Gun ownership is a tricky subject to broach nowadays. There are those who have grown up with guns, used for hunting. There are those who are vehemently opposed to guns and gun ownership. There are those who have witnessed first hand the need for guns for personal protection. There are those who believe guns are never the answer. As with many of these “hot-button” issues, there is never a single side and never an easy answer.
The best part is, though, that we live in a country where every man or woman can decide for themselves. For the most part, American values allow for the liberty to act as you like so long as your actions don’t infringe upon those rights of another human being. It means you can run around your backyard naked. It means you can sing at the top of your lungs. It means you can spread your thoughts and opinions far and wide. It means you can own a gun if you want to. And it also means that you can be vehemently opposed to gun ownership.
The one right that America doesn’t give out freely is the right to harm others – neither physical, emotional, or libelous harm. In that vein, anyone who decides that they value gun ownership and they value the protection that guns afford their owner, has to be able to say with certainly that he or she will not harm another individual. Of course, there are areas of the law that allow for the harm of another – such as in self-protection and in the protection of property.
Some other reasons I’ve seen mentioned include: an interest in the mechanics of firearms, for historical reasons, as an investment, because of the right our forefathers conferred on us, for self-defense, for social reasons, for target shooting, for hunting, and because you have a family history of gun ownership. There are merits in each of these reasons.
What do you think? Do you own a gun? Why do you own a gun? What do you do to make sure your gun ownership doesn’t harm other people?
Most of you already know about the NRA – the National Rifle Association. It is an advocacy group that lobbies for the protection of the Second Amendment (like we wrote about here) and the safe gun ownership that goes along with that right. The NRA DOES NOT advocate for the unlawful killing or harm of people. as such, they have outlined a guide to safe gun ownership and use. What other rules or guidelines do you follow to make sure you are handling your gun in a safe way? What advice do you have for others who are new to gun owernship?
1. ALWAYS keep the gun pointed in a safe direction. This is the primary rule of gun safety. A safe direction means that the gun is pointed so that even if it were to go off it would not cause injury or damage. The key to this rule is to control where the muzzle or front end of the barrel is pointed at all times. Common sense dictates the safest direction, depending on different circumstances.
2. ALWAYS keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot. When holding a gun, rest your finger on the trigger guard or along the side of the gun. Until you are actually ready to fire, do not touch the trigger. 3. ALWAYS keep the gun unloaded until ready to use. Whenever you pick up a gun, immediately engage the safety device if possible, and, if the gun has a magazine, remove it before opening the action and looking into the chamber(s) which should be clear of ammunition. If you do not know how to open the action or inspect the chamber(s), leave the gun alone and get help from someone who does.
3. ALWAYS keep the gun unloaded until ready to use.
Whenever you pick up a gun, immediately engage the safety device if possible, and, if the gun has a magazine, remove it before opening the action and looking into the chamber(s) which should be clear of ammunition. If you do not know how to open the action or inspect the chamber(s), leave the gun alone and get help from someone who does.
What do you think? Do you always abide by these rules?