Gun Tweet of the Day: The Four Rules Apply Always, Everywhere and to Everyone

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Oops. We assume no one was injured when that gun “went off.” Let’s hope so.

We’ve heard stories of retailers that have the equivalent of a “swear jar.” Any customer who brings in a gun and promises that it’s empty has to drop a dollar (or a Lincoln or a Hamilton) into the jar if a round drops out when the guy behind the counter racks it.

Sometimes, though, the guy behind the counter doesn’t rack it. Sometimes they…well, you know.

The Four Rules of Gun Safety

The tweet above is a perfect illustration of the need to observe of the Four Rules of Firearm Safety. They’re short, quickly memorized, and easy to follow. But you have to, you know, follow them.

Ten commandments? OK, whatever. Pay close attention to those first four.


If you observe those four (and teach others to do the same), all will be well.

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  1. I’ve been drilling these into my son since he was 7.

    There are two types of gun owner. Those who’ve had a negligent discharge and those who will have a negligent discharge.

        • Same. Still have the hole in the living room flooring from 8 years ago to prove it. I leave it there as a slap in the face type reminder.

          T’was a strange convergence of several extremely unusual circumstances, which I’ll list if anyone is interested.

        • Guilty. Negligent discharge from a revolver split the tip of my left index finger down to the bone; my finger tip was close to the cylinder gap. Blood sprayed onto the wall and floor. The bullet went through a side table, bounced off the tile floor, and embedded into the wall. Drove alone sixteen miles to the emergency room with a towel wrapped around my hand. A week later had local anesthetic surgery to sew it up; the surgeon saved the nail bed but there’s a chunk missing.

          As an interesting aside, I didn’t have health insurance at the time, and offered to pay cash. The surgeon charged me $1200, and the hospital $800. The emergency room came to about $1500. I think I got off lightly.

          I think about this incident whenever I handle a firearm. It can happen to anyone.


        • I’ll admit to several courtesy of a slam-firing SKS.

          Former owner, or the shop, cleaned it up all nice and she appeared ready to rock. Bought it with 500 rounds and went straight to the range. Firing pin was sticky inside the bolt group so the rifle didn’t fire the first round, didn’t fire the second, lit off a string on the third. Pretty sure a couple went over the backstop and into the woods, damn sure the RSO needed new shorts (and possibly a pacemaker).

          Pretty sure an inability to figure out why the rifle did that was why it was sold. Breaking my own rule about cleaning a used gun completely before shooting it was ultimately my fault.

          Soaking the bolt in mineral spirts solved the problem.

        • @Strych

          Only need one guess. Norinco SKS, right? Kinda infamous for that and sear wear, got rid of mine in 97′ for those reasons.

        • @WilliamWallaceThe Third:

          This was a Yugo with that nice grenade flute and spike bayonet. Still have it, great gun.

          Based on what ended up coming out of the cleaning process my theory is this:

          The former owner didn’t understand that the gun had been drenched in cosmoline for storage at some point. They cleaned it but never actually disassembled the bolt and got the cosmo out of that little steel “brick”. So, they shot the heck out of the gun and powder soot from cheap ammo + cosmoline created something akin to tar that eventually semi-froze the firing pin.

          The result was sometimes the pin got stuck “back” and the gun wouldn’t fire and sometimes it got stuck “forward” and would slam-fire until the pin got knocked “back” again.

          Said owner couldn’t figure out why this occurred and simply tidied the rifle up nicely in a way that a normal field strip would find it to be, apparently, clean as a whistle. They then sold “the problem” to a gun store that inspected the gun, found it to be seemingly perfect but never test-fired it because they had no range attached to the store. That store then sold it to me, along with 500 rounds of ammo on strippers ($212 with tax, all of 15 years ago which makes me laugh when I see SKSs these days at a grand (!!) for one that’s beat to shit when mine looks ready for the parade ground).

          The cause was something “obvious” to me because I’d seen Mausers with the inside of the bolt packed full of this stuff for storage but the spring in that rifle is enough to drive the pin through… well, gravel, so it’s not normally an issue. Plus, 7.92×57 tends to burn a bit better and the Mausers I’m discussing are not a semi-autos.

        • @Strych9

          Nice rescue! Only Yugo I have anymore is a pretty rare kit built, numbers matching, never issued paratrooper (with factory dong even) RPK. With the extremely uncommon side folder wire stock too. Only thing not original is the receiver b/c original was horribly mangled being triple cut with a torch. Took out the mag release completely, but managed to miss the rear trunnion entirely, there but for the grace…

          Front’s rivets were carefully drilled. Original head space preserved, lol. Bits shipped separately, but recombined stateside. More than one way to skin the kitty.

          Makes my 63′ Izzy look mundane by way of comparison.

  2. Accidents can happen to anyone but with firearms an accidential discharge usually happens to those with little to no mechanical aptitude.The kind of person who talks a bunch about cars but doesn’t know where to find the hood latch on their vehicle much less knows how to change a tire, oil, etc. Bottom line…Shooting is a discipline.

  3. The tweet was from a guy who’s handle is “pancreas thief”, obviously hes Chinese, therefore I believe this never happened and is just propaganda to stir hate and discontent over the ownership of gunms.

    • “Therefore he’a Chinese”

      Possum, you got me good with that one. Mercifully, I wasn’t drinking anything at the time.

      On another note, I tend to assume all tweets are communist propaganda until proven otherwise.

  4. I would have said that a .32 didn’t have enough stopping power for a glass display case.

    Turns out I was wrong.

    • quote———–I would have said that a .32 didn’t have enough stopping power for a glass display case.

      Turns out I was wrong.———-quote

      As Usual Jethro the Janitor proves he knows as much about firearms as he knows about rocket science which is zero. Only this time he even admitted it. LMAO

      In reality the German Army chose the .32 acp over the .380 acp because the .32 acp penetrated a German Helmet and the .380 did not. German Helmets were known at that time to be the best in the world because of a superior heat treatment.

      Now Jethro its your turn to start your usual rant of childish name calling in your reply.

      • Why am I not surprised that you put great stock in the writings of the not-zees of Germany, dacian the fascist?

        And as usual the humor of my comment went right over your head. Lack of a sense of humor is a mark of a low iq.

      • “In reality the German Army chose the .32 acp over the .380 acp because the .32 acp penetrated a German Helmet and the .380 did not. German Helmets were known at that time to be the best in the world because of a superior heat treatment.”

        I’m glad I’m not German. Knowing that the German army shoots at German soldier’s helmets seems rather discouraging. Here in ‘Murica, we shoot at all helmets except ‘Murican helmets!

        • There’s no small jobs, only small people.
          lil’d puts it’s flyspeck stature on public display regularly.

          For want of a nail a kingdom is lost. 🤔

        • I’ve seen what the janitors at my work have to clean up. I’m sure left by elitist pigs like dacian. They are heroes.

        • This is how the left acts: lies about supporting working people, minorities, women etc. but harbors quiet, profound contempt for the same. Too many people fall for this act. It can’t last forever.

      • How was your antifa troop’s “security detail” at the local polling station?

        How many of “those other people” did you deter from voting?

        How many were taken away for “interrogation and reeducation” for mistakes on their voting papers?

        • “How was your antifa troop’s “security detail” at the local polling station?“

          Antifa? Where do you guys get stuff?

          If it wasn’t for disinformation, you extremists would have no information at all.

          “A federal judge in Arizona has sharply curtailed the activities of an election-monitoring group in the vicinity of ballot boxes, including taking photos or videos of voters, openly carrying firearms, posting information about voters online, or spreading falsehoods about election laws.

          The group, Clean Elections USA, has the stated goal of preventing voter fraud by staking out ballot boxes to ensure that people don’t behave as “mules” by illegally casting multiple ballots. In recent weeks, self-described “mule watchers” — some armed — have gathered around outdoor ballot boxes in Maricopa County to take pictures of voters and, in some cases, post those images online.“

          Of course, the cowards with guns attempts to bully Democrat voters failed, as Senator Mark Kelly will retain his congressional office for six more years.

        • Yea! Mark Kelly the oxygen deprived former astronaut wins reelection for the sole purpose of rubber stamping the brain dead dementia addled resident in chiefs dictates. Just fucking awesome.

      • dacian the Dunderhead. Tell us, what is the firing sequence of a cartridge?
        What is the difference between a .223 Rem and a 5.56 NATO?

      • @dacian

        jwm’s post was intended as humor, the subtle nature escaped you because of your ignorant confirmation bias. If you knew anything about firearms you would have recognized the humor.

        dacian, for about the 1000’th time you expose you are ignorant on the subject of firearms and that your mind operates in a complete echo chamber of confirmation bias and delusion.

        dacian, keep out of discussion for which you know nothing of the subject matter.

        • “dacian, keep out of discussion for which you know nothing of the subject matter.”

          he would be very silent if he followed your advice

  5. Burglary Suspect Brings Rock To A Gun Fight, Is Shot And Killed By Armed Homeowner >

    ~3,500 criminal attacks upon victims with objects/weapons (excluding knives/sharpened-edged weapon) other than firearms daily in the United States. Yes, among those objects/weapons (excluding knives/sharpened-edged weapon) other than firearm are rocks and bricks.

  6. @PancreasThief:
    Thank You for promoting safe handling as much as you can, and to minimize AD’s.
    I strongly DISAGREE with what has been taught by NRA, Boy Scouts, et al for the past 80 years or so. Worked great for revolvers, but…
    Besides keeping that muzzle fully controlled,
    DON’T Pick Up a Firearm if it isn’t safe to do so, like in a crowded situation.
    ASK To Handle It before you Grab it…then:
    UNLOAD IT! Yes, FIRST EJECT THE MAGAZINE (“Clip” for Betos, Feinsteins or other Penis-Hating SexPerverts).
    “Checking” the chamber of an automatic may show nothing, but irrefutably LOADS THE WEAPON.
    Maybe we can change the Ten Commandments to make Autos less likely to chamber a round.

    • Oh man I had to scold my beloved wife a dozen times before she stopped muzzling me with a loaded gat. But my whining worked. She’s uber careful now unlike my elderly friend I’ve tried to instill a modicum of safety to. He’s a retired teacher & coach & doesn’t take direction well. Sigh…

      • I’ve seen people do this, go through the motions of checking but not realize they just loaded from the magazine. I agree, remove the mag first, eliminates an opportunity for carelessness.

      • “Babe, keep the gun pointed away from me please, remember the rules we talked about 30 seconds ago.”


    • “Checking” the chamber of an automatic may show nothing, but irrefutably LOADS THE WEAPON.

      Uhh… what? With an automatic, even if the extractor is broken and so the action doesn’t pull the round back, it’s still super obvious against the black backdrop of the chamber if there is brass or steel in there. There’s also this thing called press checking, where you pull the action back only partway and it’s a good way to verify the status of a firearm if you don’t want to lose a round, but it’s also a great way to clear a gun for the reasons you mention.

      Your comment is equal parts baffling, disconcerting, and flat wrong. You make it sound like when you attempt to clear a semi automatic weapon you turn your head so you can’t see what you’re doing, quickly slingshot the action, then declare that it’s safe. I *really* hope that’s not what you actually do

      • @Red:
        Settle down, Red!
        With no magazine, no slide Lock-Back.
        WITH a loaded magazine, SAME THING, even if you checked the chamber. BTW, Poke your finger in there, peeking doesn’t always cut it.
        To be more clear, let me just say this:

        “Regardless of Chamber Checking, releasing the slide with a charged magazine inserted pretty much ALWAYS chambers a round, in a weapon that you have JUST DECLARED AS CLEARED!”

        Hope that settles this. Sorry I wasn’t more erudite.

  7. Alec Baldwin would disagree with you.

    Judge Ladd Wiles of Yamhill County Oregon (otherwise known as former US Attorney for the State of Oregon Amanda S Marshall ‘s cuckold, Google it) has also adjudicated that shooting at children with a 12 gauge shotgun does not constitute reckless endangerment much less attempted murder as long as the shooter presumed that it is only loaded with “harmless” buckshot.

    Of course my favorite was your article about how Trap and Skeet shooters buy these nifty leather patches to lace on their shoes so that they will not scuff them by resting the muzzles of their shotguns on their foot. The photo of a foot with a hole blasted through it was priceless.

  8. And there are firearms that are so unsafe that if the Consumer Product Safety Commission had jurisdiction over firearms they never would have been permitted on the market. I am speaking of any striker fired gun that does not have a manual safety.

    If the average gun owner moron would be handed a revolver with the hammer cocked back and told to carry it that way they would say you were crazy but these same morons who are about as mechanically inclined as a retarded penguin do not understand that the striker fired gun without a manual safety is just as dangerous to carry or handle.

    “What people cannot see they do not fear” and since the striker fired gun has no visible hammer this is why the far right believe striker fired guns without a manual safety are not dangerous to use and also why the morons do not get vaccinated either. Irrefutable proof of Darwinism.

    • Factually incorrect because almost all striker fired pistols are double action only. However; while I love to shoot Glocks, I am far to cowardly to carry one. I will stick with my Smith and Wesson Third Generation pistols.

      • That’s not the only thing that makes it factually incorrect. The whole post from dacian is 100% false

    • You can forget to put the safety on too. Colt had a commercial about its auto saftey( grip saftey) but that dont matter.
      What matters is just how retarded is a retarded penguin?
      I’ve never actually met a penguin, I’ve seen them in a zoo but you know how that is.
      What are some tips on looking for a retarded penguin.
      Do they try to fly, carry purple umbrellas, what’s a retarded penguin do that another penguin doesn’t.
      This I would like to know please.
      dacian, dacian?
      Ehhh, he dont know a retarded penguin from a disillusioned albatross.

    • The trigger pull weight on striker guns, even those with no safety and single action operation, is heavier than most cocked revolvers. Most striker guns also include additional safeties features like trigger or grip safeties. What people carry is their own business. Safety is most fundamentally about safe handling, not about the features of the firearm.

    • dacian, the Dunderhead. Your whole post is POPPYCOCK! The only safe gun is one in the hands of a shooter that followed the FOUR RULES OF GUN SAFETY. Even a gun with a “safety” is not safe is the person using it does not observe these simple rules
      4 Primary Rules of Firearm Safety
      Always Keep Firearm Pointed in a Safe direction. Never point your gun at anything you do not intend to shoot. …
      Treat All Guns as Though They are Loaded. …
      Keep Your Finger Off the Trigger until You are Ready to Shoot. …
      Always Be Sure of Your Target and What’s Beyond It.

      For your edification a safety on a gun is a mechanical device which is prone to failure. Just like you are prone to failure!

  9. Whenever I bring a gun to a shop for work or trade I have it open and the action locked up with zip ties because I assume the employee has seen spooky shit and I’d like to make the transaction easy and safe for whoever is behind the counter.

    Once a clerk actually made fun of me. Like honest to goodness grade school derogatory mocking. Still can’t wrap my head around that. Next time I’ll just bring one loaded and toss it on the counter since that’s apparently what he wants.

  10. Relative brought me 2 guns to “check out”. One was a 22 revolver that was designed and built in such a way that you have to unscrew the pin the cylinder rides on to take the cylinder out to load and unload. Also you cannot see the case heads when loaded and if loaded with shorts you cant see that its loaded. Just before I was going to pull the trigger (in the house) I decided to unscrew the cylinder pin. It was loaded with shorts. YIKES!!! See rule #1.

  11. I’ve always disagreed with #1.
    If you clear a gun and it never leaves your hand or your sight YOU and you alone can look down the barrel.

  12. With appropriate obeisance paid to the great Jeff Cooper, rule #1 means cleaning or repairing a firearm is an impossible task. I understand the sentiment, but “every gun is always loaded” as an operational rule is neither valid nor workable. Eventually a situational rule occasionally ignored becomes meaningless and dangerous.

    • The beauty of Coopers four rules?
      The fact that it requires a minimum of two be broken before someone (or something of significant value) gets damaged of destroyed.

      With those new to/learning firearms, I always make a point of stressing that during the act of violating rule #1 (to clean or repair a firearm) be DOUBLE sure you aren’t violating the other three rules.

      • Yes, your approach mitigates the dilemma of consistently applying rule #1. But why have one rule that depends on proper application of other rules? It’s kind of like saying “when crossing the street, all cars are moving.” Rigorous application means that you can’t cross between parked cars. Not to beat a dead horse, but why can’t we just have a simpler set of rules like:
        1. Absolutely know whether your firearm is loaded.
        2. Handle your firearm as if it’s loaded (finger off the trigger, etc.)
        3. Don’t point the muzzle at anything you don’t want to shoot.
        Each rule then stands on its own merit and can be applied correctly to every situation.

  13. “Why do you keep that thing with a round in the chamber and the hammer back?”

    Answer: the first rule of gun safety is that the gun is always fully loaded – so l keep it that way.

  14. My first rule of gun safety is to have a gun on me.

    Gun control?
    If there’s a gun in my proximity, I want to be in control of it.

  15. Was outside the Crystal Palace. The chap playing Virgil Earp at the Corral passed me the double hammer gun that is used in the daily reenactments. He passed it vertical and I kept it that way and thumbed the barrel latch. Two “thumps” on the boardwalk. Shells? No. Steel chamber inserts that accept 45LC blanks. Safety distance for a 12G blank is 50 feet, for the 45, 25 feet. This allows Doc to be level with the Earp brothers during the show.

    (We’ve known each other for years, and I was also in period dress, so it was unlikely that a visitor/tourist would think that I was just some visitor.)

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