Hays plans safe shooting program Perhaps I was a bit too optimistic and naive when I thought this program might be a good idea. Education is a great thing, and I feel that helping to educate our fellow gun owners on safety is a good thing as well. However, I have my suspicions that this new "Shoot Safe" program might ultimately be used to push future county firearms regulation or gun control policies. Honestly, I have really come to the conclusion that it is almost never a good idea for programs like these to be run or influenced by politicians. This should be purely a priority of citizens that have no investment other than the desire for public safety, not those whose reelections may be dependent on it. One thing that concerns me is there seems to be a lot of focus on gun locks, possibly at the detriment of personal responsibility. Technically speaking, no one should need a gun lock as they should already know better than to be unsafe with a firearm. If they don't than they should certainly learn to be safer. That is sort of a utopian and unrealistic view I realize. My only point is that I feel personal and individual responsibility should always be paramount. Things like gun locks should always be secondary in assisting towards that goal. I completely understand if someone wants to have gun locks on a majority of their guns, especially if their are children present in the house. You never really know what idle little hands might end up doing. However, at the same time gun locks are unrealistic for firearms that people intend to keep at the ready for home defense. It has been proven many times over the years that, under extreme duress, a human being's fine motor skills generally degrade which makes unlocking things like gun locks extremely hard. It is my fear that, should this program be used in the future to push new county regulation, that mandatory gun lock usage could become a regulation that is pushed. From what I've seen so far, Judge Liz Sumter and Commissioner Karen Ford seem to have a good head on their shoulders. It is my understanding that they were both against and voted against the firearms discharge regulation that Commissioner Jeff Barton proposed earlier in the year. However, I think one thing is clear. The next time elections come up we need to really work to get this Jeff Barton guy voted out of office, and some one else voted in that actually respects individual rights. I think it is quite clear, from the quote in bold above, that Commissioner Barton has one goal, and that is firearms regulation. So far nothing detrimental to our individual rights has happened as a result of this shoot safe program. Though they did only just unveil it this past Saturday so it is still in it's infancy. I will remain hopeful that it stays that way and provides nothing but some possibly well needed education to individuals that may not know any better. However, I will still be keeping my eyes out to make sure things don't start heading in the wrong direction. I should also reiterate that this program was only just publicly unveiled this past Saturday, August 30th. Posting this only 3 days after it's unveiling is probably a bit premature. I'm sure most involved in this program only have the best intentions at heart. Even with the best intentions at heart, I feel it is necessary that we remain ever vigilant in protection of our civil/individual rights as there are too many out there that might end up trampling on them (whether intentional or unintentional) with "the best intentions" at heart.