What gun-owners know: Guns are dangerous
Mike Scanlon | Rio Grande Digital
I’ve been a gun-owner most of my life. As a 13-year-old, I hiked the foothills and streams of northeastern New Mexico alone and unsupervised with a .22 revolver strapped to my hip, often carrying a .22 rifle as well. My parents were confident that I knew enough to be responsible and safe. I did, and I was.
I learned about guns at an early age. I learned how properly to clean a gun, how to safely load a gun. I learned about velocity and trajectory and the invisible gaseous burst that envelops a gun when the trigger is pulled. I learned never to shoot at something unless I knew with absolute certainty what was behind it. I learned never to aim a gun at something I didn’t intend to shoot and never to shoot something I didn’t intend to destroy. I learned not to kill anything. I learned that guns are not toys, and that “showing off” with a gun easily could cause a deadly accident.
I don’t claim to be a gun expert — far from it. I have no interest in being one. Most of my friends would be surprised even to know I have guns. I’m a gun-owner and sometimes target shooter, and that is my perspective on this topic.
As a youngster, I developed keen target skills. Even still, I have a liking for guns — the weight and balance, comfort of the grip, smoothness of the action, quality and detail of the frame, accuracy of the sights, the recoil that every firearm instantly delivers when the firing pin strikes a live round, the smell of gun powder. I own multiple guns of various makes, styles and calibers. I’ve owned handguns, rifles and shotguns and even an assault rifle that I no longer have. I’ve never had an accident, and I’ve never hurt anyone. I’ve never gotten into trouble with a gun.
So naturally, I’m concerned about the current threat to gun-ownership. That threat lies hidden in stubborn, disingenuous denial of the very first, most obvious — and by far, the most important — fact I learned about guns long before I fired my first round: Guns are inherently dangerous.