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Gun safety and responsible handling  RSS feed

 
Posts: 484
Location: Englehart, Ontario, Canada
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Guns are a life or death responsibility.  Using them as a 1st response to a situation isn't responsible nor reasonable.  Permaculture is a community based response to some of the woes of the world not adding to them by over reacting.  Being a community it is our responsibility to consider our neighbours as we ourselves would like to be considered.  Guns are dangerous!  Bullets don't just stop where you want them to and do not care what they hit nor what life they take.  People have the ability to reason and to care.  Caring and responsibility of course go both ways.  Landowners should expect reasonable effort to prevent unwanted trespass by pets, children etc by owners/parents through training, fences or other means and take those measures.  It would not be reasonable for such trespass to occur on a regular basis.  The owner/parent would also be responsible for any damages incurred, such as the chasing down of a chicken, and be required to pay for them.

Extreme situations cannot be used to justify anything.  Perhaps the best common analogy is the automotive seatbelt.  It's introduction was "unsafe", it would hold people in the car if they went off the road and into a lake or some other such scenario.  These extreme situations do occur but are quite rare and as such are red herrings not reasons.  The truth is many more lives have been saved by seatbelts than the reverse.  The same is true of keeping ammo and guns locked up separately.  Most accidental deaths of children from firearms have been because of weapons kept live, ie loaded, or because everything was kept together and thus the children had the opportunity once they had one they had both.  This has also contributed significantly to youth violence with firearms, notably some of the school shootings that have become more common in recent times.

I am not a proponent of "no guns", I do believe in responsible ownership.  I am, have been for over 40 years and intend to continue being a hunter and gun owner.  I am currently involved in the fight to end the long gun registry in Canada as it has little if any applicability to making society safer.  I fully support the requirement for hunter and firearm safety courses prior to gun ownership.

Before insisting on your right to take extreme action please remember we are a community and your neighbour is a part of that community.  If your answer is the neighbour should consider you and control his animal/children at ALL TIMES I invite you to try and run down a dog chasing a squirrel and not paying attention to you or a child who has gone exploring.  If you can catch the dog you should be running in the Olympics because you are faster than any human I know of.
 
                    
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Best of luck on the long gun repeal. It really does little to no good from what I gathered in reading. I'm a ex-patriot Canadian living in NM. Gun laws sure are different between the two places. 

On storing guns and ammo separately, I believe there's a little bit of 'it depends' involved. The'depends' involves where one is. We have lots of bears in our mountains. They are browns and generally take off if they catch a whiff of you. However I have had a few encounters that were uncomfortable, one where the bear got shot shot. When working around the property I carry a holstered large caliber revolver (.454 or a 45-70). A rifle or shotgun gets in the way. When I take it off in the cabin it goes in the safe if there is company. But it stays loaded. Only 3 people know the combination. That seems safe to me. At home in the suburbs though it's in a safe there unless I'm wearing it, but it is loaded. There are 3 people who know that combination too.

My rules were different when the kid was a kid. Someday if there are grandkids the rules may be a little different then too.

Safety courses are almost a no-brainer. Some people do seem to possess a better innate understanding, but some do not. Our gun club has a mandatory day long course for new members. It includes hands on use at the range. Something like that is a good enough idea.

 
Max Kennedy
Posts: 484
Location: Englehart, Ontario, Canada
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Good to hear from you Don.  You've obviously had training, the gun isn't a 1st use tool but a last resort one and safety has been considered in that you have a safe, plus it sounds like no kids around.  I too live with bears as a regular sighting here in Kirkland Lake.  So far, I respect them and they've respected me but then they have a great deal more room to move around up here.  Used responsibly guns can be a tool to promote safety.  Unfortunately their history has proved conclusively that they are more often an accident waiting to happen.  As you say rules change but prudent forethought can act to prevent accidents.
 
Posts: 395
Location: northern california, 50 miles inland from Mendocino, zone 7
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I'm a ex-patriot Canadian living in NM. Gun laws sure are different between the two places.



Gun laws are a lot different and so is the amount of violence.  When I was in Toronto a few years ago, I was told it was safe to walk the streets any time day or night.  It was a great experience.
 
                                            
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Guns are tools and they have their place.  If we treat them like tools and not like status symbols they stop being this thing that people fear.  Electricty kills more people than guns do but we don't hear over and over and over how to keep our children safe from electricity. 

I was raised in a poor farm county and I went to a two room school house where grades 1 through 5 went to one class and grade 6 through 8 went to the other class.  I went there until 5th grade when we were brought into a larger district.  Back at the small school as I said it was a poor district.  We walked to school (not far) and often we carried guns with us so if we saw a squirrel or rabbit we would shoot it and have meat for dinner.  Those guns were loaded because it wouldn't make sense to have an unloaded gun.  We put the guns in the gun rack in the coat room when we got to school and the poor cooks would put out kill into the freezer in the basement kitchen.  They would always make such a big fuss over how good of hunters we were.  

The point is we children went to school with loaded gun and those guns went into the gun rack where it sat all day long.  No child ever though of playing with the guns.  Why would we?  They were just tools, like a rake.  You didn't play with rakes, you avoided being around when the rakes came out.   Guns were needed for us to have meat, they weren't status symbols.  We talked about what we killed for dinner, not the gun we used to kill it.  Most of us inherited our guns from grandma or uncle or an relative that had died about the time we became old enough for hunting.  So our guns were nothing to show off, they had been seen around the county for generations before we got them. 

So to this day I don't understand people who show off their guns (why aren't they showing off their wrenches?).  Nor do I understand people who are scared of them while they think nothing of hurtling themselves down the road at 55 miles an hour, something the human body was never designed to do.  If we could somehow get back to the idea that guns are nothing more than a tool; not a toy, not a status symbol, not a evil thing they would cease to be anything to even talk about and we would find something new to be afraid of, like maybe how we are addicted to energy sources that are finite.
 
gardener
Posts: 1948
Location: PNW Oregon
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Amen!  I feel exactly the same way. 

People are always being manipulated by fear.... and of course people want to prevent tragedy, and caution others and/or create laws to flat out control others.

However, I don't believe safety is achieved in an atmosphere of fear and/or control.

Tragedies happen, and it's a real shame when they do.  But I would rather have a gun and use it for the purpose it is intended - in the process teaching my children not to think they are cool, a status symbol or toy.

~Just my two cents.
 
                    
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Well said Jami and woodswoman. 
 
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