August 14, 2015

Guns and Safety

Guns are a controversial subject, but that doesn't change the fact that everyone needs to know about guns to be safe if they are around. You can be certain that even if you don't have a gun someone you know probably does.

Whether you have one or not and no matter what your opinions are regarding guns, they must be acknowledged as representing a potential danger to you and others whenever they are present.

Guns and Kids

The fact its that guns are kept in many households. That's why it's important to educate kids of all ages about the potential dangers of guns, and what to do if they find one.

If you keep a gun in your house and kids are around, it's vital to keep it out of sight and out of reach of kids. It's best that the gun should be kept locked and unloaded, and the ammunition should be stored separately.

Guns and Pretend Play

Allowing kids to play with toy guns is a personal decision, as is how to respond to a child's pretend shooting action during the course of play. Remember that even if you don't allow your kids to have a toy gun, their friends may have them. So spend time to teach your kids that real guns — unlike toy guns or those shown on TV, in movies, or in video games — can seriously injure or even kill a person.

Talking to Kids About Gun Safety

Teach kids of all ages to follow these rules if they come into contact with a gun:

  • Stop what they're doing.
  • Do not touch the gun.
  • Leave the area where the gun is.
  • Tell an adult right away.

It's particularly important for kids to leave the area to avoid being harmed by someone who doesn't know not to touch the gun. A child as young as 3 years old has the finger strength to pull a trigger. It's also important for kids to tell an adult right away about a gun that has been found.

If You Have a Gun in Your Home

Many kids are raised with guns in the home, particularly if hunting is a part of family recreation. If you keep a gun in the home, it's your job to teach your kids to act in a safe and responsible way around it. To ensure the safest environment for your family:

  • Take the ammunition out of the gun.
  • Lock the gun and keep it out of reach of kids. Hiding the gun is not enough.
  • Lock the ammunition and store it apart from the gun.
  • Store the keys for the gun and the ammunition in a different area from where you store household keys. Keep the keys out of reach of children.
  • Lock up gun-cleaning supplies, which are often poisonous.
  • When handling or cleaning a gun, adults should never leave the gun unattended.

Safe and Responsible Gun Handling

If you have a gun, each and every time you take a gun out of storage or handle a gun you should ALWAYS follow these four rules for safe gun handling. You want these rules to be natural habits; holding yourself to them each and every time helps make them so.

1. Treat every firearm as if it's loaded.
Even if you're absolutely certain a gun is unloaded don't change the way you handle it. ALWAYS assume the gun is loaded and ready to fire.

2. Never point a firearm at anything you are not willing to destroy.
Accept the mindset to always keep your gun pointed in a direction that would safely stop the bullet should it discharge. If you will be cleaning or handling your unloaded gun at home, find a safe direction ahead of time, because bullets penetrate floors, ceilings, windows, roofs, and walls. Good options miught be masonry, a full bookcase, a full freezer, or downward if you're on the ground floor. Best might be a five gallon bucket full of sand.

3. Always be sure of your target and what is beyond it.
You are responsible for the entire path of every bullet you fire from your gun. If you hit your intended target, the bullet may still continue through.

4. Keep your finger off the trigger until you are on target and ready to fire.
This means to keep your trigger finger straight, and to raise it up to rest flat alongside the body of your gun. Whenever you are not on target and ready to fire, your trigger finger should always be outside the trigger guard and resting straight and flat alongside the body of your gun.