Maybe we need some limits on packing a gun?

Comments

Tom Garrett 2 years, 4 months ago

Flagstaff.

McDonalds.

A man is standing in line.

He has a gun stuck in the rear of his pants.

He leans on the counter and adjusts his pants.

The gun goes off.

The bullet ricochets off a tiled wall, hits the floor and goes on its merry way.

Debris hits someone in his leg.

No one is badly hurt.

The current carrying law is nonsense.

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Ed Smith 2 years, 4 months ago

Negative. The "man" is fully to blame and should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. No law can stop stupid, but stupid can be punished without mercy.

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Tom Garrett 2 years, 4 months ago

Ed,

As I have already said, I am not anti-gun, but there are places where guns belong and places where they don't belong. And there are gun laws that make sense and ones that don't. In this case, if we prosecuted the man "to the full extent of the law" we would do nothing, since he violated no law. He could be sued to pay for shipping the tiles. And if someone wanted to don it, he could be sued for placing them at risk. They wouldn't have much over a case if they weren't hurt.

This comment in a letter by Tim Branson makes sense if we leave out the mild name calling he did:

"Before you are hoodwinked by the anti-gun zealots in our midst, get all the facts. Make decisions based on fact and common sense rather than touchy-feely emotions."

Tossing out the unnecessary comments (of which I am also sometimes guilty to because I get so tired of some things) we are left with, "Make decisions based on fact and common sense..."

All we have to do is apply common sense to where and when a gun should be worn. In the woods? Sure. On your own property? Of course. In any case where you have a reason to carry one? Absolutely. When shopping, buying a cheeseburger, or in any place of business? What the hell for? When on a campus or in a classroom? Obviously not! When walking down the street of a town or city with no reason to carry one? This is not 1812, it's 2012; we do not have to protect ourselves from the bad guys while walking down the street in town.

What the anti-gun people try to do is to extend common sense to the point where it isn't sensible. For example, they tell you that you can't hunt with a rifle or shotgun that has a magazine that holds more than a couple of rounds, and that you can't have a silencer on your weapon. But when you ask them why they don't have an answer. The best I've ever heard for those two is "because." It's obvious that they just hate guns and that's that.

By the way, you'll be happy to know that AZLEG has this year passed a law that does away with those two restrictions on your rights. It become effective tomorrow, right in time for this discussion. How about that?

Don't be tricked, by the way, into the argument that guns make places safer. That's a ploy put out by anti-gun people. The absolutely overwhelming evidence shows that letting people carry guns lead to far more killings and maiming than not letting them do it. The anti-gun people want us to use that argument so they can drag out the facts and make us look silly.

Why do we have a Second Amendment? Reading what our founding fathers said at the time make it very plain. They didn't put it quite that way in the amendment, but its purpose is to keep the government honest.

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Tom Garrett 2 years, 4 months ago

PS: "Shipping the tiles" should have been "chipping the tiles."

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Ed Smith 2 years, 4 months ago

Under state law the 'man' discharging his firearm in McDonald's should be charged with disorderly conduct because he "recklessly discharged a deadly weapon". The City of Flagstaff may also have other statutes he violated. How does the right to defend one's life apply only on one's private property or in the woods, but not in a public place?

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Pat Randall 2 years, 4 months ago

It is way to late to try to do anything about guns.
The bad guys and crazies already have them and will always be able to get them. It has always been that way. They aren't going to register or give them up. Think about that ! If everyone in the theater in Colorado had been armed all that would have happened was more people would have been injured or killed. Good law abiding citizens are the only ones that will have thier guns taken away under any new laws.

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Tom Garrett 2 years, 4 months ago

Ed,

I was only giving examples of places where it makes sense to actually pack a gun. I did not mean them to be all encompassing.

Having given your comment about "recklessly discharged a deadly weapon" some careful thought, I have to honestly say that I do not think it includes the accidental discharge of a weapon. What we have here, I think, is a civil suit, not a violation of criminal law. The guy did something dumb. Unless I am very wrong, I would not charge him with a thing.

PS: I have been know to be wrong. :-)

By the way, although some of the places I mentioned might be places where you might find yourself defending yourself, I don't look upon the right to bear arms being tied to the right to defend yourself. While I think we have a right to defend ourselves with or without the 2nd--or any other--amendment, I see that amendment exactly as it was intended: As a means of final control over the government should it become necessary. That's the important part of that amendment, and although most people who are against guns are against them simply because they dislike and fear them, I see that as the reason some people would like to get rid of the 2nd Amendment--to disarm the people.

Just coincidentally, my son just walked by with a case of military ammunition in his arms and stopped to make the comment that, "You now, we complain a lot of about the country, but where else could you buy a brand new case of military ammunition?"

Where indeed?

Pat, I agree. I agree with Ed too, actually.

My viewpoint is simple to state, but harder to put into rules without treading on rights: We have to write laws that stop not too bright people from carrying weapons in places where they serve no reasonable function. You do not need to pack a gun on Main Street. You do not need to pack a gun in a store. Guns have no place in schools or on campuses unless they are there for a legitimate reason.

When I was young, living in a land with a lot fewer laws, it didn't take a law to get that to happen. Brains did the trick. In Connecticut, where gun laws were non-existent, I never once saw anyone do either of those things. Now, as a backlash against the repressive laws we just got rid of, and no doubt as some idiot macho thing, we see people doing it.

However, we HAD guns. And we used them, and enjoyed owning them. In my high school we had a rifle club. In my yearbook there's a picture of the club members, taken in the same place as all the other club pictures, standing on the front steps of the school--with their Springfields.

As for carrying laws. Okay. We can't teach brains, but we can regulate the absence of them.

What that guy did up in Flagstaff is a perfect illustration of why some people would like to take our guns away. We need to avoid giving them fuel for the fire.

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Dan Haapala 2 years, 4 months ago

I said I was done. I am. Right after this post. I hate violence, people who hurt other people have no place in a civilized world. In times past it was easier to ostericize them from the group, they simple ignored them and left them to their own means to survive. ....That's right, to survive.

Look at nature and tell me which species allows misfits to survive? None but Homosapien.

In the last 2000 years,as a species, we have become the most intelligent, the most productive, the most prolific, the most caring, the most giving, the most selfless and still, the most selfish, the most ignorant, the most me centered and currently the most controlled society that exists.

In the next few months you will hear our " Leaders" say the 'collective' (the masses) want this or that. Or you will hear our "Leaders" say personal responsibility and freedom come from people not the Government. The choice will not be clear because of the rhetoric the two philosphies expound.

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Dan Haapala 2 years, 4 months ago

Now to deal with the topic of the "gun". We would not have defeated the British Empire and ended their rule of tyranny without the ability to have and use GUNS. Our founding fathers understood that, they made sure that the people would have an unburdened access to guns with the first ammendment. Why? Because they knew that a government that wants to control it's subjects must control the means to stop resistance to it. Our right to bear arms has nothing to do with hunting. It has nothing to do with personal protection, It has everything to do with making sure that the Government that belongs to us doesn't become the government of them and that we have the right to take it back, by force if necessary, with GUNS. I am so proud of the Americans that stood up and supported the First Ammendment yesteray across the country.

If those who take this country away from the free and give it to the subjects of the governed didn't see? Then they didn't understand the election of 2010 and will see a serious shalacking in 2012.

No more to say. Thanks for listening, Dan.

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Pat Randall 2 years, 4 months ago

Not just disorderly conduct but endangerment of lives. All his guns should be taken away and not be able to ever own one again !

Pistols are the worse. My husband and dad both shot themselves in the leg. They were out in the forest alone. So was not endangering anyone else. No neither got any sympathy from me.Yes I own pistols and a rifle and I would use one to defend my self or my home.

About 30 yrs ago my grandson was walking into the bowling alley in Chandler where his mother was bowling. Some idiot shot thru the front glass door at someone inside and missed my grandson by inches. My grandson was covered with glass and cut. What do you think that man should have been charged with? He wasn't shooting at my grandson but injured him anyway. If there isn't a herd of elephants and tigers running down the street no need for guns in public.

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Tom Garrett 2 years, 4 months ago

Dan,

You are exactly right. You put it perfectly. As I am sure you know, if people were to read what our forefathers were saying when they demanded the Bill of Rights they will see that they knew full well that the right to bear arms was necessary to stay free.

I will never forget the gleeful way they cut up all the guns in Australia. You could just see that they knew they now had the people under their thumb. It was sickening to watch.

Pat, I knew you would be on the right side of this issue. We all are, in fact. What I haven't heard from anyone is the usual clam chowder on the dangers of guns.

I agree with you, by the way, that the dummy who let his handgun go off in a restaurant should be treated like a dummy unless there are some mitigating circumstances, but I would not take away his guns rights. That would be too extreme. If we were to allow the government to do that we would soon be individually disarmed. I do not agree with many current laws regarding the loss of gun rights. I feel they are unconstitutional and should be challenged. As for what should happen to him, it could be that he had some reason to have that thing stuck in his belt. We don't know. We aren't always told all the news.

I think it makes good sense to keep fools from being fools, but only if the rules or laws we make don't go beyond reason.

I'll tell you a little story about foolish choices and guns and see what you folks think of it.

  1. Japan. I have taken one quarter of the men in my squadron over to another base where they can make use of a rifle range which is 25 feet below the level of the base and backed with an additional dirt wall for safety. I am not in charge of the range, just of my men. We are firing carbines at 100 yards (all there is; there's no 200 or 300 yard range). One hundred twenty carbines are banging away, 40 of them my men.

Red flag goes up. "Cease firing!" comes from the speakers.

We are told by the tower that bullets are striking the runway. Seems impossible, but it is soon verified. How in hell can bullets be traveling over 35 feel of soft earth? After some checking, the firing begins again, but this time I am bending low behind my men so I can watch the tracks of the bullets in the cold moist air. The sun is directly behind the targets which helps. In a couple of minutes I call for a red flag again because I have seen bullets aimed upward at an angle that looks high enough to clear the wall. I pull a man out of the line and unload his weapon. The firing resumes. There is no more trouble.

What happened? The man I pulled out of the line is blind in his right eye and has managed to conceal that fact from the Air Force for the two years he has been in. Trying to fire his weapon, he had it on his right shoulder and was aiming with his left eye. Try that some day. It will point your barrel very high.

That's all I can tell you. Sorry.

What do you think of them apples?

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Pat Randall 2 years, 4 months ago

The man with the gun in his pants was probably riding a motorcycle and didn't want to leave his gun outside. Had it happen several times when we had the bar at Punkin Center. They all either took the guns back outside and left or left thier guns outside and came back in. Also the long knives on thier belts. Nothing against motorcycle riders. They don't like to leave things outside. We had plastic beer pitchers so they couldn't be used as weapons also plastic ashtrays. We watched the pool players very closely so they wouldn't swing a cue stick. It is so much fun to own a bar. (:

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John Lemon 2 years, 4 months ago

Tom: I have heard a academic discussion regarding the 2nd Amendment that is rather interesting. The Amendment talks of the necessity of a regulated Militia as the foundation of a need for the right to have firearms. The presenter argued that interpretation of those words means that only those people associated with a Militia would have the right to bear arms. Nowadays the equivalent of a Militia is the National Guard. Therefor, the right for virtually all citizens to bear arms is nonexistent unless one is in the National Guard. The "priviledge" of bearing arms by others not in the N. Guard is in the hands of the states or Feds. and is fully governable. Interesting. An aside: For Heaven's sake, who is it who needs a Semi-Automatic, military style rifle to hunt?? If I shot at some poor bunny with one of those rifles there would be nothing left but scraps for a dog. :)

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Tom Garrett 2 years, 4 months ago

"Nothing against motorcycle riders. They don't like to leave things outside."

I can relate to that. Sometimes even the bike disappears.

"It is so much fun to own a bar.'

I once owned over 100 bars, so how about that?

Hershey bars. Bought them aboard ship going overseas. The Navy ran out of everything after the first day. They were very useful too. You could bribe an Army guard to let you go across to the warm side of the ship (North Atlantic, September, waves the size of Columbus, Ohio on some days, VERY cold when we got near Iceland.)

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Tom Garrett 2 years, 4 months ago

John,

"Interesting" all right, but not a new argument. Been through the courts (up to the Supreme Court). The decision was based upon the statements of those who wrote and approved the 2nd Amendment. They plainly meant it to be a personal right rather than a "militia" right, and that's how the Court has ruled. That's what killed the right of states and cities to interfere in gun rights. Still, though, I believe that where reason can be applied, and laws are not improperly restrictive, the courts will allow some regulation. For example, when individual rights of shop owners are weighed against gun rights, or when carrying a weapon in a school zone, or in a public place when there is no rational need to do it.

As to semi-automatic, a bolt action, falling or rolling block, or lever action rifle is simply out of date, just as is a muzzle loader. A gas operated action was beyond the technical ability of manufacturers before it came into common use; that's why it wasn't standard. As soon as they came out, gas operated weapons began replacing other actions in popularity. I personally prefer one. My favorite handgun is the forty-five.

As for hunting, the extra time needed to operate a bolt, and the fact that it takes the sights off target, is reason enough for a gas operated weapon. And, of course, there's the noise too. The opening a closing of the bolt is masked by the sound of the firing. With a bolt action a deer may target the weapon after a missed shot, doing it by that click, click, click. Have you noticed that you can now put a silencer on your rifle (as of Thursday); that'll help to quiet things down.

When I used to teach weapons I didn't just teach sight picture, breath control, and trigger squeeze; I also taught "position," which meant that if you were not holding your rifle in a strained manner it would automatically come back on target after each round. You'd be surprised how many fairly good shots, even in prone position, if asked to close their eyes for ten seconds and then open them, would discover that they were not aiming where they had been aiming a few seconds earlier. That means they had not relaxed into position, and so after they fired they had to force the sights back on target. After I taught them that, many of my troops went straight to expert. Makes a difference.

Anyway, what difference does it make how a cartridge gets into the chamber? It's what happens afterwards that counts. :-)

You know that just popped into my head? Since most of the rifles you're speaking of are military weapons, and are most often shooting military rounds, they are far less likely to make a mess of an animal than a civilian round with a soft nose bullet.

Can't prove it by me. I only shoot people, not animals (though I would if one charged me). I even catch spiders and put them outside to play. Don't ask me why. Just do.

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Tom Garrett 2 years, 4 months ago

Anybody besides me remember the cartoon where a one character was always trying to catch Speedy Gonzalez? And after a million unsuccessful tries someone tells him to give it up and go chase Sleepy Rodiguez? So off he goes after Sleepy Rodiguez. Then there's a loud boom!

The camera switches to the blackened face of the chaser, and the character with the advice says, "I forget to tell you. Sleepy Rodriguez, he pahk a gun." :-)

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Pat Randall 2 years, 4 months ago

Thats just really wonderful you can put a silencer on a rifle. How many legal hunters are going to be shot by a rifle with a silencer? My husband was almost shot by a deer hunter but because he heard it he got out of the way before another shot was fired. One person isn't alone out in the forest during hunting season. Probably the people that passed the law never had a gun in thier hands.

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Ed Smith 2 years, 4 months ago

Tom, If we follow your premise regarding the 2nd Amendment, that it is only a "a means of final control over the government should it become neccesary" to it's conclusion, then the people should be armed with the exact same military grade weapons as the government. That would include jets, tanks, missles, RPGs, and machine guns. As far as self defense being inextrictably tied to the right to bear arms, I'll refer you to one of my favorite 'Founding Fathers'... “Laws that forbid the carrying of arms…disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed one.” --Thomas Jefferson

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Tom Garrett 2 years, 4 months ago

Pat,

The laws against silencers, magazines that hold more than a few rounds, shotguns that hold more than three rounds, and so on were passed by the anti-gun lobby as just one more way to interfere with people who want to use guns. They have nothing to do with safety.

As for the report of a rifle making it any safer, I don't think it's significant. I too have been in the woods and have heard rounds passing by me--just a nice quiet buzz. Never heard the rifle because it was either too far away or the sound was absorbed by the brush.

My advice, advice I have taken myself ever since I lived in Utah and listened to the war during deer season, is stay out of the woods during hunting season. I've heard too many %$#@! idiots have a conversation like this one:

"Hey, Pushbroom, did you get your deer today?"

"Nuh-uh, Migraine, but I sure got some great sound shots."

Translation, "I shoot at anything that moves."

You cannot regulate common sense.

Since Ed found a handy quote from Jefferson, I'll toss one in here because it fits what you are saying. Jefferson himself did not say this, but in his "Commonplace Book," he quotes from "Of Crimes and Punishment" written by Cesare Beccaria, which has shaped the modern day system of criminology as we know it.

"False is the idea of utility that sacrifices a thousand real advantages for one imaginary or trifling inconvenience; that would take fire from men because it burns, and water because one may drown in it; that has no remedy for evils except destruction. The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes."

It's a great quote!

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Tom Garrett 2 years, 4 months ago

Ed,

I have nothing against what Jefferson says of course, though I have never come across that particular comment. But I never said, "that it is ONLY a..." I never used the word "only," and wouldn't. The key to the discussion is to go to what was said at the time the Bill of Rights was being written and discussed and to see the reasons given for its passage.

Here are some of those comments. I know you'll enjoy reading them (and so will anyone else who wants to know why we have guns rights.) Note the dates, which show how close they are to the date the Bill of Rights was passed.

"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government" -- Thomas Jefferson, 1 Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334

"A militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves ... and include all men capable of bearing arms." -- Senator Richard Henry Lee, 1788, on "militia" in the 2nd Amendment

"To disarm the people... was the best and most effectual way to enslave them." -- George Mason, speech of June 14, 1788

"Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined." -- Patrick Henry, speech of June 5 1788

"The great object is, that every man be armed. [...] Every one who is able may have a gun." -- Patrick Henry, speech of June 14 1788

That the said Constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United states who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms... -- Samuel Adams, in "Phila. Independent Gazetteer", August 20, 1789

And here's the Supreme Court talking all the way back then:

"The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them." -- Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story of the John Marshall Court

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Pat Randall 2 years, 4 months ago

Tom In your quote above you said, "and include all men capable of bearing arms." Does that mean women cannot bear arms?

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Tom Garrett 2 years, 4 months ago

I just put this here two reasons:

  1. It fits the subject.
  2. It's funny.

I did NOT put it here as proof that we need more gun controls.

Anyway, enjoy:

"A man carried a gun into a movie theater and accidentally shot himself with it, police in Sparks, Nevada, say."

When the police arrived, witnesses told them a man's gun had gone off when he adjusted his position in his seat. They said hey got up, apologized to the people around him, and made tracks.

They found him in the VA hospital in Reno with a gunshot wound to his...uh, bew-tocks.

Seems the gun fell out of his pocket, hit the floor, and went off.

Police said he may be charged later with illegally discharging a firearm.

I'd like to see them try it. I can't imagine a jury in the country who would find him guilty.

By the way, do NOT, as I did, type "man accidentally shot" into a browser to get updated info about the shooting new the Cardinals game. You'll get what I got. Now that the repressive gun laws are gone the electronic media is reporting every case of accidental shooting on the planet.

And there's no new data on that shooting anyway. It may turn out to be another AP News event. One report, with no followups. Like the police shooting of the man in the wheelchair.

Switch on and enjoy the news. :-)

By the way, the film showing was "The Bourne Legacy" and only 5 people even heard the gun go off.

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Pat Randall 2 years, 4 months ago

I just read somewhere on the internet where a prisoner in the back of a patrol car was handcuffed with his hands behind him and shot himself in the head. He had been searched twice. The video in the car was turned on and then off before he shot himself, but was on again afterwards. They are calling it suicide. Seems more to the story than what was printed. Don't know how to tell you where I found it except it is on a Suddenlink page that has a lot of stuff on it and it was under news. Says, Autopsy: death of handcuffed man in Ark. a suicide.

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Pat Randall 2 years, 4 months ago

Crap, I just lost another post in outer space about Hershey bars.

Please Roundup go back to the old way.

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Tom Garrett 2 years, 3 months ago

I'm still wondering how a pistol could go off in a theater and only be heard by five people. Can you imagine what would have happened in that theater if everyone had heard it? This is not a good time for gunshots in theaters.

I had read a bit about that suicide, but had skipped over it because I doubted it was of interest to anyone. But if there's an interest, I'll put up a string.

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Tom Garrett 2 years, 3 months ago

I just found a more accurate version of the story about the man who got shot in the bew-tocks.

"Witnesses told police the man's gun had gone off when he adjusted his position in his seat."

That's a bit different from the original article I read, which said the gun fell onto the floor.

It explains a couple of things, doesn't it?

One is how come only five people heard the gun go off? He was sitting on it, which muffled the sound.

Another one is how come the bullet hit the man? When I read the first article I was amazed that a gun which fell on the floor happened to be pointed in a way that the bullet hit the person who had dropped it. Not impossible, of course, but it just seemed VERY lucky.

I suppose we are going to hear more and more of this kind of thing. For one thing, there are now more people carrying weapons. For another, television news media is likely to report on this kind of incident because of a bias against weapons. And then there is the fact that so very people many haven't got a clue how to handle a weapon.

PS: I am not advocating any kind of classes or training. Handling a weapon is almost entirely a question of using common sense. In all 21 of my years in the military, in 18 of which I was a training NCO, responsible for seeing to it that the troops could shoot, I only saw three safety violations. It's almost entirely a matter of common sense. And probably 95% of gun accidents could be avoided by simply not putting a round in the chamber. That means that if something hits the gun, or it hits something, nothing will happen.

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Tom Garrett 2 years, 3 months ago

Now that the subject has come up (because I brought it up yesterday), how much good do you think it does to send someone through a gun safety course?

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Tom Garrett 2 years, 3 months ago

No, Pat, I don't.

And I'd be willing to guess that it would be too long, boring, overdone, filled with minor details no one wants to hear, and too much of a shotgun approach to be of much good.

When I taught weapons in the Air Force, I taught the exact weapon the person was going to use, and that's the same way I was taught. There's a great deal of difference in safety where airweight, snub-nosed 38 pilots used to carry and a 45 automatic, for example, or between a grease gun and a carbine.

There are some general "rules" that apply to everything, but anyone with a lick of common sense already knows them. Just for a quick example, (a) make sure it's unloaded, if it should be, by actually looking at it, (b) point it only at something you intend to kill, (c) no round in the chamber unless there is a specific reason for it, (d) no finger on the trigger unless you intend to pull it, (e) safety on if appropriate, (f) don't put it in or on anywhere where it can be dropped or accidentally discharged, (f) keep control of the dumb thing.

My bet is that (1) any ten year old kid knows all that, (2) 99% of all gun accidents violate one or more of those simple, obvious--I hate to even use the word--"rules." Saying "rules" is like saying there are rules for breathing.

Truth is, I've always felt that basic gun safety is a lot like breathing. Ten seconds after you come out of the chute you know all about it. Guns are nothing more than a natural extension of a hand with a rock in it.

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Tom Garrett 2 years, 3 months ago

By the way, movie fans, where did I get that expression "bew-tocks?"

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