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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
On most firearms safety lists, Rule #1 is about always treating every gun like it's loaded. David, my best friend since 1968, grew up with guns. He's a stickler for Rule #1, and here's why...

When he was a teenager, he was cleaning a revolver. I don't know which model, but he's a big Ruger fan, so that'd be my guess as to the make. He was at the dining table, and he was talking to his mother while doing the maintenance. She was in the kitchen.

He finished giving it a thorough cleaning, and left the room for a just a couple of minutes to go to the bathroom. He came back and picked up the revolver. He knew that just two minutes before he had reassembled the gun, and that it was empty. He just knew that he knew that it was empty.

Only trouble was, it wasn't. David's bipolar older brother James came in while he was gone and loaded it, then set it right back down where David left it. I don't know if that was intentional, but the way James' mind worked (or didn't?) sometimes, I wonder.

Anyway, so David came back in and picked up the gun, but didn't check it. Instead, he had it pointed down at the floor, and was cocking back the hammer, then easing it back down, talking to his mother all the while. Evidently, she hadn't seen her eldest son come in and load the revolver. At one point, David's thumb slipped off the hammer, and it came down on a live round in the cylinder.

Thankfully, the gun was pointed in a safe direction, and except for their eardrums perhaps, no one was hurt. It was a tough lesson for a teenage boy to learn about checking every firearm, every time. A lesson he never forgot. Me neither.
 

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Thanks for sharing that story w us. Your description put me in movie mode and I can see it happening, just as you described. Some of the more recent advice is to not even have live ammo in the room & in this case we can see why. Man, that gives me the shivers.

Earlier in the year, my wife had a FTF & had the gun at belly height & turned to me to show me, barrel right at me. That is an eerie feeling. Yes, I corrected her. 😮. We don't start a range session without going over the rules. How quickly we forget.
 

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Never take anything for granted in the presence of a bipolar person. I grew up in a household with a bipolar father and I can tell you can NEVER predict what their state of mind is from one minute to the next.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Good lesson, so is Rule number 2 (or 15) keep ammo away from the gun servicing area.
Thanks for sharing that story w us. Your description put me in movie mode and I can see it happening, just as you described. Some of the more recent advice is to not even have live ammo in the room & in this case we can see why. Man, that gives me the shivers.

Earlier in the year, my wife had a FTF & had the gun at belly height & turned to me to show me, barrel right at me. That is an eerie feeling. Yes, I corrected her. 😮. We don't start a range session without going over the rules. How quickly we forget.
I don't know if the ammo was in the dining room where David was. Maybe so, but the main takeaway David got from that experience was "Always treat every gun as if it's loaded." That's what I got from it, too. But y'all are right, it also serves to illustrate the ammo in the service area advice.

And Jack, I too can picture it happening in my head, especially with the advantage of having known the people involved and having been in their home on numerous occasions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Never take anything for granted in the presence of a bipolar person. I grew up in a household with a bipolar father and I can tell you can NEVER predict what their state of mind is from one minute to the next.
True. James could be quite amiable, but he was unpredictable, and often made bad choices. He basically became a homeless person in adult life, and he died young. It was an awkward funeral to attend, because the cause of death was too painful for the family to talk about. From what hints I got of the circumstances, he was murdered, but the situation he was in was also partly of his own making.
 

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Great story, I'm betting somebody didn't get desert that evening!
 
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Fortunately, for those who regularly follow the four basic firearm safety rules, there's a bit of redundancy built in. In case of "brain fart" hopefully one of them will save you from yourself🙄
 

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Another unwritten rule is that extra special caution should be taken with firearms when someone with a mental disorder is in the house. A good friend lost her son for that very reason.
 
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