Instagram Live Feeds and Empowering Others with Firearms Education


With all this news about live feeds and social media, there are issues I have to address. On this week’s episode of Armed Lutheran Radio, host Lloyd Bailey and I both address a firearms incident, which could have been prevented.

This is an incident, which I’m really sad and heartbroken about. It’s one that I have told many stories about. I’ve talked about it in firearms classes. I’ve talked about it to friends who own and who don’t own guns. It’s a topic that I have to address again.

This is an issue that is very very important, and what I’m talking about is an incident where a 13-year-old shot and killed himself on Instagram live.  I talked, and talked, and talked about how we need to teach everybody the rules of firearm safety. This is why. The news reports say that this young man had a firearm, that he apparently got from another friend. His mother had no idea that he had the gun and did not know how he got it.

If you teach your children the rules of firearm safety, they would know to treat every gun as though it’s always loaded.

All guns are always loaded at all times; even if you think they’re not loaded.

Here is the scenario. This kid is on Instagram live. His friends are watching him. He’s got this gun in his hands and talking about it to the viewers. The kids are commenting on the live feed, and one asks why isn’t there a “clip” in the gun. (We all know it’s a magazine this is another reason to take a firearms class, to learn the terminology.) Regardless of what terms were use, we always treat all guns as they are they are always loaded, with or without a magazine inserted.

Listening to his viewers, the young man puts the magazine into the gun, at which time he shoots himself. They label this an “accident,” but this is not an accident. It’s an incident that could have been prevented. If he had known the four rules of firearm safety this tragedy never would have happened.

  • All guns are always loaded.

  • Never let the muzzle cover anything you’re not willing to destroy. I.E., yourself. Never point the muzzle at yourself.

  • Keep your finger off the trigger and out of the trigger guard until you’re ready to shoot. How many of you are already shooters? You know guns are designed to have your finger go on the trigger. After classes and practice, you’ve learned to keep your finger off the trigger. How many new shooters have you seen, when picking up a firearm for the first time, put their finger right on the trigger? Take a class. Learn. Practice.

  • Be sure of the target and what is behind it. In this instance, there wasn’t necessarily a target he simply violated the prior three rules.

Guns are not toys. They are not games.

My plea to all of you is please go out and mentor others. Encourage people to learn about firearms safety. Even if they don’t have a gun in their house, as with this instance, they need to know how to handle a gun. Teach parents to empower their children by educating them that guns are not toys. They are not games. They are not something that should be fooled around with on social media or anytime at all.

This young man shot himself on a live feed, while other friends were watching. His mother was outside and heard a loud bang. She ran into the house and had to kick her son’s bedroom door open. She found her 13-year-old son dead.  Shortly after youngsters were pounding at her door because they had seen the event play out, live on social media.

We all have got to teach other people about these types of situations. The NRA’s Eddie Eagle program is a great place to start. It teaches youngsters that if they see a gun not to touch it. They need to go find an adult and let them know. All children should know this.

We have to share it we have to spread the word. Say a prayer for this young man’s family because this was a tragedy no accident.

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