Ten Commandments to Shoot By

As the head of the family should teach them in a simple way to the next generation of shooters.

The First Commandment: Treat every Gun As If It is Loaded.

What does this mean?
We should fear and respect our gun so that we do not assume that it is unloaded and accidentally shoot ourselves or someone else. It is amazing the number of people killed each year by unloaded guns.

The Second Commandment: Never Point a Gun at Anything That You Are Not Prepared to Destroy.

What does this mean?
We should fear and respect our gun and never treat it like a toy. We should recognize that our gun has one purpose: to destroy things. Those things may be tin cans or soda bottles, paper targets or other people. Therefore we must be mindful that we only point our gun at things we intend to shoot.

The Third Commandment: Never Put Your Finger inside the Trigger Guard or On the Trigger Until You are Ready to Fire.

What does this mean?
We should fear and respect our gun so that we do not handle it carelessly. The only way our gun will fire is if we put our finger on the trigger and squeeze.

The Fourth Commandment: Always be Sure of Your Target and What is Beyond It.

What does this mean?
We should fear and respect our gun so that we do not carelessly fire it without considering what the bullet may strike before or after it arrives at the target. We must be careful that the target is not obscured by another object, that other people are not in the line of fire, that objects beyond the target may be damaged, or that people near or beyond the target may be struck. We must also be careful to avoid shooting at flat surfaces that may cause the bullet to riccochet, like solid walls, steel, or even water.

The Fifth Commandment: Make Sure the Barrel is Not Obstructed before firing your gun.

What does this mean?
We should fear and respect our gun so that we do not carelessly block the barrel and prevent the bullet from properly exiting the muzzle. Setting our gun down in mud or dirt, or failing to clear a “squib” load can cause an obstruction which can result in a catastrophic failure, possible injury, and even death.

The Sixth Commandment: Always keep Your Gun Unloaded Until You Are Ready to Use It.

What does this mean?
We should fear and respect our gun so that we do not carry it or leave it lying around loaded, if we are not ready to use it. To do so would increase the chance of accidental discharge, especially if you fail to keep the First Commandment, above.

The Seventh Commandment: Only Use the Correct Ammunition for Your Gun.

What does this mean?
We should fear and respect our gun so that we only use the ammunition that is recommended for use in it and only the caliber that it is designed to shoot. Failure to use the correct caliber ammunition, or to fire high pressure (+P) ammunition in a gun that is not rated to fire it can result in a catastrophic malfunction which may damage or destroy the gun, and may result in injury or death to you and/or those around you.

The Eighth Commandment: Always Wear Ear and Eye Protection.

What does this mean?
We should fear and respect our gun so that we wear proper protective gear and clothing when shooting. Repetitive noise from gunfire can result in hearing loss. Ejected shell casings can be directed back into the face of the shooter, pieces of bullet fragments and other materials can riccochet back toward the shooter and cause eye injuries. We should also avoid wearing loose fitting clothing, low cut shirts, and open-toe shoes where hot brass might easily enter and lodge next to bare skin.

The Ninth Commandment: Never Use Drugs or Alcohol Before or While Shooting.

What does this mean?
We should fear and respect our gun so that we do not impair our own judgement by consuming alcohol or drugs before or while shooting. Shooting requires focus and discipline and mistakes can cost us or other people their lives. Shooting while impaired simply increases the chances of an accident. In addition, using drugs is against the law, and using alcohol while in posession of a firearm is illegal in most (all?) states. If you are a concealed carry permit holder, an arrest for being intoxicated while in possession of a firearm will cost you your permit.

The Tenth Commandment: Store your guns so they are not accessible to unauthorized persons.

What does this mean?
We should fear and respect our gun so that we do not leave them where others can take them without our permission. We must be especially careful that we do not leave them where children can easily gain access to them.