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A gun is a tool like a hammer or a car, and like any tool it should be treated with respect and used safely. In the correct hands, tools help us all accomplish a goal. The moment when any tool is handled in an unsafe manor and/or by someone who is not properly trained, the results can be very dangerous or in the case of a gun, even deadly. In 2010 alone over 31,000 individuals died from firearm related deaths in the US.
Gun violence prevention starts with the owner and extends to anyone else that uses or has access to the gun. The first step in owning a gun is to learn about the national and Colorado laws that govern gun ownership and use. After you are familiar with the rules you need to understand basic safety rules.
To handle a gun safely you should attend a safety course taught by a licensed instructor. Here they will cover firearm basics such as:
- Always point the gun in a direction that wouldn’t have the ability to do damage or cause injury even when unloaded.
- Keep your finger off of the trigger and safety on until you are ready to fire.
- Keep your gun unloaded until you are ready to use it.
- Know what is beyond your target before you fire.
- Get to learn your gun and how it and its parts work.
- Wear appropriate ear and eye protection.
- Never mix alcohol or drugs with shooting.
- Use only the correct ammo for your gun.
Several precautions that could save our life and your family members as well:
- Make sure that you teach your children that a gun is not a toy and have similar conversations with friends and guests.
- Teach your children that violence on TV and video games is not the same as real life.
- Keep your weapon locked, unloaded and store the ammunition in another locked area.
- Before your child visits a friend’s house talk to their parents and ask if they have a gun in their house and how it is stored.
- Encourage your children to talk to a trusted adult if they know someone with a gun or if they see a gun at school.
- If your children are old enough, have them also attend a gun safety course.
Once you know how to handle a gun, it is important to share that information with the rest of your household.