Tuesday, June 05, 2007

How Safe Is Safe?

Researchers at Wake Forest have released a report critical of gun-storage practices in American homes. (Here.) Apparently, in the opinion of the researchers too many Americans don't store their guns safely. What do they recommend? "'Our primary recommendation is that parents should remove guns from the home,' [Robert] DuRant said. 'However, if parents are unwilling to do that, they should lock all guns with gun locks and store them separately from ammunition.'"

Well, that's a black and white perspective. Storing a gun unloaded and locked with ammunition stored separately may keep your home safer from accidents but it's not going to help you much for self-defense. Try unlocking your gun and loading it in the middle of the night with a burglar prowling around the house.

Safety exists on a continuum and as with most decisions in life, deciding how to store guns is about balancing costs and benefits. For instance, the former cop who taught my shotgun safety class last year showed us how to store a shotgun safely in the bedroom, butt down, loaded, and ready for racking a round. There's nothing like the sound of a round being racked in a pump shotgun to change the mind of a prowling burglar.


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