As a beginner I found it difficult to constantly keep the four NRA rules of gun safety in mind. I showed my carry gun to some friends in California, and to avoid intimidating them I simplified it to two main rules:
- Always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction. (Knowing what’s behind the target is really a detail of this rule.)
- Finger out of the trigger guard until ready to pull it.
Since I was visually and physically making sure the gun was empty for them, I skipped over “every gun is loaded,” since this gun obviously was not, and I told them how I was making sure the gun was empty. Also, I covered “just in case” when explaining rule 1.
After those two rules, I let them hold the magazine, and let them hold the gun with the slide locked open, one at a time. Then I took the gun back and demonstrated dry-fire, and them do the same.
I think this helped them be a little less scared.