By Sam Hoober, Alien Gear Holsters
Have you decided to finally become a gun owner due to corona virus related fears? Well, we’re glad you finally join us, but there’s a few things you really need to learn and fast.
Under normal circumstances, we’d tell you to just go take a basic NRA gun safety course or something like that. State hunter’s safety courses aren’t too bad either; most of them include safe handling and some range time. However, things aren’t normal right now.
So let’s get started.
First, and most importantly, the Four Laws Of Gun Safety, also referred to as the Four Rules Of Gun Safety. They aren’t actually “laws” the way the National Firearms Act is a law, but it’s more that these four rules cover almost everything you need to know about how to handle and shoot a gun safely.
Treat Every Gun As If It’s Loaded
Keep Your Finger Off The Trigger Unless You’re Ready To Shoot
Never Point A Gun At Anything You Don’t Want To Destroy
Be Sure Of Your Target And What’s Beyond It
In short, treat a gun as if it’s loaded even if you know it’s not. Never trust that it’s unloaded; VERIFY that it is.
Every. Single. Time.
Don’t touch the trigger unless you darn well intend to press it. Keep your finger out of the trigger guard, preferably indexed on the frame, unless you’re about to shoot a target or a threat.
If there’s a thing or person or other living thing that you don’t want to be perforated by a bullet, don’t point the gun at it.
If you’re going to shoot, know what’s behind and around your target. Make sure there’s backstop, or that nothing or no one vital will get hit by a bullet if it passes through the target.
Get on YouTube. Watch every video you can about basic gun safety and basic handling.
Second, learn how to maintain your specific make and model firearm. You should know, at minimum, how to field strip (partially disassemble) and clean and lubricate your gun. Yes, guns need to be kept clean and lubricated. If some yokel, some putz, some doofus tells you a GLOCK or AR-15 doesn’t need to be cleaned or lubricated, they’re an idiot. Don’t listen to them.
Get on YouTube, and look up (Name Of Your Gun) Cleaning And Lubrication. Chances are you’ll find what you need. Get the necessary supplies to do so. Those Hoppes cleaning kits that go for $15 at the gun store might not be the “best” tools for the job, but they work.
Third, if you’re going to carry your gun, then get a decent holster for it.
Much discussion and argument occurs over what that is, but the basics are that a holster should retain the pistol adequately enough for you to carry it securely, the trigger guard should be fully covered, and the holster should be strong enough for you to be able to draw the pistol if needed.
We can debate the merits of various materials and designs another time. For now, that’s the minimum of what you need in a holster. If you’re buying off the gun store shelf, it’s a good idea to go with either Kydex, leather or a hybrid of the two.
Top Tip: avoid SERPA and nylon pouch holsters. Very few people who are serious about handgun proficiency use either of them. If you have no other choice that’s okay, but try to find something else.
Fourth: a related note on a handgun either for concealed carry or home defense – do not use full metal jacket ammunition anywhere except at the range. Get whatever hollow point you can. Fragmenting and/or frangible is okay too. Just not hardball, and yes that very, very much applies to .45 ACP.
On a related note, make sure you have an appropriate self-defense load for a shotgun (which is buckshot or a slug) or a rifle, which is either fragmenting/frangible ammunition or a hollow point.
Fifth: Lock your gun up when not in use. Get a safe of some sort. If you have a handgun, even a cheap lockbox is better than nothing.
If you can’t get a safe, use the cable lock that came with the gun to lock the action. If your gun didn’t come with a cable lock, get one. You should be able to find one at the hardware store. In fact, some police departments even give them away.
Lastly, with fewer gun ranges being open, train by dry firing. Get on YouTube and watch every video you can about effective dry fire practice and the basics of marksmanship.
You aren’t going to learn anything without getting some time behind the gun, but the good news is dry fire practice is free. If you can get started on honing those fundamentals, even a few minutes per day, you’ll be off to a good start.
When this is all finally over, hit the range. And remember that gun rights are civil rights, too. Unarmed people are at the mercy of those stronger and more inherently violent than they are; armed people are not. While we do all live in a society together, that doesn’t mean we must tolerate stratification of our society into those with the power to do what they will and those who must obey or suffer.
Stay safe out there, folks.
Remember that social distancing works, as that’s how we beat the Spanish flu of 1918. While the corona virus isn’t as serious as that disease, it’s deathly serious for a portion of the population who are vastly more in number than our medical infrastructure has the ability to keep alive if in critical condition.
Support small businesses however you can. They are incredibly vulnerable right now.
Wash your damn hands.
And remember to go ahead and sound off in the comments section.
Sam Hoober is a Contributing Editor to AlienGearHolsters.com, a subsidiary of Hayden, ID, based Tedder Industries, where he writes about gun accessories, gun safety, open and concealed carry tips. Click here to visit aliengearholsters.com.