It's not just those who have had no training or exposure to guns that do stupid things.
Some will remember the story of the young man here in San Diego last February who put the pistol to his head, trying to impress a new acquaintance of the female persuasion, and pulled the trigger after assuring said new acquaintance that it was unloaded, or "safe." The young man had graduated earlier that week from SEAL training, was a newly badged SEAL. It seems safe to say that he had been given firearms training at a level that few of us have ever, or will ever experience.http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57354566/navy-seal-dies-after-accidentally-shooting-self/
I remember that news story.
Two or three years ago, a coworker of my son's wanted to give her husband a range day for a birthday present, and asked my son if he could take them to the range and teach them to shoot. My son asked me if we could all go to DPC together, where I have a membership, and use some of my guns. Both the husband and wife are immigrants, her from Mexico and him from El Salvador. Nice people, but they just didn't know a thing about guns and wanted to learn. You could see that she was serious about having a gun in the home for self-protection. You could just as easily see that he wanted a gun so as to augment the size of his undercarriage.....so to speak....so I kind of watched him like a hawk during the proceedings.
My son, who is also NRA certified, and I gave them an abbreviated version of the NRA basic pistol class before I allowed them to handle any of my guns, and we both gave them close supervision in loading and shooting, constantly drilling the safety rules into them, until they began to get the hang of it. As usual, we started them off with .22 caliber pistols, and moved up the caliber food chain as their shooting skills improved.
She was a very good and conscientious student (and, no surprise, a better shot than her husband because of it). Several times he forgot some part of the 4 rules and had to be reminded. The last time it happened, he was holding my loaded Model 29 .44 magnum in his hand, with the hammer cocked. I was standing maybe 10 ft behind the firing line and 15 or 20 ft off to one side. He turned to grin at his wife because he was holding a "Dirty Harry Gun," and he swept my midsection with that cocked .44 WITH HIS FINGER ON THE TRIGGER!!!!!
. In fact, he swept EVERYBODY, not just me! That gun has about a 1.5 lb letoff on single action, and it was loaded with 240 JHPs stepping out at 1200 fps. I practically dove
out of the way and started to sternly reprimand him about keeping the muzzle pointed downrange. He said, "it's Ok, man, I wasn't pulling the trigger yet." I didn't try to take
the gun away from him, because it was still loaded and because I was acutely aware that he thought he was being macho in front of his woman, but as soon as that cylinder was empty, I called a halt to the proceedings and said that the club was closing soon and it was time to go. We had already been there 2 or 3 hours by then anyway. His wife was equally as acutely aware of what a jackass her husband was, and she later apologized profusely to me to me at another social occasion. I would gladly teach her more about shooting anytime, but it will be a cold day in Hades before her husband gets anywhere near any of my guns again. You just can't fix stupid. Sometimes, it has to fix itself.