Monday, August 31, 2009

guns n kids

I've had a hectic past several days! That's all I'll say about that.

Recently, I've been thinking about gun safety in our home. It's never been a concern for me having guns in the house. I grew up with them. My parents never had the ammunition where we could get to it. We knew not to play with them and to never point them at each other. We were taught how to use them, and they were never locked up! There were no gun safes in our home. In retrospect, maybe it's lucky that one or more of us weren't seriously harmed growing up. Not just because of the guns, but because of other careless behaviors, or redneck ways as HF likes to point out. He has called me on more than one occasion, a California Hillbilly. I like to think I grew up in the best of both worlds.

Anyway, I've mentioned in the past that HF often updates me on the status of his gun. I never understood why. I would just say, "Uh, cool. Thanks for that." Now I get it. Our 3 year old boy pushed a small table, climbed on top, and was reaching at where the gun is kept (Just so you know, the gun is kept secure and out of reach and there was no way he could've reached it-at least for a couple more years). I was in the shower and HF walked in to see our 3 year old dressed to the nines in his cowboy getup sans pants begging for the "poke" (that's what he calls guns). While I admire his authenticity, I realized for the first time that it's time to do some gun safety training.

HF is good about this. When they ask about the guns, or they want to see them, he stops what he's doing and gets them out. He takes the time to answer their questions and to teach them. When he and I talk about this, two things always come to my mind: 1. I've always heard the expression, "No safe is child proof", and 2. I am the one that is at home with the kids the majority of the time with guns in the house and I need to be more trained about guns myself and help with the training of our children.

It just so happens that at the right time I was reading past articles on Women of Caliber and found a four-part series of articles that Kellene wrote entitled, Children and Guns. I was especially interested in parts II and III, the myths of gun safety and children, and how to educate them, but they are all very interesting, informative, and well written.

Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV

Tell me how you seasoned LEO families have handled gun safety with your children. Any advice or other words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated.

And here is a clip from 90210 that I totally remember watching as a teen. Even though I knew it was a ridiculous show back then, I don't think I was smart enough to realize that television introduced heated issues into the story line. So this little clip has bad acting, and as HF says, it would be incredibly unlikely for the Glock to go off when hitting the floor.


Texas Ghostrider said...

I have a gun safe with a key pad. it holds by duty weapon and everything else i carry. It is only about 40 bucks but a major piece of mind.

raindog said...

I have a safe with a key lock. My girls would never touch the gun. They have been trained in the "If you see a gun you tell a parent" method, but they are girls. It holds no fascination for them.

Tara said...

so glad we will never have a un in the house! i dont need any EXTRA stuff to worry about, and my youngest has this inate abilty to find the most dangerous situation/item available to her at any given time.
her new catch phrase(if she could talk) My name is Jaeda but my parents call me 'NO!'

Julie said...

Hi there ... just stopped by your blog from a link on .. i'm not a LEO nor a LEO's wife but i shoot, have guns in the house and two kids.

(My guns generally live in a safe as that's the law here but there's times when they aren't there - to & from the range mainly).

My girls are also trained in the "if you see a gun tell an adult" method (as raindog put it)

... but if you'ld like to read a bit about how this has worked out I blogged about it here ...

KD said...

I've read the WofC articles and definitely found them interesting. The best part at our house is the terminology our 4 y/o comes up with for parts of the weapons, especially the trigger (it was something much more original than "shooter presser button" but now I can't think of it). We live in a tiny place and DH wishes he were a gunsmith, so there are often bits and pieces of long guns laying around. The kids know the basics, basically don't touch, don't look down the barrel, don't point it at anyone, only pick it up if you want to get really hurt... that kind of thing. For now it's working ok. As you mentioned, I'm also the one who is at home the most with the little angels and the weapons..... but If we ever move to a place where we're not all on top of each other size-wise then I will worry about them getting into trouble more than right now.

Momma Val said...

We have a gun safe with a keypad up really high in a closet in our bedroom. I hate having guns in the house but finally decided if the freaks Cop Dad arrests come to find us I would be glad we had one (actually have several) to defend ourselves. I know how to load, and am certified. Still hate guns ESPECIALLY around kids. He has to not play with it and wave it around and fondle it around any kids. Cleaning it in the house is not allowed for the mess, harmful vapors, and lead. They have a cleaning station at the range at the PD :) The gun and shooting and cleaning was a big deal at first but he rarely does much with that lately. He has also qualified as expert or master? We never had any guns growing up and slept with our doors unlocked. My dad was NOT a cop :)

Meadowlark said...

I, too, am surprised I'm not dead.

We always had rifles and a couple of handguns hanging in the closet next to the front door. Loaded. We never shot anybody. I got my first .22 rifle at 9 years old and was a plinking fool!

Kids were 8 and 9 when husband became a leo and honestly... guns were never locked up. Sorry. He either had them on his person or I was home. When you live in a little house (1400 sqft) kids can't get into your bedroom unless they walk past you, so we never worried about them going into our bedroom and climbing up into the closet.

They were older by the time SWAT weapons came home and for whatever reason never dug thru the SWAT bag. Me, on the other hand... ;)

Yeah, I suppose it was luck. We'll do it differently when we have grandkids.

Meadowlark said...

PS. Momma Val, cleaning weapons at home comes in quite handy during the early dating years. ;) Yes, husband was cleaning his SWAT weapon when BabyGirl's first prom date arrived. Cliched, but effective. :)

Anonymous said...

We havent had to deal with Gun Safety seeing as how Mr Deputy keeps his gun at work. I am not a Fan of guns in the home.

I am letting Mr Deputy handle the gun safety as the kids get older. His plan is that if you teach them about guns and show them how to take them apart put them back to gether, clean them etc. It will end all curiosity on playing with them.

I am not sure how i feel about that. I wasnt raised with Guns around Mr Deputy was so Hopefully he is right when it comes to our children.

Anonymous said...

I keep my duty gun at work and keep an off duty gun at home. The gun I keep at home is kept in the safe when it's not on me. I also leave it at home for Sara when I'm on nights.

I've taken my 6 year old with me to the range. He's fired a simunition gun, but is scared to death of the real thing. I think the exposure takes away some of the mystery and it has also given him a level of respect for firearms.

OrdinaryLife said...

I was raised in a house with guns, and it was explained repeatedly (from an early age) the amount of damage they could do....hurt someone, kill them, etc. When I was about 10 or so, my dad showed me where the bullets & shells were kept (away from the gun cabinet in the living room) and I learned how to load the guns.
I shoot with my husband occasionally....I really need to do more of that. I have cleared my house with a weapon before (came home to find the backdoor cracked open - my own fault - grabbed the off-duty weapon and went room by room through the house).
So far, my daughter is too little to even know we have guns (only 1), but we are renovating our bedroom to include a walk-in closet with a locking door. My husband will be keeping his guns in a safe in that closet.