This last month has seen several headlines featuring tragic cases of gun owner negligence, in the form of failure to prevent unauthorized access.These stories involving the preventable deaths of children have come across my news feed from all around the country. Since Mid-May at least four toddlers have shot themselves with guns owned by family members or their friends. Three have died from their wounds, all to the head, and the last still may. Two of them were 2 years old, the oldest was 5. If you go back to the beginning of the year, you can add many other fatal or non-fatal self-inflicted wounds and incidents where one young child shot another with a gun that they found and should never have had access to. Last year, over 70 Children under the age of 12 died as a result of “accidental” shootings… shootings that were the result of some level of negligence on the part of a gun owner.
Taking reasonable steps to ensure that those incapable of operating a firearm safely can’t get to your guns when they are not under your direct control is one of the most fundamental responsibilities of a gun owner. As a father and step-father, I have to admit to making mistakes in the area of access control at various points over the 30+ years that I have owned firearms. I hope that I have, at least in the later half of those years, learned from the mistakes. Thankfully, no one has ever been hurt when I took a shortcut or was recklessly absent minded about gun storage… Luck Counts, but we can’t count on luck. As I try to be as diligent as is necessary in my own habits, I feel compelled to remind others to do the same.
Please take some time to think about how you are meeting your responsibilities to reduce gun owner negligence. You efforts should include holding other gun owners accountable for proper access control as well. Don’t afraid to ask other gun owners, especially those with kids, about the storage procedures they follow. Don’t be afraid to share stories of the tragedies that result from gun owner negligence. In fact, I believe that we have a duty to share them as a reminder to our community of the brutal negative outcomes that can result from gun owner negligence.
Please SHARE & REPOST this reminder and these resources:
Personal Defense Network provides free information on proper storage of firearms, including the staging of defensive firearms.
2AO.org works to promote Gun Responsibility within the firearms owning community.
I.C.E Training Company offers Armed Home Defense Tactics courses that cover staging of defensive firearms to prevent unauthorized access, while allowing efficient access for defensive use.
GunVault, IDENTILOCK, Tactical Walls, Stack-On Products, Cannon Safe and many other companies make reliable storage/staging products (at a variety of price points) that reduce the likelihood of unauthorized access.
Every Firearm sold in the US should come with a lock of some kind that can be used to prevent unauthorized use of a firearm, particularly by a young child. Learn more about best practices and Firearms Industry Resources at Project ChildSafe. We must do more as a community to reduce gun owner negligence. It is true that if we do not meet our responsibilities, others will legislate their version of responsibility upon us. But, it is far more important that we are working to Protect What We Love: our children.
-Executive Vice President, 2AO
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#gunstorage #gunresponsibility #withrightscomeresponsibilities