R-E-S-P-E-C-T More Than Just A Hit Song

We all know the Aretha Franklin hit song and can sing it in our sleep. However, what is RESPECT? Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines it like this.

Respect –

  1. A relation or reference to a particular thing or situation.
  2. An act of giving particular attention: consideration.
  3. High or special regard: esteem.

In reference to a firearm, whether that be a pistol or rifle, I think the second definition applies more than any other does. I was talking to a potential client the other day and she was saying that she was wanting to take one of my classes in order learn the proper way of handling her firearm and learning the proper RESPECT for it.

That got me thinking. Firearms are powerful things. I don’t fear them because I understand them and know how to handle them. I know what happens when I rack the slide, point the muzzle at something and the pull trigger. I know how to keep people safe when I’m handling a firearm, prevent it from going bang when it shouldn’t, and make it go bang when it should. I do that out of habit now, but early in my career of handling firearms, I did that out of respect for the firearm. Moreover, for what could have happened if I hadn’t paid it proper respect.

If you want to understand what a firearm can do when you don’t show proper respect, just fill a 2-liter bottle with water, find a range that will allow you to use that as a target, aim and shoot at it. With most modern rounds, the bottle will just disintegrate as the bullet passes through. Alternatively, get a large block of modelling clay. Set it up as the target and make your firearm go bang. The hole created by the round in the clay will probably be big enough for you to fit your fist through without touching the sides. If that doesn’t bring home what a firearm can do, I don’t know what will.

Once you understand that, the second definition of respect will apply for firearms for you too. You should no longer just play with a firearm as if it’s a toy. You’ll always remember and practice the four rules of gun safety. You’ll give it the respect that it deserves and in turn, that will provide the other definitions of respect to those around you.

What do you think? There are many ways to show a firearm respect. How do you show respect for your firearms?