There is a lot of debate all over the world right now about guns. Just guns in general. To get my stance out in the open – I am a firm believer in responsible gun-owning. I get my background checks, I buy at reputable places, and my guns are registered. They are locked up at all times except when in use. My ammunition is locked up in a separate location at all times except when in use. My concealed carriers permit is renewed early. I have only guns I feel are necessary – 2 handguns for target shooting and self-defense purposes. I attend safety courses when offered and have repeated the same courses to stay up-to-date. I practice target shooting for recreational activity with my dad because it is a common interest. While I am not a hunter because I have no desire to sit in a tree stand in the cold and rain, I have come from a long line of hunters and other responsible gun owners.
My father has owned all sorts of guns for as long as I can remember and I have always been taught to respect guns, big and small. My dad takes a lot of flack for owning semi-automatic rifles and other larger guns. He has been told numerous times that he does not need a gun that does not cause mass destruction because he is not in the military. He has never hurt anyone with a gun or any other kind of weapon for that matter and has instilled responsible gun-owning in me for the longest time.
While at the shooting range today, there was another man with his 2 daughters. They had a really flashy gun with all of the bells and whistles. He had name-brand equipment and brought a fancy camera to record their time together on range. He loudly made comments about my shooting ability, although I did not see either of his daughters fire a single time. I watched out of the corner of my eye as his daughters took pictures of me and laughed. One commented that I was dressed like a boy but shot like a girl. He also loudly made fun of my dad’s shooting ability, as he saw my dad calmly and patiently helping me to improve my shot. He screamed at his daughters for making too much noise while he was trying to shoot. He had the equipment of a professional, but acted like a diva. He was loudly proclaiming, “Wow, did you see that shot?!” after each shot he made, whether it hit the target or not.
As my dad and I were packing up to go home, he said, “Girls, get off those f****** phones and come look at how a real man shoots. He and his daughters walked downrange – leaving his gun loaded, with the safety off, on the stand, with my dad and I still back there. I have never been more appalled at a gun owner in my life.
- He did not know my dad or me. There was no saying that we weren’t two nut jobs. We could have very easily grabbed that gun and taken off with it or murdered him and his daughters. He had no other weapon on him, there was nothing he could have done to stop it.
- You never walk downrange unless you are certain that no one is firing. Even though my dad and I were in the process of packing up, we still had guns out and were not asked to hold fire so he could show his daughters his shot.
- You never walk away from a gun to begin with. I don’t care if the safety is on or not. I don’t care if your gun is loaded or not. You never walk away from your gun.
This man clearly proved the need for more gun laws and gun education in this country. This man, who had all of the equipment of a professional, had the brains of a jellyfish – none. This man was a clear indication that you can have all of the equipment, but without proper education, you are a danger to yourself and society.
Gun safety classes should be mandatory for owning any type of gun. You should not have a gun placed in your hands until you can pass a safety course. You should be able to prove that you are proficient in gun safety, ability to shoot, and cleaning and caring for your weapon on a yearly basis. Shooting skills deteriorate as time goes on without practice – I was a prime example of that. I have not shot in 6 months and I really sucked today. Practice should be a requirement. If you own a gun, all of your family members above age 10 should also have to go through the classes and pass a gun safety test. Maybe then idiots like this man would have at least had daughters with the common sense not to leave a loaded gun downrange near two strangers. Maybe if more people respected guns, we would not have the issues in this country that we do today. Maybe if people had accountability when it comes to owning guns, there would be less psychos with guns in their hands and more citizens who are informed and practiced. All of this would be a pain in the butt to accomplish, but our safety is worth it.