Gun Safety at Home

Responsible gun owners are not just people who go to a gun store and buy the first gun they see. Most take specific steps to ensure that the gun(s) they buy are safe and the type of gun they need for their personal use. That includes making sure that every gun they bring home is in an accessible and secure place. Depending on the income of the family, some gun owners can purchase guns with built in safety devices, ensuring they are the only ones able to fire the gun.

The media loves to report instances of gun accidents, especially those which involve children. This gives them the opportunity to push their gun control agenda, while worrying non-gun owning parents that their child is a potential victim. Gun accidents are rare, but the vast majority of gun owners, especially those with children, are responsible people who take the safety of their children as seriously as they take the responsibility of gun ownership.

Gun safety begins with proper training and use of the weapon. The cardinal rule of using a gun is that you do not point it at someone unless you are going to shoot. Another rule of gun ownership is that all guns must be in an accessible but hidden place because it makes no sense to have an intruder be able to get to the gun before you do.

There is one fault that a minority of gun owners are guilty of – not reporting missing or stolen guns to the authorities. The reasons behind this are generally based on the fear of people finding out they have guns in their home, a fact they would prefer not to be made public. But these are the minority of gun owners, and theft of a gun is almost always reported to the authorities.

Many cities and states require gun locks for all types of guns, as much of a nuisance this can be for gun owners. In some ways it is understandable that gun owners do not like the idea of having government involved in their home life. Gun owners treat their guns as a bottle of poison when it comes to giving children easy access to their firearms. Both are to be handled only by people who are knowledgeable and experienced in their use. There is no such thing as a “safer bullet” so every gun is a potential killer.

Though not as true in the Jewish community, the issue of bringing up your children properly so they obey their parents is an important safety factor for gun owners. The broader American culture has families whose sons and daughters are gang members or who are rebellious against the parental authority. I am not talking about curios 5 year olds, but older children who do not understand and obey the parent’s when they are told of restricted areas of the home. The Jewish culture considers the age of 13 or 14 as the age of responsibility, and are treated as adults. Being responsible is the first practical step to gun ownership and gun safety in the home.

There are a number of simple things gun owners can do to improve the safe ownership of their weapons: keeping the gun unloaded but with the bullets nearby (a magazine is a good choice here), spending a bit extra to get built in safety devices with their new purchases, and making regular checks to see that the gun is where it was placed and has not been moved or tampered with.