Guns Guns Guns

So, what do we tell our kids when someone with a gun goes crazy?

What do we tell our kids when someone with guns goes crazy? Do we say “Well, I’m sorry son, but in this country we have the right to bear arms, so that guy should have been stopped by a “good guy” with a gun.” Maybe we say “Things like that never happen around here.” – but then we think about Sandy Hook, The Pulse nightclub, or Virginia Tech and that excuse falls away too.

I’m just being a wise-guy.

Let your children know that they are SAFE in our world

What I do in circumstances like these is LET MY CHILDREN KNOW THEY ARE SAFE.  I tell them that there are no crazy people in or around our home, or their school, or, hopefully their neighborhood. I tell them that, as their parent, I’m always watching out for them. I explain that their mother, our neighbors, and the police are all here to protect and guide them and that they do not need to be afraid.

Young and old, children want to know they’re safe, even if we have to swallow our own fears to convince them.

I’ve gone through a lot of transitions about guns. My father had been a pistol instructor in the Army and kept one in the house. As a 10 year old, I attended a shooting class at the local YMCA and got an NRA membership certificate as a Pro-Marksman.

After my NRA class, my dad bought me a bb gun. He made me take an oath to “not shoot a living thing” which I accepted as a term of use. I was a very good shot. I could hit a bee (insect vs. “living thing”) on a wall from 30 ft.

I am trained in gun safety and I understand how serious it is to hold a weapon. I have gone to Vegas and enjoyed firing automatic weapons (at an indoor range) and I have spent hours “plinking” various objects with a .22 caliber rifle.  I’ve had a lot of the fun target shooting, but handling weapons requires training and a cool head.

When my wife and I moved into our first home, I thought about getting a pistol or a twelve gauge shotgun for home-defense.

My wife objected.

 Having a gun in the house increases the odds of an accident by ONE HUNDRED PERCENT.

Our first child was due in a few months and my wife, in her classicly logical way explained that having a gun in the house would increase the odds of an accident by ONE HUNDRED PERCENT. If I locked it away, I wouldn’t have it when I needed it, and if I put it where I could get my hands on it, it was probable that someday, some little hands would find it too. I knew this to be true because, as an eight-year-old I found my father’s pistol and went searching for the ammo (which I never found).

Details will emerge, excuses will be made, and, inexplicably, Congress will continue to loosen gun regulations.

The Las Vegas shooter appears to have been a pretty normal guy. Who knows what his grudges were, but does it really make sense for him, or anyone, to own a weapon that can rapidly fire fatal lead rounds into a crowd of innocent people? Details will emerge, excuses will be made, and, inexplicably, Congress will continue to loosen or ignore gun regulations.  They will claim that “the left” want to abolish the 2nd Amendment, they will claim that we want to confiscate their guns.  They will continue to offer these hyperbolic lies as some form of defense.

Are these issues to discuss with our young children? No. Living in fear is no way to live. I used to tell my wife that it would be OK for us to have a gun if we enrolled our kids in gun safety classes and we taught them to respect firearms… but she threw that “100% greater  possibility” fact at me time and time again. She reminded me that our child might be showing a gun to a friend who WASN’T trained in gun safety and suddenly we’d have a serious problem (another childhood anecdote here).

So that’s it. Most gun owners are responsible, caring, intelligent people – but guns are designed to kill things, and ultimately, somebody snaps and puts a gun (or guns) to its intended use.

There are statistics that prove that the fewer guns we have in our society, the fewer gun deaths we will have. Australia implemented serious gun restrictions and their death rates plummeted.

More guns mean more shootings. Fewer guns mean fewer shootings.

Seems like common sense to me.

About Richard Greenberg

I am a Los Angeles native, father or four, and happy husband for 39 years. I recently wrote my first book, "Raising Children That Other People Like to be Around" in an effort to offer young parents simple advice and help them better understand their roles. I studied English at UCLA, where I also sang in the Men's Glee Club. I have worked in television post production for over 30 years and teach a post production course at the UCLA Extension. Today, I continue to consult about technology, while writing about parenting, speaking publicly, and teaching courses in responsible parenting. I am a very lucky man.
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