Thanksgiving is just a few days away.
For me, Thanksgiving is the time of year when I take stock of my situation, and – more to the point – all the things that I have to be thankful for. I have been truly blessed. I have many things for which to give thanks, and I hope that you do too.
One of the things that I am thankful for are the folks who read this blog. I am grateful for your readership, your comments, and your feedback. And when you like one of my goofy shooting challenges . . . well, that’s the icing on the cake. So thank you, and keep reading!
The year is rapidly rolling toward the holiday season, and with visions of new airguns dancing in my head, I expect that some of you will receive new airguns for Christmas, and some of you will give new airguns for Christmas. With that in mind, I feel honor-bound to remind all of you that as airgunners our first concern should be for safety.
The basics are pretty simple:
- Never point an airgun at anything you don’t want to see broken or destroyed, injured or killed . . . ever.
- Treat all airguns as loaded even when you “know” they are not.
- Keep your finger out of the trigger guard until ready to shoot and when you are loading your airgun.
- Shoot at a pellet trap or other safe backstop. Don’t use a hard backstop with BBs.
- Make sure everyone on the firing line is wearing eye protection.
- If you are hunting or controlling pests, make certain you know where your pellet will go if you miss. If you are not certain, don’t pull the trigger.
The following is special to parents or anyone else who is involved with children shooting airguns.
Airguns are not toys. They are real air rifles and air pistols and can be dangerous if not handled properly. Your child needs to understand the difference between an airgun and a toy gun is like the difference between a toy car and a real car.
Remember and observe the number one rule of airgun safety: never, ever point your airgun at anything you don’t want to see a hole in, including any person, any animal (except for hunting) or someone else’s property. When the airgun is not aimed at an appropriate target, keep it pointed in a safe direction, such as at the ground.
If you have any doubt that your children and anyone who is with them will observe Rule One, supervise their shooting. If you are not completely certain that they will always handle the airgun safely, supervise them, regardless of age.
Supervision means being close enough to control or redirect the airgun if it is pointed in an unsafe direction. It only takes a moment for a mishap to occur. Be close enough to prevent that from happening – no more than an arm’s length away.
Maintain control of the airgun when it is not being used, including at the beginning and end of each shooting session. Don’t load it and leave it unattended. Store your airgun, unloaded, where it cannot be used by curious youngsters or unauthorized persons. Store the ammunition separately.
Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.
- Jock Elliott