Earlier today, I took an Alabama-based columnist named Josh Moon to task for suggesting that the state should force aspiring gun owners to take a week’s gun safety/education class before purchasing a firearm. I stand by that denunciation. Despite this video, which clearly shows the subterranean level of education many new shooters receive on the friends and family plan. In fact, videos like this demonstrate firearms’ inherent safety. Most people are smart enough to figure out that as long as you keep the barrel pointed away from people, nothing that bad’s gonna happen. Lousy stance, improper grip, zero trigger discipline—a good time was had by all. Of course, something bad could have happened. Oh wait. It did . . .
No ear protection. Fail. As Brad has warned on several occasions, firearms and hearing loss go together like a college education and a liberal outlook. Ensuring that the connection isn’t made requires active precautions. And there’s no such thing as too vigilant. “Ears on?” accompanied by a quick visual check should precede any and all ballistic events.
Whenever I go to an outdoor range, someone forgets to put their ears on. Yes, but—it’s the gun owner’s responsibility to ensure that everyone within earshot isn’t shot and doesn’t walk away with less hearing than that with which they arrived. Remembering that a single gunshot can cause permanent hearing loss.
I’ll say this though: guns should be quieter. I find it amazing that there are laws against silencing guns. In this litigious society of ours, I would have expected laws mandating silencers. One reason I’m thinking about moving to Arizona. But no reason for anyone to ignore the obvious physical dangers that guns pose to those who should know better, but don’t.