There is this idea that gun owners are not aware of dangers; that we do not understand the risk of firearms. That is simply not the case. Most of us know the four rules of gun safety. Still, it is important to maintain these rules and make sure they are known to everyone.
1. Always treat firearms as if they are loaded.
Honestly, all rules stem from this number one rule.
2. Never point a firearm at something you are not willing to destroy.
Because of rule #1, rule #2 exists to make it painfully obvious that accidents can occur. Negligent discharge is from carelessness, not from a bad holster.
3. Only place a finger on the trigger if you are prepared to shoot.
This is from rules 1 and 2 and the idea of general safety. Don’t be physically ready to shoot if you are not prepared.
4. Always know what your target is, and what is behind, beside, and in front of it.
This rule is over knowing about stray bullets and inaccuracy. What if the target is missed- is there a safe backdrop? The same goes for a bullet if it will pass through the target. What if someone is standing in front of you and just to the side- you could hit them if they stand too close or hit them with a ricochet.
There are other lessons taught as well, such as: teach those who don’t know better. Anyone who does not regularly use firearms might not know as much as you do. The rules are pretty “common sense”, but I hate that connotation because these rules should be known by heart, not by trial and error (and because saying something is “common sense” does not mean anything in a vacuum).
Now, onto what brought this to my mind. I saw an article by Peter Manseau over accidental gun deaths that are explained by “somehow” someone had an accident. Manseau is an author. “In Michigan, an 11-year-old boy was killed when “somehow he got a hold of a gun and started playing with it.”” He also wrote a newspaper article, op-ed on LA Times, as well as a book over the same subject. His works over this subject simply pull articles from colonial to current newspapers where firearm accidents occurred where children, parents, and others died from accidents where rules of safety were violated. He doesn’t say it that way though, he simply states that these people died from guns. He never draws a conclusion. He never tries to help the situation. He could help out with training/safety courses. He could write articles on gun safety in papers that do not regularly carry pro-gun rhetoric.
I don’t see how pulling up articles of accidents will help the situation. Instead, there is this article going around parading the deaths of people from firearm accidents that leave firearms in a negative light. There is no mention of the falling firearm-accident rates. There is no mention of 505 (2013) accidents per year in the U.S.A. That’s not a number to be happy to hear, just bear in mind that it is lower than 776 (2000). No mention of safety precautions that should be followed. He only states that these accidents are usually explained with “somehow” things went wrong.
We, as gun owners, “somehow” agree with you, Peter. It is tragic when these accidents happen. Although, we have “somehow” come to the conclusion of the Rules of Gun Safety. I do not want something labeled as a “smart gun”, I don’t want the government to place restrictions on me because other people failed these rules. I don’t support mandated training. Instead, I want more people to be conscious of possible accidents and know what steps to take, such as teaching their children how to handle guns. I also want to see even more progress on people taking training courses by their own wishes, and see less of the horrendous accidents like the ones that Peter went out of his way to display in an ill, written collage.
If you want to see less of these accidents, learn to take precautions in your own life. You cannot mandate others into absolute safety, or strip the rights of others for your own perceived safety.
Have a nice day.