From contributing blogger – JJ Pewers
Rule Two – the obvious rule
When discussing the firearm safety rules, one of the most basic principles that we as gun owners follow is to:
This is only common sense. This is probably the first rule that we teach a new shooter. While we need all of the rules to be completely safe, not pointing a firearm at someone is the foundation of all others. It’s the difference between a safe trip to plink tin cans and an unfortunate trip to the hospital.
Rule Four – where does that bullet go?
Rule Four can be a bit more ambiguous:
This is much less a hard-and-fast rule, as it is a judgement call. We try to create the safest environment possible to enjoy the shooting sports. We have firing lines to keep people behind our 180º focus. We shoot into a hill and not over a ridge when out plinking. Shooting ranges have angled walls created from high tech bullet-catching material. We try to create a setting where everything we don’t care about stays down-range, and everything we do care about stays up-range.
That brings me to something I discovered not long ago. I was breaking either Rule Two, or I was breaking Rule Four, or perhaps it was some combination of both!
Rule Six = Rule 2 + Rule 4
At night, I unlock my firearm and place it on the dresser. I don’t have small children to be concerned with micro-humans accessing the gun while we sleep. The problem I realized is that if I something does go bump in the night, and my wife or I were to grab for the firearm, it is pointed right at the family we are intending to protect! Depending on the angle, down-range could include parts of three rooms and the landing where I expect my children to be.
We moved the firearm to be pointed across the stairway, where it never enters any of our living spaces, and has to travel through at least six sheets of drywall or more to exit our house.
Another violation of Rule Six I noticed one night when I sat down to dinner, after bringing in a flank steak off of the charcoal grill and placing it on the table. I will pocket carry in the summer from time to time. I have cargo-style shorts and I have dressier shorts with smaller pockets. When I sat down at the table in the dress shorts, I was pointing my firearm directly at my son’s abdomen! I hadn’t consciously realized that in the cargo shorts, I always slide the gun and holster down the side of my leg to point at the ground when I sit. At that moment, I excused myself from the table, and stored my carry piece away in a safe place.
Rule Six and YOU!