COVID-19 Corona Virus has made a dramatic impact to our great nation. Stores closing, social distancing, and the overall lack of real human interaction. Some businesses were deemed "essential" while other were not. What qualified some as essential and some non-essential remains a mystery to me as I am sure most of the businesses would deem themselves necessary.
This pandemic has been called a sham by some, and the new plague by others. Is it perception that makes our reality or is it more than that? Why do some believe it is government over reach and others believe it is Armageddon? Face masks, sanitizer, distancing and hoarding of basic supplies all made us realize how unprepared we really are and how unprepared we are to be responsible (even baby wipes and formula were raided.)
Firearms are also on the list of hoarding items. Interestingly, there were over 2 million firearms sold in the month of March alone as fears of the virus spread. Ammunition was also gobbled up and now it i scarce to find almost anywhere- even online.
The mass sale of firearms begged the following questions: How many of these people purchased these guns are first time gun owners? How many actually cared what caliber they got? How much training- if any- do these people have? Is this the first time this person held a gun? Do they plan to carry these guns? What is the overall level of experience on average? What does basic experience entail? This concerned me greatly as a professional instructor- there is a great gap between new owners and experience.
In all honesty- there is a significant chance that the majority of these guns being sold went into hands that are untrained. This is absolutely alarming because many whom are untrained don't know the basic rules of engagement or any real legal parameters for that matter. As I was in a local store recently, I began a discussion with another gentleman over the hoarding, panicking and overall lack of discipline people had for the most part. Small talk continued, and we noticed people running around to get the what essentials they could for this virus panic. He then told me he would use defensive force to protect his TP and sanitizer. It was clear to me that he had no working knowledge of when defensive force (including deadly force) could be used. I asked him if he was serious, and his response was yes.
While the world we live in is absolutely a dangerous place at any given time, we must practice situational awareness, proper firearm training and discipline, what the rules of engagement are and how to walk away from a fight if we can. We don't need to attend every argument or fight we are invited to. Proper training is ESSENTIAL to gun ownership. When the basic rules are broken, people get hurt or dead. It's that simple. Negligence is ALWAYS the culprit. Guns do not shoot themselves, and accidents are not it. NEGLIGENCE is it.
So PLEASE- IF you are a person that ran out a bought a gun recently- that's great! S.A.F.E. is always a supported of the 2nd Amendment and we believe in people's rights to own a gun. But the BIGGER ask is this- LEARN HOW TO USE IT! Don't wait until you are in a situation to figure out what to do. That is the same as being ready to click your seat belt before a crash, but you don't know when the crash will happen. TRAIN TRAIN TRAIN! Get quality instruction and be RESPONSIBLE! Keep in mind- you own that bullet when you press the trigger until it comes to rest. No matter if it is in a berm, indoor gun range, bad guy, or innocent bystander- YOU OWN IT UNTIL IT COMES TO REST!
So please- Be Armed, Be Prepared, Be Responsible. For everyone's sake.