by Ric Hubbard • June 18, 2018
I would like to start with two points. First, it is the position of Ready Magazine that firearms ownership is an individual, personal right that is protected by the Constitution, not granted. Guns are an important survival tool that everyone should consider and decide on based on their beliefs and needs.
Second, I will not be making any further comments on the politics of this on the website after this post. Ready Magazine is not a political website. It is meant to be about sharing ideas and information to help readers live a more informed and secure life. That being said, I think the discussion of firearms responsibility has merit beyond the political discussion.
Due to the highly political nature of gun ownership in America it is hard to pin down an exact number of accidental deaths. One stat from the CDC indicates that in 2016 there were 495 deaths from accidental gunshots, about 0.003% of deaths. Unlike death from violence, all of these deaths are preventable.
In countries like New Zealand and Australia there are laws that dictate how guns are stored and provide penalties for not meeting the requirements. Some countries require firearms be stored at a gun club so that they can only be used on those premises. Here in the US we are starting to have similar laws suggested to reduce accidental gun deaths. I personally find that kind of law unacceptable, but it is also troubling to me that we have enough accidents due to irresponsibility to allow for these laws to be considered. This is one of those areas where we can and should take it upon ourselves to solve the problem.
The largest number of accidental deaths are among young people, kids. There are two solutions that can help to reduce these numbers. First, keep your guns locked securely to prevent unauthorized access. Gun safes, locking hard cases and biometric pistol safes for home defense guns are all inexpensive ways to secure guns.
Second, and this is a matter of personal choice, consider demystifying guns with your kids. Teach them about the responsibility of gun ownership. Discuss the dangers of misuse and the consequences of accidents. Finally, teach them to enjoy the shooting sport in a safe manner. If the curiosity about guns is sated, there is less of a chance of an accident by a curious kid. Knowing the rules of safe gun handling will help to reduce accidental deaths.
There is also something to be said about not being obvious about gun ownership. I don’t mean not talking about guns but making them hard to find. Consider keeping them in room with little traffic and curtailing outward signs of gun ownership outside the home. The macho signs that are offered on various web sites that indicate that intruders will be shot are actually telling thieves to wait until that owners leave, and you can get free guns here. Keeping guns out of hands of those who should not have them is our responsibility and making it harder to steal guns is the best thing that we can do to help.
Pro-gun groups are constantly talking about responsible gun owners. It is up to us to make sure they are talking about us. I am hoping that my readers will take these thoughts to heart and that you share my opinion that by acting responsibly, we close this particular road to greater gun control.
10 Leading Causes of Death, United States, 2016, All Races, Both Sexes
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