With crime seemingly becoming a way of life for some, it is becoming more and more important to think about protecting yourself and your family. There are many ways to do this, such as beefing up home security systems or adding surveillance cameras, but nothing is quite as effective as a firearm.
Due to this line of thought, people who have no gun experience are purchasing their first firearm with the intention of defending themselves. This is great as we have the right to bear arms and defend ourselves, but the potential for failure lies in not learning how to operate those firearms and not practicing with them regularly to create the muscle memory necessary to use your chosen gun effectively.
Owning a firearm is only useful if you know how it works. Depending on where you live, it may be necessary to take a course or to get a gun permit. The length and duration of these courses will likely vary based on location, but even a short course is better than none at all. There are many benefits that can be gained from professional guidance when it comes to the carrying and operation of a firearm. Guessing how it works while alone in your bedroom is not safe and will not give you the practical hands-on knowledge that might someday save your life.
First of all, read the manual. While this sounds basic, you would be surprised how often this doesn't happen. I have seen people at the range with their gun for the first time that could not figure out how to load it. Odds are, by reading the manual once or twice before hand, that probably wouldn't have happened.
Whether it is due to TEOTWAWKI or crossing paths with a desperate person who has nothing left to lose, you are likely to have to at some point defend yourself. Due to the variations in weapon types and how they function, there simply is no way to convey the ins and outs of proper gun care and use here in this text. However, there are some very basic tips every responsible gun owner should follow.
1. Always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction. This means never pointing a firearm at a person, dwelling, vehicle, etc. regardless of whether or not it is loaded. Never point a firearm at anything or anyone you can potentially harm if it were to discharge.
2. Treat every firearm as if it were loaded. Just because you think it is unloaded does not mean you should point it carelessly or pull the trigger. I cannot tell you how many stories have made the news when people shot themselves accidentally with what they 'thought' was an unloaded gun; suffice to say there are many. All guns are always loaded.
3. Keep your finger off the trigger until you are indexed on a threat and ready to fire. Trigger discipline is one of the most important aspects of firearm use and carry. Your finger should be alongside the barrel of the gun, not on the trigger, unless you are about to fire. Remember that your brain is your safety, and it is the thing that controls that sneaky little finger of yours.
4. Always be sure of your target and what is beyond it before you fire. Bullets are able to penetrate objects and people and go on to harm or kill that which lies beyond them. Do not fire unless you know what is on the other side of your intended target.
5. Do not engage in horseplay with a firearm. If you are on a range and need to move about, holster your weapon. Do not climb under or over barricades with a firearm in your hand unless its part of the course of fire and done in a safe manner. You never know at what time you might trip or fall and risk firing a round off. When kneeling or crouching with a firearm, always keep your finger out of the trigger well as you move. The knee you save could be your own.
It is important to be a good citizen at all times when carrying a firearm and the pointers here are only the tip of the iceberg. Respect yourself as well as those around you and do not put lives in any sort of unnecessary danger. This means not only in the world around you but also in your very own home as your firearm should be stored in a safe place at all times that cannot be accessed by children or unexpected house guests.
A firearm can be an excellent survival tool to protect yourself and the ones you love as long as it is used properly with confidence and caution. Ideally you will never need to use it, but be prepared for the day that you do and remember to never take any action that you cannot justify to whichever judge and jury you might someday have to answer.
Also, don't be this guy:
Nobody wants to be this guy.