- Posted June 12, 2014 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Guns and children
Kids and Guns
I am a parent of four children, I am a gun owner, and I work in public safety, so I see both sides; how firearms are good when treated with respect, and how firearms can create horror and tragedy when they are misused or fall into the wrong hands. I think the leaders of this great nation are going about this all wrong. Guns are not the blame, guns are not the problem. People are the problem, and I'm not talking about the law abiding citizens who respect gun ownership, I'm talking about the people that no matter how many laws are on the books, how many bans are put in place, they are still going to have access to firearms, they are still going to commit harm against innocent people. I'm talking about the careless gun owners out there that don't secure their firearms and leave them in the open for a child, family member, or guest to discover and either accidentally shoot themselves or someone else, or steal that weapon and commit a crime.
Respect for guns includes protecting your guns. I think if guns fall into the wrong hands and cause injury or death the owner of that firearm should be held liable just as much as the person that pulled the trigger for not securing that firearm. All of my firearms are locked up in a safe, I never leave my safe open or a firearm unattended, it's just that simple. I have guns for one reason, to protect my family and my home from intruders.
I have no worries about my children gaining access to my firearms, and even if they do I have educated them all on firearm safety. First and foremost I have taught them to always treat a gun as a loaded gun. Kids are curious they want to know how things work, they learn by touch, and so for that any time I have my firearms out or the kids ask to see one, I let them do just that, I will place a hand gun or rifle on the table ( confirm it is unloaded) and let them hold it, at the same time I will ask them questions; is it loaded ? , where do you point it ? where do you place your finger ? I will also ask them to point out parts of the gun.
They know how to identify a loaded weapon vs a unloaded weapon just by looking at it, they can tell me if the slide is open, and that the magazine is out, and where the safety is and if it is on or not. They know to ask before they touch any firearm or any part of the firearm if it stripped out on the kitchen table while being cleaned or serviced. I have tought them how to handle firearms, starting with how they treat non lethal guns such as airsoft guns and bb guns as though they were a real firearm. I think this practice teaches them proper etiquette and how to respect guns, and that guns are not toys. If they use the non lethal guns in a dangerous manner, they are immediately taken away and the issue is discussed.
Not only do I teach about handling guns but I also talk to them about what to do if they discover a gun while at the park or if another kid or one of their friends they are playing with has a gun or access to guns. They know to leave the area immediately, tell an adult or call 911. Last I just want to point out that my kids know that even though and airsoft gun is non lethal and that is considered a toy to most, they are not allowed to leave the house with any toy gun. It is not fair to the great men and women that risk their lives everyday to protect us to have to make a split second decision on whether a gun is a toy or real. All the guns in our house whether real or a toy airsoft gun are locked up.
The law abiding gun owners should not be punished for the carelessness of other gun owners in this country. Parents need to hold some responsibilty on educating their children about guns and gun safety. Also parents with guns no matter what the circumstances shall be held liable for any incident involving their firearms and children. There is no exuse to allow a child to gain access to any firearm unless it is their own and they are 18 years old .