Saturday, March 30, 2013

A Tragic Lesson Learned About Gun Safety

Before you read on further, let me say that this is a sad story, in fact a tragedy that may evoke a tear or two on your part.

It is a recent event, at the time I write, it happened about two and a half weeks ago. It is the story of a 10 year old boy whose life was taken too soon and was taken, accidentally, by his own 13 year old brother. They were two brothers, they reportedly were shooting their new Daisy Powerline 880 BB guns at targets outside their home. They had gotten the guns only the week before. They pumped up the BB guns to give them more power. The 13 year old reportedly pointed his BB gun at his brother, from close range, and I am guessing he pulled the trigger because it was reported in another article hat they had been shooting each other with air. The BB went into the younger brother's head and passed through at least part of his brain. After a week, the younger boy perished.

What I am about to say is going to be harsh but it is not meant to offend, sadden, demonize the mother of these children or her boyfriend, who reportedly were nearby but apparently not constantly supervising the children as they shot their BB guns. What I am about to say is meant as a warning. You should never allow young children to be unsupervised while they are handling conventional firearms or even gas or pneumatic propelled guns. The reason should have been fairly obvious, before this sad event took place, to anyone who is a parent. You also absolutely need to teach children about firearms safety (aka: gun safety) even when they are only going to handle BB or pellet guns. Teaching them does not mean telling them once and then thinking all will be okay. Teaching them means repeatedly drilling them on the subject and making sure, by way of adult supervision, that they have gotten it right. Kids and teens are easily distracted and need such lessons repeated under the guidance of a responsible adult; they need supervision. Without that supervision, well you just saw what happened. I would not wish that on any sibling or parent. If you have children, who have access to firearms or BB or pellet guns - please teach them the rules of gun safety and please keep them well supervised when they are shooting.

I am not saying that the mom of these two boys had not informed them of gun safety rules or that they were not usually supervised while shooting. In fact the linked article that reports the shooting says that the mom and her boyfriend "...were at home when the shooting occurred..." and that the mom was cooking dinner and checking on the boys periodically. Periodically is not good enough folks. If you have children whom you are allowing to handle guns, there has to be constant adult supervision. That means 
uninterrupted monitoring by a responsible and capable adult within hands-on reach of the children. Otherwise, being that they are children, they might start playing with the guns in a manner that is extremely unsafe. 

"The boys took turns shooting each other with air..." (source)

They seemingly were playing with their BB guns. My guess is that the great majority of adults, if any were present, would have prevented those actions or at least stopped that activity had it already begun and that the kids probably would not even have started it had there been constant and proper adult supervision and had the boys been properly and thoroughly taught about gun safety. The sad truth is that too many people think about BB and pellet guns as toys but there is nothing toyish about them.

Folks, please keep an eye on your young ones and give them the loving supervision they need whenever they handle guns. It will go a long way to assure your kids will grow up to become responsible firearms owners who will pass on that same tradition to their children,your grandchildren.

My heartfelt condolences to the family of that young boy. I hope that they may find some solace in the thought that the lessons that can be learned from his death may go forward to prevent the same from happening to another child and toward fostering safe gun handling among those who enjoy one of America's oldest traditions. The tradition is that of teaching their children to shoot because we have the Right to Keep and Bear Arms and because we have the obligation to protect ourselves, our loved ones, our rights, our nation and our Constitution.

All the best,
Glenn B


Russian Ammo and American Mags - Hallelujah

I had kind of sworn off of buying any additional ammunition for the time being and I did that weeks if not well over a month ago. I figured there would be no more of it in stock, for me to buy online, before the NY SAFE Act deadline of April 15th that kills all Internet sales of ammo to New Yorkers and it is just too expensive in stores around here. Well, low and behold, several hours ago, I received an email from the Sportsmansguide about a tin of Russian manufactured TulAmmo brand 7.62x39mm ammo, that I had put on back-order. The email was to tell me that my order had shipped. So another 640 rounds of it is headed my way.

That came as a surprise to me because I had forgotten I had placed a back-order. In fact, I had made the order a good long while ago, on December 19, 2012, as in three and a half months ago. What foresight, my order was placed before the SAFE Act was even thought up!

I also recently purchased 30, ten round, Tapco polymer AK magazines, made in the USA, while still legal here. I figure that even if the SAFE Act is repealed or amended to allow higher cap magazines, I will be able to use these at the range for fun and keep the wear and tear off of my higher cap mags. I still can legally possess, but not use to shoot, those mags here in NY until next year. They will be long out of NY state and in storage elsewhere, and legally so, before then.

All the best,
Glenn B