Gun Safety with Richard Bleil
And again, as I write this (about a week prior to posting), the news tells of yet another toddler shooting yet another mother to death. The child is three years old, the mom is dead, the father has been arrested and now the toddler along with any siblings is in child welfare hands. The gun was in the vehicle where the child found it. It is registered as belonging to the father, and I’m so glad they are starting to charge gun owners when minors get them. Some states have laws that make it a crime to keep a loaded gun where minors can get it, but I think I read that he is facing some form of homicide charge which is more appropriate in my opinion. And I can guarantee you that the gun had a round chambered.
If you’ve never fired a semi-automatic handgun, I implore you to find a gun club, rent one and ask them to educate you. Learn how hard it is to pull back the slide to load the weapon. Watch the trigger and see how easy it is to fire when the hammer is cocked (as loading a round does). If the gun can be fired without cocking it (a semi-automatic pistol with a hammer might be able to), fire it both with the gun cocked and not cocked. What you’ll discover is what I have said several times before; a child is not strong enough to load a semi-automatic or fire a gun without the hammer cocked. They are strong enough if a round is chambered.
The article went on to discuss gun locks. I get not wanting to use them; it does take time that you wouldn’t have in an emergency to unlock and load the gun, but it takes a moment to actually pull the slide and load it (try it).
In my house, I have fourteen guns (ten handguns). Of the guns, only two are loaded. Both are semi-automatic. One is a 9 mm. It’s the gun I will carry for self-defense if I am uncomfortable going somewhere (as I have done recently). I do have a conceal carry permit, so it is legal for me to do so, but I usually don’t like carrying so it’s rarely on me. I keep it loaded, but I never keep one chambered. If it gets out of my hand, whoever gets it will likely not realize that one isn’t chambered, and I’ll have time to safely get it back. My other is a .45, and it is not in a safe. I keep it where I can easily access it from bed. It’s for home defense. I live alone, with no kids and no spouse, so anybody that gets into my house will be shot (my few friends who have access to my house know to identify themselves as soon as they enter, loudly and repeatedly). Again, loaded (the clip is in it and fully loaded) but not chambered. If you can imagine a situation where a child is visiting and finds my hidden gun, it still cannot be loaded until they have the strength, oh, I would say of a teenager. I feel very comfortable with my guns and how I secure them. I’ll tell you this, though; I have no handguns in my vehicles floating around for anybody to find.
I hope they make an example out of this man, and honestly, I blame his wife too even though she is the one who died if (as I assume is the case) she knew of the “hidden” gun and that it was stored with a round chambered. The child is innocent; how much could s/he know of gun safety at three? But the child(ren) will pay for this, both with the memory of what happened, and in losing both parents in the process.
It is my firm belief that it is the responsibility of all adults to know gun safety. In this day and age, there are just too many guns around and the chances of finding one is too high. If you happened on one of my handguns, would you know about the safeties? Would you trust them? Would you know how to unload them? Would you know that removing the clip isn’t enough? Do you speak out against guns without ever having handled one? Any gun club or range would gladly teach you about guns and gun safety. Please, learn and practice. Be informed before stating opinions. It’s really not guns that are the problem, but rather idiots like this father that is.