4 Firearms Safety Rules
- Treat every weapon as if it were loaded
- Never point the weapon at anything you don’t intend to destroy
- Keep your finger straight and off the trigger until you intend to fire
- Be sure of your target and what lies beyond
Whether you are picking up your first gun ever or are a professional that lives and works with guns every day, you should know, use, and live these four safety rules. This week we are going to review all four in depth.
Be sure of your target and what lies beyond is easy to follow in the shooting range because it’s all laid out for you. Someone went through the trouble of figuring what you can shoot at safely and where the bullet would end up after it passed through your target.
Hunters need to follow this rule when setting up blinds and when going for a shot at game. A center fire rifle bullet can travel for miles after leaving the gun. Just because you can’t see that far doesn’t mean you shouldn’t know where it is going.
This rule for self defense is hard to follow, but one of the most important. It means knowing your target is a bad guy trying kill you or someone else. Once you are sure of that you need to be sure of what is around and behind your target. Bullets go through things and we sometimes miss. The perfect set up is to have something that will stop bullets behind the bad guy.
A couple years ago there was a case that a burglar broke into a couples’ home. They thought they heard someone down stairs, so the husband took his .44 Magnum revolver to go make sure it was just the dog. When he got down stairs he ran right into the burglar and they started fighting over his gun. The burglar broke free and fan up the stairs. Fearing for his wife up stairs the husband fired one shot at the burglar. But while the fight was going on, the wife went half way down the stairs to find out what was going on. She was standing on the stairs when the husband fired up the stairs. The bullet went straight through the burglar killing him and continuing on to hit his wife with enough energy left to kill her also.
Obviously, that was the worst case ever and many things went wrong for his wife to die. But this is an example about knowing your target and what lies beyond. If the husband had known the bullet would have gone through and hit his wife, he would never fired the shot.
Ethically and legally you are responsible for every bullet you fire. So be absolutely, sure of your target and what lies beyond.