damnum absque injuria

January 20, 2013

Basic Gun Safety

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 3:13 pm

Safe handling of a firearm is not rocket science. All you need to do is follow the four basic rules:

  1. All guns are always loaded. Even if they are not, treat them as if they are. In other words, don’t do this:


  2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy. In other words, don’t do this:

  3. Keep your finger off the trigger till your sights are on the target. In other words, don’t do this:

  4. Identify your target, and what is behind it. Never shoot at anything that you have not positively identified. In other words, don’t do anything this guy would:

2 Responses to “Basic Gun Safety”

  1. SteveP Says:

    As a firearms instructor one of my pet peeves is people stating Rule 1 as “Treat all guns as if they’re loaded”, or even worse, the contradictory, “All guns are always loaded. Even if they’re not, treat them as if they are”.

    Rule 1 is, “All guns are always loaded”. The End.

    It’s impossible to treat an unloaded gun as if it’s loaded because there is no such thing as an unloaded gun. If a gun doesn’t have any ammunition in it, it is “clear”, but it is still loaded.

    Mindset is important to gun safety. Stating that it’s possible for a gun to be unloaded, and therefor safe, allows a dangerous complacency to creep into the subconscious. Stressing that the object a person is handling is always dangerous at all times and under all circumstances keeps the mind focused and aware.

    For instance my father, who was a gunsmith and had repaired guns that fired with the safety on, taught me, “Guns don’t have safeties. The safety is between your ears”.
    With that mindset ingrained in my subconscious, and even though I won’t own a semi auto pistol without a safety lever which I’m diligent in using (my carry gun is a Gov’t Model .45 which I carry in Condition 1, or cocked and locked), in my mind there are no safety devices in that pistol and I conduct myself accordingly at all times.
    I’ve been handling guns with total awareness of the four rules for so long that it has become automatic to handle them safely. I really don’t know how to handle them any other way. To avoid complacency I review the rules and my habits frequently, as should all gun owners. The possibility of complacency creeping into the mind is something I stress in all my classes and I encourage anyone who reads this to give it some serious thought.

  2. Sigivald Says:

    I’ll give him a pass on #2, on the grounds that “guns have to be pointed SOMEWHERE”, inevitably.

    And, given that it cannot be pointed no-direction, he has it pointed up rather than covering the crowd (or down, on the guess that those fancy lawmaker-storage-units often have marble floors for maximum ricochet).

    So he’s tolerable on #2.

    It’s #3 he really, really screws up on, and relatedly not taking #1 seriously enough.

    (I’ll also give him a pass on #4, since he’s not shooting it – he fails #3 and #1, not #4.)

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