Q: How many legs would this kitty cat have if we called the tail a leg?
A: Four. Calling the tail a leg does not make it a leg.
What does this have to do with Cornered Cat’s usual subjects, you ask? Simple — I keep running across instructors and would-be instructors who think calling a classroom wall a “safe direction” will actually make it a safe direction.
“ALWAYS keep the gun pointed in a safe direction.” — NRA training materials.
A “safe direction” is one that will reliably stop a bullet from the most powerful cartridge that will feed into the gun you’re handling.
Most interior and exterior walls in modern buildings won’t do that. This means they are not safe directions for purposes of dry fire or gun handling.
Does this mean guns should never be handled inside a classroom? Not at all! Any teaching environment can be made safe with some forethought. A big cardboard box full of books and papers makes a fine backstop and costs almost nothing, for example. It just takes some creativity — and a stubborn commitment to keeping students safe — to figure out how to make safety protocols work in different settings.
Stay safe. Keep your people safe. Never ‘designate’ a safe direction in a firearms classroom. Find a true safe direction or make one.
Don’t call that tail a leg. 😉