Safer (or better trained)

While gun sales have been sky-rocketing in recent years.  Accidental injuries due to firearms has been steadily declining. Howard Nemerov discusses the trend over at the Philadelphia


“Between 1984 and 2006 (latest data available) the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recorded a 69.6% drop in the rate (per 100,000 population) of accidental firearms fatalities. During the same time period, the accidental non-firearms fatality rate increased 7.9%. Moreover, in 1984, accidental shootings accounted for 1.8% of all fatal accidents; by 2006, firearms comprised 0.5%, a 71.4% drop.”

But what I find really fascinating is the “WHY”

Why have accidental firearm injuries decreased when the general trend has shown an increase. I believe the answer is simple, one word – T-R-A-I-N-I-N-G

In the past, most of what people knew about gun handling came from association. Passed down from father and grandfather to son.  Formalized training being pretty much reserved for police and military.  WII, Korea & Vietnam resulted in a great many being introduced to firearms over a steady period of about 30 yrs.    Something happened. Firearms training started to become formalized and standardized.

A handful of individuals,  the revered Jeff Cooper to name one,  started to organize what worked, what didn’t and the various elements that went with it.  They began to pass this knowledge on to others.  But the real change was that such training and philosophies were being shared beyond the military/law enforcement circles.

Common citizens started to learn, and to train, with similar principles.  Such doctrines as the “4 Laws” became common to all firearm owners. This is not to say that the 4 Laws were knew, they’ve been around for a while in one fashion or another.  But I believe we saw a change in how we learned. No longer was firearm knowledge “handed down”.  Now it was passed around. People sought out training.  Organizations like the NRA, which trains numerous law enforcement officers, helped to provide formalized methods of training new shooters.  And at some point we saw a paradigm shift.  Where more and more shooters received formalized education about firearms and firearm safety.






Published in: on October 30, 2009 at 4:30 am  Leave a Comment  

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