I grew up at a time when guns were used for putting food on the table and shooting was a casual sport. My first weapon, a Daisy BB gun, was a great thrill plus an opportunity to prove myself capable of handling a gun so I could hunt with my Dad.
When not in use, the guns would be leaning in a cupboard corner downstairs and the ammunition was on the top shelf. Today’s rules on handling firearms have tightened for valid reasons. Those days of trust and responsibility have changed, unfortunately, and we must now be fine-tuned to proactive safety measures.
First of all, we must constantly remind ourselves of the 4 basic safety rules when handling a weapon:
· Always recognize your weapon as being loaded
· Never point your weapon at anything you don’t intend to shoot.
· Be aware of what is near your target and in your line of fire
· Keep your finger off the trigger until it’s safe to shoot your target.
These rules work for adults, when handling weapons, but what about our children at home? Where do you keep your gun and ammunition…in a drawer…automobile…is it a safe place?
I have read very sad stories about children being injured and they always start with some careless mistake made by an adult. In addition to the 4 rules above, Concealed Carry also requires storing your weapon responsibly and teaching your children about guns.
Begin this process starting a young age. The “Eddie Eagle” program video is a good place to start http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wIEBrb_wRYc its primary motive is to teach very young children if they find a gun; “stop; don’t touch; leave the area and tell an adult”. It’s a very simple message and I know of one incident where this could have saved the life of a four year old child.
The NRA provides this video and also offers an “Eddie Eagle Gun Safe” program for groups of young children. http://www.nrahq.org/safety/eddie/. As your children grow older and more inquisitive about guns; provide opportunities for training and responsible use of weapons.
It’s their natural curiosity and, if addressed properly, will avoid improper attitudes and handling of firearms. Today’s weapons are designed with a major emphasis on safety while gun storage safes are widely available for home use.
Ownership of guns is a positive matter only if we recognize safety, discipline and training are absolute requirements.
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