In the near future, I may be doing a few more posts on firearms, so I wanted to get some basic concepts of how to carry the firearms out of the way. I also have a guest speaker, by the name of Plaxico Burress of Safe Gun Control and Firearm Safety. You may know of him from the 2012 Pittsburg Steelers. He has offered a video for our education!
I grew up in a home with guns, and hunters, so firearm safety was tribal knowledge. When I took hunters education as a teenager, the things I already knew were put into words. Many of the people getting into survival through the means of healthy eating, storm preparations, wilderness survival, or buschcraft may not have the benefit of this, so it is important that we cover some of the basic concepts.
First thing about firearms that you need to know is that they are all loaded. If they are unloaded and clip removed, they are still loaded as far as you should be concerned. Some of the worst injuries or deaths have been caused by unloaded weapons, so always treat them as loaded.
Next, you should always be thinking about where the firearm is pointed. The firearm needs to always be pointed in a safe direction. This means that you should be mindful of any people or objects around you. The last thing you want to happen is for you to accidentally shoot your gun at a rock or tree, the bullet ricochet and hit someone, or even you.
When you are not shooting, you should always keep your finger off of the trigger. Most handguns have a place for the trigger finger to rest comfortably. On rifles and shotguns, you should keep your hand out of the trigger area. Go back to the accidental shooting and someone getting hit. This may not have happened if your trigger finger was removed.
It was a great habit to only place your finger on the trigger after you are at least pointed in the direction of the intended target. Then you can aim properly.
When you hand a firearm to another person, you should remove the clip and the round in the chamber. Leave the bolt, lever, or slide open so they can see the weapon is free of rounds. And they should STILL treat it as loaded, like I said before.
I will not tell you that you MUST point to the ground or in the air. I will tell you that there is less chance of an accidentally fired round coming back down on someone if it is pointed to the ground. Many snipers and other soldiers that carry firearms a lot use a latex condom to cover the tip of the gun, so they can keep it pointed down without worrying about dirt or debris getting into the barrel.
It is also a great thing to learn basic field stripping and cleaning of your weapon to keep the action (loading mechanism) and chamber free of crap to improve smooth action, reliability, and life.
Now that I have said my piece… Plaxico! What do you have to say?! (Warning: There is a fair amount of swearing, so listen at your own risk.)
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