|Photography by Ben Roberts|
Monday, October 21, 2013
Firearms Safety from Instructor Joshua Hicks
Firearms have been getting a great deal of media attention lately, both positive and negative. As a result there has been an increase in the number of firearms being purchased, and consequently a shortage on ammunition has occurred. Many firearms enthusiasts and avid shooters have been asking, “When are we going to be able to buy ammo again?” and some have even begun to reload their own cartridges, however even the components needed to reload have become scarce.
In addition to firearm and ammunition sales increasing, so have the number of citizens taking basic firearms training. Traditionally in the South, fathers teaching their sons firearms safety and fundamentals supplanted the need of firearms training. However in recent years, due to more of an industrial influx, the need for hunting food for dinner has ceased and that tradition is disappearing. Also, firearms have become infinitely more complex. That’s where the Firearms Instructor comes in. Firearms Instructors are civilians and law enforcement officers who have undergone specific training and passed a series of written and practical tests to be certified to teach within certain disciplines. Firearms Instructors are professionals dedicated to teaching civilians to be informed when it comes to firearms safety and the fundamentals of shooting.
No matter which side of the political coin you find yourself everyone should support Firearms Instructors because they are traditionally unbiased when it comes to firearm safety and the responsibility that comes with owning a firearm.
What are the four cardinal rules of firearms safety?
1. Always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction.
2. Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot.
3. Keep the firearm unloaded until you are ready to shoot.
4. Know your target and beyond.
Every shooter should know these rules before stepping foot on a range or handling a firearm.
What are some of the deterrents for people when it comes to firearms training?
1. Finding the time to take a class.
2. The cost involved with taking a class.
3. Arranging childcare.
4. Gender stereotypes.
5. False confidence.
The above-mentioned are among the most common reasons why people avoid firearms training. Firearms classes take approximately eight hours plus range time. Most instructors try to schedule classes on the weekend to accommodate work schedules. Even so, some people find eight hours to be a hefty commitment. And though the cost may seem steep, most instructors have a very narrow profit margin. It costs instructors time and money to become certified, plus the cost of materials per student. Then there are gender stereotypes. Women are equally competent as men. But some men seem to think that women don’t belong on the range, and unfortunately too many women agree. Lastly and most common is false confidence. Many boast“ I’ve been shooting since I was a kid, I know how to shoot”. But if you ask, “What are cardinal rules of firearms safety” and 9 times out of 10 they don’t know. They have experience, but they lack training.
Although the likelihood of seeing ammo on the shelves anytime soon is slim, don’t lose hope. Once the supply can match the demand those shelves will fill up and prices will go down. If you are interested in firearms training please contact your local firearms instructors and register for a class today. It’s never too late to become an informed citizen, which is just as much a part of the Second Amendment as the right to bare arms.