We all know the four gun safety rules: treat all firearms as if they are loaded; always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction; keep your finger off the trigger until you are in the act of shooting and be sure of your target and of what is beyond it. These rules apply whether you’re a firearms newbie or a grizzled gun guy or gal. But if you’re at the beginning of that arc I’ve got news for you: there are four more safety rules that you’d do well to remember. Rules that will help you avoid both bankruptcy and fisticuffs. . .
1. Treat all gun stores as a money suck
Once you’ve been bitten by the ballistic bug you are perfectly pliable putty in the hands of pistol purveyors. A sucker for shotgun sellers. Ripe for rifle retailers. You can no more resist buying a gun in a store crammed with examples of all three genres than I can resist linking to a South African swimsuit model.
Your local gun store (LGS) may be staffed by ignorant, arrogant, financially rapacious dickheads but that doesn’t make a damn bit of difference to your susceptibility to their products’ sub or supersonic siren song (if it did the jerks wouldn’t be there). Cash will fly out of your wallet unbidden. Your credit card will melt all on its own. As I suggested in this morning’s self-defense tip, avoid getting mugged by avoiding places where muggers mug.
2. Always keep gun control advocates pointed in a safe direction
Gun control advocates say they want to limit some Americans’ access to firearms. In fact, all gun control laws limit all Americans’ access to firearms. I don’t want to get lost in the weeds discussing felons’ gun rights. Suffice it to say I’m right, they’re wrong and that’s the end of the evening.
Seriously. The last thing you want to discuss with a gun control advocate is gun control. The “debate” will go in circles, slowly spiraling from logic to emotion to insanity. Better to point gun control folk to some other less controversial conversational topic. Sports? Religion? I suggest an earnest discussion of the reasons why South Africa is home to so many beautiful women.
3. Keep your finger off the trigger of guns you might want to buy
It starts innocently enough. “Want to try my gun?” The next thing you know you’re lusting after some way cool range toy that has no real use other than the fact that it’s a really cool range toy. I speak here of the FN FiveSeven, Desert Eagle Classic, Smith & Wesson 500, any shotgun that isn’t a Benelli M2 and rifles that can reach out and touch paper at eight billion yards.
You’re inner angel (Lieschen Botes?) will tell you it’s all right to try a gun before you don’t buy. You can’t afford the strangely chambered firearm’s ammo, you have all the guns you need, your significant other will have your guts for garters if you blow the kitchen remodeling budget on a firearm, etc. So you can because you can’t. And then BANG! As Oscar Wilde warned, you can resist anything other than temptation. As Lord Humongous instructed, just walk away.
4. Know what’s in your gun safe and beyond it
I know it’s not particularly American to say so, but spend some time wanting what you already have. To that end, clean your guns. There’s nothing like an OCD firearms scrubbing, oiling and massage session to make you appreciate the firearms you already own. It may seem a bit kinky at first but it’s entirely healthy and doesn’t indicate a desire to shoot-up the DMV or, for that matter, overthrow the federal government.
Another trick to avoid buying that Savage Model 12 or STI race gun: buy something nice (and less expensive) for your existing guns. Upgrade your gun safe. Get some ammo cans. Frame a gun poster. Splurge on some needlessly exotic gun oil (cough Wilson Combat cough). If the itch really needs scratching, spend some bucks on private instruction. It’s cheap and it reminds you that it’s not all about the gun.
Or is it? [Note for our female reader: the pic of Jeff Cooper at the top of this post is your eye candy. Deal with it.]