Originally Posted by Rentacop
Regarding the above post :
The authoritarian mindset rears its ugly head again, I see . This time it is mandatory training for anyone exercising his right to own a gun . Last time it was mandatory air bags and seat belt use, a mandatory law degree before you can assist a defendant in our courts, a license required of you to be a real estate salesman and more and more training for security guards ( How could I forget that one ? ) . Now they are pondering whether to force TSA employees to carry guns against their will or to continue to prohibit them from carrying guns . No one is even considering giving them the option of carrying guns ( freedom ) because the authoritarian, nanny state, protect us from ourselves ethos is all we know today .
As Objectivist philosophy teaches, government's proper function is to protect the rights of its citizens and nothing more . Visit www.aynrand.org
to learn how to defend individual rights .
That would be my post, right! OK, I guess Im, an authoritarian all right. Thats because Im, also, a firearms instructor, and a range safety officer. Let me tell you something: Without authority, everything is chaos; and nobody has to accept any personal responsibility for his actions.
In this instance were talking about gun handling and personal behavior on a firing line. The, hard truth is that, with proper training - with the careful personal inculcation of the proper gun handling habits - this event never would have happened.
Sure, I understand the necessity for modern government to oversee many of the more dangerous functions in modern day life; and I understand the desire for everyone to be, free; but none of us are truly free; now, are we!
When it comes to firearm safety, freedom can have disastrous results! Ive been present when people have made mistakes with guns. Two things standout in my mind: (1) The shooter thought an accident with a gun could never happen to him (until it did); and (2) even though some of these shooters had a little bit of firearms training they were, all, largely undisciplined, free spirits and wanted to do things in their way. (There are few things worse than the sudden appearance of blood on a firing line!)
As Ive already mentioned in another post on this board: Memorizing gun safety rules is never enough. Until those rules are translated into personal safety habits I tell you, for a fact, that they are all completely irrelevant. We, all, want to be free spirits; we, all, prefer to behave as we, both, like and without consequence. Unfortunately, when it comes to firearms and gun safety, a gunmans very first mistake can, also, be either his, or your last.
The problems Ive had to deal with on firing lines seem to originate from several different sources:
(1) A problem shooter wants to do things, his way and deliberately breaks the rules;
(2) A problem shooter always seems to believe that an accident is never going to happen to him because, hes too good; and,
(3) Modern firearm technology can be overwhelming; and, sometimes, it, catches up with someone whose gun handling skills are less than genuinely cautious.
Listen, as citizens, all of us need to trust government to act in our best interests; and, for any government to be able to function it needs to trust its citizens. The more complex a societys social structure and technology are, the more a variety of rules and regulations becomes necessary.
Sure, everybody would like to be a free spirit; and leftover vestiges of yesterdays, hippie spirit remain anathema to authoritarian topics like gun safety; BUT, the inherent nature of firearms actually demands: Authority, personal accountability, and (as ugly as it might sound to some people) individual compliance and self-restraint.
When it comes to gun safety, you either do it the right way, every time; or you shouldnt attempt to do it at all. Im 70 years old; and Ive been teaching firearm safety for more than two decades. Forget about what Ive actually seen. (a lot!) Ive known almost a dozen gun owner/shooters whove either shot themselves, someone else, or made a really serious mistake with a gun. Authority isnt always bad; sometimes it can keep a shooter from doing, that potential harm with a gun that hes, otherwise, predisposed to commit.
Mandatory training is fine with everyone when it comes to driving a car (or worse) a truck! When it comes to firearms, though, irrational thinking seems to take over. Societys, freer spirits always seem to start screaming about being left alone with their guns when (if nothing else) cooperation, obedience, and a social, helping hand could prevent so very many of todays firearm accidents from taking place.
It needs to be recognized that just like mandatory training to drive a car, or a truck, firearm safety training should NEVER be left up to the discretion of individual shooters. Sometimes authority works for the general publics benefit. The event in this thread is one of those instances. Once a bullet leaves the muzzle its impossible to call it back!
My uncles were United States Marines. They were the men who taught me how to handle firearms and shoot; and they were, sure as Hell, authoritarians. What all gun safety ultimately comes down to is mutual cooperation, mutually agreed rules and regulations, and (You might not like this.) strict self-discipline.
Personally, Ive never begrudged government the necessity to require driver training. Now, while I might be just as suspicious as you are of, big governments motives at the same time I realize that, generally, society needs discipline just as much as individual shooters do.
None of us live in a, social vacuum so to speak. We, all, need each other; and those who are the strongest and most knowledgeable owe a, social debt to those who, havent, yet, arrived. You see, like it or not, were all in this together; and authority isnt (necessarily) a bad thing.
Know what? Your suspicions might be correct; but, still, thats insufficient reason to avoid mandatory firearms safety training. Guns are (and always have been) inherently dangerous. The problem is to know how to shrewdly control that danger.
Me? Im much more worried about lots and lots of people just walking into gun stores and walking out with a gun, ammunition, and an nice little safety pamphlet from the NRA on gun safety. Its often been people like this whove ended up scaring the living daylights out of me BEFORE they had an opportunity to, cancel themselves, or someone else, out; and you know, where I think it starts?
With a shooters, bad (or much too casual) personal attitude!
Suggest you lighten up. Nobody - not you, not me - has all the right answers; but each of us still needs to discover workable solutions to complex subjects like firearm safety in todays increasingly technical, grossly overcrowded, and excessively self-indulgent world.
Guns are, and will remain, subject to all different sorts of authoritarian edicts. Hopefully none of these rules will reach the onus of the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban; but THAT is not what Ive been talking about, here; is it. Its what YOU are referring to.
(This is the second time you've jumped in right behind something I've posted with a contrarian point-of-view. I hope you dont have plans to follow me around the board like this; do you? Because if you do, I'm going to start ignoring your responses.)