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Guns, Gun Safety, More

Being A Legal Gun Owner Is A Heavy Responsibility

Series: Veterans In The News | Story 34

I am a legal gun owner. I have owned guns for years and have many according to some people's estimates. Being a legal gun owner is a heavy responsibility. It starts with ensuring you know how to properly use the weapon and adhering to the five basic safety rules:

1. All firearms are considered loaded (never assume anything – check it).

2. Always point firearms in a safe direction until on a target and ready to fire.

3. Always keep your trigger finger off the trigger until ready to fire.

4. Always know your target and what's behind it (bystanders, traffic, etc.).

5. Always maintain control of your firearm (if not in possession, lock it up).

Preventing accidents comes with training. If you have youth in your home, you should start them off with gun safety classes starting at age 6. When they have learned safety thorough drills in a safe space without ammunition you should take them shooting. This serves two purposes. It trains the kids that guns are not toys and it takes the stigma off of the weapons so that they don't want to "find the hidden gun" in the house.

Also, train your kids to get out of a house when some other kid pulls their parents' gun for show and tell. Better safe than sorry.

Pistol training should be done with both semi-automatic and revolver pistols to ensure the kids can tell when they are loaded and unloaded. Drills on this are very valuable (see rules above) and no ammunition need be in the area to practice this.

Also, you weapons should be secured (locked up) when not in use. There are rapid-open gun safes for home protection that can keep the kids out and keep you ready to defend if needs be.

Now let's talk about the AR-15 and other similar weapons for a moment. They have been called "assault weapons" and "weapons of war".

1. There is NO SUCH THING AS AN ASSAULT WEAPON! That is just a politician made-up title for a non-existing weapon.

2. As a retired U.S Marine, I can tell you that no sane combat veteran would take an AR-15 into combat. It is NOT a weapon of war. The AR-15 is used for long range target practice and hunting. This is not to ignore the fact that they have been misused for evil; they have. But that is more of a mental illness issue than a gun issue.

Another point, gun laws will NOT prevent evil from doing evil. They may mitigate some issues, but it has been seen that the vast majority of gun laws will not stop the lawless from doing what they will do. More people in this country are bludgeoned to death than killed by guns every year.

I'd like to see a five-year plan from the politicians that would effectively get rid of all illegal guns on the streets, and if they can show me at the end of five years that it has worked substantially, I'd be willing to talk further about gun control measures. Until then, their efforts are virtually worthless and based on political showmanship.

A ban on weapons of any kind would only adversely impact legal gun owners and their rights.

The best plan is as I stated in the beginning is to train up the youth of this nation for gun safety and ensure that they don't have casual access to guns and ammo. Taking away the mystery of guns is half the battle.

Author Bio

Tom Cole, Special Feature Writer

Author photo

Tom Cole was born on Chicago’s west side, graduated from high school in California, and is a retired USMC Master Sergeant (’69-’92). Cole served over twenty years in corporate America management, two years on the Kabul Embassy Security Forces in Afghanistan, has an Associate Degree in computer science, a Bachelor of Science, and an MBA. He has traveled around the world on ships and planes, and is a Golden Dragon, Shellback and Imperial Turtle. Cole is a Vietnam veteran, and was involved in an Iran rescue attempt and a Philippine coup attempt. Cole retired in 1992 after Desert Storm. We know him as a loyal husband, dad of five and grandpa of six. In his own words, Cole describes himself as "a great BSer with a crazy sense of humor.


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