RAW: Firearm Safety & Education for Mental Health Professionals


Firearm Safety. I would say Colonel Jeff Cooper did a great job of creating Firearm Safety Rules and Gun Handling Rules. The rules that he created and let the world rape over and over again were great for his time and is still generally a good thing now. I say this because they has been a lot of lives saved by the creation of these Firearm Safety Rules.


However, I think that there is still more to be done. The reason I say this is because I hold the position that Firearm Safety may need to be re-articulated from a different perspective that is more relevant in the applied sense to the common man. This is not to say that the 3 or 4 Cardinal Firearm Safety Rules are not comprehensive: because they are (sort of). But I think that they need to be more exhaustive when it comes to presenting them to every day people.

Again we all should know the 3 or 4 Cardinal Safety Rules that were invented by Colonel Jeff Cooper and not the NRA which are as follows:


  • All guns are always loaded

  • Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy

  • Keep your finger off the trigger till your sights are on the target

  • Identify your target, and what is behind it

In short these Firearm Safety Rules are OK in a general sense, but these Firearm Safety Rules need to be reexamined and rearticulated in depth so to speak because as these Firearm Safety Rules as they stand are no where near comprehensive in nature, let along completely relative to the common man. What I mean by that is these rules are not as clear as you think they are.


Consequently, they are nowhere near exhaustive as they should be. This is why I chose to embark on reinventing the way in which we should educate people on Firearm Safety. Understand something, Human Beings are not mechanical creatures in which you can just say something and “poof” it just happens as if it was set in stone by a Programmer of some sort.

In contrast, Human Beings are in fact very much complex and dynamic creatures with complex and dynamic Minds in which each Human Mind generates uniquely complex and dynamic perspectives that are built upon their own individual experiences that stem from the social relationships that they have experienced throughout their lifetime. So with that said, safety is just as much subjective as it is relative. Meaning that people will receive these 3 or 4 Rules of Firearm Safety differently. Argo; there is simply no one way to receive and or teach Firearm Safety.

One of the biggest things that I thought that was missing was the fact that many presenters of Firearm Safety don't talk about the negative aspects of firearm ownership from a statistical standpoint. When the negative statistical standpoint of firearm ownership is explored in conjunction with the positive aspect it becomes a wake up call that is severely needed for many people.


In almost all of the Firearm Safety Briefings and settings that I've have to sit through whether it be High Risk Security, Law-Enforcement or Military no one has really brought up the fact of suicides and the exponentially increased risk of owning a firearm in the home as a pertains to being the main cause of serious bodily injury and or even death.

 I have also noticed, when people spoke of Firearm Safety they never really talked about the role of firearms and how they may pose a dangerous risk to children in the home which is a big determining factor for many people if they are going to decide to have a firearm in the home or not.


Moreover, I haven't heard anyone speak about the list cognitive biases that they may fall susceptible to as more and more  people seek to own firearms. Furthermore, I must also say that very rarely do I see people who deliver a Firearm Safety Briefing or Class speak about the overwhelming and challenging paradigm of Mental Health and how it may adversely affect firearm owners no matter their demographic.

Furthermore, I don't hear enough people speak about Law in its most relevant sense and how it pertains to firearm ownership during Firearm Safety Presentations. The Law and the firearm go hand in hand; you simply cannot have one without the other. But for some odd reason people barely mention The importance of reading, comprehending and actually applying the Law with their listening audience. In short, they are not too many people out there when they deliver a Firearm Safety Presentation speak about the social impact that having a firearm may have on them and the communities in which they live.


In short, I think that if people who deliver Firearm Safety Presentations only approach the firearm from a mechanical standpoint while ignoring the big picture. When this happened I find that they are doing an extreme disservice to their listening audience.

This is not to say that everyone who espouse Firearm Safety Rules to a listening audience engages in a mediocre presentation (I’ve seen some good ones). But, not only are they overshadowed by mediocre presenters that are not as thorough or as extensive or as comprehensive as they should be.


But from what I've seen a vast majority are no where near as exhaustive in their efforts to ensure that their listening audience fully comprehends both the pros and cons of firearm ownership as it comes to not only owning but the maintaining and operating a firearm in conjunction with the Law and the social impact firearm ownership will have on the greater society at large.

I say that because from what I've seen most people who deliver Firearm Safety Briefings and Presentations are "too Pro-Gun": meaning that their delivery becomes too skewed towards promoting gun ownership. Instead, I will once again take the touch and lead the way into a new paradigm shift in the realm of Firearm Safety and Education.


So with that said, during VODA Firearm Safety and Education Sessions I will be speaking on the reality of gun ownership and how it may positively and negatively affect the owner while encouraging the owner to incorporate their own individual perspectives.


Hence, this will allow them the time out to self reflect and exercise critical thinking so that they may in turn form their own judgements and draw their own conclusions to find out for themselves if actually owning and operating a firearm will be beneficial to them based upon the evidence of the pros and cons being presented in regards to firearm ownership.


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