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Gun safety: You're doin' it wrong


Here's something that is not even a tiny bit funny: Ted Cruz casually and negligently mishandling a deadly weapon. You can watch the video, if you're craving some Cruz blah blahing about why a Republican like Sean Hannity should moderate the Republican debates, but you're not missing anything there.

What you'll want to not miss is the picture above, of Cruz demonstrating how to "accidentally" kill someone, maybe in that farmhouse not far behind him. Oops, bang bang, sorry, kid -- you're dead.

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Cruz, who so loves his guns that he supposedly uses them to fry up his breakfast bacon, is demonstrating to the kids at home exactly how not to handle a gun. Anyone who has had even a second of firearm safety training can recite the rules for you, but in case you're not one of those anyones, here they are:

  1. Treat all guns as if they are loaded.
  2. Never point a firearm at something you’re not willing to destroy.
  3. Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot.
  4. Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.

These are the rules. At all times, these are the rules. Even if you think you know better. Even if you are a licensed firearm instructor. Even if you are so sure that gun isn't loaded. Even if you are positive you're the only living creature within a 100-mile radius. Even if you're certain it's set to safety. Even if you've been shooting guns since you were knee-high. Even if, always if, every single time.

Because this guy, who killed his 11-year-old nephew, thought his gun wasn't loaded. Because this Easter Sunday churchgoer had a gun in his pocket that was not, it turns out, on safety. Because this lady shot herself dead with a gun she had "secured" in her bra holster, pointing at her head. Because this guy shot himself in the dick, and then blamed it on "a black guy." Classy!

Because this DEA agent shot himself while teaching a class on gun safety, at the very second he was telling the students:

This is a Glock 40. Fifty Cent, Too Short, all of them talk about a Glock 40, OK? I'm the only one in this room professional enough that I know of to carry this Glock 40. I'm the only one -- [BANG!]

Because of all these responsible gun owners who do not follow THEFUCKINGRULES. And that's not even including the shootings-by-toddler -- on a weekly basis nowadays, good job, America! -- whose negligently stupid parents or caretakers didn't think it necessary to keep those guns locked in safes, where they belong.

The muzzle of Ted Cruz's break-action gun is pointing all over the place -- at the buildings, at people who might be behind him, but he doesn't know because he's not looking over his shoulder -- instead of at the ground, in front of him, where he can see it. That's where you are supposed to point your gun, even if if if if and if. Always.

As a passionate gun enthusiast and advocate for completely unregulated gun ownership -- a position very few gun owners, including NRA members, agree with -- Cruz should not only know better, but he should show better. He should be a model of responsible gun ownership, not just a blowhard in a hunting costume, posing with his deadly long-arm prop and making silly ads about wrapping bacon around his dick. Sorry, “machine gun.”  That is, if he's the gun enthusiast he claims to be and has ever shot a gun when the cameras aren't rolling.

We can, and do, argue about how to reduce the number of gun deaths in America. Fewer guns, less accessible ammo, stricter background checks, stronger mental healthcare. All of the above.

But here is a FACT that is not debatable: We can reduce those "accidental" gun deaths to zero if every single gun owner in America, like Ted Cruz, follows the fucking rules. Every single time. No exceptions.

Better still if they supported legislation to require every single gun owner in America to take extensive gun safety training -- every time they purchase a gun, and on a regular basis, for as long as they own a gun, so they don't get rusty on what the rules are.

Gun rights advocates like Cruz and his fellow Republicans are not going to change any minds by blaming gun deaths on abortion or gun-free zones or (Jesus Christ) a lack of stickers. They sure as hell won't do it by blaming unarmed Jews for the Holocaust. But if they really support the right of responsible gun owners to keep and bear arms (and full disclosure, Yr Wonkette does), they are obligated to be responsible gun owners and to demand that all other gun owners do the same. The consequences of failing to do so, even for a second, can be fatal.

Ted Cruz no doubt thought that gun slung over his shoulder was unloaded and in a safe position and any number of other unacceptable excuses. For a guy who values "life" as much as he claims to, Cruz ought not be quite so casual with the lives of those around him when he's showing America the kind of shoot-em-up president he'd like to be. He ought to demonstrate the caution with that deadly weapon in his hands that is the obligation of all gun owners. We already had one vice president "accidentally" shoot a guy in the face. You'd think that would be enough.

[IndefinitelyWild via TPM]

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