Gun Safety and Children

I have a store in a neighborhood I call home so I pay attention to news about the residents—good or bad. I keep my ears open so I can be of help if need arises. We all have each other’s backs. It is a form of neighborhood watch you could say. It helps us worry less about thefts and muggings. They happen from time to time. Sometimes the perpetrator of the crime holds a gun. It is pretty scary. Speaking of weapons, I have to recount a sad story about a local child who accidentally shot himself. There is no more important topic for a blog than gun safety and children.

The incident, as tragic as it is, shouts out for the need to have all parents with small children take responsibility to store firearms unloaded and in a small gun safe. They come in all sizes, even small enough for just one pistol. Find one that will handle all weapons in the home including a rifle. They are childproof and sometimes even require a fingerprint to open. You can also use a key or a keypad as you wish. Just make sure the children in the home don’t know how to find and use the latter.

Every family should have a group meeting on the subject at which time the parents talk about the dangers of even touching what a child thinks is an unloaded gun. They often make this mistake and don’t know that there are in fact bullets inside. A dialogue could go as follows:

Parent: I will show you the gun so you know it is here, but I don’t want you to know where the gun safe is stored. I know children get interested and curious and this is not going to happen in this house. Let me tell you about the many accidents that occur with children your age, so don’t assume anything. Just stay away from the gun here or that in any house you visit. If your friend is proud of the family gun, don’t ask questions or show interest. It is best to come home at this point. Do you understand?

Children: yes, mom. But we have never seen a gun up close before.

Parent: There is no need to. If you insist, I will show you the gun to prevent you from looking for it to satisfy your curiosity. I will explain how it works and that you must never pick it up. You could set it off and hurt someone. Do you want that to happen?

Children: surely not.

Parent: good. Here it is. Have a look. This is the barrel and this is the trigger. Let’s put this to rest. Never, never let me hear that you want to show the gun to a friend or your brother.

Your own dialogue can be much different as long as you make your point and get confirmation from your children that they understand.

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