January 19, 2009

Be secure! Be safe! Be smart!

(Wow... This is my 150th blog post! A fitting topic for such a milestone.)

I learned today that gun sales in America continue to grow. Gun stores and sporting goods departments are running out of stock and manufacturers are having trouble filling orders. I think this is amazing. I wish I owned stock in a couple gun companies!

However, there is a downside, a very dark downside. It turns out that many of these new gun owners are first-time buyers with no previous firearms experience. They're going to need to learn some new habits in order to keep themselves and everyone around them safe. If you just bought your first gun, or if you know someone who just bought their first gun, then today's post is for you!

First, buy a gun safe. Spend at least as much money on your gun safe as you did on your shiny new firearm. In many cases, you might even want to spend considerably more. A good gun safe will not only protect your friends and family from accidents, it will protect your guns from thieves, from weather, from fire, and from other unforeseen disasters. If you're worried you won't be able to get to your gun in time to use it, put the safe right next to your bed.

Second, get trained! The best gun in the world will be of no use to you if you cannot maintain it properly, use it safely, and hit what you aim at every single time. You don't have to be able to put holes in dimes at five hundred paces, but you do need to be able to hit a dinner plate at fifty yards with every trigger pull. That won't happen if you don't have proper training.

Third, practice regularly! A gun is a tool. It is a very sophisticated tool with a design that features centuries of refinements. A quality gun is a precision machine with more attention to detail and hard-core engineering than a laptop computer. The simplicity and elegance of modern firearms is no accident. If you bought a good gun, you can be assured it was designed by some of the finest engineers in the world, manufactured by some of the best trained workers in the world, and upholds a quality standard that car manufacturers can only dream of.

If you didn't buy a good gun then take it back and trade it in on one with better quality. Your life really does depend on it.

But all that quality will not help you if you do not practice. Like any sport, you will have to practice for hundreds of hours to shoot well, thousands to excel. So find a gun club near your house or workplace and practice at least once a week.

And now, here are some links to get you started:

Browning Gun Safes
Heritage Safes
NRA Firearms Training Center Database

Be secure! Buy a good gun safe and use it.
Be safe! Learn to shoot safely and accurately.
Be smart! Hone your newfound skills with regular practice. Clean your gun after every practice session. Lock your gun up when you're not carrying it, using it, or cleaning it.

Most important of all, have fun! Shooting is a hobby that will put you in touch with some of the finest people in the world. True, there are a few oddballs, but as long as they use their firearms safely you won't have anything to worry about from them. If they don't, they'll either wind up dead or in jail and then no one will have to worry about them.