There are four cardinal rules to gunmanship.
- Always treat all firearms as if they were loaded.
- Never allow the muzzle of any firearm to point at anything you are not willing to destroy.
- Never put your finger near the trigger until you are ready to fire. Do not depend on any mechanical device for safety!
- Always be sure of your target, and what is behind and in front of it.¹
Those are widely regarded as the way to stay safe when using a firearm.
Rule #1: Always treat all firearms as if they were loaded.
Even the one you just picked up off the table.
Even the one you’ve been holding for a while.
Even the one that someone just handed you. ESPECIALLY the one that someone just handed you.
But why is that the rule? Why do we treat ALL firearms that way? Why assume this? If I hand you a firearm, why can’t you just trust that I’ll hand it to you in a safe condition? What kind of person do you think I am?
No, we treat all firearms as though they are loaded not because we think they are all loaded, but because the risk is too great. Let’s face it, the chances of a firearm being loaded without its owner’s knowledge at any given point are going to be small. This is especially true for responsible gun owners, who will always be aware of which weapons are loaded and unloaded. They still do this though, because there is a risk of damage, injury or death if that firearm goes off, and that would be TOO COSTLY.
It isn’t because of any high incidence of an accident. It is because of the costly consequences of an accident.
Men, think about that next time you complain that a woman has assumed you’re dangerous. It doesn’t have to be ALL MEN. It doesn’t even have to be a lot of men. It doesn’t even have to be a single man in her experience. The cost of making the wrong assumption about you is just too high to risk it.
So she treats you like you’re dangerous, because the opposite assumption carries risk with terrible, terrible consequences. She’s made a choice about her safety given the stakes.
It doesn’t have to be all men. And it’s shamefully ignorant to chide her for this. Just stop.
¹ Taken from Grayguns.com