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The McCloskeys Broke the Rules

My name is Jon Gold and I’ve been a firearms instructor for 20 years. I train over 40 hours per year, and have been trained by extremely capable NRA firearm instructors and police officers. After watching the viral video of the McCloskeys waving their firearms at Black Lives Matter protestors in June, it is clear to me that they broke all of the rules of responsible gun ownership and safe firearm handling.

“Their fear outweighed their reason, and their actions endangered their own lives and the lives of others. As a responsible gun owner, I find that reprehensible.”

The McCloskeys also spoke at the first night of the Republican National Convention, where they claimed that the Democrats and Joe Biden will abolish the suburbs. “Make no mistake,” said Patricia McCloskey, “no matter where you live, your family will not be safe in the radical Democrats’ America.”

At the convention, the McCloskeys claimed that they were the victims, but as a responsible gun owner, I know that owning a firearm and pointing it at others means holding the power of deciding life and death in an instant. Once your finger pulls the trigger, you can never take back the lethal force that is unleashed.

Responsible gun ownership is important to me, and that is why I am the president of the Michigan chapter of Giffords Gun Owners for Safety. We are a group of hunters, sport shooters, and collectors who believe it’s possible to prevent gun violence, while also supporting the Second Amendment. Our coalition is moderate and diverse, and the goals are to reduce gun violence, shift the culture, and promote responsible gun ownership.

There are four golden rules that I taught as a firearm instructor and that all firearm owners must follow to not risk the lives of themselves or others:

  1. All guns must be treated as if they are always loaded.
  2. Never point the gun at anything you are not willing to kill, maim, or destroy.
  3. Never put your finger on the trigger before you are prepared to shoot.
  4. Always be sure of what you are shooting at. You are responsible for every bullet that you fire from your gun.

Watching the video, it was clear to me that the McCloskeys broke these rules. By brandishing their weapons outside their home, they put the lives of others—not to mention their own lives—at serious risk. Patricia McCloskey clearly has her finger on the trigger in the video, and waives her weapon around in a way that could have caused an accidental discharge. Mark McCloseky aims the barrel of his weapon at others, and points the muzzle directly at his wife.

Their fear outweighed their reason, and their actions endangered their own lives and the lives of others. As a responsible gun owner, I find that reprehensible.

I hope that other responsible gun owners saw what I did, and felt the same revulsion. I joined Giffords Gun Owners for Safety to organize other responsible gun owners. Carelessness with firearms is inexcusable, and responsible gun owners need to take the lead in the fight against gun violence.

If you are a responsible gun owner or know one, please join us at Together, we will promote responsible gun ownership and help end the epidemic of gun violence in this country.