 3, 2007 at age 5, hurt every day for the rest of their lives because two fools couldn’t follow 4 simple rules successfully.