A friend of mine lives with her family in the western part of Missouri, and she’s recently gotten her own website in order to blog – and she does, as prolifically as I did when I first started.
She posted today in response to a news story out of St. Louis, wherein a 7-year-old girl shot her 1-year-old brother on accident, due to their 18-year-old uncle being a dumbass and storing his firearm in a backpack.
Her first sentence? “This is why I don’t like guns.”
She then goes on to say that it’s fine with her if you have guns, but you need to keep them locked up around children.
Oh, and teach your children how to safely handle them (or, rather, NOT handle them) if they should ever come across a firearm.
And if you can’t get to your gun when an intruder comes in, well, at least your children will be safe.
I love this woman dearly. She’s one of about 4 people that I’m friends with whom I feel that when we talk again after a long period of not-talking, it’s like we’ve never been separated. She’s the only person I’ve ever had a letter-writing exchange with past the age of 12 (where pen-pals were encouraged in class, and even chosen for us). She’s hilarious, and very smart.
There’s no “but” to that statement. No qualifiers, no hidden “bless her heart”s. Don’t misunderstand me – I’m not sharing this information to soften the blow of an insult – I’m sharing it because it’s true, and because I want to make it clear that she means a lot to me.
Even in her entry, you can SEE that intelligence. She realizes the other side of the arguments she’s making, and points them out. Even though it’s human error that causes these accidental shootings, the guns are still bearing the brunt of her scorn, however.
I’ve had to worry about my nephew being in my house at times, because I didn’t have a gun safe in Memphis. He turned 4 this month, and he’s right in the middle of the age where everything needs to be picked up and messed with in order for him to feel comfortable in his environment. THAT’S a scary thought for anyone who has any shred of concern for the safety of others, particularly children.
And, as my friend points out, kids do stupid things (like eat their vitamins like candy, even after you tell them not to), and you have to take that into account pretty much every moment of their lives while they’re under your care.
I know that quite a few of you have small children that you’ve managed to keep alive and accident-free – Uncle, Robb, Rusty, and Alan, to name a few – throughout their lives, even while you make shooting a major focus in your life.
I have a request – while not being disrespectful (because, y’all, this is one of my best friends), how would you describe your success with concern to having children and guns in the same house? I know that having a safe is mandatory, but in order to actually exercise your caution with regard to possible intruders, you carry a weapon with you, or have one in a place where it’s relatively easy for you to reach in the event of an emergency.
How do you successfully have the two co-exist in your home? And, in addition, how do you ensure the safety of your children when you have guests or visitors who might not be as trustworthy as you hope?
(I don’t feel qualified to share my opinion, since I haven’t consistently ever had a child in my home for longer than an overnight visit, and at those times, my nephew was pretty much sequestered to the living room with his mom. I’ve been very fortunate in that I have the freedom to have my guns accessible without having to worry about them being futzed with by anyone else in the house – my husband and my in-laws are all avid shooters, responsible adults, and are well-versed in gun safety.)