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Guns Aren't Dangerous
You are

By: James R. Davis


Well, Okay, motorcycles. Sometimes a point can be made with an analogy.

At a recent outing at a pistol target range the instructor made an interesting point. He said that "Though we are going to have some fun today, that is NOT the highest priority here. Today you are going to learn how to handle a weapon SAFELY, and PROFICIENTLY. And when you know those things and demonstrate that knowledge EVERY TIME you touch a hand gun, THEN you can focus on having some fun with that weapon."

Some people would tell you that if you want to have fun you will not enjoy riding motorcycles with me. They would probably be correct. In the very same way that the target range instructor would not be someone you would find being fun to associate with if all you wanted to do was go out into the woods and squeeze off a few rounds, and when you are at his range you WANT him to be a 'safety Nazi', you can be sure that I am exactly that whenever I am near a motorcycle with its engine running.

'Fun' is an earned reward, to my way of thinking, and is NOT the primary justification for riding motorcycles. When you are ALWAYS in control of your motorcycle, are ALWAYS in control of yourself, understand situational awareness and management, wear reasonable protective gear, and have maintained your motorcycle with professional care, then you are, in my opinion, entitled to have 'fun'. Otherwise you are playing and having 'danger', 'thrills', 'excitement', and 'close calls' - or 'accidents'.

Please hear this simple truth: When you play with a gun and are not doing so safely or with proficiency, someone is likely to die or get seriously hurt. But that should be as nothing to you when you recognize that when you play with a motorcycle and are not doing so safely or with proficiency, unlike as with a gun, the person that is likely to die or get seriously injured is YOU.

By the way, don't be too concerned about having fun when you are riding with me. You will. Because unless you do so safely and with proficiency, I won't be riding with you at all.

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(James R. Davis is a recognized expert witness in the fields of Motorcycle Safety/Dynamics.)

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