As Human beings, our core natures consistently demonstrate apprehension and aversion to the unknown.  Fear is one of the most powerful emotions we possess, as well as a driving force in how we live our lives. This tends to originate within our very psyche, a central belief that the world can be a dangerous place and that avoiding the unknown or untested has certainly influenced many of our decisions through our lives. What we have inherited from our genetic forbearers has driven us as a species to fear the unknown, to shy away from anything foreign, and avoid uncharted territory if at all possible. In mass marketing, fear is one of the most successful selling methods as it touches on one of our most primal drives. This fear tactic is not unfamiliar to the opposition of the firearms industry. Certainly, firearms if used improperly, have the potential to be dangerous (especially in the wrong hands), however, with understanding, personal responsibility, safety and a little old fashioned common sense, a firearm can actually become a valuable tool; an instrument that can insure you and your loved ones safety if and when a dangerous situation presents itself.

Do you drive or operate a vehicle? For that matter, do you own a vehicle? If so, more than likely there was some point within your life where you were intimidated, flustered, or even feared the potential of driving or operating a vehicle. At some point you were obligated to learn, comprehend the laws and practices to successfully drive an automobile. Eventually even culminating in the taking of an exam that would ratify your learning and comprehension of safely and responsibly operating a car, truck, or motorcycle. Practicing to safely and responsibly operate a vehicle alleviated the fear of driving, developed the comfort and confidence of driving safely, secured a license to drive and gave you the ability to own a vehicle. Making a firearm a part of your life should be treated in much the same manner and respect.

One thing to keep in mind is that most of our country's population believes driving safely everyday becomes second nature and alleviates the driver's need to pay attention. This philosophy and approach is completely false. The fast paced ever changing dynamics of the modern road demands alertness, constant awareness, safety, and above all, responsible driving. Firearms are no different. Like vehicles, firearms are made a part of one's life through constant "muscle memory" and learning achieved through realistic training and rehearsal. Practice makes perfect! Practicing correctly and above all, safely with a firearm will help make owning one a positive experience. While firearms typically don't require any form of training nor any examination to purchase, own, or operate, we strongly urge you to learn, understand, and practice safe and responsible techniques associated with the ownership of your particular firearm. The fact that you are reading this lesson plan and understand your responsibilities, demonstrates a step in the right direction.

Successfully making a firearm a part of you and your family's lives is not nearly as complicated as some would have you believe, given it is being done so millions of times a day across a broad spectrum of social, economic and political ranges. Successfully mind you not. It begins with a positive introduction to them, identifying their basic functions, becoming fully aware of their operations, and accepting the moral and societal responsibilities of safely owning and utilizing a firearms(s).  Unfortunately, the Internet is permeated with a lack of accurate information, wrong or outdated information, as well as hyperbole. This is in addition to all of the negative connotations and commentaries that are commonly associated with firearms and their owners. New owners tend to feel somewhat intimidated about owning a firearm, especially when considering the ramifications that responsible ownership requires. If you are having these feelings, congratulations, you're human and in good company. With that understanding, if you take a moment to think about what this lesson plan is offering you, the responsibility associated with adopting a firearm(s) should become much less daunting.

Owning a firearm is your "Constitutional Right", secured by that most sacred of Documents "the Constitution of these United States", but this same document, does not free or alleviate you from your legal and moral responsibility. Always be looking to learn new and/ or better techniques, have respect for others, as well as your weapon and be aware of your duties as a responsible firearm(s) owner; be a positive example to others and help set a standard of what it means to be a safe and responsible "gun owner". Above all, get out there and Practice, practice, practice!!!!!!

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