Though the weapons have changed a lot the need for firearms safety appears to have stayed largely unchanged over the past 150 years.
“The chief causes of accidents from the use of fire-arms arise from carelessness…”
Such was written in The Prairie Traveler, a handbook for western-traveling pioneers published in 1859. It was written by U.S. Army Captain Randolph B. Marcy, a veteran of many western campaigns through what was then largely wilderness in the American west and Mexico.
The handbook carries advice on everything from picking the proper saddle for a mule to how to distinguish hostile warriors from friendly native hunters.
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Marcy also writes about the importance of becoming familiar with firearms as such experience usually breeds respect and safety.
It’s interesting that he mentions the dangers of pulling a loaded firearm from a wagon, through brush or fences muzzle-first. Still a major concern, though it’s now cars and trucks rather than wagons drawn by mules, horses or oxen.
My favorite quote – “Always look to your gun, but never let your gun look at you.”
That’s great advice, no matter the century.