Simple answer? Everyone. Even if you can’t stand the sight of a gun, it would do you well to be knowledgeable about them, and I’m not talking about what you learn from Hollywood or idiots like Shannon Watts, Michael Bloomberg, or any of the morons who spout “gun control” as though it were gospel.
If you are going to go spouting off about “gun safety” and try and tell me about how safe or dangerous a firearm is or isn’t, and you want to change the laws, and restrict my rights, I’m going to demand that you actually know what you’re talking about first. I want to see the certificate where you took an NRA certified gun safety course. Otherwise your opinion is about as valid as a high schooler’s ID on Spring Break.
“But guns are evil!” you say. You don’t want to be anywhere near them. If you are a Police Officer, your are going to be around guns, it just goes with the territory. But there are a myriad of other situations and scenarios where you might be forced to deal with a need to secure a gun, and make it safe. That doesn’t mean taking it from a “bad guy.” But there might be a situation where a law abiding citizen needs you to step up. Are you an EMT, Paramedic, Nurse, Doctor, Dentist, Dental Hygienist, or waiter? Do you work in public at all, like at the mall, or Wal-Mart, or anywhere that you interact with other people? Do you know CPR? If you ever leave your house, chances are you have encountered someone who carries a firearm, legally. Oh, you didn’t know that? That’s the point. Anyways, licensed carriers are not immune to everything else that befalls the human race, heart attacks, choking, car accidents, etc. We are just as susceptible as you are. So what do you do when you are giving someone CPR and realize that he has a firearm on him? Suddenly stop what you are doing and wait for the ambulance to arrive because you are afraid the gun might suddenly go off? Congratulations asshole, your supposed moral superiority might have just cost someone their life. They would help you if you needed it. What you should do is secure the firearm until the police and or paramedics show up, and then you can turn it over to them. Why? Because it’s the right thing to do. How are you going to do that if you don’t know how to operate a gun safely?
Now there’s a dilemma. How are you going to go spouting off about gun safety, if you don’t actually know anything about gun safety? You know who does? Gun owners. Those people that you are so busy spouting vitriol against have actually taken some extra precautions that you are too “holy” to apply to yourself. “But I watched an episode of Hill Street Blues once, so I know everything I need to know!” Wrong. Chances are, unless you have some actual experience with a genuine firearm, you know exactly dick. (There are rare exceptions, you are not among them.)
I’ll give you a quick rundown on how to clear and make safe both a semi automatic pistol, and a revolver. This is not a complete list, and unless you actually do it hands on, you are exactly as smart as a kindergartner when it comes to firearms.
First thing to note, if the firearm is in a holster, LEAVE IT THERE! Got that cupcake? The safest place for that firearm to be is in the holster right where it is. “But it doesn’t look safe!” See, this is why you are an idiot. That holster protects the trigger, and prevents anything from intersecting it, causing the gun to fire. Holsters don’t always look like a big chunk of leather like you saw in the movie Tombstone either. There are several different kinds, that range from giant hunks of plastic looking like what cops wear to a clip that covers just the trigger on a lanyard. If you didn’t know that, it looks like you need an education after all.
If somehow, magically, the firearm comes loose from it’s holster, (on it’s own you dumbass, not from you tugging on it), then you’ll need to secure it. Go ahead and pick up the pistol. GET YOUR FINGER OFF OF THE TRIGGER YOU IDIOT!!! It’s uneducated hacks like you that cause problems and use excuses like “it just went off!” No it didn’t. Someone put their finger on the trigger, and the gun worked as advertised. So are you going to take a class yet? No? Fine. On to the next step.
If it’s a semi automatic you’ll need to remove the magazine. There is usually a button, one the side of the grip, at the base of the trigger guard that will release the magazine. So once the magazine (if you call it a clip, we are going to have issues), is out you’re good right? Nope. And if you aren’t going to take the effort to learn about actual firearm safety by now, please do the rest of the world a favor and find a deserted island somewhere to live out the rest of your life with no further human contact. Your abject refusal to learn is a danger to society, which includes me. The last thing you need to do is to cycle the slide on the firearm to eject the round in the chamber.
If it’s a revolver, there is usually a button on the side of the frame that will release the cylinder. Typically the cylinder will flip out to the side and you can dump the rounds into a Ziploc bag to give to the proper authorities when they arrive.
If you did these steps, you may or may not have successfully unloaded a loaded firearm. Chances are not, because instead of reading it here and thinking that’s good enough, I’m going to demand that you take an introduction to firearms class from a certified professional. If you use this blog post to justify that you know what you are doing around a firearm, then you’re an even bigger moron than I thought, and your court date will be entertaining.