So often I see the stereotype that firearms owners are nuts who run around pointing their gun at everything that moves, shooting into the air for any excuse and just being downright unsafe in every way possible.
This simply is not the case. Going to a shoot at my local gun club is more reminiscent of my wife helping my 4 year old son with scissors than a firearms free-for-all! On one of my first shoots I got quite a stern talking to for simply closing the action in the firearm I was using when I was done with the round (and yes it was unloaded). I’m not saying I didn’t deserve it, what I’m saying is that if firearms owners are fanatical about anything, it’s safety.
That is why I have these tenants in the code:
- I will never use my firearm in while not in emotional control of myself.
If you are ‘blind with rage’, ‘in the heat of passion’, ‘torn with grief’ or otherwise emotionally distraught it means you are less able to rationally make life and death decisions. You should always strive to be able to logically and unemotionally make your decisions. There are instances where these are considered valid defenses for using force but as a rule this is never a good reason for it. When you are not in complete control of yourself you are potentially unsafe to yourself and those around you and one of the main reasons for owning/carrying a firearm is to provide safety for you and those around you.
- I will not allow my firearms to fall into the hands of those who are restricted or otherwise unqualified to own/use/posses them.
If your firearm falls into the hands of others who should not have them you provide the catalyst for a disaster.
Criminals would use your firearm for mischief and if you could have prevented a criminal from getting your firearm and they use it for wrongdoing you are MORALLY responsible for what transpires whether or not you are legally responsible.
While very few children are malicious like a criminal would be, very few are trained well enough to be safe, even those who are trained are not emotionally mature enough and no one, child or adult, is prepared for the responsibility of fatal accident. Therefor, it is our duty as owners of firearms to protect children from the possible repercussions of obtaining a firearm.
There are others who are unfit to have a firearm for various reasons, but the bottom line is this: No one should come into possession of your firearms without your knowledge and consent and it is your duty to do what is reasonable to control the access to your firearms. The methods for doing this vary by your situation but if in doubt: go overboard. Better Safe than sorry.
- I will always obey the rules of gun safety:
- All guns are always loaded.
- Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
- Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target.
- Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.
– Jeff Cooper
These have been explained again and again to death by many people so I won’t go into them here but suffice-to-say this: If you don’t understand them and why you should follow them, you are unfit to own, possess or use a firearm – no exceptions!