The NRA (National Rifle Association) has a saying, “The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun.” First, I would say that the word “guy” should just be “person” since there are an ever increasing number of women owning firearms. Second, I would like to offer an “enhanced” perspective on this concept of “Good Guy’s owning firearms.”
There is no question that it is better for a “Good Person” to own a firearm than a “Bad Person.” With the phrase “Bad Person” meaning someone who isn’t legally allowed to own a firearm…such as a criminal or past criminal. A “Good Person” is someone who is not only law abiding but is also someone who cares about others and is interested in protecting their fellow human being.
But that’s not what I wanted to discuss or expand upon. What I wanted to share is that just being a “Good Person” who is armed isn’t enough in my opinion.
Carrying or owning a firearm is a huge responsibility that shouldn’t be taken lightly…especially if you are using it for self-defense or in the defense of others. Having guns in the house is in and of itself a big responsibility for the gun owner. So just having a firearm at your disposal, whether it is in your house or on your person isn’t enough…there is much more to my definition of “Good Person” with a firearm.
I believe if the “Good Person” carrying firearm isn’t well-trained, they aren’t such a “Good Gun Owner” when they are carrying a firearm. Just because someone can carry a firearm legally doesn’t mean they should. If they aren’t properly trained in BOTH the LAW and USE/SAFETY of the firearm, then I don’t believe they should be carrying one. This, to me, is a dangerous situation for them and the public.
“Being armed” isn’t the answer. Knowing what to do when being armed is what makes you a “Good Person” in a critical situation. Coming out firing your weapon just because you happen to be carrying one isn’t a good idea and can take law abiding citizen with a gun and see them going to jail. Knowing HOW and WHEN to fire your gun is what makes you a “Good Person with a gun” where you can actually do what’s right within the law.
My recommendation is to fully understand what it means to be a gun owner and the responsibility it carries with it. When you understand the firearm you own and how to both shoot it and be safe with it, you have passed the first rule of gun ownership. When you have taken a class or spoken to a “gun law attorney” about the specific laws of our state and understand what you can and can’t do within these laws then you have passed the second rule of gun ownership.
Having passed both of these steps now makes you a “Good Gun Owner/Person” in my mind because not only are you naturally a good, law abiding citizen but now you understand how and when you can protect yourself and others. This takes on a whole different meaning in my mind. Maybe it’s what the NRA had in mind when they made this statement…maybe not. Either way, it is great when gun owners can pass the two rules of gun ownership and use their responsibility wisely. Then they can…Be Prepared. Be Smart. Be Safe.