#1 got to drive the pickup for the first time at the farm last weekend. It is a stick and he started it twice without stalling it, one time on a slight incline. He just drove it about a quarter of a mile down the lane towards the road. I told him to stop, put it in neutral, and put on the parking brake so we could swap places and I could turn it around before he drove it back. I guess I failed to specify that he should NOT put the brake on like his mom does i.e. barely touch the pedal as if it is going to break off. I swung my door open and started to put my foot down when I realized we were moving backwards. I yelled "Hit the brakes!!" and slammed my door. He got it stopped and I had him put the parking brake on for real, then let go of the brakes and check to see if the truck would roll or not. I always check to see if it is going to roll before I get out but I forgot to mention that to him. Hopefully he has learned the lesson. ALWAYS check to make sure that your vehicle is not going to roll away when you park it. One of my grandpas failed to check once and his truck rolled backwards down a hill in town and somehow rolled through an intersection with a traffic light without hitting anything. The road leveled out and the truck stopped itself by scrubbing the tires against the curb. No harm done but he almost learned the hard way. I'll bet he made sure the parking brake was on after that.
Lesson number two came when #1 was shooting the .22. I always tell the kids that when they insert a mag they should try to pull it out again to make sure it is properly seated and locked in place, but I guess that instruction didn't stick with him. He inserted a mag, then closed the bolt, took aim, and "click". At that point the mag decided to leave the gun and start a pretty nice collection of dusty, sandy soil. No big deal, but I made sure to point out to him that if he had an 18 point buck in his sights that time instead of a can he probably would not have had venison for dinner. I didn't mention that if it was a life-or-death situation he might have really ended up with the short end of the stick.
When you insert a mag ALWAYS check to make sure it is locked in securely. Check it even if you are just plinking. You will do in real life what you do in training so start working on that habit now if you don't already have it. If you introduce someone to shooting then start them out doing this from the very first.
If you are shooting a DA revolver use version of the same rule and always make sure the cylinder is locked closed and that the cylinder is indexed and locked properly. The lint, dust, and dirt that handguns pick up when they are carried will sometimes pile up in the mechanism and may interfere with closing or latching. Sure that is a maintenance issue but it won't be a problem if you just check.
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