Monday, March 30, 2009

The Four Rules

Jeff Cooper left us with many things that are priceless. One of those was his insistence that gun safety could be distilled into four rules. Other sources (such as NRA) put forth a greater quantity of rules, but many of those are just variations on a theme.

The Four Rules, then, are these:

  1. All guns are always loaded. Even if they are not, treat them as if they are.
  2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy. (For those who insist that this particular gun is unloaded, see Rule 1.)
  3. Keep your finger off the trigger till your sights are on the target and you are ready to shoot. This is the Golden Rule. Its violation is directly responsible for the vast majority of inadvertent discharges.
  4. Identify your target, and what is behind it. Never shoot at anything that you have not positively identified. You are responsible for every round discharged from your piece, from the muzzle until the projectile stops.
That's it. Just four. And they cover it all.