Some surveys report close to half of all American households contain at least one firearm, with estimates of 80 million gun owners and possibly over 300 million firearms in the US. Firearms are dangerous tools, even the weakest can kill a person if the shot hits a particularly vulnerable bit of anatomy. With these numbers, it is very remarkable that there are, on average, less than 1000 accidental firearm deaths per year in the US (some years CONSIDERABLY less than 1000), and training is the reason for this.
It doesn’t take a $1000, week-long shooting course to teach basic firearms safety and training, the NRA’s First Steps programs for rifle or pistol are four hour classes, the full NRA Basic Pistol Course, covering single and double-action revolvers and semiautomatic pistols, safe handling and storage, how to shoot them, how to score targets, how to clean them, and other topics, is a one day class with prices averaging between $100 and $150, depending on costs such as shooting range time. The basics without actually doing any shooting can be covered in a few hours.
If you can afford a firearm, you can afford to learn how to use it safely, and it is highly recommended that everyone in the household over age eight to ten, depending on maturity, know at least the basics of safe handling, even if they don’t intend to shoot one or don’t like guns.
Even if they don’t like guns? Yes, every responsible adult needs to know how to safely handle firearms, because they may encounter situations where they need to take control of one to prevent unauthorized people, particularly children, from gaining access to it. Criminals know that they face extra punishment if they are caught with a firearm and will often drop or stash them someplace if they think they’ll encounter the police, and sometimes the place they choose is where children can find them. What will you do if your child comes to you and says “Mommy, I found a gun?” Will you know how to keep it safe until the police can arrive to take it? What if you have to leave where the gun is found in order to call the police, are you going to leave it there for other children to find?
I’m an NRA Certified Instructor for the Basic Pistol and Pistol First Steps Courses, I can also teach general firearm safety courses and personal defense seminars* in the north Atlanta area, and help students evaluate firearm choices, and even do some minor work on AR-15 rifles.
I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
* note that ONLY the Basic Pistol and Pistol First Steps classes are NRA courses, any class I teach that does not follow the NRA curriculum can NOT be considered an NRA course and will not include an NRA course certificate, even if I use some NRA materials for the class.