A Gun Owner’s Responsibilities
American’s enjoy a right that citizens of many other countries do not – the right to own firearms. But with this right comes a responsibility. It is the gun owner’s responsibility to store, operate and maintain his or her firearms safety. It is the gun owner’s responsibility to ensure that unauthorized or untrained individuals cannot gain access to his or her firearms. And it is the gun owner’s responsibility to learn and obey all applicable laws that pertain to the purchase, possession and use of a firearm in his or her locale. Guns are neither safe nor unsafe by themselves. When people learn and practice responsible gun ownership, firearms are safe. – NRA Guide to the Basics of Personal Protection in the Home
One of the most important factors for gun safety is to understand the NRA’s three safety rules of gun handling.
1 Always keep you gun pointed in a safe direction. This means any direction where if an accidental discharge were to occur you would not harm someone. This also means you do not point your gun at anything you do not want to destroy.
2 Keep you finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot. Finger simply off the trigger but alongside the trigger guard, in my opinion is not an option. The safer choice is indexed alongside the frame of the gun. This habit will also prevent accidental discharge while drawing from a holster.
3 Keep your firearm unloaded until ready to use. Ready to use is the key phrase here. Ready to use will depend on your situation and your surroundings. In your holster as every day carry = ready to use.
Understanding the responsibilities of gun ownership widens the gap between those casual users who shoot for fun and those who want to expand their skill set into personal defense. Using a firearm as self-defense is a tool of last resort, once the round has left the barrel there is no taking it back. So you must be sure that you are prepared and adopted the mindset to end another’s life if the situation calls for it.
Deciding to use a firearm in self-defense, users need to evaluate their personal ethics, morals and beliefs as they pertain to taking a life. If you have an objection to using deadly force, firearms should be omitted from your personal defensive plan. Only you can decide if using deadly force is right for you. Remember, there are other options for personal defense and all of your options should be evaluated before deciding on what to include in your plan.
Before you decide to train with any weapon, the first tool in your kit should be the proper mindset. I will dive further into this topic next time.