Gun safety this holiday season
Gun safety isn't hard, and for most of us, it becomes a mundane subject after years of safely handling firearms while hunting, shooting, or on the job if you're in law enforcement or serve in the military.
Rule #1: All guns are always loaded
This seems to be the one that gets people in trouble. Remember, it's never the gun everyone in the room knew was loaded that someone negligently discharged and caused injury to themselves or others, or property damage of some type. What's the first line out of their mouth after the bang? "I thought the gun was empty." When my friend had the ND that landed me in the hospital, those were his first words.
Rule #2: Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on target
Can you guess his second words? That's right, the next sentence to come out of his mouth was "the gun just went off." Guns don't just go off by themselves. Taking away the minute possibility of a mechanical failure, it's all the person holding the gun. Keep your finger off the trigger until you're ready to shoot. Goes along with treating all guns as if they were loaded, don't you think?
Rule #3: Never let your muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy
This really is my favorite gun safety rule. Even if you violate every other rule, if the gun is pointed in a safe direction, people don't get shot, period. Down range or down at the ground (provided you are not on the second story of a building with people below you) are both safe directions. If this ONE rule would have been followed, I wouldn't have ended up in the hospital. Sure, I might be out a laptop, window, or TV, or my pillow might be dead, but I'd still have 100% range of motion and strength in my right arm.
Rule #4: Be sure of your target and what is beyond it
I think the thing that catches people with rule four is they don't make sure of what's behind it. This rings especially true when out hunting. People get caught up all the time by the sight of a huge deer or squirrels on a low branch and pull the trigger without ever thinking what their bullet is going to do if it comes out the other side of their intended target, or misses entirely. Make sure your target has a safe backdrop before you pull the trigger.
Many people handle guns for years before having a negligent discharge and the reason is because they get complacent. Thinking you know all there is to know about guns and/or gun safety is not a free ticket to act like a jackass. I have a family member who builds precision rifles on a daily basis after decades in the SEALs and even HE has had a negligent discharge. Sometimes bad stuff happens, so make sure you minimize your chances by following the four easy rules listed above. It may save your life.
Posted 12-03-2010 at 18:02 by Jon_R
Posted 12-03-2010 at 18:13 by Six Feet Under
Updated 12-03-2010 at 20:11 by Six Feet Under
Posted 12-12-2010 at 07:23 by xdmikey