With everything that has been going on, from pandemic to antifa, there are a lot of people who have been buying guns, and most of the recent gun sales have been to new gun owners, first-time gun buyers.
Owning a gun is a pretty serious responsibility, and as such, there are some things that first-time gun buyers should be told. When you hear some of this, there might be a knee-jerk reaction of I already know thaaaat. But it really does need to be spelled out for some people. In what follows, I will go over the universal gun safety rules, as well as some advice for safe storage and staging.
- Treat all guns as if they are loaded.
Never assume that a gun is empty.Treat the gun as if it were loaded from the moment you pick it up. If you are about to clean it, or if you are about to take it to the range, act as if. I had a cousin who was cleaning his gun. He assumed it was empty, and foolishly put it to his head and said, “Hey look, I’m a suicide!” and blew his brains out in front of family. He violated rule number one, he didn’t treat the gun as if it was loaded. Would you put a gun to your head and pull the trigger if you assumed it was loaded? I would hope not.
2. Never point a gun at something you are not willing to destroy.
Negligent discharges kill a lot of people every year. When I was a kid, gun safety was taught every year in school. We were actually taught, in school, what to do if we found a gun, as well as what not to do. In our modern mollycoddling world, we do not want children to know of the existence of guns and death and all sorts of other boogie-men. The thought being that if the kid doesn’t know of such things, they won’t get hurt. There is no pointing a gun at a friend in jest. Guns are not toys or props. They are a tool, and they are not dangerous if they are handled properly and responsibly.
3. Keep your finger off of the trigger until you are have made the decision to shoot.
This is the point where people probably make the biggest mistakes. Your finger should never be in a position to
accidentally negligently squeeze the trigger. Not only should your finger not be on the trigger, it should be against the frame of the gun, on a semi-auto, against the slide, until you have your sights aligned and have made the decision to shoot.
4. Be sure of your target, and what is beyond it.
If you squeeze the trigger, you are 100% responsible for the bullet and the damage it does from the moment it leaves the barrel of the gun until it stops moving. You might have the bad guy in your sights, but if there is someone directly behind him, and if your bullet passes through the bad guy and into the innocent, you are responsible for that person as well.
Real life isn’t like a movie. The bullet doesn’t stop inside of the bad guy every time, and if you make the rookie mistake of loading your defensive gun with range ammo, it will pass right through the bad guy and keep right on trucking.
Those are the universal rules of gun safety. Every gun safety course teaches these rules, even if the exact verbiage differs from class to class.
To this, for the new gun owner, the first-time gun owner, I would add a word about storage and staging. Storage is what you do with your gun when you are not planning on using it soon. Clean it, oil it, and lock it away when it comes to storage. Staging is what you do with your home defense gun. If your home defense gun is a handgun, It will, obviously, be loaded and ready to fire. Keep it in an access safe. I also recommend keeping it in your carry holster. The holster will help you keep your sleep-interrupted-adrenal-infused self from putting you finger on the trigger and possibly firing the gun and injuring/killing a loved one.
Those are my tips for the new/first-time gun owner. Please let me know if there is anything you feel I left out!