Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Most Important Rules

So I was texting with brother Lightning, at first about the most delicious concoction known to man, Skyline Chili, when he mentioned that he (largely thanks to my drivel) was actually looking for guns at the local sporting goods store. I made a recommendation as to the first firearm he should get, but as he mentioned that he'd never actually fired one before, that some discussion of the basic rules of firearm safety were in order.  So I decided to post them here, just in case anyone else would like to know them who doesn't already.  Forthwith then the most important rules, NEVER EVER EVER to be ignored.

1.  Every gun is loaded.  Every time, all the time.  Therefore:
2.  The very first thing you should do before handling a firearm is to perform a safety check.  That means, drop any magazine, open the breech and physically check for a round in the chamber.  Then and only then can you safely handle it.
3.  Even after having performed a safety check, don't ever point the gun anywhere you don't want it shooting.  ALWAYS be aware of where the barrel is pointed.
4.  Never put your finger on the trigger unless you are ready to fire the weapon.
5.  Never aim the weapon at anything you are not prepared to fire on.
6.  Be aware of your state's laws regarding how to transport a firearm.  Most states let you carry it to and from the shop you bought it from and to and from a bona fide firing range. When you transport a firearm, it should be unloaded and locked, and put in the trunk or some other place you cannot get to it. Most firearms come with a trigger lock or some other locking mechanism. Use it. Always. And keep the ammo up front.  And remember, carrying a loaded magazine, even up front, is the same thing as carrying a loaded firearm in many states, which is a felony.
7. Wear eye and ear protection.  If you're at the firing range and the range master asks you if you have "eyes and ears," this is what he means.
8. Know if there is anything beyond what you're shooting at and be aware that shooting a rifle can hurt someone more than a mile away.
9. If you have children in your house, keep the firearm locked and lock the firearm in a cabinet.  It's your decision as to whether or not to teach your children about gun safety but even if you do, keep your firearms locked up. Most states view any mishaps by children with firearms as the direct responsibility of the owner of the gun.  You don't want to deal with the death of a child and being charged with that child's murder.
10. Learn everything about the firearm you're shooting, especially, if it's one you own, how to clean it.  And knowing that info, clean it regularly. Bullets are dirty; they spew gunpowder residue all over the receiver and into the barrel.  Keeping it clean keeps it functional and accurate.

Well that's ten to begin with.  Anyone with any other suggestions, feel free to comment.  And Lightning, remember: Ruger 10/22, it's a great intro to firearms: light, accurate, inexpensive,  easy to shoot, easy to clean, and comes with a lock that renders it completely impossible to shoot.  Consider it well.


  1. I don't own any firearms, but I definitely support gun ownership and have strongly considered purchasing one for myself. I want your opinion on something a friend of mine does in the vein of gun safety. His family owns a company that deals in gun powder and they are fanatical about gun safety, but they have one practice that I think is odd. He has his kids trained that if they find a gun anywhere they are to run and find a parent yelling, "GUN! GUN! GUN!" So every so often they will leave an unloaded gun out somewhere like on their bed or bedside table just to see what the kids do if they discover it.

  2. Well the first part is fine - many parents who have children who are not yet old enough to grasp the subtleties of gun safety teach them to 1)STOP what you're doing; 2)DON'T TOUCH the weapon; 3) LEAVE the area; and 4) TELL a parent that there's a gun out. It's actually the textbook thing to do.

    Having said that, deliberately leaving one out to test the kids is perhaps a little odd. And yelling "GUN!" like a Secret Service agent must be a little jarring. When someone screams "GUN!" I would hit the deck, which is what you're supposed to do. Then I'd be embarrassed.

    Re: a gun, go to a range and rent one to shoot. If it (pardon the pun) trips your trigger, then figure out what you want (I can help there if you like) and make your purchase.

  3. I was looking AT guns, not for one. Yeah -- I can see where they are interesting, just not my thing. In the past I had wished that some friend who was a hunter would invite me to go hunting with him, but I rarely was friends with anyone that hunted. Don't know that I could ever really get into all the prep work and sitting around in sometimes miserable conditions.

    My brother has been in law enforcement almost his entire adult life but never seemed to say much about guns. I once did an intership with a police department and was told by one officer that if we were ever in a critical situation, he might have to slide his spare gun to me. Ha -- with my 0 hours of firearms training!

    1. Well that's gratitude for you. I type my fingers to the bone for you...and this...THIS is the thanks I get??

      We're fighting.

    2. I thought I told you that you could have Princess Josie?

    3. That's if I LOST a duel with you. Besides, what the hell would I do with her, besides save her from YOU perverty bums...

  4. Replies
    1. This was in response to a direct inquiry, madame.

  5. How do people protect themselves from break-in's with a firearm if it is locked up with no ammo? I always thought you would be like "hey hold on.. don't kill me yet.. gotta unlock this.. yeah, just a second.. be right with you.."..

    I am just curious. Because being safe is obviously the right way to go but it also seems to reduce the effectiveness of having a gun for home protection.

    Should you have a Samurai sword or pepper spray or a taser instead? I always thought having taser gloves would be pretty cool. Just walk around with those babies and if someone fucks with you: bzzzzt.

    1. You're right. Personal protection is important but not as important as keeping the wee ones safe. And yes, pepper spray is a good choice, certainly better than Wolfie's fuckin katana.

    2. I should also add that in Massachusetts one needs an FID to buy and carry pepper spray. The F in FID stands for "Firearms." Make sense? Nor to me.

  6. "We're fighting."

    Uh, no ... not when you have me totally dominated in weaponry.