The recent news of a 9 year old being shot and killed by his 12 year old brother hit a little close to home – both because it is here in Massachusetts, and because of the ages of the children. Nearly exactly that of my own kids.
We don’t own guns, but as someone who both took and taught riflery at summer camp, I have a healthy respect for firearms, and was taught basic safety rules – don’t touch, don’t point, don’t joke around.
And while it may surprise people, I am also not anti-gun. I think some guns have their place, it’s just not in the hands of children (or others, but let’s not go there today).
But my children haven’t had the same exposure to firearms, and while I haven’t asked, I know that among their friends’ parents are hunters and, I assume, gun owners.
With the news of the shooting playing in the background, and while I cooked dinner, the kids and I talked about guns and gun safety. We discussed what to say if a friend asks if they would like to see a gun (“no”), or if they take out a gun (“leave and find a parent”). We talked about basic gun safety (never trust if someone says it’s not loaded; never touch or play with a gun unless their father and I are there and overseeing; never point a gun at someone). And we considered how the lives of the boys from this recent shooting had changed forever – a life lost and a life ruined.
By the end Sophie was weeping, but both seemed to get what we were talking about.
But it has me wondering – have you spoken to your children about guns and gun safety?
Have you asked their parents if they have guns in the home and what procedures they use to assure they are out of reach of the children?
Gun safety resources I probably should have looked at before talking to the kids:
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