I know it’s been a few months since TTAG explored the issue of grip safeties, but I wanted to comment on something that the author mentioned at the end of his writing – gun safety and kids. My brother in law received a Glock as a Father’s Day gift earlier this year and he’s been incredibly happy with it. I’m a newbie to the world of firearms (so is he). He’s taken me to the range and a few gun stores, and I’m hooked. Poking holes in paper targets at high speeds is a lot of fun, and I like the added safety it would provide in the event of a home invasion.
However, since I have young kids at home, I absolutely, 100% refuse to bring a handgun into my house that does not have multiple, redundant safeties. My brother-in-law loves his Glock. But that’s not “safe” enough for me. I’ve read a ton of message boards with people saying that thumb safeties and grip safeties are pointless on a striker-fired of pistol. My favorite is the “my brain is my safety” argument.
Am I the only one who thinks that multiple, redundant safeties on a pistol are a good thing? “Oh, but you’ll forget or won’t have time to flip the safety off in a life-or-death situation.” Well if that’s your argument, then why carry a gun in a holster at all? It takes too long to draw a gun from a holster, the bad guy will get you first. Why not just keep it pointed in front of you at all times. Maximum readiness.
Here’s the thing… if I was single, without kids, on my own, a simple draw-and-shoot gun would be fine. But with kids at home the risk is just too great. It’s worth it to me to take the extra time to practice operating a handgun with multiple safeties. That gives me the peace of mind that (God forbid) if a child somehow gets their hands on a gun in my house, it will be as hard as possible for them to operate correctly in order to make it fire.
That means as many safety checks as possible – trigger safety, grip safety, manual safety. Will the gun be locked up? YES. Will it be out of reach? YES. But we live in a world where Murphy’s Law rules. Why chance it with an instrument of such potential harm?
So to the author who stated that just because a gun has a grip safety doesn’t make it safe in the hands of a child – I completely agree. But if it adds even a small extra level of complexity for them to fire it, then I say it’s worth it. Oh, it’s hard for me to rack the slide because of that pesky grip safety… GOOD! That means it will be even harder for my kids to rack the slide.
When you add up ALL of the safety features (locked gun case, thumb safety on, multiple passive safeties in place, etc.) then the probability of accidental discharge goes down. I completely agree with you that no gun is safe. But I also believe that a grip safety might help make it a tiny bit safer.
So while I prefer the look and feel of some other guns much better (Sigs are sexy!) I think I’m going to go with a Springfield XD45 with the optional thumb safety (if I can find one). For me that’s the best of all worlds – striker-fired pistol with a grip safety, trigger safety, and a manual thumb safety. I haven’t found anything else yet that covers all those bases (1911′s come close, but no trigger safety). I’m sure most of you will think I’m nuts, but so be it…