Super Scary…Other people’s guns and MY kid…what would you do?

While in California we were having some water balloon fun outside. I’ll tell ya, fill up some balloons with water and watch every single kid in the neighborhood instantly flock to you..it was like ants to sugar, I tell ya!

Well, balloons and water led to one child (I’d say he was around 10 years old) bringing over his water GUNS…one looked like a toy, the other certainly did not. Regardless, guns of any sort aren’t allowed at my mom’s house and we didn’t want them around our kids so we sent him home with his toy guns. He was super responsive, said sorry and was a really good boy to bring them back to his house.

About 10 minutes later all the kids were playing on the grass outside my mom’s house when Cameron came running up to my sister in law. “Auntie,” he said, “That boy (pointing to the one that had the fake guns) told me that he had a REAL gun at his house!” (I believe he said something like, “You know, I have a real gun at my house…” sort of insinuating as best a young child can, that he could show it to them)

First of all…way to go Cam for running to tell Auntie right away. He instinctively knew to come tell someone. He’s heard me say how I don’t like water guns, toy guns or even finger guns in our house (although this is the latest thing Cameron and his friends do while playing Clone Wars…I’m working on that going away…I hate finger gun fighting).

Anyhow, my sister in law told Cameron and her son, with a very serious eye, “If anyone ever tells you that they have a gun or asks if you want to see it, you run as fast as you can and come and tell a grown up.” The boys took this advice very seriously and I think it will stick with them.

I pray it will stick with them.

BUT, that small moment of this kid sharing and showing off, that he had a gun to my child, a 4 year old, scared the living crap out of me! What if the older boy had brought the gun out for him to see?

I am so torn on the right to bare arms…that’s not really what this post is about…well sorta..I mean, I know it’s your right to have a gun in YOUR house. But WE don’t. We don’t have guns in our house. Thus I hadn’t really taught Cam & Leah about gun safety. But now I know I HAVE to…I tell them to first run away if a friend asks if they want to see one. Second, never point one at anyone else and I’ve talked to them about guns being for police officers or soldiers or those that have training to own them, GUNS ARE NOT FOR PLAY.

I don’t know if I am right. But it’s what we are doing.

This was a wake up call, until now I had simply said “No toy guns” which is tough enough seeing as how all his friends have them. But when another child brought up that he had a REAL GUN, well, my mommy alarm went off. And boy was it was LOUD!

Are you teaching your children about gun safety? What’s your take? Also, if your child is having a playdate at someone’s house, do you ask the parents if they have guns??  I’m thinking I should start to ask. I never have before.

Comments

  1. We dont have guns in our home but teach our kids to be respectful. My husband has a lot of hunters in the family and the children are taught from a young age to respect guns. Plus they are always locked up in a safe. Sounds like this child might have easy access which is totally wrong in my opinion.
    .-= Lucy´s last blog ..Small Talk Six: Gimme Some Sugar! =-.

  2. Wow, so scary. I can see all sides, honestly. I think kids do need to know about guns. Like, really know about what guns can do to you. Even pretend play could possibly teach kids to stay away from the wrong end of one and how to handle one, but I also see where it could spiral out of control………….

    My son is very young, so this will definitely stay on my mind over the next several years.
    .-= Leane´s last blog ..Win, What, Where?!? My Sentiment ExactLee =-.

  3. I’m leary about this too. My 4 year old son has always had a fascination with toy guns. I’ve tried my best to steer him from them but he always goes back to pretending other things are guns and has now started building them out of legos. My husband doesn’t feel that there’s anything wrong with toy guns because he used to play with them and he’s “turned out just fine”. I’m just not a fan and I have a hard time when my in-laws have a storm trooper gun (from my younger brother and sisters in law) that he and my 19 month old want to play with. It also doesn’t help when my mother in law pretends to die when “shot” by them… I’m not sure how to handle it because it seems that aside from my sister and her husband, I’m the odd duck out that doesn’t like guns. Everyone else seems to think there’s no issue but I’m uneasy.

  4. @Cat quote: @Sarah you don’t have to have a real gun to teach safety, a toy one would do the trick

    It also wouldn’t hurt to take your older children to a gun range, show them what guns do, kids needs to see the consequences of gun use.”

    I meant if I had a gun then talking more about them and gun safety would be a natural thing for me to do. But we don’t have guns so it wasn’t on my radar.

  5. Guns were made to injure, mame or kill – either animals or humans (animals for need of food only and sadly to defend against life threatening other humans). I personally just can’t see anything “good” coming from them either way. Also it scares the daylights out of me that encouraging “play” with squirt guns or other toys, can send an unspoken message to the child that guns (and the violent act that comes with them – whether intentional or not, they were created to injure, or kill) can easily mis-intentionally encourage their use. Timing and age of the individual child and how you share the safety tips and information (or proper lessons in use like in a gun range etc.) are very important so as not to end up encouraging it. Any thing where violence can begin has never been tolerated in our home. No guns, we’d had a small rifle (from my husband’s childhood) in our home before the birth of our second child, our first child was around 3 yo. We kept it on the very top shelf of the closet in our room and our daughter never saw it. It was for emergency safety against any potential burglar and as such it was loaded with 2 bullets. One evening while I was in the kitchen with our daughter and my husband was changing out of his suit after work, there was a sudden loud explosive noise from the direction of my bedroom. The rifle had fallen from the shelf and gone off – shooting a hole in the closet door and mirror and narrowly missing my husband’s foot. It was a true wake up call and ever since NO guns – no good can come from them unless you need them for your legal work in which case you are a professional user. Yes, ask before sending your child to play at a friend’s house and then invite them to come play at your own house!

  6. Where I live in Canada, I don’t think I know a single person who owns a gun that they keep in the city. My father had guns for hunting when I was little and he kept them at our cabin in the wilderness.

    I would freak if my kids’ friends had guns at their houses. Too scary!!!
    .-= Susan (5 Minutes for Mom)´s last blog ..Help Hungry Families Get Back To The Table =-.

  7. Right on, Sarah!
    My son wasn’t big on guns as a little guy, nor are we. We did express to him our concerns about guns and other weapons and told him we would never permit any guns in the house. Later on when I started reading and hearing stories of children showing off a parent’s gun and some child getting killed, I made a point of asking other parents if there were any guns or lethal weapons in their home. If the answer was “yes”, their child was invited to come play at our house. Our son knew from a very early age that guns mame and kill, that they are not toys and to always report to us if he saw anyone flashing or showing off a gun-and-that he would be rewarded for telling us. I believe in better safe than sorry. The exception is kids of police officers and/or soldiers, who carry guns as part of their job and to protect the safety of others. In this event, I confirm that the guns are locked up in a safe and not-accessible to children. Curiosity didn’t just kill the cat:)

    maggie@mannwieler.com

  8. When I was young, I had a friend die in a gun safety class. No one knew the gun was loaded, and I think it malfunctioned when they were going over something. I’m not sure, and that isn’t the point. It was sad and scary, and real.

    I am a firm believer in knowledge being power. If you are honest with your children about gun safety, I think it goes a long way. Teach them what you know about guns and gun safety. If you need help, ask if a police officer can talk to your children about it, or contact a local hunting club or gun range. They often provide safety classes that your children can participate in, talk to them one-on-one, and have recourses and information that can help you.
    .-= Renee´s last blog ..Neighboring Sex Offenders =-.

  9. Matthew…exactly. It seems so odd when I say it out loud to myself… “Hey, before Cam comes over, do you have a gun?” and if they say yes…hmmm…what then.

    Good thing is that I am friends with the parents of Cam’s friends so I feel like I’ll just have the convo with them sometime in a non confrontational setting, like while we watch the kids at the park or during a playdate when I am there.

    I suppose if I don’t feel comfortable asking then why should I feel comfortable letting Cameron go to their house.

  10. What an odd question, “do you have a gun” never really thought about it until your brought it up. There are some horrific stories out there about kids finding guns and getting hurt in their houses.
    .-= Matthew´s last blog ..Free Pink Cotton Panty at Victorias Secret =-.

  11. I grew up with a dad as a State Trooper and had guns in the house – Locked up. But, they still scare me and I don’t have them in my house. It scares me to death to think about my child going to play at someone’s house that has a gun. I don’t know what we’ll do. I am sure glad I have time to think about it!
    .-= Kasey@All Things Mamma´s last blog ..YoBaby 3-in-1 Meals Review & Giveaway! =-.

  12. My kids have water guns purchased from the ir grandmother, but they are not allowed to point ehm at ppl only things. My son doesn’t have any toy guns and we have taught them gun safety. In today’s world it is a very scary thing to think about.
    Kasandria
    .-= Kasandria´s last blog ..~Wordless Wednesday~ =-.

  13. Guns totally scare me, I can’t imagine having one anywhere close to me! I don’t know what I would do if my son had a friend who had a gun in his house….that is scary stuff!
    .-= Rachel´s last blog ..Energy Conserving Wool Dryer Balls-Giveaway! =-.

  14. My dad hunts, so my little one has seen guns from an early age. That said, we have taught gun safety constantly. He knows not to touch a gun, what to do if he see one, etc. I think it’s important to stress what to do and how to tell an adult right away.

    And yes, I will always ask parents if they have guns if my son will be there!
    .-= Staci A´s last blog ..Wubbzy Goes Boo Review & Giveaway =-.

  15. This is so scary for me. My husband doesnt think its a big deal, that all boys have toy guns. But I saw our neighbors kids shooting bb gun things nad found 3 of them in our twin boys jeep! If those had hit them. I was so mad, and I dont buy my boys toy gun anything!

  16. OMG so scary. I wish i could put my kids in a bubble and protect them forever, but thats not reality so I think it is soo important for kids to be talked to about guns and gun safety, we dont even have play guns in our home
    .-= April´s last blog ..Wordless Wednesday =-.

  17. im scared to death of guns period. I think water guns are…water guns. What can you do. I dont want to do things so tight that charlotte doesnt learn. But i dont purchase guns to play and i dont want her pretending to kill ANYONE EVER.

    trisha
    .-= trisha´s last blog ..Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Blu-Ray (giveaway) =-.

  18. Susan, that made me LOL!

  19. I totally agree with you and the same rule applies in my house. No guns/weapons (toys or otherwise) allowed in my house. Having said that………BOYS WILL FIND A WAY!
    I swear that boys can make anything into a gun. Case in point:
    Sitting in church on Sunday listining to a talk on showing love to all people and I look over to see my son holding my daughter’s barbie doll with the legs split and watch my son shooting it like it was a machine gun. Nice. In church no less. What can ya do?
    .-= Susan´s last blog ..Sunday on La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat =-.

  20. I’m with you Sarah! We don’t allow fake guns, water guns, etc. in our house. My bff’s dh is a hunter and has many and they let their boys have toy ones, which is fine, their kids, their rules and whatnot. But when we go over there that’s the first thing my son goes for. Then he comes home and turns everything into a gun. I cannot stand it. At some point we will teach them about gun safety and let them try a real one (only via gun classes) but we will make a major point to show, teach and tell them how to use one, what to do and what not to do. Guns scare the crap out of me so I want nothing to do with them.
    .-= stefanie´s last blog ..Wordless Wednesday =-.

  21. Sarah – I am exactly like you. No toy guns, no finger guns, no water guns. I am adamant that guns are not/should not be toys. Period.

    With that though, my dad has guns. They are locked up in his shed and are rarely used. But I do want him to take my boys out and teach them to shoot…properly. I want them to learn safety. I tell my oldest (5yo, the only one with interest right now) that when he is a bit older Grandpa will teach him about guns. But until then, they are dangerous and not to be played with.

    Also, my boys aren’t old enough to go to other peoples houses yet, I don’t know what I would do about that.
    .-= Rhea´s last blog ..Mom Vs. Mom ~ The Age Old Debate =-.

  22. My husband hunts so we have guns in out home BUT they are locked up and stay locked up unless my husband is using them, and our daughter knows she is to never touch one unless her father is with her showing her how to shoot them. I blame children getting a hold of guns on the parents. Proper gun placement as well as safety could prevent a lot of childrens deaths due to guns.
    .-= Jammie´s last blog ..stay at home vs working moms =-.

  23. Sarah, you can get gun safety books and color books geared towards kids so you can talk at an age appropriate level. As Cat said it is always good to ask other parents. I always tell parents we have guns, they are under lock and key in a safe (combo) so I feel good that there will be no accidents. I just let them know we keep them in the house, but no child can get to them.

    Now the older boys have soft air guns that shoot these tiny red and blue plastic beads, and I have a paintball gun, that scares off pesky raccoons, squirrels and other pests.
    .-= Shellie @Military_Mom´s last blog ..Operation Love Reunited – Photography for Military Families =-.

  24. @Sarah you don’t have to have a real gun to teach safety, a toy one would do the trick

    It also wouldn’t hurt to take your older children to a gun range, show them what guns do, kids needs to see the consequences of gun use.
    .-= Cat´s last blog ..When Moms Fly =-.

  25. Yes Sarah, ALWAYS ask parents if they have guns in the home. While I’m confident my son will make the right decisions regarding guns, I don’t know other children will.

    As you know, my husband is a police officer, so it’s a given we have guns in our home, 2 in fact. Since the day our kids could talk, gun safety has been number one priority. I’m not fond of toy guns either as they give the idea that guns are toys when in fact, they are not.
    .-= Cat´s last blog ..When Moms Fly =-.

  26. I almost think it’d be easier for me to teach gun safety if we had a gun…we won’t be having one anytime soon (hear that hubby!) but because it’s not it our house, it’s not, or wasn’t on my radar.

    Sound like you guys are good on the safety. Good on you Shellie!

  27. My oldest two both know all about gun safety and how to shoot them as well. We have guns in the house and a gun safe they stay in when not being used, which is like 99.999999999999% of the time. My youngest (now 2) will start learning gun safety this next spring as he turns 3. As of right now he knows they are a no no and HOT so he is not to touch or they will burn. (easy way to keep him away from them) Next year he will learn more gun safety.
    .-= Shellie @Military_Mom´s last blog ..Operation Love Reunited – Photography for Military Families =-.

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