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Question for Massad Ayoob

Monday, March 19th, 2012

A rule we are taught our entire life is to never point a gun at anything we do not intend to shoot. With that said, when carrying a handgun in a pocket-style holster, the gun is at times pointed in a direction of people, like if sitting in back seat of car, or across from someone at dinner, or on a livingroom couch across from someone else, etc (a similar situation that I think about is a shoulder holster that happens to point the gun backwards)

I feel uneasy when this occurs because essentially, the gun is aimed in a direction I don’t want it to shoot. But yet, the gun is not in hand, finger is not near trigger, and is essentially secure in my pocket holster.

What is your response to this?

Thank you for your time!

Kevin McCubbin

Hi Kevin,

The direction of the gun’s muzzle, as seen in safety rules, is read as intentional pointing.  If a police officer is standing on the second floor of the police station, the muzzle of his holstered service pistol is indexed in the direction of those below him on the first floor.  The guns lying flat on tables at a gun show have their muzzles in a direction that countless visitors will walk past or through.  If your hunting rifles and shotguns, and mine, are standing upright in gun safe or gun, they’re in line with passenger planes crossing over our house.

So long as other safety protocols assure that the gun will not discharge wrongfully or unintentionally, and so long as the gun is not intentionally pointed at another person except in legitimate defense of self or others, I call it good.

Best,

Mas Ayoob