Watching modern footage shows dramatically improved muzzle discipline and a passing awareness of keeping the finger off the trigger, but there remains this institutional notion that one can use a totem called a "clearing barrel" to create a mythical object called an "unloaded gun" which can then apparently be handled with abandon.
I suppose that when you have hundreds of thousands of young people with what is, at the end of the day, fairly rudimentary firearms training, sometimes accidents are going to happen, especially when they take that training home while off duty and adult supervision, in the form of irate NCOs, is lacking.
However you slice it, getting drunk and then using a pistol as a tool to scare your buddy out of his hiccuping fit so that he doesn't disturb the football game is a level of incompetence so advanced that it is indistinguishable from malice.
Further, I would like to nominate the unnamed police spokesperson for the Understatement of the Year Award:
Myers allegedly "produced a handgun and while handling it in an unsafe manner, discharged the handgun striking the victim in the face," police said.That wasn't just any ordinary "handling it in an unsafe manner", that was very nearly the Platonic Ideal of unsafe gun handling compared to which all other unsafe gun handling is merely shadows on the cave wall.