Negligently or accidentally shooting yourself is something my friend Claude Werner, The Tactical Professor, would call a negative outcome. Shooting yourself while re-holstering is one of those things that is high up the list of ironies. You just survived a violent encounter, only to shoot yourself in the ass putting your blaster away? C’mon man, we can do better.
There’s a reason some of the best trainers I know use words like; reluctantly, deliberately, or carefully when they talk about dismounting the gun and holstering. I’ve watched Dave Harrington, Tom Givens, Chuck Haggard, Greg Ellifritz, Craig Douglas, and Pat Mac, to name a few, tell guys to knock it off when they catch them doing that no-look, speed re-holster routine. When all those guys drive home the same point? That’s something folks in law enforcement call an indicator.
In particular SDave has talked at length about having a reason for everything we do. If you have ever trained with SDave you will have benefitted from his demands that you be able to give an explanation for everything you do. Whatever we do should be a deliberate action, nothing is just something we do without explanation. If SDave, or anyone else, steps up to us and asks, why did you do that? We better be able to give an answer, and “I don’t know” is not an acceptable answer. I understand that injecting that level of consciousness into your actions can be mentally taxing. However, it’s necessary if we have any aspirations of being a competent professional and all that encompasses, which includes not accidentally or negligently shooting myself or someone else. Why am I writing about this? Because I just got word that another dude shot himself in the buttocks and leg while re-holstering. Apparently gear migrated into the trigger guard, and bad things happened. Could this have been avoided if the guy had been trained to holster deliberately, carefully, and/or reluctantly? I think so.
Might we have to do a no-look re-holster? Maybe. Everything has a time and place however, I tend to think a moment to look at my gear before re-holstering might save me quite a few moments at the ER if something found it’s way into the path between my pistol and the holster. Remember, present and mount the gun quickly however, dismount and holster that gun reluctantly, and carefully. If we remember that we’ll most likely avoid most if not all issues that would cause us to negligently or accidentally discharge our weapon.