I opened the package on Christmas morning, and before Christmas dinner my father sat me down and had a short talk with me about safety. I'd been shooting dad's .22 rifle for several months, but that was always under adult supervision. This was my very own rifle and now I was on my own. Although he didn't really enumerate them, what dad told me about in no uncertain terms were the Four Rules of Gun Safety. Here they are, with credit to Jeff Cooper:
- All guns are always loaded.
- Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
- Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target.
- Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.
These rules are designed to keep gun owners from shooting each other. This is what was drilled into me from the age of nine and it's what I practice today with special attention paid to rule number two, and that is where the problem begins.