Wednesday, April 1, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Learning gun safety as a rite of passage

scott column sig

By
From page B5 | August 09, 2014 |

Gun control is a subject about which reasonable people may differ. Perhaps we can all agree, however, on the importance of respecting guns and avoiding firearm-related accidents.

I was reminded of gun safety by the recent shooting death of a Santa Rosa youth who was walking down a street with a plastic assault weapon toy, only to be gunned down by a sheriff’s deputy who mistook the toy as a real gun.

My 10-year-old son’s desire to eventually attend the Air Force Academy also got me thinking about firearms. He became an enthusiast, with regard to guns and planes, seemingly overnight.

Although I tried to teach him a few things about gun safety, I realized that I was not really up to the task in terms of my own knowledge. So we elected to take a gun safety course together.

It turned out to be a great investment of time and energy. Our teachers were expert marksmen and security experts, with extensive training and credentials. We met at a private gun range.

In the course of a couple of days, we learned how to load, unload and fire handguns and rifles. We employed hearing and vision protection. By the end of the course, we had been exposed to a variety of rifles, from the .22-caliber Remington Score Master, to a military-style M-4. Similarly, we learned about handguns, from a .22-caliber Smith & Wesson, to the more powerful 9mm Glock.

To be sure, a couple of days on a course does not render one an expert. But we learned a lot.

Safely interacting with weapons was a consistent theme.

Medical societies, by and large, take a dim view of firearms. A study in Annals of Internal Medicine by Butkun, published this year, reported that 85 percent of internists view firearms as a public health issue, and 76 percent favor stricter gun control legislation.

The Journal of Trauma, in an article by Hepburn published in 2006, cited declining rates of accidental death due to firearms among children. Child access prevention laws were cited as contributing to this decline, and the authors suggested felony prosecution of those who did not safeguard their weapons from child access.

Betz, writing in Emergency Medicine Clinics of North America, in 2007, cited accidental injury as the No. 1 cause of death from age 1 to 44 years in the United States.

Falls, motor vehicle accidents, drownings and shootings were specifically cited as areas of concern. As recently as 1998, 19 percent of American families reported having a loaded and unlocked gun in their house. Homicide is the No. 1 cause of death among African-Americans ages 10 to 24 years, and ranks No. 2 among Hispanics in that age group.

There is no doubt, therefore, that emergency physicians, trauma surgeons and public health advocates may legitimately harbor concern with regard to guns in American society. The role of legislation in addressing these concerns remains a matter of debate.

Speaking for myself only, I think teaching my son how to handle firearms in a respectful manner was a good idea. In a similar manner, we taught our kids to be safe around water when they were quite young, as drowning is a leading cause of accidental death in young children.

Women, I am told, are under-represented in the gun-shooting community. My wife and I are considering whether a similar gun training course for my daughter and her might, therefore, make some sense. Ultimately, however, these are family decisions. I am not advocating for any particular course of action, nor for any specific political position.

This limited experience at a gun range reminds me, in a humbling way, of the old adage, “The more you know, the more you realize how much you don’t know.”

Scott T. Anderson, M.D. (email [email protected]), is a clinical professor at UC Davis Medical School. This column is informational and does not constitute medical advice.

Scott Anderson

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 3 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • BobAugust 09, 2014 - 6:28 am

    Gun safety was a course in high school, I've built gun ranges for this program in the schools. The ranges may still be there, just buried behind walls

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • PornacAugust 09, 2014 - 6:59 am

    We should all be packing. It would help take care of many of our problems.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • CD BrooksAugust 09, 2014 - 7:18 am

    If you're going to have guns in the home a gun course would certainly be recommended. Because if you have guns the kids know where they are and how to get them out, bet on it! If you have guns "for protection" and keep them locked up then what is the point really? We constantly talk to our grand kids about a scenario where they might be playing with a friend and all of a sudden they produce a weapon like a real gun and what they should do. Future play dates will be highly scrutinized and probably best spent at ours or our kids home for absolute assuredness there would be no such occurrences. We talk about playing out side with a toy gun when the cops show up and what they should do. For us, we have decided having no real guns in the house and not having or playing with anything that remotely resembles a real gun is the best answer.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

Records detail shooting victim’s court history

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A1, 31 Comments | Gallery

 
Vallejo youth wins county spelling bee

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
25th annual Rush Ranch Open House on April calendar

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A2

Saturday Club schedules Shower of Flowers event

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
 
 
Vacaville to break ground for new fire station

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A4

Symphony opportunity, scholarships available

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A4

 
City manager begins State of the City talks

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A4

Searchers find 84-year-old missing nearly a day

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Free Healthier Living workshops begin this week

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A5

Music teachers receive program grants

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A5

 
 
Group plans Haiti missions fundraisers

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A6, 2 Comments

Travel presentation ready to roll in Vacaville

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A6

 
Vallejo woman hit, killed by vehicle

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A6

Workshops offer information on child support process

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A6

 
Water park to host first Easter egg hunt, swim

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A6

Helen Mirren film set for debut

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B9 | Gallery

 
Frazier to deliver keynote at Solano EDC event

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: B10

WIB to host regional career fair

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: B10 | Gallery

 
Fairfield police log: March 29, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A14

Fairfield police log: March 28, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A14, 2 Comments

 
Suisun City police log: March 29, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A14

Suisun City police log: March 28, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A14

 
Man struck by car, injured

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A14

.

US / World

Papers receive emails from people claiming to be kidnappers

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Police: Man, woman found dead after medical office shooting

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Endangered bighorn sheep moved to Yosemite, Sequoia parks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7 | Gallery

Family: Man dead at Hollywood Hills home is Andrew Getty

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Tuskegee Airman Leslie A. Williams dies in California at 95

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

California man attemps Guinness record as oldest pilot

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
3D print technology provides ‘robohand’ to 7-year-old girl

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7 | Gallery

Defense rests in 1st phase of Boston Marathon bombing trial

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
State Department found 4 emails about drones sent by Clinton

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Woman charged with stabbing boyfriend after salsa argument

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Police: Prisoner who stole gun, fled hospital found in DC

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

US releases military aid to Egypt, cites national security

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Indiana governor wants changes to religious-objections law

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Dress-wearing man killed by NSA police had lengthy record

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Exercising critically ill patients may help speed recovery

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

Transportation strike shuts down Argentina

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Nigerian troops prevent Boko Haram attacks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

Iran nuke talks extend past deadline

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Relief program paid millions for ‘flawed’ work

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Buhari defeats Goodluck Jonathan in Nigerian election

By The Associated Press | From Page: A15

 
.

Opinion

Rebuild Gaza to avert next war

By Former President Jimmy Carter | From Page: A13

 
Reid’s US Senate legacy: Obstruction

By Jennifer Rubin | From Page: A13, 20 Comments

State moves up national school spending chart

By Dan Walters | From Page: A13

 
.

Living

Today in history: April 1, 2015

By Maureen Fissolo | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: April 1, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: April 1, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B7

 
Should we sent wedding invitations to relatives we know can’t come?

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B7

Dressing up spring asparagus with an easy brown butter sauce

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
 
.

Entertainment

Olympic champ Gabby Douglas’ family to get reality show

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B9

‘General Hospital’ leads Daytime Emmy nominations

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
.

Sports

 
Randle sets record, leads Stanford past ODU in NIT semis

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Vanden’s Orme strikes out 16, tosses no-hitter

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

 
Prep boys golf preview: All 4 city teams are young

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B1

Short-handed Miami rallies to beat Temple 60-57 in NIT semis

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
US gives up another late goal in 1-1 tie at Switzerland

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

NASCAR finds Ryan Newman’s race team for manipulated tires

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Patriots owner: Aaron Hernandez told me he was innocent

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Raiders release DT Antonio Smith

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Tennessee hires former Texas coach Rick Barnes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Thunder star Kevin Durant has bone graft surgery

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey showing off versatility

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

NASCAR driver Kyle Larson released from hospital

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Barry Zito’s scoreless streak ends; A’s beat Angels 13-10

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Cubs will track noise so Wrigley rehab doesn’t disturb fans

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Lincecum pitches into 6th in Giants’ win over Rockies

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

AP’s Run to the Roses: Mubtaahij No. 8; Dortmund still No. 1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Michigan State title would be worth $1 million to Vegas man

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

AP study projects average MLB salary tops $4M

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
University of North Dakota begins campaign to find nickname

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Judge rules Ernie Banks will is valid

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Kentucky’s platoon system gives way to traditional rotation

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Chris Mullin returns home to coach St. John’s

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Soccer player at center of search killed crossing LA freeway

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Frozen Four will be old home week for BU coach David Quinn

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Rio Olympic tickets go on sale despite football uncertainty

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Tiger Woods plays practice round at Augusta

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
.

Business

Online craft retailer Etsy preps for IPO

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
Many trucks being driven beyond designed top speed

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

Buffet expected to buy dealerships

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
San Bruno supports higher fine

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

Google to release their cheapest laptop yet

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
Several charged in Medicaid shoe fraud

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

Fast food organizers expand their campaign

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
.

Obituaries

Carlos Penados

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Gordon Davis

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7