The Four Rules of basic gun safety can be distilled down to these four written by Colonel 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.
I’d like to add one more, keep your eyes open and look at your target:
A member of the Free Syrian Army fires at a sniper as he runs for cover during clashes with pro-government forces in Harem town.
You know what that one guy in the background is thinking: Yeah, um Mohammed? You gotta open yer eyes when you squeeze that trigger thingy. And you look like a blind pirate with that dumb-azz doo rag you got on. Sheesh. . .
The rifle itself has no moral stature, since it has no will of its own. Naturally, it may be used by evil men for evil purposes, but there are more good men than evil, and while the latter cannot be persuaded to the path of righteousness by propaganda, they can certainly be corrected by good men with rifles.
–Jeff Cooper, Art of the Rifle