Every year as we near the Christmas season, I see memes such as the one posted above all over Facebook. Honestly, I would love it if someone bought me a new gun for Christmas and, admittedly, I get the slightest twinge of jealousy as I see my friends posing with their new “toys” in front of the Christmas tree.
But does giving someone a gun really tell them how much you care?
I say that’s not enough. I say that there is a lot more to giving the gift of personal safety than a gun.
Let’s look at it from another perspective. Imagine for a moment that I decide that I will give my 95 year old grandmother a laptop for Christmas so that I can spend time video conferencing with her. It’s my way of showing her that I care enough to spend more time with her even if I don’t have the time to make the trip to see her in person.
Unfortunately, I’ve ignored the most basic fact that she doesn’t have a clue how to use a computer. She doesn’t even know how to turn it on.
No problem. I will set the computer up so that she doesn’t even need to turn it on. I will open the video conferencing software so all she needs to do is click the accept button when she sees a call come though.
What happens next? She receives a scam email to the email address I had to set up for her to be able to access the video conferencing software. She clicks a couple of links and, before you know it, she has lost a substantial amount of money.
And it’s my fault. I have acted irresponsibly regardless of the intent of my gift. My lack of necessary training on the item that I chose as my gift led directly to the misfortune that my grandmother now has to deal with.
The same can be said for the gift of a firearm. Providing a gun to a person that has little or no knowledge on how to use it can have deadly consequences.
But I would like to go a step farther since I think the previous sentence is pretty much common sense and I don’t think most of those people reading this blog would ever consider giving a firearm to a person with no knowledge on its use.
Giving a gun as a gift to a person that already has some knowledge still may not be the wisest use of your gifting resources.
So they know how to load and unload. So they know the “Big 3 (or 4) Rules” plastered on every safety poster at the gun range.
Do they really know how to use it? Do they actually possess the knowledge and skills to use it safely and effectively under the stress of a dynamic critical incident?
The fact is that there is a whole lot more to “personal safety” than owning a gun and knowing the basics of its operation.
It’s time we “gun people” realize we need to spend less on gear and equipment, and more on training and skill development.
A pretty new gun will never make you better at anything.
Especially the critical self-defense skills needed to survive a sudden life and death emergency.
Many reputable training organizations sell gift certificates or have a class schedules far enough in advance that you can schedule and pay for a course in the next year on someone else’s behalf.
Give the true gift of personal safety this year. Show them you care about their safety by paying for them to receive the knowledge needed to overcome and prevail against an attacker.