As part of the Bearing Arms Against Domestic Violence campaign, we’re running a 7-part series on how seven prominent women in the firearms industry, hunting world and Second Amendment advocacy groups handle gun safety in their own homes.
In part 2, we get insight into the personal philosophies of Jana Waller, Julie Golob, Stacy Washington, Natalie Foster, Shaneen Allen, Katie Pavlich and Nikki Goeser on gun safety and how they practice what they preach in their own homes.
What is your personal philosophy on and what are some ways you practice gun safety in your own home? Do you have any products you would recommend to others?
WALLER: I personally believe that the majority of people who are anti-gun simply are not familiar with or comfortable with them. They did not grow up in a household with guns or a hunting family and only have negative connotations of firearms. On a flight recently I sat next to an African-American professor from McGill University. He asked what I did for a living and I told him I hosted a hunting TV show. His exact words were “You’re not one of those crazy NRA zealots are you?” My response, “Well yes sir, I am.” We actually went on to have a very respectful conversation about guns, the media and our different backgrounds.
Long story short, he grew up in the inner city of Chicago where guns equated violence. I introduced him to my upbringing in Wisconsin where I grew up bonding with my father through hunting. I got an email from him the following day that said it was one of the most informative, eye-opening conversations he had ever had on the topic. It truly was fantastic to have that open dialogue and show someone my side of the fence… that guns, hunting and the shooting sports are all positive, beautiful things that all walks of life should be involved in.
GOLOB: Education is the best solution when it comes to firearm safety. It’s important to establish the rules you feel comfortable with and then have an open dialog with your children. In our home, guns and firearm safety are never taboo. With resources like Project ChildSafe and Eddie Eagle, we talk about firearms openly the way we talk about getting too close to the fire, cooking and dealing with sharp objects. We’re honest with our children and honest with ourselves when it comes to our daughters’ maturity level and how that specifically pertains to guns.
FOSTER: Our philosophy on safety at home is that it is our absolute first priority. We keep our firearms locked in GunVault safes. We’ve liked these safes because of their quick accessibility and solid security. We bought the style that requires you to key in a code but we plan to get one with a finger print scanner soon. As our collection grows we have researched some of the other safes that balance security and accessibility well. The Hornady RAPiD safe has impressed me because of its several entry options. It’s a smart, innovative device that is worth checking out if you are in the market for a new handgun safe.
ALLEN: Firearms safety is a learned skill and is based not only on knowing the safety rules, but also practicing them each and every time you handle a firearm. At home, I make it an ongoing point to teach my children the rules of gun safety, self defense fundamentals and safe gun handling. In my opinion, a quality gun safe is the single most important investment you can make.
PAVLICH: I keep it simple and always refer back to the four rules of gun safety. Rule number one is the most applicable anywhere, but especially inside the home: 1) Every gun is always loaded 2) Never let the muzzle cover anything which you are not willing to destroy 3) Keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot 4) Know your target and what is beyond it.
GOESER: Keep your primary self-defense firearm loaded at all times and safely accessible in case you need to get to it quickly to defend yourself or others.
Make sure you are well trained with your primary self-defense firearm (more than the standard level 1 pistol training). There are training academies across the nation who will work with you on situational awareness, defensive mindset and justified use of force. I would recommend any NRA Certified training course.
Come back tomorrow for Part 3 of this series where we share how these leading ladies lift their message of gun safety to others!