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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Firearms Safety: Gut-wrenching Tale

H/T to GunRights4US for the article link.

For the lack of a better term, I'm a Safety Nazi.  In my classes, I drill, drill and drill again, the NRA safety rules:
  1. Always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction.
  2. Always keep your finger off the trigger until you're ready to shoot.
  3. Always keep the gun unloaded until you're ready to shoot.
I also tell them that the Cardinal Rule is:  Assume every gun is loaded.

We go into detail about what "safe direction" means, keeping your trigger finger well outside of the trigger guard, and how to verify the gun is empty.  We have a rule that is followed every time a gun is picked up in the classroom:  Verify and have someone else confirm that the gun is empty.

The repetition of doing and seeing safe gun handling practices really reinforces the safety aspects of gun ownership and use.

We also talk about they types of instances where someone is killed or injured by a handgun.  If it's not intentional (self-defense or a criminal act), it is out of Ignorance or Complacency - they either, "don't know what they don't know", or they know the rules and don't follow them.

I have especially low tolerance for this latter group.  Here's a story on Carteach0 about someone whose friend knew the rules but didn't follow them.   The story just tore my guts out.

http://tinyurl.com/Always-safe

You can never "screw around" with a gun.  Never.


Accept The Challenge

If you're an experienced shooter, stress the safety rules when you're taking someone less experienced to the range.  Better yet, suggest they take a safety class.

If you're NOT an experienced shooter, don't touch or handle any gun.  You are placing yourself and those around you in danger.  Get educated before you handle any weapon.

And when you learn the rules, follow them.  I cannot imagine the anguish of the friend who has paralyzed his buddy.  Don't put yourself in that kind of a position.

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2 comments:

theotherryan said...

Look down at the chamber and also make sure the mag well is empty.

Interestingly more than once a person has handed me a gun saying it is empty and shown displeasure when I check anyway (the implication would be that I don't trust them). I say something about it being my funny little habit and do it again the next time they hand me a gun. Unless I just saw them clear it properly I check.

Disturbingly service members having negligent discharges with privately owned weapons off duty is fairly common. Usually alcohol is involved.

Chief Instructor said...

Yep, part of our "empty verification" is a pinkie put into the breach and look down the grips to verify there is no mag present. Magazines themselves have the follower depressed to verify no round is present.

I never accept a gun being handed to me unless the slide is locked open and the mag is removed, or the cylinder is open. Otherwise, I'll ask them to set down the gun and I will pick it up and clear it.

I don't really care if it pisses them off.

I've got to believe the majority of firearms accidents have alcohol involved in one way or another. Incredibly stupid.