Staunch gun rights advocate Ted Cruz is here seen holding a shotgun while being interviewed by CNN. Can you see what he’s doing wrong? That’s right, he’s violating the first two rules of gun safety.Those four rules are good, but the first one is properly "Treat all guns as if they are loaded, until you have personally checked it right now to be sure it is unloaded." After all, you couldn't disassemble a firearm to clean it if you could never treat it as if it were unloaded. Cruz personally knows his firearm is unloaded because the breech is open and empty, as we can all plainly see in real time.
When you learn to shoot, apply for a hunting or carry license and any time you’re at a gun range, there’s four basic rules of gun safety that — and this is impressed on you very strongly — must be observed at all times:
1) Treat all guns as if they are loaded.
2) Never point a firearm at something you’re not willing to destroy.
3) Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot.
4) Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.
Properly observed, these rules are almost entirely capable of preventing accidental shootings.
Likewise, the muzzle rule applies to firearms except when you have personally checked them right now to ensure they are unloaded. Otherwise, how could you transport one to wherever you were going to hunt? You couldn't drive your car with the thing stored in the trunk without the muzzle becoming pointed at things it shouldn't were it loaded.
Fortunately, in addition to the four rules of gun safety, there is another method that is "almost entirely capable of preventing accidental shootings," which is to ensure the firearm is not loaded. Without ammunition in it, a firearm is quite inert.
The most amusing thing about this to me is that the same story ran in 2008 about then-Governor Palin, who was photographed holding a shotgun with the breech open (in this case, not over her shoulder but under her arm). "Is that even the right way to hold a rifle?" demanded critics. "Can't you shoot your foot off like that?"
Turns out that you really can't. But hey, let's have a song.