Friday, June 25, 2010

Children and Guns In The Home

We recently had some guests in our home, and one of them told me he had just got a good deal on a Glock Model 22. I said "like that one" and pointed to where we keep one of our own pistols, also a G22, and the fellow said "yeah, like that one." The storage location is not highly visible, but it is highly accessible. We very frequently have people come and go (people I trust) who never even notice it is there. The Wife of another guest seemed to be politely astonished that we would keep a gun there with the children running around loose. The woman has had (to use a euphemism) difficulty with family in times past, so she knows how to keep her opinions to herself, but I could tell she was uncomfortable. I sent the following e-mail to her Husband (names have been changed, text is verbatim).



I noted that Guestwife seemed to be concerned about the open storage of a pistol in our home. She is ever diplomatic, but I could tell she didn't care for the way we keep it. Tell her she need not be concerned. We are going with the strategy that worked for me and several other people I know who weren't killed in their childhood ;)

"handle it freely, but never play with it"

To satisfy their curiosity, when they ask, we allow our children (the older ones, not #3 yet) to handle unloaded guns until they lose interest. We don't make a big deal of their being around, and they are generally treated as other dangerous tools around the house. There is no aura of mystery about them, and no unsatisfied desire to do 'something' with our guns. Generally speaking, the children are much more interested in my screwdrivers, because they see me using the screwdrivers, whereas a gun boringly sits unused all the time. #3 just knows for now "no no for baby" and it is way, WAY out of his reach. ;)

In addition, before any handling is done, they are made to recite the Four Rules of safe gun handling, and during all handling, I am right there watching like a hawk. Plus, as he said when #2 finally got what I was driving at, they all know that unauthorized touching of guns = Big Spanks.

Finally, guns that are not being worn are stored so they require loading. The children have been tested, and none of them are strong enough to load the Glock you saw. My Darling Wife even has a little trouble with it. The main hazard with the kids and that gun is that they might drop it on a toe. No worries.



That's right people, we have guns around the house. Guns with boolits in them. The children know that these are tools just for killin' people, and they leave them alone. When I was a boy, I left my dad's guns alone for the most part, and (like my children) I knew where they were and how to operate them from before I was a teenager. People give children too little credit . . . train them properly, and they won't kill anybody. That's not to say that the occasional heart attack won't be had by guests, but I'd rather startle someone and have arms near to hand, than fail to startle an intruder with one.

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