When I first got interested in firearms, one of the first things I was told was to lock my guns up when I wasn’t using them. After all, folks argued, gun storage helps prevent bad people from getting those firearms, thus creating statistics that will be used to justify gun control.
If for no other reason, this was something I could accept.
However, the truth is, the benefits of gun storage are one of the few things both sides of the debate tend to agree on.
DEGuns said first and foremost, we need to focus on firearm lockboxes.
“There is a lot of personal responsibility that goes into guns that we don’t need to legislate but that we need to make cultural,” general manager David Pringle said. “And so safe storage and secure storage is to me as important as anybody. We should focus on that before we focus on any other gun laws because we already have a whole bunch of them.”
Nebraskans Against Gun Violence said its major focus is also on gun storage — holding people accountable if they don’t keep their weapons secure from unauthorized or dangerous people.
Pringle agreed, saying of criminals, “That’s what they do, is they commit crimes.”
“And that’s why we need to store guns safely, so they don’t have access to them,” he said. “Generally, people don’t buy guns and then go commit crimes with them. That’s not how it happens. Somebody gets a gun illegally and then they commit a crime with it.”
That’s the good news.
The bad news, however, is that while we agree that gun storage is beneficial, only one side wants to mandate it universally regardless of any other factors.
And it ain’t us.
Frankly, this is kind of a great example of how the two sides may sound alike at times, but you have to know what’s going on deeper.
See, I think you should store your guns when not in use. I don’t think the government can or should be telling me that I have to do any such thing, though. After all, how do they define “in use,” anyway?
For example, if I have a gun in my nightstand and not locked up so I can grab it in the middle of the night–and it is never left there when I leave the house–is it safe? What if I don’t have any kids in the house? What about now?
I can spin a thousand likely scenarios where government intervention is unwarranted and harmful.
But for some, anything that restricts what you or I can do with a firearm is a good thing, and that includes trying to force people to store their guns in a manner non-gun people approve of.
That’s where we venture apart on the topic of gun storage, and it’s a shame it had to be that way. After all, if both sides could come together on this particular issue. We could work together so that people would come to understand the benefits of proper gun storage.
Instead, someone had to go and try and make it mandatory so that unity simply cannot happen.