Hi! My name is Gunfighter, and I'll be guest posting here today as part of the blog exchange. This month's topic was to debate positions on various issues that were suggested by the participants. My host and I are on opposite sides of this particular issue, so here we are. Enjoy.
As my blogging identity might suggest, I spend a fair amount of time with firearms, as a matter of fact, I make my living with guns. You see, I am a tactical firearms instructor for a federal law enforcement agency. I teach our officers and agents how to fight with a variety of weapons, from handguns, to shotguns, rifles, and sub machine guns.
Guns have been a part of my life since I learned to shoot as a 12 year old Boy Scout. We didn't keep any guns in our home, as we weren't a hunting family... neither did we feel the need for any guns in my working class New Jersey neighborhood.
When I was seventeen, I joined the Marines, and spent the next 8 years in the Infantry, mostly in the Second Marine Division. I left the Marines for greener pastures in 1989, and have been carrying a gun on duty ever since then.
Lest you think I am going to preach at you like some NRA gun-nut fruitcake, I assure you that I am not. I'm not fanatical about guns. I don't believe that they are a talisman to ward off bad people, I don't believe that I need to keep a gun in my home to protect me from "the government", and I have never seen a black helicopter.
Having said all of that, I will tell you that I keep two guns in our home. The one that Uncle Sam issued to me to use if I need to protect myself or others in the line of duty, and the other is to protect myself and my family when I am not on Uncle Sam's time (yes, which gun I use and when, really does matter).
OK, to the point of this post... I am not going to suggest that everyone needs a gun or should have one. Not at all. What I am going to talk about is safety. Firearms safety in the home is something that I am passionate about. I am the father of two daughters (one of whom is 8, and still at home), and the husband of a lovely woman that doesn't really want to touch or know about guns, so the safety of my family concerning my guns is paramount.
I don't believe that have a gun in the home is inherently dangerous. Not when the owner is safe, smart, and committed to safety. Stored correctly, a gun in the home is less dangerous than a kitchen knife. I know that sounds trite, but it's true.
The thing about guns in the home is that people have to think about it rationally, intellectually, and armed with facts.
Facts, not hyperbole.
The reason that we hear of so many awful tragedies regarding accidents with guns in the home, or with troubled teens taking guns from home and shooting classmates, or killing themselves, is that many irresponsible parents refuse to take p[roper safety precautions. The safety precautions that I take with an eight year old in the hose will change by the time she is 16. Why, because at 16, she will have increased cognitive abilities, and capabilities that an 8 year old hasn't yet fully developed.
To conclude: Tragedies can happen with or without guns. Responsible parenting is paramount in the safety of children in a home where guns are kept. Responsible gun owners are a must.
Please note, that while I advocate for safe gun ownership and responsibility for gun owners... especailly those who have children in the home, I am not of the opinion that EVERYone should keep guns in the house... that's on you.
Peace Be With You,
Gunfighter lives with is wife and daughter in Northern Virginia, and is employed as a tactical firearms instructor for a federal law enforcement agency. He blogs about the things he sees and what he thinks about them at The View From Here. When he grows up, he wants to be a writer... or hand out balloons at Disneyworld.