Nothing drives home proper handling safety as a unexpected discharge. From my earliest memory of just holding a firearm the one rule that was driven home was the muzzle never pointed at people, I was taught it was down at the ground or sometimes straight up.
At age 8, much to the horror of people today, I was sitting on the hood of a Ford tractor with a 12ga. Purdy double and some #8’s while my great uncle Joe drove it cutting the hay field.
My job was to dispatch as many of the large field rats as I could when they broke cover in front of the tractor. I had just killed one and broke the action to eject the spent shell and replace it. When I closed the action the gun fired.
I was in total shock and believed I had not somehow pulled the trigger, yet the gun had fired. My uncle stopped the tractor and stared at me. The gun had been safely pointed at the ground in front of the tractor so that part was good. However the doubt was there…had I screwed up. I reloaded again and held the Purdy so he could see the trigger was clear.
When I closed the action the gun fired again. The problem was a broken firing pin. Anyway, that was when I really learned how important muzzle control really was. I retrospect we should have inspected the gun, but with the muzzle safely pointed away and down there really was no other danger. ( I fixed the old Purdy when I was 13. It had sat unused until then)