A life-saving lesson

Regardless of your stance on the politics surrounding firearms, the reality is that gun ownership is a widespread occurrence throughout Shelby County and Alabama.

Many homeowners own firearms for home defense and many locals take frequent trips to gun ranges to enjoy their hobby.

For various reasons, guns are common throughout our area, and they can present a big danger to those who are untrained or careless when handling them—especially children.

Last week, Hoover Tactical Firearms partnered with Oak Mountain State Park to offer children in the park’s summer camp a lesson that could one day save their lives.

The fourth- through seventh-grade campers had a range of experience with guns: Some had gone hunting, some had been to shooting ranges and some had never seen a gun before. The class aimed to teach the campers what to do if they find a gun in a variety of scenarios, from coming across one at home to seeing a gun on the street.

The camp’s instructor, Natalia Hawthorne of Hoover Tactical Firearms, encouraged the kids to “Stop, don’t touch, go get an adult” if they ever run across a firearm. She also encouraged the kids to treat every gun as if it were loaded and never to point a gun at a person even if is unloaded.

These are lessons we could all benefit from, regardless of how comfortable we are around firearms.

“Keep it pointed in a safe direction, which is down,” Hawthorne told the campers as they passed around the training guns, instructing them to keep their finger off of the trigger and keep the gun pointed at the ground.

Too often, headlines across the nation include information about a tragedy brought on when someone did not exercise proper care and respect when handling firearms. These tragedies are easily avoidable, and we applaud Hoover Tactical Firearms and OMSP for taking steps to ensure firearm safety lessons will live on with future generations.

The editorial is the opinion of the Shelby County Reporter editorial board.