The very human propensity to harm ourselves is only surpassed by our ability to judge each other. Sure, we joke about earning Darwin Awards, but the term “Hold my beer and watch this…” didn’t just emerge from the primordial soup. Nor did it begin with the advent of YouTube “I’ll be famous now, alive or dead!” videos. We earned it.

Sadly, there are still far too many gun safety dumpster fires at our range outings. Why? I think people – mostly men – have a hubris gene. We’re biologically pre-wired to believe that we instinctively know how to operate firearms. How hard can it be? Point gun in the desired direction and squeeze. Anyone who seeks training or asks more experienced shooters must be a fairy pansy, or maybe worse. If you ask for help, you’re just admitting your failure at being a man.

If you think about it, proof of the hubris gene is easy to find. When you see a shooter saying or doing something dumb, and call them out on it, you’ll almost always get a response like, “I’ve been shooting guns since I was a kid.” I’ve also been listening to the radio since I was a kid, but you don’t want me singing at the Grammy’s. When you hear that explanation, it’s awfully tempting to ask why they’ve been repeating the same dumb comment or action that long, but I digress.

While gun safety statistics are better than ever, we’re not quite there yet. Here are two encounters that prove my point.

Read the rest: A Little to the Left… and Other Gun Safety Horror Stories