Friday, January 18, 2013

Georgia home invasion mom proves need for firearms training for gun owners


First of all, Donnie Herman’s wife, Melinda, deserves praise for the courage she displayed in protecting her two children from an intruder with her husband’s .38 revolver.  Herman talked his wife through the incident while also talking to a 911 operator.  The intruder had a crowbar and was breaking through doors in the house obviously planning to do harm to anyone he encountered.  Until two weeks prior, Melinda had never fired a gun when Donnie took her shooting because he thought she should be familiar with the family’s gun.  “If he opens up the door, you shoot him!  You understand?  Donnie said.
The only way to safely own a gun
Well she emptied the six-shot revolver hitting the guy with five rounds in the torso and face, missing with one.  Well, the guy was not only able to get up, he actually got in his SUV and drove off, crashing just a short distance away.  The gun rights bunch says she needed a weapon capable of firing more rounds.  I say Melinda, and Donnie should have been required to go through strenuous firearms training just to have the .38 in the house.  If she couldn’t bring him down with five shots hitting him in the face and torso, allowing him to escape, she may never have brought him down.

I can’t drive my car without a license that I can get only if I have had sufficient training to properly operate the vehicle.  It is beyond me how they can allow an individual to own a gun without the necessary training to use it.  I did a post back in May, “Gun deaths versus car crash fatalities…who wins?” revealing from a report that gun deaths outpaced motor vehicle deaths in 10 states.  A car is designed to provide transportation from one place to another.  A gun is designed to kill.  The Hermans have two guns in their home but it isn’t clear whether that is a benefit or an obstacle to their safety.
The CNN article on this issue states, "It's more common for an armed homeowner in the United States to be a victim of suicide, homicide, assault or an accidental shooting than it is for that person to shoot an intruder," according to Dr. Arthur Kellermann, a senior health policy analyst at Rand Corporation, a non-partisan think tank.  And many experts agree, contrary to being a protection to their safety, crowds of people rush out to purchase a gun but never properly learn how to use it.  The FBI conducted about 2.8 million checks for gun purchases this past December, a record high for a month.     

Wacky Wayne LaPierre’s National Rifle Assn. (NRA) strongly opposes requiring any firearms training connected to obtaining a concealed carry permit.  As an example, the NRA objected to a requirement of only four hours training for a concealed carry permit in Wisconsin.  There is no doubt why gun control advocates just shake their heads at this kind of ignorance and complete disregard for the rights of those who don’t want to die in gun violence.  Unfortunately, some of this group reacts with apathy and the attitude that it only happens to others, not them.
As far as I can determine, only 3 states require any firearms training in connection with owning a gun.  They are the District of Columbia, Maryland and Ohio.

ThinkProgress spoke with a number of NRA members at their St. Louis convention last April and found that many supported gun safety training to acquire a concealed carry permit.  I agree with this, although I think the CC permit itself should come with restrictions based on need.  But let’s be honest, wouldn’t it be a safer America if everyone who owns a gun was forced to learn how to use it?  Remember, there are 300 million firearms on the streets of the United States.  How many owners are trained on how to use them?  My guess is a very sparse number.

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