Responsible gun use

February 4, 2016

Despite the recent use of firearms as weapons of violence, students and faculty can safely and responsibly fire them in recreational settings without harming others.

“Not everyone who owns a gun is a crazy,” chemistry teacher and recreational skeet-shooter Andrew Irvine said. “I think that reasonable gun users should be okay with additional background checks.”

Several firing ranges will require gun users to know a set of safety requirements listed in the National Rifle Association (NRA) Gun Safety Rules.

“The NRA are really excellent at explaining the proper use of guns,” recreational gun enthusiast Alex Sikand (12) said. “I think they have a manual, and one range I went to made you kind of recite them, like the Ten Commandments.”

In order to minimize accidents and prevent injuries, the NRA recommends making sure that the gun is always pointed in whichever direction seems the safest.

Nikhil Parmar (12), who first fired a weapon four years ago at a firing range, follows these protocols. He added that a gun should always be considered as if it is loaded and dangerous.

“We first learned how to, of course, properly handle a gun, always treating a gun as if it is loaded, even if you know it isn’t,” Nikhil said. “That means not pointing it in any direction other than up or down.

The NRA also recommends that firearm users keep their fingers off the trigger until they begin shooting, thereby avoiding misfires and safely using their weapons.

Eagle Scout Naman Jindal (12), who has fired weapons as part of an optional Boy Scouts of America program, said that a large portion of firing a weapon is learning how to use it responsibly.

“You have to complete a whole set of requirements involving gun safety and learning how to shoot accurately,” Naman said.

Gun enthusiasts believe that even though one can remain safe and have fun when at a firing range, guns can be dangerous and should be handled safely according to the rules.

“I think that responsible use at ranges can be fun,” Alex said. “They have recreational use, but that doesn’t change the fact that they are still extremely dangerous and they are still capable of killing you,” he said. “Most importantly, again, is to follow the rules.”

This piece was originally published in the pages of the Winged Post on Jan. 27, 2016

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