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Old April 6, 2024, 12:26 PM   #26
tangolima
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Rules tend to grow, from don't do anything stupid to don't do anything. Nothing will happen if you don't do anything, right?

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Old April 6, 2024, 12:37 PM   #27
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As Mike P. Wagner and 44 AMP noted above, Rule 1 is literally incorrect as stated.

It is not true that "All guns are always loaded" - but there is no brief way to add "until you, personally, have inspected the gun; and at that point you are the only one who knows its condition".

I'm on both sides of the argument; averse to making a blatantly incorrect statement, but also wanting to keep things simple. I depend on the person with whom I'm discussing the rules to call me out on the incorrectness so I can clarify what it means and why I think it is stated that way.

But today I was taken aback when I noticed the Firearms Safety tag in the Forum heading and clicked on it.
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Old April 6, 2024, 12:44 PM   #28
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As far as I know this is the original version of Jeff Coopers 4 rules:

1) All guns are always loaded. Even if they are not, treat them as if they are.
2) Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy. (For those who insist that this particular gun is unloaded, see Rule 1.)
3) Keep your finger off the trigger till your sights are on the target. This is the Golden Rule. Its violation is directly responsible for about 60 percent of inadvertent discharges.
4) Identify your target, and what is behind it. Never shoot at anything that you have not positively identified.

The simple explanations at the end clarify the meaning of the easy to remember simplified rule.
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Old April 6, 2024, 06:09 PM   #29
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How is "Treat every gun as loaded until you have verified it is not" not simple??


Multiple generations of Americans have been able to understand and (generally) follow the rules as they have been taught for over a century by the NRA, and many others involved with firearms.

And, for the record, Cooper didn't create the rules. I give him full credit for those things (and there are several) that he did create, but firearms safety rules aren't one of them. What he did do, was take the four most primary rules and promote them extensively in his teaching.
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Old April 6, 2024, 06:18 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by 44 AMP View Post
How is "Treat every gun as loaded until you have verified it is not" not simple??
Ive been flagged too many times by muzzles that the owner said it was ok since they verified it wasn't loaded.

Accidental shootings only happen with "unloaded" guns...

Perhaps how we simplify something is more important than making it easier to understand.
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Old April 7, 2024, 08:12 AM   #31
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For me what is important is that there are rules and EVERY new or repeat gun buyer/borrower/renter gets reminded that there are rules every time a gun in involved in any activity.
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Old April 7, 2024, 09:04 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Koda94 View Post
As far as I know this is the original version of Jeff Coopers 4 rules:
Cooper took them from Bill Nottingham.
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Old April 11, 2024, 11:34 AM   #33
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Nottingingham

I have used Coopers synthesis of the rules for many years, but had not heard the name Nottingham connected with them. Just one more thing learned on this forum.
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Old April 11, 2024, 10:44 PM   #34
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1) All guns are always loaded. Even if they are not, treat them as if they are. (See Baldwin, Alex).
2) Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy. (For those who insist that this particular gun is unloaded, see Rule 1.) (See Baldwin, Alex).
3) Keep your finger off the trigger till your sights are on the target. This is the Golden Rule. Its violation is directly responsible for about 60 percent of inadvertent discharges. (See Baldwin, Alex)
4) Identify your target, and what is behind it. Never shoot at anything that you have not positively identified. (See Baldwin, Alex)
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Old April 12, 2024, 09:20 AM   #35
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I have used Coopers synthesis of the rules for many years, but had not heard the name Nottingham connected with them. Just one more thing learned on this forum.
Cooper certainly popularized Nottingham's 4 Rules of gun safety. Changed a few words too. I researched it in depth when I was writing my CCW text. I've been challenged on the rules a few times on cases where I was serving as an expert witness, so having the origins followed by adoption of folks like Cooper is a good thing.
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Old April 13, 2024, 11:29 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 44 AMP View Post
What concerns me more than the evolution of "the rules" is the "de-evolution" of the rules due to people's penchant for shortening and simplifying things, which can lead to loss of critical elements of the message. Particularly if people take the "short form" rules literally.



This is an example.
I was taught by Randy Cain, a disciple of Gun Site, the word, "treat" is a dangerous precedent. Also, the simplification of the Rules theoretically are more effective in learning safety than having several sentences out for each Rule.

I've never seen an incident happen in dealing with the mentality of all guns are always loaded. But I have with those that "treating" them as loaded in Cooper's context.
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Old April 14, 2024, 08:08 PM   #37
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I've never seen an incident happen in dealing with the mentality of all guns are always loaded. But I have with those that "treating" them as loaded in Cooper's context.
Could you elaborate and provide an incident where treating the gun as if it were loaded resulted in some issue or accident ??

ONE of my issues with "every gun is always loaded" is literal. If every gun is always loaded, then you literally cannot unload a gun, as it is always loaded, by the rule.

The fact that guns can be unloaded and empty of ammunition is at odds with the literal wording of "every gun is always loaded", and that obvious difference can result in not taking the rule seriously enough to prevent "incidents".

Not by thinking people who understand the underlying concepts, (usually) but by people who are only following the rule by rote because its "the rule".
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Old April 15, 2024, 10:28 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by 44 AMP View Post
Could you elaborate and provide an incident where treating the gun as if it were loaded resulted in some issue or accident ??

ONE of my issues with "every gun is always loaded" is literal. If every gun is always loaded, then you literally cannot unload a gun, as it is always loaded, by the rule.

The fact that guns can be unloaded and empty of ammunition is at odds with the literal wording of "every gun is always loaded", and that obvious difference can result in not taking the rule seriously enough to prevent "incidents".

Not by thinking people who understand the underlying concepts, (usually) but by people who are only following the rule by rote because its "the rule".
Verbiage is important. If you read the original 4 Rules of gun safety that I posted, the explanation is concise and results in a better understanding. Folks got wrapped up in minutia and added the word "treat" when, in the original context, it is not needed. Reposted for expediency.

The 1st Law of Gun Safety - The Gun Is Always Loaded!
EVERY TIME you pick up or draw a gun, inspect it in a safe manner, control your muzzle, and
always treat it as a loaded gun. You should VISUALLY inspect your gun's chamber every time
you pick it up even if you just sat it down moments before. It may seem redundant but
establishing good habits may save a tragedy during a moment of "brain-fade". Remove all
ammunition and loaded magazines from the immediate area when handling any gun. Also, if
you hand someone your gun, VISUALLY show them the empty chamber and accept no less in
return! An experienced gun handler would never feel insulted.
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Old April 15, 2024, 02:21 PM   #39
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Quote:
Verbiage is important.
Agreed.

Quote:
If you read the original 4 Rules of gun safety that I posted, the explanation is concise and results in a better understanding.
Explanations should be concise and if they fail to result in a better understanding, then they are inadequate explanations.

I'm sure the "original" firearms safety rules were written with quill pens on parchment by the light of day or candles or oil lamps, and come from some treatise unidentified today, written back when guns were "gonnes"...

The NRA was founded in 1871 with the mission of promoting marksmanship and gun safety. I know the precise verbiage has changed over the years, but I can assure you what was taught 60 years ago was not "all guns are always loaded" it was "Treat every gun as if it were loaded."

Quote:
Folks got wrapped up in minutia and added the word "treat" when, in the original context, it is not needed.
Disagree. The word "treat" was not added, it was in the "original" wording that I learned, and I feel that "treat as if" are important words, and should be in the rule as they were for generations before the modern "short form" became popular. SO, I guess our opinions about what is and is not needed are going to differ.

Also, "the gun is always loaded" is just poor grammar. It is a flat, declarative statement, while all the other rules are instructions as to what one should do or not do.

Quote:
EVERY TIME you pick up or draw a gun, inspect it in a safe manner, control your muzzle, and
always treat it as a loaded gun. You should VISUALLY inspect your gun's chamber every time
you pick it up even if you just sat it down moments before.
again, back in "ancient times" this was worded a bit more flexibly. Not part of the written rules, directly, but part of what was taught was a bit more practical, while still preserving the basic principles.

What I'm referring to is that instead of the draconian "every time" you drew a gun, or picked it up, it was "every time the gun has been out of your sight, even if for a moment." The point here was, essentially, that after you checked the gun to begin with, as long as it was in your sight (and under your control) where no one could change the condition of the gun without you being aware of it, it wasn't necessary to recheck it.

The gun doesn't load or unload itself in your holster, or in your hands, unless YOU do it. But, if the gun went out of your sight, someone else could have done something, so then it was necessary to check it again.

Words matter

Generally speaking I believe my opinions to be correct and ones that differ from mine are suspect. I'm sure you feel about the same way.
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Old April 15, 2024, 02:38 PM   #40
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Agreed.
Generally speaking I believe my opinions to be correct and ones that differ from mine are suspect. I'm sure you feel about the same way.
I'm in a business where if I can not prove my opinions are more right than the opposing expert, my client will likely lose their case. It does not happen often, and my wife does not enjoy that fact when it comes to her arguments. And feelings have no quarter within my professional opinions. However, I'll rarely develop an argument for the interwebs to the level that I do in a paid for report.

Suffice it to say that one reason I use Nottingham's 4 rules is that they are the best set, short of developing my own. If I developed my own, then I'd have to still cite him as the originator and be subject to nitpicking of the masses from their couches. There are, as near as I can tell, more than 10 (Four Rules of Gun Safety) in current use by various entities and none surpass Nottingham when it comes to the Safety Hierarchy. Some are worse, some relatively similar.

I'm better using the Four Laws to be able to prove they were not followed, and so due to that, in some cases I will delve into a person's training and use the rules they were trained on to prove their error. If they follow the rules and still have an issue, then the training was improper, and that is usually a different case.
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Old April 15, 2024, 02:41 PM   #41
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Agreed.

Disagree. The word "treat" was not added, it was in the "original" wording that I learned, and I feel that "treat as if" are important words, and should be in the rule as they were for generations before the modern "short form" became popular. SO, I guess our opinions about what is and is not needed are going to differ.
Words matter, but so does context. The word "treat" was absolutely added to Nottingham's 1st rule by many who used his rules. It is in his explanatory text. I don't care what you learned or did not learn, my discussion was based on Nottingham's rules, which is obvious from the context of my posts in this thread.
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Old April 15, 2024, 02:44 PM   #42
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Re, rule one. Set aside how its worded for a minute.

We all know the concept. Alot of it comes down to the quality of the teaching and making sure the intent is understood.

What I care about is, if youve checked your gun that its unloaded, does that mean your free to treat it so? I hope not...
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Old April 15, 2024, 02:51 PM   #43
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Re, rule one. Set aside how its worded for a minute.

We all know the concept. Alot of it comes down to the quality of the teaching and making sure the intent is understood.

What I care about is, if youve checked your gun that its unloaded, does that mean your free to treat it so? I hope not...
You get it.
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Old April 15, 2024, 02:54 PM   #44
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@MarkCO Thank you and good to know about Nottinghams original source.
Ive always just called it Coopers version but never could find the source...
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Old April 15, 2024, 04:39 PM   #45
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Can you give us a date (approximate) when Nottingham put out his rules?
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Old April 15, 2024, 08:14 PM   #46
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Can you give us a date (approximate) when Nottingham put out his rules?
He started teaching them in the late 1960s. I don't know, and neither did he, the first time he wrote them out for sure.
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Old Yesterday, 12:48 AM   #47
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He started teaching them in the late 1960s. I don't know, and neither did he, the first time he wrote them out for sure.
This sort of makes sense to me - I would have gone through my first firearm safety course in the early 60s, and I only learned the 3 that I mentioned in the OP.
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