The Big Deal About Gun Safety
Guns are inherently dangerous. That is the point; they’re designed to harm and kill before anything else, which makes handling them a risk every time. Improper gun usage is arguably more dangerous than crime, because when you mishandle a deadly weapon, you risk losing your own life, as well as the lives of those around you. Unintentional shootings by children took more than 700 lives between the years of 2015 and 2020, a number that would have been prevented by proper gun safety.
Of course, that statistic only applies to unintentional shootings by children. Every year, about 500 people die from unintentional shootings every year, and 37% of all nonfatal firearm injuries are caused unintentionally. Many of these cases are caused about from improper usage, and many more can be attributed to plain ignorance.
In this day and age where guns are more common than people, proper handling is more essential than ever. Many purchase guns for self-defense, yet those good intentions can be thrown out the window with just the twitch of a finger. When the danger you don’t know about can come from within your own home, you have to mitigate the risks wherever you can. You know the old saying, “Play with fire and you risk getting burned.”
With how dangerous guns can be, the first step toward preventing unwanted damage is to learn how to properly use them. Even holding a gun can lead to injury or death, so learning and applying the universal rules of gun handling is imperative. The four rules you need to know are as follows:
- ALWAYS treat every gun as if it is loaded, even if you know it’s not.
- Even unloaded, a bullet may still be in the chamber. Do not under any circumstance treat a gun as if it is perfectly safe, because it very well might not be.
- NEVER point your firearm at something you are unwilling to completely destroy.
- It goes without saying that the dangerous end of the gun should not ever be pointed toward a person unless you are willing to accept that they might die. This is why shooting ranges have rules that you cannot shoot when one is down the range.
- ALWAYS keep your finger off the trigger and out of the guard when you aren’t immediately shooting.
- The trigger of a firearm is deceptively easy to pull; even young children and toddlers are able to do so. This is also why dropping a gun carries its own risk of discharge. Unless you’re aiming at your target and ready to shoot, do not under any circumstances put your finger on that trigger.
- ALWAYS know your target and what may be behind it.
- Shooting something isn’t always a one-and-done deal. Your bullet might penetrate farther than you expect, hitting something important behind your target. Never ever shoot something when someone is behind it, else you’ll cause unwanted injury.
There are also more specific rules that may or may not be mentioned. Those rules are:
- KNOW your weapon.
- Know the ins and outs of your firearm, as well as every mechanical part to it. This knowledge can save you time and headache when maintaining it and can be your only warning prior to critical malfunction. Knowledge is power; assuming you know your way around a new firearm is just asking for trouble, so don’t do it.
- STORE your gun in a secure location.
- . Easy access is what leads to unwanted injury or death. Always keep your weapon and ammo separate, as to prevent either from falling into the wrong hands. This step may be what keeps your child safe from themself, so don’t disregard it.
These are the rules that should be taught to every single person before they purchase or use a firearm. Many places disregard this important lesson, leaving many gun owners ignorant to the dangers of misuse. Especially now, when gun violence is at an all-time high, you should do your part to reduce it by memorizing and living by these important rules.
Locking your gun away may seem silly at first glance. After all, you can’t really be expected to be able to unlock a safe and load your gun in the time it takes for an intruder to harm you, right? Actually, you can.
While practicing your unlocking skills daily is helpful, it should be noted that home intruders can be stopped by locked doors. Keep your safe in a secure area where you can stall for time, and you can have your weapon ready when you need it.
Other than that, the real purpose of a safe is to prevent unwanted hands from reaching your firearms. Once again, children are prone to snooping, and may find access to your weapon when you don’t want them to. Relatives, guests, even the intruders you’re hoping to defend yourself from, all of them can gain access to your weapon if you’re not careful.
That’s why you need to find the most reliable gun safes you can. They should be sturdy and unbreachable and should usually be fireproof. They shouldn’t be easily accessed or seen in your house; do not keep them in the garage.
Lightweight gun safes can be relocated easily, giving you easy access to your handgun wherever you need it. If you have multiple handguns, either for collection or for multiple family members, a stackable gun safe can save you space. Keyless storage is also a must, so you never run the risk of losing your key, either to clumsiness or theft.
There’s a lot of options to secure your firearms, so don’t scrimp out on them just because of irrational worries. Guns are owed their due diligence, so treat them with proper respect and keep them out of improper hands.
Proper gun safety is vital in this country so laden with firearms. Danger is around every corner, but also in your own home and even carried on your person. Don’t let that prevent you from being a responsible gun owner, however. The most important rule of them all, of course, is “safety first”.