Posted by: Redbeard | December 20, 2012

Gun Owner Responsibility

I was going to write a rant about the fallacies of “gun control” as proposed by the President, a number of elected officials, and the usual groups of Second Amendment and gun haters. But I will not. There have been way too many pundits on both sides of the issue trying to out yell each other on newscasts and talk shows. In the end they all call for meaningful solutions to the problem. Assuming that the gun owner is properly trained, this is what I propose.

I have no problem with background checks either at a gun store, or at a gun show. It is illogical to require one at a gun store and not at a show. So if that is what’s happening at shows then that’s one step that needs to be corrected.

Secondly, I think that all weapons should be sold with an appropriate external safety device. If that means a trigger lock, okay. If that means a device that prevents  loading  a shell into a rifle, that’s fine as well.

So far we have an approved purchaser, who was sold a weapon by a FFL (Federal Firearms License) holder, with appropriate internal and external safety devices.

(Can you see where I’m going with this?)

The responsibility for that weapon has now left the manufacturer and seller, and resides with the current owner. What is the extent of that responsibility and is there a point where it ends. Being a responsible weapon owner is twofold. One part is to maintain the gun, the bow, or edge weapon properly. The second part is to properly secure that weapon against unauthorized usage. It is one thing to have the antique flintlock over the fireplace at the hunting Lodge and yet another to have a loaded .30-30 in the same place. Having a handgun or shotgun readily available at night or while you are home is fine but should you leave the house, you must secure weapons that you are not licensed to carry. By securing I do not mean that you stuff it into the back of a closet. It means putting it in a gun vault. I don’t mean cabinet. Those are not much better than a gym locker. The pricey gun case, made of polished wood and glass panels displaying the fine array of rifles that you own is even more easily breached. Why advertise?

Modern gun vaults or safes are not easily opened by those who do not have the combination. That may be the crux in many cases. You may say “He’s my son or daughter, they are responsible gun users, they have the combination to my gun safe.” Sorry that’s the wrong thinking. The combination to your gun vault or safe is something that no one but you should know. It is wise to place a combination in an envelope in your safety deposit box or with your lawyer and to be changed it each time you change the battery. Nobody should be able to see you enter that combination, ever. These sons and daughters may badger you, making statements like “I’ve taken all the courses and we have been hunting hundreds of times together, but you don’t trust me.”Or “When are you going to treat me as an adult? You keep telling me to grow up but I don’t even have access to my own guns.” My reply would simple “In my house all weapons are under my control. Any time you need access to your weapons all you ever have to do is ask.” It does not matter whether the son or daughter is 14 or 48. The weapon will be secured when not in use.

I am not just talking about rifles or shotguns. I’m also talking about handguns and hunting knives. For those who are trained in their use and safety, carrying a handgun in your home or on your property is not unusual. In most States though, having a CCW or Concealed Carried Weapon in public, requires a permit. To obtain that permit almost always requires special training, knowledge, education and ongoing proficiency documentation. It is a serious responsibility.

At the end of the day it will ultimately be the responsibility of the gun or weapon owner to properly maintain and secure the weapons in their home or business. The purchase of a gun means that you must control the gun. If we continue to do otherwise, then there will be further erosion of our Second Amendment rights under the guise of gun control.


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