The Somewhat Incompetent Fallacy

I was participating in one of those threads discussing an instance where a person incompetently reholsting their firearm lead to a negligent discharge. In this case the person in question was using a leather holster and a flimsy part of it bent in under the trigger. The discussion started off well with everybody pointing out that there are no medals for being the fastest person to reholster. But then somebody had to saying, “That’s why I carry a gun with a manual safety.”

That mindset is incredibly stupid. First, it’s an admission that the person views themselves as too incompetent to look at what they’re doing when they reholster their firearm. Second, they assume that they are only going to be incompetent in a very specific way and not incompetent in other ways.

I’ve come to label this mindset as the somewhat incompetent fallacy. It’s the idea that somebody who expresses themselves as being incompetent believes that their incompetence only happens under very specific circumstances. In the case above the somewhat incompetent fallacy applies because the person admits that they’re too careless to watch what they’re doing when reholstering a firearm but not so careless as to ever forget to engage the manual safety. They believe their incompetence only happens when they’re going through the motions of reholstering.

From extensive observations I’ve come to the conclusion that people who act careless with weapons tend to act careless in general. Therefore the belief that a manual safety will protect against a negligent discharge is, in my opinion, stupid because somebody who is so careless that they won’t watch what they’re doing when reholstering is almost certainly too careless to ensure they reengage the manual safety every time they reholster their weapon.

2 thoughts on “The Somewhat Incompetent Fallacy”

  1. I have to disagree with you on this one, CB. Manipulating a gun in a state in which anything that catches on the trigger causes a discharge vs. flipping on a manual safety and keeping it on except when one is ready to fire: those are worlds apart in my book, and use of the safety represents competence, not incompetence.

    If someone said, “That’s why I wear a seatbelt”, would you reply, “That mindset is incredibly stupid. First, it’s an admission that the person views themselves as too incompetent a driver to watch what they’re doing when they get behind the wheel. Etc.”?

    1. I don’t think the seat belt analogy works here. People wear a seat belt for the same reason they carry a gun, to improve their odds of survival in a situation outside of their control.

      Seat belts are good ideas even if you think you’re a good driver because that doesn’t mean everybody else on the road is a good driver. Carrying a firearm is a good idea even if you don’t go to the bad sides of town because assault can happen outside of those areas.

      But when you’re reholstering a firearm you are dealing with a situation entirely under your control (if the situation isn’t under your control you probably shouldn’t be reholstering at that point). It’s your gun, your clothing, and your holster and you’ve got all the time in the world to do it right.

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