- Posted July 12, 2014 by
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Guns and children
My husband is a cop: How we keep our kids safe
"First, I think a parent should be comfortable with the idea of a gun in the house. It will be of no use to you in an emergency if you are afraid of it. Also, if the unthinkable does happen and a child gets it out, you want to not only have the confidence but the knowledge of how to handle it.
Next, consider how you will keep it safe from the children. We use a gun safe. When my husband comes home from work, his weapon goes straight to the safe. We have a secret place for the key and he has a copy on his key ring as well.
Most important of all, consider how you will teach your children to respect it. Each family is different, but I think it should be something discussed with them.
If you are not comfortable or can not answer either of these things, I think it would be a bad idea to bring a gun into your home."
- rachel8, CNN iReport producer
When I married my husband, he worked on his mother's farm. There was not much need for a gun, so we didn't have one. About 5 years into our marriage, he had a career change, choosing to be in Law Enforcement. Our house was no longer gun free. I was obviously worried for my children, but instead of fearing the gun, I educated myself.
While most people see guns as an evil object, I see it as a tool that has the potential to allow my husband to come home each day he is on patrol. I trust in his skills as a marksman and an officer. Those skills allow him to use the tool in any situation that it is needed.
We decided early in this career change, that our children would learn at an early age to respect firearms, and learn the safe way to handle them. They grew up seeing a gun on their father's duty belt each day. To them, it should not be something to be scared of. How could I allow them to fear something that he strapped on his belt each day?
The first thing we did, was to make sure I was comfortable handling a gun. Any gun that would be coming into the household, I had to learn to dismantle and reassemble it. It is much easier to respect something if you know a little about it.
Next, as our children were growing up, they were given periodic tests, to ensure they did the right thing if they ever saw an unattended gun. We would confirm it was unloaded, and set it out in plain view where we could see it and the child. They were taught from a very early age, to go get an adult, and these "tests" showed us that they knew what to do. Each child always passed with flying colors.
My children now, have a healthy respect for firearms, and it has become a family affair now, with my husband's family picking up a big interest in the sport. The kids participate in shooting competitively, with their father instructing them.
My kids learned about guns out of necessity. Each night when my husband puts his firearm away in the safe, I know that we have done all that we can to keep our kids safe. They each know how to handle, not only the gun, but the situation that may arise from having a gun being present.
Rather than being afraid of what my husband carries in that holster, I embraced it, educated myself, and had the confidence to encourage my children to learn the same. That firearm is with us 24/7. Why live in fear of it, or worse, allow my children to live in fear of that object.
Yes, my husband is a cop, and we are his proud family. A gun is the tool of his trade, and we wouldn't change it for the world.