Originally Posted by Brian Pfleuger
Which is also why Rule #1 is properly stated "All guns are always loaded." rather than the oft used "Treat all guns as if they are always loaded.
"Treating it as if..." it's loaded implies that it is not really loaded so it's just a "game" or "exercise" to play and we don't really have to be careful.
Agreed. That was Cooper's objection to the "Treat as if ..." way of stating the rule, and he's right. The best way to ensure maximum (not absolute, as it can never be absolute as long as we are human and fallible) is to keep it simple, and program our dinosaur brain to be safe automatically.
And the NRA doesn't even get as emphatic as "Treat all guns as if they are loaded." The NRA only has three "fundamental" rules, as compared to Cooper's four. NRA Rule #3 says:
3. ALWAYS keep the gun unloaded until ready to use.
That's the rule part, then there's a verbose paragraph under that covering what to do when picking up a gun if you don't know it's empty. The rule itself is incomplete, because the rule doesn't address any gun that I
am not storing. And it also doesn't address a self defense/home defense firearm, which by definition IS
kept loaded until ready for use. (Even in Washington, DC, now.)
Heck, for the NRA "Always be sure of your target and what lies beyond it" isn't even a fundamental rule ... that's just one of the "second tier," after-thought rules. When you think about it, what's the logic behind having a set of rules, and then following that set of rules giving a statement saying "When using or storing a gun, always follow these
NRA rules:" -- which aren't the same rules.
As an NRA instructor I am required to teach it their way, but I don't like it.