Safety is key when handling guns

Published: Thursday, September 4, 2014 at 02:55 PM.

Oh boy. Where to start this week?

On the news last week was a story about a little girl in Las Vegas who was being shown how to shoot a fully automatic Uzi handgun by a trained instructor. After allowing her to shoot the gun one time (based on video) the instructor set the gun to “automatic” (which means more than one round is projected per pull of the trigger). The child immediately lost control. The gun, while firing, turned in her hands, shooting the instructor. A terrible tragedy and heartbreaking to watch.

Watching the video made me cringe. This child clearly was not comfortable handling this firearm. It was a bad and fatal call on the instructor’s part. Know your student, and always remember: Safety first.

The Surf City Gun Safety Camp I was recently honored to be a part of focused on kids ages 9 to 14 (we had kids up to age 17). After a week of classroom learning, we took the kids to the range to practice with Ruger 10/22 rifles. In a very controlled and supervised environment, the kids shot at targets, including balloons, in a seated position. Regardless of age or size (some young kids are very tall these days), each child was helped one on one to ensure safety first.

I encourage everyone to take a lesson at least once in their lives, but please don’t put video games and movies in the forefront of your expectations. Use common sense and follow the rules, which include my favorite: Start with the smallest caliber (22) for rifles and pistols and then work your way up gradually.

My goal in the gun business is to make sure those wanting to take a lesson can locally and affordably. That is where my story turns to ask for your assistance.

On Tuesday, Sept. 9 at 7 p.m., we are going before the Holly Ridge town council and asking for a “yes” vote for a special use permit to put an indoor gun range in a building on Cole Street in Holly Ridge. The building, already zoned for a gun shop, has been a central part of Holly Ridge since the 1940s. Once known as the Paradise Dance Club, this 9,000-square-foot, cream-colored building is located on the corner of Sound Road and Cole Street and is visible from U.S. 17.

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