on being a “Responsibly Armed American”
For those of you that have taken any of my instructional programs, you have heard me utter these three words passionately and frequently – at least so I hope! I guess I first heard this explanation of how one should practice our Second Amendment right quite some time ago, possibly when I received my first firearms training as a Boy Scout.
Considering the myriad of synonyms and various interpretations it may be a bit nebulous when it comes to our firearms ownership, hence, the purpose of this posting. Consider the many meanings, synonyms, and interpretations of the word “responsible:
- in charge of, in control of, at the helm of, accountable for, liable for, charged with. manage, oversee, superintend, supervise, conduct, run, look after, organize, produce, see to, accountable, answerable, to blame, at the bottom of, guilty of, culpable of, blameworthy, important, powerful, authoritative, executive, decision-making, answerable, accountable, supervised by, managed by, trustworthy, capable of being trusted, trusty, level-headed, rational, sane, reasonable, sensible, sound, stable, mature, adult, reliable, dependable, conscientious…
More recently, probably through my membership in the United States Concealed Carry Association (USCCA), it has taken on more and more meaning as it is the mantra of their training materials and published articles (https://is.gd/A0I1QH) in their monthly magazine. Throughout USCCA materials we continually sees the phrase “Helping Responsible Americans Keep Their Families Safe” stated as the purpose of the organization. Now, although I am a proud member, and ascribe to that mantra, what exactly does it mean to me as far as my behavior while exercising my right?
Whether your firearms use be for personal defense or a simple visit to the range for recreational shooting, I thought a little comparison may tickle our brain cells anytime we hear these three words, Below you’ll see my [hopefully] practical, commonsense, and [yes] philosophical comparison list:
|As a firearms Owner I ALWAYS…||As A Firearms Owner I NEVER..|
|Responsibly EDUCATE MYSELF||IGNORE ANY OF THE DO’S !|
|Responsibly FOLLOW ALL RELEVANT LAWS||RELY ON HOLLYWOOD FOR TRAINING|
|Responsibly PRACTICE ALL SAFETY RULES||BE MY OWN LEGAL EXPERT|
|Responsibly FOLLOW RANGE GUIDELINES||SHOW ANY DISRESPECT FOR HUMAN LIFE|
|Responsibly RESPECT FELLOW SHOOTERS||MAKE MYSELF A “TARGET”|
|Responsibly be AWARE OF MY SITUATION||CONSIDER YOUR FIREARM HARMLESS|
|Responsibly AVOID CONFLICT ALWAYS||BECOME THE ARROGANT BULLY|
|Responsibly USE DEADLY FORCE||ADVERTISE I AM ARMED IN PUBLIC|
|Responsibly KNOW WHAT IS BEYOND TARGET||PICK A FIGHT|
|Responsible for CONSEQUENCES OF ACTIONS||AM IGNORANT OF MY FIREARM USE|
|Responsible FOR ANY LIABILITY OF ACTIONS||AM CARELESS WITH MY FIREARM|
|I ALWAYS...?||I NEVER…….?|
|I ALWAYS…?||I NEVER…….?|
|I ALWAYS…?||I NEVER…….?|
Think of these responsibilities as the security fence around your personal property. Each responsibility, and your individual behavior resulting from that responsibility, can be considered a link or panel in that fence. If a section of the fence is missing, we are placing ourselves at un-needed risk of the consequences.
If I’ve missed any in either column, let me know!
NRA Certified Instructor