A few posts ago, I wrote of the ongoing problem of negligent discharges. They never seem to go away.
One of the reasons for these breaches in safety is poor habit. Laziness in gunhandling.
One of the things I teach my students (and, do religiously, myself) is checking the status of the firearm chamber. I know it seems silly, or perhaps overly basic, but, it doesn’t hurt.
EVERY TIME I’m handed a firearm, I point it in a safe direction, and check the chamber to see if it’s loaded.
EVERY TIME I pick up a handgun from a table, even if I just placed it there 5 seconds ago myself, I check it.
EVERY TIME, I handle a revolver, I point it in a safe direction, finger always off the trigger-indexed along the side of the frame, and open the crane, and check and count to see how many live rounds are in the cylinder. EVERY TIME.
EVERY TIME I handle a semi-automatic pistol, I point it in a safe direction, finger off the trigger-indexed along the side of the frame, then only, disengage the safety (as necessary) and open the slide to view the chamber’s contents.
At no time is my off-hand in front of the muzzle.
And I check magazine load status as necessary, remembering removing the magazine doesn’t empty the chamber!
THE ONLY TIME I DON’T DO THIS is when the unhandled firearm remains on my person (e.g. in a holster or pocket) and I personally, previously checked it.
It takes just a second. And knowledge is better than a stupid accident.