Building good gun safety habits is probably the number one important thing to learn in front of all others. Most training courses will always do a safety brief before shooting in order to cover general range safety as well as reminding everyone of their personal responsibility to be safe with the guns they are going to be using. When you go to any range, you will most likely have to endure a safety brief about how to be safe. Some things may seem like common sense, but it must be said just so you know that there are no exceptions.
The reason for these gun safety rules is to make sure that you don’t cause harm to yourself and others. It is just like driving, in the sense that there are rules in order to help prevent abuse and causing reckless harm to yourself and others, and the results typically are permanent and possibly debilitating.
An example of bad gun safety that I can remember that has stuck with me through the years is an incident that happened in the middle of a firefight. Basically an ANA soldier was running across a ravine under fire. He got to the top of the ravine and we were providing cover. He apparently tripped on something and on the way down, carrying his rifle at the popular low ready and off safe, put a round right into his boot and shot the front half of his big toe. there wasn’t much damage, but he filled his boot with blood and was walking around with one red shoe for a while until we were able to call in a medevac. But this is just an example of what can happen if you lose respect for your firearms and the importance of using them safely, and making a habit of it.
This is my take on the subject.