This post is triggered by an article over at The Cornered Cat that was notionally about why female shooters don't get advanced training. On that subject Kathy Jackson is the expert and I can find no fault with her findings.
But what triggered me screaming at the monitor was the same blind spot that the gunny community seems to have and seems to be willing to stubbornly excuse when pointed out. It might seem like I'm singling out Kathy for chastisement but I'm not. Most of the gunny community seems to share this problem. An earlier article by Kathy also stems from the same problem so I hoped that she'd spend a little time looking into the root cause. She didn't so I'm going to.
What's the problem? Well bust my buttons, there seem to be a lot of people shooting themselves with their own guns while holstering. Gosh, I guess it's just the way things are. Maybe some people can be trained out of the problem but I guess it's just something that happens and no one is to blame.
Let's reflect a bit on the way things used to be, shall we?
Once upon a time there were single action guns and single/double actions guns. Actually they weren't really called that because you had cowboy pistols (single action) and service revolvers and 1911s (single/double action).
Cowboy guns had holsters that usually covered the trigger but so what because you didn't holster while cocked. In fact the retention on a cowboy holster requires that the hammer be down since the loop is only long enough to go over the hammer spur when the hammer is down:
If you had a single/double action revolver, you carried it with the hammer down in a holster that fully exposed the trigger like this:
That's a modern reproduction of the Bill Jordan style of holster that was extremely common back in the day. The exposed trigger is no accident. It was purposely made that way.
This was considered common sense because only an idiot would have a holster that could push your finger into the trigger upon holstering a gun with no safety. Since revolvers don't have safeties the lack of material that might force an accidental pull of the trigger while holstering is a safety feature.
If you had a single/double action 1911, you carried it in a holster that covered the trigger but you also carried it cocked (pay attention here kids) AND LOCKED. This was considered common sense because only an idiot would carry a gun with a 4 lb. single action trigger without using a safety. Specifically, a safety that didn't involve the trigger finger.
Fast forward to today. The tacticool crowd says to use a hard Kydex holster that covers the trigger and a gun with no thumb safety and says to stuff said gun into said holster. Shockingly, sometimes the newbies (and some oldbies) make the gun go bang.
And the same crowd then lambastes poor newbies for doing it all wrong. Of course, that crowd never seems to get around to discussing what part they had in setting those people up to fail.
Let's sum up, shall we:
We went from the world pictured above to the world we have now because:
Double action guns should have single digit trigger pulls. (Because Glock)
Holstered guns should not have exposed triggers. (Because Scary)
Safeties are superfluous. (Because GLOCK PERFECTION!!!!)
All guns should be like GLOCK! (Because Marketing)
Yeah, people should keep their booger hook off the bang switch. It's one of the rules after all but why do we have three more rules? If you just obey that one rule all will be well, right?
As it turns out, not so much. People are fallible so we have other rules that will often save us from ourselves even if we violate one of them. But if we make changes to our guns and gear that increase the likelihood of disaster for violating one rule then we have departed from wisdom.
Setting up the trigger as a single point of failure is stupid. Compounding that with holsters that invite negligent trigger manipulation is dangerous.
Stupid and dangerous all in one package. How efficient!
So when the inevitable happens remember who owns part of the blame.