Things You Might (Incorrectly) Believe About Guns

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Since a lot of firearms threads come up, and we keep having to cover the same myths over and over, often with increased hatred and anger each time, I thought it'd be nice to quickly cover a few of the key myths about guns.

Bear in mind, none of these are unreasonable beliefs--they wouldn't have become myths if they were crazy. They are, however, incorrect. Here they are in no particular order:

ON SHOOTING:
If you have a gun...

1. ...you should shoot only once, or perhaps twice.

Myth. While we tend to call "excessive force" on people who fire repeatedly, they're doing exactly what they should. This isn't the movies, and we're not all crack shots. It's extremely easy to miss with a handgun. Most shots under duress fired miss completely, even with cops and military personnel.

What's more, a single bullet can eventually kill someone (though most people survive single gunshot wounds), but it rarely stops them instantly. Some assailants may take four or five slugs and still have to be physically wrestled to the ground by police. That's four or five hits, not just shots fired. Your goal isn't to hurt them. It's to stop them. So you should continue firing until they stop.

2. ...you should fire a warning shot first.

Myth. "Warning shots" exist in Hollywood, not the real world. Every bullet goes somewhere. As the gun's user, you are responsible for controlling where that bullet goes. Firing into the air can (and does) kill innocents up to a mile away from the scene. Firing at the ground can cause an unsafe ricochet that could even harm you. What's more, you've wasted a bullet and precious seconds.

If you're firing, you must have a target. And you send all of your bullets toward that target and only that target. Anything else is highly irresponsible and dangerous, despite what movies claim.

3. ...you should try to shoot their legs, or something else to injure (but not kill) them.

Myth. More Hollywood magic. First of all, do you know how dangerous a shot in the leg really is? Probably not, because folks in movies treat it like the most survivable wound. Two words: femoral artery. You can bleed out in seconds from just a knick. So, no, it's not "safer." There is no such thing as "shooting to wound." Every shot that hits can kill a person, so every shot should be treated as lethal.

But aside from that, there's a reason police are trained to shoot for "center mass." It is not because that's where the vital organs are, or because it's more lethal (though both of those are true). It is because it presents the largest target, more mass to absorb the energy of the bullet, and thus less chance of the bullet bypassing or going through the target to hit something else. A leg is a tiny, fast target, and it is incredibly difficult to hit even for a trained shooter--almost as hard to hit as the head.

It's safer for everyone to shoot center mass. Also, because there's more energy transferred into the body, that force goes toward stopping the target, which is our goal anyhow. If you're shooting, you aim for center mass.

4. ...don't use hollowpoints. They're designed to do more damage!

Myth. Hollow-pointed bullets are designed to fragment inside the target. This can cause a different sort of damage, sometimes more than a "normal" round. But that's not their purpose. The purpose of the fragmentation is to make sure the bullet doesn't pass through the target.

This would do two things: first, it would pose a risk to anyone or anything behind the target, and second, it means a lot of that round's 'stopping power' was wasted--the energy wasn't transferred into the target. A normal round could pass through a running attacker with no noticeable change in their momentum.

Fact is, hollowpoints are safer. They are also more effective at stopping the target, and remember, that's our goal. We should be prepared for the fact that they can be seriously injured or kill, but our ultimate goal is to stop their advance and keep them from harming us. Period.

ON THE "THREAT" OF AN ATTACKER
If you have a gun...

1. ...and you don't see a weapon in your attacker's hand, they are not a threat.

Myth. Not seeing a weapon doesn't mean they don't have one. They are not required to announce a weapon or present it to you. Odds are, if they have a gun, they could draw it and shoot before you have time to draw in reaction. So, you must draw before they do. But this is mostly for cops.

See, for a civilian, if this person is an attacker, it means they're attacking. They're probably not far away. And up that close, how can you know what's hidden where? Your field of vision is limited.

2. ...and the attacker has a knife, they are not a threat.

Myth. We think it's true because you have to be close to stab someone, but not to shoot them--distance is the advantage, right?

A little test called the Tueller Drill has repeatedly proven that an attacker with a knife can close a distance of 21 feet in 1.5 seconds. That means you must be able to draw, aim, fire, and hit your target in a way that stops his motion in under 1.5 seconds, or you're getting stabbed. Even trained police officers have trouble doing that, which is why they are authorized to use firearms against knives anywhere under 30 feet, usually.

3. ...your first responsibility is to announce the gun and warn the attacker.

Myth. We think is is true because cops do it. But that's because in those situations, the officer starts out a good distance away from the attacker. Ideally, outside lethal range of an attack. Now, if the attacker has a gun pointed at the cop, or has a gun with demonstrated intent to use it, even that gets a pass.

If you're being attacked, the attacker is close. Remember, 1.5 seconds. That's not enough time to draw an pronounce your warning. And God help you if you announce the gun before drawing, because you just gave them the biggest reason in the world to rush you even faster.

4. ...you have to assume the attacker just wants your money, not to kill you.

Myth. Why should you have to assume that? This attacker is not "innocent until proven guilty." By attacking you, he has proven himself guilty. He views you as an obstacle between him and something. You don't know what that 'something' is, but you do know he has demonstrated the intent to harm you to get to it. It might be money. It might be rape. It might be murder. You're not his shrink or his lawyer. No one has the right to harm you to take something that is rightfully yours.

What's more, if someone has attacked you, they've demonstrated that they view your basic human rights as secondary to their wants. Not so far a stretch to think that killing you won't weigh too heavily on their conscience.

We tend to think this is true because of laws surrounding home invasion. If someone breaks in, grabs your TV, and heads for the door, you can't shoot them to keep your TV. They have demonstrated they intend to leave, so legally you can't shoot them. If they advance on you, however, this is changed instantly. (The only legal sticky spot is if you move to block their exit. This makes you the "aggressor" in some systems.)

5. ...you should try to get away first.

Myth. If you're being attacked, you're probably not in an area you control. Probably not your car, maybe not even your house. If you run, where will you run to? Do you know? Even if you happen to have somewhere nearby in mind, the attacker will likely pursue you--you've seen him, and he hasn't gotten whatever he wanted yet. Two good reasons to give chase. Are you sure you're faster than him? Are you sure you won't trip, and end up in a highly disadvantageous position?

What's more, if you're being attacked, these things don't usually start from a distance. It's up close. Turn your back, and you're done. The attacker wouldn't be attacking if they didn't have an advantage of some kind. This is why "Stand Your Ground" laws are gaining steam, and even in places that don't have them, it's hard to prosecute someone in that situation who truly felt they could not escape.

________________________

I hope that at least some of you have found this in some way enlightening. People that believe these myths about firearms actually cause them to be more dangerous, because those beliefs promote irresponsible use of firearms. They also lead people to form uninformed judgments about people--cops and civilians alike--who properly use firearms in those few situations where it was necessary.

Very true, and very well said.
But I was always taught that if they ask for your money, you just give it to them.
Would I be better off just resisting in that situation?

Berethond:
Very true, and very well said.
But I was always taught that if they ask for your money, you just give it to them.
Would I be better off just resisting in that situation?

This is where a "robbery" and a "mugging" are different. If they ask for your money, it's often the best idea to give them the money--in a way. Take out your wallet and just toss it behind them or out to their side. Cause them to move away from you to get what they want. Whether they do or don't, you have your answer. If they do, that's when you turn and run.

In cases where they threaten force, like brandishing a weapon, it's about a lot of factors. Distance. Body language. If they're standing back, showing the weapon, and telling you what to do, it would be safer to go along in most cases. A confrontation increases the chances of you getting injured needlessly.

However, if they are an attacker, this means they:

1. have already used force on you.
2. are moving to use force on you.
3. are telling you to put yourself into a situation where they can use force on you (in the case of rapes/kidnappings).

This changes the landscape drastically. In these cases, resist and resist hard. When they're down, you run. They've demonstrated an intent to use physical harm to get what they want, and there's no reason to believe they'll stop before you die.

Why is it said that a gun is always loaded? I know it's the first rule of firearm safety, but why?
This question has been answered 8 times.

Anarchemitis:
Why is it said that a gun is always loaded? I know it's the first rule of firearm safety, but why?

I would suppose it's a part of the "hope for the best, expect the worst," policy of going about things.

Anarchemitis:
Why is it said that a gun is always loaded? I know it's the first rule of firearm safety, but why?

Because sometimes people don't clear them, so one may accidentally discharge a weapon because they didn't think it was loaded. The point is that you can accidentally kill someone, so be careful because you're not holding a toy, you're holding a tool that can end a life under the right circumstances.

dastardly:

Berethond:
Very true, and very well said.
But I was always taught that if they ask for your money, you just give it to them.
Would I be better off just resisting in that situation?

This is where a "robbery" and a "mugging" are different. If they ask for your money, it's often the best idea to give them the money--in a way. Take out your wallet and just toss it behind them or out to their side. Cause them to move away from you to get what they want. Whether they do or don't, you have your answer. If they do, that's when you turn and run.

In cases where they threaten force, like brandishing a weapon, it's about a lot of factors. Distance. Body language. If they're standing back, showing the weapon, and telling you what to do, it would be safer to go along in most cases. A confrontation increases the chances of you getting injured needlessly.

However, if they are an attacker, this means they:

1. have already used force on you.
2. are moving to use force on you.
3. are telling you to put yourself into a situation where they can use force on you (in the case of rapes/kidnappings).

This changes the landscape drastically. In these cases, resist and resist hard. When they're down, you run. They've demonstrated an intent to use physical harm to get what they want, and there's no reason to believe they'll stop before you die.

Thank you, that's very enlightening. Answered my question very well.

Anarchemitis:
Why is it said that a gun is always loaded? I know it's the first rule of firearm safety, but why?

It's an intentional overstatement of the "Treat every gun as though it is loaded" rule. The idea is that how you safely handle a gun should be reflex, and it shouldn't depend on whether or not you think the gun is loaded.

If you handle unloaded guns a lot, and you aren't careful wear you point it or how you hold your hand near the trigger... and then you start handling a loaded gun? You'll be a danger to yourselves and others. So, when it comes to how you handle a gun, there is no difference between "loaded" and "unloaded"--so, in a sense, there's no such thing as an "unloaded gun."

It would be like you telling someone to handle your prized possessions like they're all full of nitroglycerin--you're telling them, in an exaggerated way, that they should handle them with extreme care.

A gun is always loaded because that forces you to treat it as if it is loaded. If you assume a gun is not loaded, someone gets hurt -- could be you, could be an innocent bystander next door, could be your roommate sleeping in the next room, whatever.

There is no such thing as 'accidental discharge'; a gun will not go off without pulling the trigger*. If you treat it as if it is loaded, even if you do pull the trigger by mistake, the bullet will not harm anyone -- because you're treating it as if it is loaded, and therefore following proper gun safety and keeping it pointed in a safe direction, right?

The only time it is safe to treat a gun as if it is not loaded is when it is in pieces for cleaning. At all other times, it is loaded. Doesn't matter if you unloaded it "just five minutes ago" or if it's still got the price tag from the store. It. Is. Loaded.

(* I'm sure there are situations where this is not true but let's not cloud the discussion with the 0.0000001% of instances where someone or something didn't pull the trigger.)

A very good topic, that should be read by all people on any jury for any lawsuit against the police.

I hate it when the police shoot a criminal, and the family sues. They did their fucking job.

dastardly:

Anarchemitis:
Why is it said that a gun is always loaded? I know it's the first rule of firearm safety, but why?

It's an intentional overstatement of the "Treat every gun as though it is loaded" rule. The idea is that how you safely handle a gun should be reflex, and it shouldn't depend on whether or not you think the gun is loaded.

If you handle unloaded guns a lot, and you aren't careful wear you point it or how you hold your hand near the trigger... and then you start handling a loaded gun? You'll be a danger to yourselves and others. So, when it comes to how you handle a gun, there is no difference between "loaded" and "unloaded"--so, in a sense, there's no such thing as an "unloaded gun."

It would be like you telling someone to handle your prized possessions like they're all full of nitroglycerin--you're telling them, in an exaggerated way, that they should handle them with extreme care.

You won't hear it, but I'm clapping. Your OP is very well done. Now if we could just people to read through this before trying to post on certain topics my blood pressure would go down.

sofaspud:
There is no such thing as 'accidental discharge'; a gun will not go off without pulling the trigger*. If you treat it as if it is loaded, even if you do pull the trigger by mistake, the bullet will not harm anyone -- because you're treating it as if it is loaded, and therefore following proper gun safety and keeping it pointed in a safe direction, right?

The problem comes when people confuse the idea of "accidental discharge" with "firing on its own." Sure, you can accidentally discharge a gun, just like I can accidentally break a glass. I didn't mean to, but I did. With guns, it usually happens because they had a finger on the trigger or (in the case of a revolver, for instance) they were playing around with the hammer or something.

But the whole, "the gun fired on its own" doesn't happen. And with any modern gun, even dropping it isn't going to cause it to go off. More movie magic that we believe because of our own inexperience with guns.

(It's funny... I see weird stuff happen in sci-fi movies, but I don't pretend seeing them means I "know" anything about that science. But people see gun-fiction, and they accept it as truth and use it like knowledge. It'd be like me believing my delorean will travel through time.)

What exactly warranted this topic? There was not a single thing here that wasn't obvious.

Onyx Oblivion:
A very good topic, that should be read by all people on any jury for any lawsuit against the police.

I hate it when the police shoot a criminal, and the family sues. They did their fucking job.

In most cases, definitely.

In other cases, sometimes it's not that the cop was wrong for shooting, but rather that the cop could have acted differently to prevent the situation--like getting too close to a subject before drawing, inadvertently causing it to be a close-range encounter. In cases like this, however, the cop just needs mandatory time off, mandatory training and recertification with the firearm, and perhaps a reprimand on the record.

The cop isn't at fault, but hindsight shows how they could have done things differently. We should create a system in which we allow people to learn from these situations, rather than throwing the blame at their heads. That causes them to be afraid of those situations, and more likely to try to hide it. Not only is it bad for them, it's bad for the people who could have learned from (and prevented) that mistake in the future.

The cases in which a cop clearly draws and fires for no good reason a extremely rare, and the other cops are just as shocked and disgusted as anyone else.

SomethingAmazing:
What exactly warranted this topic? There was not a single thing here that wasn't obvious.

I might direct you to the "Teen shot and killed..." thread in this very forum. But there have been others recently as well. This most recent thread just got my intellectual dander up a bit, so I decided to provide a one-stop shop for dispelling gun myths.

dastardly:

SomethingAmazing:
What exactly warranted this topic? There was not a single thing here that wasn't obvious.

I might direct you to the "Teen shot and killed..." thread in this very forum. But there have been others recently as well. This most recent thread just got my intellectual dander up a bit, so I decided to provide a one-stop shop for dispelling gun myths.

...Alright.

Do you have any light to shed on non-lethal bullets like the ones used in Riot Guns?

Anarchemitis:
Why is it said that a gun is always loaded? I know it's the first rule of firearm safety, but why?

Because do you want to play russian roulette with a semi automatic? In all seriousness though, it's for the same reason I don't have a great uncle George. Killed with an "unloaded" gun while him and his brothers were playing cops and robbers.

OT: I found this very informative. A lot of it I already knew but some I didn't.

Very well done sir. I agree with everything but one point. Not only do hollow point rounds fracture in their target creating tearing little pieces, but they pancake the instant they hit you and they turn into a razor sharp wide piece of slicing metal. When the round enters your body it then proceeds to spin and rotate and the fact that the impact is spread out makes it tear alot more flesh than, say, an FMJ bullet which tears right through you. Of course, this makes the bullets much less likely to experience any sort of ricochet and is therefore used by cops to avoid collateral damage caused by ricocheting bullets. However, to say hollow points do not cause more damage is not completely correct. They do a different kind of damage, and against unarmored targets they create expansive exit wounds and turn their targets insides into churned pulp. Whereas a FMJ bullet will maintain a relatively straight course through its target and leave a smaller exit wound. Of course I have never seen an actual wound caused by a hollow point and all I have is my research and strange fascination with guns to back up my claims. So by all means, take what I say with a grain of salt.

Awww logic and an understanding of firearms, I have missed common seance soooo much.

Very informative post, I knew a lot of the stuff already but some bits were new to me.

SomethingAmazing:

dastardly:

SomethingAmazing:
What exactly warranted this topic? There was not a single thing here that wasn't obvious.

I might direct you to the "Teen shot and killed..." thread in this very forum. But there have been others recently as well. This most recent thread just got my intellectual dander up a bit, so I decided to provide a one-stop shop for dispelling gun myths.

...Alright.

Do you have any light to shed on non-lethal bullets like the ones used in Riot Guns?

At self-defense distances, they can be every bit as lethal (referring to rubber bullets). However, they are not as dependable or accurate. So, when they are needed most, they could misfire, fail to fire, or skew off wildly. And when they do it, they could very well just kill anyway.

If they were made more dependable, I'd be absolutely all for them.

The other types of non-lethal ammunition are usually loaded in 12-gauge shotguns. Not the self-defense weapon of choice.

See, I thought they laid... ummmm, eggs. I learned something today.

4. ...you have to assume the attacker just wants your money, not to kill you.
[/quote]

Nice thread, and so damn true especially this. When i used to do Taekwondo, my teacher always said "If someone pulls a knife and says to hand your cash over, do it, thats what they want. If they pull a knife and attack, attack them back, they want to kill you otherwise they'd make a demand" and i STILL have trouble drilling it into people who ask me about such a thing, they think if someone pulls a gun/knife on them, they want their valuables.

But pretty much everything you said in this post was pretty damn accurate =)

Thank you. I thought it was going to be some thread about how wrong MW2 is but this was so much better.

WHAT!?!?? What do you mean assault rifles don't have 300 bullets in a magazine!??

M4A1Sopmod:
Very well done sir. I agree with everything but one point. Not only do hollow point rounds fracture in their target creating tearing little pieces, but they pancake the instant they hit you and they turn into a razor sharp wide piece of slicing metal. When the round enters your body it then proceeds to spin and rotate and the fact that the impact is spread out makes it tear alot more flesh than, say, an FMJ bullet which tears right through you. Of course, this makes the bullets much less likely to experience any sort of ricochet and is therefore used by cops to avoid collateral damage caused by ricocheting bullets. However, to say hollow points do not cause more damage is not completely correct. They do a different kind of damage, and against unarmored targets they create expansive exit wounds and turn their targets insides into churned pulp. Whereas a FMJ bullet will maintain a relatively straight course through its target and leave a smaller exit wound. Of course I have never seen an actual wound caused by a hollow point and all I have is my research and strange fascination with guns to back up my claims. So by all means, take what I say with a grain of salt.

I think you misunderstood... I completely agreed that the do cause more damage. I was simply saying that's not the reason they are used. For instance, fire can burn down your house, but that's not why we use it. We use it for warmth. The damage is an unfortunate side effect.

So, yeah, they definitely do more damage, but we used them because they keep the round (and the energy) inside the target.

dastardly:

Onyx Oblivion:
A very good topic, that should be read by all people on any jury for any lawsuit against the police.

I hate it when the police shoot a criminal, and the family sues. They did their fucking job.

In most cases, definitely.

In other cases, sometimes it's not that the cop was wrong for shooting, but rather that the cop could have acted differently to prevent the situation--like getting too close to a subject before drawing, inadvertently causing it to be a close-range encounter. In cases like this, however, the cop just needs mandatory time off, mandatory training and recertification with the firearm, and perhaps a reprimand on the record.

The cop isn't at fault, but hindsight shows how they could have done things differently. We should create a system in which we allow people to learn from these situations, rather than throwing the blame at their heads. That causes them to be afraid of those situations, and more likely to try to hide it. Not only is it bad for them, it's bad for the people who could have learned from (and prevented) that mistake in the future.

The cases in which a cop clearly draws and fires for no good reason a extremely rare, and the other cops are just as shocked and disgusted as anyone else.

I wonder how many of these lawsuits against them turn out?

There are bad cops, indeed. But when the family says "You could have shot in the leg!" or "You could have tasered him!", they think they know better than the officers.

There was a case in Jersey a few weeks back where the family mentioned stun guns. Guess what?

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2010/10/new_rules_on_stun_guns_will_lo.html

Jersey law only recently allowed the use of stun guns in more situations than the original, and ludicrous, situations. And many officers still haven't been trained, and they aren't widely available to the force yet, either.

Onyx Oblivion:

dastardly:

Onyx Oblivion:
A very good topic, that should be read by all people on any jury for any lawsuit against the police.

I hate it when the police shoot a criminal, and the family sues. They did their fucking job.

In most cases, definitely.

In other cases, sometimes it's not that the cop was wrong for shooting, but rather that the cop could have acted differently to prevent the situation--like getting too close to a subject before drawing, inadvertently causing it to be a close-range encounter. In cases like this, however, the cop just needs mandatory time off, mandatory training and recertification with the firearm, and perhaps a reprimand on the record.

The cop isn't at fault, but hindsight shows how they could have done things differently. We should create a system in which we allow people to learn from these situations, rather than throwing the blame at their heads. That causes them to be afraid of those situations, and more likely to try to hide it. Not only is it bad for them, it's bad for the people who could have learned from (and prevented) that mistake in the future.

The cases in which a cop clearly draws and fires for no good reason a extremely rare, and the other cops are just as shocked and disgusted as anyone else.

I wonder how many of these lawsuits against them turn out?

There are bad cops, indeed. But when the family says "You could have shot in the leg!" or "You could have tasered him!", they think they know better than the officers.

There was a case in Jersey a few weeks back where the family mentioned stun guns. Guess what?

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2010/10/new_rules_on_stun_guns_will_lo.html

Jersey law only recently allowed the use of stun guns in more situations than the original, and ludicrous, situations. And many officers still haven't been trained, and they aren't widely available to the force yet, either.

Yup. Stuff costs money. People need training. And even then, there's a chance someone can get killed.

Tasers aren't perfect, and if the attacker can get in close with the cop, there's a chance that now HE has the gun. Big problem. There's no easy solution...

...EXCEPT DON'T COMMIT GODDAMN CRIMES.

dastardly:

M4A1Sopmod:
Very well done sir. I agree with everything but one point. Not only do hollow point rounds fracture in their target creating tearing little pieces, but they pancake the instant they hit you and they turn into a razor sharp wide piece of slicing metal. When the round enters your body it then proceeds to spin and rotate and the fact that the impact is spread out makes it tear alot more flesh than, say, an FMJ bullet which tears right through you. Of course, this makes the bullets much less likely to experience any sort of ricochet and is therefore used by cops to avoid collateral damage caused by ricocheting bullets. However, to say hollow points do not cause more damage is not completely correct. They do a different kind of damage, and against unarmored targets they create expansive exit wounds and turn their targets insides into churned pulp. Whereas a FMJ bullet will maintain a relatively straight course through its target and leave a smaller exit wound. Of course I have never seen an actual wound caused by a hollow point and all I have is my research and strange fascination with guns to back up my claims. So by all means, take what I say with a grain of salt.

I think you misunderstood... I completely agreed that the do cause more damage. I was simply saying that's not the reason they are used. For instance, fire can burn down your house, but that's not why we use it. We use it for warmth. The damage is an unfortunate side effect.

You will have to forgive me sir. I suffer from an all too common ailment called "The Stupid" and it effects me every once in awhile and I forget to read whole paragraphs and not the first couple words. However, your choice of words in your final reply statement has me curious. I don't believe the catastrophic damage a hollow point can cause is in anyway an unfortunate side effect. If you are in a situation where you need to use deadly force than I, for one, want a bullet that will turn my opponents innards into red paste.
So, yeah, they definitely do more damage, but we used them because they keep the round (and the energy) inside the target.

Good thread.

I know this stuff, but it's good to get a second opinion on it. In other words, it's good to know some people don't belong to the "excessive force" / "evil HP" groups.

Anarchemitis:
Why is it said that a gun is always loaded? I know it's the first rule of firearm safety, but why?

Because people are stupid and forgetful. A firearm that YOU KNOW you've cleared can still shoot someone if you didn't properly clear it, or if you forgot and thought you did. You, or someone around you can be killed because you or they assumed the weapon was clear.

So it doesn't matter whether you personally cleared it, or someone cleared it before you. THE WEAPON IS LOADED AND DANGEROUS. There are no exceptions. It's just being smart.

Your first rule reminded me of the movie Copycat. In the movie, 2 detectives are at a shooting range and one detective insults the other for using 4 or 5 shots on a target and says you only need 1 shot in the shoulder to take a suspect down. Later in the movie, the first detective gets taken as a hostage, so the second detective goes for that one shot and the suspect goes down and the start celebrating until the suspect grabs the gun with the other arm and shoots the first detective.

Despite being a movie, it's a good example of why you should shoot multiple times to kill someone.

Nice thread, it's good to hear rational, well written views from someone who actually knows something about firearms. Cool.

That was a very enlightening read, though being raised with firearms I knew most of what was stated. It was still very good though, and reinforced some basic principles that many people forget and/or look over.

dastardly:

Anarchemitis:
Why is it said that a gun is always loaded? I know it's the first rule of firearm safety, but why?

It's an intentional overstatement of the "Treat every gun as though it is loaded" rule. The idea is that how you safely handle a gun should be reflex, and it shouldn't depend on whether or not you think the gun is loaded.

If you handle unloaded guns a lot, and you aren't careful wear you point it or how you hold your hand near the trigger... and then you start handling a loaded gun? You'll be a danger to yourselves and others. So, when it comes to how you handle a gun, there is no difference between "loaded" and "unloaded"--so, in a sense, there's no such thing as an "unloaded gun."

It would be like you telling someone to handle your prized possessions like they're all full of nitroglycerin--you're telling them, in an exaggerated way, that they should handle them with extreme care.

So it's like Schrodinger's gun then?

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