Quote of the day—Beth Alcazar

He does not simply teach them to assume all firearms are loaded or to keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction. Instead, he tells his students, “Assume the bullet is traveling down the barrel right now.”

Beth Alcazar
November 15, 2016
Treat Every Firearm as Though It’s Loaded…and a Bullet is Traveling Down the Barrel
[Via email from Paul Koning who said, “I thought the headline — and the explanation — makes an interesting point.”—Joe]

5 thoughts on “Quote of the day—Beth Alcazar

  1. If a bullet is traveling down the barrel, as we speak, then it’s a mighty slow bullet, which we could dodge, or deflect by hand.

    There is a point beyond which the point can no longer be made any stronger. Cooper had the color code from white to red, but that wasn’t good enough for someone, who had to add black, as though he had come to some insight that Cooper had missed. Someone a decade later will have to add some other, more sinister or emotionally hyped color at some stage, in the name of advancement, and thus the original point will have been obfuscated.

    I lived through math, which got Mankind to the moon and back, to “new math”, and now to some Common Core style of “math” that leaves kids unable to think on their feet, and so I see a trend. If it isn’t new, it isn’t valid. What was proven valid and useful for generations cannot be so any longer because it isn’t new.

  2. I don’t agree with this at all. There is a point where you have to know the gun is not loaded. If you assume is loaded 100% of the time and there is a round going down the barrel that should never be not handled, as when you put the gun down it will shoot off a bullet by itself and kill someone. Reminds me of American dad when he said “OK gun, kill. No one is stopping you” It should always be handled like you’re firing it and that it cannot be disassemble or cleaned at anytime.

    rule one is not a rule it’s more of a guideline. Because if we always track treat it like it was loaded then we cannot take it apart.

  3. Some people will respond better to a given phraseology than another. As with other kinds of coaching, you try different approaches until you see that something has clicked.

    I often explain Rule One, and then elaborate with stories about careless misfires. I will sometimes say, “so, when you’ve checked a gun six times, and you KNOW that it’s utterly empty, is it okay to point it at a friend and say “bang bang, ha ha”? — No. It is NEVER okay. We NEVER do that, not ever.” I sometimes add: “Do you know how many misfires happen when a gun is loaded, but the person thinks it’s empty? — ALL OF THEM.”

    I have also successfully used Kathy Jackson’s formulation: “assume all guns are loaded, because guns are sneaky and will reload themselves behind your back when they think you’re not looking”. Everyone knows this is a joke — but if it helps them remember and stay safe, I’m all for it.

    I like this new phraseology, “assume a bullet is traveling down the barrel right now”. Perhaps for younger shooters, I might say something like “pretend this is a laser gun, capable of cutting things in half, and that it’s ALWAYS on. Aim accordingly.” Whatever works.

    • Yes, that makes a whole lot of sense.

      I also liked Beth’s notion of giving all the range staff T-shirts saying “NOT a safe direction”.

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