In the world of firearms, safety is a common topic and though many who participate in shooting activities commonly speak of the 4 laws of gun safety the actual adherence to them is questionable at best. Utilizing safe practices is a hallmark of a life well lived or more importantly long lived. Far too often, people’s actions point out the glaring discrepancy between their intent and their practice.
When it comes to safely handling, discharging, practicing, competing and training with firearms there is no room for error. Firearms are inherently dangerous. There is no disputing this. It is a fact. It is our diligence and commitment to proper protocol that ensures we can continue to utilize these tools without endangering lives. There is a difference between doing something dangerous, being negligent or being reckless. Danger is a part of nearly everything we do. The mere act of living is to be in danger of dying. We cannot escape this. Being negligent or worse being reckless has no place in the use of firearms and it is actions in these categories that has our nation divided on whether we should have the right to own these tools.
A recent incident at a USPSA shooting competition highlights the role familiarity can play in complacency and why it is of paramount importance never to treat the handling of firearms as a non-dangerous activity. In the video above, a competitor is clearing a stage in a shooting competition when he rounds a corner and a man can be seen standing down range. Discussions of the video produce a variety of responses with the blame going in many directions but the reality is that everyone is equally responsible for safety when it comes to firearms. We cannot let our ego get in the way of making intelligent and safe decisions and from pointing out when someone else is making an incorrect or unsafe decision.
Know the difference between Dangerous, Negligent and Reckless and be vigilant about avoiding the second two.
Never lose sight of your situational awareness no matter what activity you are participating in.
Always follow the 4 laws of firearm safety:
- Treat all guns as if they are loaded 100% of the time
- Never point a firearm at anything you are not willing to buy, destroy, maim or kill.
- Keep your finger off the trigger until your weapon is on target and ready to shoot.
- Always be aware of your target and what is Left, Right, Above, Below and Beyond