Locked, Loaded and Ready To Go

By Kameron Court

As Campus Carry goes into effect, many people are talking about guns, but few are discussing the safety precautions they should know.

According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, as firearm safety has increased, the number of unintentional firearm-related fatalities has decreased.

Capt. Stephen Hinkle at the Texas Tech Police Department said families who have guns in their homes should teach their children how to use them.

“The more you know, the safer you are around them,” Hinkle said.

Hinkle said both of his kids know how to operate the guns in their house, and he has taught them the dos and don’ts of gun safety.

“They know where the safety is at,” Hinkle said. “They know they’re never going to put their finger on the trigger unless they’re going to use it.”

Hinkle said the first thing you do when you encounter a gun is to clear it, make sure the magazine is out, and lock the slide to the rear to make sure there is no round in the chamber. By doing this, you can avoid accidentally misfiring and harming yourself or someone else.

Matthew Rodger, a senior advertising major from Ft. Worth, Texas, said he is thankful to have been around guns his entire life because it has allowed him to understand how and when to use them.

“If someone was to break in, [I knew] where the gun was and what I was supposed to do with it,” Rodger said. “I would not have known what to do if I wasn’t taught and had them around me growing up.”

Rodger said the first thing everyone should be taught is, fake gun or not, you should never point it at someone.

“Some of the big things about safety is knowing what type of gun you have and the [ammunition] you put into it,” Rodger said.

Even if the ammunition looks like the right one to use with a certain gun, you need to check or you will risk getting scrap metal blown back into your hand, Rodger said.

“It’s not just knowing how to handle a gun, and ‘Oh, I keep it pointed at the ground. I don’t aim it. I don’t mess with people,’” Rodger said. “You need to make sure that you are actually educated.”

Ryan Aylor, a sophomore finance major from Allen, Texas, said he plans to get his concealed handgun license as soon as he is of age to help him feel safer.

“[Your parents] should definitely talk to you about why guns should be safe,” Aylor said. “Not necessarily bring you into it, but just tell, ‘Hey, you, this can be an option for safety.’”

Aylor said he always believes more people should be educated about guns because it would decrease their fear of them.

“If people are more educated about it, I feel like less people would worry about it because they would know how to react or what to do in a situation of crisis,” Aylor said.

Although Tech is not currently offering gun safety training, it will in the future, once Campus Carry is in place. Until then you can get more information on the Tech police department website.

Gun Safety Statistics from the National Shooting Sports Foundation. Graphic made by Kameron Court.

Gun Safety Statistics from the National Shooting Sports Foundation. Graphic made by Kameron Court.

About JOUR 4350

JOUR 4350 is the multiplatform news delivery class, which is the capstone class for journalism majors within the College of Media & Communication.

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