Kids & Guns

Yesterday The Cornered Cat linked the story about the 12 year old girl who bravely defended herself against an home intruder. Then Kathy made a comment and asked this…

“A young person responsible enough to be left home alone should be responsible enough to be trusted, alone, with _every_ item inside the home. If a young person cannot be trusted with everything in the home, that young person shouldn’t be home alone.

Agree or disagree?”

Again and again I hear this I idea that children should not learn to handle guns because it is to dangerous for them. I actually hear this about adults as well.

What about your huge butcher knife or your matches? How many homes are burned down by kids playing with matches?? Yes, put the matches up where the kid can’t get them if your child is young or irresponsible, but the point is, teach your kids about the dangers and how not to stab themselves, get burned or shot and if they don’t get it then leaving them alone should not be an option.

I once knew a person that said she didn’t want a handgun in her house because she didn’t think she or her kids were responsible enough and it scared her. A rifle yes. A knife yes. I blow dryer near a tub full of water yes, but not a handgun.

Choosing not to have a handgun in your house is a personal choice and it is fine if one is not comfortable, but if your reason is that neither you or your children are responsible enough then I am think none of you should be left alone, period. Responsibility is a full time gig and really it is a mind thing and a behavior thing.

Again, if a parent doesn’t feel a child is responsible enough to handle a gun safely then absolutely that child should not be left alone with one, but if a parent feels a child is responsible enough in all other areas then it makes sense to put aside the bias and fear and evaluate if the child is capable of being safe with a firearm. Often we use our fears to make choices for us without really thinking it through. Using one’s own fear to keep a child from having all means of protection at their disposal is not the best way to keep them safe.

Guns do require an enormous amount of respect and care, but the rules for safe gun handling are simple and if followed make them one of the safest tools in the house.

We have children who we, without question would trust with a gun anytime, anywhere. They are more committed to the 4 rules then anyone I have ever seen, but then we do have one who isn’t so good yet. This is pretty universal with his overall behavior. I don’t trust him not to put the dog in the washing machine or eat the entire bag of Halloween candy stashed in my closet either, so guess who is supervised 24/7? He will find that dog and that candy no matter what, so my only real choice is to watch him or have him watched. Funny, though, he never touches the knives, the scissors or opens the front door and even the toy guns he asks to touch. However since I don’t feel he is responsible enough in general there is no way I would risk leaving him home alone with or without a gun(He is 6, so that would  not happen regardless, but if he is still this way at 16 he won’t be left. Please Lord, don’t let him be this way at 16:)

My daughter as you know isn’t super keen on guns, but since we have guns in the house she has had to learn how to use them safely and since I believe in having all the tools available to help defend ones life against a mortal threat, she had to learn  how to use all the guns, knives, flashlights, fire extinguishers, chop sticks, heavy objects in the house, mace…get the point. Shooting isn’t fun for her, but she is comfortable with guns and she absolutely has the mindset and skill to defend her life she should be forced to. In addition she is over all just a trustworthy kid.

My husband and I are not comfortable leaving our children in an environment that is unarmed. Sometimes we have to(like if we go to DC), but if we can avoid it we do. It doesn’t make sense to me that I walk around my house with a gun on my hip just in case and then leave my children home with less tools. We only have armed baby sitters…funny, but totally true.

Of course we really do not trust a lot of people with our kids safety so we teach them how to take care of themselves and until each shows they are responsible enough in many, many areas to include safe gun handling they are not left alone at home or at a friend’s house or in the mall and no my kids do not carry a gun in the mall.

I think many adults underestimate how responsible and capable children really are. True we seem to have an abundance of irresponsible folks running around, but that is learned behavior and the good stuff is just as easily learned. We just have to take the time to teach it.


15 thoughts on “Kids & Guns

  1. great post!!! I dunno…seems to me most parents today with young kids act like kids themselves…even think like them. Now, I may be an old fart but when I was a kid we had rules…and responsibilities and by God you had better obey them. Today it seems there is this idea or attitude “they’re just kids”…in other words they are irresponsible. Well…I got news for those folks. You’re kids are never going to grow up unless you show them in no uncertain terms they are expected to show responsibility. And as they get older show more and more responsibility. Along with the more responsibility they show they get more and more priviliges. This idea of “putting things out of reach” extends to other things than just guns. It means not touching things that are not theirs. As an example knick knacks that may be on tables, night stands and dressers in the parents bedrooms, etc. Last but not least….when they are visitors in someone elses home they don’t touch anything! Why parents today cannot teach their brats that I do not know…..maybe one reason is today’s schools are teaching the kids things that the parents ought to be teaching. Won’t be long before parents will be at the mercy of whatever some damm liberal school teacher dictates or some twit at the social services orders.

    • Schools are full of bias liberal points of view. I am fortunate that my kiddos do not have those kids of educators:)

  2. The young girl home alone who protected herself was apparently the second victim. The suspect had targeted another young girl alone. The young girl did the correct thing, I commend her on her actions.
    Agreed, if you have guns in the home you need to make sure your children know gun safety. I trusted all of my children with the guns in the house when they we’re younger. Every child knew how to use the gun for protection.
    I’m so tired of parents not parenting. Stop being a friend to your kids, grow up and be parents.

  3. Agreed with all of the above…its not 100% a kid problem. Its mostly a parenting problem. Be parents. This includes punishing a kid who’s misbehaved. I hate watching parents wander through a store with a screaming kid. Take the kid outside!!! Our daughter knows that she’s screwed up when Daddy has to carry her out to the truck. I’ve carried her kicking and screaming from the back of Walmart all the way outside. She got her spanking, and didn’t get an orange cream-slushy from Sonic after Mrs.Alien finished shopping. She hasn’t thrown too many tantrums in the store since then, either (she’s learning, but not quite there yet! But we’re making progress). I see waaaaaaay too many parents who are turning over responsibility for raising their kids to the Playstation, or TV, or movies, or schools, or a church, etc. There’s no substitute, folks….the kiddo is YOURS. YOU raise em, and prepare to be held accountable for it, too. Kiddo gets caught stealing, don’t blame the store or the packaging or their friends.

  4. I think the most common problem with kids and guns is education on several levels. First, yes, they must be taught responsibility, but few parents have that gene in their own DNA.

    Second, it’s the RAMBO fantasy. Dad’s got a gun and he walks with a swagger because he’s armed. So Johnny grabs the gun to impress his friends that he’s tough.

    My daughter never touched a knife, the stove, drank bleach (I’ll never figure that one out) or went near my guns. She was NEVER open to learning about them, (sad mom here) but she knew her limitations and avoided mine.

    The parent MUST be as smart as the kid is.

  5. Great post on an Important topic. I also invite those who feel all kids should be prevented from ever having access to a gun to google the phrase “Merced ca pitchfork murders” for an example of what happens when responsible teens are denied access to the tools needed to defend themselves.

    I struggle with how to handle this issue, because my daughter has some mental health issues that impact her ability to moderate her impulsiveness and to exercise good judgment in a crunch. Given the unique circumstances of my family, I’m making a different set of choices than I would were I painting a “neurotypical” kid who hadn’t already been exposed to 11 years of lousy parenting before she came into my life. I recognize and have made peace with that, but I still agonize over it.

    I think that for most families, though, the answer is clear: Teach your kids to handle guns safely, and allow them access to a degree appropriate to their age and maturity level. One thing I know for sure: If I had a daughter who was at home alone, I surely would not be willing to see her raped, tortured and murdered for no other reason than because society has a “ZOMG!! Kids! With GUNS!” reflex.

    • You are one smart lady. Paying attention to what you child can and can not handle is vital. How many parents turn a blind eye?

  6. Pingback: Mom With a Gun » Children, Guns, and Tough Decisions

  7. Great post, and I would have had no problem leaving either daughter alone at 12, since both had been taught to shoot and handle guns (and visitors) appropriately.

  8. Great post and I especially liked the fact that all your baby sitters are armed.

    What a wonderful business plan that could be. Can you see antis go insane over that.

    I once did a tactical scenerio at Front Sight Nevada where I’m baby sitting an infant and the SHTF. Had to get the “simulated baby” out of the house while fighting off the home invaders.

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