DEAR ABBY: I would like to pass on some information that came to me via a 14-year-old.
I bought a gun because I travel long distances alone. I called the police to ask them the best way to travel with a gun without getting in trouble with the police. They instructed me to put the clip in the trunk of my car and the gun itself on the seat beside me.
I was telling a friend about this and remarked that if I got into trouble, the gun would be useless. Her 14-year-old son spoke up and said, "No, there's a bullet still in the chamber even after the clip is removed." I asked my father if this was true, and he confirmed it. He removed the clip from my gun and instructed me to go outside and pull the trigger. I did, and it did, indeed, have a bullet in the chamber!
I have often wondered how people could shoot themselves while cleaning a gun. I had no idea that when the clip was removed, a gun could still be loaded. I wonder how many hunters are aware of this. I thought I'd pass this along. Perhaps it could save someone's life. -- DEBRA IN OKLAHOMA CITY
DEAR DEBRA: I am not particularly knowledgeable about guns, so I called the Los Angeles Police Department to inquire. Officer Rodriguez, with whom I spoke, informed me that one should always assume the gun is loaded, and a shell does remain in the chamber when the magazine is removed -- unless it, too, is removed. That's an important warning for inexperienced gun owners.