Wednesday, May 10, 2006


My guns:
Smith & Wesson 9mm,
Colt .380 cal,
Smith & Wesson .38 revolver

One of my many duties when I worked was that of firearms instructor and armorer for the police department. I was responsible for the care and maintainance of all department owned firearms. Included in this, was my responsibility to run the range & teach and qualify new officers. All officers had to show proficiency with the department handguns, as well as any personal handguns that they carried off duty. I would schedule a "range date" twice a year, and all officers had to attend. The department owned Smith & Wesson .40 caliber pistols. I picked this particular firearm after testing several others, primarily for it's safety features. It will not fire, even with a bullet in the breech, if the magazine is out. It will not fire with the de-cocking safety lever down because the firing pin is blocked. It will not fire if the slide is not lined up. You can see if there is a bullet in the breech just by observing a little slot in the slide on the top. There could be a time that an officer gets his gun taken away by a suspect. If this occurs, these safety features could save the officers life, simply by him knowing where to grab the gun to move the slide, or hit the magazine release lever. Anyway, I was sucessful in teaching the officers all these extra tricks, and we were lucky that during my watch there were no officer involved shootings. Believe it or not I did not even like guns before I was in law enforcement. They scared me, like they do most people, until I became familiar with them and realized that they are just a tool. It is difficult to be a Mom and have firearms in the house. I figured out early that the boys woud be curious about them. So, once in a while, I would take the guns out (unloaded of course) and show them to the boys. I would let them handle the guns, pull the trigger, etc., always teaching them the "laser rule" - NEVER point the gun at themselves or anyone else, pretend a laser is pointing out of the barrel. Children are naturally curious; I told them to tell me if they wanted to see the guns, but to never handle them without me being present. They always wanted to learn to shoot, and I told them to wait until they were 16. (That age creeped up on me quick, and the other day I took Preston for his first shooting lesson!) I am still called upon once in a while to give a private lesson, and I enjoy the one-on-one teaching much better than teaching a group. I feel more comfortable with guns now, but I still have a healthy respect. I get annoyed when the news reports that a "gun went off" and someone is shot. There is no way in the world that guns shoot without someone actually pulling the trigger!


PHOTO said...

I've always thought that hiding guns was the wrong thing to do. I taught mine what they were for and the damage they can do and I never had any problem. Both my kids shoot well and are safe with weapons.

Abandoned in Pasadena said...

I think kids should be made aware of guns and how they're used and their dangers...if you don't show them...they'll be curious and get them out themselves to explore them on their own...Which is what we don't want.

Eternally Curious said...

I grew up knowing there were guns in the house - and also knowing exactly what their purpose was and wasn't. When I was curious, I was taught. Other than that - no big deal was made of the issue. It never occurred to me to "explore" on my own, and I'm convinced that was because I was taught and wasn't shielded from them as though they were something dangerously mysterious. Later in life, I enjoyed the past time of target practicing with a friend who was a police officer.

I couldn't agree with you more, Tuff: guns don't shoot themselves, and "accidents" only happen because of ignorance. Usually ignorance from being too "protected" and shielded from life's harsh realities - in my humble opinion!

doubleknot said...

Guns are something children should be taught about from a young age. Children now adays are exposed to so much violece on TV they don't realize that when a person is shot he may well be really dead and not show up in another movie.
You have taken the right path with your boys - they are going to be curious and it is better to supervise that curiousty then them sneaking a peek at Mom's guns. I never allowed my children to have play guns when they were young it would be too easy to cross that line between make believe and real life.

Puffstitch said...

It is good to be educated, for it is ignorance that is the real danger. And real education must start in the home. Kudos to you and others for teaching the right way. I raised two daughters who never cared to play with toy guns except for waterpistols. But I have a grandson now, and I pray that his parents will be wise. Oh by the way, what a swing between gardens and guns! LoL

Puffstitch said...

hmm I guess you might call it... guns n' roses! LoL