Originally Posted by PAX
Thereby guaranteeing that when you make a predictable human mistake, and the gun is loaded when you don't expect it to be, you will put a hole into someone you love or at least whom you don't intend to kill.
The first rule is all guns are always loaded. Some people state it as treat all guns as if they are loaded, and that's perfectly fine too. What that first rule simply means is that the safety rules always apply to every gun and in all circumstances, no matter who has "checked" it, no matter where you are, and no matter what you intend to happen when you handle the gun. It doesn't mean "if I think it's unloaded, then I can carry it around with my finger on the trigger while it's pointed at my toddler." It doesn't mean, "if I think it's unloaded, then I can point at my own left hand while pulling the trigger so that I can look cool while disassembling the gun."
The rules are designed to prevent this kind of thinking -- not encourage it!
Please don't get me wrong. I never said that I'm careless about where the muzzle of my firearm goes when I know its unloaded. I don't point it at ANYTHING that doesnt want it to be pointed at. I completely see where the first rule comes from, and if its followed, it would be a great rule to prevent a ND.
However, there are times in training or practicing where you have to point the weapon at something you don't actually intend to shoot. Like dry firing, or practicing drawing from the holster. And I know I'm going to get flamed for this, but I believe that if both parties agree to it, and both parties have checked the weapon, that it's okay to point a weapon at another person during training, or demonstrations. I mean, they even make plastic drop in barrels now just for the added security, so that you can use a real firearm in training demonstrations. This is just how I was taught, so if it makes me a danger or a threat, then thats your opinion. When I was in my firearms class, the instructor taught us that the muzzle of the firearm ALWAYS has to pass over something. Whether it be the floor, the ceiling, your own leg when its in its holster on your waist, you're ALWAYS point it at something you dont intend to shoot. He also taught us that the gun CANNOT physically go off unless you do something to make it go off, like PULL THE TRIGGER. That being said, if someone takes a loaded weapon, sitting in a holster, and places the weapon, holster and all on the table, and the muzzle is pointed in my direction, this doesn't make me uneasy (assuming of course he/she didnt do it intentionally). I mean, come on, Im paranoid about firearms, but I'm not THAT paranoid to the point where I'm afraid of the weapon even when its so blatantly obvious that its unloaded, or I have to worry about it firing itself.
I definately see where you're coming from in your statement that this is why the first rule is there, but like I said, please dont mistake me for someone who goes around pointing the firearm at everything and everyone just because its not loaded. I definately use common sense and display some form of cautiousness and courtesy even around unloaded firearms.