Gun safety is something that many of us take for granted. I mean, we follow all the rules and tend to share them with everyone as well as calling out people on the internet who are being stupid about it, but some folks tend to just kind of assume everyone knows the rules already. In fairness, everyone should. Unfortunately, they don’t.
Now, with millions of new gun owners in the last few months, there are bound to be accidents.
This fact has prompted police in Portsmouth, Virginia to remind people to take care with their firearms.
Lt. Scott Blystone with the Portsmouth Police Department says right now, police are seeing people who have experience with firearms get a little complacent since they’re spending more time at home — which is leading to more shooting accidents.
Blystone says, as of late, people have been mishandling guns while trying to take care of them, or not putting them away in the proper places. Those situations have led to some scary 911 calls.
“We are seeing a lot of people accidentally get shot, whether they’re cleaning their firearms or not properly putting them in holsters, or just shoving them down their pants, and unfortunately that’s lead to a couple of our gunshot wounds,” Blystone explained.
Blystone also advises people to get some kind of a lockbox to store the firearm in so children can’t get hold of it.
It’s a shame that it’s come to this, but this isn’t unexpected. Not really.
You see, you have millions of new gun owners. Every gun store owner I’ve seen asked about who are buying guns tell you that these are typically new gun buyers. That means they’re individuals who are unlikely to have any firearms training to speak of or, if they did, it was years previously.
Then the entire planet goes on lockdown.
With that, most firearms classes–including the basic safety classes that are most useful for new gun owners–were canceled all across the country. People who had never handled a firearm were suddenly trying to figure all of it out. Some went to YouTube or Google and got some good information. Some probably figured they’d seen enough movies they didn’t need to worry about it.
As a result, you get stupid accidents. More correctly, negligence.
Make no mistake, not knowing how to handle a firearm does not excuse someone from being negligent. Ignorance is not a virtue, nor should it ever be considered such.
So yeah, people need training. They need education on guns.
I’m not remotely prepared to argue that people should be required to undergo such training before being permitted to buy a gun–that’s an infringement on their right to keep and bear arms, after all–but instead to be inundated with proper firearm handling all throughout their lives. We should have this as part of school curriculums throughout the nation. Make it so no one ever has ignorance as an excuse again.
Will it stop accidents? Probably not. After all, driver’s ed classes haven’t stopped people being stupid in cars, now has it?
What it may do, though, is save a handful of lives without costing anyone else theirs. That’s a big win for everyone.