first published on March 14, 2017 by Josh
Treat every weapon as if it were loaded. Never point your weapon at anything you do not intend to shoot. Keep your finger straight and off the trigger until you’re ready to fire. Keep your weapon on safe until you intend to fire. These are the four basic rules of firearms safety. Every child who has ever been to the range with a parent has had these basic concepts hammered into their head, and those rules exist for a reason. Firearms demand a certain amount of respect when used for any purpose, be that target shooting for fun, or being taken out into the field of battle to wage war. You follow these rules, and the firearm will respect you right back.
Each rule has a specific purpose, and every one of them is there to prevent you from accidentally discharging a weapon or shooting something or someone you didn’t intend to. Following these simple rules, and having a healthy amount of respect for the tool you are using is a surefire way to prevent fratricide on the battlefield in the event of an accidental discharge. The moment you disrespect a weapon, and treat it like just another object, is the moment you will personally make a mistake that could injure yourself or someone else nearby. Fortunately for us, this rebel fighter just happened to screw everything up on camera.
For context: The Free Syrian Army fighters in this video are engaged in a street fight with Syrian Arab Army Soldiers who are advancing towards their position. They are firing through a small alley directly onto a group of SAA troops who are returning fire onto their position. The front two fighters seem to be doing a well-enough job of keeping the SAA troops at bay, but that doesn’t stop old Abu Hajaar from making his way up to assist his buddies. In an attempt to increase the rate of outgoing fire through the alley, Abu Hajaar maneuvers around his friend and tries to fire down the alley as well. He fails to do so.
Instead, he fires a single round directly into his friend’s wrist, completely shattering it. This takes his friend out of the fight completely, and Abu Hajaar decides to exit stage left with his now injured friend. This reduces the outgoing fire from their position, and probably lead to the ultimate collapse of this position. If the Free Syrian Army had prioritized actual military training and proficiency over dank montages of dudes jumping through flaming hoops and smashing bricks with their face, this situation may have been circumvented. Instead, their fighters now get to learn the reality of friendly fire in the heat of battle.