Always assume a gun is loaded

I just started reading “The Disaster Diaries”, a worst-case-scenario book about skills that might come in handy during the apocalypse, or even during California’s next big earthquake.  The first skill the author researched was shooting.  He worked with a gun expert, who cautioned him first about the most important thing to keep in mind: “Assume it’s loaded.  Even if you just unloaded it, assume it’s loaded.”

I scoffed a bit that this mantra has to be repeated.  Who is so dumb as to mess with a gun and not show it the proper respect?!  Well, friends, the answer is me–*I* am that dumb, but I found out with something other than a gun.

Two nights ago, we had a sudden, wet, heavy snow.  Our bushes laid flat on the ground, and any trees with dried leaves hung heavy under the weight.  Apparently, in the middle of the night, our big silver maple in the backyard lost a major limb, and crashed down over several lines.

Power lines down

However, we still had power and internet, so I (brilliantly) deducted that the down line must be a phone line.  Since we don’t have a landline, this explained why we didn’t notice anything amiss.  As you can tell, I walked around outside to take pictures for my landlord, stepping over the down lines several times.  She quickly texted back “That’s the electric line!  Stay away!”

What was I thinking?!  I easily could have stepped on a live wire hidden in the snow and been zapped to Kingdom Come!  Why did I discount the advice that I had just read about the day before?  Because I had made assumptions that made me think I was safe.  And that’s why certain rules have to be in place, to protect us against stupid mistakes in judgement.

I would be wise to keep this all in mind in future, possibly dangerous circumstances.


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