For some, it’s not too late for safety

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 2, 2004

Maybe this should have been said back at the end of November. Then again, it has been said over and over again, and sometimes, the words don’t hit home.

Unfortunately, the words do hit home when it’s too late, and that seems to be the case with three young men who took to the woods last week in search of another buck.

The news of Daniel Langford’s critical injury in northern Greene County should serve as a reminder to all of those who hunt about the dire importance of safety in the woods.

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Langford, 31, of Tuscaloosa, apparently was in the woods with a group of friends when he was shot in the head. According to the Greene County Sheriff, none of the hunters was wearing orange clothing, and the accidental shooting obviously occurred because of a lack of common-sense safety.

There are other concerns with the Langford situation. Apparently, the three men were not hunting legally.

The legality of the accident is something the game warden and the district attorney will sort through soon enough. What concerns us, and the reason for this mid-season reminder, is that young men who obviously spend time in the woods decided to skip taking small steps that might have saved Langford and his family from the tumultuous holiday season they now face.

When friends get together on an early Saturday morning or late Saturday afternoon, it’s easy to bypass all the rules that accompany the sport of hunting. There’s no doubt that Langford and his friends knew each other well, and they never suspected an accident of this magnitude would happen. The last thing that ever crossed their minds was shooting at a friend instead of a deer.

There are times when rules seem mundane, even obnoxious. In the case of hunting, the rules and regulation are more important than that of any other sport.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Langford and his family. According to a spokesperson at DCH Medical Center in Tuscaloosa, Langford was still in critical condition on Friday.

Our thoughts also are with the two young men who have struggled through this accident and their families.

What was supposed to be a day of fun has turned into the worst sort of tragedy. For the rest of us, we must take this misfortune and realize the dire importance of smart hunting.