This story out of Fredericksburg, Ohio serves as a freakish, tragic reminder that the only place to shoot a rifle is into a safe backstop. Fifteen-year-old Rachel Yoder was driving her buggy home when she was struck in the head by a muzzleloader bullet apparently fired a mile and a half away, by a man “cleaning” his gun who had fired it into the air. That the bullet landed where it did defies probability, but that doesn’t change the fact that it happened and cannot be undone.
While no one knowingly cleans a loaded gun, it is common for blackpowder hunters to unload their rifles at the end of a hunt by shooting them. Perhaps that’s what happened here, and if so, in an instant of carelessness someone ended a young girl’s life and ruined his own.
Be careful in 2012.