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  1. #1
    Master cbhausen's Avatar
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    The Great NRA 3 Rules vs. Cooper's 4 Rules Debate

    Now that I have your attention, you can choose to go on or leave and stay away. This subject comes up a lot on INGO, usually in threads about negligent shootings. I thought I would give it a place of its own.

    As many of you know, I used to be a four rules guy until I critically examined the four rules and I now believe NRA's three rules are superior because they succinctly describe observable and correctable behaviors that ensure safe gun handling.

    For your reading pleasure (or agony!) I provide a link supporting my position:

    ***Phone Number Hidden*** (See Rules for more info).***Phone Number Hidden*** (See Rules for more info)***Phone Number Hidden*** (See Rules for more info)00" target="_blank">https://activeselfprotection.com/who...***Phone Number Hidden*** (See Rules for more info)0000

    Can we possibly discuss this in a civil and grown-up manner without calling each other spear carriers or other derogatory terms?

    Bottom line is we all want to be safe with our firearms and we want those around us to be safe. We want to use the best methods available to teach others how to be safe as well. How we get there should be discussed openly and in a spirited fashion without people acting like they are protecting their own turf. This isn't about Colonel Jeff Cooper, Hickok45, or anyone else. It's about keeping people safe.

    Please engage only if you have something constructive and on-topic to add. Thanks.
    Endowment Member, National Rifle Association; Member, Gun Owners of America; Member, Second Amendment Foundation; Member, Marion County Fish and Game Association; Member, Revere's Riders; Rifleman, Project Appleseed; Private Pilot, Airplane, Single-Engine Land; Snob, Forum Settings

  2. #2
    Marksman EPeter213's Avatar
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    I'll start off by giving a student perspective. I learned basic firearm safety and marksmanship in Boy Scouts back in the '80s.

    I don't recall if BSA taught Coopers 4, but I do remember the emphasis on keeping guns pointed in safe directions, and NEVER point a gun, loaded or not, at another person.

    Many years later, I decide to get a gun for self defense, stumble onto INGO, and read a 4 vs 3 debate.

    I'm now an adult, with a healthy respect for Firearms, and the potentially lethal consequences of mis-handling them, and my first thought on reading Cooper's rule #1 is "No it isn't."

    I don't know if my reaction is typical, but I'm sure it happens often. I just don't understand why an instructor would want the first and most important interaction with a student to be a provably false statement.

    enough from me for now. Commence discussion.
    Sig line? I don't need no stinkin' sig line!

  3. #3
    I agree with the rule that "all guns are always loaded" not in the factual sense but rather the philosophical one.

    On one hand of course all guns aren't always loaded (factual), however, the idea is to treat all guns as if they are always loaded (philosophical). By embracing this mindset we never, ever make the mistake of casually squeezing off a round into someone or something because "it weren't loaded..."

    It's analogous to remembering "everything you say can and WILL be used against you..." Of course not everything will be used against you, BUT it sure as hell is a good idea to keep yer piehole shut due to the fact that some random blurb can mean the difference between freedom and a cellmate named Bubba.

    Here is a story: UPDATE: Police: Father committed "a series of heinous and depraved acts" before shooting daughter | Lake County News | nwitimes.com

    Per the story, "...
    they believe their father forgot he had put bullets back in the 9 mm Glock when he pointed it at Olivia Hummel and shot her in the head..."

    She WAS nine years old. She will NEVER be ten. This is very possibly due to ignoring several rules, one of which is the always loaded one.

    How many people have been injured or killed because "Dad or _____BLANK_______ never keeps it loaded."

    Personally, I think it is a rule worth keeping.

    Regards,

    Doug
    Then out spake brave Horatius, The Captain of the Gate: "To every man upon this earth, Death cometh soon or late.
    And how can a man die better, Than facing fearful odds, For the ashes of his fathers, and the temples of his Gods?" - T.B. Macaulay

    "Idiocracy wasn't a movie. It was prophecy." - CathyInBlue

  4. #4
    Marksman EPeter213's Avatar
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    I agree with the 'philosophy', but I take issue with the way it is presented.

    Training and emphasizing muzzle control and finger discipline, regardless of the presence of live rounds, builds safe gun handling habits without any room for confusion or second guessing.

    Telling a new student, 'All guns are always loaded' is condescending, and likely to generate skepticism.
    Sig line? I don't need no stinkin' sig line!

  5. #5
    Master cbhausen's Avatar
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    Thanks to both of you for starting this off on the right foot. I'm truly interested in learning WHY people do negligent things with firearms. It isn't enough to say "he was stupid" or "he broke rule x of three (or four)". Finding out WHY equips us as teachers (and we ALL are teachers) to do a better job instilling safe gun handling habits in those we encounter.
    Last edited by cbhausen; 06-15-2017 at 22:55.
    Endowment Member, National Rifle Association; Member, Gun Owners of America; Member, Second Amendment Foundation; Member, Marion County Fish and Game Association; Member, Revere's Riders; Rifleman, Project Appleseed; Private Pilot, Airplane, Single-Engine Land; Snob, Forum Settings

  6. #6
    Sith Lord of Sarcasm jamil's Avatar
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    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Amish demons will be released as if a Led Zeppelin record were played backwards.

  7. #7
    Master cbhausen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbhausen View Post
    ...Please engage only if you have something constructive and on-topic to add. Thanks.
    Please?
    Endowment Member, National Rifle Association; Member, Gun Owners of America; Member, Second Amendment Foundation; Member, Marion County Fish and Game Association; Member, Revere's Riders; Rifleman, Project Appleseed; Private Pilot, Airplane, Single-Engine Land; Snob, Forum Settings

  8. #8
    Sith Lord of Sarcasm jamil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbhausen View Post
    Thanks to both of you for starting this off on the right foot. I'm truly interested in learning WHY people do negligent things with firearms. It isn't enough to say "he was stupid" or "he broke rule x of three (or four). Finding out WHY equips us as teachers (and we ALL are teachers) to do a better job instilling safe gun handling habits in those we encounter.
    It's not just one cause. And if you try to lump every cause into one, it ends up so vague that you really can't come up with one solution for it. Maybe you could lump everything into just a few causes though. For example, you can say "he was stupid". Yeah. Okay. Sure. But there's not just one corrective action for that. And it's not mindlessness that causes negligence with firearms. People are thinking when they do the stupid stuff.

    Even if people are diligent to be mindful of safety 99.9% of the time, statistics are a ***** when you have a thousand opportunities. It takes just one lapse of safety caught at the right time to have a bad day.

    Now for me. I'm a very absent minded person. I have A.D.D. pretty bad. I have to have personal rules that feel very awkward and obvious if I break them.

  9. #9
    Sith Lord of Sarcasm jamil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbhausen View Post
    Please?
    C'mon. this is INGO. I made my smart ass quip. Then I posted something more serious.

  10. #10
    Master cbhausen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamil View Post
    It's not just one cause. And if you try to lump every cause into one, it ends up so vague that you really can't come up with one solution for it. Maybe you could lump everything into just a few causes though. For example, you can say "he was stupid". Yeah. Okay. Sure. But there's not just one corrective action for that. And it's not mindlessness that causes negligence with firearms. People are thinking when they do the stupid stuff.

    Even if people are diligent to be mindful of safety 99.9% of the time, statistics are a ***** when you have a thousand opportunities. It takes just one lapse of safety caught at the right time to have a bad day.

    Now for me. I'm a very absent minded person. I have A.D.D. pretty bad. I have to have personal rules that feel very awkward and obvious if I break them.
    Thanks for your input. I never said anything about one cause or lumping things together. I'm not interested so much in oversimplifying the root causes of unsafe gun handling as understanding why we humans do wrong when we KNOW BETTER.

    This could make a fascinating research study topic but I'm a product designer not a psychologist (and I didn't stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night).

    Endowment Member, National Rifle Association; Member, Gun Owners of America; Member, Second Amendment Foundation; Member, Marion County Fish and Game Association; Member, Revere's Riders; Rifleman, Project Appleseed; Private Pilot, Airplane, Single-Engine Land; Snob, Forum Settings

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