!As a firearms instructor, I hate reading stories of accidental shootings like this one about a graduation gift that went wrong. Brennan Fields received a gun as a high school graduation gift. Then he shot and killed his girlfriend while he was showing it to her. It is time for gun owners to start making safety our #1 priority! A gun makes an excellent present but should not be given to someone who has not been taught to handle a it safely. I've posted before about the rules for safe gun handling. Clearly, Mr. Fields broke all of these.
Gun accidents are caused by:
I'm not sure which of these was to blame in the case of Mr. Fields, but the lesson is crystal clear. If you've learned the rules of safe gun handling, ensure you apply them 100% of the time and that those around you do too! If you don't know the rules of safe gun handling - learn them now!
I recently happened across the YouTube video below. This video was taken in a classroom and shows a DEA agent who shoots himself in the foot while trying to teach the kids not to play with guns. Ironic? Yes. There are some valuable lessons to learn here though and I recommend you take a minute to watch it.
My first observation is this guy should never be carrying a gun. His gun handling is so careless it really demonstrates a lack of training. Just before he shoots himself, he tells the kids "I'm the only one in this room professional enough to handle a gun." Meanwhile, he breaks all of the rules of safe gun handling! Rule #1 is to always keep your finger off of the trigger until ready to shoot. Guns don't shoot by themselves, they only shoot when the trigger is pulled. If your finger is not on the trigger, you can't accidentally shoot. Rule #2 is always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction (his foot is not safe). A safe direction is one in which you could shoot a bullet and no one and nothing is going to get hurt. There is no safe direction anywhere in that classroom. Because of that, he never should have unholstered his gun (even if he thought it was unloaded). When they get out the rifle at the end, notice it is being pointed right at the guy standing against the wall! This DEA agent is incredibly lucky that he didn't shoot a kid when he shot himself.
Rule #3 for safe gun handling is to always keep the gun unloaded until ready to use. This rule leads to my second observation, he does not know how to correctly check if the gun is loaded or not. He pulls back the slide to demonstrate that he has an empty chamber but never removes the magazine (which is loaded). Once he releases the slide, the gun is loaded. A proper chamber check for an unloaded gun is executed without a magazine in the gun.
My third observation and probably most upsetting to me is his poor attitude towards guns. After he shoots himself and he calms the crowd down a bit, the agent tells the kids:
In essence, he's saying that you can't protect yourself against guns. His opinion is that they are inherently dangerous and if you have one long enough you are going to have an accident and hurt someone. All of his statements are 100% wrong. What this video showed was negligence, not an accident. He handled a gun carelessly and incorrectly and got caught.
Accidents don't just happen, they are caused by ignorance (not knowing) or negligence (not applying). I know many people (myself included) that have owned and shot guns their whole lives and never had an accident - not even a close call. If you haven't been taught how to safely handle guns, please take the time to learn the rules today.
Last weekend, I had the pleasure to train a family of seven how to safely operate a handgun. Normally I only allow a maximum of four students to ensure everyone gets plenty of time to shoot, but I do make exceptions for groups.
This family had almost no experience with guns but decided it was time to learn. First, they purchased several brand-new M&P Shield 9mms as presents for Christmas and then they scheduled a course with me. By the time the course was over, they all learned to load, unload and shoot their new guns safely. I always enjoy teaching new gun owners and helping them build a good foundation of safety and marksmanship.
Contact me if you are interested in starting your own journey to gun ownership.
We've all heard the old saying "what goes up, must come down." If you've never thought about this in relation to firearms, the same is true for bullets. If you shoot a bullet up in the air, it will come down somewhere and often with enough force to kill.
On New Years Eve 2016, a Texas legislator was hit in the head by a "stray" bullet. Thankfully he wasn't killed. In this instance, it is likely the gun owner was shooting his rifle into the air to celebrate the New Year. This happens far too often. Many Richmonders will remember 2013 when a seven year old boy was killed with a stray bullet while walking with his father on the 4th of July.
Neither of these incidents should have ever happened. The first rule of safe gun handling is to ALWAYS keep your gun pointed in a safe direction. "Up" is never a safe direction because you cannot guarantee where your bullet will land.
If you carry a gun for self-defense it is important that you spend time learning about real-life scenarios so you can visualize how you will react if you get into a similar situation.
Even a quick trip to pick up a pizza can turn into a deadly encounter, as a man recently discovered in Levittown, PA.
In my analysis of the situation, he handled the situation perfectly:
Also notice that the police are not pressing charges against the customer for defending himself. This is a great victory for law abiding citizens. Guns save lives!
Check out this very interesting Breitbart article about private gun ownership around the world. The United States has the highest concentration of gun ownership in the world with 112 guns per 100 people. The next closest is Serbia with only 75 guns per 100 people. That is a pretty huge difference!
The second part of the article then lists the top ten countries for gun violence and U.S. didn't even make the list. The obvious conclusion is that more guns does NOT equate to more crime. Guns save lives!
Today, on Thanksgiving, I'm thankful for the strong history of gun ownership in America and that we have the right to carry a firearm for self protection.
Earlier this month (November 2016) a new section of the Powhatan State Park opened for overnight camping. This gorgeous park sits right on the James River and offers many trails for walking, biking or horseback riding.
Richmond Firearm Training is less than 0.5 miles from the entrance to the park. Our courses are all held outside so they are a nice extension of the camping experience. So, if you'd like something else exciting to do while you visit the park, contact me and schedule some high quality, personalized basic handgun or self-defense handgun training.
My son Grant and I just returned from an incredible weekend of rifle training. This was the first time either of us had have any formal training on properly shooting a rifle. We took a Project Appleseed course from the Revolutionary War Veterans Association (RWVA). This was an amazing clinic and we both saw huge improvements in our abilities. Just like with pistols, there were a lot of technical details that I didn't know about shooting a rifle. We brought home a few targets for practice and both look forward to going back and earning our "Rifleman" patch.
Not only did we learn to shoot, the course also taught the real history of the two days that started the Revolutionary War and how colonial American marksmanship had an impact. This was a good reminder of what our founding fathers had in mind for America and that we all need to stay involved in politics to ensure we don't lose the freedoms that they fought for.
I highly recommend this course. For more information or to get signed-up for your Rifleman training, visit the Project Appleseed site.