All guns are always loaded

That’s gun safety rule one. Cooper said that it’s not a guide to behavior but rather a statement of condition. (For those unfamiliar, “condition” in this sense refers to the status of the gun, whether it’s loaded, or cocked, whether the safety catch is on, etc.)

That’s the problem with weapon “safety” isn’t it? If you keep a gun for self defense, and you treat all guns as though they’re always loaded, and it turns put that the one you need to defend your life is unloaded, you’re not at all safe. A gun is supposed to be dangerous! but only to your chosen target.

As a matter of personal taste I prefer the NRA rule “Always keep the gun unloaded until ready to use”. The guns I keep for defense are “in use” all the time and so they are loaded, whether on my hip or leaning in the corner.

I showed a couple how to load a percussion revolver the other day, by “loading” it with powder and bullets, but since we never applied caps to the cones, it still isn’t “loaded” because I won’t fire without caps. I’ll twirl it if I want to, and you can’t stop me, but I generally won’t twirl a loaded gun even it is single action with the hammer down and nothing you do to the trigger alone can ever make it fire.

We’ve come to a point where we’re making too big a deal out of “safety” and admit it– That’s because of lawyers and politicians (two of the more dangerous kinds of people on Earth if we take them too seriously).

Ultimately, “safety”, to the extent that it exists at all, is between your ears. You’re certainly going to die no matter what though, so cheer up! When people, perfectly well-intended, tell me to “stay safe” as an alternative to “goodbye” or “see you later” it sort of disappoints me. “Have fun” or even “be cool” would be better advice. None of the really fun and memorable, or productive, things I’ve done in life were particularly safe, but they always came off better in a state of coolness.

Here’s another important “safety” rule;
“All lawyers and all politicians are always loaded”

I do like that one. As Cooper said; “It is not a guide of behavior, but rather a statement of condition”, and furthermore it would explain a lot.


5 thoughts on “All guns are always loaded

  1. Lawyers and politicians run a far second and third when the cause of gun safety rules are discussed.

    Number ONE, uno, primo, ichiban, firstest and mostest, is the idiot next to me at the gun range who won’t keep his (Hey, it isn’t loaded! What’re ya bitchin’ about, ya wuss!) rifle/shotgun/pistol pointed downrange while he fumblethumbs it for whatever reason he thinks necessary.

    I tell him politely, once, to keep it pointed downrange, then either leave or go ballistic on his ass if I have to tell him again, and in either case I get his ass thrown out of the range for violating my safety.

    Lawyers and pols only come into play long after Bubba shoots somebody in the leg or head due to the gun being unloaded, using him as an example of why they need to save the children.

    • As they say, “it takes one to know one”, so I can say with certainty that lawyers are sometimes loaded, and usually full of it.
      Safety is in the mind, or else it is only in the mind.
      As for lawyers and judges coming in after the battle and bayoneting the wounded, remember, the @#$#%% made the wicked laws in the first place. They are by far the more dangerous tools.

      And isn’t it funny that lawyers and politicians are held in particularly low regard, but when the two are combined in one person they become a respected judge? A judge is just a politically adept lawyer.

  2. I always treat firearms as loaded until I can clearly discern their condition. Generally this means:

    Eject the magazine.
    Rack the slide or action back (whatever it would take to eject a round in the chamber)
    Visually inspect the chamber.

    Then and ONLY then is a weapon ‘safe’.

  3. “Don’t load until ready to use” and “it’s always loaded” are completely separate. I would not say that I prefer one over the other. Instead, I apply both, at all times.
    The guns I keep unloaded I nevertheless treat as loaded when I handle them. When I take them out of storage I check to make sure they are unloaded. The fact that they are the guns that I “don’t load until use” is completely irrelevant.

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