If you only follow one firearm safety rule, let it be this: Always keep the firearm pointed in a safe direction. If you mess everything else up—or some freak mechanical failure occurs—and a round somehow discharges, no one will be injured. This Golden Rule should be the first thing taught to anyone that conveys interest in owning or shooting a firearm. It should probably be impressed upon everyone at an early age, even those that do not express curiosity with gun ownership. If it was, perhaps we could avoid situations like the one in the video above.

The nitwit in this clip picks the pistol up and takes a selfie with it, muzzling the heck out of the bays next to him, before he points it directly at his friend’s head—with his finger ON the trigger. This is a culmination of a bunch of things you should absolutely never do, all neatly wrapped up in 31 seconds of moving images that should make your butt pucker.

As far as I’m concerned, this footage should be added to very gun safety presentation.

The Range Safety Officer (RSO) should be commended for his quick action, putting a safe end to what could have been a very tragic situation. The nitwit’s first selfie was likely blocked by his body, but within an instant of the pistol being brandished at the bystander, the RSO has a grip on the handgun and guides it safely down to the bench with the muzzle pointed down range.

After clearing the pistol, he is then seen hurriedly escorting the two away from the firing line and hopefully off the premises. If only we had some audio with the clip. I don’t know at what range this took place, but I hope the owner gives this man a raise.

I mentioned the Golden Rule above, but there are actually Four Rules of Gun Safety that should always be followed:

  • Treat all guns as if they are loaded
  • Always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction. (Never let the muzzle cover anything you don’t want to destroy.)
  • Always keep your finger off the trigger until you’re ready to shoot.
  • Be sure of your target and what is beyond it

If you haven’t already, consider taking one of the NRA’s excellent firearms training classes. And remember to always be on the lookout. Safety is everyone’s job, and you never get a day off.