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Guns


Today’s post is more safety minded than political, so let’s not get off into politics, please. Also, I’m going to trust that those with guns know the precautions to take, so I’m not going there with this post.

To my thinking, my kids need to be taught about the things they should leave alone. I should fully explain these things, which will take away curiosity. Be it drugs, sex, or guns… it is my responsibility to explain the dangers to my children.

Both of my girls have held a variety of guns, real guns. Guns that weren’t loaded, but the girls were still instructed to hold them as if they were loaded, even though we showed them the empty chamber first. Both understand the mechanics of how the bullet (or shell) works, and how the gun fires it. GG has stood behind someone at the shooting range with her hand on their arm as they shot – so she could feel the kick and the violence. I have been remiss in not doing this for TT yet, this is a good reminder for me to make plans for that. Both have seen a gun being taken apart and cleaned and put back together. Both have seen what happens to a watermelon when you shoot it, and understand that it can sometimes do about the same thing to a head. Both understand that slamming or dropping a gun can make the firing pin drop and fire the gun – without pulling the trigger. Both understand the concept of loading the gun and not putting a bullet into the chamber until you are actually ready to fire it. Both have a very healthy respect for guns, and I am confident that 1) they aren’t going to mess with a gun without a trusted adult there, and 2) if they see another child with a gun they are going to quickly exit the area and find an adult. They will not have to decide if they are going to “tattle” or not, they have seen and heard and felt (via the kickback) what a gun can do. They aren’t going to stick around.

I’ve recently discovered that there are people who don’t teach their children what a gun is, or they just say “leave those alone”. That sounds scary to me. Even if you don’t go so far as taking them to a shooting range, I believe you should find a way to take the mystery of guns away. Everyone is curious about the forbidden fruit that they don’t understand.

Guns are a part of American society – no matter whether you think this is a good thing or a bad thing, I think we all owe it to society to teach our kids what a gun is capable of doing. This is an area where ignorance can be deadly.


 
 
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39 Responses to “Guns”

  1. britsmum Says:

    I do believe children can be taught about the dangers of guns without holding it, loading it or going to a shooting range. Just as I would not teach my kids about drugs by taking them to a crackhouse, or teach them about sex by showing it to them, I would not have my children holding, loading or being on a shooting range. My children are taught about guns with information and honest discussion without the show and tell piece. The dangers of guns are on the news everyday. Sadly my kids have seen the images of sheet covered people who were the victims of gun violence on the news. They are mostly images of victims of people who knew what they were doing with guns. My fear comes from those kids/adults who KNOW how to handle, load and shoot a gun and have easy access to them…..

  2. RumorQueen Says:

    If you don’t have friends or family in law enforcement or the military and don’t have the option for some hands on learning then the next best thing would be conversation about it, I agree with that. However, I would not expect any child to learn the dangers of guns by watching news stories about people being shot. In my experience, most kids see TV as being “not real”, we teach them that cartoons and other shows are all “make believe”, and that makes its way into their frame of reference for most of what they see on TV. Even older kids who know better, it’s not *real* to them if it’s on TV. But watching a watermelon explode before their eyes… that’s pretty real.

  3. chickensoupforchina Says:

    My dh is in law enforcement, so we do have to take gun education very seriously. We haven’t done any hands on learning with our daughter. I don’t think we plan on doing that until she’s considerably older.

  4. kms Says:

    Dad was a cop. Most the class in fact had law enforcement in the family so any house visited likely had a gun.

    We were not to give dad a hug until he put away his gun after work. Not in the room while being cleaned. Not allowed anywhere near where it was stored. This was before safes and such were so common. Not allowed to play with water guns, nerf guns, toy guns of any kind. Assume any gun is real and loaded. Hands off. Flee from it’s presence.

    If we were a hunting family different instruction would be given.

    Is it legal to allow a child to handle a handgun?

    Kristine

  5. gghadden Says:

    I agree with hand on learning, with that said….I was raised in a law enforcement family, my father, grandfather and uncles were/are police officers. My father has also been a firearms instructor since I was too young to remember when he wasn’t. I don’t think one can appreciate a firearm unless you are exposed to the feel, the weight and the sound of one firing. TV and movies make everything seem so easy when infact firing a semiautomatic weapon is not so much with all the pounds per pressure on the trigger pull after you release the safety. Being raised around firearms has given me the respect for them. I have spent many a day at the range from a very young age up to adulthood. As I grew up I would have never thought about touching or using my father’s weapons as I understood the impact of a gun. Teaching a child about the use of a firearm especially if there is one in the home is paramount. My own opinion is hands on, of course they need to be old enough to understand. Weapons must be kept in a safe and secure place with children in the home even with education.

  6. nyc_gal_123 Says:

    Hmm. I have never hold a gun myself. I don’t plan to have guns in my house or my life. I agree with teaching kids about gun safety. However, I don’t expect them to understand at young age. If you have a gun at home, then yes, show and tell them. But for me, it won’t be hands-on. Same goes with drugs…etc.

  7. Purple Monkey Says:

    Not something I’ve really thought about one way or another.

    We don’t have guns and aren’t really around people who have guns. Living in Canada now, it is not as common. My parents live in a state with a strong gun culture and they do have hunting guns but they are really just legacy gun owners — my dad went hunting with his dad and relatives when he was a kid. My Dad never did any gun education or took my brother and I to use them and he doesn’t go now. And I am only assuming the guns are in my parents’ home because they’ve been in the family for ages . . . I have no idea where/how they are stored? DH’s family doesn’t have guns.

    I’ve used guns to shoot skeet/trap and took a 6 week rifle target course. To me it is part of being interested in all aspects of outdoors (also have taken courses in map/compass orienteering and rock climbing) and just general life-skills-how-stuff-works (like being able to change a tire or rewire a lightswitch). I never thought of the need to teach the safety aspects at a young age. I assume my kids will eventually do some target shooting or ride an ATV or other dangerous outdoor stuff but I don’t think of those as being things that they might randomly encounter in day-to-day life. Maybe I am being naive.

  8. KarenInCa Says:

    We don’t have a gun yet. I’ve lived most of my 49 years believing that I didn’t need one. But now, times have changed. We are getting one this year. We were told to keep it loaded, but in a safety box, which we will do, and keep the safety box above our closet. Can’t get into the safety box without knowing the code. At first I was leery about keeping it loaded, but we were told that if anyone ever comes into the house, the last thing you will be able to think about doing is loading a gun. I like the idea of a safety box with a combo though.
    We will also be very cautious about training our girls about the safety of guns. And that the gun in our house will be off limits NO MATTER WHAT!

  9. KarenInCa Says:

    Sadly, in our area, around 5 years ago, there was a mentally retarded older child, playing with a fake hand gun that looked real, ,the police were called out, and shot the boy. One of my friends sons also had a real looking toy handgun, completely black, and I confiscated it when he came over to play once, never to be returned. I have no problem with toy guns, water guns…But, I don’t understand why parents let their children play with guns that can look SOOO real. Scary.

  10. mia08 Says:

    hmmmm…i usually agree with you on most of what you post but i don’t here. i think i can teach my child about the danger of guns without them holding it. furthermore, i would be even more concerned by allowing them to hold, it handle it, and have familiarity with it, could actually out them in more danger if they ever succumbed to a peer pressure situation at someone else’s house who had a gun.

    just my 2 cents. but everyone does what works best for their family.

    i do agree ignorance is deadly and kids need to be educated, i just think they can do so without holding a gun.

  11. RumorQueen Says:

    When accidents happen with kids and guns it is almost always because the kid hadn’t been taught about guns. There was the case a few years ago where the grandparents were keeping the kids due to a family emergency, and the child found the gun and aimed it at his cousin and pulled the trigger just to see what would happen. He’d only seen guns on TV, had never seen one in real life.

    There was also the girl who wasn’t allowed to touch the gun, and the first chance she got, she touched it and accidentally shot herself in the process. If her parents had let her hold it when supervised she wouldn’t have felt the need to do it unsupervised – and IIRC this was a case of cleaning the gun while the child was asleep and leaving it for just a moment to use the restroom – otherwise it would have been locked away.

    Yes, there are instances where kids mean to do harm, but most of the time shootings with children are accidents that could have been avoided with hands on education.

    Drugs are not always bad – ask someone who has survived cancer with chemo, or someone kept alive in some other way by drugs. Sex is not always bad. Guns are not always bad. And yet all of those things have dangers associated with them that we are responsible for teaching to our children. Even young children. There have been cases of kindergartners bringing a gun to school – it is my opinion that even small children need to be taught (not just told, but taught) about what a gun is capable of doing.

    Yesterday’s shooting could have been avoided if there hadn’t been a round in the chamber… or if the child had been taught that slamming a gun could make it fire. Best case scenario is to keep the gun from the child – that is true. But should an anomaly present itself so that my children are around a gun and I’m not there… they are going to get away from the gun and not do something stupid.

  12. Mayken Says:

    Regardless of how one teaches their children about gun safety do NOT be complacent about it. Make sure your child cannot have unsupervised access to a gun to the best of your ability. This means securing any guns in your home and checking if guns in your and your kids’ friend’s and families’ homes are secure. Make a rule that you will not allow your children into a home with unsecured firearms and stick to it. Because nit matter how well educated your child or his/her friends on weapons’ safety, it only takes them being dumb about them once to be killed or seriously injured by them.
    By way of illustration I will tell you about the one kid I knew growing up who almost killed herself because she was so sure she knew how to handle a gun. She was 11. Had lived all her life around them, knew not to touch them when her parents weren’t there etc. But the guns were kept on a shelf in the closet and one day after school she decided to show off fir a friend. Said friend also should have known better – she too grew up with guns and had been taught to respect them. But since child A seemed so sure she knew what she was doing, child B went along with it. Child A shot herself in the face trying to load the gun the wrong way and was in icu for weeks, had to have reconstructive surgery etc.
    Bottom line if that gun had been in a safe that would never have been able to happen.

  13. jackie Says:

    Hadn’t given it much thought, but we certainly don’t plan on having or handling any guns in our house or elsewhere. If, at some point, our son wants a TOY gun, we’ll consider it, but there will be lots of discussion about it first. As another person commented, I don’t need to let our son handle cocaine to teach him about it, and I don’t need him to handle a gun. We’re in Canada, though, and I’d like to think attitudes about guns are much different than they are in the US.

  14. britsmum Says:

    yes, yesterday’s “accident” could have been avoided, had the child NOT had access to a gun and brought it to school in the first place. IMO, kids who feel they know how to handle them are still prone to accidents like this. A false sense of confidence can interfere with common sense and someone who “thinks” they know how to handle it, are as lethal as those who dont.

    I personally have issues where guns are left out because the kids supposedly know and have been educated because there are guns in the house, but recently I was horrified when I visited a blog and there was Dad, wearing a holster with a gun over one shoulder, carrying his newly adopted chinese son in the other arm, within easy reach of the weapon….. Accidents happen, educated or not.

    And then there are cases like this, where the child is comfortable with guns, goes to a gun club and bam..now he’s dead. He knew how to handle guns… he handled them for a good part of his life.
    http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2008/10/westfield_police_release_name.html

    I think that my children seeing images of the dead, and reactions by their parents to senseless shootings, and the backstories of those who died etc etc etc and NOT cartoon violence, well I think they get it…

    Btw, my best friend is a gun owner. Her husband is in law enforcement. One day I went to pick up my daughter who was 4 at the time from a playdate and dad was teaching them to count, using shell casings… UM… I dont think so!
    Friend also had issues with this. I didt want my child to EVER be that comfortable around bullets or firearms so all playdates from that point on were at my house.

    It’s always been one of the questions I used to ask new friends before allowing my children to their homes.

  15. mom23boys Says:

    DH is a recently retired Police officer and right from the start he was taught that children need to have the magic, maystery and curiosity taken out of a gun. He had the kids at the age of four- hold it, feel the trigger, ask questions about it. He then told them, that they are never to touch a gun again- not in our home, another home or anywhere. To find an adult and tell them. most accidents happen because kids are curious or want to show off. You would be amazed at how many families actually have a gun that you do not know about. Most law enforcement houses are probably the safest homes with guns because they are taught to lock the gun away and not be complacent. many that own guns for safety, hunting and what not are not as trained about the harm they cause children all over the world. Not all Police officers are as compliant and vigilant, as there are always exceptions, but dh and his partners all had safes and they were locked with a key and then needed a combo as well. Bullets were always removed and stored separately as well.

    As my kids got older, I aways offered up the information to parents when we invited a kid over. I explained that dh was a cop and we do have guns in the home and where we kept them and what not. Let me tell you- once i offereed that info- you would not believe how many people told me that they had a grandfathers hunting rifle, a saftey gun and what not also! many people that bought the guns because they fear that they may be a victim of a home invasion are known to keep them in the bedroom close to where they sleep. So maybe out of a child’s reach but not for a child that is curious and willing to climb to the top of a closet or search drawers. Please keep this in mind and just because you think a family does not own a gun, does not mean when your child goes to a house- that there is not one. Teach your children about the safety of a gun as early as possible. My husband really pressed on the fact that even when people unload the guns, there is sometimes one bullet left in the chanber that went unnoticed and that is the one that ends up hurting people. I am not saying that every child has to touch a gun, but kids for whatever reason tend to be attracted to guns- whether toys, sticks, hangers- they make guns. If they never saw one and just wanted to touch it- an accident could happen if one was found and their curiosity got the better of them.

    Even if you do not have a gun to show your child, a place to shoot it or touch one, please talk about how they should always run to an adult. As they got older- 8-teens- this is most important- as this is when they become really curious and are strong enough to pull a trigger, just to see what it feels like.

    I am babbling now and need to eat lunch- but this is near to my heart- as I originally feared having guns in the home with kids and did so much research and made dh teach me everything he learned about gun saftey. I was originally going to make him keep them at the precinct! :)

  16. vtmama Says:

    Just yesterday, a teen boy brought a gun to a very nearby high school and shot/killed himself in the school bathroom. A couple years ago, another teen boy got a hold of a gun/ammo and shot himself on the school grounds. I have so much admiration for parents that push through the greatest of heartaches and try to turn it into a least a shred of something positive. (aaronbingxue dot org) If you do have guns, please, please, please secure them and check to make sure they are still there. I am not against guns, well, I have shades of gray, but really hope folks do learn and teach their power and we use common sense as a nationwide community for our laws regarding guns and individual access.

  17. gghadden Says:

    I understand this is a gun thread but just a thought for all…………I will tell you here in my city where I am a Paramedic texting on cell phones while driving has killed more children than guns. Next up would be DUI accidents followed by, Let’s not forget about swimming pools. Just last week one of our ER nurses’ son died from a pool accident. She was vacuuming and he rode his little bike into the pool-he was 4 years old, knew how to swim too. Had the child fence been completely up around the pool this would have never happened. There are freak accidents everyday, not with just guns. My point is that everything can be a danger, we must be one up on everything these days.

  18. RumorQueen Says:

    I’ll repeat it: Best plan of action is to keep them locked away from children. But you should operate on a “just in case” basis. Somewhere around 40% of Americans have a gun in their home. If your child goes to ten people’s homes over the next year, then odds are three or four of them will have a gun in their home.

    If your child goes to his friend’s room to play while you and the mom visit in the kitchen, and his friend pulls a gun out and says, “Look what I found in my dad’s drawer”, is your child going to go “cool, is it heavy?” or will your child panic and run out of the room? Mine will do the latter.

  19. kms Says:

    Then there are the cases of kids growing up using their parent’s service revolver to commit suicide. Whether you teach them one way or another way kids aren’t always going to get the message. It’s not cause they weren’t taught, it’s cause they didn’t listen, didn’t understand, wasn’t enough, accidents happen. No policeman doing a safety pitch at a school would let a child handle a gun.

    I wouldn’t let a child handle a medicine bottle to demystify it. The hands off approach still may have a child getting into the bottle. That is why more is needed like keeping it out of reach, safety cap, and so on. There is no medicine a child can be expected to take from a bottle and administer to themselves. So all drugs really are bad.

    You can tell a child not to have sex and they still might. You can teach a child to use protection and they still might not. How do you know when they know? How do you know when you have told them recently enough, enough times, etc…?

  20. china4ever Says:

    “If her parents had let her hold it when supervised she wouldn’t have felt the need to do it unsupervised – and IIRC this was a case of cleaning the gun while the child was asleep and leaving it for just a moment to use the restroom – otherwise it would have been locked away.” ~ RQ

    I really don’t think one can extrapolate that if she had been allowed to hold it supervised she would NOT have felt the need to do it unsupervised. I find that hard to believe as I have children of my own and what they “feel” and what they think they “need” to do changes by the hour despite my best efforts at parenting. My children are the BEST and are very obedient, but given to their own imaginations, I can’t be 100% confident they wouldn’t explore the world around them. Especially at this age. I don’t think any of us can.

    The real question to me is not whether the child would have made a different choice if been given the same lesson as your daughters, but the real question I have is WHY is the gun loaded and the safety removed!?! Accidents imho have less to do with a child’s education and more to do with an adult’s neglect and vigilance over the whereabouts of their weapon and the intensity they feel themselves for keeping it safe, secure, and away from children. I don’t own a gun, so I don’t understand why it needs to be cleaned if it isn’t being used daily, but putting that aside, why on earth would someone clean a gun in their home and then walk away from it – LOADED! It’s like leaving sticks of dynamite on the kitchen table with a lit candle nearby!

    While I completely agree that the responsibility to teach and inform our children about the very real dangers of guns is important, I also do not agree that one must “show” the violence of guns for children to understand. Agreeing with britsmum, there are many dangers & vices in the world that my children will be educated about with out my needing to “show” them how one gets high, or drunk, or sexually transmitted diseases, or killed.

    Shocking someone doesn’t always have the effect of making them scared enough to stay away, some people are actually wired to be more intense and more curious when shocked and the “showing” of how a gun creates violence via a watermelon could backfire in a very real sense for those children who would be eager to show-off for their friends.

  21. mmsmom Says:

    Wow! Thanks for this post! Just this morning, I had a discussion with my daughters about our babysitter taking them to a classmates house for a playdate. My answer was “NO.” I don’t know the family and one of my concerns was that they had guns in the house. After I dropped them off, I wondered if I was overreacting. Not any more. Thanks again.

  22. klem Says:

    If you want to show your child how to show a gun, I think that is fine. My father is a gun owner and has showed me how to shot shotguns and hand guns, which I can barely manage to do. Pulling the trigger is physically difficult for me. Hitting something I’m aiming at is almost impossible.

    However, I think you are fooling yourself if you think kids won’t play with a gun just because you show them how to use one. Some kids might not, but others will. I am not sure knowing how to handle a gun would have helped any of the innocent bystanders in yesterday’s sad affair. I also had a high school classmate, who was an experienced hunter, die in a gun accident.

    It’s just like drugs, sex, and alcohol. You can talk to your kids and try to warn them away, but they are probably going to experiment anyway. You just hope no lasting damage occurs.

  23. Rattus Says:

    Believe it or not there are a lot of guns in Canada, too. We may not have the gun culture but we do have the guns. Our family has guns. Lots of them. Even handguns. In Canada. We have begun teaching our son about guns and at six we have let hi shoot a .22 rifle under very close supervision. I agree wholeheartedly with RQ that just talking about guns is not enough. A parent’s fear and loathing of guns won’t prevent their child from being fascinated by them or gaining access to them at a friend’s place. I may not teach my child how to inject drugs bu I surely will teach him what a needle looks like and how to deal with one (call a teacher, an adult, don’t touch etc). I strongly believe that you can remove the curiosity of a child by safe exposure. And yes, that means they can try a bit of my wine or beer. Thankfully my son still says it smells yucky!

  24. 2qts4me Says:

    My dh works with law enforcement, he does not carry a gun. However, most accidental shootings of children are by children who have been raised around guns, taught safety, and have been well educated in their use. Unfortunately, they obviously we able to access the weapons.

    My children have never handled a gun, and we do not think it is necessary for them to do so to learn about the dangers of guns. They are well aware of that by visual images that they have seen on the Discovery Channel. Talking with your children and providing them with all the knowledge and educational tools with regards to drugs, sex, and gun safety is no guarantee that when they are older, they will adhere to these warnings, especially teenagers. People expect children to think with an adult mind, but they have a child’s brain.

    They have done numerous experiements with children whose parents were absolutely sure that they would not go off with a stranger. They educated their children, discussed situations and explained the dangers.
    Guess what? The adult (actor) in all cases was able to convince a child to leave with them. The same with guns. They did the same experiment with kids and guns. The kids found the gun, the parents were so sure that their child would report it to an adult and leave it alone. They did not. They were curious, showing off infront of others. Kids are kids.

    I grew up in a house without guns, have never touched one, never seen one other than on TV and in magazines. None of my family have ever owned a gun, nor will own one. None of our friends own guns.

    I worked in a state with many gun owners. For the most part they were very cautious with their guns and kept them under lock and key. However, sadly, there were many hunting incidents where people were shot and killed. I think some of the deaths were attributed to drinking as well.

  25. M's Mom Says:

    The privilege as Americans is we have a choice. The responsibility is acting on it. Parenting and firearm education is a very personal decision and one that each and every family has to deal with. Your exposure to gun violence, law enforcement, recreational shooting (like skeet) or game/animal hunting- all these effect your views and choices.

    When my girls are a little older (my oldest is 6), I will educate them on guns- how they work as a basic mechanism and IF they want to know more- how to hold one, what it would feel like to use one- see one in action in a safe environment (like a gun range) then I will take the mystery out of it and take them and be with them as they learn, be there to ask questions. My girls will not be ignorant on this. HOWEVER, I will also show them the pictures of our family who are no longer with us as a result of gun violence. I will tell them how lives are forever changed, hearts broken, families destroyed. Gun use is very real…and so are its effects. I will teach them to respect weapons, how to properly use them if they chose to learn and they will know the consequences of weapons being used.

    I will do all I can to empower my children with knowledge and moral responsibility on this subject since it is very close to our family. I will do the same on other topics like drugs, sex, eating disorders, even driving a car. All these things can be twisted to violent destructive uses in today’s society. As someone else mentioned- do not be fooled- your children WILL learn and be exposed to these things by their peers, at school, at sports events, being online. My personal view is its better they be exposed, educated and advised about these things from within the confines of a loving and safe family discussion or outing than the harsher way many chldren have to learn them.

  26. Abracadebra Says:

    I make a point of asking whether there are guns in the house before letting my children go to anyone’s house. People generally don’t know where I’m coming from — I’ve had people brightly answer “No, but we’re thinking of getting one!” and others who ask offended that I’ve asked because “Of course not! We would never have a gun in the house.” The conversations are illuminating and have opened up some really good discussions, and I do feel that 99% of the time I am quite sure whether there are guns in the home my children are visiting. And

    And I agree, no way would I let my child handle weapons just to make a point. As the first poster said,I would not take them to a crackhouse to show them the danger of drugs, nor would I demonstrate intercourse to teach them about safe sex. That said, it’s clearly a case of Your Mileage May Vary.

  27. Abracadebra Says:

    I meant to add — the fact that there ARE guns in a house doesn’t mean I automatically won’t let my kids in that house. We are friends with a couple where the dad is in law enforcement — i asked the question, and he told me exactly what his protocol is for the gun when he’s at home. i was satisfied, and we go over there all the time.

  28. melissa2710990 Says:

    I think a lot of parenting is sheer luck… as our kids get older (my oldest is 17), there is so much we can’t control and all we can do is HOPE and PRAY that we taught them to make good decisions. I think people speculate on why something happened or didn’t happen as a way of insulating themselves… ie, this will never happen to me because I taught them xxxxxx… I pray you are all right.

    All of the subjects touched about on this thread are so frightening and I think RQ bringing this subject up serves as a great reminder. I know I will have another conversation about guns with my daughters tonight… all of these subjects scare the heck out of me and I pray to God that my children (and all of yours) will be safe.

    My husband and I have been really blessed that our 17 year old is doing really well… (and now getting ready for college) but of course he has made his share of bad decisions, despite what we thought we had taught him. I pray hard each day that all of them will be safe and I do my best to make that a reality… but unfortunately none of us can control everything… (oh how I wish we could). It is life and we unfortunately can only do the very best we can to protect our children. I think we should all take a breath before judging the people in all the tragic stories that everyone has been exchanging…

  29. fortyfour Says:

    Funny, I was just reading about this very issue in Brain, Child Magazine this morning. It’s a very thoughtful piece. Here’s the link if anyone’s interested: http://www.brainchildmag.com/essays/winter2011_greville.asp

  30. Pam Says:

    Can someone point me to the story of what happened yesterday so I know what everyone is talking about, I haven’t seen anything and even tried to google without success?

  31. Mamman Says:

    My Oh My, am I happy I live in a country where I never had to even think about this… 40%??? That is shocking. Totally shocking. What could it be here? 1? In any case, if I were in your situation I think I’d handle it the same way I want to handle violence now. What I want to teach my kids is simply Stay away. Stay far, far away. Violence creates violence, don’t even get near. I don’t think I’d let them hold one or feel what it feels like to fire one off. Though I guess I can’t even imagine how I’d handle it, it seems so unreal to me. Thankfully.

  32. abbyMom Says:

    I am so happy to live in the US. The state we live in has the Make my Day Law. We Americans have the right to own guns. It has been used a few times since it has been passed and it has saved a couple of lives because there was no way for the police to get there in a timely manner.

    We have ours locked up and hidden. When DD is older we will go to a shooting range with her and teach her all the correct ways of handling a gun. The guns when brought back home will be locked away and out of sight. Teaching DD this will help protect her in a situation where maybe a friend hasn’t be properly taught.

  33. JenT04 Says:

    This is a very timely topic because of what is going on in a local town. The story from the Boston Globe is attached, but in a nutshell an 8 year old boy was killed a gunshow hosted by a local police chief when his father (a physician) allowed him to fire a gun, legally. The chief was charged with manslaughter, but acquitted this week.
    http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2011/01/15/ex_police_chief_acquitted_in_uzi_shooting_death/

  34. JenT04 Says:

    Sorry, meant allowed him to fire the gun ILLEGALLY.

  35. portlandval Says:

    Good post. I learned how to shoot at a firing range when I was 12. Love guns. Hate bullets. Guns are dangerous if you get careless or if you think they are toys. Bullets are the things that are really dangerous, not guns. On a separate topic but related…I had to teach my girls about not touching anything they find that looks like a balloon or like a back pack or left alone package. Here in Oregon long ago during WWII, balloons were sent over here from Japan with bombs attached and a family found one of these in the mountain wilderness and it exploded because the kids touched it, killing five people. It made me realize that these days I have to teach them that if something looks left alone without an owner in a public place like a plaza or a parade route or something and even if it looks interesting like with a balloon…call an adult over and DO NOT TOUCH IT>I wish it were not that way but unattended things must now be among the things we talk about with kids. The balloon thing gives me the creeps because the US government estimated that about 200 of them came down in wilderness areas of the U.S. and have never been found even up to today (this was a comment on a documentary I saw on TV). Dangerous things come in many forms these days.

  36. catherinethegreat Says:

    This story is very, very sad. We don’t own guns and I am sorry, but I don’t intend on showing my children guns or how they work until they are adolescents. Once they are in their teen years, we may go to the rifle range so they can learn to shoot if they become interested in this. In the interim, my children know that guns are very, very dangerous, that they kill people and therefore should be avoided at all costs. And they know enough to avoid any adult or child with a gun. I don’t believe that I need to show them a gun or let them taste alcohol or smoke a cigarette in order to teach them the dangers of a gun, alcohol or smoking. They see enough evidence of this on the news. My eldest daughter clearly knows the dangers of all of these and shows no interest in engaging in any of these activities. I am not criticizing anyone doing it, but I tend to agree that you can still teach your child the ‘dangers’ of an activity without having them ‘experience’ the item that leads to the danger. Tragically there is a lot of evidence about these dangers everyday on the news….

  37. my little blubber chops Says:

    What about the very gun safe, gun conscious family who kept the gun for the moment when someone broke in, kept the gun loaded in their gun safe box, pulled out the gun, shot the intruder only to discover it was their 4 year old son. How do you justify this type of this gun safety. Ex hubby used a rifle and a shotgun at his fathers farm and grew up using them, very experienced and safe. At age 35 blew half his foot off in an accidental shooting. Had to be interviewed by police at the hospital bedside and provide proof of licenses and what he was doing and why he was where he was at the time of the accident. Guns should never be everyday thing after all they were made to kill so unless you are prepared to kill someone or something (such as an animal), don’t own one. So lucky that guns are not an everyday thing in our country. You can own a rifle if you have a license and can justify why you need it eg. farmer or target shooting hobby. You can only own a hand gun if you belong to a gun club and you cannot carry the gun with bullets in them (eg. when driving the gun must be in the boot of the car and in a separate area to the bullets). It is very hard to get a gun here and I am very thankful for that.

  38. dakotagirl Says:

    AGREED! AGREED! AGREED! I grew up with a healthy respect for guns. Kids need to know how to respect a gun and to treat all guns as they are loaded. Definitely. That’s the ONLY way accidental killings of kids will stop. The ONLY way. And ALL guns should be UNLOADED at all times and safely stored out of the reach of children. ALWAYS!

  39. Sagent Says:

    we live in the country where copperhead snakes that could take out a horse are everywhere.
    I’m not thrilled to have guns in the house because we have kids now
    but I also know that we need them where we live-
    because these snakes gotta go.
    One time we had hellicopter lights all over our house/barn etc
    because some murderer was running the area.
    I was here alone. It would take police 20 minutes to get here.
    I was grateful for our gun that night.
    DH believes in the safety training for our kids….I however stand by the fact that good decision making skills aren’t developed in a child until their brains are fully developed (early 20′s) we will be further discussing this.