GUN STORAGE IN THE HOME

IT’S NOT A ONE-SIZEFITS-ALL AP­PROACH.

Gun World - - Artemis Armed -

They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stom­ach. But there might be an­other way.

This one in­volves a palate and menu that’s var­ied. This is not an epi­curean palate, but a palette of other senses, with a fo­cus on com­mon sense. This palette in­volves the eyes and the mind, as well as val­ues and stan­dards.

It’s the palette of guns: From ARs to pis­tols to pre­ci­sion ri­fles, guns come in all shapes and sizes. How­ever, re­gard­less of the gun, we need to put it some­where—some­where safe. Our in­di­vid­ual recipe for what is safe can vary from gun to gun and house to house.

FOR­GET YOUR UP­BRING­ING

Just as dif­fer­ent fam­i­lies have dif­fer­ent cook­ing and clean­ing habits, gun habits are also var­ied, and un­der­stand­ing this is very im­por­tant. For in­stance, while your dad might have locked every gun in the safe be­cause he had a neigh­bor­hood of kids wan­der­ing through his house, my dad didn’t have to do that. So, I wasn’t raised like that.

My life­style today re­flects that up­bring­ing. Ev­ery­one in my fam­ily is a com­pet­i­tive shooter—my hus­band, three kids and my­self. We are al­ways prac­tic­ing for a com­pe­ti­tion, and dry­fir­ing is much eas­ier when you have a gun. So, in my house, there is lit­er­ally a gun on the couch at any given mo­ment that my hus­band and/or I am home.

My kids aren’t lit­tle any­more, and I don’t have random neigh­bor kids com­ing into my space. I have kids highly trained in firearms han­dling by some of the world’s best shoot­ers, and they (my kids) are very ca­pa­ble with firearms.

I don’t talk about this openly for the most part, be­cause peo­ple tend to be judg­men­tal. Nev­er­the­less, my shoot­ing friends—the ones who know we’re train­ing for a world shoot—get it.

Con­versely, I have a gun­smith friend who doesn’t even bring guns into his house: He has neigh­bor kids con­stantly com­ing and go­ing, so it’s not a good plan for him.

So, to open your­self to a wider palette of gun own­er­ship styles, you re­ally need to be open to un­der­stand­ing that there is no sin­gle right way. You need to see if your gun “man­ners” fit your gun use.

THE BASICS: SAFETY

Be­fore I con­tinue, I want to clar­ify ba­sic safety prin­ci­ples that all gun own­ers should be ad­her­ing to.

When han­dling firearms for prac­tice—dry-fire, mag changes, draw­ing from a hol­ster, etc.—am­mu­ni­tion should never be in that room or vicin­ity of the house.

Al­ways fol­low the same rules as you do when han­dling a loaded firearm:

• Al­ways check if the gun is loaded.

• Never point at any­thing you don’t want to de­stroy.

• Keep your fin­ger off the trig­ger un­til you are ready to shoot. • Know your tar­get and be­yond.

Lock up all firearms when you’re not home.

Al­ways fol­low child firearms ac­cess laws.

Le­gal-speak will tell you that ev­ery­one must al­ways lock up every firearm at all times; but in re­al­ity, we know this isn’t the way many gun own­ers ac­tu­ally han­dle their firearms, be­cause cir­cum­stances dif­fer. The over­ar­ch­ing con­sid­er­a­tions that guide them are safety and com­mon sense. For in­stance, a mil­i­tary per­son liv­ing alone could leave their firearm, un­locked, in a night­stand with­out wor­ries. But once kids or other peo­ple en­ter the mix, it’s time to re­assess.

We should un­der­stand that there is no one-size-fits-all ap­proach to gun storage and use. I might have com­pe­ti­tion guns that leave the house every time I leave and are used of­ten. Even so, when I leave my house, ev­ery­thing else is in a safe.

SAFE QUEENS AND SPEED QUEENS

Now that you are think­ing about what you are told to do with gun storage versus what you ac­tu­ally do, think about the roles dif­fer­ent guns play.

We all own firearms that are the “wash­ing ma­chines” of guns (that is, we use them as part of our daily rou­tine). We also have guns that are for go­ing fast, go­ing ac­cu­rate and “just-be­causewe-can-have-them” guns. And liv­ing with those guns means dif­fer­ent ap­proaches for each one.

My com­pe­ti­tion pis­tol is ei­ther be­ing shot or is close at hand for prac­tice. It’s not a “safe queen”—even if it is from the beau­ti­ful STI DVC line. We also have a .22 handy at all times for the ver­min that are con­stantly chewing on our barn.

Every gun has a dif­fer­ent use, and every house­hold has a dif­fer­ent char­ac­ter to add to the mix. Those who live in the sub­urbs or small town might view gun storage dif­fer­ently than some­one liv­ing in a farm­house in a ru­ral area. You have to find the right way to store and secure your mix. While it’s not pol­i­tics or religion, gun storage is a topic among shoot­ers that is of­ten taboo. Peo­ple are afraid to “come out of the closet about it,” fear­ing that if they speak frankly about where they keep their guns, they will por­tray gun own­ers, them­selves, as “un­safe.”

The gen­eral pop­u­la­tion of gun own­ers has been so in­grained with the idea that you must im­me­di­ately lock every gun in a safe, es­pe­cially if there are chil­dren in your house, that they don’t talk about what ac­tu­ally happens with their guns for every­day storage.

When the topic does come up, some shoot­ers sub­cribe to the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” or “Do as I say, not as I do” men­tal­ity. Th­ese peo­ple don’t want to tell you what they do with their guns; it’s not in­for­ma­tion they want made pub­lic … which is fine. It’s their choice.

Some shoot­ers tout the party line: “If it’s not on your im­me­di­ate per­son, all guns should be un­der lock and key.” There is a lot of that party line thought in the firearms in­dus­try due to the li­a­bil­ity fac­tor and for fear of back­lash from non-gun peo­ple.

It makes some peo­ple very skit­tish about de­vi­at­ing from the party line, so they just re­cite the line and keep pri­vate about what they re­ally do at home. Oth­ers live openly with their guns; firearms are a part of their life, like a pet.

GUNS = JOY + FREE­DOM

Put the joy back into gun own­er­ship by be­ing re­al­is­tic. No sin­gle recipe fits every house­hold. No one method is right for ev­ery­body.

No mat­ter how you choose to store your guns, don’t let the joy you find in firearms be locked away, too. Shoot your guns proudly, and don’t hide who you are. Bring your house over to the black ri­fle-lov­ing, guns-over-the-man­tle, proud-of-yourher­itage side of Amer­ica, and secure your guns—as well as

your rights to use and own them by not hid­ing them. Help ed­u­cate fu­ture gen­er­a­tions about re­spon­si­ble gun-han­dling by mak­ing guns part of every­day life.

Women have a unique role in mak­ing this hap­pen: They are the ones who tend to mon­i­tor the kids, set up the lay­out of a house and establish good house­hold habits. Many men won’t buy guns or al­low the kids to take part in shoot­ing with­out their wives’ ap­proval. Don’t let your kids grow up ig­no­rant of the joy of guns, even if guns aren’t your favorite thing. Don’t let them grow up un­e­d­u­cated about safe firearms han­dling, and don’t let them think guns are some se­cret thing we shouldn’t talk about.

Make your home a place full of the joy­ful sounds of firearms— ac­tions be­ing cy­cled, mag­a­zines dropped, etc.—or at least dec­o­rate with “gun­metal chic.” By that, I lit­er­ally mean gun­metal—where it needs to be and when you need it. You’re free to do that, and free­dom is re­ally what guns are about!

Bring­ing this back around: The other way to a man’s heart is through ... guns. Un­der­stand­ing what it means to live with them in your house and mak­ing them a part of your life is a recipe for hap­pi­ness. This recipe is pretty sim­ple:

1 part guns

4 parts safety

1 part un­der­stand­ing

Add ammo; sea­son to your own taste

Let it sim­mer ... un­der the watch­ful eyes of a woman.

The re­sults will make you happy! GW

JUST AS DIF­FER­ENT FAM­I­LIES HAVE DIF­FER­ENT COOK­ING AND CLEAN­ING HABITS, GUN HABITS ARE ALSO VAR­IED, AND UN­DER­STAND­ING THIS IS VERY IM­POR­TANT.

What’s on every house­hold’s plate varies. Sim­i­larly,

how you in­cor­po­rate guns into every­day life will vary, too. There is no “one-size-fits-all” rule to how

guns are part of your home.

The woman’s role in run­ning a house­hold puts a good por­tion of the re­spon­si­bil­ity on her to safely in­cor­po­rate firearms into her home. Un­der­stand­ing that guns are tools, as well as cre­at­ing ac­cess to them, is as rea­son­able as know­ing where and how your wash­ing ma­chine runs.

I

If your daily life in­volves us­ing firearms

(from hunt­ing and com­pe­ti­tion to those

who work in law en­force­ment), you might need to ac­cept that you are go­ing

to have dif­fer­ent stan­dards and rules for how and where guns fit

in your home.

A pre­ci­sion ri­fle equates to a fine leather purse: If you’re go­ing to in­vest, buy the best. Some guns have a role in our lives—like this Speed Queen wash­ing ma­chine. We use them as part of our daily rou­tine.

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