Why do we have safety rules? Why are the rules designed to be multi-layered?
Everyone makes mistakes.
None of us are perfect. We all get distracted. We all have lapses of judgment. We all get tired. We all have times when we catch ourselves looking at what we have just done thinking whaaat???
There is a concept in psychology called Optimism Bias which is basically where a person believes they are more likely to experience good outcomes and less likely to experience bad outcomes, despite the overall reality of a situation.
Optimism Bias is behind a lot of reckless and dangerous behavior. Believing on some level that you are an exception to the rule and those bad things won’t happen to you really just increases the likelihood that they will!
There is a pithy little saying in the shooting community…
“There are two kinds of shooters: those who have had a negligent discharge and those who haven’t had one yet.
Anyone can make a mistake.
The 4 cardinal rules of gun safety keep mistakes from being lethal when lapses in attention or judgment occur. Break ONE rule and you (and those around you) should still be ok. One is a mistake. Break TWO rules and there is no such guarantee. Two could very well cost someone their LIFE.
Did you think that gun was unloaded?
Were you pointing that gun at something you shouldn’t have?
Did your finger find its way on to the trigger when you weren’t ready to shoot?
Was the target you thought was clear… not?
You make mistakes!
Know the 4 cardinal rules of gun safety. Here is how I teach them:
Rule #1: Always be aware of your muzzle, ensuring that you keep it pointed in the relative safest direction.
Rule #2: Always keep your finger off of the trigger and the gun on safe until you are on target and have an acceptable sight picture.
Rule #3: Always be certain of your target, and its surroundings, ensuring the foreground and background remain clear.
Rule #4: Always know the state of your gun, treating it as loaded each and every time you pick it up.
Follow them fervently.
That way, when you do make mistakes, they will simply result in learning experiences for you – not lifelong regrets!