Where ever you stand on gun ownership, safety is every parent’s top priority. One tip Kidpower has for parents is before you allow your child to go to someone’s house on their own, ask if they have guns. Kidpower suggests asking, “Are there guns in your home? If so, what kinds of safeguards do you have so that children do not get hold of them? Too many tragic accidents have happened with kids playing with guns, so we want to be aware of this hazard.” With constant news of gun violence, it may feel more important than ever.
However, asking this question can be tricky.
Depending on where you live, guns may be very prevalent in your community. Where I live, many people own guns. Responsible gun owners may want to keep this information private for a couple of valid reasons. It’s a volatile subject that carries a lot of judgement and it’s not necessarily safe for people outside the family to know that there IS a gun in your home.
If you ARE comfortable with your child being in the home of responsible gun owner, what can you say to protect your child without casting judgement, or appearing to do so?
A friend recently shared a wonderful phrase she uses. “Are there any unlocked guns or guns that are accessible to children in your home?”
This gets the important question answered-i.e. is my child safe from guns in your home, but allows people to keep a measure of privacy.
I also teach my children that if they see a gun or are shown a gun BY ANYONE, adults or children, they say, “Guns are dangerous. I’m not allowed to touch them. I have to go now.” and to leave and call me right away.
Read the rest of this article on fun and safe play dates.