Gun Safety ’R Us


Let’s start this with a pop quiz: Is it considered good gun safety to point a World War II-era submachine gun at the area that defines your biological gender while loading magazines on the range?

Let’s add some context since I readily admit this is a pretty arcane question. Add to the mix that the person doing such a thing is presumably a highly trained agent of the federal government tasked with regulating firearms and the gun industry as a whole. We’d also have to assume said individual has some degree of “operator” status as he’s geared up in vests, radios, spare magazines and, I think, a weaponized flux capacitor attached to his tactical gear with MOLLE straps.

If you haven’t guessed by now, this not-at-all-hypothetical scenario did, in fact, happen, and documentation was proudly posted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives on Twitter. I’ve included the picture as a learning tool. The internet has already called out the off-the-charts stupidity, so I suspect the Tweet will be removed soon. Bottom line: don’t do this at home.

This debacle got me thinking about “gun safety” as a whole. Isn’t it funny how so many “gun safety” recommendations come from “experts” outside of the shooting community? At least three boatloads of “gun safety” organizations make news headlines every day with new announcements, pronouncements and calls for action that have nothing at all to do with gun safety. As we all know, these “gun safety” groups have not-a-one class, program or even poster among them teaching gun safety.

As a matter of fact, 100% of the measurably effective gun safety initiatives come from … us, the shooting community. Ask the NSSF about their Project ChildSafe program and others like it. Look in every new gun’s box, and you’ll find a free gun lock. Consider the fanatical (that’s a good thing) attention to safety procedures practiced by reputable trainers and ranges — and, ideally, each one of us.

Over the past two decades, firearms accidents have declined by 47%. Coincidence? I think not.

We’ll always have idiots on the “outside” telling us what’s best for us. Discard the noise and keep on carrying on with what we know works. As with most things in life, if we value real results over headlines, we’ll quietly assume the responsibility ourselves.