Negligence at CBS: Unsafe Gun Handling in Chicago

In the following video clip, we see gun safety measure violated, and questions about guns that neither give insight nor judge the use of handguns by gangs.  References to "firepower" are inadequate to pin down exactly what is being used and how.  Without the right vocabulary, the script sounds childish and similar to dialogue from Beverly Hills Cop.

On August 7, 2017, CBS News published "The Gun of Chicago."  In the first 5 minutes of the roughly 14 minute video, we see little information about guns, and what information gained is shadowed by reckless gun handling.  Spending a week in South Side, the CBS team, it appears, learned practically nothing about firearms and did not prepare well enough to learn the basic safety rules. 

The four common gun safety rules are easy to memorize and practice:

1.  Treat every weapon as if it were loaded.
 

2.  Keep your finger straight and off the trigger until you intend to fire.
 

3.  Never point your weapon at anything you don't intend to shoot.
 

4.  Keep your weapon on safe until you intend to fire.

Despite these highly published rules and public announcements throughout the country, CBS managed to ignore three of four, and the one followed was purely the discipline of the Chicago residents featured.  We in fact praise and respect them for following number 2. 

Relevant too are the conditions of readiness.  The ideal condition of firearms on camera would be Conditions 4 and 3.

Condition 0: Magazine inserted, round in the chamber, safety off.

Condition 1: Magazine inserted, round in the chamber, safety on.

Condition 2: Magazine inserted, round in the chamber, hammer forward.  For revolvers, it would be rounds inserted into cylinder, cylinder locked into place, hammer forward.

Condition 3: Magazine inserted, no round in the chamber.

Condition 4: No magazine inserted, no round in the chamber.

Pointing this handgun (appears to be Springfield XD) at the camera violates "never point your weapon at anything you do not intend to shoot."  We assume someone on the CBS crew is at or near this camera.  Springfield XDs have grip and trigger safety.  This handgun could be condition 1: magazine inserted, round in chamber.

Pointing this handgun (appears to be Springfield XD) at the camera violates "never point your weapon at anything you do not intend to shoot."  We assume someone on the CBS crew is at or near this camera.  Springfield XDs have grip and trigger safety.  This handgun could be condition 1: magazine inserted, round in chamber.

Violates rule 1 and 3, perhaps 4.  CBS may have been diligent enough to ask if the MAC 10 was unloaded, but we doubt they would know what to check.  On camera, the MAC had a magazine inserted, and could have been Condition 1 or 3.

Violates rule 1 and 3, perhaps 4.  CBS may have been diligent enough to ask if the MAC 10 was unloaded, but we doubt they would know what to check.  On camera, the MAC had a magazine inserted, and could have been Condition 1 or 3.

Here the residents are disciplined and have their fingers straight and off the trigger.   However, the far right handler is pointing it toward the crew.  These could very well be loaded to condition 1 or 3.

Here the residents are disciplined and have their fingers straight and off the trigger.   However, the far right handler is pointing it toward the crew.  These could very well be loaded to condition 1 or 3.

This shot is not too bad: pointed down and slightly away, finger straight and off trigger.  Yet, not treated as loaded, and could have been condition 1, ready to fire, as the "drum" magazine is full and inserted.

This shot is not too bad: pointed down and slightly away, finger straight and off trigger.  Yet, not treated as loaded, and could have been condition 1, ready to fire, as the "drum" magazine is full and inserted.

One handgun pointed directly toward camera. 

One handgun pointed directly toward camera. 

Although fingers off trigger and safety engages (at least on XD at right; left appears to be High-Point), this shot violates treating guns as loaded and never point a firearm at anything you do not intend to shoot.

Although fingers off trigger and safety engages (at least on XD at right; left appears to be High-Point), this shot violates treating guns as loaded and never point a firearm at anything you do not intend to shoot.

In summary, if a broadcasting crew wants to interview gun owners (legal permitted owners or illegal criminal gangs), at the very least, practice the four rules of gun safety, learn the conditions of readiness, and show that you take firearms as serious as their uses in Chicago shootings.  Otherwise, the message is noble and noteworthy, but the footage and approach is negligent and somewhat childish.

Smarter reporting would include the right questions: "How many rounds does that magazine hold?  How many magazines do you carry?  What caliber is the handgun?"  Above average questioning would include costs at street value, inquiries into trade routes (LA to Chicago to Baltimore -- and back again, trading 10-15 handguns at a time; the purpose is homicides associated with a handgun (by ballistics profile and toolmark identification on casings and rounds (firing pin, extractor, and barrel rifling) appear in different cities, so likelihood of pinning multiple murders on one suspect is less)); cost and purchasing of ammunition at street level and at retail; straw purchases; shared handguns at street level (mailboxes, under houses, in parked cars).  In short, if a broadcaster wants to delve into firearms, learn the vocabulary and trends first.