By: Paul Foreman “Guns are only dangerous when handled by dangerous people.” Some of you may have seen the YouTube video of the police officer giving a Gun Safety demonstration to a class of students. The officer is dressed like he is a member of a “Special Response Team” or SWAT. Usually, these officers are specially trained for very high risk situations and are also highly trained in gun safety, as I am sure this officer was. BUT… he gets way to COMFORTABLE, COMPLACENT and CARELESS with his gun which he probably “thought” he had already unloaded. There he is standing in front of a room full of students talking about of all things, GUN SAFETY. He actually makes the statement, “I am the only one in this room, professional enough that I know of, who carries a Glock 40.” The gun is pointed up at the ceiling, but then he lowers the gun toward the floor and points it right at his upper leg. Then we hear the loud “BANG!” He has just shot himself. This incident could have been even worse, but, thank goodness, the officer is the only person injured. He clumsily explains that an “accident” like this could happen to anyone and that no one should ever play with guns. I have given hundreds of demonstrations of gun safety, but, thank goodness, NOT like the one in the video. It’s imperative that we follow safety rules thoroughly, all the time. Yes, if you are wondering if you read that right, this man shot himself in the leg in front of a room full of students…while giving a gun-safety lecture. I don’t know what was going on in this gentleman’s mind when he passed the muzzle over his leg and pressed the trigger, but I do know that his actions demonstrate why we must follow gun safety rules all the time, always. Even better, use a red or blue plastic “TRAINING” gun, especially when demonstrating gun safety to a group of people. Comfortable: The word comfortable can be helpful up to a point. It’s fantastic when someone can manipulate a firearm with the ease of skill, experience, and training. And it’s great when someone knows and understands firearms enough that he or she feels normal and secure. But the “comfortable” attitude we need to be aware of (and concerned with) is when the respect for firearms is gone or when the healthy fear of guns is no longer there. In my opinion, we should never be too comfortable around guns. When we are comfortable, we often get relaxed, and when we get too relaxed, we can become lazy. This poor guy was just way too comfortable with his gun. I am sure he had probably spent years handing that gun and others, and that is the problem. He was so used to handling his gun that he became way too comfortable with it. A gun becomes DANGEROUS, only when used by someone who fails to always be aware of the gun and its potential for becoming dangerous when handled improperly. It’s great to be confident and familiar with your gun, but not comfortable. Complacent: This, I believe occurs when people, such as police officers, think they know so much about guns (because they’ve worked with them for so long) that they don’t really feel they need to think about it very much anymore, or at all. This is a dangerous pride that can swell and spread, quickly smothering safety and caution. And for this reason, complacency needs to be addressed and extinguished as quickly as possible. Careless: You would think that most people would probably consider “CARELESS” the worst sin of them all, since it’s a complete lack of concern that results in people doing really dumb stuff without even thinking to avoid harm or error. Perhaps some of these DEADLY SINS of gun handling may seem more extreme and dangerous than others, but they are all equally as intolerable. Safety should always be everyone’s priority, no matter your background, your training, the type of firearms you own, or the way you carry your gun. 1.Always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction. 2.Always keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot. 3.Always keep the gun unloaded until ready to use. (The exception to rule #3 would be if you use the gun for self-defense.) By: Paul Foreman

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