Use these rules at all times. Use them when you are teaching a class to beginners or experts. Use these rules when you are learning at the range, in a CCW course, or in a Martial Arts course. It does not matter what the gun is made out of; rubber, metal, or plastic. It does not matter what it is used for; defensive training, theater/movie prop, shooting range, or empty hand defense. Use these rules to make your training more effective and your classes powerful.
Rule #1 – Assume EVERY gun is loaded and handle it accordingly.
- There are no exceptions to this. Do not pretend that this is true. People and groups take this rule and weaken by changing it to;. “Treat all guns as if they were loaded.” The “as if” weakens the directness of the statement by implying that they are unloaded, but you will treat them as though they are loaded.
Rule #2 – Never point a gun (muzzle) at anyone you aren’t willing to shoot
- This rule applies to self defense as well as to daily handling. If you are not willing to stop a human being’s life, do not cover them with the muzzle. This rule also applies to your own person. Do not allow the line of the muzzle to sweep your extremities during your draw stroke or during re-holster.
Rule #3 – Never put your finger on the trigger until you are ready to shoot
- Never stand or walk around while your finger is on the trigger. It is improper, unsafe, and perhaps the most damaging rule when broken. Never fire a shot unless you are positive that you are going to hit your intended target. Firing your side arm in hopes of hitting something will gain you nothing. If you are going to discharge a bullet into the air, it had best be directed deliberately. Danger flourishes if you allow your finger to linger inside the trigger guard.
Rule #4 – Be aware of all that is in the path of a bullet before shooting
- Know what you are shooting at, be aware of what is in line with it, and know what is behind it. Never shoot at anything you have not confidently and correctly identified. Be aware of your environment, whether on the range or in a fight. Do not “assume” whatsoever. Training and education are important.