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Thread: Should There Be A Fifth Rule?

  1. #1
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    Should There Be A Fifth Rule?

    Something that Mas Ayoob said in a recent podcast was along the lines that some trainers are starting to include an addition to the 4 rules. The "5th rule" is some variation on securing firearms from unauthorized access.

    Mas has cerainly earned a place at the table on this, and can speak for himself.

    What I can say for me, after some thought, is that I am currently in favor of the addition. Up until now, I was in agreement with Col Cooper’s admonition "We need all four; we don’t need another," but the times have changed, and I believe that if the community doesn’t police itself voluntarily, then we will eventually end up being policed by the great unwashed, involuntarily. See Washington State for reference.

    I like the idea of all those signs at ranges and gun stores being updated with "all guns should be secure from unauthorized access"

    Note, I did not say "locked up" or "locked in a safe container when not in use" but "secure from unauthorizwd access."

    That’s it. Such a sentence can encompass everything from safe storage, to retention and OC concerns. It is all but impossible to legislate against every potential; much better that the wider firearms community embrace the idea of keeping their property away from people who’d abuse the tools—with the same attention currently given to "keeping the finger off the trigger," in all it’s iterations and levels of competency. This is something that needs to be injected into the gun culture, and I’d prefer it be enacted by education, consensus, habit and tradition rather than legislative force.

    Discuss.
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    I think such a fifth rule as this is too universal. Automobiles ought to be secure from unauthorized use as well. Same from drugs, knives, fecal matter, chemicals, sex organs, and etc.

    The four rules of gun safety have to do with handling them. Secure from unauthorized use is not handling them. No one can prevent all unauthorized use and be held personally responsible for someone else's misuse or unauthorized use while any violation of the four basic safety rules can lead you into court from a mishap causing an injury or death. The onus of the unauthorized use belongs to the unauthorized user and not the person who's gun was misused by another individual.

    That said, securing your arms is always a good thing be the arms tucked away in storage or tucked away on your person.

    I say don't muddy the waters with a fifth rule that might detract from the four paramount ones. And don't forget that such a rule could easily become law with every gun owner out there playing along with gun banners ranting and raving about 'secure storage'.

    Woody
    http://oklahomafirearmservices.com/
    If the ends sought cannot be achieved through the means granted to the Federal Government in the Constitution, there is neither a need nor the power for the Federal Government to get involved.. B.E.Wood

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    If one wants to cover all aspects there are lists of up to 12 or even more rules. A lot of the longer lists include securing guns from unauthorized use. And some variation on the military boot rule: clean, polished black, and in good repair.

    As rules to avoid accidental or neglegent discharge using guns, Cooper's Four Rules are kept short and simple.
    1. All guns are always loaded - period!
    2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
    3. Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target.
    4. Be sure of your target: what it is, what is in line with it, what is behind it.

    If one masters the four concepts of (1) Danger awareness, (2) Muzzle discipline, (3) Trigger discipline, and (4) Situational awareness while handling firearms at the range or in the field, I think the mindset cultivated will cover the other aspects of responsible gun handling.
    You can lose focus on gun safety by making the list of rules too long or too complex.


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    This topic came up on another forum and one thing I noticed was that the discussion went very quickly from "is this something we should emphasize? " to "There oughta be a law!" That's scary to me.
    It is your dissatisfaction with what IS that is the source of all of your unhappiness. Matthew Scudder

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    No "law" but there is also no "guarantee" that such an idea is feasible or even possible.

    How well do businesses do at keeping tobacco or alcohol from underage abusers?

    How well do prisons do at preventing crime in general?

    How well do walls keep out undesirable people?
    Life Member of both NRA and North American Hunting Club
    “Crime is to be expected since humans are never perfect. But the failure of Justice may be more damaging to Society than the crime itself.” - - Clarence Darrow

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    Quote Originally Posted by Treo View Post
    Something that Mas Ayoob said in a recent podcast was along the lines that some trainers are starting to include an addition to the 4 rules. The "5th rule" is some variation on securing firearms from unauthorized access.

    <snip>

    Discuss.
    I'm a bit on the fence on this. The four rules are on how to safely handle a firearm when in your hands, not the totality of safe and responsible firearm ownership. The rules are sufficient in this context.

    Where the four rules might need a fifth is the process of putting a firearm away and taking it into your hands. This fifth rule could be something like not walking away from a weapon until it is secured, or however one might prefer to phrase it. It needs to be kept short and to the point or that "fifth rule" becomes it's own "five rules". In this line of thinking we don't need a fifth rule but another four rules on how to keep firearms from those that should not have them.

    Right now I'm leaning towards a separate set of rules that cover securing a firearm when not in your hands, which might still involve a "fifth rule" but only to reference the set of rules that cover the situation of a firearm that is out of your immediate control. This also means that the rules on taking a firearm from this secure location would then point to the four rules of safe firearm handling.
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    The trick is 'secure' according to who? We've all seen the DA blame a Joe who's gear was stolen out of his locked car for leaving it "unsecured" and give him a statement of charges. Heck the apartments I live at currently have a notice posted in the mailroom.

    Here in the not so great state of NC there are lots of businesses that do not allow carrying guns inside. These rules carry the force of law (https://www.ncdoj.gov/getdoc/24bec80...uidelines.aspx). I suppose the geniuses who run this place assume people leave their sidearm in their car if their day includes entering a business that posts no guns

    Then again after almost two years here I stopped trying to figure out why they do what they do. The simple observation that until very recently there were only 3 marked cross walks on Yadkin Road [two of those are on base] says more about NC politicians than I ever could. I have yet to see a marked cross walk on Skibo.

    They also still have Jim Crow laws on the books (http://truthvoice.com/2015/11/the-un...lina-gun-laws/).
    Last edited by happygeek; December 8th, 2018 at 09:45 AM.
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    I'm kind of with Woody on this. The more rules we ourselves think up, the more firearms come off as instruments of senseless violence. Treo has touched upon this a bit.

    We, in other words, seem to like "infringing" on our own rights by generating restrictions on our own motion. One thing that's bothered me for a couple of years is the use of the terms "upper receiver" and "lower receiver." It would seem that we are opening the door to serializing and restricting "upper" receivers, given the definition of a firearm as being "the receiver."

    I am of course inflenced by my age... I remember when I first came out to Colorado I visited a new friend at his house, and there were functional firearms around the house in plain sight. Coming from New York City, my attitude was if you had a gun, you closed the curtains and locked the doors to even look at it.

    Oh, this was long before GCA68. Back then the idea that such a law could pass constitutional muster was beyond being ridiculous. But now we have it, as well as even more unconstitutional laws.

    Terry, 230RN
    "Gun control is not about public safety, crime reduction, or 'the children.' Gun control is about power. The people have it, and the government would rather they didn't." (An internet poster, not myself.)

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