A lesson in gun safety
Published by the Visayan Daily Star Publications, Inc.
|NINFA R. LEONARDIA|
Editor-in-Chief & President
NIDA A. BUENAFE
MAJA P. DELY
ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA|
Because of their inherently deadly nature, one of the primary rules in gun safety training is that “All guns are always loaded” and that the firearm must always be pointed to a safe direction. From day one, responsible gun handlers are taught to treat firearms with respect for their destructive capabilities and are strongly discouraged from playing or toying with them, a common cause of accidents.
The soldier who was accidentally shot by his six-year-old son last Sunday, a Private First Class, who had come home from fighting insurgents in Mindanao to spend time with his family, must have assumed that he had taught his sons the basics of handling a gun. It was an early Fathers Day morning and for some inexplicable reason, he asked his child to fetch his .45 caliber pistol from the upstairs bedroom of their home and even had the child remove the magazine, something that could only be done by a child in the presence of their parent, and only if there was explicit consent. He was probably glad to be home, and was relaxing while smoking a cigaret. Meanwhile, his son picked up the gun that had been lying around, cocked the hammer, and accidentally fired the weapon, hitting his father who was rushed to the hospital but declared dead on arrival.
A person who assumes that his gun is always loaded would never leave it unattended in the presence of a child. Those parents who allow their children to handle firearms have the added responsibility of educating their kids in proper gun safety, something that goes beyond teaching them how to remove bullets or the magazine. The Father’s Day shooting incident which claimed the life of a father and will leave his son emotionally scarred, is another grim reminder that guns are, indeed, dangerous, and unless we all assume that guns are always loaded, and insist that they always be pointed to a safe direction, unless there is intent to use them, these kinds of deadly accidents are sure to happen again.*