I Have Guns. I Have Kids. And Itâ€™s No Oneâ€™s Business But Mine.
This doesn’t compute for some people. As a mom, it seems like they assume I’m supposed to be against guns, or that I maybe don’t have an opinion on it–but owning and supporting the ownership of them is some realm I don’t belong in.
We don’t own firearms for hunting. Neither my husband nor I like game meats in general, and we wouldn’t kill for the sake of killing–so while it’s nice to know we would have the option if we were ever that hard up, we don’t have guns for hunting.
My husband will say that our firearms serve the purpose of self-defense, but I don’t agree. Logically, I don’t see how getting into our locked storage container, getting the separately stored ammo, and loading our firearms would ever be an efficient enough process that we could do it in time to stop our home from being invaded.
Truthfully, we own firearms because we like firearms. Target practice at the range is fun and relaxing for us both. My husband grew up around guns and fondly recalls days shooting with his dad and brothers. It’s at least partially cultural for usâ€”Iâ€™d even give you that our attraction to them is mostly cultural.
That we own guns because we like them and have children too is somehow enough to boggle people’s minds.
It may surprise you to hear that we are not morons, and yes, we understand the statistics out there regarding the deaths of children in households with firearms. No, we don’t ignore them either. No denial hereâ€”kids and firearms donâ€™t mix, except under very specific circumstances.
In our home, we take all reasonable precautions. Our firearms and ammo are always behind lock and key, and we focus on teaching our children the basics of firearms safety–something I feel all parents should do whether they own firearms or not. We don’t refer to our guns as “toys”, and we are careful to put talks about gun safety in terms our children understand. We talk about them when they are out, we answer questions truthfully, and we allow our kids to touch them, because we want them to know the difference between the feel of a real gun and a toy they may run across.
When I was young, I saw the effects that losing a child to an accidental shooting can have on a family. A good friend of my father’s five year old shot his two year old brother. The devastation that family experienced–especially the father, who developed post traumatic complications and has blamed himself ever since–are well known to me. Recently, we experienced it again, when a student at my mother’s school was accidentally shot at a birthday party. She was seven. The shooter was five.
Kids and guns don’t mix without careful supervision. I get it. And believe me, I take it to heart.