Tam, over at View From The Porch, has a nice and succinct post about lighting up your target before you light up your target.
“Know your target and what is beyond it” (in one form of this expression or another) is one of the cardinal rules of gun safety. It isn’t even ‘Gun Safety 101’, no, it’s one of the things they drill into your head before they even let you touch a gun at any gun school. If someone ever says they shot someone they didn’t mean to, it’s because they broke this rule. Accidentally shot your kid who was sneaking back into the house late at night? Not an accident. You either knew it was the kid and shot him on purpose or you shot a person before you knew who they were. Thats it…no other explanations. And if you didn’t know if the person was a friendly or not, why did you shoot them?
I have three guns I keep around the house for bumps-in-the-night. The pistol has an old Streamlight mounted on its accessory rail, the other two have SureFire lights mounted on their forends. The notion of shooting at a target whose identity you are unsure of is borderline sociopathic, in my opinion. Having mounted weaponlights gives an excellent tool for dealing with nighttime issues and keeping your hands free. Sure, you can do the old Harries flashlight technique but wouldn’t you rather have both hands on the gun?
In addition, being sorta old school, I also have a big ‘ol MagLight I keep handy.
I am always offended..yes, offended…when people mention they worry about coming by my house unanounced because they worry theyre going to get shot as an intruder. It offends me because they are, basically, implying that I’ll shoot someone without knowing who they are. They are implying that I have crappy target acquisition abilities and lack a grasp of the fundamentals of gun safety.
Anyway, go read Tam’s post. As always, it’s tight, clear writing with good content. Always worth a read.