I recently had an experience on social media which illustrated to me just how willfully ignorant some of the general public can be about firearms and why that can be dangerous.
A friend of mine was tagged by a third person in a photo. My friend (a non-firearms owner) was holding a SIRT pistol wildly incorrectly, and had her fingers (both of them) on the trigger. She was fooling around with another woman doing silly (and unsafe) “Charlie’s Angels” poses. From the screen behind her, I assume she was at some laser pistol event that caters to groups who know nothing about firearms, but who still want to pretend to be cool and “shoot” things.
I and another fellow posted about trigger discipline. I included praise for “getting out there”, but mentioned the importance of proper grip and trigger discipline – even on a SIRT pistol.
The third person felt it necessary to point out “Just so you know – those aren’t real guns,” “So-and-so would never own or use a gun for any reason” – or words to that effect – followed by a command to “give it a rest”.
Needless to say, I did not “give it a rest”, and I was deleted and blocked.
This kind of stuff both infuriates and confuses me. So, this woman posted with multiple hearts and such how proud of her friend she was at being a badass or something – with a gun that was “not a real gun”, and who had no intentions of actually using a “real gun”, and who was doing it badly and unsafely to boot. What exactly is badass about that again?
But this is how non-gun owners often are. They want to pose and “feel” all badassy, while not doing anything to earn what they want to feel. And they are openly hostile to anyone who corrects them or attempts to teach them anything.
I’ll tell you what is badass – getting actual training with a “real firearm” and learning how to use it safely and effectively, as millions of women around the country already have.
You can claim all day that I (and the other fellow who posted about trigger discipline) were being killjoys, but I’d rather kill joy than have someone else be killed down the road in another situation because these women weren’t taught proper gun handling skills. You read about stuff like this in the news all the time.
Just because they were “only” using training pistols, is not an acceptable excuse in my opinion. If you are running one of these outfits with SIRTs, you need to teach proper gun handling skills – or you have missed an opportunity to keep ignorant people like this safe. These are teachable moments. Use them.
If she had not deleted and blocked me, I would have informed this woman that people who actually know firearms use trigger discipline out of safe habit on all sorts of objects that are “not a real gun” – including household spray bottles. I once refused to buy a novelty coffee mug with a pistol grip, because it might encourage me to use bad habits when gripping the mug. Okay yes, I guess I’m a humorless killjoy.
Because they refused to be taught otherwise, the next time one of these women runs across a handgun with a paint job, will she assume it is “not a real gun”, treat it like a toy, and then shoot someone (or herself) unintentionally? I’ll be having a private talk with my friend. The third party is apparently beyond help. The willfully ignorant who refuse to be taught are dangerous. Ignorance, when it comes to firearms, can be deadly.