Contributor Post Created with Sketch. The Rules of Gun Safety Are for Everyone, Not Just Gun Owners

 

GunLet’s begin with the obvious: The senseless, stupid tragedy of a 73-year-old Punta Gorda, FL volunteer being killed was caused by a cop and/or a police department who thought it would be a good idea to point an actual firearm (loaded with blanks or not) at a person and pull the trigger.

Period, full stop.

For reasons that are sure to come out at a later date, they thought that breaking the fundamental rules of gun safety in order to set up a poorly-design “active shooter” drill was a good idea. They’re the ones who broke the fundamental rules of gun safety, and so they need to be rightly excoriated for what they did.

But.

Why did no one present that day pipe up and say “Wait, what are you going to do? That’s unsafe, I won’t participate!” Would we sit there and participate in a group demonstration where a cop says “Okay, I’m going to drive towards you at full speed, and at the last second, I’ll swerve away, I promise!” I wouldn’t, and I like doing things like jumping out of airplanes. Why then did these citizens (and others) think that getting shot at by a cop, even a with a gun that (allegedly) held blanks, was a good idea?

I believe the reason is because the Three Rules of Gun Safety have not spread outside of gun culture, and that’s a shame. These rules have been proven to work time and time again, and yet Moms Demand Action and other groups steadfastly refuse to allow this message of common-sense gun safety to be spread to a larger audience.

If we want fewer accidental gun deaths, we need to educate the public about what guns can and cannot do and when they are and are not dangerous. Groups like the NRA and the Project Childsafe are fulfilling this mission, while all that Bloomberg’s minions are doing is recruiting Kardashians to spread their message of civilian disarmament.

The rules of gun safety are not just for gun owners: We teach our children at an early age to look both ways before crossing a street and they don’t own a car, so why aren’t we teaching our children at an early age how to stay safe around guns? What would happen if the next time someone tried a stupid stunt with a gun, someone in the audience stepped up and said, “No, this is a dumb idea, and here’s why”? An informed public is a safer public, and getting the message out about how to safely handle a gun (whether they’re a policeman or not), will always be a good thing.

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  1. Stad Thatcher

    When I first read that story, I wondered what kind of moron would do such a thing. When a law enforcement officer messes up, it casts a pall on everyone that wears blue, or anyone who loves their firearms.

    Look, gun safety should be a life skill taught the same as swimming, or how to ride a bicycle. Unfortunately, liberals block efforts by the NRA to bring the Eddie Eagle gun safety course into schools nationwide.

    This is proof that these “Gun Safety” groups are not about safety at all. Their view of “Gun Safety” means taking firearms away from smart, cognizant citizens who practice gun safety, and who know that a citizen’s firearm is what keeps the enemy at bay when the police are ordered not to respond. Or, when the police are busy and cannot show.

    To this day, I don’t know how our men and women in blue could simply stand by and watch citizens being assaulted, as was done after a Trump rally a few weeks ago. However, I understand why they would hesitate, given the chance they would be prosecuted for stupid, manufactured PC reasons.

    God bless our men and women in blue.

    • #1
    • August 14, 2016, at 1:21 PM PDT
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  2. James Of England Moderator
    James Of England Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    This is an excellent point. I was talking to a just about to graduate from the academy cop yesterday about gun control. He was broadly in favor, and was concerned about where he was going to keep his gun with a child present. I talked about the level of crime in Wyoming and the level of crime in DC, about the way that America didn’t just have more gun homicides than the UK, but also had more non-gun homicides, all that stuff.

    What I should have talked about was the stuff in this post. About how raising his child not to have the sort of uninformed fear of guns that comes with them being taboo, but the sort of informed fear of guns that comes with familiarity and training is a far more healthy thing. Instead of talking statistics, I should have given him a way to be a hero. Next time.

    • #2
    • August 14, 2016, at 1:31 PM PDT
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  3. Mark Wilson Member
    Mark Wilson Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I have found that some non-gun people find it unpleasant to think or talk in too much detail about guns, their mechanisms, operation, or procedures. I think it’s a combination of squeamishness and discomfort with their own lack of knowledge. I debated the assault weapons issue with a relative and whenever I tried to really get her to say specifically what she wanted to be illegal and why, she would avoid answering the question and revert to a moral outrage mode of argument.

    That is the field we have to play on. While it may feel good to stand back and mock that kind of response from the other side, it’s not going to benefit anybody. We need to come up with strategies that can coax that type of person out of their comfort zone to engage and learn from us irredeemable gun nuts. It will require tenderness and patience on our part.

    • #3
    • August 14, 2016, at 1:32 PM PDT
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  4. Quietpi Member

    Why can’t I recommend this twice? or two or three… or “n” times? Why only once?

    • #4
    • August 14, 2016, at 1:33 PM PDT
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  5. Lash LaRoche Inactive

    Agree completely. Great post.

    • #5
    • August 14, 2016, at 2:04 PM PDT
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  6. Owen Findy Member

    Very good points, Kevin.

    • #6
    • August 14, 2016, at 2:32 PM PDT
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  7. Trinity Waters Inactive

    What media organ that could connect with the general population would run any “gun” article not damning them? Remember, these devices autonomously jump out of pockets, holsters and drawers to do their heinous deeds!

    • #7
    • August 14, 2016, at 3:34 PM PDT
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  8. Eugene Kriegsmann Member

    I have spent a lot of time at my local range shooting with police officers from the smaller towns around Tacoma. The majority of these officers are merely practicing in order to meet minimum standards required of them. They aren’t gun lovers or even gun likers. Their guns are simply something hanging on their belts like their handcuffs. Almost any civilian shooter at that range has a far better understanding of gun safety than any of these officers. I am not sure to what extent officers are required to demonstrate knowledge of the basic rules of gun safety. However, it is appalling to me that any person who has received even the most minimal training in gun handling and safety would ever point a gun, loaded or unloaded at another person who he does not intend to kill. It is also a rule at the range I go to that if you ever see anyone doing anything that is potentially dangerous that you inform them immediately of that fact. Do not wait for the range officer to notice and to respond.

    I agree totally with your views, Kevin. Gun safety is something that everyone whether they handle guns on a regular basis or may never hold on in their hands should know and understand. Even pointing toy guns at a playmate is something that should be discouraged with an explanation as to why we don’t do that. What happened in that event you described above is inexcusable.

    • #8
    • August 14, 2016, at 3:36 PM PDT
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  9. Kevin Creighton Contributor
    Kevin Creighton

    Trinity Waters: Remember, these devices autonomously jump out of pockets, holsters and drawers to do their heinous deeds!

    I keep hearing about “gun violence”.

    All my guns are decidedly non-violent. They’re downright passive, if not 100% lazy. They just sit there and don’t do anything at all unless I pick them up.

    It’s almost as if the person holding them is responsible for what they do, and not the guns themselves…

    • #9
    • August 14, 2016, at 4:07 PM PDT
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  10. Doug Watt Moderator

    Gun safety depends upon the training model that each department adopts. For example in the case of a department that issues Glocks’ how many of those officers in the training division have taken the Glock armorers course? Does your state have a certification course for police range masters and instructors. How many police departments in your state have a training division, how much is your county or city willing to spend on training, how much are you as a private citizen willing to pay for decent training?

    In the case of the Florida officer if what is true that he was a problem child then he should have been assigned desk duty or to the property room to minimize his contact with the public. There is no excuse for any officer to have a loaded duty weapon, or any other loaded firearm in a simulated training exercise.

    • #10
    • August 14, 2016, at 4:14 PM PDT
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  11. Kevin Creighton Contributor
    Kevin Creighton

    Quietpi:Why can’t I recommend this twice? or two or three… or “n” times? Why only once?

    Y’know, there is this thing called “sharing on social media” that could help with that… ;)

    • #11
    • August 14, 2016, at 4:56 PM PDT
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  12. Wiley Inactive

    Can I add a fourth? They also might need to know to always treat a gun as if loaded because there might be a cartridge in the chamber. Here is where the 4th rule was needed. Unfortunately a true story. A kid brought a pistol to school, and was caught by a teacher who took it from the child. So the teacher thought she knew about guns (movies?) and proceeded to eject the magazine. Thinking the gun was now safe she gave it to a young girl to hold. The young girl then shot and killed herself.

    • #12
    • August 14, 2016, at 5:44 PM PDT
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  13. Kevin Creighton Contributor
    Kevin Creighton

    Something in addition to this that I thought of after I hit “Publish” is that every single thing that liberals tell us would make us safer around guns, didn’t work in Punta Gorda. “Only ones”, background checks, assault weapons, all of it failed.

    What would have worked is that cop paying attention to the basic rules of gun safety that the NSSF and NRA preach. More Jeff Cooper, less Kim Kardashian would have saved a live that day.

    • #13
    • August 15, 2016, at 5:23 AM PDT
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  14. 30 mike mike Member

    I have a link for the PGPD to amazon for a $30 “blue gun”. They have several different models available.

    Unfortunately, links for “human brains” are not available!

    • #14
    • August 15, 2016, at 7:32 AM PDT
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  15. Dan Campbell Member

    Gun safety starts with childhood. I blame the Nerf gun. Seriously. Think about it. Back in the Goode Olde Days ™ when I grew up, every kid had a BB gun. Dads bought them and gave them to kids along with training and instruction. We learned basic gun safety. We learned not to point it at other kids. When (notice I didn’t say “if”) a kid shot another kid with a BB, there were CONSEQUENCES. And we all learned from that even if we were not the shooter or the target.

    Now, dads buy their kid Nerf guns and give no training or instruction. The whole idea of a Nerf gun is that you are supposed to shoot your friends. That breeds a culture of people pointing guns and shooting each other with no consequences, which then transfers over to the real item.

    • #15
    • August 15, 2016, at 8:04 AM PDT
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  16. Mark Wilson Member
    Mark Wilson Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Dan Campbell: Dads bought them and gave them to kids along with training and instruction. We learned basic gun safety. We learned not to point it at other kids.

    My brother started an Airsoft hobby after years of experience with real guns. He said it was a mental challenge to bring the muzzle of the Airsoft gun up and point it at people. I completely understand the feeling.

    • #16
    • August 15, 2016, at 9:17 AM PDT
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  17. Kevin Creighton Contributor
    Kevin Creighton

    Mark Wilson: My brother started an Airsoft hobby after years of experience with real guns. He said it was a mental challenge to bring the muzzle of the Airsoft gun up and point it at people. I completely understand the feeling.

    Seriously. I even keep my finger off the trigger of the Windex™ bottle as I walk around the house doing chores.

    • #17
    • August 15, 2016, at 9:25 AM PDT
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  18. Owen Findy Member

    Kevin Creighton: Seriously. I even keep my finger off the trigger of the Windex™ bottle as I walk around the house doing chores.

    So do I. And the drill. Kinda funny … Kinda cool.

    • #18
    • August 15, 2016, at 9:34 AM PDT
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  19. Owen Findy Member

    Kevin Creighton: I keep hearing about “gun violence”.

    Grammar Nazi (GrammarNazi) say: Yes. This is Orwellian mind manipulation, and we should pay attention and eschew its use.

    • #19
    • August 15, 2016, at 9:36 AM PDT
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  20. Polyphemus Inactive

    Stad:…

    Look, gun safety should be a life skill taught the same as swimming, or how to ride a bicycle. Unfortunately, liberals block efforts by the NRA to bring the Eddie Eagle gun safety course into schools nationwide.

    This is proof that these “Gun Safety” groups are not about safety at all. Their view of “Gun Safety” means taking firearms away from smart, cognizant citizens who practice gun safety, and who know that a citizen’s firearm is what keeps the enemy at bay when the police are ordered not to respond. Or, when the police are busy and cannot show….

    This reminds me of the arguments we used to have about “school-based health (sex) clinics” in the 80s. There was a big push to distribute condoms in schools. The argument was that it didn’t matter what message it may or may not send about what we expect from teenagers. The stakes are too high. We must emphasize safety above all. It seems that argument is long forgotten by the same zealots on the Left when the issue is Gun safety instead of Safe Sex. In this case we wouldn’t want to give the appearance of condoning gun use by discussing how to handle them safely.

    I learned long ago that any argument used by the Left is just a handy rationale. A tactic. It is never an application of a principle. The Left does not have principles.

    • #20
    • August 15, 2016, at 10:11 AM PDT
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  21. Mark Wilson Member
    Mark Wilson Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Polyphemus: I learned long ago that any argument used by the Left is just a handy rationale.

    Post-rationalization. Ricochet member @theindependentwhig has written at length about this on his own website. Here’s a good primer, The Rider and the Elephant.

    We humans like to think we’re rational beings, choosing our path through life via dispassionate analysis of objective facts. But that’s really an illusion. The fact is, we’re driven mostly by instinct and intuition; by our “gut feel” and our innate visceral sense of like and dislike. …

    Our judgments and opinions about political and moral issues work much the same way. We know what we like and what we don’t like before we know why, and we develop rationales for our preferences only after the fact. Our intuition and gut feel come first, followed by our thought-out rational explanations for them.

    In this way conscious reason is like a small rider on the back of a large intuitive elephant. The rider’s chief (but not only) function is to justify, defend, and convince others of the beliefs and actions already decided upon by the elephant.

    • #21
    • August 15, 2016, at 11:11 AM PDT
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  22. Polyphemus Inactive

    Mark Wilson:

    Polyphemus: I learned long ago that any argument used by the Left is just a handy rationale.

    Post-rationalization. Ricochet member @theindependentwhig has written at length about this on his own website. Here’s a good primer, The Rider and the Elephant.

    We humans like to think we’re rational beings, choosing our path through life via dispassionate analysis of objective facts. But that’s really an illusion. The fact is, we’re driven mostly by instinct and intuition; by our “gut feel” and our innate visceral sense of like and dislike. …

    Yeah. I get all that. This is an aspect of human nature. If you are saying that “we all do that,” then you are correct. There is still an important distinction:

    Someone rooted in a more traditional Western worldview (conservative if you will) will chafe against that. We would strive to overcome it and would wrestle with the notion that we may be merely confirming our own biases because we tend to believe in a notion of transcendent truth. There is a truth underlying things but we are imperfect in discerning or applying it.

    Someone of the Left would not be bothered philosophically with their confirmation bias being pointed out. It is not an insult to call them hypocritical. This is why we talk past each other. A postmodern left-informed worldview thinks truth is a construct anyway. Inconsistency with principles is not a problem for them because they don’t really operate on principles.

    • #22
    • August 15, 2016, at 2:57 PM PDT
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  23. Mark Wilson Member
    Mark Wilson Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Polyphemus: We would strive to overcome it and would wrestle with the notion that we may be merely confirming our own biases because we tend to believe in a notion of transcendent truth. There is a truth underlying things but we are imperfect in discerning or applying it.

    Yes. Fully agreed.

    • #23
    • August 15, 2016, at 3:27 PM PDT
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  24. Kevin Creighton Contributor
    Kevin Creighton

    … and welcome to everyone visiting R> from NRA Safety, The Well Armed Woman and other waypoints along the big series of tubes that is today’s internet. If you like this post, please consider joining Ricochet for even more good stuff.

    And punch and pie. That too.

    • #24
    • August 17, 2016, at 1:33 PM PDT
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