Wednesday, June 18, 2014
The Four Rules
Rule #1: All Firearms are always loaded at all times. Even if you just checked it. If you set it down be sure to check it again. And visually and physically inspect that the chamber is empty. Never hand a firearm to someone without checking to ensure it is properly safed and unloaded.
Rule #2: Never point a Firearm at anything you do not intend to destroy. Notice Gunny and I did NOT say do not intend to shoot. This is to make you and others T-H-I-N-K about just where the muzzle of your firearm points. A firearm is not a toy. There are no take backs or do overs if you have a ND/AD (Negligent Discharge/Accidental Discharge). Firearms can do more than just kill. They can wound, maim, paralyze, scare and a whole host of things. Unless you intend on "Destroying" what you are pointing your firearm at, keep it pointed in a safe direction at all times. And no horseplay either.
Rule #3: Be sure of your target and what is beyond it. If you cannot positively and absolutely identify your target AND what is behind your target. DO NOT FIRE. In case you miss, or your rounds fully penetrate and exit the target. Is it a wall which could stop that round? Is it an open field? Is it a play ground full of children or a street full of passenger vehicles and pedestrians? You know Innocent Bystanders. You need to determine if it is safe for you to take the shot, without risking the lives of others EXCEPT your intended target.
Rule #4: Keep your finger off the trigger until you are sights on target and ready to fire. I'll borrow this from Tam who I heard it from first. "Keep your booger hook off the bang switch." Until you are ready to fire.
And here is my personal Rule #5.
PRACTICE. It does you no good to have the top of the line gee whiz bang super dooper master boomer bangety bang bang, if you cannot put all of your rounds on target. Not one or two rounds with the rest flying over the targets head. ALL of them. How else will you know that your firearm will do the job you ask it to do? Do you have too much gun? Too much recoil? If you do have to reload it quickly, can you? Have you practiced it enough that it is comfortable? Unless you practice, you will never know. And someone may die. Possibly you. Possibly a child who was not your intended target. Could you live with that if it happened?
Practice like your life and the lives of your loved ones depends on it. Because it just might someday.