Yes, the Second Amendment protects our right to keep and bear arms, but with every right comes tremendous personal responsibility. This is especially true with firearms.

Responsible Gun Ownership is Life-Changing

Buying a gun should spark a serious change in your lifestyle. Everything about that gun now requires serious consideration. Let’s make a quick list:

  • Have you followed all the federal, state and local laws to ensure that you legally acquired and possess this firearm?
  • Do you have a safe place to store the firearm in your home?
  • Have you found competent and effective trainers to help you safely along your journey?
  • Can you safely load and unload your firearm?
  • Do you have the right gear to ensure that you can safely and effectively carry your firearm?
  • What are the laws in your jurisdiction regarding where you may carry the gun?
  • Do you know the laws in your jurisdiction concerning the use of deadly force?

Did you notice that we have not even gotten to the point of firing your new gun? Everything on that short list above carries a risk of jail time, serious injury or death. And we have not even gotten on the range to fire the first round yet.

I have said for years that you can’t just buy a gun, strap it on your hip and think that everything will be fine. Gun ownership changes your world and, as such, should inspire great changes in how you act. Buying a gun means you have accepted the responsibility that comes with it. That responsibility is yours 24 hours a day and extends not only to what you do but also to how you think and where you go.

Make Good Decisions

When it comes to how you think and where you go, consider this axiom: Don’t do stupid things with stupid people in stupid places. When you possess a gun, your every decision becomes all the more serious. Don’t ever go anywhere with your gun that you wouldn’t go without your gun.

Please, don’t let these warnings dissuade you from buying and carrying a gun. I want you to be a responsibly armed American. Notice that “responsibly” comes before “armed.” When we do this correctly, everyone is safer. But we can never ignore the rules or put our responsibility aside. Carrying a gun is serious business.