Wednesday, June 29, 2016

- My Life As A Gun Safety Nazi

My friends who are firearm novices tend to make fun of me for how intensely safety conscious I am. As a joke, one friend of mine, on the way to the range to meet me, called ahead and asked what kind of beer he should bring. Though most people agreed with me in principle, my response to him has gotten many laughs in our circle of friends because of it's intensity. It went something like "Woah hey!!! Are you out of your F***ing mind?!! This is NJ - they HATE guns here!!! Do not UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES bring beer anywhere near this place!!!"

I'd use a bigger font to better match my voice at the time, but I think you get the idea.

When it comes to gun safety, small things are big things. The rules for safe firearms handling are actually quite easy, but none of them can be skipped. I've followed the rules religiously all my life, and I've never had an accident. I've even taken it to the point of never pointing my firearm at anything when partially disassembled. But not all of my friends have been quite so disciplined about it.

I remember one particularly instructive incident. A good friend (and frequent reader of this blog) was standing at position 7 on the skeet field ready to shoot when he lowered his gun from his shoulder to ask me a question. When he did, he left his finger on the trigger, and the twist and position of his hand depressed it. To his shock and horror the 'high house' was unexpectedly peppered with number 8 shot. Luckily the gun was pointed in a safe direction so no one was hurt, but an important lesson was definitely learned. I've shot and hunted with him many times since, and he's never made anything like that mistake again.

There is a big difference between 100% and 99% when guns are involved, and that 1% difference can kill someone. There is no room for error. You have to get it right every single time. Not most of the time. Not part of the time. All of the time. No exceptions. If you aren't the kind of person who can learn that religion without having to make a mistake first, then maybe you shouldn't spend too much time around firearms. Which brings me to this article. Not the content. John Lott is unindictable when it comes to gun rights. But the presentation.

Conservative websites have a habit of using gun photos as headers for their articles. Naturally I think this is great. I love gun porn as much as the next guy and have spent some time recently checking out Glock 30S's with RMR's mounted on them. But websites do have a habit of showing actors and models breaking the cardinal rules of firearms handling. The one linked above has a finger on a trigger, and is breaking a major rule that if repeated over time, will leave the model castrated, or worse.

I have no doubt that the gun is unloaded, checked safe, and might not even be a real gun. But none of that changes the rules. OK, it's a small issue I grant you. I doubt the photo on an NRO article is a guide for anyone on safe firearms handling. But as my buddy learned, when it comes to firearms safety there is quite literally no room for error. In the comments section of that piece there are dozens of people complaining about that photo and with good reason in my opinion. We on the right are supposed to be the grownups in the room. Let's not provide the kids any bad examples.

Call me a safety Nazi. Fine. Call me a tyrant and an asshole for making such an issue of it. Fine. But if you listen to me and the people who see this admittedly small issue just like me, then you should be around for a long time to call me all sorts of bad things. And if you don't follow the safety rules 100% of the time, that may turn out to not be the case. Better to be certain than in doubt.

1 comment:

TimH said...

Um, I guess somebody heard you because the photo is now a generic store counter display shot. I call that a good thing.