Whether you have been around guns your whole life, or are just thinking about buying your first gun, there are 4 rules you must follow. These 4 rules will save your life, or they may save the life of someone around you. Ask anyone who has had an accidental discharge of a firearm and they will tell you, it is a terrifying experience. Luckily I have never had an accidental discharge and hope I never do, but if I follow these rules, I should be safe, if and when it happens.
Rule Number 1: ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED
Why? If you always assume a gun is loaded, you won’t act carelessly. How many times have you watched the news and after a gun accident the person says, “I didn’t know it was loaded?” Well, it’s always loaded. Even when it isn’t, it’s loaded.
Rule Number 2: NEVER LET THE MUZZLE COVER ANYTHING YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO DESTROY
This one should be pretty simple, if the gun is pointed at something and it goes off, what happens to the thing it was pointed at? It gets destroyed. If you are careful where you point your firearm, you won’t have to worry about destroying life or property.
Rule Number 3: KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOUR SIGHTS ARE ON THE TARGET
Contrary to what you may hear on the evening news, guns don’t just go off. There are no evil or possessed guns that just go around killing people. Guns go off because they are caused to fire by the operator. By keeping your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target, you will not shoot anything you don’t intend to.
Rule Number 4: BE SURE OF YOUR TARGET AND WHAT IS BEYOND IT
Many of us have heard sad stories of the hunter in the woods who thought his buddy was a deer, hog or whatever and shot his gun, only to find out he killed his buddy. Those incidents happened because they failed to follow this rule. Always make sure the target you are aiming at is what you want to shoot. If not, go back to the first 3 rules. If it is, knowing what is beyond your target is also important. As the shooter you are responsible for anything your bullet hits or anywhere it goes. If you miss your target and your round hits a neighbor’s house, you could be in big trouble. Know that it is safe to shoot the target before you take the shot. You also need to keep over penetration in mind as bullets will sometimes pass through their targets and hit something behind them.
If you follow these rules, you can be confident that your shooting experience will be safe.