Last week we learned about a very sad story about a 1-year-old Chicago girl shot in the head. According to reports, two teens were shooting at an individual on a bicycle and the little girl was caught in the cross fire. The individuals did not hit their intended target, but their stray rounds ended up striking the little girl in the head. This is tragic on many levels, but we can learn and use this story as a reminder in training.
If I were to ever have to discharge my weapon in a self defense situation, I hope and pray that I stand true to my training and hit what I am shooting at. I constantly preach that every missed round in training is to be viewed as finding its way into an innocent bystander in real life. This mindset should force us to make sound hits in training that will hopefully translate to the real world.
In this particular story the shooters were criminals, but would it make any difference to the little girl or her family if their shooting were justified? The fact that they missed the target; regardless of the purpose for the shooting, caused this tragedy. The fundamental safety rule, "be sure of your target and what is beyond it," rings true here. I am pretty sure the thugs have never heard our beloved safety rule. Even if they had, they would not adhere to it, but we absolutely must. The only way to tip the scales in favor of right performance is through proper planning, so train smart and hard.