Firearm Negligence

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longhorn_92
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Firearm Negligence

#1

Post by longhorn_92 » Mon Nov 28, 2011 7:15 pm

I have had more and more friends asking me about wanting a gun for protection. They are seeing the writing on the wall about our economy and our society becoming more violent.

I think it is very important to know firearm safety and to teach others about safety. No... it is not funny to give someone, who has never fired a gun, a powerful weapon and not train them on the basics. No... it is not funny to videotape their reaction to that powerful weapon either! No... it's not ok to use a firearm at the celebration of the upcoming New Year's Eve Party.

[youtube][/youtube]

The three basic general rules of safe gun handling:
1. Always point the muzzle in a safe direction; never point a firearm at anyone or anything you don't want to shoot.
2. Keep your finger off the trigger and outside the trigger guard until you are ready to shoot.
3. Keep the action open and the gun unloaded until you are ready to use it.

Safety Rules Related to the Shooter and His/Her Behavior
** Treat every firearm as if it were loaded.
** Never pass a firearm to another person, or accept a firearm from another person, until the cylinder or action is open and you've personally checked that the weapon is completely unloaded.
** Before handling any firearm, understand its operation.
** Never rely on any mechanical device for safety.
** Think before shooting: once you pull the trigger you can't take back the shot you've just fired!
** Never joke around or engage in horseplay while handling or using firearms.
** Be alert at all times; never shoot if you're tired, cold or impaired in any way. Don't mix alcohol or drugs with shooting.
** Safeguard your sight, hearing and health. Always wear eye and ear protection. Endeavor to limit your exposure to heavy metal particulates and gases, and minimize your contact with aromatic organic solvents (such as those commonly used in gun cleaning products).
** If you see unsafe behavior any time when firearms are being handled or used, speak up and take action to correct the unsafe behavior at once.
** Receive competent instruction from a qualified person before beginning to shoot. If questions arise later, after you've been shooting for a period of time, get answers to those questions from a competent authority.

Safety Rules Related to Your Target
** Positively identify your target and the threat it poses before firing at it.
** What's behind your target? Always make sure that a stray shot, or a bullet which penetrates its intended target through and through, will be safely stopped.
** Never shoot at a hard surface, or at water -- your shot may glance off, ricochet and injure someone.
** Never shoot at glass bottles, living trees, or inappropriate targets which would create a hazard for other persons or damage the environment.
** Never shoot a rifle or handgun directly upwards, or at a high angle of elevation. Even a rimfire .22 bullet fired at an angle into the air can have enough energy a mile and a half away to accidentally kill someone!
Last edited by longhorn_92 on Mon Nov 28, 2011 7:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Firearm Negligence

#2

Post by george » Mon Nov 28, 2011 7:37 pm

I'd never get any shooting done, if I had to remember all of those rules.
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Re: Firearm Negligence

#3

Post by Pawpaw » Mon Nov 28, 2011 10:12 pm

Then please let us know when and where you're going to shoot so I can be sure to be elsewhere.
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Re: Firearm Negligence

#4

Post by pbwalker » Mon Nov 28, 2011 10:49 pm

Pawpaw wrote:Then please let us know when and where you're going to shoot so I can be sure to be elsewhere.
:iagree:
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Re: Firearm Negligence

#5

Post by apostate » Mon Nov 28, 2011 10:53 pm

longhorn_92 wrote:No... it's not ok to use a firearm at the celebration of the upcoming New Year's Eve Party.
Actually, it is OK, as long as I follow the Four Rules.


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Re: Firearm Negligence

#6

Post by wgoforth » Mon Nov 28, 2011 11:12 pm

george wrote:I'd never get any shooting done, if I had to remember all of those rules.
Jeff Cooper's rules for gun safety is on every insert in every gun box from BB guns to full autos. They must be inscribed on your heart before you ever pick up a gun:

(1) Every gun is loaded.. everytime all the time. No exceptions. Empty guns kill people with regularity. Treat them accordingly.
(2) Never aim your gun at anything you are not willing to destroy.
(3) Keep your finger off the trigger until you are on target. On target, on trigger. Off target, off trigger. IOW, KEEP YOUR BOOGER HOOK OFF THE BANG SWITCH.
(4) Know your target. Know what is around your target, behind your target and what is between you and your target. It is called bullet accountability.
Last edited by wgoforth on Tue Nov 29, 2011 8:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Firearm Negligence

#7

Post by ajwakeboarder » Mon Nov 28, 2011 11:49 pm

I gotta give props to the last lady that had the casing go down her shirt. She kept the pistol pointed in a safe direction and had her finger off the trigger.
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Re: Firearm Negligence

#8

Post by hirundo82 » Tue Nov 29, 2011 3:09 am

george wrote:I'd never get any shooting done, if I had to remember all of those rules.
Agreed; Col. Cooper's Four Rules are all anyone should ever have to remember. I always drill them into a new shooter's head before we get to the range.
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Re: Firearm Negligence

#9

Post by Liberty » Tue Nov 29, 2011 8:27 am

A couple of these rules seem outright silly.

My guns are always loaded. An unloaded gun is pretty useless. Like a car out of gas.

I rely on my guns to keep my family and and seek safe. Failure when needed could be disastrous, I also stake my life on my cars mechanical condition.

I'm not sure where these rules come from, but I have some suspicions Mr. Fudd may have had something to do with it. They obviously didn't come from anyone self defense orientated.
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Re: Firearm Negligence

#10

Post by MasterOfNone » Tue Nov 29, 2011 8:28 am

george wrote:I'd never get any shooting done, if I had to remember all of those rules.
I suspect what george meant is that every list of "the" rules is just another way of describing the behaviors that we all should demonstrate. Whenever I see a reference to "rule number three," I wonder "whose rule number three?" And lists of rules often overgeneralize/oversimplify:

"Keep the action open and the gun unloaded until you are ready to use it" - I do not store my guns with the slide locked back and the recoil spring compressed.
"Never pass a firearm to another person, or accept a firearm from another person, until the cylinder or action is open and you've personally checked that the weapon is completely unloaded." - Ever clear a jam for another shooter?
"Every gun is loaded.. everytime all the time" - How do you disassemble and clean a loaded gun?

Rule lists can also be unnecessarily specific and long, attempting to identify everything a person could possibly do that is unsafe.

Of course, such safety rules are important for learning and reemphasizing safe behavior. But I think george's point is that he's not likely to be reciting that list verbatim, even if he does follow its intent.
Whether you sum it up in four rules or twenty, success is measured not by memorizing the words but by demonstrating the behaviors.
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Re: Firearm Negligence

#11

Post by The Annoyed Man » Tue Nov 29, 2011 9:30 am

Liberty wrote:A couple of these rules seem outright silly.

My guns are always loaded. An unloaded gun is pretty useless. Like a car out of gas.

I rely on my guns to keep my family and and seek safe. Failure when needed could be disastrous, I also stake my life on my cars mechanical condition.

I'm not sure where these rules come from, but I have some suspicions Mr. Fudd may have had something to do with it. They obviously didn't come from anyone self defense orientated.
Rules are conceived to be universally applicable to the initiated and the uninitiated alike. To you, a practiced gun owner, being told that a gun should be treated as if it is always loaded, all the time may seem silly......because of course you treat them that way anyway, because of course they ARE loaded. It seems redundant. But to the first time gun owner/first time shooter, it is not obvious. I have had a student sweep me with a gun and reminded them that they shouldn't point it at something they're not willing to destroy. Their answer was, "it's ok, I saw you unload it." My reply was, "did you verify that it was unloaded?" Their answer: "No." Me: "OK then, that is A) why we treat all guns as if they are loaded, and B) why we never point a firearm at something we're not willing to destroy." To you or me, that is obvious. But it isn't to the beginner and gun safety is an acquired habit.

Now, I could tell you about the time that I, an experienced gun owner at the time, shot a hole in my bedroom ceiling with a .44 Magnum revolver that I had just then "unloaded".............and did permanent damage to my hearing in the process. That was the lesson that taught me that all guns are loaded all the time, even when we think we have unloaded them. A significant portion of negligent discharges happen to gun owners who believe themselves to have some familiarity with their firearms, and a significant portion of those involve guns that the experienced owner believes to be unloaded. It gets worse when you are talking about noobies.

Two weeks ago, I taught a basic handgun class to a couple of ladies. One of them had her own Walther P22 that her dad had bought her, but she had never fired the gun, and hadn't handled it since it was purchased. She brought it to the range so that I could teach her how to run the gun. She handed me the box; I removed the pistol, observing the rules, and the first thing I did was pull the slide back to check the chamber. Lo and behold, it was loaded! She didn't load it, and she had no idea that it was loaded. Her dad must have loaded it............she is a single mom and she has an 8 year old girl running around the house.

It was my treating the gun as if it was loaded that averted the possibility of a disaster. You might think some of the rules are silly because they are so simplistic and easy to understand, but they do save lives when practiced.........even the lives of experienced gun owners like you and me. They say that "assume makes an ass out of you and me," but the truth is more like "assume with a gun, and it will kill somebody."

I mean you no disrespect in this post, but whenever I hear an experienced gun owner say things like that, I become afraid for them because I know from personal experience that it is the momentary complacency that kills. I'm like you. All of my guns are loaded if they are not locked up in a safe, because an unloaded gun is a club, not a gun. They have little or no usefulness if not loaded. So of course I treat them as if they are loaded, and because they are, I never have to wonder if the gun I pick up to defend myself is loaded or not. But because of this, and because of my own previous experience with negligent discharge, I have become downright paranoid about complacency. So, meaning this in the very best way, please be careful, and don't minimize the importance of these rules even for an experienced gun owner such as yourself. Other people, including raw beginners, read these pages.

How many times have you read a post on this board over the years that says something like this:
n00b wrote:Hi everybody, this is my first post here. I've been reading these pages and there seems to be a lot of knowledgeable people here. I am a complete beginner, and I have never even owned or shot a gun before, but I want to get my CHL because [insert reason here] and I'm hoping you guys could help me pick the right gun and carry method for me.
People who aren't experienced do read these pages. We have a responsibility to not make light of these basic rules of gun safety for their benefit, if not for our own.

Again, I mean no disrespect. I am just passionate about gun safety.
MasterOfNone wrote:Whether you sum it up in four rules or twenty, success is measured not by memorizing the words but by demonstrating the behaviors.
I would say that it isn't about memorize the words, but rather it's about memorizing the principles. For beginners, that means reading and memorizing the words which express those principles. But the trouble with trying to translate those words into instinctive behaviors is that accidents happen at the point where conscious thought parts ways with instinctive behavior. If you are not thinking those principles to yourself at the same time as you are demonstrating a behavior, then you are a negligent discharge waiting to happen, perhaps with tragic consequences.
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Re: Firearm Negligence

#12

Post by wgoforth » Tue Nov 29, 2011 9:55 am

There is a huge hole in the concrete in the floor at what was Patriot Gun Works in Abilene cause by an unloaded 12 gague. Two errors obviously... didn't treat as loaded, and didn't keep their booger hooks off the bang switch. He was both a police officer and gun store owner. Good thing he observed "don't muzzle anything your not willing to destroy." :rules:
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Re: Firearm Negligence

#13

Post by Carry-a-Kimber » Tue Nov 29, 2011 10:32 am

Liberty wrote:A couple of these rules seem outright silly.

My guns are always loaded. An unloaded gun is pretty useless. Like a car out of gas.

I rely on my guns to keep my family and and seek safe. Failure when needed could be disastrous, I also stake my life on my cars mechanical condition.

I'm not sure where these rules come from, but I have some suspicions Mr. Fudd may have had something to do with it. They obviously didn't come from anyone self defense orientated.
Yep!
longhorn_92 wrote: 3.Keep the action open and the gun unloaded until you are ready to use it.
:headscratch

So should I wait until I draw my 1911 to pop in a mag and chamber a round??
Should I wait until a quail is in flight to thow a shell in my shotgun??
I don't know how a whitetail would react if I loaded a round and closed the bolt on my Rem 700 while he was standing 150 yards away.

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Re: Firearm Negligence

#14

Post by MasterOfNone » Tue Nov 29, 2011 10:40 am

Carry-a-Kimber wrote:
longhorn_92 wrote: 3.Keep the action open and the gun unloaded until you are ready to use it.
:headscratch

So should I wait until I draw my 1911 to pop in a mag and chamber a round??
Should I wait until a quail is in flight to thow a shell in my shotgun??
I don't know how a whitetail would react if I loaded a round and closed the bolt on my Rem 700 while he was standing 150 yards away.
The way the NRA explains this rule is that when you strap on your gun to carry, you are then using it. When you begin hunting, you are then using your gun. Basically, it is either being used or it is being stored.
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Re: Firearm Negligence

#15

Post by threoh8 » Tue Nov 29, 2011 10:44 am

longhorn_92 wrote: 3. Keep the action open and the gun unloaded until you are ready to use it.
At any given moment, certain firearms on or about my person or home ARE in use. They sit and wait.
The sooner I get behind, the more time I have to catch up.

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