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I might get roasted for this ("might" used loosely), but I've always taken issue with this. I understand the good intention -- especially for those being introduced to firearms for the first time -- but it's simply not a true statement, and I doubt any of us here actually adhere to it. The fact of the matter is there are exceptions, and it's these exceptions that make general proficiency and astuteness paramount over any rules.

1. If every gun is loaded without exception, what are you doing cleaning a loaded firearm? Why are you performing maintenance or smithing on a loaded firearm? Why are you testing the trigger on a loaded firearm prior to purchase? Why are you training your muscle memory with dry-fire/snap-cap drills with a loaded firearm? You sure as hell better be doing all of these things with an exceptionally unloaded firearm.

2. "All guns are loaded" may backfire (pun intended) in the unfortunate event you have to use your firearm against an active threat. Don't take for granted that your firearm is loaded or even chambered; make sure of it one way or the other. Not all guns are loaded. You're the master of any weapon you should handle and it's up to you to know what's in the chamber at any given time, whether a live round, a snap-cap, or air.

As with many rules, there are exceptions (take grammatical rules in the English language for example). At the risk of these rules becoming an inaccurate and thus unreliable dependency akin to training wheels or safety nets, it's important (in my humble opinion) to promote the heart of the issue: straight-up proficiency in handling a weapon. I could not cite you all the rules of English, but I know how to speak it. Likewise, I do not treat my firearms as loaded when they're not loaded, but this doesn't equal unsafe treatment. Begs the question, if they even exist, how should one treat an unloaded firearm? I would say: with equal respect and an equally sober mind as one would treat a loaded firearm.

Again, I understand the point of these rules for educational purposes, but I don't think they should be the end-all-be-all to proper firearm proficiency (and that word includes the safe operation thereof). That being said, I would never argue with you if I heard you cite that rule to a new shooter. Just on the DL, gun-nut to gun-nut, we should all know the truth. Simply reading the assembly manual ad infinitum doesn't get it built -- you have to actually build it.
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