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My Thoughts on Gun Control and Gun Safety

Updated on March 26, 2014

Gun control, it’s that controversial issue that always sparks a debate. Thing is, most people just aren't open minded. They don't understand both sides' points of view. I've spent a great deal of my life around firearms, and I won’t lie, I'm biased on this issue - I'm personally alive today, only because of the firearm I carried. My circumstance on that being much different than the average citizen's daily routine, yet I know what it’s like to be in a sticky situation and have to resort to deadly force to survive. That being said, however, I try to see both sides' arguments in the same light, then analyze them and come up with my own opinion.

Careful, it can jump off the table and start killing people any second now...
Careful, it can jump off the table and start killing people any second now... | Source

"Guns are horrible, all they do is kill people"

I hear this way too much. Granted, that is the entire point of weapons in general, is it not? The entire argument on this statement is that guns should not be sold or owned because criminals get their hands on them and use them for malicious reasons. So what you're saying is, I can't own my own firearm to defend myself and my family from the armed criminal. Do you think a criminal with intent to inflict serious bodily injury cares if it is illegal for him to own a firearm? I know he doesn't. He will find another means to buy a firearm if they weren't sold anymore, like the importation black market we are having such a problem with now - drugs aren't the only contraband being smuggled across our borders in incredible amounts daily!

In general, if firearms were made illegal for purchase, the only outcome would be higher crime rates as people no longer have a line of defense against armed intruders. The only people with guns would be the bad guys.

Here are some facts for you: 86% of gun related deaths in the US are due to suicide. Let's try harder to improve as a nation and bring the suicide rate down - we will see our firearm deaths number come down a bit at this point. 63% of the remaining 14% are justified self defense shootings - meaning a total of 8.82% of shootings in the US are self defense, leaving 5.18% of total firearms related deaths in the US as criminal or negligent. This brings the firearms related murder rate down to .53 per 100,000 people, from the widely quoted 10.4 per 100,000, annually.

Removing guns from law-biding citizen's hands won’t change anything in a positive manner. For instance, in Detroit, a city with the strictest gun regulations in all of the US, the armed crime rate is astronomical, reporting 35.9 murders with firearms per 100,000 people. Also, the District of Columbia, another location with the toughest gun control regulations, clocks in with 31 gun deaths per 100,000 persons. Let's compare this to Austin, TX which has much more lax gun laws, as a matter of fact they operate off very little more than federal regulations on gun control – they also only have 1.5 deaths per 100,000 citizens in their city.

Guns continue to defend our citizens every passing moment, and have saved many more lives than they've taken. Often times when a firearm is pulled in self defense, the criminal will break contact and run away. Very rarely does the armed citizen need to actually fire their weapon.

"OMG He's got an Assault Rifle!" Actually this really is an assault rifle, a US-Issued M4 Carbine. It is held by the author, in northern Iraq.
"OMG He's got an Assault Rifle!" Actually this really is an assault rifle, a US-Issued M4 Carbine. It is held by the author, in northern Iraq. | Source

Some more cool info:

One of the largest studies that involved solely police officers found that:

95% of the police officers do not believe a magazine capacity ban will affect violent crime.
91% of the police officers do not believe an "assault weapons" ban will affect violent crime.
81% of the police officers support arming and training teachers in the schools.
4% of the police officers believe guns are too prevalent easy to obtain.
1% of the police officers believe gun control measures would prevent another mass shooting.

By the way, by definition an "assault rifle" is a military rifle capable of fully automatic fire. The "assault weapons" you see on the news are simply stylized rifles, capable of no more damage than any other rifle. Even in caliber, there is no difference between an "Assault Weapon" and a regular rifle.

A Ruger Mini-14. Semi-automatic .223 or 5.56mm rifle.
A Ruger Mini-14. Semi-automatic .223 or 5.56mm rifle. | Source
An AR-15. Semi-Automatic .223 or 5.56mm rifle.
An AR-15. Semi-Automatic .223 or 5.56mm rifle. | Source

Assault Rifle vs Rifle

M4 Carbine
Wood Stock
Looks normal
Looks evil
Looks evil
Fires .223 or 5.56mm bullet
Fires .223 or 5.56mm bullet
Fires .223 or 5.56mm bullet
Semi-Auto - One bullet per trigger pull
Semi-Auto - One bullet per trigger pull
Auto - Multiple bullets per trigger pull

2nd Amendment

That being said, what about my constitutional rights to own my firearms? The second amendment of the Constitution of the United States grants the right to bear arms to all U.S. Citizens, granted you must meet requirements, and you do in fact waive your rights under certain conditions (committing violent crimes, etc) but we're still given that right at birth. Many politicians and their supporters are trying to take away our rights, and take away our right to defend ourselves. Guns are what shaped this country, and what continue to keep it strong. Without firearms we would be drinking tea and eating biscuits watching the Queens' speech on BBC right now. Sorry England, but we all know it’s true.

From Alfred Hitchcock's "The Trouble with Harry" trailer (Jerry Mathers), published in the US without copyright.
From Alfred Hitchcock's "The Trouble with Harry" trailer (Jerry Mathers), published in the US without copyright. | Source

But the children!

Guns and Children aren't quite the best thing to hear going together are they? Well maybe you'll think twice and take your son or daughter with you next time you and the guys hit the range. Teaching children gun safety and handling procedures at a young age significantly reduces the chances of them trying to find a way into your gun cabinet, closet or drawer and playing with your firearms. Many people I've talked to that have taken this route have very good things to say about their children's interest in firearms. I think of it this way; Kids are curious - they always want to play with what they do not know, in a way trying to figure it out. If you were to take a kid out shooting and show him how it works and what it really does, it takes away a lot of that curiosity and makes your home safer for everyone – it even gives you a new activity to partake in with your child. Of course none of this means leave your new Glock model 22 laying on the table while you take a shower.

Safety time!

Gun safety is a simple thing to learn and implement. As long as you have half a brain and some common sense, firearm incidents related to unsafe handling should not be a problem of any sort. Here are a few no-brainer tips:

  • Always keep your weapons on "Safe" - Super easy, just click it to safe when you're not pulling the trigger! (On models with the feature, of course.)
  • Always lock your weapons up - Again, Super easy! Use any method of lock-and-key firearms safety lock you chose, in conjunction with a locking firearm safe or even a locking cabinet.
  • Carry your firearm in what is referred to as an "amber" status - with the magazine in place, but no round in the chamber. This will help eliminate the chance of a negligent discharge (accidental firing.) Use this tip only when carrying concealed for protection, if you're transporting a firearm (to the range, for instance) keep it fully unloaded and ammunition in a separate container.
  • ALWAYS treat your firearm as if it were loaded - No matter how good you think you are at ensuring your gun is 100% cleared/empty, many people each year have negligent discharge incidents because they simply think the gun is unloaded and clear.
  • Never point your firearms at anything you don't intend to KILL - I shouldn't even need to touch on this one!
  • Keep your finger off the trigger until you're ready to fire - this goes hand in hand with keeping your weapon on safe.
  • My last tip- After every day at the range, or every firing of your weapon, clean the firearm thoroughly and inspect all your weapon's parts for damage. One damaged or dirty part could cause a misfire or worse - and possibly at the worst timing imaginable!
  • This last one is so obvious I almost didn't bother listing it... ALWAYS know where your firearm is, and what condition it is in!

What do you think? Leave me a comment and let's discuss!


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    • profile image


      4 years ago

      It's all relative? A light treiggr is relative when the rank and file are trained on 10-lb. treiggrs. But then, it seems relying on DA revolver like treiggrs is not a substitute for proper training and observation of the Four Rules chiefly treiggr discipline

    • Connie120 profile image


      6 years ago

      Thank you for posting the safety rules. There are a lot of people who need a refresher course. I am all for guns, but only for safe handling of them. I know the NRA is much maligned in the media, but they are the top proponents of gun safety, and in fact it is largely due to their educational efforts that firearm accidents are very low.

    • Jack Burton profile image

      Jack Burton 

      6 years ago from The Midwest


      My granddaughter is four and a half. Her momma wants her to have nothing to do with guns... to the point where she wouldn't even teach her the word. Silly, I know.

      That worked well when the little one was one... and even two. But four?

      It doesn't work so well. Unless you hide the kids in a closet and control all info to them for decades they are going to learn. As my grandkid learned. From the boys at her pre-school to the neighborhood kids to the TV.

      Momma doesn't want her watching shows with "guns." Momma didn't think that you can't watch any other "innocent" show without promos for other shows being in there somewhere. Promos that, whoops, includes guns and gunfire.

      The best bet is to raise the kids responsibly... not ignorantly.

    • tehgyb profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Colfax 

      6 years ago from Easton, Pennsylvania

      Jack Burton, You are 100% correct sir.

    • Sun-Girl profile image


      7 years ago from Nigeria

      Nice article but was very shocked at the sight of those gun in there.

    • Jack Burton profile image

      Jack Burton 

      8 years ago from The Midwest

      Some thoughts for sweetie... 1) Your kids WILL learn how to use guns. They'll just learn it from not-very-responsible Hollywood, immature, equally-ignorant friends or just being in society. 2) Are you also willing to let them learn about sex the very same way? 3) Cars kill many more people than guns each year... are you willing to let your children remain ignorant about cars?

      Or... it is better to have a mature, trained adult whom your children respect teach them about the proper use (and multiple dangers) of guns in a safe and protected environment?

      No one is saying that you need to buy your child even a squirt gun if you don't want to... but attempting to keep them ignorant is going to fail with the first TV show they watch. The only real question is do you want them to be filled with the right knowledge that may save their life if they stumble upon a gun... or wrong knowledge that will probably get them killed in the same circumstance?

    • SweetiePie profile image


      8 years ago from Southern California, USA

      However, you have to understand some people were not raised like you. I never spent any time around guns, and I am glad for it. If I ever have kids, my children will never learn how to use these. That is my bias, and I am super glad I can be the divergent voice on this hub.

    • American Romance profile image

      American Romance 

      8 years ago from America

      repeating, Guns don't kill people, People kill people!


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