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American Handgunner July/August Digital Edition - Page 26
REALITYCHECK TM FIrst-persoN tHoUGHts oN sUrvIvING IN tHe reAL WorLd cLINt sMItH Heidi Sm ith 1: Treat al l gu ns as if th ey are loade d. he most important issue in a home with firearms is that everyone is on the same page when it comes to gun handling. Not doing this is like having two people blindfolded with running chainsaws in a closet — nothing good is going to come of it. The most important rules to follow are the four firearm safety rules we all hear time and again. Yes, they’re used for general gun handling, but were truly designed for use in the middle of a fight — whether in the battlefield of Afghanistan or in the middle of your living room. There are a few things I would like you to consider to help you make a start at getting on the same page at home. Let’s start with the Four Firearm safety rules, so check out the chart and read ’em out loud. Thousands of people have been taught these rules, and they work. Don’t think so? Apply them to the following true stories. The husband, 5 years ago, who decided to use his .357 to shoot a hole through the wall of his house for the TV cable. His wife was outside working in the garden — and he killed her. The cop who, 2 years ago, was practicing his drawing technique with 2: Ke ep yo ur finge of f th e his Glock and killed his tr igger un til yo ur r wife as she walked into are on th e ta rget. sight s the living room. Most recently, the Navy Seal 3: Do n’t po in t th e muz zle who was showing a girl at anyt hi ng yo u ar e no his gun and shot himt w ill ing to de st ro y. self in the head trying to show her the gun was 4: Al ways be su re of unloaded? There’s plenty ta rget an d back st op.yo ur more just like these. Surprisingly, the biggest issue I have seen over the last 22 years is after a woman takes a gun class and she has enough knowledge on board to go home and correct unsafe gun handling that has been going on in her home. If this rings true to you, regardless of who is involved, then swallow your ego and make the changes now. Your lives, and the lives of your loved ones, are worth it. Fo u r Fire a r m S af e t y R u le s A Safe Makes It Safe M w ost of you probably have a gun safe, and if you don’t, hen the fights you’d better get one and starts it will be keep the guns locked up safe from like a family kids or burglars. You can be liable vacation you have planned for where those guns end up, and — everything changes the you need to establish a secure moment they start. When most of us play place to keep them. Work out your the “what if” game (“what if someone own program to manage selfbroke into our house”), we play it, and defense at home, but when the we always win. What if something goes gun is not under your control — it wrong? What if you turn around and see needs to be secure. your spouse has a sucking chest wound? Start with a gun handling area. Do you have trauma dressing to stop With your home and family you the bleeding? This might be an extreme need to designate an area solely example, but I can pretty much guarantee for gun handling and cleaning. it will change “your big fight plan” — and Make sure in the area muzzles are you need to think ahead and plan for it. pointed safely — what’s on the In the big picture, how we treat our guns other side of the wall? individually effects all of us, and at some Make your plan. It’s a bad level, how much of society perceives us as thing to learn to drive on ice in gun owners. If we all pay more attention the middle of a snow storm. The to these issues, the opinions of some will same can be said about learning become much different. how to clear your home and take if you don’t have a place to secure your firearms In the big picture, our goal for our care of your family in the middle when they’re not directly in your control, you’re homes is to keep them safe and to never really asking for trouble. a dedicated high quality of a fight. Best thing to do is have to use a gun — think of ways to dead-bolt your bedroom door and safe, like this Cannon, can fix that problem. avoid it. But if it comes down to your only call 911. But for some of us, the option, then you all must be on the same response time is more then just a few minutes, so page about what to do, how the guns are handled during the fight, a plan must be in place. Also if you have kids on and in “peace time” at home. the other end of the house and they are yelling Get on the same page. Get a safe, make a safe gun handling area, “mommy help me!” — then you are going. Pracpost the Four Firearm Safety rules in this area — and practice your tice the plan now and figure out what you will do plan. Keeping these issues top priority will keep us all on the if something goes wrong. same page, and in the big picture will help to keep us all safe. Vacation Plans * 26 WWW.AMERICANHANDGUNNER.COM • JULY/AUGUST2012