No mechanical device has a will of its own, and guns never "just go off" unless somebody causes them to do so. Guns are safe. It is people who are dangerous. The wound caused by a bullet can easily be fatal. This means that you should not expect the luxury of learning from experience. Your first mistake may well be your last. But you need not make it. If you memorize the four principles of firearms safety, treat them with absolute seriousness, burn them into your consciousness, and follow them in practice, you will never have a mishap with a gun.
- ALL FIREARMS ARE ALWAYS LOADED: No exceptions. Don't accept anyone else's word. We should never again hear, "But I didn't know it was loaded."
- NEVER LET THE MUZZLE COVER ANYTHING YOU ARE NOT READY AND WILLING TO DESTROY: This rule is conspicuously and continuously violated, especially with pistols.
- KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOUR SIGHTS ARE ON TARGET: The finger goes to the trigger upon recognizing circumstances that place you in fear of death or great bodily harm to yourself or another and you are beginning to cover your target.
- BE SURE OF YOUR TARGET AND WHAT'S BEHIND IT: We shoot only when we are sure of our target and that there is nothing around or behind it that may be in harms way from our shot.