I appreciate Gabe Suarez and his company Suarez International. Like every organization they have the weapons they advocate and are out to make a buck. Hey capitalism is cool so that is all good. Awhile back (not as I am writing this but as you are reading it) they did a lot of talking about safeties and the finger on the trigger.
Gabe Suarez made a great point that the M1911 and the AR-15 have done a lot to influence modern training when it comes to weapons safeties. I think that these two weapons were for so long the weapons our military carried is significant. No matter how much folks don't want to admit it most weapons, training and techniques stuff trickles from the military to law enforcement to civilians.
If a weapon has a super fast (AR, M1911, M1A, most DA auto's, Mossberg 500, etc) and easily accessible safety then use it. If in the case of say the AK or the Remington 870 the safety is not so accessible then don't worry about it. With the AK I would just take the safety off when I thought I might likely fire and with the 870 I would keep the chamber empty unless I might likely fire the gun. While this might be a slight generalization modern firearms aren't going to go off while you carry them unless you pull the damn trigger. Most have mechanisms so they won't fire even if they take a sharp impact unless the trigger is pulled.
Physically accessible safeties IMO have a lot more to do with people's psychological comfort than actual mechanical functionality. A good friend and experienced shooter who is my buddy is half scared of his Glock 19. He has shot more guns than most folks I know but is just used to semi auto's with a physically accessible safety.
Personally in terms of handguns I grew up on double action revolvers. They don't have a 'safety' but that big heavy trigger pull makes sure you don't fire it on accident. In any case it is psychological. The trigger makes the gun fire. My first handgun was a Glock .40. Again if you don't want to shoot the thing you don't squeeze the trigger with your nose picker. Really not complicated. I guess it is something you are comfortable with or not.
Finger on the trigger is to me a more complicated issue. It is also a great example to show that life is not black or white but full of grey. By far off the trigger is the way you should train and get muscle memory. However I think there are some situations where one might put their finger on the trigger and not immediately shoot. For example I know a guy who is a cop. He pulled a guy over for a half dozen infractions (the vehicle had issues and he had a suspended license and tickets) and as soon as he went towards the truck the guy got out and grabbed a machete from the bed. Needless to say the cop pulled out his gun. The dude was about 18 feet away and just standing there with the machete. My buddy had his finger on the trigger and as he said it he had about 7 pounds of pressure drawn back on that trigger. He started talking to the guy (he was in a bad spot needing to get to work but having a suspended license, a truck that has issues, tickets, etc) and eventually got him calmed down.
Personally at the risk of generalizing I see it being situations where there is an identified threat and you may have to shoot. I would not put my finger on the trigger unless there was a definite target. The reason I would not squeeze the trigger is that the threat had not forced me to shoot. YMMV.
I imagine most of you have seen it as it is pretty old. In any case I just remembered it and it's funny. My favorite part is when he goes to get the rifle and the whole class yells for him to not touch it.
I had been meaning to write part 2 of this 3 part series (here is #1) for awhile but a conversation with a friend and that guy shooting the abortion doctor brought it to the front of my brain. In any case lets begin.
One interesting and fairly unpleasant aspect of our collective lifestyle is that it is strikingly similar to that of some seriously fringe elements of society. I think under almost every possible circumstance you would be best advised to give these folks a seriously wide berth. I am not your Momma so I won't even try to tell you who to be friends with but for those who want to stay out of prison here are some things to consider. Not saying these are absolute rules but they certainly might make good guidelines:
1. Avoid close relationships with people who habitually break the law. I'm not talking about someone who drives a bit fast or doesn't have car insurance or has user quantities of pot or whatever. We all have a dirt bag friend from back when we where kids or a pot smoking relative, whatever. I am talking about folks who make a habit of breaking serious laws.
2. Don't do anything (seriously) illegal no matter what others are doing (see #1). That is just about as simple as it sounds. The odds you will get hassled are greatly lowered if you don't break the law.
3. Even if you are ambivalent about a law don't break it because someone asks you to. Aside from the general risks associated with breaking the law you could potentially have bigger problems. Awhile back a guy names Randy was asked by an acquaintance to shorten the barrels on a couple of shotguns. To say it did not end well for him would be a huge understatement.
4. Keep in mind that the difference between a hypothetical conversation among friends over dinner and being an active member of a terrorist conspiracy is subjective. Subjective can go both ways in court. I you wouldn't want a conversation interpreted in that light by a courtroom full of people utterly devoid of humor it is probably best to talk about the Yankees instead.
5. Just food for thought. If you are somehow involved in a fringe organization or group you are putting a whole lot of eggs into a basket you are not carrying. Even if 19/20 people are peaceable law abiding and generally good folk one person going on a crime spree and you may well be in serious trouble.
6. If you didn't have enough good reasons already THESE PEOPLE ARE DANGEROUS. Simply put those who (for whatever reason) are willing to commit violent crimes don't just flip a normal switch and go back to their normal life. These things become a habit and pretty soon people can go from calm to deadly violent for no apparent reason. These people tend to be violent, highly paranoid, un trusting and can be generally unstable.
I didn't go into names and details on any specific groups or even generalities intentionally. First this is because it would require painting with a very broad brush and possibly offending some innocent folks. Second some of the names of these groups really encompass a whole spectrum of different groups (compare it to bikers vs organized crime on motorcycles) most of which are relatively benign so it wouldn't even be accurate. As individuals it is your responsibility to know if you are hanging out with an easy going bunch of folks who have some beliefs which are a bit outside the norm or a dangerous group of psychos.
Also avoid crack gangs and all manner of other habitual criminals.