Originally posted to Facebook Notes
Some comments on a friends facebook page about guns and home safety in regards to kids got me thinking of a (true) story about a friend of my fathers. This man was dating a woman who lived alone with three teenage daughters. There was a recent number of breakins and assaults near their apartment complex and she came to him asking if he could help her get a gun so her and the girls could defend themselves. He agreed to help but on a number of conditions – basically that they do it by his terms.
The terms he laid out was that they learn as much as possible about firearms before seeking to purchase one. And that upon purchasing one they learn everything about it before firing it. And that they also learn how to fire it before putting it in their home for protection. They all agreed (mom and the three daughters).
So he began by sitting them down and explaining to all of them the various benefits and detriments to guns with various types of actions and mechanisms, clips versus cylinders, barrel length, weight, accuracy, safety features, trigger pulls, hammer drops, recoils, etc. It was unanimously decided to get a double-action revolver for a number of reasons. (they were worried about automatics due to the hard-to-pull action and the possibility of having fingers or other body parts behind the action when it auto-cycled upon firing, a double action would provide the option of manually pulling the hammer back for an easier trigger pull or doing a longer-harder trigger pull to completely cycle the action and fire the gun in an emergency. Furthermore, they could store the gun with the hammer resting over an empty cylinder to minimize accidents)
So it was decided and they went to a local gun show, and looked over various dealer’s booths and purchased and registered a double-action revolver. He then took them home and taught them everything they could ever possibly need to know about the revolver and all four of them had to demonstrate both knowledge and proficiency with a number of concepts; how to make sure it was not loaded and safe, how to take it apart and put it back together, how to properly clean it, how to properly carry it and hand it off to someone else, etc.
Once they all were satisfied with their proficiency on those concepts he told them to don some old clothes and they would all have to go to the range and learn how to proficiently and safely fire the gun, so they did. They made a full day of it and actually had some fun learning to do it, even getting in some competitions with one another as to who could shoot the straightest. They learned to shoot bench rested and freehand, and standing. They shot at 25 yards, they shot at 50 yards. All-in-all they all felt much more satisfied with their knowledge and proficiency and thus felt much more secure in their choice to get a gun for home protection.
So the man asked them to start packing up while he would go take down the last of the targets. But unbeknown to them, he reached down to grab a small brown paper bag he had sitting near his feet the entire time. As they were busy picking up the shell casings and packing up their things he went out to a distance of about 15 yards, set down a small stool, set the contents of the bag on top of the stool and removed the brown paper bag to revel a 1/2 gallon metal can with the label removed. He then walked back to the woman and the girls, some what oblivious to him in the midst of their tasks, picked up the gun and loaded a single bullet, turned and fired at the metal can.
In a split second the decision to keep a gun for personal protection vanished, for in a split second every one of them was covered from head to foot in small red specs. As everyone stood in shock he explained that what was in in the can was plain old tomato juice but that the contents of the can reacts not much unlike a human body and thus that is what they can expect if they ever actually have to use the gun for personal protection against an intruder.
The decision was made to sell the gun the following day, not because they felt unsafe around the gun but because they now realized exactly what it would mean to use it.