Owning guns with children in the house can be a major issue for many people and families. There are a lot of things to consider when making this decision. Where will I keep my guns? Do I need a gun safe? What do I teach my children regarding gun safety? When should I teach my children about guns? Are they old enough to understand the consequences? These are just a few of the important questions I encourage everyone that currently owns or plans on owning a firearm to consider before making your own educated decision.
However, for the sake of this discussion, I want to discuss situations that are out of our control. I am a strong advocate of gun safety, especially when you have children. I have three children ages 14, 5 and 6 myself. I recently watched a special (I think it was 60 minutes or 20/20 not sure which) where they did an experiment with a group of children of various ages with various toys and toy guns and they had a Glock in the mix (obviously unloaded). They watched how the kids reacted with the different toys and found that almost every kid (even the ones that come from homes with gun owners) picked it up pointed it at another kid and pulled the trigger.
I found this very alarming and disturbing. As a parent we all think our kids would never do that. Based on the fact that even the children that live in the household with responsible gun owners had the same reaction, I started having a conversation with my youngest children every month about what to do if they find a real gun. They always say the right thing: "get a grown up". I decided to test them tonight. I hid my wife's UNLOADED .38 revolver on my sons bed under some toys (the green hulk fist) to see how they would respond.
Now this situation would never happen in my household simply because I keep all my firearms locked in a gun safe and a code locked safe next to my bed. But unfortunately, we can not control every environment our children will be put into. For this reason I felt I needed to do more than just talk to my children about guns, I needed to see if they were paying attention.
Tonight, I am a proud father. Both kids passed the test. Delilah picked up the gun not realizing what it was at first then put it down then they went to get me. (see the video below)
Do any of you have the same conversations with your children?
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