Thursday, March 19, 2015

March Challenge #19 Firearms

We've previously talked about how you can protect yourself, however the ownership and use of firearms deserves its own challenge.  If you decide to own and use firearms (and this is strictly a personal choice) there are a number of things you need to do:

  • Determine which kinds of firearms you want to own.  A good way to do this is to take a course or two (see next point) and/or hang out at the shooting range and try a variety of firearms.  What may be the perfect handgun for one person may not be exactly right for you so trying a variety of guns will give you a better idea of what you want to purchase for yourself.
  • Take some classes--from a beginner firearms course to tactical shooting to close-quarters combat to reloading--in order to enhance your firearms knowledge and skills.  Trying to figure this out yourself with a YouTube video or learning from an (annoying) SO probably won't work out so well.
  • Build up your arsenal over time.  A nice 9mm handgun is a good first purchase but .22s are fun to shoot at targets (plus the ammo is much cheaper), a shotgun may be a better choice for home defense, and having a nice rifle on hand is also good.
  • Have a way to safely store your weapons.  We have secure yet easy to access places in each room of our house for weapon storage.  We take extra precautions when we will be having children (or mildly irresponsible adults) as visitors to our home.
  • Stock up on ammo.  Even though ammo has become astronomically expensive compared to, say, 20 years ago, having a good supply of it on hand is always a good idea.
  • If you are looking for a new hobby and shoot a lot, consider learning how to reload your own ammo.
  • Know the firearms laws in your town/city/county/state as well as federal laws so that you don't inadvertently find yourself in legal trouble.
  • If you plan to carry concealed, become licensed to do so according to the laws of your area. 
  • Practice shooting.  A lot.  
  • Support the shooting sports by joining a shooting league or other shooting competitions.  Become a member of your local shooting range.  Put your time, effort, and money towards shooting by becoming a member of the NRA, volunteering at your local range, participating in an open carry event, or otherwise supporting the Second Amendment.
  • Always, always, always practice gun safety and teach your children to do the same.
  • Put your shooting kit together.  Get a shooting bag, throw in some hearing and eye protection, some targets, and all the other goodies that make up a useful shooting bag that you can take to the range with you.
  • Learn how to disassemble and clean all of the firearms you own.  And always keep your firearms clean and ready to go.
  • If you are going on vacation, add in some interesting shooting stops (like here, here, and here).
  • Always be willing to learn from other people (there is a wealth of shooting knowledge to be gained from many of the people you will meet whether at the range, in class, or at gun shows...and a few goofballs so be aware of that as well).
  • Always be aware of your shooting environment.  Most people at most shooting areas are safe shooters most of the time...other times not so much so you need to be on higher alert when shooting than, for example, when you go fishing.
  • Clean up after yourself.

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