A little naive, maybe?
Let me start off by saying I am not a gun owner… unless Nerf guns count. And the only interaction I have with guns is through the headlines.
We recently had a fun sleepover with a friend’s child who visits frequently. So, over our ice cream bowls, our friend asks if we have guns in the home. We don’t. Curious, I ask him if they have any in their home.
He says, “Sure of course. They are in the closet. On the shelf.” (No, not the safe, a shelf.) “Loaded. Don’t worry.” he says, “our son knows how to hold them safely, you know, by pointing them up in the air.”
The monsters are old enough to hear the truth, but not old enough to understand, really understand, how these things work. Like so many other parents, we talk to our kids about guns and gun safety each time we go to a new friend’s house for a party or play date. I hope they remember what we said, and that they listen. But then I see an ABC news recap on Hidden Camera Experiment: Young Kids Drawn to Guns and I’m filled with doubt.
I struggle with how to initiate the gun conversation and how to question other parents about gun safety in their home.
EVERY single time we are hosting a new friend of parents we do not know, I open with the rambling paragraph of information/questions.
- Are there any allergies or medications I need to be aware of?
- Our family includes two dogs and a kitten, any issues or need for separation?
- There are no firearms in our home.
- We have a pool, but the kids can’t swim unsupervised.
- Is there anything you would like to know? Because I’m happy to answer and share!
But asking about guns is difficult. It’s so important, but controversial and hard to bring up.
Do you ask other parents about guns in their homes? How do you ask? Did you ever feel uncomfortable with an answer?
I know this is a passion-fueled topic. I’m not challenging the 2nd amendment, but hoping for an open, judgement free, conversation… or maybe some stickers, like Mr. Yuk.