Like many Americans I do believe in the right to own firearms. This right I believe is a foundation of this country but that foundation is based upon individuals knowing how to use a gun properly and for socially acceptable pursuits. To me the acceptable pursuits are hunting, target practice, collecting and self-defense. All these pursuits call for the safe handling of the gun/pistol. It also calls for parental guidance and education on the use of weapons.
As we near the end of the current year it is with sad reflection that firearm freedom promotes abuse just like the lack of regulation on Wall Street promoted the financial depression that has hurt so many Americans. Despite these difficulties I do still believe in the value of being able to own firearms. However, I do think that assault weapons designed for military use have no place in civilian hands except perhaps for the collector who makes the weapon inoperable. These weapons, like derivatives in the financial world, are one of the roots of the problems we have seen in the last year.
Another root is the careless purchase, transportation, use and storage of these weapons. For example, on Sunday Dec 9th the Associated Press carried a story of a Father who was trying to sell his guns. The man from Pennsylvania drove to a store with his son but the store doesn’t buy firearms. Come to find out the man failed to unload a pistol and the gun went off as he was getting back into his truck. The bullet struck his 7-year-old son who died from the wound. This is a sad accident but one that should never happen if you have been trained and ‘respect’ the weapon.
Basically, if you have firearms you need to know that they are not toys and need to be respected. They also need to be secured if they are kept in the home. This security should include being placed into a locked cabinet and putting a trigger lock on the weapon. Ammunition should also be stored in a locked room ideally separated from the guns/pistols.
You, as the owner also need to know that if you have children that they will attempt to look at and play with your weapons. Personally I own 3 hunting rifles. I do not have a safe place to put these so I have them at my Mothers home. Remember, as the parent it is YOUR responsibility:
- to work with your child and teach them firearm safety, how to shoot a gun and how to handle, clean and store the weapon .
- to unload your weapon and to do it in a safe place.
- to secure your weapons and keep them out of the reach of children.
I know these are difficult responsibilities but the alternative tends to be more difficult. If you are going to keep weapons in your house it is your duty to your children to keep them safe. Comments are welcome.