Women’s Safety Column

Article provided by Don Griffin

Many in the community have applied for and acquired a concealed handgun permit. This is currently a “cool” thing to do, something to display to your friends, to brag to them that you were fingerprinted, passed a background check, and that you have a CHL, but are you serious?

Do you actually carry? Do you have a gun in your purse, in your pocket, in your waist band or in your car? If you do, are you trained, or did you buy your weapon at a sporting goods store in order to fit in with the group? Britney has one, Beth Ann has one, I need one, too. No matter that I don’t know how to load it, where the safety is (or even if it has a safety), or that I have kids that go through my purse, my drawers. In other words, are you serious?

“But wait,” you think, “I want protection, from my ex-husband, from a felon, from a car-jacking.” Great, and that’s your right … but get training first. Do you know the kind of ammo you want to carry in the gun? Are you comfortable loading and unloading it? Can you easily find the safety and flip it on and off? What do you do if you discover that it doesn’t have a safety? Do you practice unloading the gun and then dry-firing it 50 times each morning?

How did you get proficient at typing, playing the piano, or even soccer …you practiced! When a break-in happens, or someone crosses the street to grab your car door handle, how do you plan to grab your handgun and point it and fire it if you never have before? Are you serious about carrying a concealed handgun?

Do you keep your gun safe at all times? Recently, a young mother in Idaho was tragically shot and killed in a department store when her 2-year-old got into her purse and accidentally discharged her firearm. The mother had a concealed handgun permit, but apparently did not protect the location of the firearm when her children were present. Are you keeping your gun in a safe location at home and in your car, somewhere where you can quickly get it, but your children can’t? Are you serious about this?

Get training. Sit down with a trained individual and go over the fundamentals of gun safety. Let them show you safe handling, safe storage and then let them stand beside you on the gun range, one-on-one, and demonstrate safe-shooting. Practice these techniques so they are second nature. Be vigilant and know your gun is safely stored and only you can access it in an emergency. Finally, keep abreast of gun laws so you understand when they change and what you are allowed to do and not do.

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