Ugh. I detest New Year’s resolutions. I really do. In fact, I don’t think I’ve EVER made a list of resolutions of any kind. It’s not that I’m afraid of them or afraid of not living up to them; I just find them kind of lackluster, clichéd and confining.
Of course, traditionally, a New Year’s resolution is supposed to involve a person resolving to change something — usually an undesired trait, a bad habit or some unhealthy behavior — or to accomplish something (such as a personal aspiration, a work goal or some overall life improvement). Either type of task is pretty admirable. And the start of each new year is an ideal opportunity to reflect on the 365 days we’ve just experienced and to look forward to a brand-new revolution around the sun. It’s the “fresh start” mentality, and it’s not altogether a bad thing.
Since this is day No. 1 of a brand-new year, I figured some resolutions were worth consideration in addition to (or possibly in substitution for) the all-too-familiar “lose weight,” “quit smoking” or “organize the garage.” Here are seven worthy pledges that all gun owners should add to his or her list for 2019.
1. Carry your gun consistently.
If you’ve made a commitment to the concealed carry lifestyle, then take it seriously! And be sure to carry your gun whenever and wherever you can. Be consistent … and be ready. As the saying goes, it’s better to have your firearm and not need it than to need it and not have it.
2. Be more situationally aware.
Effective situational awareness is really the most important part of staying safe, no matter where you are or what you’re doing. So put down that little technological box and pay attention to your surroundings. Live each moment and be present in the now! There could be cues or clues that something bad is about to happen, and being observant could give you the extra time you need to steer clear or make a quick exit.
3. Stay informed and be active.
Representatives come and go. Laws change. And some people out there are hoping that Second Amendment supporters aren’t paying close attention to those differences or to the proposed modifications. So be sure to stay up to date and current, both locally and nationally. Ask questions. Research. Know what’s happening and how your voice can make a difference for you and quite possibly for the entire gun community.
4. Train better … and more often.
Look for free classes, local classes and highly recommended classes that fit into your calendar and your budget. Seek out reputable instructors, read books and articles, watch YouTube videos, take up dry-fire practice, participate in competitive shooting matches, and take a variety of courses — from defensive firearms to first-aid essentials. Prioritize training and practice and put it regularly on your 2019 calendar … right now! And don’t make excuses not to train.
5. Take someone new to the shooting range.
If we want people to continue to support our right to keep and bear arms, we can’t let the education, the appreciation or the perpetuation of firearms training, safety and shooting sports end with us. It’s imperative that we share this knowledge and information with others … and get more people involved. So take a new shooter to the range. Train a child. Invite a family member. Shoot with a friend. Look around you and see how many people you can introduce to safe and responsible firearms during this brand-new year.
6. Take care of your firearms.
Clean firearms are happy firearms. And unless you have an ultrasonic cleaner, which practically does all the work for you, this involves a little time and energy. Be sure to clean your guns after you use them … and even when you don’t. Ensure that your guns, your ammo and all your gear is well-maintained and won’t let you down when you need it. Additionally, remember that taking care of your firearms means more than maintenance alone; it also means storing them properly and safely. Be sure to keep guns out of the hands of unauthorized users, especially children.
7. Take care of yourself.
You are going to be better at training (and harder to victimize) if you take care of yourself. And that involves both mental and physical wellness. Make sure that you have the right mindset for being safe and responsible with firearms. And, whatever the specific goals might look like for you, be sure to put some extra effort into staying healthy and fit this year.
Happy New Year, everyone! May you enjoy a productive, wonderful and blessed 2019.