Today my sister shared an article about yet another kid accidentally shot and killed when he discovered his parents’ hand gun. It makes me ill to read about these tragedies. I can’t even imagine how the parents of these children must feel; guilt, devastation, sorrow, more guilt. How do you ever get over that?
We don’t currently own a gun. But many of our friends and family members whom we visit often do. Every time I hear these stories in the news I think about the guns in your environments. Some of the guns are in safes, some of the guns are unloaded and hanging on display, but some of the guns I just don’t know about. These are the guns that scare me the most.
Here is my advice to you, should you ever decide to own a gun: Don’t hide guns. Kids will always find it. They will find your liquor, your porno, your diary – and they will find your gun too. I promise you they will.
Put your guns in a safe and then talk to your kids and any kids that visit your home regularly about the gun and the safe. Tell them what a gun is for and what it is NOT for. Tell them how it works so that if they ever find one, they know what not to touch. Tell them why it is important to keep it in the safe. Don’t make it any more tantalizing than it already is by hiding it or keeping it a secret. Education saves lives.
Tell the parents of visiting children that you have a gun. Chances are they will ask you where it is and if it is secure. Chances are they might just have their first conversation ever with their kids about gun safety and that might safe a life.
Owning a gun is a personal decision. Teaching our children about being safe around guns is a responsibility. No more tragedies.