Contrary to suggestions that advocates of armed citizenship promote shooting first and asking questions later, most leading trainers suggest abundant caution, the biggest aspect of that being avoidance. Hence the famous John Farnam advice about not going stupid places and doing stupid things with stupid people.
I’ve always liked that saying, so was a big surprised/confused at the inclusion of a different idea from Farnam in “Tactical Professor” blog list. I’m not sure about the empirical reality of the idea: “The person most likely to shoot you is YOU. Why? Because you’re always there.”
It just seems incorrect to say, since few people shoot themselves (outside of suicide). It would stretch the idea of a “bad shooting,” though, to include suicide, in the same way I think it is wrong to include suicide in aggregate statistics about gun violence.
Reflecting on Shunryu Suzuki’s comment – “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few,” some frequently ignored or overlooked fundamentals taught by people who have been at this a long time come to mind. My research on ‘bad shootings’ has reinforced some things to me.
Jeff Cooper – The Four Rules
1. ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED.
2. NEVER LET THE MUZZLE COVER ANYTHING YOU ARE NOT PREPARED TO DESTROY.
3. KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOUR SIGHTS ARE ON THE TARGET.
4. BE SURE OF YOUR TARGET AND WHAT IS BEYOND IT.
The person most likely to shoot you is YOU. Why? Because you’re always there.
• Muzzle direction is the primary safety; always has been and always will be.
• Identify your target at night, preferably with a flashlight, before you shoot it.
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