Safety Precautions for Those Using Firearms as Home Security Protection

We recently asked participants in a National survey, “How do you currently protect your residence from intruders?” Over one thousand people responded to the survey with an assortment of answers. Some respondents chose less serious responses such as dragons to strong verbal skills while others chose more popular answers including dogs, locks, and baseball bats.

The number one response to our survey was “guns and firearms”. Over 20% of survey participants, in one form or another, mentioned guns as their primary method of intrusion protection.

Using Firearms for personal protection

USA Today conducted a poll earlier this year asking why people purchase firearms. According to USA Today, “48% said they own them for projection, while 32% said they own a firearm mainly for hunting purposes.”

If you are apart of the 48% of American’s who intend to use their firearms for protection consider this:

Chances of tragedy increase exponentially

Arthur Kellerman, founder of Emory University's Department of Emergency Medicine, who spent years as an emergency room doctor, told James E. Causey in interview earlier this year, that people who keep guns in the home are more likely to be victims of homicide than those who don't.

In addition Kellerman remarked, "Believe me when I tell you this. The victims are not the bad guys. It's usually someone that the owner of the gun cares about," he said. "My research showed that a gun owner was 43 times more likely to shoot and kill a family member than that he'd shoot and kill anybody else."

I’m not advocating any anti-gun propaganda; however, these types of statistics show the immense need for safety, precautions, and education. If gun owners are 43 times more likely to shoot and kill a family member then they need to be 43 times more prudent and safe.

Gun safety and education

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) released ten rules of safe gun handling which include:

  1. Always Keep The Muzzle Pointed In A Safe Direction
  2. Firearms Should Be Unloaded When Not Actually In Use
  3. Don't Rely On Your Gun's "Safety"
  4. Be Sure Of Your Target And What's Beyond It
  5. Use Correct Ammunition
  6. If Your Gun Fails To Fire When The Trigger Is Pulled, Handle With Care!
  7. Always Wear Eye And Ear Protection When Shooting
  8. Be Sure The Barrel Is Clear Of Obstructions Before Shooting
  9. Don't Alter Or Modify Your Gun, And Have Guns Serviced Regularly
  10. Learn The Mechanical And Handling Characteristics Of The Firearm You Are Using

These rules should be considered commandments rather than tips. Gun ownership is a right and power. It is the power to take and save life. With that power comes responsibility to act in clarity and preparation.

If you’re going to use a gun for home security be ready to kill

Eric W. Fleegler a physician at Boston Children’s Hospital and assistant professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School said at a round table discussion, “Here's the issue. You never killed anyone before, and you don't know if that burglar is the kid down the street or a street person who is just hungry. You made a decision to kill, and we have seen how this has played out in different cases across the country."

So here are three questions you should ask yourself before using firearms as primary intrusion protection:

  1. Am I willing to kill someone?
  2. Can I live with my choices?
  3. Is this my best option?

Conclusion

While I don’t plan on selling my guns anytime soon, I do plan on making the right plans and preparations to use my guns in a intrusion situation. Home security systems are a great first line of defense against home invasions and drastically reduce the likelihood of tragedy.

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