What does it take to maintain a proper and orderly society? This question is not easily answered. There are numerous statements that can answer that question. One answer that some people may use is “Gun Control: Securing the use, sale and purchase of firearms in a society so that the murder and violence rates decrease.” There are different extremes of the gun control issue. There are those who say that ALL firearms should be registered by ALL owners or that ALL firearms, except those used by law enforcement, should be taken away. Then, the other extreme, says that no one, or nothing should be able to control the purchase, sale or use of firearms. There is a middle-ground that supports both sides of the argument. That middle-ground says something to the effect of: Control the distribution of firearms to those who are trained and disciplined in the proper use, maintenance and security of firearms. Gun control does, in fact, need to happen, but there is not an easy way about it in order to please both sides of the argument.
Owning a firearm comes with a great responsibility. There are numerous different aspects of owning firearms that the average citizen might not be aware of. One responsibility that is the most important, respecting your firearm. Respect of a firearm means knowing where it is at all times. When you are not using it or carrying it, it should be locked up in a safe, secure place. Typically, the ammunition should be kept in a different location especially if there are children in the house. Respecting your firearm also means that you should always treat it as if it were loaded. Whether you know it is loaded or not, it should always be treated as if it were. Writer Dean Speir wrote on www.TheGunZone.com, the four basic, but most important rules of gun ownership and usage: All guns are always loaded (Treat all guns as if they are loaded) Never let the muzzle (barrell) cover anything you are not willing to destroy Keep your finger off of the trigger until your sights are on the target Always be sure of your target [and what is beyond it] (http://www.thegunzone.com/therules.html)
If these four rules were followed by all gun owners, the amount of “accidental” shootings and shooting injuries would decrease drastically. Unfortunately, there are too many people that own firearms that do not and will not follow any basic expectations or responsibilities of gun ownership.
Another responsibility of owning a firearm is proper training on how to use it and how to clean it, which go hand-in-hand. Any sporting goods store that sells hunting equipment will have brochures available for firearm safety classes. Most states do not require a permit to purchase firearms, but they do require a permit to carry a concealed firearm (http://www.statemaster.com/graph/gov_gun_law_per-government-gun-laws-permits). The training class that companies offer usually cover the basics of using a firearm. The International Hunter Education Association (IHEA) promotes and offers firearm safety courses (http://homestudy.ihea.com/firearmsafety/index.htm). A few of the topics that this course covers are Hunter Education, Firearm Safety, Ammunition, and Hunter Responsibility. These courses are encouraged because they show you the proper way to handle and shoot a firearm. They show you the basics on how a firearm operates and what is required of you as a safe gun owner and operator. If all gun owners could take one of these courses, then, everyone who has a firearm would be educated on the proper use and handling of their firearm.
If some of the people who oppose gun ownership would take one of these firearm-safety classes, then they might see that not all gun owners are the same. They might see that most people actually do know how to properly store and maintain their weapons. With proper storage and maintenance of firearms, there is no chance that an accident can happen. Firearm accidents happen...