“I saw this McGruff PSA last night on TV,” OneIfByLand1776 writes. “It’s sponsored by the National Crime Prevention Council and the Ad Council. The ad references the NRA (OMG! OMG!) as a resource for more info (although they missed a trick by not mentioning the Eddie Eagle program). While the ad seems neither neither pro nor anti-gun, the NCPC just can’t seem to help themselves from taking the antis’ side, where guns “accidentally fire” all on their own. Check out this poster that’s part of the campaign’s resources . . .

NCPC poster

So, is the McGruff ‘Safe Storage’ campaign anti-gun? Pro-gun? Or just plain good advice? I think its good advice: if it’s not on me, it’s locked away from thee. What’s your opinion?

49 Responses to McGruff Takes a Bite Out of Unsafe Firearms Storage

  1. I believe in safe storage as well, but the guerrilla ads just piss me off.

    Like the anti-smoking ones, with high shock value.

    I don’t believe they need to be a Richard Cranium to get your point across, you know?

  2. It’s fifth column propaganda. Storage is not the issue. A gun in a drawer won’t fire itself. Lack of education on proper handling of firearms is the issue.

    If a man bleeding from multiple gunshot wounds being carried out of Falujah by his fellow Marines can maintain proper trigger discipline, a kid can be taught to keep their bugger hook off the bang switch.

    • If you can teach a child not to touch a hot stove, not to play on a busy street, to not talk to strangers, to not stick things in a wall socket, or anything else potentially lethal along those lines, you can teach them how to handle a gun safely.

      Or at least do what Eddie Eagle says: stop, don’t touch, and go find a grown-up.

      Kids are generally not nearly as dumb as we may think they are. Generally anyway…

  3. I trust my kids. They know guns and are responsible. I want them to have access to a loaded gun in my house when I am not home to protect them.

    • While I am 1000% in support of teaching gun safety to children, there are two shortcomings:
      (1) Some children may try to “play” with firearms anyway when their parents/guardians are not present. At what age do we trust children to handle firearms safely ALL the time?
      (2) Even if the children themselves never “play” with firearms when their parents/guardians are not present, they could have visiting friends who insist on “playing” with the firearms with or without safety training.

      For those reasons, I strongly encourage everyone who has children (or child visitors) to keep their firearms either locked up or on their person. Notice that I said “encourage” and not mandate.

      • Each child varies. Generally 8 is a good age if you taught them safe responsible handling. However locking the guns up when other kids are over is a good idea.

      • “(2) Even if the children themselves never “play” with firearms when their parents/guardians are not present, they could have visiting friends who insist on “playing” with the firearms with or without safety training.’

        If you have taught your children to respect other people’s property surely you have taught them about respecting and cherishing their own. My house has rules and there are consequences for breaking them, and my family knows where the guns are and what they are for. My kids friends don’t wander through my house and only know about the guns when they are properly vetted and my kids understand not to brag, as that is how burglary is known to happen. My kids are taught respect for firearms and if anybody is treating a gun like a toy they will speak up, and if it gets pointed at them they have my blessing to respond with force to correct that negligent mistake. All guns are loaded until you know for a fact that they are not by physically checking, otherwise act accordingly.

  4. Strikes me as more of the “it’s all my fault you’re an idiot” theme seen in so many safety campaigns.

    If only I locked away the bleach my moron kid wouldn’t have drank it all!!!

    • This comment reminds me of a friend’s approach to keeping his kids’ hands off his firearms: along with the bleach and other items, all his guns, gun cases, and ammo boxes had “Mr. Yuck” stickers. He got them from their doctor’s office for free, and used them for all things kids shouldn’t touch (even the wall electric outlets).

      I was there once and wearing openly, and his preschool daughter asked me why my gun didn’t have a Mr. Yuck. At five years old, she not only understood the “Don’t touch!” warning of the stickers, but knew what a gun was and understood it was something she wasn’t supposed to touch.

      To paraphrase the genie in Aladdin, they can be taught.

  5. This axe has two sides. On the one, it perpetuates the idea that a gun is a scary thing. On the other, it calls out how ubiquitous gun ownership is — not just by toothless hillbillies, but by regular people in your community. In doing so, this ad tacitly concedes the field to gun ownership by law-abiding Americans who want to protect their households by owning and safely storing a gun. It’s now no longer the ownership of a gun that’s scary, but the irresponsible use and storage of it. I consider that a win.

  6. Anti-gun propaganda from a publicly funded, professional grievance group.

    Scene after scene on plaintive cherubs, pleading for common sense responsibility out of evil gun owners, perpetuating the myth that guns just go off whenever hapless innocents are nearby.

    You know gunowners are evil because it takes this massive public, and publicly funded, shaming to address the topic. Decent people would have handled this long ago on their own.

    Worse than a waste of time and money, this ad fuels anti-gun hysteria, whose outcome predictably includes people getting hurt one way or another.

  7. Store your weapons safely if you are going to be AWAY from them and out of their control. Don’t leave your gun in the dresser drawer if you’re going out to the store. If you’re home, that’s one thing. It can be upstairs in a drawer, though it does you little GOOD up there. It’s when you aren’t anywhere near them and are not in control of its surroundings that we have problems — though NOT the problems they’re blathering about in the video.

    The problem THAT creates is the increased chance that, if a burglar sneaks into your house when you’re not home, that they’ll FIND your gun and STEAL it. It’s not the improper handling of guns by your kids that’s the trouble, unless you’re keeping them ignorant. It’s the gun getting out of your ownership without your authorization and out into the world in some violent criminal’s possession that’s the problem in that case. Control your weapon’s usage! If you teach your kids proper treatment of guns and can trust them to live by those teachings, they’re every bit as safe as if that gun was in your safe rather than your dresser drawer, because they’re NOT going to just play with it.

    There’s more than one use-case problem here — you being able to use your gun when you need to, your children having unfettered access to it, and an unauthorized intruder’s potential access. If your gun is in your safe, you must OPEN the safe to get to it when you may need it. That takes valuable time you could be using to achieve cover, or to barricade a door. If your kids have access — and proper training — they can HELP defend the home, and are in no especial danger of negligent discharges because they won’t PLAY with the gun. If they are NOT trained to deal with a firearm, but instead you rely on ignorance and obfuscation to safeguard them from them, then you play dice with their curiosity and their sense of wonder, and the odds are heavily against them. If they don’t know how to handle a gun, or worse, get their knowledge from TV or Call of Duty, they may well negligently shoot themselves or someone else.

    The worst-case is when you aren’t home, and your kids are out with you or with friends, and you STILL left your gun in your sock drawer. Then, you stand the greatest chance of a burglar stealing your gun, since burglars far prefer “cold” burglaries to “hot” burglaries, and thus prefer to hit your house when you’re gone. If you leave your gun in your drawer, he’ll likely find it and take it. Then you bear partial responsibility for that liquor store he hits on his way home, and the 60 year old man he shoots because he’s impatient and the old man isn’t moving quickly enough to empty the register.

    So lock up your danged guns when you leave the house (or WEAR IT), and teach your kids how to treat guns in any case. Your kids won’t do idiotic things with them when you aren’t looking, and may well turn a hot burlary into a DGU because your 14 year old shoots the burglar about to cave in your head with a baseball bat.

    Me, i don’t need to worry about teaching my kids — my own daughter is on her own, and my stepdaughters too. The only other person in the house is another gunowner, and that makes it far safer to leave a gun in the bed holster during the day and not have to put it away in the morning and take it out of the safe every night — though it’d probably be safer still if I just carried the thing around the house all the time (sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t, but I’m NEVER unarmed. EVER.)

  8. I recall that dog being one of Nancy Reagans goons back in the 80’s, when we were supposed to rat our parents out if we found their stash. BAD DOG!

  9. I felt the way they played up the victim aspect was off-putting.

    Playing the victim card only serves to demonize guns, IMHO.

    Why not have smiling faces of kids and parents talking about responsibly keeping your guns safe?

  10. I like safe storage. It’s a good idea. That said, I’ll define what safe is for me and my family. And that is most in the safe, one where I can get to it, post haste).

    I must have missed the section in the video on safe storage of knives, bats, pointy sticks, stoves, and rocks. Or perhaps the message is less about safety and more about gun prejudice?

    Or maybe it’s like breast cancer vs cancer awareness; you gotta pick one to fight even though you want to fight them all. Maybe I’m just feeling discriminated against. Again. Still.

  11. I choose another pet peeve of mine, the gun that “goes off”. Just got a shiny new Ruger (not an antique) and it comes with the info included that “any gun can fire if dropped”, alongside an image of a semiauto pistol landing on its hammer. I call BS, Ruger produced a gun that could fire if dropped, decades ago, and still include info on that weapon with every new gun, asking that all copies be returned for free modification. Otherwise, I don’t believe any handgun produced since around 1950 can fire if dropped. After much testing, I decided in the 1970s that if someone would just bet me enough money, I would load and cock my Python and drop it from the observation tower of the Empire State Building, absolutely certain it would not fire. Does anybody else have some manner of knowledge that says I am wrong, and if not, why is that warning in Ruger’s literature?

    • Guess I’ve been lucky… never dropped a gun yet, though I’ve handled a few I was tempted to throw… Controlled myself and never did it. But I’ve watched any number of people drop them. So far, none have fired.

      Far as I know, unless there is a serious malfunction or part missing, no modern gun will fire when dropped. They will smash your toes, however. 🙂

    • if not, why is that warning in Ruger’s literature?

      To keep their lawyers happy. I’m a (retired) lawyer, and I’d advise Ruger to continue to do exactly what it’s doing for CYA purposes. It might not get Ruger off the hook if one of their guns proves not to be drop safe, but it’s something on the defense-side of the ledger.

    • The “old model” Ruger single action revolver lock work, and that of the Colt 1873 “Peacemaker” (among many others) will allow a revolver to fire if dropped on their hammers. That’s why you load one, skip one, load four, and then let the hammer down on the empty chamber. Newer designs incorporate some sort of transfer bar device between the firing pin and hammer that must be actuated by the trigger, otherwise it drops down and the hammer cannot reach the firing pin.

    • Do you tell guests and unexpected visitors not to bring their kids?

      100% safe 100% of the time. Idealistic? Sure, but worthy.

        • and what about your significant other? Are they on the same page as you? Are you there to ensure that 100% of the time? If so, good for you!

      • No, children of all ages are welcome to my home. My EDC is on my hip, and others are not just “laying around,” but are available because I know where they are. People who bring children here are expected to be responsible for them and watch them. If they don’t, I ask them to leave. It isn’t complicated.

        There are a lot of things in every home that a child might misuse, obviously. It is foolish to attempt to “child proof” a house. You danger proof the child… and watch them very carefully in the process.

        • Good for you, Mama! Sounds like you got your s#&t together. For those that do leave weapons “lying around”, I hope your vigilance is perfect.

  12. As for “safe storage,” that’s going to depend on your location and circumstances. There isn’t any one right answer for everyone, obviously.

    But I take strong exception to the idea that I am in any way responsible for what a thief does with property stolen from me. That’s BS. Locks and safes and so forth are only delaying tactics. If the thief wants something, and can manage to hang around long enough, they’ll get it.

    • +1

      Someone who steals a gun and uses is it to commit a crime is the only guilty party. The “legal” system and laws of various states may not agree, but that’s the real truth of it.

  13. Propaganda for sure. I still agree with the safe storage message, even though my current home is a kid-free zone. My guns are either on my hip or locked up. YMMV.

  14. Wish we would see exploitive, dramatic, black and white do-it-for-the-children advertisements showing the dangers of vaccinations…..oh wait, that would mean TPTB actually care for children’s safety. Never mind.

    • BS. The dangers of NOT vaccinating far outweigh any danger stemming from the vaccines themselves. There are no guarantees in life. No one gets out alive. Meanwhile, hedge your bets and don’t be stupid.

        • An emotional response with no supporting evidence? Yep, sounds just like your original post. If neither of us plan to dig up citations to support our positions, then our comments have the same value. Happy New Year, may it be fun, safe and rewarding.

        • I have. Did it scare you? You stick to emotion, I’ll go with science. Consider all the people not dying in droves from communicable diseases against which they’ve been vaccinated.

          Bye now.

  15. The media glorifies firearm usage in movies and on television while at the same time demonizing them. These mixed messages make firearms an extremely “attractive nuisance” to children.

  16. I think it’s a good approach. I wish it was the NRA who was doing it. As an NRA member, I think the NRA is not getting these kinds of messages out widely enough. It would help with their public image as well as potentially save some lives.

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