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As Long as We Remember...

February 11, 2013

Gun Safety in Maryland

Steven R. Berryman

Marylanders demonstrated their appreciation for gun ownership in Annapolis last Wednesday. The Washington Post reported that in Maryland politics rarely had it seen such a large crowd to oppose any proposed legislation.


Of course, this should have been a page-one story, but then again, consider the venue.


It seems that the kind of gun safety Marylanders seek is not represented by the whims and capriciousness of one Gov. Martin O’Malley, who is essentially grandstanding in his copycat legislation to ban “assault rifles” and 20-round magazines, presumably clutching the coattails of the Obama gun grab in order to pre-position himself in a run for the White House.


“Gun Safety” in Maryland begins with an unfettered right to own and maintain whatever firearms citizens already possess. It continues with an expected right to pass firearms down their lineage without imposed traps or licensing requirements. Gun safety means that an expectation to purchase additional firearms without duress at some future circumstance shall not be denied on fanciful grounds!


Should a period of civil unrest present itself, should financial cutbacks in the police presence lower their ability to protect us, should some natural disaster return us to a state of martial-law, should neighborhoods continue to decline in the process of a comprehensive immigration reform allowing gangs, we will want good guns.


Should our safety be threatened enough for our own Department of Homeland Security, in the middle of budget constraint, decide to hoard a billion rounds of hollow-point (exploding) pistol ammunition for domestic use, be concerned! This fact has been reported but not explained for months now.


Our Constitution’s Second Amendment in fact explicitly expects citizens to be prepared, to be self-sufficient should the need arise, and even to form a militia as needed.


Chuck Jenkins, the sheriff of Frederick County, has stated as much recently. He also has continued to warn us of the potential blood loss by citizens clutching guns, as well as by law enforcement, in the process of a confiscation effort.


I trust people who trust themselves enough to own firearms. I belong to the National Rifle Association (NRA) for the right reasons. It is the largest gun safety and training organization in the world. It agrees that laws about protecting citizens should have more to do with gun safes and personal responsibility than punishing freedom lovers for the wrongs of criminals!


As an NRA member (on and off) since the early 1980s, here’s what I’ve learned about real “gun safety.”


·       Secure your firearms. Have a gun safe. Have it in an unknown or disguised location if possible.


·       Store your firearms unloaded. Have a trigger lock attached to guns even in the safe, as a second line of defense.


·       Store all ammunition in a separate location and under separate lock and key.


·       The exception to this is the high quality, quick-release home safe for personal defense. It should be high off the ground and away from children, in a disguised location. The hammer should be down, and no bullet in the chamber of an automatic firearm. Check frequently for tampering.


And the real gun safety resides in handling practices. Follow these rules ALWAYS:


·       In Maryland, NEVER transport a firearm to a range unless ammunition is in a separate locked area of your vehicle, such as a trunk. Any gun magazine must be unloaded.


·       Always treat any firearm as if it were loaded, EVEN WHEN YOU KNOW IT IS NOT.


·       Never point any firearm at anything that you don’t intend to shoot!


·       Keep your trigger finger out of the trigger guard UNTIL YOU INTEND to shoot.


·       Lastly, anyone training to use a firearm must be fully instructed by a qualified person beforehand.


I trust the people who have learned to respect the real gun safety issues, not the ones imposed by a politically motivated government that does not trust its citizens and their unalienable rights.


Want to tamper with my rights? Then be prepared to hold a Constitutional Convention. Until then, expect some clutching!


For more, see


Woodsboro - Walkersville Times
The Morning News Express with Bob Miller
The Covert Letter

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