2 Jan 15
“The moving finger writes; and, having writ, moves on:
Nor all your piety nor wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a line,
Nor all your tears wash away a word of it”
Omar Khayyam (1048-1131AD)
Several tragic, high-profile gun accidents over the Holidays should cause all Operators to look once again at our own routines and review the way we teach our students about this subject.
I’m not sure all tragic accidents, involving guns or otherwise, are preventable. But. I am persuaded that the vast majority are.
“Answers” offered-up by the shallow and self-centered always involve additional restrictions on gun-ownership, and manufacturing mandates deigned to render guns impotent.
At least at the federal level, none of that is likely any time soon.
On a personal level, we all need to reemphasize:
Guns, regardless of their supposed condition, need to be either “attended,” or locked-up! All guns during untended storage need to be (1) out of sight and (2) “appropriately secured.”
It is perfectly acceptable for one to carry a gun as a daily practice, on his person and in a high state of readiness, so long as the gun remains under the direct control of the carrier. All modern, reputable pistols, and holsters, are specifically designed to facilitate this practice. In fact, we Operators have adopted the convention as a lifestyle and do it daily, by choice.
However, “off-body” carry presents a particular challenge in this regard. Thus, who choose to carry off-body need to be made acutely aware of the necessity of employing only purses and handbags specifically designed for the concealed carrying of pistols, and even then, keeping the ensemble under their continuous “direct control.” A brief lapse can be disastrous, as we have seen!
Unnecessary gun-handling needs to be eliminated. Guns, no mater their supposed “condition,” are far less likely to be involved in an unintentional discharge when they are simply left in their holsters and not touched, than when they are incessantly handled, particularly when such “handing” serves no logical function. Constantly loading, “clearing,” and reloading of guns during the course of the day is seldom necessary for any legitimate purpose. And, there is rarely a “safe direction” handy in which to point a gun during such unneeded handling.
It is better by far, to remove a loaded pistol from a holster and, without doing anything to it, simply secure it, as-is, in a locked container, than it is to “clear” it in a place that has no safe direction in which it can be pointed during the “clearing” process, and then subsequently leave it laying around, unsecured!
All gun-owners need to attend a competent and serious defensive shooting course, so they can learn, hands-on, from accomplished instructors how to handle guns safely and proficiently, how to keep guns continuously pointed in relatively safe directions, and how to insure finger(s) don’t come into contact with triggers at inappropriate times. Merely reading a book or manual, no matter how thorough or well-written, will not suffice!
There are inherent risks that attach to gun-ownership, and particularly to routine gun-carrying. These risks can be drastically reduced through good procedure and correct gun-handling, but risk can never be eliminated altogether, no matter what procedure to which you adhere, nor what kind nor brand of gun(s) you own.
Of course, risk also attaches to not having access to guns!
This is America, and the choice is left to the individual (at least for now).
With that said, ultimately the overly-casual, nonchalant, absent-minded, and neglectful, even when they are otherwise “good” people, should voluntarily pass on gun-ownership, for the sake of their own safety and for the safety of others with whom the come in contact.
Once your bullet leaves the muzzle, for any reason and under any circumstance, it has no “friends!”
“Who cannot be made to heed, shall be made to feel.”
Confucius (attributed), 551-479BC