A few other blogs this week have pointed out the idiocy of people acting unsafely with firearms.
Specifically, blank-shooting firearms.
Immediately, a couple things came to mind: 1) The Four Rules – see right sidebar for specifics, and
2) Jon-Erik Hexum
Mr. Hexum was a rising young star in the 1980s. Deep voice, great physique, okay actor. I remember reading in a TV Guide interview that while he cut a striking figure, he was not (and I quote him) “Not just another drop-dead clothes horse.”
Obviously, though, he’d not heard of The Four Rules.
However, on October 12th, 1984 after a long and draining day’s shooting on the set of “Cover Up: Pilot (#1.0)” (1984), Hexum became bored with the extensive delays and jokingly put a prop .44 magnum revolver to his temple and pulled the trigger. The gun fired, and the wadding from the blank cartridge shattered his skull, whereupon the mortally injured Hexum was rushed via ambulance to hospital to undergo extensive surgery. Despite five hours of work, the chief surgeon, Dr. David Ditsworth, described the damage to Hexum’s brain as life-ending. One week later, on October 18th, he was taken off life support and pronounced dead. However, Hexum’s commitment to organ donation meant five other lives were assisted or saved with organs harvested from him. The youthful & charming Hexum was dead at only 26 years of age.
I believe it was Jeff Cooper who told a story of a Russian discussing the ‘safety’ of a particular firearm. He said, “Ees gun, is not safe!”
We cannot stress this enough. Firearms (EVEN blank firearms) are dangerous tools. Just as with chain saws and other tools, there are safety protocols.