Skip to main content Skip to main content

Can You Break A Gun Safety Commandment?

Can You Break A Gun Safety Commandment?
Could you point a gun at a person during a training scenario? Dave Spaulding says some of his law enforcement students can't bring themselves to.

I was editing an upcoming installment of Dave Spaulding's "On Patrol" column in Handguns magazine when I came upon this observation from Dave, one of the most serious students of training (and now a full-time trainer himself) I've ever met or read:

"During my classes, I'll have my stu­dents disable their guns by plugging the barrel of their pistol in such a way so the gun cannot physically chamber a round. Afterward, I walk in front of the line so I can see how they present their gun from both Ready position and the holster, because this angle just gives me a better view of the physical process. I correct them as necessary.

I also want them to get used to con­fronting a live killer at the end of their gun. Approximately 25 percent of stu­dents won't do it. I know the gun can't fire because I render it inoperable, but they still refuse to point the gun in my direction. Even after I tell them it's okay and they aren't violating any safety rules, they still refuse. Once the drill is over, they tell me they'll point the gun at a "real bad guy" when the time comes—but will they really?"

I'd never really thought about this before, and I suddenly realized how hard it would be for me to break that unbreakable commandment: Never point a gun at anything you are not willing to destroy.

Sure, in the course of my work I've pointed guns obliquely at a camera, but I've never pointed a gun at a real live person. Could I do it in the training scenario Dave describes above? Maybe, probably.

What about you? Would you be able to overcome your gun safety training—in a controlled, professional training setting—in order to improve your combat pistol readiness?

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Popular Videos

Walther CCP M2 .380 Review

Walther CCP M2 .380 Review

The Walther CCP M2 in .380 is one of the great all-around defensive pistols on the market, and the fact that it is so easy to operate and shoot makes it a great all-around gun for just about anybody.

Federal Premium Punch Defensive Handgun Ammo: Reviewed & Tested

Federal Premium Punch Defensive Handgun Ammo: Reviewed & Tested

Handguns editor Scott Rupp fires some Federal Punch .380 defensive handgun ammo into ballistics gel the range for a performance test run.

Taurus 856 Defender

Taurus 856 Defender

Scott Rupp reviews the Taurus 856 Defender, a fine revolver with a variety of enjoyable features.

See All Videos

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Handguns App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Handguns stories delivered right to your inbox.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Handguns subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now