GUN SAFETY 101 |
April 04, 2011
Stationed in: Afghanistan
Milblog: The Sand Docs
The week has been notable for a rash of accidental, self-inflicted gunshot wounds by ANA troops. Three incidents in the past week, to feet, legs, and even the abdomen. Invariably they were just cleaning their weapon when it went off. We have been trying to envision how one holds the weapon to accidentally shoot oneself in the stomach while cleaning it. Let the imagination run wild.
Over the past few months we seem to have a gun accident about every other week. We have seen the double shot, which passed through the arm and then the mandible with the round coming to rest in the mouth, and the buddy shot, as in "Whoops, sorry about that buddy." Then there was the chemistry experiment. This involved throwing some M-16 rounds into a fire, no doubt in a quest for the Nobel Prize in chemistry. The chemist only suffered a leg shot rather than death, dashing our hopes for the Darwin Award.
One of the theories that has been postulated to explain this rash of accidents, is that the Taliban have employed a secret plot. Namely, pose a threat, ensure that the other side arms themselves, and sit back while they slowly knock themselves out. At our current rate, this would seem to be a viable strategy.
Normally the last thing you would ask of a medical team is advice on weapons handling. It would be boring stuff like lock it up and keep it out of reach of young children. (We have no comment on the question of whether some of the personnel issued weapons here constitute young children.) However, in light of the current streak, I'm interrupting the regularly scheduled blogging to offer the Forward Surgical Team's Gun Safety Tips as a public service announcement to anyone willing to listen. They are:
Rule 1 - DON'T SHOOT YOURSELF.
Rule 2 - DON'T SHOOT ANYONE ELSE.
We realize that Rule 2 is not completely feasible given the mission so it has been reworked for the combat theater.
Rule 2 (Modified) - UNLESS YOU ARE IN A FIREFIGHT WITH THE ENEMY, DON'T SHOOT ANYONE ELSE.
Rule 3 - DON'T THROW SPARE AMMUNITION IN A CAMPFIRE.
Following these three simple rules will keep you, your buddy, and inquisitive chemists safe from accidental gun harm. Good luck. Now back to the regular schedule.
One of our junior officers demonstrates the empty chamber weapon cleaning technique.