Anything I can say to my son?

This is a discussion on Anything I can say to my son? within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Originally Posted by TomEgun Basics of firearm safety BASIC GUN-HANDLING SAFETY RULES Basic Principle: YOU are responsible for ANY gun in your possession. Possession, defined ...

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  1. #31
    Senior Member Array mulle46's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomEgun View Post
    Basics of firearm safety


    BASIC GUN-HANDLING SAFETY RULES



    Basic Principle: YOU are responsible for ANY gun in your possession. Possession, defined by law, means holding or controlling. If someone is going through the trunk of their car, and hands you a gun to hold for the briefest of moments, you are suddenly responsible for that weapon. You are responsible for making sure the gun is held safely and pointing safely, and YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE for ANY discharge of that weapon. If someone is hurt due to your momentary negligence, you are responsible, whether you dropped the gun, didn't know it was loaded, or accidentally pointed it in an unsafe direction. The person most likely to be injured in an accidental discharge is yourself or a friend. So follow the rules.

    These are commonly accepted among gun instructors, and have been published many times before. They are in the public domain and are collected here for your convenience.

    1. ALWAYS CHECK THE GUN to see if it is loaded. Even if you just saw someone else check the gun, even if you know it is unloaded, ALWAYS visually inspect the gun before handling it further. This means opening it up to check any places where a live round might be hiding. Do this WHENEVER you acquire the gun--someone reaches under the counter in a gun store to show you a weapon--check it. You hand someone an unloaded gun to hold while you shift some ammo cases. When they hand it back--check it. It should be a routine matter of habit, anytime you pick up a gun or someone hands you one.

    COROLLARY: Never accept into your possession a gun that you do not know how to check! Ask someone to show you how to check the gun first. Don't fiddle with it thinking you'll figure it out.

    2. ALWAYS treat the gun as if it were loaded anyway. The following rules thus apply to any gun, loaded or not.

    3. ALWAYS keep the gun pointed in a safe direction. If you are at a range, keep it pointed downrange. When reloading, be aware of where the weapon is pointing. It should be pointing at the target, or into the ground. If your weapon is holstered, your holster should direct the muzzle downward at a relatively acute angle, not poking out from under your arm to endanger everyone standing behind you. If you are hunting, keep your rifles pointing skyward if slung, or into the ground if carried, not aimed at your friend-in-front-of-you's butt. Don't lean on a rifle. Don't cowboy-twirl your single-action revolvers. Etcetera.

    When cleaning or repairing a gun this might not be possible--it's difficult, for instance, to keep the gun safely pointed while looking down the barrel. When you clean, either the action of the gun is open, or the gun is disassembled. Be cautious, and use common sense.

    4. Unless your gun is ON THE TARGET, keep your FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER. Simple: on target equals on trigger, off target equals off trigger. Easy to say, but the trigger is a natural place to rest a finger when holding a gun. Don't do it! Keep your trigger finger straight, resting against the side of the trigger guard. The only time the finger comes to the trigger is when the gun has been brought to bear on the target you intend to shoot.

    Once you know this rule, you can watch nearly any gun-handling TV show or movie to see how commonly it is violated. If you are a TV cop approaching a possibly lethal situation, your gun should be at ready, pointed in a safe direction, finger OFF the trigger. Carrying the gun, examining the gun, drawing the gun from a holster--whatever. Finger off the trigger until the gun is on the target.

    5. The oft-repeated, NEVER point your gun at anything you are not prepared to shoot. This doesn't mean that if you have pointed a gun at something that you are obliged to pull the trigger. It DOES mean that anything you point your gun at could possibly take a bullet, whether you intend it to or not. It also means you NEVER brandish your gun or threaten anyone with it unless you are in an immediate life or death situation and you are prepared to use it. It means that it doesn't matter if the gun is loaded or not--handle it as if it were.

    This rule, again, is ridiculously ignored in movies. People are always gesturing to each other with their guns. Watch the arc that the muzzle covers when they do this. People who cross your body while waving their guns around are not your friends.

    6. Be sure of your target and what is beyond it. This means NEVER point or fire at anything that (1) you cannot clearly and unambiguously identify as a target, and (2) that would pose a danger to anyone were your bullet to stray, richochet, or overpenetrate. It means always knowing where your bullet has the potential to go. Never point the gun or pull the trigger at a close-range target without a backstop that will STOP your fire. Dry firing? The gun is unloaded, eh? SEE RULE #2. Only fire against a backstop. There are too many corollarys to this rule to list, especially when it comes to open-range target plinking, long-distance shooting, and self-defense situations. Using safety ammo is supposed to reduce overpenetration of the target, but it won't keep you from hitting a bystander if you miss. Be sure of your target.

    7. Store and transport your guns safely. There is no strong concensus as to what constitutes safe storage and transportation, so it's up to your discretion. Some people keep all their guns in a fireproof basement gun vault with their ammunition stored separately, other people keep their handgun loaded and on their person at all times. Investigate the options, and exercise your common sense. You should know that if a child ever acquires a firearm due to your negligence, you could be federally liable. Be aware that your vehicle typically stands a much greater chance of being burglarized than your home. Factory ammunition doesn't constitute a fire hazard, but be careful where you store it. Investigate the options, make a formal determination about how your weapons will be safely stored and transported, and then stick to it.

    A couple common rules of thumb are: never be separated from a loaded weapon--if the gun is away from your person, in your car, at home alone, etc, it should be unloaded. And never depend on hiding a weapon to keep it from a child.

    8. Shoot with eye and ear protection. Simple, eh? Obviously in some cases (self-defense, hunting) you may not be able to, but you'll be better off when you do.

    9. The common-sense rule of threat avoidance: never do anything when you are armed that you wouldn't do if you weren't--i.e. intervening in a robbery, going outside your house to investigate noises, going to tell your drunken neighbor to shut up, etc. Think about leaving the gun behind. If you wouldn't do it without a gun--DON'T DO IT. Call the police, swallow your pride, take the loss--whatever. Don't carry a gun into a potential conflict where you feel you might need it. Avoid the situation. Simple advice, but sometimes difficult to follow. Don't be macho, be smart.

    10. The tenth and final rule--never hand a gun to anyone that doesn't understand and abide by these rules. Once they are holding the gun, it is their, not your, responsibility to handle it safely, but you have your conscience to live with.

    These are just the basics. If you do things like hand loading, hunting, skeet shooting, practical shooting, or open range plinking there will be a pile of other safety considerations. You should know federal laws, and the laws in your state. Keep these rules in mind, and you may well live to be a happy handler of many guns.

    ok also from the national shooting sports for all of you already know from rifle purchase

    1.Always keep muzzle in safe direction
    2. firearms should be unloaded when not in actual use
    3. dont rely on guns safety
    4. be sure of your tgt and whats beyond
    5. use correct ammo
    6. if your gun fails to fire when trigger pulled handle with care
    7. always wear eye and hearing protection when shooting
    8. be sure barrel is clear of obstructions
    9. dont alter or modify gun
    10. learn mechanics and handling characteritics of your firearm.

    then of course there are the basic 4 all gun owners should know that you are thinking of but i shouldnt haave to put those down here!

    sorry best I can remember and cut and past ..lol im on my crappy laptop..
    ok. I never got all those rules, even in a hunter safety class. I was always taught the basic 4 rules. IMHO, the basic 4 rules should handle almost any and all situations safely. YMMV
    You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, "I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along." . . . You must do the thing you think you cannot do. Eleanor Roosevelt

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  3. #32
    VIP Member Array Eagleks's Avatar
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    Good luck, and hope you are successful.... before someone ends up shot.

  4. #33
    Senior Member Array KevinDooley's Avatar
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    I've got a buddy who is happily a "Range Nazi". The last time I went with him some kids were playing with their AK (nothing against AK's... that just happens to be what they had - heck we had a couple with us that day)... and they kept either pointing it at us or laying it on the table pointed at us. When we yelled at them they replied, "It's not loaded."

    My buddy replied, "I don't know you - don't do it again." The next time they did it, they had a rifle pointed back at them. They decided it was time to leave at that point.

    Continuously pointing a weapon at some one can be seen as a threat - and sometimes should be treated as such... of course that may be a bit extreme with your son... but maybe he'll get the point?
    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes

    The will to win is worthless if you do not have the will to prepare. -Thane Yost

  5. #34
    VIP Member Array Thanis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinDooley View Post
    ...My buddy replied, "I don't know you - don't do it again." The next time they did it, they had a rifle pointed back at them...
    Disagree that was a good idea, two wrongs don't make a right.

    But I understand. Seriously, I understand. Did I say I understood. I might want to do it, but I would not. Boy do I understand.

  6. #35
    Senior Member Array ntkb's Avatar
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    Over the past 50 or so years that I have been around guns I have witnessed no less than 5 unintentional discharges. Fortunately all were harmless, all but one were in the hands of people that knew enough to keep them from pointing at anything they cared for.

    The other one was my girlfriend that I had trained to shoot and took hunting. She nearly killed me!

    I had been after her while hunting (her first trip) to watch the muzzle of the 12ga loaded with #1 buck! Several times I found myself looking down that barrel, now I thought I had taught her better than that and I did.

    I had just came out of some thick cover (old Christmas tree planting’s) she was at the head of a row I was still hunting in she had the gun in her right arm lying cradled with the muzzle pointed straight at my mid section. I saw this and with a hand motion told her to move it away from me. She turned to the side with her head looking to the sky in defiance / discuss over me telling her yet again to watch that muzzle!

    Then as the muzzle came to a 90% between us it went off! The recoil sent the gun out of her arms ( she wasn’t holding on to it just laying in her arms) a few feet to her side and ripped a nice hole in the moss covered ground 10-15 or so feet away from her, 2-3 inches wide and a foot and half to say two feet long.

    She started to cry uncontrollably for a bit almost as if she had shot me, while this blubbering was going on she noticed that I wasn’t mad over nearly being killed.

    In fact I was happy and told her so, she was a bit puzzled at first but I explained that now she knows that it can happen, even to her. Needless to say I never had to mention muzzle direction to her again.

    By the way that sort of crap your kid is doing is for Hollywood! You know the place where they really know about guns and the real life of gun handling. Like shooting two guns at the same time in the old west. The real reason was so they didn’t have to reload as often.

  7. #36
    Senior Member Array KevinDooley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thanis View Post
    Disagree that was a good idea, two wrongs don't make a right.

    But I understand. Seriously, I understand. Did I say I understood. I might want to do it, but I would not. Boy do I understand.
    Yeah, I don't know that it was the best thing to do... but I'm pretty sure they learned their lesson that day. I pulled my buddy off the range for a bit after that... Man was he steamed. That's fine with me... gave me some time with his M1A while he cooled off.
    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes

    The will to win is worthless if you do not have the will to prepare. -Thane Yost

  8. #37
    Member Array STORMVET's Avatar
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    A couple of years ago while I was taking my CCW course, my instructor and his helper used a real weapon during a class demonstration. Both the instructor and his helper visually checked the weapon before the demonstration. After checking the weapon they demonstrated how easily someone could take the handgun away from you, so the lesson was to maintain a good distance. The helper took the gun away from the instructor, pointed the gun at him and pulled the trigger. I couldn't believe what I'd just seen. I thought "this is unbelieveable" I did not say anything to him but I do regret it. I've been around firearms my entire life, but there were several in the class that had never even fired a weapon at all. I wondered what kind of impresson this event left on them. .I wonder if it took away from the seriousness of firearms for them. My dad taught me never ever point a firearm at anything that I do not intend to destroy. After the trigger is pulled, there's no getting that bullet to stop. It's a done deal. You need to have a heart to heart with your son or anyone else that carelessly points a gun at anyone anytime.
    The most and best is known to the man who quits his bed before sunrise... who spends his days on the mountains and forests...who bears the heat and cold and hunger and thirst, for the love of nature...to visit the utmost refuges of beast and bird .....Alfred Pease

  9. #38
    Member Array jbailey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kavity View Post
    Step #1:

    Don't criticize or condemn him. It's only going to make him get defensive and dig in. "Criticism is dangerous because it wounds a pesron's precious pride, hurts his sense of importance, and arouses resentment."--Dale Carnegie Instead, find something that he does right and complement him for it.

    Step #2:

    Give him honest, sincere appreciation. The simple fact of the matter is that the desire for a feeling of importance is the deepest urge in human nature. When we are complimented and appreciated for what we do we feel important. Let your son know that you appreciate the stuff he does..especially in terms of gun safety. This will motivate him to do better in all aspects of gun safety.

    Step #3:

    Make him want to do it. When you think about it, no-one does anything they don't want to do. IE you give to your church because you want the feeling you get from that act more than you want the money. Find a way to make your son WANT to be safer with his gun. You know him better than we do, what could make him want to handle his gun safer? (Sure you could make his life miserable by being a $%!# about it...but you attract more bee's with honey).

    Just a few simple suggestions.
    This is all very true, IF there is time to put the process in motion.

    This case involves the possible loss of life during any one of these "encounters" with the son.

    If one of my sons did this, there would be only one occurence. We would sit down and I would let him know how serious I was about him eliminating this dangerous behavior - or else. That's it, regardless of age. If above the age of majority, he would have to find somewhere else to live if he would not heed my advise . Bravado and flamboyant behaviour has led to the untimely deaths of many - not only handling guns, but in any potentially dangerous activity. If he doesn't love you enough to respect your wishes - and be willing to realize this is dangerous, then in my estimation, he has forfeitted his right to your hospatality.

    I love all my sons, and would gladly give my life fo rany one of them, but I don't intend to die at the hands of one of them for doing something this irresponsible.

    Hope this helps,

    Jim
    "There is no problem that cannot be solved through the proper use of high explosives"
    G. Alan Foster

  10. #39
    Member Array Puppy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janq View Post
    Lots of people were, are, and will be shot with 'empty' guns.

    If he scoffs at that then sit him down and show him this; DEA Agent Shoots Himself

    - Janq
    I've see that before. I can only conclude that he went all out to demonstrate how accidents happen. I think maybe he over did it!

  11. #40
    Member Array Puppy's Avatar
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    Another true story. I have mentioned this elsewhere but I don't think I have in this forum yet.

    Before retiring I was an international business man. One year I had a Japanese associate spend 6 months in the U.S. and I was responsible for his training etc and of course I spent a lot of time socially with him.

    Japan has very strict gun laws and the average Japanese has probably never seen a hand gun except in the holster of a LEO. Naturally, this makes them fascinated by them. Komatsu was at my home one evening and asked me if I had a hand gun and then asked if he could see it. I went to the bedroom and got my Security 6 .357. I emptied the cylinder and took it to the living room and showed it to him. He asked if he could hold it. I flipped open the cylinder to show him how to tell it was empty, (that was my second check.) and handed him the gun. He hefted it etc. then asked if he could pull the trigger. I made him hand it back, checked the cylinder for the third time and finally let him dry fire it.

    When he returned to Japan, I was on the same flight with him out of Chicago. We had just crossed the Canadian border, which the Captain announced, when Komatsu grabbed me and said "I have to tell you something." Jeff made me promise not to tell anyone in America. (We had barely left America and he couldn't resist telling me.)

    He said; "do you remember when I asked to see your gun?" I said "yes." He said "later I was at Jeff's house, (Jeff was V.P. of finance.) and I asked him if he had a gun and Jeff brought out a semi automatic." " I asked him if I could pull the trigger and Jeff said yes, it's not loaded." "I shot a hole in their piano."

    THE GUN IS ALWAYS LOADED!!!!

  12. #41
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    Better to hurt his feelings and have him learn good gun safety than shoot him self or someone else. I know my dad would still tell me if my gun handling was bad, and I am 36 yrs old.
    "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson


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  13. #42
    Member Array NWCP's Avatar
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    When his CHL arrives hang on to it until he's taken a gun safety course. Wait until he makes a serious mistake and it's way too late. Sounds like a pistol is just a macho toy to him at this point. My 28 year old son's pistol is locked in my gun safe. He doesn't have secure storage for it at his apartment and doesn't have a CPL. If he treated his Walthers that way he wouldn't get his hands on it until he had completed some training. Fortunately he takes it all very seriously and listens to me and other shooters when at the range if there is a safety concern. Good luck.
    Join the NRA.

  14. #43
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    her's what you say:

    He says: you and I both know it's not loaded...

    you say:



    No, I don't.

    I trust you son, but it's not worth dying for.

    You are not handing me a cell phone, you are handing me something that you carry for its deadly potential.

    Please don't take chances with my life, or anyone else you care about.

    It will never be "worth it".



    If that doesn't help, then he shouldn't be carrying.

  15. #44
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Your son's nonchalance in regards to firearms safety may well get someone shot or killed, whether he believes he'll skirt the odds or not.

    Have him run a simple Google search: firearm accidentally shot

    Have him then explain to you how his actions are really any different than most of the hundreds of examples in that list.

    I trust you son, but it's not worth dying for.
    Yup.

    You may well trust your own son, on matters you agree are important. Trouble is, he's expecting you to trust that his failure to follow procedure has GUARANTEED the safety, beyond your ability to verify. It's why ranges have chamber flags. It's why ranges have appointed range officers. It's why the four firearms safety rules are adhered to ... all because it's not worth your death. And, beyond that, it's REALLY not worth killing an innocent.

    DATA POINT:

    A few weeks ago, I took a complete neophyte to the range. He's 30yrs old, a colleague from another country. He had never handled firearms previously. We spent ~10minutes talking about safety and basic handling, all at a "safe" table that had a single firearm with the action opened and slide locked back. No ammo anywhere near us. Despite going through the safety review, despite going slowly through single-shot firing until we got the hang of the protocol, even until the end of the session he was still failing to maintain proper finger control and muzzle control.

    We kept going back to single-shot, and we kept going over the safety rules. But he simply didn't retain the lesson for long. Overall, we kept it simple and fairly safe. But a meandering finger combines with a wandering muzzle to result in bad things, all too often. Each time the safety was breached badly, we'd go back to safety lessons and the simple 9mm carbine rifle (with heavy trigger, one round loaded, and reminders about keeping it together). He kept improving, but I know it'll take a few more safety sessions until he begins to get the hang of it. If we ever go out to the range, again, it'll be with a blue/training gun and zero ammo, until he shows proper, safe handling.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
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  16. #45
    Distinguished Member Array Agave's Avatar
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    I'm 21. Many times my dad worries me a bit with his handling. I'm just a bit paranoid I think.
    The preceding post may contain sarcasm; it's just better that way. However, it is still intended with construction and with the Love of my L-rd Y'shua.

    NRA Certified Pistol Instructor, Tennessee Certified Instructor

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