If you have heard them once, you have heard them 1000 times: the Three Rules of Gun Safety. In fact, originally there were 10. Written by Col. Cooper, their numbers have been reduced over the years for ease of remembering them. The rule that states, “All guns are loaded.” The concept is that you should treat an unloaded gun the same way that you treat a loaded gun. And you should—but not in all cases!
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As might be expected, a goodly percentage of the shooters that attend my training classes are female shooters. Some have developed an interest in the shooting sports, others are just curious. unfortunately, many women regard those of us who are armed as a lifestyle with about as much fear as they fear thugs. This is a challenge that must be overcome.
If there is one thing that likely causes more negligent discharges than anything else it is improperly clearing or failing to clear a firearm. In plain English that means failing to remove the bullets from the gun. Unfortunately, this easily preventable scenario often results in serious injury or death. Here are a couple videos to walk you through the procedure.
The handgun is the weapon of opportunity carried with us at all times to take charge of a situation that threatens our lives or the safety of loved ones. I think that we have to look to the counter sniper or hunter who takes a single, well-placed shot, and makes a hit by taking his time in a hurry. Of course, personal defense is different and the reactive nature of the problem requires speed. However, speed is worthless without accuracy.
Most shooters advance quickly. They go from having difficulty controlling their shots to what they think is good shooting. If they do not have other shooters to gauge their accuracy by, they often have an overinflated idea of their own skills. A few rounds of IDPA competition will put things in perspective. It is tempting to get pretty good with the handgun and then empty the pistol into the target. Machine gunning a paper target is fun but it isn’t viable training, and you do not learn much.
Today, there are thousands of certified instructors across the country. All NRA instructors receive the same training. Their backgrounds, however, differ. You want to find an instructor that sweats pearls for his students. You must choose an instructor you feel comfortable with on a personal and professional basis. If you are simply going to get the paper, you have made a mistake that could get you killed in a gunfight.
The word “rule” has been carelessly tossed about by law enforcement and CCW trainers for decades. In truth, they are referring to the “Tueller Drill.” Careless lips have led to some dangerous conclusions—especially among the civilian population. It’s a confusion that’s being cynically exploited to get headlines, and needs to be addressed for safety.
We can all agree that even one firearms accident is too many. And, to that end, we will never stop practicing and promoting firearms safety. That being said, news saying that firearms deaths have not only dropped significantly in the last year, but they have hit an all-time low since records keeping began over a century ago is a positive message worth repeating.
Through its $2.4 million federal grant, the NSSF has developed new video and radio public services announcements on the importance of securely storing firearms when not in use. “Safety is a Habit” is the theme, complementing the Project ChildSafe Communities program messages. the NSSF encourages you to help promote gun safety by making use of the PSAs, sharing them with your social networks, friends and family.
The Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program is a firearm accident prevention program that helps parents, law enforcement, community groups, and educators begin the gun safety journey with the children in their lives. The program not only engages kids with Eddie’s cartoons, workbooks and stories, but helps adults work through the safety education even if they have no experience with firearms.