Rule #1

So that others may learn.

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FCH
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Rule #1

Postby FCH » Thu Jul 07, 2016 8:08 pm

The Mrs will probably be upset with me for making this post but I hope it will bring up a couple of lessons and may help prevent some heartache.

My 9 year old granddaughter has been working with her other grandfather with BB and pellet guns. The other grandfather talked with me saying the granddaughter was ready to move to a firearm.

Today, I cleared a spot on the dining room table, grabbed some snap-caps, the Marlin Model 60, and called in the granddaughter. She was excited and ready to move on. I explained that her other grandfather and I thought it was time to take her to the range to fire a "real" rifle. I also told her before we go, there were 4 rules she must know and understand.

#1 All guns are loaded. I showed her the bolt of the rifle was locked open and you could see there was no round in the chamber.

#2 Never point a gun at anything you are not willing to destroy. I showed her a snap-cap (it was labeled "Dummy") and explained that even though this was small, it could destroy, even kill a person. Referring to rule #1, we laughed that the rifle was pointing to the glass patio door but she understood the concept.

#3 Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot the target. Wow! Her other grandpaw has taught this girl well. When I held the rifle and showed her the proper position of the trigger finger, she knew exactly what to do. She also asked about the safety. Her other grandfather is big on using the safety. I'll have to check with him on the protocol he wants before our next session.

#4 Know what is behind your target. I asked her if it would be OK to shoot at our back yard fence and she said "No" because we couldn't see and there might be people in the open area behind the fence.

Now take a deep breath as we move on.

I picked up the rifle and started pointing out the magazine tube and the slot where the cartridges are loaded. I showed her the bolt release and explained that the bolt stays open after the last round. When you press the bolt release, the bolt slams closed. I explained that if we had loaded the dummy round in the magazine, pulling back and releasing the bolt would load it in the chamber.

I cycled the bolt. IT DID NOT STAY OPEN. I cycled it again whereupon it ejected a live round. I continued cycling the gun and ejected 13 more live rounds. Rule #1 All guns are loaded.

I was horrified. The Mrs who was the last one to use the rifle two days ago was horrified. I think the granddaughter was impressed. Hopefully she will never forget Rule #1.

-- you can stop reading right here if you want but here is the rest of the story including a discussion of what we did wrong --

We picked up the rounds and put them away because you should never have live rounds in a teaching situation that is not on the range. We went through dry fire. Talked about hot brass. The Mrs and I showed our matching .22LR brands on our right forearms. We got out the hat, ear muffs, and eye protection and went through some more dry fire. I'm impressed with the maturity my granddaughter showed during the whole experience. We even got out the Heritage .22LR revolver and went the the loading firing and clearing cycle with it. The smaller gun gave us some opportunities to talk about rule #2. It is easy to swing it around and there were a couple of times the granddaughter failed to keep it pointed down range. We will have more lessons on all the rules before taking her to the range next week.

What Went Wrong?
The Mrs and I discussed how we ended up with a loaded rifle on our wall.

Distraction!

During our last session at the range, one of the members of our group of four experienced his first slide bite. It was pretty nasty. He came to the Mrs. to see if she had any Kleenex. We all stopped firing and I told the Mrs there was some Kleenex and band aids in the right hand pocket of our range bag. It took her quite a while to clean and bandage it. After the "crisis", the Mrs turned around to her stall. She had been shooting the rifle, saw the bolt open, and completely forgot she had just Spee-D-Load-ed a full magazine. Add a little age to the distraction and she just forgot. She saw I was not firing my handgun so she asked for it. I gave it to her, she put it on her bench and asked me if I wanted the rifle. I said NO so she turned around put the rifle in the case.

We have decided to establish a new protocol. We will cycle the bolt/slide on every weapon before we put it in the case.

Hope this story is helpful. If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions, let me have it!
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pushpullpete
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Re: Rule #1

Postby pushpullpete » Thu Jul 07, 2016 9:52 pm

FCH, scary time, yes. No one was hurt, besides feelings, so it becomes a learning experience and will probably never happen again. Kudos to you & her 'other' grandpaw for teaching her properly. :tiphat:
2 1/2 yrs ago my daughter and s-i-l gave me permission to speak with my then 9 yr old granddaughter about guns. She came over while I was reloading & immediately had a bunch of questions. I believe that teaching kids young takes the mystery out of guns in general & makes them safer for it. At least it worked that way with me & my brother many years ago.
When we finish shooting both my wife and I check the weapons separately before they go back in the cases &/or range bag, that allows for confirmation that the edcs have the proper SD ammo as well.


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Re: Rule #1

Postby rotor » Thu Jul 07, 2016 10:07 pm

Had my 10 year old grandson out shooting today. He has become quite good with a red dot on a 22LR. We go through the same lessons every time. Eye and ear protection, finger off the trigger until ready to shoot, all guns are loaded, etc.
You are doing good working with your grand child. None of us are perfect and we all learn from our mistakes. We are passing on important lessons to our children and grandchildren which will have a life long effect on their perceptions of how things are done. It's more than just firearm safety.

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LucasMcCain
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Re: Rule #1

Postby LucasMcCain » Fri Jul 08, 2016 1:59 pm

I think this is a great example of how the basic 4 rules prevent mishaps and tragedy. It illustrates why they are important. Mistakes are made sometimes, and distraction strikes us all from time to time. Following the rules ensured that nobody got hurt. Thanks for sharing this story and for encouraging responsible firearm enthusiasm in the younger generation.
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rentz
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Re: Rule #1

Postby rentz » Fri Jul 08, 2016 2:06 pm

FCH wrote:We have decided to establish a new protocol. We will cycle the bolt/slide on every weapon before we put it in the case.


this is part of my range routine. after i finish with a magazine i bring the firearm straight back and with slide locked back confirm its clear and place back on the bench.
and before anything goes back into the bag the magazines dropped and i cycle and ensure there are no rounds and visibly inspect.


maybe i'm paranoid, but it doesnt take more than a few seconds and it becomes habit.


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Re: Rule #1

Postby vjallen75 » Fri Jul 08, 2016 2:30 pm

You did a fine job handling the situation. :tiphat:
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Re: Rule #1

Postby Middle Age Russ » Fri Jul 08, 2016 3:06 pm

Great story. Thank you for sharing.

Following the safety rules means that when accidents happen the results are easier to live with.
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bblhd672
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Re: Rule #1

Postby bblhd672 » Fri Jul 08, 2016 3:22 pm

Hopefully this story will remind all of us to always thoroughly check as to whether or not a weapon is loaded when we pick it up.

Thanks.
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dale blanker
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Re: Rule #1

Postby dale blanker » Sat Jul 09, 2016 12:11 am

Sorry. I thought about this posting in bed this morning and regretted it.
Last edited by dale blanker on Sat Jul 09, 2016 10:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Rule #1

Postby hovercat » Sat Jul 09, 2016 5:03 am

How did you end up with a loaded rifle on your wall?
Every rifle on your wall is always loaded. Rule #1.
Good story and lesson for us all. Most know the rules, but do not really believe them. Relating the rule #1 to my trade, I know as a fact that my saw will turn on while I change the blade, unless I unplug it, a piece of metal shaving will fly into my unprotected eye every time, like it was a strong magnet, etc. That is when safety starts.

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Re: Rule #1

Postby Pawpaw » Sat Jul 09, 2016 5:55 am

dale blanker wrote:Why would any child need any more exposure to firearms except to see what to absolutely stay away from? I can certainly see some responsible teenagers learning how to handle a small caliber rifle for hunting. Then when old enough to qualify for a LTC I can see proceeding with training and qualifying.

But at 9 years old - really - we are talking about Texas and not the Congo, right???

Your suggestion is a recipe for disaster.

Have you raised any kids? If you tell one to "absolutely stay away from" anything, that's pretty much a guarantee what he/she will do the minute your back is turned.

The solution is to demystify firearms. Only familiarity will do that. As far as age, at what age can a child who finds a gun cause harm? Education is key and it's never too early to start.

After all... it's for the children! :lol:
Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. -Benjamin Franklin 1759

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Re: Rule #1

Postby twomillenium » Sat Jul 09, 2016 6:18 am

Thankful that the accident was a teachable moment and backtracking to figure out how it happened is what makes us safer.
Those who get comfortable with safety by practicing safety get safer. When I read something like this, it makes me think about my practices and how maybe to improve them. I too, am in the middle of teach grandchildren firearm safety and it will be awhile since the oldest is 11 and the youngest is 1 years old with 4 more inbetween. So, I guess I will be busy for a few years, Lord willing.

dale blanker wrote:Why would any child need any more exposure to firearms except to see what to absolutely stay away from? I can certainly see some responsible teenagers learning how to handle a small caliber rifle for hunting. Then when old enough to qualify for a LTC I can see proceeding with training and qualifying.

But at 9 years old - really - we are talking about Texas and not the Congo, right???

You have the right to think how you do, even if it is squirrely. I am not going to require you to change but I do hope you rethink your stance. I just pray and hope you never get into a position where you can force you opinions on others. That will be when the problems start.
Last edited by twomillenium on Sat Jul 09, 2016 7:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Rule #1

Postby flowrie » Sat Jul 09, 2016 6:30 am

Thank you FCH!
Glad that it all turned out OK.
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Vol Texan
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Re: Rule #1

Postby Vol Texan » Sat Jul 09, 2016 7:01 am

dale blanker wrote:Why would any child need any more exposure to firearms except to see what to absolutely stay away from? I can certainly see some responsible teenagers learning how to handle a small caliber rifle for hunting. Then when old enough to qualify for a LTC I can see proceeding with training and qualifying.

But at 9 years old - really - we are talking about Texas and not the Congo, right???


Sorry, but this IS Texas, and a lot of us feel differently.

/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=44952
Mine is on that list, and she started at age 4. The primary reason for this was to teach gun safety at a young age.
These days, at a ripe old age of 8, She can make grown men cry on the range.

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Middle Age Russ
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Re: Rule #1

Postby Middle Age Russ » Sat Jul 09, 2016 7:09 am

Why would any child need any more exposure to firearms except to see what to absolutely stay away from? I can certainly see some responsible teenagers learning how to handle a small caliber rifle for hunting. Then when old enough to qualify for a LTC I can see proceeding with training and qualifying.

But at 9 years old - really - we are talking about Texas and not the Congo, right???


I don't know if your post was a bit tongue-in-cheek or not, but...

Even some programs allow young kids to shoot. 4-H members (must be entering the 3rd grade - minimum age of 8) can participate in the Shooting Sports project. With parental permission and showing appropriate responsibility and behavior, kids this age are allowed to shoot not only BB/Air rifles, but also air pistols, small-bore rifles and pistols and even center-fire rifles and pistols. It is really more about their ability to listen, behave seriously, know and understand the safety rules, and obey range commands.

All that said, parents each have a different take on what they are ready for their kids to try, regardless of what the kid seems ready for.
Russ
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