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The Four Golden Rules of Firearms Safety
AC ^ | Feb 11, 2010 | Dan S. Defense

Posted on 03/02/2011 9:21:03 AM PST by ArrogantBustard

Guns are dangerous tools. They can save lives and they can destroy them. When you take on the responsibility to handle a firearm, you must take it seriously and you must educate yourself, on all that it takes to be a safe and responsible gun owner. You may be surprised to learn that there are only four basic golden rules to gun safety. If you follow these rules—at all times—you will be safe and so will the people around you. Please realize that any gun owner who's foolish enough to disobey these golden rules, by negligence or stupidity, makes us all look bad. If you know someone who's new to firearm ownership, or if you know an "expert" who thinks he or she no longer needs to follow these rules, please send them this link. I hate to sound melodramatic, but it will probably save lives.

The four golden rules were given to us by the late Col. Jeff Cooper. To many, as to me, Mr. Cooper is the father of the modern pistol craft. If you take the time to read his books (e.g. To Ride, Shoot Straight and Speak the Truth) , you'll find that he is much more than that but, in this context, we'll look at the knowledge he condensed and packaged for us.

The four golden rules to firearm safety:

1. All guns are always loaded.

2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.

3. Keep your finger off the trigger till your sights are on the target.

4. Identify your target, and what is behind it. Never shoot at shadows and/or noises.

(Excerpt) Read more at associatedcontent.com ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: banglist; gunsafety
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1 posted on 03/02/2011 9:21:04 AM PST by ArrogantBustard
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To: fightinJAG; PapaBear3625

Ping


2 posted on 03/02/2011 9:22:20 AM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: ArrogantBustard

5. Firearms should not be handled after uttering the phrase, “Hold muh beer.”


3 posted on 03/02/2011 9:24:15 AM PST by edpc (Tagline under construction: Your American Recovery and Reinvestment Act dollars at work.)
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To: ArrogantBustard

if you go to Gunsite in northern AZ...it is posted everywhere.

Mr. Cooper was great man...I especially like rule #1...

...an unloaded gun is a club...why bother.


4 posted on 03/02/2011 9:24:54 AM PST by Vaquero ("an armed society is a polite society" Robert A. Heinlein)
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To: ArrogantBustard

Respect the will of anti-gun liberals and decline to use your guns to defend them when they’re assaulted.


5 posted on 03/02/2011 9:26:15 AM PST by MeganC (Soli Deo Gloria)
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To: ArrogantBustard
The first rule of interaction after shooting a BG: Say "I was afraid for my life, I want a lawyer" and nothing more, not one word more.

6 posted on 03/02/2011 9:31:06 AM PST by I see my hands (You can know the young posters by the desperate optimism in their posts.)
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To: Vaquero

I think you don’t understand rule number one. It is not telling us it is mandatory to load all guns at all times. It is telling us that we are to assume all guns are loaded at all times and handle them as if they are loaded at all times even if we know they are not loaded.


7 posted on 03/02/2011 9:33:53 AM PST by mamelukesabre (Si Vis Pacem Para Bellum (If you want peace prepare for war))
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To: Vaquero
Rule One establishes a mentality without which NO set of rules, however carefully devised, will really make sense.

If it's not loaded, if it can't discharge and kill somebody, why worry about all this safety stuff?

8 posted on 03/02/2011 9:34:51 AM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: ArrogantBustard

We have a “pre” rule one at our house -

all guns are real, not toys, and are to be treated as such with the following four.


9 posted on 03/02/2011 9:36:45 AM PST by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter knows whom he's working for)
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To: ArrogantBustard

bookmark


10 posted on 03/02/2011 9:37:33 AM PST by GOP Poet (Obama is an OLYMPIC failure.)
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To: ArrogantBustard

A great scene containing THE four rules can be found in the novel “PALLAS” by L Neil Smith, in the chapter titled “The Grizzly Win Mag.” the author provides appropriate attribution, and writes an excellent scenario around the introduction of Col Cooper’s rules to a very new shooter.

2.5 place guarded trust in mechanical safeties...


11 posted on 03/02/2011 9:39:02 AM PST by petro45acp (Hey Doc! Don't tell me how to live my life. CURE what ails me so I can live how I choose.)
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To: I see my hands

Actually, there is one more thing you should say. “I think I may be having a heart attack.” This makes the police summon a medic, who will evaluate you, and give you time to have your heartbeat slow back down to close to normal.


12 posted on 03/02/2011 9:41:56 AM PST by MortMan (What disease did cured ham used to have?)
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To: ArrogantBustard
Based on some conversations with firearm newbies, the first rule (1. All guns are always loaded) is the only one that seems to require a bit more thought than the rest. If taken literally, things like cleaning and dry-fire practice would be off limits. And who wants to assume that all your guns are loaded when you need one to deal with a threat? The idea behind this rule is that one should use the same safe handling practices whether the gun is known to be loaded or not. Heck, we have a small novelty laser pointer (for driving the cats crazy) that is shaped like a handgun, yet I am still careful not to put my finger on the trigger (which activates the laser) until I know my head is clear and I understand exactly what is in my hand.

Good article!

13 posted on 03/02/2011 9:49:56 AM PST by Niteranger68 (Jared Lee Loughner - Disciple of Michael Moore)
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To: MortMan
I hear you but that would be a mistake as it gives the prosecutor and or plaintiff's atty. the opportunity to question your competence in determining if your life was at threat.

14 posted on 03/02/2011 9:52:36 AM PST by I see my hands (You can know the young posters by the desperate optimism in their posts.)
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To: edpc
“Hold muh beer.”

Whatever you're going to do right after you say "Honey, watch this…", don't do it.

15 posted on 03/02/2011 9:53:52 AM PST by D-fendr (Deus non alligatur sacramentis sed nos alligamur.)
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To: ArrogantBustard
This thread has just added to the FreeRepublic "bang list" (firearms interest list) by adding the keyword "banglist".

Any time a firearms-related thread is created on FreeRepublic, please be sure to add the "banglist" keyword to it so that interested FReepers don't miss it. Just a suggestion.

Let Freedom Ring,

Gun Facts v5.1!

Click the pic to go to the Gun Facts v5.1 download page!

16 posted on 03/02/2011 9:55:30 AM PST by Joe Brower (Sheep have three speeds: "graze", "stampede" and "cower".)
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To: mamelukesabre
I think you don’t understand rule number one. It is not telling us it is mandatory to load all guns at all times. It is telling us that we are to assume all guns are loaded at all times and handle them as if they are loaded at all times even if we know they are not loaded.

I was attending an advanced pistol class in another city. The instructor told us to practice dry-firing after class. One student was practicing his dry-firing in his motel room. As you might guess, the firearm he thought was unloaded had a round in the chamber. BANG! Round went through motel wall and through the next room, narrowly missing the occupant.

With me, regardless of my degree of sureness that a gun is unloaded, I will not point it another human, nor tolerate anybody else doing so in my presence. When I need to pull the trigger on my presumably empty gun in order to release spring tension in order to disassemble it for cleaning, I always do so with the gun pointing at a brick wall facing an empty back yard. Etc.

17 posted on 03/02/2011 9:58:18 AM PST by PapaBear3625 ("It is only when we've lost everything, that we are free to do anything" -- Fight Club)
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To: harpseal; TexasCowboy; nunya bidness; AAABEST; Travis McGee; Squantos; wku man; SLB; ...


18 posted on 03/02/2011 9:58:25 AM PST by Joe Brower (Sheep have three speeds: "graze", "stampede" and "cower".)
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To: ArrogantBustard
Seriously?
19 posted on 03/02/2011 10:02:55 AM PST by Ro_Thunder (I sure hope there is a New Morning in America soon. All this hope and change is leaving me depressed)
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To: Joe Brower

Be sure your target is worth the ammo.


20 posted on 03/02/2011 10:03:28 AM PST by oyez (The difference in genius and stupidity is that genius has limits.)
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To: ArrogantBustard
I once put a snap cap from my pocket into a gun. The only issue was that I had forgotten that I put two live rounds into that same pocket. You can guess what happened next.

Even though the gun was "unloaded" in my mind, it went off. Lesson learned. All guns are ALWAYS loaded. Period.

21 posted on 03/02/2011 10:03:28 AM PST by Hardastarboard (Bringing children to America without immigration documents is child abuse. Let's end it.)
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To: ArrogantBustard
Let's cross-link to Dan's other article:

My Favorite Shooting Technique Will Teach You How to Shoot Your Handgun More Accurately

22 posted on 03/02/2011 10:03:40 AM PST by fightinJAG (TAXPAYERS OF THE WORLD UNITE)
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To: Joe Brower
Fifth Rule of Gun Safety:

Don't run off downrange at the worst possible moment without checking with your rangemaster when the OSU - looking dudes you're sharing the range with are just getting back from having been downrange. (Guaranteed, someone of them is guaranteed to pick up a rifle and point it downrange at you and your kid.)

Sixth Rule of Gun Safety:

If you've ever broken rule number five, or plan on breaking rule number five in the future, (especially after having had the talk about who is taking whom shooting in front of witnesses), don't ever ask OKSooner to take you shooting again.

EV-ER.

(Rule number seven: No exemption for either of the above based on race or gender, or for clergy...)

23 posted on 03/02/2011 10:04:35 AM PST by OKSooner (Obama confessed "his muslim faith" on the George Stephanopolous show on September 7th, 2008.)
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To: I see my hands

That advice comes from a Kansas licensed firearm dealer/licensed concealed carry class instructor/police officer.

Further, it would be foolish to argue that a normal individual who has just shot another person doesn’t suffer immediate physiological distress. Even police officers have to be evaluated afterward - and they are trained for the eventuality.

Finally, “I think I may be having a heart attack” is an unimpeachable statement, legally, unless you deliberately recant your assertion. “I want my lawyer” is a more impeachable statement - it can be (and has been) argued that calling for a lawyer before even talking to police is evidence of a guilty conscience.

However - everyone needs to understand the vagaries of their own state’s laws, and to use those laws as best they can to shield themselves in the unfortunate event a shooting becomes necessary.

I’m pretty certain we agree on that last point! LOL


24 posted on 03/02/2011 10:09:05 AM PST by MortMan (What disease did cured ham used to have?)
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To: Joe Brower
After nearly half a century of following those basic ideas (not sure they were "rules" when my dad and granddad taught them to me), I have yet to shoot anything I did not intend to.

Works for me.

Not loading your firearm until it is ready for use is a conundrum. It isn't ready until loaded.

25 posted on 03/02/2011 10:11:35 AM PST by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing.)
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To: Ro_Thunder

Rule Two: Never let your muzzle cover anything you're not willing to destroy.

Hmmmm ... Hey, if he's willing to destroy his own head, who am I to argue with him?

Rule Three: Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on target ... so ... his head is his target. Fascinating.

Rule Four: Know your target and what is beyond it. Now, we have a problem ... there might be an innocent person to his left next to the firing line ... He's almost certainly violating Rule Four.

26 posted on 03/02/2011 10:11:50 AM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: ArrogantBustard
The NRA rules.

1. ALWAYS keep the gun pointed in a safe direction.

This is the primary rule of gun safety. A safe direction means that the gun is pointed so that even if it were to go off it would not cause injury or damage. The key to this rule is to control where the muzzle or front end of the barrel is pointed at all times. Common sense dictates the safest direction, depending on different circumstances.

2. ALWAYS keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.

When holding a gun, rest your finger on the trigger guard or along the side of the gun. Until you are actually ready to fire, do not touch the trigger.

3. ALWAYS keep the gun unloaded until ready to use.

Whenever you pick up a gun, immediately engage the safety device if possible, and, if the gun has a magazine, remove it before opening the action and looking into the chamber(s) which should be clear of ammunition. If you do not know how to open the action or inspect the chamber(s), leave the gun alone and get help from someone who does.

27 posted on 03/02/2011 10:13:12 AM PST by xsrdx (Diligentia, Vis, Celeritas)
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To: ArrogantBustard

Col Cooper's rules have value in a "free-fire zone"
however in any other place they are patently absurd
as 99.9% of all guns are unloaded.

I am quite familiar with Col. Cooper's rules.

They have value for dogfaces and grunts.
Which is where they were developed during WWII.

However they have proven to be unsafe.

Police Officer Safety Training (POST) train with Cooper rules.
The NRA Training Department has developed Police Firearms training
based on NRA Safety rules in hope of reducing NDs by LEOs

Many years ago the NRA used the Cooper rules;
His rules proved to be unsafe as NDs did not decrease,
the NRA training dept spent years developing safer rules.

Since the introduction of the new rules NDs among
those trained with the new rules have dramatically decreased

They are much safer because:

Why do I point the gun in a safe direction?
Because until I inspect the chamber, I assume it is loaded.

Why do I keep my finger off the trigger?
Because I assume that it is loaded until I inspect the chamber.

I don't load a gun until I plan to use it.

I train and certify NRA Certified Instructors in all disciplines
including Personal Protection both in and outside the Home.

I'm a Chief Range Safety Officer training NRA Certified Range Safety Officers
and I also teach the development of Standard Operating Procedures for the operation of
both indoor and outdoor ranges in all disciplines.

Here are the rules which are safer than Cooper rules:

Always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction

Always keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot

Always keep the gun unloaded until ready to use

When you plan to shoot or store , the following rules come into effect:
NRA Eight Rules for Using or Storing A Gun

1. Know your target and what is beyond.

2. Be sure the gun is safe to operate.

3. Know how to use the gun safely.

4. Use only the correct ammunition for your gun.

5. Wear eye and ear protection.

6. NEVER use alcohol or drugs before or while shooting.

7. Store guns so they are NOT accessible to unauthorized persons.

8. Be aware that certain types of guns and many shooting activities require additional safety precautions.

There are many more training rules for both concealed and open carry.

However the three fundamental rules apply in all circumstances.

I hope that I have made it very clear why Cooper rules have failed to protect the shooter.

If you rely only on the Cooper rules you have placed yourself at greater risk.

NRA T/C CRSO

28 posted on 03/02/2011 10:13:59 AM PST by Uri’el-2012 (Psalm 119:174 I long for Your salvation, YHvH, Your law is my delight.)
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To: MortMan
You're right, we have agreement only on your last point.

Let's hope we never have occasion to find out which approach is more prudent.


29 posted on 03/02/2011 10:15:17 AM PST by I see my hands (You can know the young posters by the desperate optimism in their posts.)
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To: Hardastarboard
My Grandfather lectured me endlessly about gun safety and basically practiced what he preached.

One day I drooped by to see him. He had earlier punched a twelve gage shot pattern in his den ceiling. My lesson was precautions don't always prevent a mishap, but they do limit injury.

30 posted on 03/02/2011 10:16:09 AM PST by oyez (The difference in genius and stupidity is that genius has limits.)
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To: UriĀ’el-2012
Col Cooper's rules have value in a "free-fire zone" however in any other place they are patently absurd as 99.9% of all guns are unloaded.

First time I've EVER seen you recognize any value in Cooper's rules.

It's a start.

For those of us who carry pistols as a piece of clothing, Cooper's rules make a whole lot more sense than the NRA rules.

However they have proven to be unsafe.

PROVE it. You're making the claim, you back it up. Back it up with facts, not bluster.

DISmissed!!!!

31 posted on 03/02/2011 10:18:10 AM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: Smokin' Joe
Not loading your firearm until it is ready for use is a conundrum. It isn't ready until loaded.

The NRA point is that guns not in active use should be verified unloaded.

"All guns are always loaded" is clearly not true - while they should always be approached with that assumption, they shouldn't BE loaded unless they NEED to be loaded.

32 posted on 03/02/2011 10:21:58 AM PST by xsrdx (Diligentia, Vis, Celeritas)
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To: ArrogantBustard
What are your credentials for blathering
unsafe procedures for the operation of firearms?

33 posted on 03/02/2011 10:21:58 AM PST by Uri’el-2012 (Psalm 119:174 I long for Your salvation, YHvH, Your law is my delight.)
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To: UriĀ’el-2012
Is that your idea of proof?

I told you to bring proof, not blather.

34 posted on 03/02/2011 10:24:30 AM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: ArrogantBustard
Is that your idea of proof?

I told you to bring proof, not blather.

Why do you think the NRA rejected his rules?

Because they are UNSAFE !!!


35 posted on 03/02/2011 10:30:18 AM PST by Uri’el-2012 (Psalm 119:174 I long for Your salvation, YHvH, Your law is my delight.)
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To: xsrdx
"All guns are always loaded" is clearly not true

OTOH, it's a mentality which demands respect for any gun, regardless of its believed condition of loadedness or unloadedness.

Suppose you were to ask whether my XX-XX (rifle) is, right this instant, loaded or not. Fact of the matter is, I DON'T KNOW. It's probably locked in the safe (that's what I remember last doing with it) and its chamber is probably clear (I remember doing that before I locked the safe). If I need to use it, I will be sure to grab some appropriate ammo along with the rifle itself. BUT, when I open the safe and take it out, I will "assume" that it is loaded and check to be sure.

Why?

Because all guns are always loaded.

It's not just a rule, it's a way of life.

IMHO.

36 posted on 03/02/2011 10:31:15 AM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: UriĀ’el-2012

I told you to bring proof, not blather.


37 posted on 03/02/2011 10:31:39 AM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: edpc

“5. Firearms should not be handled after uttering the phrase, “Hold muh beer.”

6. Never utilize the over the head gangsta slant at a
distance of more than 5 feet.


38 posted on 03/02/2011 10:34:18 AM PST by Georgia Girl 2 (The only purpose of a pistol is to fight your way back to the rifle you should never have dropped.)
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To: ArrogantBustard
I told you to bring proof, not blather.

I can only assume that you are a blowhard
who fawns over Col Cooper
with no credentials in firearms.

39 posted on 03/02/2011 10:34:23 AM PST by Uri’el-2012 (Psalm 119:174 I long for Your salvation, YHvH, Your law is my delight.)
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To: Niteranger68
Based on some conversations with firearm newbies, the first rule (1. All guns are always loaded) is the only one that seems to require a bit more thought than the rest. If taken literally, things like cleaning and dry-fire practice would be off limits. And who wants to assume that all your guns are loaded when you need one to deal with a threat? The idea behind this rule is that one should use the same safe handling practices whether the gun is known to be loaded or not.

I've actually always heard this rule presented as "all guns are always loaded, unless proven otherwise". That gets over the ambiguity regarding cleaning, et. al.

40 posted on 03/02/2011 10:34:49 AM PST by kevkrom (De-fund Obamacare in 2011, repeal in 2013!)
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To: UriĀ’el-2012

I told you to bring proof, not blather.


41 posted on 03/02/2011 10:35:52 AM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: ArrogantBustard

the wording on 1 is poor, 2 and 4 are redundant.

treat every gun with the the respect and care due a loaded gun.

ensuring that a gun is unloaded does not absolve you from keeping your gun from pointing at anything you don’t want to shoot, and that you keep your booger hook off the trigger until you’re ready to drop the hammer.


42 posted on 03/02/2011 10:37:13 AM PST by absolootezer0 (2x divorced tattooed pierced harley hatin meghan mccain luvin' REAL beer drinkin' smoker ..what?)
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To: ArrogantBustard

5. Always point firearm at the nearest liberal whenever unloading or cleaning it.


43 posted on 03/02/2011 10:38:43 AM PST by EricT. (Can we start hanging them yet?)
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To: absolootezer0
2 and 4 are redundant.

There's some validity to that ... if you don't know what it is, how can you decide whether or not you're willing to destroy it?

44 posted on 03/02/2011 10:39:49 AM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: PapaBear3625
When I need to pull the trigger on my presumably empty gun in order to release spring tension in order to disassemble it for cleaning, I always do so with the gun pointing at a brick wall facing an empty back yard.

I'd advise against that. fragments of bullet or brick on backblow can be very dangerous. i'd suggest something that'll slow down a bullet with less chance of personal injury. a gallon of water is good, especially since you'll probably need to clean you shorts if you had a negligent discharge.
45 posted on 03/02/2011 10:40:50 AM PST by absolootezer0 (2x divorced tattooed pierced harley hatin meghan mccain luvin' REAL beer drinkin' smoker ..what?)
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To: absolootezer0; PapaBear3625
especially since you'll probably need to clean you shorts if you had a negligent discharge.

That's why you need two gallons of water ...;'}

46 posted on 03/02/2011 10:42:45 AM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: ArrogantBustard
I told you to bring proof, not blather.

The funniest story I have heard about cooper
was when Masaad Ayoob was challenged to
compete in a pistol match by cooper.

Ayoob broke his strong(right) hand
and competed and outscored cooper
in the pistol match with his weak hand !!.

Cooper was an arrogant blowhard.

But his acolytes still worship at his altar.


47 posted on 03/02/2011 10:44:50 AM PST by Uri’el-2012 (Psalm 119:174 I long for Your salvation, YHvH, Your law is my delight.)
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To: UriĀ’el-2012

I told you to bring proof, not blather.


48 posted on 03/02/2011 10:46:22 AM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: UriĀ’el-2012
BTW, I won't bother replying to any more of your blather.

Insulting this or that supposed firearms expert is no skin off my nose ... it just reveals your character.

If you're actually able to show any proof of your claims about "unsafe safety rules", be sure to ping me.

Otherwise, I have no further interest in you whatsoever.

49 posted on 03/02/2011 10:49:22 AM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: xsrdx
3. ALWAYS keep the gun unloaded until ready to use.

nras attempt to dumb down the rules for use plebes leads to this crap...

how does one carry for defense with an un-loaded weapon ??? of course 'use' could be defined as carrying in that sense, BUT this #3 is easy to use as 'i thought it was unloaded, rather than demanding the resepct of 'all firearms are always [considered] loaded'...

i guess im just a stickler for demanding responsibility in the fact that there are no 'accidents' because someone thought that a gun was unloaded and therefore safe...unless its broken down into component pieces on a bench, or the mag is visibly removed and action tied open...my .02...

50 posted on 03/02/2011 10:51:06 AM PST by Gilbo_3 (Gov is not reason; not eloquent; its force.Like fire,a dangerous servant & master. George Washington)
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