Some things are just kismet. Like Tamara Keel posting this blog this morning after my husband and I had just spent a couple of hours talking about the issue. The blog is about safety and people thinking of it as binary. You are either safe or you are not. There’s either risk of injury or no risk of injury. The truth–like with many other things–is somewhere in the middle. There are “safer” ways to do things, but nothing comes without risk. It’s accepting the risks for what we do that keeps us honest and actually helps mitigate those risks through our preparation for them.
A Good Example of a Bad Example
When I came into guns in my early twenties I thought I was safe. I’d grown up like many others who assume that just because a gun has been unloaded it is therefore safe. I cringe when I look back at the things I used to do with unloaded guns. If you look hard enough you might even find evidence of those things.
Then, someone told me I was being unsafe. I was schooled on the four rules of safe gun handling and I had a decision to make. Did I reject those rules under the impression that I knew better? After all, I’d made it twenty-one years without shooting myself or anyone else. Or did I admit that I was being unsafe and adopt new rules.
A Third Option
The problem here is that most people see this as Tamara suggested, a binary problem–safe or unsafe.
The fact of the matter is I’m not going to shoot myself with an unloaded gun. I know this. You know this. But I run the risk of shooting myself with a gun I think is unloaded. Therefore, it is safer if I don’t point guns at myself.
I changed my practices and I don’t point guns at my own appendages any more.
I do, however, accept the risks that having guns in my home and carrying them around with me is an acceptable risk.
When people say things like, “I’m safe” or “it’s safe.” What they are attempting to convey is that they are in a state of safety and there is no risk. When we accept that there is always a risk by the nature of the activity we are participating in (in our case, gun play) we stop deluding ourselves and start protecting ourselves through safer practices.