Monday, December 17, 2012

Why Gun Safes are Important

Target shooting is great as a sport for recreational purposes. Nancy Lanza of Newtown Connecticut enjoyed the sport up until the point where her son, Adam Lanza, stole her two handguns and her .223-caliber Bushmaster rifle... and then killed her with them.

Adam then went to the local elementary school, where he murdered 26 people, including 20 children, before shooting himself with one of the handguns.

Police and politicians (including President Obama) are now speculating as to how this horrible and horrific crime might have been prevented.

I have a very quick and easy solution: MAKE GUN SAFES MANDATORY.

If you own a gun, you must store it in a secure gun safe. Easy.

It prevents theft. It prevents family members from taking your gun and killing you or other people with it.

Gun theft is a huge crime in the USA.

According to a State-by-State analysis of firearm theft and crime in the USA, 1.7 million firearms were stolen from homes and elsewhere over the period between January 1993 and August 2002.

The States of Alaska, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, New Mexico, and Georgia had firearm theft rates greater than twice the national average because they don't have any laws governing the storage of firearms in gun safes. Firearm theft rates were dramatically lower in States with safe storage laws.

The same study suggests that there is a need for a federal law concerning the safe-storage of firearms as a means to reduce firearm theft.

Now some people think, hey, safes can be cracked or what if you share your code for opening with the wrong person... Well, there is a solution for that too. They now have biometric safes on the market that use fingerprint scanners. That means quick and easy access for the person who needs it, and futility for the would be thief.

And in the aftermath of the Newtown Elementary School Shooting I think it is perfectly logical that citizens carefully consider where they lock up their guns. If America wants to have the right to bear firearms, fine, but they should be storing those firearms in a safe location where they cannot be stolen so easily.

Let alone be stolen and be used to murder children.

There are plenty of other kinds of safes one might consider buying too.

Cannon Safes - Large heavy duty safes for storing multiple guns.

Drawer Safes - Good for home or office desk drawer.

Fire Resistant Safes - Self explanatory. A lot harder to get into, even with a cutting torch.

Personal Safes - Great for storing jewelry or a small handgun in.

Pistol Safes - Great for storing your favourite handgun.

Quick Access Safes - Similar to biometric safes, but with several other options.

Standard Home Safes - Usually used for storing family photos, legal documents, but can still be used for gun storage.

Wall Safes - Multi-purpose and looks great behind a painting.

Waterproof Safes - Self explanatory.

I think the end result is there is a lot of options out there for people that want to be responsible about how they store their belongings. Especially something as dangerous as a firearm.

Something as simple as two kids playing cops and robbers for example could end in a deadly accident if one of them finds an unlocked gun. In a 1987 episode of the TV show Dallas, Christopher and John Ross have a mock gunfight, and Sue Ellen sends them to play outside. Unable to find a toy gun, Christopher takes Bobby's revolver and after some hide and seek, he takes a shot at John Ross; he misses, only shattering a screen door.

But that story could have ended very differently.

And it does. Gun accidents in the USA kill over 600 Americans per year. Accidents that could have been prevented through proper storage and behaving responsibly.

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