Firearms are always a controversial topic, but today I am giving you this mama’s viewpoint on guns.
I grew up with the men in my family as avid hunters. Wait…that’s not true. ALL of the family was involved in hunting game. I ventured out on my first squirrel hunt when I was about 8 or 9 years old, and my first deer hunt was not long after. I was not allowed to hold a gun at that age, but I knew a lot about them. My dad drove a truck with gun racks on the back window, there was a “gun safe” in our house and my mom kept a handgun under the seat of her car. We were well aware of these dangerous items just within our reach, but we were well informed. It was clear that guns are for adults to use and adults only. As we grew older, we were allowed to participate in target practice. My grandpa thought appropriate target practice was shooting Dr. Pepper cans off a tree stump. Hello? Did I mention we are doing this in the country?
With a good bit of target practice under my belt, I received my first handgun on my 21st birthday. To this day, I still have my .38 as my “go-to” self-defense weapon. This firearm is with me at most times, and it does not have a safety. I carry it with me in my car and I keep it nearby in the home.
Now that I am a mother of small children, I am faced with the decision of how to keep everyone safe. When my oldest was old enough to be too curious for his own good, I had to make some changes. The gun is locked in my glove box of my car or put out of reach at our home. As my children grew older, my husband and I began teaching them about the rules of gun safety. Now, most gun safety rules for children will tell you to lock the ammunition in a separate place. We follow this rule for hunting rifles, but not for personal safety. If I cannot get to a firearm in time to protect our family, it is useless. Here are the gun safety rules of our home:
- Toy guns are a TOY! Real guns can really hurt people! We allow our children to play with toy guns, but the rule in our house is to NEVER point a gun (even a toy one) at anyone else. Let’s face it, boys will turn anything into a gun!
- If you see a real gun, tell an adult immediately!
- Adults: Never EVER leave a firearm unattended.
As soon as you walk into my house you will notice a gun rack. The guns initially displayed are my children’s BB guns, unloaded. The ammo is located in a separate room. Anytime new friends come to visit with children, I make sure their parents know about the firearms in my home.
“Nearly all firearm accidents in the home can be prevented when gun owners take simple precautions, and proper storage is the number one way to help prevent accidents” said Steve Sanetti, NSSF president and CEO.
Whether you have firearms in your home or not, it’s important to talk to your kiddos about the potential danger of guns. A child as young as 3 years old can pull a trigger, so make sure to start at a young age. We have very open and honest discussions with our kids about firearms.
My children are not allowed to rummage through my purse. If you see me strolling into the grocery store (with or without my children), chances are, I am carrying a loaded weapon. Do not mess with mama bear.
I feel more comfortable having protection, but I don’t put myself in situations that I would need one if I can help it.
My most-asked question: Would you really shoot someone?
My answer: Only if my life (or my children’s lives) were in jeopardy.
But would I really shoot someone? Absolutely. I would not pull out a gun if I did not intend to pull the trigger.
If you feel uncomfortable around firearms, I would recommend taking a gun safety course. Whether or not you decide to own a firearm is a very personal decision. But this is a subject all parents should be educated upon. There is a very good chance that your child will come into contact with a firearm, and you definitely want to make sure they know what to do in that situation.