About once a year, the Courier publishes another report about someone accidentally shooting himself.
On Christmas Day, a shooter was treated and released from the Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center after he injured his finger in an accidental discharge of his weapon.
According to a Graham County Sheriff's Office report, Brian Rawlings was shooting earlier in the day on the south side of Red Knolls, an area slightly northwest of Pima that features unusual geologic formations and nearby fossil beds. The area is a popular recreation site for hiking, mountain biking and scenic driving. There is no gun range at the site.
Rawlings allegedly told a deputy that when he finished shooting, he pulled his Springfield XDM 9-mm handgun out of its holster to unload it. As he did so, the gun fired and Rawlings' left index finger was injured just above the knuckle. He said he believed the bullet did not hit him, and his hand was injured from the muzzle blast of the gun.
Law enforcement encourages gun owners to take a safety course to be well versed in how to properly handle a deadly weapon. When cleaning, always remove the magazine first, then check for a bullet in the chamber.
Physically look into the chamber to make sure it is clear. Even then, never point the weapon anywhere a person does not want to shoot.