Police officer negligently discharges his gun in a classroom

A negligent discharge of weapon in a school.

Back in 2004 DEA Agent Lee Paige addressed a high school class on guns. Holding up his glock he said to the class, “I’m the only one in this room professional enough to have this gun,” or words to that effect. Then, while attempting to re-holster, he shot himself in the foot. Here’s the video.

Now it’s happened again. A reserve police officer from the Sand City, Californian police Department accidentally negligently fired his gun in a classroom of a high school in Seaside, California. No one was hit with a bullet but some were slightly injured by falling debris from the ceiling. Reserve police officers receive much of the same training as do regular police officers. His reserve status is not an explanation for this incident.

The reserve officer, Dennis Alexander, is also a math teacher at the school.  He was trying to show his class on Tuesday how to “disarm someone and was checking if the weapon was loaded.” You mean he took his gun into a classroom not knowing if it was loaded?

Reserve officer and math teacher Alexander violated a cardinal rule for all persons who legally carry guns in public. A holstered gun is a safe gun. One should draw the gun from the holster only on the firing line of the shooting range, otherwise only when the gun is immediately needed for defensive purposes or you are unloading it in a space that is safe for that purpose.

This is another example of poor gun handling skills that almost led to a disaster. But remember, only police officers are qualified to safely handle guns. Math class is not the proper venue for teaching gun skills. Especially, if the teacher’s skills are wanting.

Bonus: How to properly unload a semi-automatic pistol while keeping finger off the trigger at all times — FIRST, with the muzzle pointed in a safe direction, push the mag release button to drop the magazine. SECOND, with the muzzle pointed in a safe direction, rack the slide to eject any cartridge from the chamber and lock it back. It is very important to do these two things in proper order. THIRD,  with the muzzle pointed in a safe direction, insert your finger in the chamber to be sure it’s empty, run your finger up the mag well of the grip to confirm you followed Step One above. DO NOT let the slide go forward until you are sure the magazine was removed in step one.

Lastly, if you like your gun  and want to avoid unnecessary damage, don’t trip the slide release button to let the slide slam shut. Ease it forward with your hand after releasing it. Only with a fully loaded magazine in the gun is it ok to let the slide slam forward.   And then only with the muzzle pointed in a safe direction.

The slide slams forward every time a shot is fired anyway, and it locks back after the last shot is fired. Modern guns are mechanical marvels when handled by knowledgeable and repsonsible persons.

A safe direction is a direction in which if the gun were to fire no one would be injured and no significant property damage would occur. Sometimes it’s hard to find a direction where absolutely no property damage would occur. Nobody ever said gun handling skills are easy to learn, but you must learn them and practice them and be proficient in them. Otherwise, you must not own or handle guns because you are dangerous.


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