Sheriff's Office: Guns and roses (maybe that should be guns and safety)
by Jim Ruth Bradley County Sheriff
Jan 12, 2014 | 1711 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Our readers know that I have taught gun safety to thousands of people at our gun permit classes. I am a strong advocate for our right to bear arms. I have been a victim of being shot with a rifle, so I have knowledge of the feelings of a shooting victim as well.

That fact sort of firms up my strong opinion that people should own a gun for self-protection. All of us should take the responsibility of knowing all about the firearm we carry, including its functions and safe-keeping.

This is a tradition in some families that they share with their spouses, their children, and their grandchildren about how dangerous guns can be, as well as the joys, the responsibility and satisfaction of gun ownership.

A friend told me recently that the top lawman of one of our large and dangerous cities talked of having the law-abiding citizens being armed and putting fear into the hearts of violent attackers and other criminals. This police chief was against the idea before but had recently changed his mind.

We have read in the newspapers in recent months of good, solid citizens who were able to defend themselves because of their knowledge and ability to handle a firearm. Had they not been armed they would have been dead.

A 12-year-old in a Midwestern state defended herself with a pistol. A woman saved herself and her young son in Georgia as her husband talked her through a break-in in progress over their cellphones. A senior citizen in Chicago overcame some young toughs because she had a shotgun and knew how to use it. An 80-plus year old Army veteran shot a home invader. It was also recently reported that a 95 year-old saved herself by shooting her attacker.

Recently, we have had good, solid residents who were armed to intercept burglars in progress. They were knowledgeable about the firearm they owned. One such resident captured a burglar this week as he returned home from his mother’s house next door, then held him with his firearm until deputies arrived.

I am not advocating that we become a crazed, gun-toting, trigger happy society. I do believe that responsible, law-abiding citizens who have taken the time and training about gun safety and the handling of guns sleep better at night.

The odds are that you will never be a victim of a home invasion or night burglary or even a car-jacking. But let the criminal beware as he contemplates perpetrating a crime of violence against a little, humble grandma or harmless-looking grandpa. One or both may be proficient with a .45 or 9 mm!

I believe strongly in the Second Amendment. I also feel very strongly that the gun owner must practice gun safety at all times and teach their children likewise. A child that is well-trained early on almost always carries that training into adulthood.

I love guns, my son loves guns and he in turn is teaching his 14-year-old about gun safety. She is already an established hunter. As soon as my three younger granddaughters get old enough to be interested in guns, I will do my part in teaching them gun safety.

I am always dismayed when I hear of someone being shot in a hunting accident or when cleaning a gun, or any accidental shooting.

Gun safety is always stressed when our deputies enter their basic training. Gun safety is stressed as we qualify on the shooting range. Gun safety is also stressed regularly by supervisors at roll call. It’s that important.

As a matter of fact, there is always a lot of peer pressure and comments in any group of law-enforcement people if they think one of their peers is being careless with his/her firearm.

What am I trying to say here? I believe that it is good for law-abiding residents to own guns. I also believe that we, as gun owners, should go the extra mile with the practice of gun safety.

Thanks for reading.