how to explain that a loaded gun is not necessarily a safety guarantee

how to explain that a loaded gun is not necessarily a safety guarantee

This is a discussion on how to explain that a loaded gun is not necessarily a safety guarantee within the Home (And Away From Home) Defense Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I will try not to drag this one, but in the last year my parents decided to exercise their rights and my mom took her ...

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    Member Array brownandgold's Avatar
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    how to explain that a loaded gun is not necessarily a safety guarantee

    I will try not to drag this one, but in the last year my parents decided to exercise their rights and my mom took her CCW class, and my mom and dad both bought pistols. I know specifically my dad has put about 20 rounds through his (no interest in training or anything, doesn't care to shoot) and my mother has maybe put 100 through hers. They are not experienced firearm owners to say the least as the only guns my father has had his entire life are a .22 rifle and an 870. Today my mom found the keys to her small safe (yes I told them it was basically a carrying case for thieves but they insist on putting valuables and their pistols inside of it) that apparently they had misplaced for a few weeks. I was around their house and my mom begins telling me that she wants to do some more shooting to become a better shot while going through the contents of the safe.

    The pistol I sold my father about 11 months ago was sitting next to the magazines, one of which was still loaded. Since it has been in there for a year and it hasn't been touched let alone shot, I emptied the magazine explaining that if they wanted I had some new defensive rounds they could have and that quite honestly they would be better off grabbing the shotgun from under the bed given their abilities at this point. All the while my mom was handling her pistol (unloaded, I checked when she opened the safe to make sure) she had her finger on the trigger and asked me if I would fill her "clips." I basically told her that if she was going to take on the duties and responsibilities of having a loaded firearm or having a firearm with loaded magazines nearby that she should know and be able to fill them herself. Then later on when she was putting her safe back she asked if I had refilled either magazine for my father, to which I told her by the time they got in their safe and figured out how to chamber a round it wouldn't make a difference due to their inexperience and lack of preparation. She said "well you have to keep at least one clip loaded."

    My dilemma is that they are my parents, and I don't want to offend them or tell them they are wrong in how they are preparing for these situations. I have only been carrying a year and a half and my dad is the kind of guy that if he catches my print or I have to disarm at their house for whatever reason he tells me "oh did you think you were gonna get robbed on your way here?" I don't think they realize how serious it is to have a loaded gun or to be able to use a pistol in a defense situation. It's not so much that they haven't trained to defend during a break in, but more the fact that they show little respect towards firearms and it's scary to watch my mom (the more gun-active of the two) handle a firearm and hear her talk about how just having a gun means you are safe. My dad is more on the side that he doesn't know much about them and doesn't care to learn, so he is slightly afraid of them because he is uneducated.

    I tried to basically tell them that having two loaded guns will not protect you if you can't load them, use them effectively, and respect them. Is there a good way to sit them down or approach this? Like I said I don't want to push them away from being prepared but my mother kind of has this "know it all attitude" since she got her CCW permit. I know it took me a long time to become comfortable around carrying, cleaning, and handling my pistol but the more educated I got the less intimidating it was. And then part of me wonders that if I sit them down and teach them disassembly/cleaning, safe handling, and general things about their guns(and using them) if they will even remember anything or practice enough to make it worth while.

    Do you guys feel like I'm kinda taking this in the right direction? I want them to be safe but I want them to appreciate being safe is much more than having a deadly weapon. They are both 50 years old if that makes a difference in how you think I should approach them. This is actually not the first time I have felt this way either, I have a buddy who bought a pistol for home defense but probably couldn't tell you the barrel from the magazine and gives off the attitude that nothing can happen to him now.

    Sorry for the novel, but my moms actions today really struck a nerve with me.


  2. #2
    Senior Member Array XD40SCiinNC's Avatar
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    Sadly I'm afraid there are lots of people that bought a gun for defense and have no idea what they are doing.

    I've got friends that bought pistols based solely on her brothers recommendation, and have yet to even shoot them. They have had them for probably 6 - 7 months now. They said the 'want' to get their CHP but are too cheap to pay for the class and permit (they could easily afford them), and based on the same recommendation from 'her brother' is to not even have a holster, but to pocket carry and shoot through their pants pocket if needed. They do have DA only hammerless revolvers.
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    Distinguished Member Array Exacto's Avatar
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    The reality of it is that many people feel as if a gun is some kind of a talisman and possesses some kind of magical powers to keep evil doers at bay, when we know nothing could be further from the truth. They recognize the need to protect themselves, but put forth minimal effort to gain the skills that are necessary to do it. I know many who will take a class and learn the basics, buy a gun shoot it once or twice and put it away. In their minds, they are ready. I also know many who put in the time and spend the money to train often to keep their skills honed. All any one can do is tell a person that "a class" that qualifies them to apply for a chp is just the first step in a long journey. Along with the right to keep and bear arms goes an equal measure of responsibility to be properly educated and trained so as not to pose a danger to themselves or the public. As the old saying goes, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.
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    Quote Originally Posted by brownandgold View Post
    I will try not to drag this one, but in the last year my parents decided to exercise their rights and my mom took her CCW class, and my mom and dad both bought pistols. I know specifically my dad has put about 20 rounds through his (no interest in training or anything, doesn't care to shoot) and my mother has maybe put 100 through hers. They are not experienced firearm owners to say the least as the only guns my father has had his entire life are a .22 rifle and an 870. Today my mom found the keys to her small safe (yes I told them it was basically a carrying case for thieves but they insist on putting valuables and their pistols inside of it) that apparently they had misplaced for a few weeks. I was around their house and my mom begins telling me that she wants to do some more shooting to become a better shot while going through the contents of the safe.

    The pistol I sold my father about 11 months ago was sitting next to the magazines, one of which was still loaded. Since it has been in there for a year and it hasn't been touched let alone shot, I emptied the magazine explaining that if they wanted I had some new defensive rounds they could have and that quite honestly they would be better off grabbing the shotgun from under the bed given their abilities at this point. All the while my mom was handling her pistol (unloaded, I checked when she opened the safe to make sure) she had her finger on the trigger and asked me if I would fill her "clips." I basically told her that if she was going to take on the duties and responsibilities of having a loaded firearm or having a firearm with loaded magazines nearby that she should know and be able to fill them herself. Then later on when she was putting her safe back she asked if I had refilled either magazine for my father, to which I told her by the time they got in their safe and figured out how to chamber a round it wouldn't make a difference due to their inexperience and lack of preparation. She said "well you have to keep at least one clip loaded."

    My dilemma is that they are my parents, and I don't want to offend them or tell them they are wrong in how they are preparing for these situations. I have only been carrying a year and a half and my dad is the kind of guy that if he catches my print or I have to disarm at their house for whatever reason he tells me "oh did you think you were gonna get robbed on your way here?" I don't think they realize how serious it is to have a loaded gun or to be able to use a pistol in a defense situation. It's not so much that they haven't trained to defend during a break in, but more the fact that they show little respect towards firearms and it's scary to watch my mom (the more gun-active of the two) handle a firearm and hear her talk about how just having a gun means you are safe. My dad is more on the side that he doesn't know much about them and doesn't care to learn, so he is slightly afraid of them because he is uneducated.

    I tried to basically tell them that having two loaded guns will not protect you if you can't load them, use them effectively, and respect them. Is there a good way to sit them down or approach this? Like I said I don't want to push them away from being prepared but my mother kind of has this "know it all attitude" since she got her CCW permit. I know it took me a long time to become comfortable around carrying, cleaning, and handling my pistol but the more educated I got the less intimidating it was. And then part of me wonders that if I sit them down and teach them disassembly/cleaning, safe handling, and general things about their guns(and using them) if they will even remember anything or practice enough to make it worth while.

    Do you guys feel like I'm kinda taking this in the right direction? I want them to be safe but I want them to appreciate being safe is much more than having a deadly weapon. They are both 50 years old if that makes a difference in how you think I should approach them. This is actually not the first time I have felt this way either, I have a buddy who bought a pistol for home defense but probably couldn't tell you the barrel from the magazine and gives off the attitude that nothing can happen to him now.

    Sorry for the novel, but my moms actions today really struck a nerve with me.
    Suggest the three of you go for some additional training. You're in Dayton? Look into the Buckeye firearms associations. Your parents might really enjoy it, learn something and the three of you can have some enjoyable range time. .

    Your parents are still youngsters, they will learn .

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    I would in no uncertain terms take the guns out of their house they probably wont notice.. Despite the following argument an how bad you would feel about it. How would you feel if they had a accident. Which is a bigger probability than them needing it an being able to use it effectively. That might even jar them into getting some training. Good luck.
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    This is why you get them a revolver or a gun they can use ..

    How about for Christmas some gift cards for training . Speaking from first hand experience some people take a while to get semi auto guns /mag / need to carry etc. Be patience and do what you can

    I know the tip up barrel Beretta or lady smith guns are great guns. Maybe get your mom a this guns if she likes pink ? SW_pink_Lady_Smith.jpg

    And something easy to load for your dad? I have found somthing like 92 or xd seems easy to load . I think most people if you take them to the Range and start off with something nice a like a 22 and work up will like the sport and firguer out what gun they want

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    That's a string you can't push across the table.

    I would say this is your opportunity to lead by example and look for ways to get Mom and Dad out to the range to get more trigger time. With exposure and good guidance from you, the hope (not guarantee) is that better habits will start to be ingrained.
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    I don't know the dynamic between you and your parents, so I'll just use the "reasonable parent" and "reasonable child" standard... You also mentioned your parents are 50, which in my opinion is still young, so I'm guessing you are in your 20's, which in my opinion is quite young. So some resistance may be the "My young child still has a lot to learn" mentality.

    Re false sense of security: you might want to turn them on to this forum. Lots of good information here regarding this very issue. (If you do, you might want to change your moniker, given this thread).

    Re gun safety: Might want to cite some authority for the four basic rules of gun handling safety. Easier to accept if the young whippersnapper is quoting some authoritative source instead of "just spouting off." Also sprinkle that with the obligatory "I love you very much and the only reason I'm going to say the following is because I would not be able to live knowing I could have prevented this should an accident happen...."

    Also, don't quibble about "accidental discharge" v. "negligent discharge," or "magazine" v. "clip," or other minor usage errors. It's pedantic and irrelevant.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PEF View Post
    I don't know the dynamic between you and your parents, so I'll just use the "reasonable parent" and "reasonable child" standard... You also mentioned your parents are 50, which in my opinion is still young, so I'm guessing you are in your 20's, which in my opinion is quite young. So some resistance may be the "My young child still has a lot to learn" mentality.

    Re false sense of security: you might want to turn them on to this forum. Lots of good information here regarding this very issue. (If you do, you might want to change your moniker, given this thread).

    Re gun safety: Might want to cite some authority for the four basic rules of gun handling safety. Easier to accept if the young whippersnapper is quoting some authoritative source instead of "just spouting off." Also sprinkle that with the obligatory "I love you very much and the only reason I'm going to say the following is because I would not be able to live knowing I could have prevented this should an accident happen...."

    Also, don't quibble about "accidental discharge" v. "negligent discharge," or "magazine" v. "clip," or other minor usage errors. It's pedantic and irrelevant.
    Yes dont sweat the small stuff some I dont care if someone calls the mag a clip or whatever as long as they know to always point in safe direction etc etc I will be happy. Ever one starts from somewhere .
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    It's tough with parents sometimes. Mine are somewhat the same way, though they have a fair amount more experience than yours. But I have to consistently remind my dad to keep his finger off the trigger. Patience and respect are the key to get them to listen without offending them.
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    Maybe you could give them a good book regarding defensive firearm use. Perhaps one of Ayoob's. Some people you can "reason at" all day, but they won't listen until they read it in print from an expert.

    Presuming you're not a professional educator, take help from those who are?
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    Yikes!!!!


    Go with them to an NRA "Basic pistol class"

    They are not that young to learn new tricks, and they must learn to not have a careless attitude toward firearms.
    They are wonderful tools, but in untrained hands?
    Ask them if they would go and operate a bulldozer or excavator with someone just showing them how to open the door and turn the key to start it?
    Somebody is going to get hurt.

    I am not saying they have to go take 3 professional all day classes to be better trained, but at least a basic pistol class.
    This will most likely go beyond what the class was to get the permit to carry.
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    Yeah, you're still their kid - try to get them to an unrelated instructor for at least 3 classes.

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    You are still their baby and will continue to be their baby until they get so old that role reversal is necessary.......and they are decades away from that time in your lives. I wish you all the best in your efforts to "get through to them", and the suggestion for attending a class with them might be one way to get a good start - IF they will go!!!!

    Family dynamics: My twin sons are now 53 years old and one admitted recently that he is actually starting to pay attention to what Mom tells him - sometimes...................And, do I pay attention to and follow advice given to me by my kids? Guess.
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    Quote Originally Posted by brownandgold View Post
    I will try not to drag this one, but in the last year my parents decided to exercise their rights and my mom took her CCW class, and my mom and dad both bought pistols. I know specifically my dad has put about 20 rounds through his (no interest in training or anything, doesn't care to shoot) and my mother has maybe put 100 through hers. They are not experienced firearm owners to say the least as the only guns my father has had his entire life are a .22 rifle and an 870. Today my mom found the keys to her small safe (yes I told them it was basically a carrying case for thieves but they insist on putting valuables and their pistols inside of it) that apparently they had misplaced for a few weeks. I was around their house and my mom begins telling me that she wants to do some more shooting to become a better shot while going through the contents of the safe.

    The pistol I sold my father about 11 months ago was sitting next to the magazines, one of which was still loaded. Since it has been in there for a year and it hasn't been touched let alone shot, I emptied the magazine explaining that if they wanted I had some new defensive rounds they could have and that quite honestly they would be better off grabbing the shotgun from under the bed given their abilities at this point. All the while my mom was handling her pistol (unloaded, I checked when she opened the safe to make sure) she had her finger on the trigger and asked me if I would fill her "clips." I basically told her that if she was going to take on the duties and responsibilities of having a loaded firearm or having a firearm with loaded magazines nearby that she should know and be able to fill them herself. Then later on when she was putting her safe back she asked if I had refilled either magazine for my father, to which I told her by the time they got in their safe and figured out how to chamber a round it wouldn't make a difference due to their inexperience and lack of preparation. She said "well you have to keep at least one clip loaded."

    My dilemma is that they are my parents, and I don't want to offend them or tell them they are wrong in how they are preparing for these situations. I have only been carrying a year and a half and my dad is the kind of guy that if he catches my print or I have to disarm at their house for whatever reason he tells me "oh did you think you were gonna get robbed on your way here?" I don't think they realize how serious it is to have a loaded gun or to be able to use a pistol in a defense situation. It's not so much that they haven't trained to defend during a break in, but more the fact that they show little respect towards firearms and it's scary to watch my mom (the more gun-active of the two) handle a firearm and hear her talk about how just having a gun means you are safe. My dad is more on the side that he doesn't know much about them and doesn't care to learn, so he is slightly afraid of them because he is uneducated.

    I tried to basically tell them that having two loaded guns will not protect you if you can't load them, use them effectively, and respect them. Is there a good way to sit them down or approach this? Like I said I don't want to push them away from being prepared but my mother kind of has this "know it all attitude" since she got her CCW permit. I know it took me a long time to become comfortable around carrying, cleaning, and handling my pistol but the more educated I got the less intimidating it was. And then part of me wonders that if I sit them down and teach them disassembly/cleaning, safe handling, and general things about their guns(and using them) if they will even remember anything or practice enough to make it worth while.

    Do you guys feel like I'm kinda taking this in the right direction? I want them to be safe but I want them to appreciate being safe is much more than having a deadly weapon. They are both 50 years old if that makes a difference in how you think I should approach them. This is actually not the first time I have felt this way either, I have a buddy who bought a pistol for home defense but probably couldn't tell you the barrel from the magazine and gives off the attitude that nothing can happen to him now.

    Sorry for the novel, but my moms actions today really struck a nerve with me.
    If they simply did not own any guns, how would their situation be different? IMO I don't think it would be different at all, practically speaking; in both cases there is no firearm ready to be used. So their guns are basically expensive paper weights. At least they're in a safe.

    You are not going to 'tell' them anything. Stop trying. They bought the guns to feel better, and they feel better.
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