The four rules


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Keith Wheeler
August 27, 2006, 02:50 PM
1) respect
2) control
3) awareness
4) discipline

I've been working on a first grader level version of the rules for my son. Made me think of condensing them to the basic essence.

(Yeah, I know, different folks will put them in different order)

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WayneConrad
August 27, 2006, 03:00 PM
Very nice. I like it.

Here's another set of rules you might like. I heard these in an interview with Warren Buffet's... granddaughter, I think it was. She said that Mrs. Buffet taught her four rules. If I recall,

1. Show up.
2. Pay attention.
3. Do your best.
4. Don't be attached to the outcome.

Fosbery
August 27, 2006, 03:07 PM
"Don't touch that" is the 5th rule :p

pax
August 27, 2006, 03:18 PM
The rules are already about as dumbed down as they need to be, and your kid is probably smarter than you think. Most kids that age find it a lot easier memorizing stuff than grownups do.

Probably easier for him to memorize the rules verbatim, and for you to explain to him what they mean, than it would be for him to understand the very abstract concepts you're using to "simplify" with.

1) All guns are always loaded.

Five short words. The most abstract rule. Not too hard to explain though.

Explanation needed: no matter WHO tells him a gun is not loaded, he should always do only what he would do if the gun was loaded. (He'll probably get a kick out of being told not to trust an adult about this~! You can play with this point a little, and it's good if you do.) Make sure he knows that he doesn't get to say "but it's not loaded!" if he does something against the rules. The rules count ALL the time, not just some of the time.

2) Do not point the gun at anything you are not willing to destroy.

Thirteen words, none over two syllables. Again, all concrete nouns rather than abstract concepts.

Explanation: if you don't want to kill it or throw it away and never ever get it back, don't point the gun at it.

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

A dozen words. Again none over two syllables. Again all concrete nouns and no abstract concepts.

Explanation: "off the trigger" means to keep your finger all the way outside the trigger guard. You can put it straight alongside the frame.

4) Be sure of your target (and of what is behind it).

Five words, or eleven words. Hardest word is "sure" -- you can substitute "certain" or even "POSITIVE" with lots of emphasis.

Explanation: never, ever, ever shoot at a sound or a movement or at anything you cannot see. Don't shoot if you don't know where the bullet will stop after it goes through the target. Don't shoot if there could be a human being near where the bullet will land.

***

Or were you talking about the Eddie Eagle rules?

If you see a gun:

1) STOP!
2) Don't Touch It.
3) Leave The Area.
4) Tell a Grownup.

Each of these rules is three words or less. Easy to memorize, easy to understand. Might have to explain who counts as a grownup (teenage babysitter??), but that's about it.

More about those rules here: http://www.corneredcat.com/KidsAndGuns/FirstLesson.htm

***

Or were you talking about rules for living? (APS material maybe ...)

pax

Keith Wheeler
August 27, 2006, 11:44 PM
I wasn't out to "dumb down" the rules when writing them for him, merely to translate them to "normal" speak. My son has a great vocabulary and understanding, but my engineering speak tends to go over everyone's heads at times. Today at our volunteer fire station we showed him a thermal camera. I explained to him that it was called "thermal imaging" and that it showed "far infrared". I also made sure to explain the concepts in words he would use...

...I primarily posted this out of the interest in the concept of the "distilled" essence of the rules, representing the concepts by a single, elegant word. At that level the 'rules' apply to so many things. These single word concepts are not what I'm teaching him -- as I said in my first post talking with him about the rules made me think of their "essence".

Josh Aston
August 27, 2006, 11:53 PM
I don't think you dumbed down the rules at all. I actually think the ones you listed are a little more common sense and less extreme chanting than the modern "four rules".

MudPuppy
August 27, 2006, 11:54 PM
I started with my kids at about 4 and they took it in fine.

I absolutely believe in the Army way of instruction.

Explanation, demonstration, practical application.

But I think I see what you're going for, the trigger word that embodies the concept of each of the rules--not to replace it, but that's the memory key. Glad you're being concerned enough about the kid's safety to involve them like this. :)

Robert Hairless
August 28, 2006, 12:22 AM
Keith Wheeler:

The four rules

1) respect
2) control
3) awareness
4) discipline

I've been working on a first grader level version of the rules for my son. Made me think of condensing them to the basic essence.

(Yeah, I know, different folks will put them in different order)

I didn't realize that you were talking about the four rules of gun safety at first, Keith. You've generalized those concrete statements into abstract principles that don't immediately connect to anything specific.

If your first grader doesn't understand the statement "1. All guns are always loaded" are you sure that he can get there from the single word "1. Respect"? Ambiguity seems like a bad approach to this situation.

For what it's worth, my own goal would be to give my child easy-to-follow rules that might help him avoid killing himself or someone else with a dangerous weapon. I'd leave the philosophy for other situations, in which failed experiments don't have potentially disastrous consequences.

Stay well.

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