Preventing the Preventable
I noticed that there are lots of new gun owners out there and many of us have apparently been buying everything in sight that's semi-automatic related.
I gotta ask the question, out of all curiosity, do we all have quality gun safes that only we or other authorized members of the family have the combination to? Do we all ensure that our safe is locked every time we leave the house?
Only my wife and I have the combination to the gun safe. Our adult son lives with us when he comes home from college between semesters, but even he does not have the combination to the gun safe. We trust him and know that he is responsible with firearms from many years of firearms safety and training, but we are not willing to accept the consequences if he accidentally forgets to lock the safe and someone else does something irresponsible or malicious with one of our firearms.
Do all of us lock up our ammunition or at least separate it from the firearms when not in use? I'm not suggesting disarming yourself, just keeping firearms unloaded that are not in your immediate control. I keep my weapon loaded when it's on my person. All my other weapons are unloaded in a locked safe.
I understand the argument for having a weapon and having it accessible, but if you're not using it or it's not on your person, are you willing to accept the consequences if someone else takes it and does something with it like our dead man-child from Connecticut did with his mother's weapons?
If we recall the chain of events that lead to the buying spree, it's pretty simple.
1. Gun owner left guns and ammunition readily accessible to a man-child who clearly should not have had any access to weapons of any kind.
2. Said man-child decided to kill said gun owner and then went to his neighborhood elementary school and decided to kill a bunch of children and teachers.
3. Our beloved Democrat Party decided that this incident demonstrates that all gun owners should not have guns because one irresponsible gun owner and one malicious and/or insane man-child used the gun owner's firearms to injure and kill other people. I certainly hope they don't think we're criminals or potential criminals because we own firearms, but I kinda get the sense that that's what some of them think.
4. Our favorite gun-loving Senator Feinstein from California, who likes to carry her gun while denying her constituents the same privilege, indicated her intention to attempt to reintroduce an "Assault Weapons Ban" bill upon her return to Washington.
5. Gun buying pandemonium ensues because a bunch of Democrats want to appear to be working on a solution to a problem that they have created. The Democrats have already tried this and have experienced the results. If they want to give up their seats again, they can certainly try to bring the AWB back.
I understand that you can't keep the crazies and the criminals from being who they are, but why have your own weapons used against you? The inanimate firearms aren't animating and killing people and the crazy people aren't deciding not to act like crazy people anymore. All of us who claim to be sane and responsible need to do what we can to keep the crazies and the criminals from interacting with our firearms.
I keep all but one firearm locked in the safe, but i keep all of them (except the BP stuff) loaded but not chambered at all times. The one not in the safe is the bedside shotgun that is not in plain view. The safe is locked when i am not inside the house.
It occurs to me that i need to write down the combination somewhere, for posterity.
How about DWI driving?
It seems every firearm incident in now being reported. But why, why do we continue to allow drunk driver to kill more than twice as many people a day - everyday? This is political Scapegoating at it worst; the means to control the individual freedoms that our forefathers fought and died for - a subtle means to control all of us.
It's knives in one country, bombs in others, clubs in others - the list goes on and on and on. The core is violence in the heart of mankind , not the weapon. Random insanity cannot be predicted or stopped.
I think it imperative we continue to act responsibly, lawfully, and to uphold the laws already in place!
I'm not going to give people a pass for doing dumb or irresponsible things. With 300 million guns in this country there are going to be some irresponsible gun owners.
However, we cannot prevent bad people from doing bad things. Unfortunately, as I've said here before, Americans are practically wedded to the illusion of living in a safe society. Simply amazing.
We won't stop general murder or even spree killings, but a good start to reducing the damage would be to admit that some men just want to watch the world burn.
To kbd- good post. Yes, we DO have a crapload of new gun owners, and many of them WILL show up here.
And yes, responsible gun owners DO pay attention to not leaving unsecured firearms about. Some may not HAVE a safe- should at least have some means of locking the guns- if nothing more, at least a trigger lock.
As new folks DO show up, expect some dumb questions. At one time, y'all were probably dumb too. I would ask that all make a conscious effort to avoid flaming the new folks- everyone has to learn sometime.
I've been at this awhile and I suspect I have some dumb questions to ask in the near future.
Great post and I fully support it. The weapons my wife and I own are safely secured...except for the personal protection weapon we carry...
I'd have a hard time dealing with knowing someone took one of our unsecured weapons and killed him/herself or someone else with it because we were careless in securing it.
This is the responsibility of all gun owners and penalties for the disregard of securing our weapons should be very strict.
A knife is a different bird entirely. A gun is a stand off weapon capable of killing from a distance and has a huge scare value. A knife is an in your face weapon requiring the user to be in your personal space to use...it is much harder to kill with a knife and while knife cuts and stab wounds are generally gruesome they aren't always deadly...even the recent attack on children in China which was with a bladed weapon caused mainly injuries rather than kills.
You can also run more easily from a knife wielder...not so easy from a gun wielder.
I have several safes. I favor combination locks. (a key over-ride is a good thing if the key is secured).
Two of the safes actually require a key AND a combination (something you have and something you know http://www.firearmstalk.com/images/thumbs_up.gif
Key locks concern me, because a child or man-child may see where the key is stored.
I haven't seen accurate info on the CT shooter, but I would think that she kept the guns locked because she knew her son was crazy.
I am a strong supporter of keeping firearms locked up when they are not on your person or under your complete control. I was raised this way, as were my parents (one raised by a mechanic and farmer, the other by a state LEO). I also do have reasons of a more personal nature for keeping mine locked up. Am I comfortable having a loaded HD gun (12 ga. 870) out where my daughter (age 16) can get to it when she is home alone? Yes. Does that mean I fully trust her friends to not do something stupid with the same gun? No. When we are all out, all of them are locked up. Period.
I have a friend that learned the hard way that even if you can trust your own kid(s), you can't always trust their friends. My friend's son was shot and killed by his best friend when one of his step dad's pistols was found by the friend. The maincause of the accident was a lack of training, the friend had never handled a gun in his 18 years on earth. While checking out what he thought was an unloaded pistol, he pulled the trigger, and shot their son in the head. The irony of the situation? His mother and I split the cost of a pistol safe with a combo lock for his step-father's gift. It was 2 rooms over, sitting under the tree. Christmas Eve funerals suck, trust me on that one.
All I can hope fro is that this post will be read by a new owner, who is wondering what to do to keep his\her kids safe, and keep their guns from being used illegally. Take it from someone who knows first hand, no matter how well you trained your own kids, or how safe of an area you live in. If you like your guns, lock them up. The only exception to this is when they are on your person, or under the control of your self or a qualified person you can trust. No exceptions. No excuses.
Also read the owner's manual, and know your state laws. Some states require you to lock up your firearms, In a safe, with a trigger lock, and with the ammo seperate. CYA, it is in your own best intrest to do so, and it will further disarm those who wish to disarm you.
As for the alcohol, prohibition was a huge failure. Add in that so many people are lushes, and you won't get support in banning it.
Guns on the other hand are not seen as necessary by the anti-gun crowd. They point to the ready availability of food at your local grocery store. They don't even consider the conservation achieved by hunters, but wait until they're up to their butts in emaciated Bambi carcasses and listen to the outcry. They'll probably want to ban single family homes because of their impact on wildlife habitat. Heaven forbid they should actually suggest thinning the herd by hunting.
What I don't get is the outcry against auto-loading weapons with high capacity magazines. Before arthritis invaded I was able to accurately fire a 6 shot revolver at a rate of just under one round per second including reloads, and I could do it until both my dump pouches and my pocket were empty. Sure, it took a little practice, but not that much. Twelve rounds, eleven seconds, all in the K5 on multiple targets. It's not that hard. Repeat as necessary.
Honestly, after Connecticut and the NY firefighter sniping I wouldn't want to be in Bushmaster's corporate shoes, but it's not the manufacturers fault. The same thing could have been accomplished with a bolt or lever action rifle if the nutcase shooting it had the inclination.
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