The National Rifle Association clearly states in its guidelines for firearm safety that one should keep a gun unloaded until ready to use. I learned that rule during high school when I was in military cadet training. First and foremost rule.
During that weapons training, I rose to the level of sharpshooter, so I am well familiar with weapons and weapon safety. Fifty-one years later, I still remember those rules. In the early sixties, responsible gun ownership meant strict adherence to guidelines for firearm safety promulgated by the NRA and other organizations. To be someone qualified to own or handle a firearm, you needed to follow these rules at all times. This was seared into my teenage brain.
Unfortunately as we have seen this weekend, not all gun owners are imbued with this same sense of responsibility. If it were only one “accident” we could say it was an unfortunate tragedy, but three with five injured? I don’t know how many gun shows were held this weekend, but in three of them in the states of Indiana, Ohio, and North Carolina, someone got hurt because a “responsible” gun owner brought a loaded firearm into the show.
To paraphrase Arlo Guthrie, if it were only one then you might say that it’s is an accident, but with three there is definitely a trend. What part of “locked and loaded” didn’t these people understand? What if someone brought in a Bushmaster with a thirty round magazine and “accidentally” fired off a few dozen rounds. Where does this madness end?
Edited to add the following:
Busy weekend for gun-related mayhem. authorities in New Mexico arrested a fifteen year-old and charged him with the murder of five individuals, including three young children. The victims, the police say, were shot multiple times and that an “AR-15” type assault weapon along with other firearms may hve been used in committing this crime.
We not only unloaded guns, gun rule #1 was ALWAYS TREAT THE GUN AS IF IT IS LOADED. Even toy guns. Rule #2 was NEVER POINT THAT GUN AT ANYTHING UNLESS YOU WILL BE PULLING THE TRIGGER.
There are only three fundamental rules and they are not complicated in any way. I am always reminded when I think about these simple rules of the time that I was in a gun shop in Dallas with a business colleague. The shop owner showed us a six gun, huge six gun. My Texan colleague picked it up and started twirling it like she was Annie Oakley. I asked if she shouldn’t make sure it was unloaded first. She made a disparaging remark about my being an East Coast wimp. Another “responsible” gun advocate.
I would second the authors comments with similar history of sorts. This is the crowd we want to put in our schools? I think not. I don’t want then in the neighborhood…within miles.