Firearms Are NOT Inherently Dangerous!

1911 45ACP pistol

We’ve had a few recent stories on our forums that I thought we’d make more accessible by posting about on the blog.

The first item was a link to an NSSF release giving some stats about how hunting is safer than most other recreational activities.   For example, did you know that you are 25 times more likely to be injured while riding a bicycle than while hunting or that your chances of getting injured playing soccer are 34 times that of getting injured while hunting.  And football?  Forget about it!  You’re over 100 times more likely to get injured playing tackle football than you are while hunting.

Just because it’s “safer” doesn’t mean that it’s completely safe, though.  You still need to take precautions while out hunting.

  • Hunting can involve a great deal of walking, often over fairly treacherous terrain, so make sure you’re up to the task before you head out.  If you bag that big game, you’re going to have to get it out of the woods somehow.  Make sure that you’re physically able to get your harvest home.
  • Dress appropriately for the weather.  If you’re going to go sit or walk around in sub-freezing weather for hours at a time, bundle up.  This should be common sense.
  • More common sense:  Be careful around obstacles (including tree stands).  The most common cause of injuries while hunting comes from falling.  Make sure your climbing gear, safety harness, etc. are all in good condition.  Unload your firearm before climbing a tree, crossing a stream, ditch or fence and while navigating other obstacles where your footing might be unstable.  Keep your firearm pointed in a safe direction while you’re handling the obstacles.
  • Let others know where you will be hunting, when you will be there and what time you plan on getting back.

The second item was new data from the National Center for Health Statistics stating that accidental firearm fatalities are at an all time low.  And it’s not just accidents, either.  FBI data shows that not only are criminal homicides at a 47 year low but all types of crime continue to decrease  despite firearms purchasing being at a record-setting high.

So, next time someone makes the claim that firearms are inherently dangerous or that guns enable or cause crime, steer them to these facts.  The cold, hard numbers don’t lie.  Take a friend shooting and show them how to properly handle firearms; attend a firearms training course or hunter education class (or both!); and, most importantly, ALWAYS remember the Four Laws of Firearm Safety.

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