VICE's Motherboard produced a video on the concept of "smart guns" where only a verified user can shoot a firearm through biometrics or other means of technology. Smart guns can help prevent accidental shootings and stolen guns from being used in crimes.
While the video was informative, several red flags were raised as the reporter, Brian Anderson, showed an astounding lack of firearm safety discipline in the video.
While touring the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' massive firearms vault, Anderson was handed what appears to be a gold-plated AK-47. Right away, Anderson puts his index finger on the trigger of the rifle which has a magazine inserted in it.
Sadly, this would not be Anderson's most egregious breach of basic firearm rules during the video.
Anderson then holds a Thompson submachine gun that has a drum magazine inserted. Anderson proceeded to point the weapon directly at his cameraman and pull the trigger. Thankfully, it only resulted in a dry fire.
"And there you have it," ATF agent Earl Griffith said.
"I didn't think it was going to do that," Anderson said as he laughed.
"Yeah, uh huh," ATF agent Earl Griffith awkwardly replied.
This was extremely concerning to watch since the video shows Anderson firing live rounds with a wide variety of guns. One would imagine that Anderson would think twice about pulling the trigger since the video was about preventing accidental discharges, and he had just interviewed a mother who had lost her son after the son's friends found a gun and accidentally shot him.
It is also the agent's fault for not correcting Anderson right away. Even though the weapon was unloaded, you always treat a weapon as if it is loaded.
It's important for the media to not only accurately cover firearms, something they regularly fail to do, but to also handle weapons with the same amount of caution that the vast majority of gun owners already know how to do.