Some more information about this topic, most of it gleaned from conversation with members of the CMU Gun Club:
- If you go shooting at a range, consider the possibility of having a Rangemaster. This is simply one of your buddies that specifically will not shoot and whose single task is to be sure that people don't fuck up.
The Rangemaster can, at any moment, shout CEASE FIRE, for whatever good reason he has. Shooters must obey the order without question.
- Remember that bullets, particularly rifle bullets, can easily go through walls. Drywall walls are, from the point of view of a 7.62 round, nearly non-existent. Even brick walls can be punched through. Solid wood thicker than one inch can be pierced as well.
An accidental discharge in (for example) your typical apartment with flimsy wall, or a wooden North American house can harm your neighbours or someone sleeping upstairs.You are not alone.
- Protect your ears: when you go shooting, wear ear protection. Opinions differ on the kind to use: I like wearing high quality earplugs and ear protectors on top of them.
But don't protect them so much that you can't hear someone shouting CEASE FIRE.
- KNOW YOUR GUN: guns differ in the way they are loaded, in the way the trigger feels, in the recoil and in a hundred other ways. There are even guns without a safety.
If you happen on an unfamiliar gun, don't touch it. Ask questions. Ask the owner. You don't know everything about guns. Repeat with me: "I don't know everything about guns". Handle and shoot the gun only when you know that you are familiar enough with it.
- ALL GUNS ARE DEADLY. Consider a .22 rimfire pistol. It looks small and cute: the bullets are the size of a Tic Tac, and the recoil is hardly there. Those little shiny bullets, if properly aimed, kill you just as a dead as a big-ass, roaring, kicking .45 would do.
And if you don't believe me, ask the Mossad/Shin Beth.
And while you are at it, re-read the above writeups - all good info that can save your life.