Friends--When we violate one of the "Four Rules"...


Kentucky Rifle
March 13, 2004, 11:05 AM
...Do you think it's best to confess what we've done? Best, in terms of helping the new shooters among us and best in terms of getting something OFF our chests and clearing the air? (Even though a round wasn't fired and nobody got hurt?)

Thank you,

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March 13, 2004, 03:35 PM
Most people think it's best, but I'm not so sure if the internet is the best place for it. It would be naive to think that the antis aren't lurking here as well as the pros.

You never know how a tale of negligence will fuel an anti's fire.

Why?... Did you have a negligent episode, Will? :neener:


Kentucky Rifle
March 13, 2004, 05:24 PM
It pains me to admit this. Almost 50 years of safe gun handling. My father put a .22 caliber rifle in my hands when I was four years old. I had to shoot it from the prone position as that small rifle seemed as big as a canon to me. Pop pop pop...cans flew off the fence. Never an AD/ND, safety uppermost in my mind at all times. ALL times.
Then, as I was re-holstering my weapon, a few weeks ago, I swept someone. Finger OFF the trigger--but I STILL swept her. By nature, I am a recluse. Only one other member of this forum has had a good look at me. I was in his store buying a few items that I intended to give as gifts. We decided to look at each other's carry weapons. When he handed mine back to me, and as I went to re-holster, I swept his wife. I feel terrible about it. Thought about it for days and days. Even called to apologize...profusely. She kept saying over & over that it was OK. (They're a very nice couple.) "Not a big deal" was what she kept saying. However, it sure was a big deal to me. It sure IS a big deal to me.
For about the 50th time...I'm sorry Spark and Rachel. It will NEVER happen again.

Will....AKA Kentucky Rifle

March 13, 2004, 05:46 PM
Will ~

Sweeping someone is a big deal. But remember, the Four Rules are multi-layered. No one was hurt because you did not forget yourself so far as to put your finger on the trigger. Because there is a safety net built into the Four Rules, it didn't have to be a big deal after all.

For penance, I suggest you find a youngster to whom you can pass along both the safety rules and the joy of shooting.


You can't keep blaming yourself, Marge. Just blame yourself once and move on. – Homer Simpson

March 13, 2004, 06:01 PM
We all have our days, Will.

It took me a little while as a child to learn good muzzle control. Fortunately I was always corrected promptly, since my Dad is big on muzzle control.

Conversely, I catch my Dad with his finger on the trigger all of the time. Finger-off-trigger is my big thing.

I guess my point is that when you, or I, or anybody gets dressed in the morning, they put their pants on one leg at a time, just like you and me.

I can completely admit that I don't always have perfect gun handling, but I am really trying hard to correct that. That's why I'm concerned with dry-firing... I have no problems keeping ammo away from my gun, and my gun clear while practicing, but what bothers me is that I feel like it desensitizes me about proper gun handling.

Accidents happen, but ones like this are minor. I guess that's why it takes breaking more than one rule to have a catastrophe.

It's okay, Will. The best we can do is to ensure that we don't mess up in the future. ;)

Rest easy now.

March 13, 2004, 06:10 PM
But remember, the Four Rules are multi-layered.

I think this is a very important point. You must always follow all four rules because at some point you WILL forget one of them. Unfortunately some people go to the safety net straight away, which can be catastrophic when they inevitably forget that one time.

March 15, 2004, 09:45 AM
I think when anything gets as codified as to be called the "Four Rules," it is just pedantic enough to be a disaster waiting to happen. The safety has to be in between your ears and to evoke a cold shudder of righteous fear (imho) every time you handle a weapon. Unfortunately, being able to recite the Four Rules does not mean a person believes or abides by them. Only their actions will reveal their belief or not.

For too many people I feel that being able to say "The Four Rules are posted on the wall of the range," and "Everybody needs to remember the Four Rules," does not mean that they have any more intention of keeping them than the Ten Commandments. I have a deep abhorrence of pointing a weapon at anybody except for business. And I hate somebody else ignorantly pointing one at me, not to mention purposefully. :uhoh:

March 15, 2004, 09:50 AM
I couldn't tell you what the "four rules" are... I just don't get stupid with something that could kill me or someone else.

I think that when we start carping on "the four rules," and all the other stuff, things get a little uptight for new shooters or fence sitters... I think it's much better to explain things slowly, in a common sense manner, and go from there...

March 15, 2004, 05:14 PM
for a while I roomed with a guy that was a fellow outdoorsman

we're going out hunting one day. I'm following him down a trail. He slings his loaded (with round chambered) 10 gauge Browing over his shoulder straight at my head.

This chimp couldn't figure out "what the big deal" was. After all, he had the safety on...

I'd suggest you never work in a gun shop. You have people pointing guns at you every day. Why do you think we ALWAYS check to make sure it's empty???

March 15, 2004, 06:01 PM
look Will.....

it pains me to see you in such agony. i bet you would feel better if some form of penance was exacted upon you, right? well how about you buy me a case of .45acp?


i digress....i did the same thing last week. finger was off the trigger, but i still swept the person. it bugged me until i apologized the next day for it.

Declaration Day
March 15, 2004, 06:25 PM
One night my wife woke up and swore she heard something at our back door. So of course, I quickly retrieved my pistol from its safe and walked carefully into the kitchen where our back door is located. I had the gun pointed down, finger off the trigger. Suddenly my wife, who was behind me, came up and walked in FRONT of me!!!!! I don't know whose fault this was, probably both of ours. It had never happened before, and has not happened since. Also, I see people mishandling guns all the time at gun shows, including some dealers. I had a dealer scold me once for pulling the slide back to check the chamber after he handed me the gun. Guess who didn't get my money that day?

Dave R
March 15, 2004, 07:33 PM
I think the wonderful thing about the 4 rules is that you have to break more than one of them in order to have a serious problem.

If you keep all 4, you should be pretty safe.

Doesn't replace good thinking, though.

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