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Same Page = Safe Home

The most important issue in a home with firearms is that everyone is on the same page when it comes to gun handling. Not doing this is like having two people blindfolded with running chainsaws in a closet — nothing good is going to come of it. The most important rules to follow are the four firearm safety rules we all hear time and again. Yes, they’re used for general gun handling, but were truly designed for use in the middle of a fight — whether in the battlefield of Afghanistan or in the middle of your living room. There are a few things I would like you to consider to help you make a start at getting on the same page at home. Let’s start with the Four Firearm safety rules, so check out the chart and read ’em out loud.

Thousands of people have been taught these rules, and they work. Don’t think so? Apply them to the following true stories. The husband, 5 years ago, who decided to use his .357 to shoot a hole through the wall of his house for the TV cable. His wife was outside working in the garden — and he killed her. The cop who, 2 years ago, was practicing his drawing technique with his Glock and killed his wife as she walked into the living room. Most recently, the Navy Seal who was showing a girl his gun and shot himself in the head trying to show her the gun was unloaded? There’s plenty more just like these.

Surprisingly, the biggest issue I have seen over the last 22 years is after a woman takes a gun class and she has enough knowledge on board to go home and correct unsafe gun handling that has been going on in her home. If this rings true to you, regardless of who is involved, then swallow your ego and make the changes now. Your lives, and the lives of your loved ones, are worth it.

Four Firearm Safety Rules

1: Treat all guns as if they are loaded.
2: Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target.
3: Don’t point the muzzle at anything you are not willing to destroy.
4: Always be sure of your target and backstop.
By Heidi Smith

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  1. Great article. I have no explanation for such accidents other than stupidity – especially the SEAL. Our nation is a strange admixture of freedom and ignorance which sometimes results in sadly tragic events. I have advocated mandatory firearms training for every American, which usually generates blank stares or vehement opposition. But, as a child I underwent such training because I lived on a military base near a live-fire range. I have used the same training with my family and am certain that my children and my wife understand the proper handling of firearms. There is something to be said for my military training long ago which included a punch in the mouth if you muzzle swept another sailor and God help you if you fired a weapon before your rangemaster told you to. The point of this training wasn’t advocacy for beating people, it was to instill in everyone the understanding that what you were using (a weapon) was designed with one purpose – to kill other humans: which included the person handling it if done irresponsibly. Keep advocating firearm safety, there will never be enough!!!

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