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April 11, 2013 / Gregory Williams

“Safety is Everybody’s Responsibility”

Hundreds of children die and thousands are wounded in accidental shootings each year in the United States.

Store firearms securely when out of your direct control.

“Safety is everybody’s responsibility” is what the Range Officer at the pistol shoots I compete in says right after he yells, “Shooters! Gather ’round!”

It’s the same talk read verbatim from script, every single match.

This is not just done for the benefit of new competitors, but for the benefit of all.

When you have fifty people moving and shooting next to each other, no one objects to going over the rules one more time before getting started.

Yet Americans seem to have a problem reiterating firearm safety to their children. If at all.

Whether parents are pro-gun or anti-gun makes no difference. There are hundreds of millions of guns in the United States and with the firearms industry booming–and no significant bans in sight, there will only be more. Parents owe it to their children to prepare them to encounter an unattended firearm at least as much as to cross the street, or to be wary of strangers.

What is most disturbing is that many gun owning parents do not follow these rules, resulting in far more deaths and injuries among children than from mass shootings annually.

Below are some basic firearm safety rules that even non-gun owners should know. Keep in mind what follows is in no way intended to be a complete guide to firearm safety.

Basic firearm safety rules.

All guns are always loaded!

Always keep the gun’s barrel pointed in a safe direction!

Keep your finger outside of the trigger well and away from the trigger until you are ready to shoot!

Keep guns unloaded until you are ready to shoot!

Basic rules for children.

Stop!

Don’t touch!

Leave the gun alone and go find an adult!

Basic rules for storage.

Store guns, unloaded, in a safe that is properly installed, or if necessary use a lock capable of blocking the barrel, magazine well, or cylinder.

Store ammunition separately in a secure location.

The only gun that should ever be unlocked is the one under your direct control.

If your safe or lock requires a key, keep track of your keys. Safes and locks are useless if their keys are left out for all to see.

 

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