Tag Archives: playdate

Is it Secured? Is it Safe? (Guns in the Home With Kids)

I came across an article titled, “Want to Schedule a Playdate? Let’s Talk About Gun Safety First.” As the title suggests, it’s about knowing how other parents deal with having guns in their home before allowing your kids to go over to visit.

Photo: Norm Bosworth
Photo: Norm Bosworth

I grew up in Northern Ontario (Canada). A lot of homes have hunting weapons and we never thought anything of it.  Our parents certainly never asked, “Do you have guns?  Are they locked up?” But, maybe they should have.  There weren’t any laws back then to make sure weapons were secured from little hands that may want to explore.

We lost a few school friends to gun accidents throughout the years, even ones that were taught gun safety. The grief and horror on the face of the “safety trained” kid who accidentally shot his best friend … it never left him.

My dad always kept his guns unloaded and hanging high up on the wall out of reach. He taught my brother and I at an early age that guns are weapons and weapons kill. It doesn’t matter if you’re an animal or a child, if a weapon is pointed at you, it can and will kill you. On purpose or by accident – dead is dead.  We’d seen enough dead animals to know we didn’t want that to happen to us or anyone we cared about.

We were allowed to handle Dad’s hunting weapons only when we were in a safe location and only when he was standing there with his hands on us and/or the weapon. We knew what it felt like to hold them, aim them, and fire them. We knew how easy it was for a gun or rifle to go off when we didn’t mean for it to and how easy it was to hit something we didn’t mean to. Seeing Dad treat every weapon (knives included) with respect went a long way. He was never casual with them:

 

“The moment you don’t respect a weapon, it will kill you.
Always treat it like it’s loaded and ready to kill.”

 

Neither my brother or I ever had an urge to touch/play with them or show them off to friends. In fact, we had friends ask us to take down a rifle or shotgun so they could see them. The answer was always no. On purpose or by accident – dead is dead.

Now, it’s law here that firearms must be unloaded and made inoperable with a secure locking device or securely locked in a container/cabinet that can’t easily be broken into. Plus, ammo must be stored separately or locked in the same container as the firearm.

Even though it’s required by law where I live, the playdate article makes a good point. We can’t assume that everyone actually follows the law. There’s always someone who figures it’s nobody’s business what they do in their own home and “What the law doesn’t know, won’t hurt me.”  And, for other places that don’t have these types of legal requirements, a conversation about guns between parents becomes more important.

It’s okay to talk about things that affect the safety of our children. If you have guns in your home, you can be the one to start the conversation with the parents of your child(ren)’s friends.  Tell them what steps you take to keep your guns secure and children safe in your home. Let them know it’s okay to ask questions. Keep the conversation light, yet respectful. You never know who’s life this simple, open discussion could save.

~*~

If you would like to know how to make your firearms safe in the home,
visit Project Child Safe.

For those in the USA, CLICK HERE to get a
>> FREE << Safety Kit, which includes
a cable-style gun lock and safety instructions.


“Helicopter Parent” and Other Douchey Terms

I’ve come across yet another article moaning about “helicopter parents” who want to be “hands on” *GASP* with their kids.  In this latest article, the blogger actually complains that some “hoverer” (her term) helped her kid, forcing her to “haul my carcass up off the bench and spot my kid, because if he can’t get up on his own, he certainly can’t get down”.  Boo-hoo; her “mama playdate” was ruined by another human being’s concern for her child.

Instead of smiling and saying, “Thank you.  I can see him from here”, this blogger takes her passive-aggressive snark online to infect her followers.  She flings around douchey terms and attitudes with a thin veneer of “humour” over her bitterness. Give me a break.

Photo Credit: Rosa Arcade
Yes, Daddy is “hovering”.  It helped her become confident so that today, she doesn’t need us “right there” anymore.  Go figure.

I have little patience for anyone who judges another parent or their parenting style without really knowing them or their personal struggles.  This kind of false need to label creates an intolerance for anyone different (AKA discrimination) that pries us apart as a community (local and global).

We are adults and should act like it.  How about setting an example for all our kids by ditching the childish name-calling and playing nicely together. We should be building each other up, not tearing each other down. Be there with a kind word for the family that’s having “That Kinda Day” in public.  Jump in with a smile and distract a crying child so their frazzled parent can catch their breath.

Oh, and maybe we could stop writing articles that foster crappy attitudes toward others.  Just a thought.

Ps – I think this lady’s response to the FB Page that shared said snarky article is wonderful:

helicopter parent - post


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