In browsing through a weekly roundup of gun "accidents" (note: if you're a rightwinger, please don't click on the link, I'm not trying to cause stroke or apoplexy) I'm struck by the number of instances where a firearm was reported to discharge while "cleaning" (well, this week one owner was "replacing the grips", and one was "reloading" a revolver!). The gun owners sometimes include police officers. Does anyone ever actually try to clean a loaded gun? Wouldn't the first thing (after removing the magazine) be to open the action so you can get at the places that need to be cleaned? Wouldn't attempting to get a snake/rod through the bore clue you that there was something already in there? I'm thinking that "cleaning" in this context has become a euphamism for "I did something really stupid, even stupider than trying to clean a loaded gun, but don't want to admit it". Or occasionally "we don't want to tell people that it was a suicide".