Sunday, June 16, 2013

Children & Guns

After today, I can't possibly imagine what parents who own guns must go through.  I mean I'm sure it's a lot different when it's your own children and you can parent and school them about guns the way you choose but when it comes to just a random neighbor child or even a friend's kid(s) it's a big difference.

I spent most the day with the neighbor kid and her cousin, they are seven.  They kept wanting to go into the house and I kept trying to get them to not go into the house under the excuse that I didn't want them to let my cats out, which is a concern but my bigger concern is that my house isn't child proof and my guns aren't secure from the prying curiosity of children.  I know I'll probably get quite a lashing about that but my friends don't have children, I don't have children, I don't have children in my family and I don't ever baby sit and there is just usually no chance of kids being in my house so I don't take that usual concern.

I also got to thinking this morning when my sister and I were hanging out in the kitchen, I'm cooking and she's just hanging out, my back was to the door and all I heard was a loud gasp from my sister because the kitchen door suddenly opened and within seconds the neighbor kid pops in through the door.  I wasn't carrying at the time and even if I were, I doubt I would have drawn my gun; the target would have been identified long before I could even draw.

This got me to thinking on two levels, one, boy I would be screwed if that was a stranger breaking into my house, no way would I have been prepared even if I had been carrying my gun.  It brought home just how quickly something could happen and how little time I would have to react.  Definitely practice is in order.

The other point being and my sister and I discussed this afterwards that we need to be even more careful that all doors are always locked, not just for the random criminal chance but because the neighbor girl could just pop in at any second.  Wonder if we were in the basement and she just starts going through our house, etc. just too many variables of very bad things could happen.

I do plan to maybe talk to her mother about how I don't mind her coming over and hanging out in the yard when I'm out doing stuff but I would feel a lot better if she didn't come into the house.  I don't and won't go into the specifics as to why I don't want her to come into the house because I don't feel I need to notify my neighbors that I have guns in my house.  I feel I just need to say that I worry about her getting into things that she shouldn't and sometimes we can't always watch her, granted the times she has been in the house I have always hovered over her like a hawk to make sure that she's not into anything that she's not supposed to be in but I would just feel a lot more comfortable her not being in my house.  Today with it being two kids, it's hard enough to just watch one but to have to watch two, I'm sure those of you out there that have kids know just how hairy that can be or maybe it's not like that when you have kids, I don't have kids so I have no clue if you just watch them constantly or not. (13.4)


  1. I had two children, now grown and young adults. hey had friends over all the time. Some I knew from seeing them over and over again and others who came by maybe once or twice. My kids knew about my guns. They also were briefed on what to do when their friends were there. There friends were also told about my guns. I figured if they were going to be in my house they needed to know that any gun they might find would quite likely be a real one and maybe was loaded and could be potentially dangerous if they picked it up. They left them alone or just stayed out of where they would likely find one. Of course, my neighbors knew I had guns because I was a federal agent. There was no hiding my employment - once one person knew something, the whole neighborhood soon knew about it too. I would rather they knew I had guns than not, considering that one of the reasons they knew was because I told the kids about the facts of life and death concerning them and thus that helped o keep them safe.

  2. Glenn, thank you so much for your response. I'm still undecided as to how to handle the situation and you sharing what you did kind of helps me to put it more in line.

    I know I would feel a lot more comfortable just being up front about my guns in my house than trying to put it off as dangerous chemicals and sharp tools to them but I also am uncertain as to how their parents might handle or think of that. I'm not sure if they are even supporters or in the middle about guns, probably not considering I guess her cousin had been shot (more than likely in a gang related thing) so they might just be totally against guns because of that.

    My only hesitation in letting my neighbors know that I have guns is that I feel safer them not knowing. The neighborhood I live in is a the later stages of being cleaned up from violent and criminal happenings, I don't like to use the word but it's being gentrified so there are some rough spots still, more north of where I live but my concern is since I don't know them all that well, I'm not sure it's a good idea to alert them I own guns because of the potential of being broke into because of the guns, which is also why I would rather not tell the children they are there either, you know how kids talk. I don’t think my direct neighbors would break into my house but wonder if word got around in any ways to someone who might like and use that information.

    On a side note, in the one year that I have lived in my house, it has been broken into once, fortunately only a change jar was taken and not my guns or any other items of value.

    Maybe I'm just over thinking the whole thing. At least your neighbors know that you are a Federal Agent, that probably instills a sense of security and trust. I've had classes and training but I don't have the same sort of standing that you do.

    I would very much like to hear your thoughts in reference to what I laid out in this response, if you want that is. Thanks.

  3. I have children in my home now; 3 small (under 4) grand children. I had firearms in my home when my kids were growing up and following a few simple precautions kept them safe.

    First, I realized that kids will explore and find things if they are left unattended. This is less of a challenge for someone who just has kids visiting but they will look around.

    Second, I couldn't spend a fortune on securing firearms so I didn't. I used simple gun rugs and luggage locks to secure the firearms. Just look for the type that has two zipper pulls and loops in the end large enough for a luggage lock to fit through.

    Third, I started teaching my kids young what to do if they saw a gun; check out the Eddie Eagle Program offered by the NRA for guidelines.

    Don't worry about hurting feelings by setting rules for your house; it is yours and if the limits upsets anyone it might be a clue they shouldn't visit. What you might do is ask the mom how much does the daughter know about staying away from dangers; medicines, knives, etc. Might be surprised that they have firearms in the house and didn't want to say anything.

    1. Most my guns are secured but one, that one is my carry gun and my by the bedside gun. But I'm figuring that maybe it ought to be secure too.

      I have that in my plans to make her sit down and watch Eddie Eagle already. I never knew about him until I was reading paperwork that came with one of my guns so I went and checked him out.

      Good point, thank you for reminding me and great suggestions, I really appreciate your taking the time to suggest things.

  4. Manners. They'll take a person a long way.

    I remember being taught to knock and then wait for someone to answer the door.

    Crazy thought, huh?

    1. I know, right? My parents taught me you don't do that, granted when I was two I think my mom had a problem with my sister and I always climbing over the fence and walking into the drunken guy down the street's house without knocking. I was two though, this girl is seven, she ought to know a bit better.

  5. I agree with teaching kids following EDDIE EAGLE's program, but you don't have kids in your house, they're not your kids, so what they are taught about guns IN THEIR OWN HOMES is out of your control.

    I can honestly say that I had friend's houses that I was so comfortable with I just walked in. And my kids had friends who practically lived at our house when they were teenagers. At that point, I had a gun safe and locked up my guns, but there was a rule about even thinking about touching one of my guns. Because my kids grew up with them, they didn't think twice about it, so there wasn't any "show and tell" going on. If I bought a new gun, or when I finished building my shotgun, the kids wanted to show it off (so did I), so they would ask me to bring it out, but they never dared touch it if I wasn't home. Since they knew I'd be willing to show their friends and give them a brief safety lesson, there was no hurry for them.

    Damn, that's rambling.

    The point is: it's your house, they're not your kids, they should stay out.

    1. I agree there as well about what they are taught about guns in their own homes is out of my control. I guess the whole situation was a bit of a back and forth with me.

      So when you mentioned to your kids' friends about your guns and that they were not to ever touch them, did you worry about their parent's beliefs on it or was it a case of this is my house, they are my rules and it doesn't matter? That's my conundrum is taking into factor of the parent's beliefs but part of me does feel it's my house, they are my rules, etc.

  6. I remember it being a fleeting worry. I didn't make a big deal out of it, but I did let them know if I had given their kids an impromptu safety lesson. I just never really mentioned it when we met, "Hi, I'm Digger's mom, and I have guns in the house." Nope, they pretty much all knew I was a shooter because it was at topic of casual conversation with my kids. They didn't know until they were much older that guns made some people uncomfortable. Like I said, it was just a fact of life for them and they assumed everyone was a shooter.

    Come to think of it, they were pretty much surrounded by shooters since I worked at the gun shop, so I can understand how they'd make that assumption.

  7. You had/have it a lot easier than I do. It was funny though, the cousins mom came by to make sure his asthma was holding up being around the cat and asked what we were doing, I told her that I had been teaching them how to get out of holds and grabs. I figure if they are going hang around me they are going to learn something, lol.