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Guns and Children

Several years ago, I, (as a legislator), received a booklet entitled, Children, Youth, and Gun Violence: Issues and Ideas.

The opening statement that this booklet was: “Each year more than 20,000 people under 20 are killed or injured by guns in the United States.” Almost immediately following that was the comment, “But too often, gun policy debates focus on the rights of adults to own guns and pay scant attention to issues of children’s safety.”

I thought, “Oh, oh, here we go again-an argument for more gun control.”

Certainly, none of us wants to see children die by the gun, either by accident or by deliberate acts. But, that, in itself, is not any rationale for more gun control laws.

This booklet advocated educating parents to protect their children from gun violence, “either by choosing not to keep guns in the home, or by storing guns locked, unloaded, and separate from ammunition.”

When I was a young shaver, my father kept a shotgun in his little cubicle of a home office, (he actually was a laborer). We were taught NEVER to touch that gun. And from the punishments that had been meted out to us in the past for far less serious infractions, we knew he meant business, and we never did touch it!

However, if we wanted to go with him hunting, or be with him target practicing, we were allowed. In our family, we children, were never encouraged to have our own guns, though my oldest brother knew how to shoot a 22. In those days, many parents, including my own, frowned on pointing even toy guns at another person, though the enforcement wasn’t quite as strict.

This report went on to talk more about restricting access to guns by children, and then did take up the issue of “Educational Interventions to Reduce Youth Gun Injury and Violence.” They listed several programs to educate children about guns.

One was the Eddie Eagle Gun Safety Program. This is a program advocated by the National Rifle Association, (NRA). I have heard gun advocates talk about this program many times. I have listened to how effective it can be. Many schools around the United States offer this program to students.

But many more schools refuse to allow students to participate in this program. Their attitude, in some cases, is that allowing this program might be viewed as support for the NRA.

The Eddie Eagle Program is taught to students from prekindergarten through grade 6. There is a motivational “big book” for the younger children, activity books for grades 2 & 3, and 4 -6, with a 7 minute video, reward stickers, parent letter, etc. “The message is: If you see a gun, stop! Don’t touch. Leave the area. Tell an adult.”

Gun advocates tout how effective this program is.

This publication’s evaluation: “NRA cites testimonials and reductions in accidental death rates between 1991 and 1992…but no formal evaluations have been published.”

Another program is “Straight Talk about Risks”, (STAR), from the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. (You remember Jim Brady was the aide to President Reagan who was severely wounded in the presidential assassination attempt.) Certainly that program ought to get an A+ by the critics?

The evaluation: “Inconsistent and inconclusive effections on attitudes and no change in behaviors. No evaluation has been published.” (If no evaluation has been published, I’m not sure where this publication got the information to create their evaluation?’)

It is interesting to watch how those interested in promoting their agenda `use’ or `bend’ the information to bolster their cause. This booklet pointed out that “Parents are arguably the best-positioned adults to monitor children’s behavior and keep them safe from exposure to guns in the home and in the community.”

Their take on the responsible adult is one who allows no guns in the house, or one who stores the gun, unloaded, and not in close proximity to ammunition. If a person has chosen to own a gun for personal protection against intruders, etc., how effective is having an unloaded gun `at the ready’ – or for that matter, one with a safety lock? Is not the most effective control, educating the child?

The article lists a series of “Specific Policy Options” to ensure safety for the youth of America:

“Require background checks on all gun sales, including private sales, to prevent the illegal sale of guns to minors” That’s interesting. You would require background checks simply to check someone’s age? When someone who appears to be under 21 years old goes into a liquor store, does the store clerk make him/her fill out a background check form, and make the customer wait until the information comes back in a few minutes or a few days? I don’t think so. A check on the person’s driver’s license usually suffices! So what is the real purpose of the background check? Certainly not the age aspect.

And as I’m sure you’ve heard time and time again, the person who is likely to fail a background check, is not usually the person who is attempting to buy a gun at a gun shop or a gun show.

Here’s another: This was listed under what state legislatures could do. “Require handgun owners to obtain a safety license and to register their handguns with local law enforcement, similar to the system in place for automobiles, (my italics), to deter gun owners from transferring their weapons to youth.”

“Limit handgun sales to one per month, to reduce `straw purchases’ from gun stores.”

When I first was elected to the N.H. House of Representatives, some 16 years ago, I would probably have listed myself as a fairly staunch supporter of gun control… probably leaning to ban a major portion of the types of guns sold.

Since then, I have sat through many hearings on gun control legislation, and listened to both sides. I have had almost a complete turn around on the issue.

My issue is not the usual Constitutional issue that many supporters of gun owner rights espouse. But, in the greatest philosophical sense, perhaps, I do believe that `guns don’t kill’, people do. Sure, sometimes in severe domestic disputes, because there is a gun around, someone may get shot and killed. And, yes, children do get killed accidentally.

But people also die in cars every day. And why? Carelessness, inattention, etc. But we don’t ban them!

I really believe that the main issue in gun control is education-that is, for the ordinary citizen. There is no education about gun control for the criminal.

The criminal is not likely to go shopping in legitimate gun shops for his weapon. Why would he? He is purchasing it to engage in an illegal and criminal act!

Common sense, and real cooperation on the part of our school systems would go a long ways in stopping accidental shooting of our youth. I’m in favor of mandatory education about guns in our schools. Not mandatory education in how to use them, but how to act safely around them.

If someone chooses to allow their child to handle a weapon, perhaps there should be mandatory training on how to use it safely.

We could engage in banning a lot of things that are dangerous to us. Have you ever seen the statistics on how many people choke to death on a bone in a restaurant? Perhaps we need a law to prohibit the sale of any chicken that is not boneless?

Let’s tackle the real core of the problem, instead of passing law after law, banning this thing and that thing. Of course, that will mean we will have to assume more personal responsibility.

Responsible Gun Storage by Finding the Best Gun Safe Features

Owning a gun for personal and business use always entails responsible handling and safekeeping from its users. Owning a gun safe is one of the important factors to consider upon gun ownership. When purchasing a gun safe it is highly empirical to know the best features to look for in order to ensure that you get the quality storage safe where to keep your gun.

Buying a gun safe of good quality is much less expensive than spending for a replacement once your gun gets stolen. There are several stores who sell gun safes of different quality and the choice is left to the buyer to choose the one that fits their budget and meets their quality requirements. One should note that a gun safe that is made of thicker steel always offers the highest quality and better protection for your guns.

With countless gun stores selling gun safes of different brands and quality how will you get a gun safe that comes with better quality and assurance of storing your guns safely and more reliably? Knowing the following important factors that contribute to the quality of a gun safe feature will help you make better decisions when buying a gun safe.

1. Gun Safe Size and Weight

Recommendations from the experts on the ideal size and weight of a gun safe will be an interior vertical clearance of 58″ and a loaded weight of 750 lbs. A 30″ barrel rifle for instance is about 52″ long. An extra space will be required thus a 58″ interior height is more ideal. This is the recommended minimum interior vertical clearance by experts. The common width sizes are between 36″ to 40″ which provides enough space for a 16-gun rotary rack on one side of the gun safe with an added shelving unit on the other. These measurements provide an efficient and handy storage of a gun safe.

A 2000 lbs gun safe provides better security but requires professional installation in your home that can be a bit expensive. An alternative option is to go for a 750 lbs gun safe which provides a sturdy foundation that is hard to move while giving enough size and can resist from being tipped over.

2. Shell Strength and Wall Thickness

This is an important feature of a gun safe as this help prevents your guns from being toasted during a fire. A gun safe should be one with good external strength to prevent the breaking down of its components such as when heated on a fire. Good quality gun safes shells are constructed with continuous wells instead in stitches.

It is notable that steel is very expensive and many gun owners find it more practical to compromise the external shielding of a gun safe to get manageable weight and to spend a reasonable cost. Since most home related gun thieves employ a snatch and grab tactics of stealing guns instead of using cutting tools and gadgets this may seem a practical choice for a gun safe buyer.

3. Locking Device

Experts prefer the feature of rotary combination dial locks as a more reliable locking device for gun safes. They remain to be durable and often times with less hassles to operate than its digital clock counterparts. Cheap electronic locks are known to have its key pad internal to easily wear out. When choosing to buy a dial lock you should look for a UL group II certification feature and a UL Type 1 certification for digital lock gun safes.

Being able to find these good quality features from a gun safe will give you a guaranteed reliable gun safe to buy where you can store your gun safely.

Cheap Paintball Gun – Online Auctions

Do your research

Buying online is easy and saves you time, but you should never cut corners on your product research before you decide to buy a paintball gun or a paintball gun accessory. You hear so many unhappy stories of people who bought a paintball gun or accessory in haste which did not actually meet their needs, or was not compatible with their other paintball gear. You need to know about a products features and reputation, whether the manufacturer is still in business and can service your paintball gun, and it all comes down to thorough research. There is no substitute for proper research and it should not be rushed. You will regret it if you do.

Finding an online paintball gun auction

A quick search in Google should give you a list of paintball gun auction sites. A good place to start is eBay. You will need to register with the paintball gun auction site before you can take part in auctions. Make sure you read the auction site’s rules and be aware of any fees or commissions for which you will be charged.

The photograph

Buyers should check that the paintball gun in the photograph is the paintball gun that the seller says it is. If the seller has not posted a photograph, then ask to see a photograph of the actual paintball gun or paintball gun accessory being sold. Do not be satisfied with a picture of the product taken from the manufacturer’s website.

Sellers should take a photograph of the paintball gun or accessory since a photograph will give you a much better chance of making a sale. You want the buyer to see a good photo showing all the paintball gun’s features, including upgrades, so take a number of photos, experiment with background and lighting and see which looks best online.

You are entering a binding agreement

An agreement to buy or sell a paintball gun or paintball gun accessories through an online auction amounts to a binding contract, but this will not stop some people refusing to go through with the deal after the agreement has been made.

The auction site will have rules governing transactions and failure to complete on an agreed deal, and you need to be aware of these and have recourse to them if something goes wrong. Sites vary in the degree to which they become involved when a party fails to complete, but you should always report those that flout the rules to the auction site. In most cases people who break the rules are prohibited from taking part in further auctions.

In practice, there is usually not much more you can do if a party agrees to buy or sell a paintball gun or accessory but does not complete on the deal.

Check out the buyer or seller’s online reputation

However, before you start bidding for a paintball gun, check out the other party’s online reputation at the auction site to find out what other people say about them. On eBay, buyers and sellers are rated and you can even contact people who have previously done business with the buyer or seller. If you see some negative comments, then seek further clarification from the comment maker as to what the problem was with the buyer or seller. Then form your own opinion as to whether you can trust the buyer or seller.

Keep a record of all communications

If you send e-mails to the other party then keep a record of these. Likewise, if you speak to them on the phone, make a note right away of what was said and date the note. Such e-mails and notes are evidence of what was agreed between the parties and these will be useful if you have to refer the matter to the auction site if the other party does not complete the deal.

I have found that you can tell a fair amount about a paintball gun seller from how they respond to questions, and how quickly they respond. Send off an e-mail with a few product and payment questions and then see how the seller responds. If the response is evasive or misleading or rude, then trust your gut instinct and do not contract with the seller.

Price, payment and delivery

As a seller, many auction sites will allow you to put a reserve price on your paintball gun or paintball gun accessory so that it cannot be sold for a lower price.

Common forms of payment are credit cards or PayPal, but each seller will have their own requirements, of which a buyer should be aware. It is always a good idea to e-mail to confirm how payment is to be made.

If you are selling, make sure you get payment confirmed before you despatch the goods.

Buyers should be aware that con artists sometimes pose as sellers in order to get buyers to send money transfers, for example ‘wiring’ money through Western Union, so be very suspicious of anyone who insists on payment in this manner.

Shipping costs will in most cases be additional to the price, and they should be quoted separately. If none are quoted, then ask. Also ask when you can expect to receive the paintball gun.