Just from a cursory glance, Glaser rounds would be some of the best for personal protection and use in the home. But there is a huge range of rounds for various firearms, from frangible rounds to less-than-lethal shotgun rounds.
29: The trigger is not a scratching post. One of the most basic rules in firearm safety is "Do not touch the trigger until you're ready to fire." There have been too many stories of people having accidental discharges because they were dicking around with a firearm and pulled the trigger. Until you're ready to fire, the trigger is a No No Button.
30: The barrel is not a telescope but it will let your brain see Mars. Stormwarden already touched on this but it is so important that it needs to have it's own rule. Granted, this seems like a "duh" moment, but you'd be amazed how many professional gunsmiths disregard this rule and end up with a brand new orifice. Do not look down the barrel of your firearm and this goes doubly and triply for a weapon you have not verified is unloaded beforehand. Sometimes, I will admit, it is a necessity but it is an action that should only be taken as a last resort. However, I feel it breeds complacency, so it is something best avoided if at all possible.
31: Verify that the barrel is unobstructed. How can you do that if you shouldn't look down it, I hear people wondering. Open the breach of the firearm and look at the light patterns that come through. There shouldn't be any shadows (aside from those cast by lands and grooves) and the light should be coming through freely. With a revolver, unlock and swing out the cylinder to see down the barrel. With a semi-auto pistol, open and lock back the slide and peer into the breech. With rifles and shotguns, open and lock back the bolt (or open the breach) and look at the shadows. And always, ALWAYS keep your firearm pointed in a safe direction.
32: Keep track of your firearm. This falls into the basic instruction of You are Responsible For Your Firearm, but I am afraid that it needs it's own rule. In your home or when carrying in public, it is not that hard to forget about your weapon because, with many people 'out of sight, out of mind.' And what you have to remember is that humans suffer from a genetic flaw called "being human." This does not change with any amount of training, practice or anything else, so don't for one second think I'm just talking about normal citizens who chose to carry a concealed firearm. There are a shocking number of incidents where body guards, security guards, police, sheriffs, federal agents and even former Prime Minister Tony Blair's bodyguard have forgotten about and left loaded firearms
in public bathrooms. Seriously, just Google "gun left in bathroom" and be amazed at how many results turn up involving trained professionals. If you are going to carry a firearm at home or in public, there are ways to help you remember not to forget your firearm after...nature calls. I would recommend starting here
33: Safe firearm handling is the same as how to get to Carnegie Hall; practice, practice, practice. Don't just learn about your firearm, learn how to use it. Practice handling, practice breathing, practice trigger control, practice sighting. Go to the range and put a box or four of ammo through your weapon on a regular basis. You need to know everything you can about how to handle your weapon and how it behaves when being fired. And remember, if you're using a semi-auto pistol and you have both thumbs overlapping behind your weapon, say good-bye to whichever thumb is on top. That slide will be coming back and will either break it or break it off.
34: Your children are not perfect and flawless and yes, they can and will hurt a fly. This ties in to the Adam Lanza and Columbine rules. If you are a firearm owner with children, be involved in your children's lives as much as you can without smothering them and educate yourself on what you can do to spot warning signs that things might not be all hunky dory. Sometimes warning signs are just kids being kids, but sometimes they are more serious. I can't tell you what to look for, but others can and please, find out what they are. And above all, accept that your kid might be a bully. Accept that your kid might not tell you if they're being bullied. Accept that kids have secrets they keep from their parents. Be a friend, but don't ever forget that first and foremost you are a parent and as such, you need to be alert for problems that would otherwise be overlooked.
35: Firearms are not battle armor. A lot of people get cocky when they're armed and some will start looking for a fight. A firearm gives you the means to better defend yourself; it does not give you carte blanche to instigate a fight. You have a brain, use it and remember that if you're acting like an asshole and it gets out of hand, you can still go to jail. And if you're acting like an asshole and get punched in the face, that does not give you free reign to start shooting.
36: Quoting SoA here: brains before bullets. Stormwarden already touched on this but a more accurate example would be the Tuscan shooting. There were CCW holders there that day but they had to make a judgement call. The shooter was right in the middle of a crowd and, as has been stated before, when handling a firearm you have to know what is behind your target. There were too many people in close proximity during that event to be able to safely discharge a weapon so they tackled him. They used their brains and made a judgement call. If you cannot be sure of where your round is going to go, do not fire your weapon. Carrying a firearm is all about making judgement calls and making heavy, hard choices in a very short amount of time. If you do not feel you can accept that responsibility, then don't carry a firearm. It is not something to be done lightly.
37: Humans are not bullet-stops. Watch enough movies and you'll think that humans are bullet sucking black holes and that you could fire a howitzer into a man's torso and it still won't go through a body. This is just not the case. Earlier I made mention of how bullets are small pieces of metal flying at high velocity. What I neglected to say is just how high a velocity they are traveling at. WARNING! TECHNICAL DETAILS AHEAD!
A 9x19mm round can travel at a velocity of between 352 and 400 meters a second and hit with a force of between 461 and 596 joules. That is more than enough to travel through a body and still go for a ways longer at lethal velocity. A .45 ACP can travel between 275 and 347 meters a second and hit with a force of between 563 and 721 joules. With a rifle round like the 5.56x45mm round, it can travel in excess of 991 meters a second and still have around 1,750 joules of energy behind it. That will send it through two car doors and both seats and still kill the person behind them. For hunting and shotgun rounds, the numbers are even larger.END OF TECHNICAL DETAILS
When you discharge a firearm you are releasing a huge amount of energy into your target so unless you are firing rounds designed specially to keep from over penetrating you have to know what is behind the object you are shooting at. This is why it is such a good thing the CCW holders at Tuscan should be commended; if they had taken out the shooter with the first shot they still could have hurt people behind him. Always be aware of your surroundings and do not assume that the round will stop in your target.
38: Never forget that you are carrying a weapon. A weapon can be used for good or evil depending on the intentions of the user, but they are always, always
dangerous and should be respected at all times by everyone who handles it. The second you don't respect it, you'll end up killing or injuring yourself or someone you love.
39: If you are going to hand your weapon to another, always make sure they know the four cardinal rules of firearms:
- Firearms are loaded until you have verified that they are not.
- Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
- Always keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.
- Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.
Do not let the firearm out of your sight after you have handed it off to another and when it is returned to you, verify again that it is unloaded even if you're sure it already isn't and it doesn't matter a bit if your eyes never left the weapon the whole time the other person was holding it. Do not forget the golden rule: you are responsible for your weapon.