Safe Gifts

By Vance Ewing


I know that many people gave and received guns for Christmas.  But you know that with owning a gun comes great responsibility.   The National Rifle Association has four basic rules when it comes to firearms:  First, always keep your gun pointed in a safe direction.  That means that you are always aware of where your gun is pointed.  Second, always keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot.  This is a trained behavior and one of the most important safety rules in gun ownership.  Most modern guns have internal safeties that keep the gun from firing until the trigger is pulled.  Third, always keep your gun unloaded until you are ready to use it.  At this moment none of my hunting guns are loaded because I’m not hunting.  All my guns and ammo are in a safe where no child or unauthorized person has access to them. (My home defense and personal defense guns are loaded, but that is another story.)  And finally, KNOW your target and what is beyond your target.  When you’re out shooting at a range or in the woods, or even your own backyard, you are responsible for where that bullet goes.  Therefore, be sure that you know what is behind your target and that it is safe to shoot just in case you miss.  The gift of a gun is a wonderful thing.  However, without training it can quickly become a tragedy.  Find a certified NRA Trainer and give a New Year’s resolution gift of training for that firearm.  I have a truism for training and it goes like this:  training breeds competence and competence breeds confidence; the more you train, the more confident you will become.  Hope to see you on the range soon.

Vance Ewing spent 22 years in the US Army and eight years as a NATO Counter-IED and Anti-Terrorism Instructor. Vance currently serves as a NRA Counselor and Trainer. Michael Ryen spent eight years in the US Army Reserves and currently serves as a NRA Trainer and recruiter. They are the owners of The Bow and Barrel Sportsmen Center located at 22940 Harlan Lane, Saint Robert, Missouri., 573-451-2129

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