It is said that power corrupts. General Ménard would seem to be the exception to that rule.
It is refreshing to hear of honor and selflessness in this, the day and age of “Hooray for me and fuck you.” To screw up and voluntarily face discipline is an example of pure morality. The world needs more men like this. The class system belongs in history books. If General Ménard is ever down this way, I would like to buy him a drink. It would be an honor.
By the way…
Everyone I know who has spent any amount of times around firearms has had a negligent discharge. If (other than the stupid move that caused the ND) due regard to firearms saftey is practiced; the result is nothing more than bruised pride, a hole to patch in the floor, and ringing ears. To expect otherwise, and even criminaly punish people for it seems unrealistic. No one got hurt, a reaming to ensure a lesson learned is all that should be in order. Unless, of course, someone did get hurt, or the muzzle was not pointed at a safe back-stop. The important thing is that lessons are learned, and that it never happens again.
Full disclosure: My ND involved an M1 Garand and a nice hardwood floor. Lesson 1: Garands will fire if the bolt is dropped on a round already in the chamber with no clip in place. Lesson 2: Load firearms outside. Lesson 3: An ought-six going off indoors sounds like the second-coming of Christ. The casing and what I found left of the bullet now sit on a shelf in the basement. Yes, I still smack myself every time I look at them.