I attached the picture of a gunshot wound to this article not to shock, but to give you a glimpse of a possible future. Don’t be that guy bleeding. Know how to clear your guns and do it as though your health and financial welfare depended upon it. Know the rules of gun safety.
Jeff Cooper’s Rules of Gun Safety
RULE I: All Guns Are Always Loaded
RULE II: Never Let The Muzzle Cover Anything You Are Not Willing To Destroy
RULE III: Keep Your Finger Off The Trigger Until Your Sights Are On The Target
RULE IV: Be Sure Of Your Target
Excerpted from: The Modern Technique of the Pistol, by Greg Morrison, Gunsite Press, Paulden, Arizona, ISBN 0-9621342-3-6, Library of Congress Number 91-72644.
When I am teaching I always add another rule. I tell everyone that even if they forget the rest of the rules, to remember this, the most important rule, the Prime Directive:
Rule V: NEVER, EVER, POINT A GUN AT ME OR ANY PART OF ME.
Every day I see an article on Fark.com or Yahoo News about a firearms accident. While a minimal amount of Google Fu will reveal that swimming pools kill many times more people than guns, any (unintentional) gun death is a tragedy which will be used to attack my civil rights.
I believe many of these deaths are murders covered with an accident story. I am very suspicious of any story involving a dead spouse.
If you inculcate Jeff Cooper’s rules, you can never have a negligent discharge. If I hurt someone with a gun, I want it to be a deliberate and legal act.
Another large percentage of negligent shooting is the “cleaning the gun” or “dry fire.” Clear your gun properly and separate the ammo and magazines from the gun by placing them in another room. The immutable laws of physics will prevent the gun from firing. You can now safely clean and dry practice to your heart’s content.
I was a first responder and provided medical treatment to a District Attorney’s Investigator who was cleaning his Glock 23 on the range. He was talking with his buddies and having fun. He pulled the slide back, saw an empty chamber and let the slide go forward. Unbeknownst to him, this act chambered a new round. He then removed the loaded magazine. You know the rest of the story…
He tried to disassemble the Glock and found the slide lock (also called take down bar) wouldn’t move. “oh yeah, I have to decock”. While holding the slide lock with his hand over the end of the barrel, he pulled the trigger. While you cannot argue with the effectiveness of this as a method of clearing the pistol, it is rough on the hands. He was embarrassed and bleeding.
The wound was not life threatening and he can now recite Cooper’s rules by heart. Thank goodness he at least followed Rule V.
Some trainers make exceptions to the rules and even direct their students to break them. I had one instructor tell me to close my eyes, then draw and fire two rounds. I avoid these guys, but they are fun to watch on youtube.
There is way to do these things safely and follow the rules. Don’t use a gun.
The SIRT Training Pistol from Next Level Training shoots lasers and is inert. It even has weighted magazines for practicing reloads. The laser provides feedback. This is the ultimate dry fire tool. They make a bolt for AR rifles too.
Ring’s Manufacturing crafts a detailed, accurate and extensive line of “Firearm Simulators.” Their rubber, blue guns are inert and cheap. They are perfect for weapons retention and close combat.
The Blade-Tech training barrel is a plastic replacement barrel designed to replace the functional barrel in your semi-automatic handgun. The Training Barrel provides the ability of realistic dry-fire weapon handling during practice and training and eliminates any chance for a negligent discharge. The training barrel will allow full slide function which aids in tap rack manipulation drills and trigger function.
Be the pain-in-the-ass dude who is always talking about gun safety rules. Friends don’t let friends shoot themselves in the groin.