I am a gun owner.  I make no apologies for that.  I learned to shoot from my father, who when each of his sons turned 11 bought them a single shot .22.  We learned to shoot from him, we learned to handle properly.  I continue to enjoy to shoot both rifles and pistols as a hobby.

I hear a lot of gun owners talking about their rights.  That the government is infringing on their rights, that the government is coming to take their guns, that they want to be able to walk down any Main Street American openly carrying their firearms.

But you what I never hear these gun owners talk about is their responsibility.  These are the things I have learned over the years from my father and others about being a responsible gun owner.

  • Responsible gun owners lock their guns up; they don’t leave them lying around where their kids can find them.
  • Responsible gun owners don’t chamber rounds unless on the range and intend to shoot.
  • Responsible gun owners know that every gun should be treated as if it is loaded.
  • Responsible gun owners know never to point a gun at anyone.
  • Responsible gun owners know that one always points the muzzle of a weapon in a safe direction (either up or down).
  • Responsible gun owners never put their fingers on the triggers until they are ready to fire.
  • Responsible gun owners always verify that gun is unloaded, they never take the word of another that it is unloaded.
  • Responsible gun owners do not scare their fellow citizens by carrying their weapons openly.
  • Responsible gun owners always carry their weapons either holstered or in a case when going to a range to shoot, or going to hunt.
  • Responsible gun owners never handle weapons when they are drinking.
  • Responsible gun owners know that no gun safety is full proof.
  • Responsible gun owners remember they are part of a community and as such they have a responsibility to their fellow citizens to be responsible for their actions.

There are probably actions gun owners should be responsible for; but you get my drift, gun ownership is a two-way street.  It is not just about the individual right to ownership it is also about the society’s expectation that gunowners are responsible.

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