Wild Times: They are all loaded!

I recently read an article on the internet that dealt with the number of households in the United States that were in possession of firearms within the four walls.

I really don’t trust what I read on the internet these days, but I am pretty confident that in our neck of the woods that most households do indeed own some form of a firearm. Some of those firearms are used for hunting purposes, and some of those are used for other recreational purposes. A large proportion of those firearms, according to the article I read, are used for protection from people or things that go bump in the night.

I don’t need to read an article to tell me that there are a lot of firearms in our country. In fact, there are a lot more than people realize, way more than any old survey is going to turn up. We are in the fall of the year and with that season comes a lot of opportunities to use a firearm. With increased usage comes the possibility of an accidental discharge. I tried to research some statistics about accidental discharges and injuries, but what I found were a lot of reports that all contradicted each other. I don’t need to see any statistics to tell me that accidents happen, and guns that are unloaded have a habit of going “bang.”

If I have heard one story about an unloaded gun going off, I have heard a thousand. I have been in that very situation before myself. In fact, most guys who I have been around over the years who hunt or own firearms have either had an accidental discharge or mishap of some kind. It doesn’t have to be that way! It is time to realize that all guns are loaded. Even if you think that gun is unloaded, you must assume that it is indeed loaded and must be handled accordingly.

Things have changed over the years in the area of gun safety and have changed for the better. Back in the day, a lot of people had guns that they just kept lying around the house on a shelf or in a closet. Maybe some of you still do. Don’t do it! With all of the models of gun safes available today, there is no excuse for having a firearm that is not locked up. If you need a gun at your fingertips in your house for some reason, get one of the safes that can be unlocked by your fingerprint. It is fast and easy to use. Just having your guns locked up is only part of the equation for gun safety.

Once that gun comes out of the safe, you must assume that it is loaded. If it would become habit for every gun owner to check the firearm to make sure it is unloaded every time it is being handled, the chance for an accident would decrease. Guns should never be loaded when cleaning them or transporting to wherever you are taking them. Never take a gun from someone without checking to make sure that it is unloaded. Even if someone tells you that the firearm is unloaded, don’t take their word for it. Check it yourself!

I am sure you have heard the expression that it is always the unloaded gun that goes off. There is absolute truth to that saying. If we would all keep our firearms locked up when they are not in use and treat every gun that is handled as if it was loaded, the accident rate would be minimal. Don’t take any gun for granted. Always assume it is loaded, and act accordingly.

Tim Kellenberger108 Posts

Tim Kellenberger serves as Owner, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief for The Sabetha Herald since 2004. He specializes in sports reporting and column writing, as well as sports photography. Tim is a Grace University graduate with a dual degree in agricultural economics and human resource management. He lives in rural Sabetha with his wife and has four grown children and two grandchildren.

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