Tag Archives: gun safety

Defense in Depth

#Fridayfundamentals

Stolen pistol leads to reckless endangerment charge for Stamford man

By John Nickerson Published 4:28 pm EDT, Wednesday, October 2, 2019

https://www.nhregister.com/policereports/article/Stolen-pistol-leads-to-reckless-endangerment-14486880.php

When I posted the story on my Tactical Professor Facebook page as a Negative Outcome, the following question came up.

Which reminds me: this question is probably been addressed here before but for those of us who haven’t caught it are there any vehicle storage lock boxes that have good non shitty locks that we can buy on Amazon or a brick and mortar store?

I use a lockbox that I bought at Academy Sports for 10 bucks. Any defense can be defeated. Just as in the military, defense in depth is how we prevent a defense from being easily defeated. By using multiple barriers, we encourage a thief to move on before he gets our gun. It’s the opposite of leaving a gun in the door pocket of an unlocked car left outside at night. Here’s how I do it:

1. Think ‘be discreet.’ Visually inspect the area to see who is around.

2. Have your pistol box in the trunk, already secured by its cable to the hinge of the trunk lid. If your vehicle doesn’t have a trunk, place the box in some spot that is accessible to you and out of sight of casual passers-by and has a solid attachment point for the cable.

cable to hinge

3. Open the trunk.

4. Quickly palm your pistol and put your hand with the pistol into the trunk. This is where having a small pistol really helps.

gun in safe

5. Place pistol and any other weapons into the lockbox.

6. Lock the box.

7. If your holster doesn’t fit in the box, place it near the box.

8. Close the trunk.

9. Lock the car doors.

For years, I used a box with a combination lock but I’ve come to the conclusion that, for me, a key lock was faster and more convenient. The key is permanently on my keyring. I’m good at maintaining possession of my keys so I’m not concerned about not having the key to the box.

keys in box

I only leave my revolver in the car when I have a good reason to; going into my home at night is not a good reason. Going into non-permissive environments or perhaps to the doctor are good reasons.

My thanks to the gentleman who asked about the topic. That was a good suggestion for a blog post. He wins free copies of Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make and Concealed Carry Skills and Drills.

Tactical Professor books (all PDF)

Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make http://seriousgunownermistakes.com

Indoor Range Practice Sessions http://indoorrangepracticesessions.com

Concealed Carry Skills and Drills http://concealedcarryskillsanddrills.com

Advanced Pistol Practice http://bit.ly/advancedpistolpractice

Shooting Your Black Rifle http://shootingyourblackrifle.com

Safe Gunhandling Rules

There are several sets of rules regarding safe gunhandling. All the sets of rules emphasize the concerns of their originators. However, many similar things are said but stated in different ways.

Which set of rules you choose to use is less important than picking a set and following it scrupulously. Firearms are instruments of ultimate personal responsibility and can be very unforgiving of even a moment of carelessness. Gunhandling is just as important as marksmanship, but many people are careless about the way they handle firearms, which can result in death or serious injury.

The National Rifle Association’s set. Link

The National Shooting Sports Foundation’s set. Link

Glock has its own set. Link

Like most competitors in the Action Shooting Sports, I use The Four Rules originally developed by Jeff Cooper. Lists of more than three or four items are difficult to memorize, so I still prefer them. There are minor variations but they all follow the same pattern.

  1. All guns are always loaded.
  2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
  3. Keep your finger off the trigger till your sights are on the target.
  4. Identify your target, and what is behind it.

When talking about gun safety, we need to be careful about taking our subject matter knowledge for granted, especially nuance. Each of the Four Rules has a given amount of unstated subject matter knowledge inherent in them. I have had this discussion before and I continue to maintain the following: telling people with little experience four sentences and expecting 100 percent positive results is ridiculous.

The Four Rules are a memory aid like OCOKA, not a teaching paradigm. Glibly reciting them and expecting people to understand the depth involved in them is like showing someone a flashcard about algebraic formulas and then expecting the person to understand Mass-energy equivalency. The written explanation I provide my students about the Four Rules is three pages long with multiple (2-7) subsections explaining the nuances of each Rule. In the case of Rule #2, there are seven subsections.

“Never point your gun at something you’re not prepared to destroy,” to someone who doesn’t know much about firearms, can be easily interpreted as “Don’t horseplay around with your gun and act like a toothless buffoon by pointing it at your wife or dog.” There are multiple nuances that are not immediately apparent in a one sentence reading. For instance, here is one subsection of my handout:

“c. In many cases, you will have to choose between pointing the gun at an inanimate object, such as the floor or gun cabinet, or pointing the gun at a person; always choose the inanimate object, never point the gun at a person.”

I speak for no one else but there’s nothing in a gun shop I am prepared to destroy when I handle a gun. However, the choice between shooting a gun cabinet and shooting the person behind the counter is fairly easy to make.

Granted a few people are exceptionally stupid. For instance, the guy who disabled his hand by negligently shooting it and then did it a second time because he insisted the only way he could manipulate the slide was by pushing it against his disabled palm. He posted pictures of the second incident on GlockTalk years ago and almost seemed proud of them. People like that are untrainable.

I think most people would be much more competent if we in the industry didn’t take so much for granted. People who have never operated a handheld device more complicated or dangerous than a coffee maker need an explanation first and the memory aid second to reinforce the explanation.

When explaining the Four Rules, I always include the statement:

In addition to the Four Rules, always store firearms so that they are not accessible to unauthorized persons.

The attached explanation is NOT all inclusive of the implications of the Four Rules. However, it is a starting point to allow shooters to think about the proper way to handle guns safely. Feel free to distribute the PDF to anyone.

FourRules expansion