Monday, December 1, 2008

Familiarity Breeds Contempt

Familiarity Breeds Contempt

There is a widespread belief in gun control circles that ordinary people can't be trusted with guns--unlike police officers, who are highly trained. The evidence is quite clear that police officers really aren't anything special about gun safety--as incidents like this one, from November 29, 2008 Associated Press show:
MONROE, Ohio (Nov. 29) - Police in southwestern Ohio say a police chief mistakenly shot himself in the thigh after giving his daughter a gun safety lesson.

A police report says 54-year-old Middletown police Chief Greg Schwarber was preparing to clean his Glock .45-caliber pistol on Friday and didn't realize the gun was still loaded.

The report written by officers from neighboring Monroe says the bullet entered Schwarber's leg just above the knee.
I'm told that general aviation pilots have their highest rate of accidents at about 1000-2000 hours of flying, and for the same reason. Most people, when starting to do something mildly dangerous, recognize the danger, and are appropriately cautious. As experience rises, so does confidence--and sometimes overconfidence. Cops, because they carry guns regularly, suffer from this problem. As gun carrying becomes more common among civilians, there's probably some risk of this same overconfidence. Let's keep this in mind, okay? Never forget that with your freedom comes enormous responsibility.

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