Gun and Ammunition Safety – My Take

There’s no question that a loaded gun can be dangerous. Any responsible person knows this and makes every effort to handle their gun safely. This is just being smart.

But perhaps not everyone knows the basic techniques and “best practices” for handling guns and ammo. Here are a few suggestions based on my many years as a gun enthusiast and someone who takes gun safety seriously.

Safety Is A Mindset

Gun safety efforts seek to create a certain attitude and appropriate habits by following some simple rules. The mindset needs to be… firearms are inherently dangerous and must always be handled with care. Gun handlers are taught to treat firearms with respect for their destructive capabilities, and strongly discouraged from playing or toying with firearms, a common cause of accidents.

The common sense rules of gun safety follow from this mindset.

Originally Colonel Jeff Cooper developed four rules are those most commonly taught during gun safety training. John Dean “Jeff” Cooper (May 10, 1920 – September 25, 2006) was recognized as the father of what is commonly known as “the Modern Technique” of handgun shooting, and was considered by many to be one of the 20th century’s foremost international experts on the use and history of small arms. Here are his four rules:

 

  1. Treat all guns as if they are loaded.
  2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
  3. Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target.
  4. Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.

 

The NRA provides a similar set of rules:

 

  1. ALWAYS keep the gun pointed in a safe direction.
  2. ALWAYS keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.
  3. ALWAYS keep the gun unloaded until ready to use.

Treat Guns As If They Are Loaded  .450 bushmaster ammo

 

Many firearm accidents result from the handler mistakenly believing a firearm is emptied, safetied, or otherwise disabled when in fact it is ready to be discharged.

If a gun handler always treats firearms as capable of being discharged at any time, the handler is more likely to take precautions to prevent an unintentional discharge and to avoid damage or injury if one does occur. In other words it becomes a habit and a single mindset.

Point the Muzzle Away From Any Target

This rule is intended to minimize the damage caused by an unintended discharge. The first rule teaches that a firearm must be assumed to be ready to fire. This rule goes beyond that and says, “Since the firearm might fire, assume that it will and make sure no harm occurs when it does.”

 

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