I have been interested in owning a gun, but I have 3 young boys and I’m afraid to have one in the home. I am certainly conflicted on the subject. From Mary Ann
No matter who you ask about this you are going to get a wide variety of answers. Even those who haven’t thought about owning guns before will have strong feelings one way or the other on how guns and children should be handled.
I am here to say that it is possible to have children and guns in the same home. I am the mother to a 6 year old boy and a 2 year old girl. There have been guns in my home at different times.
One thing you will hear me say over and over is that eduction is so very important when it comes to dealing with guns. This of course is not only true for adults but also for children. Neither of my children has ever handled a gun or been shooting but this does not mean we do not educate them all the time about firearms.
Start by talking to them about what guns are used for, why you have them and why it is important that they don’t play with them. Of course for some children this is all that is needed. My 6 year old is content with that and knows that no matter what, he is never allowed to touch a gun. He also knows when we think he is mature enough he will be taken to the range and taught how to shoot. But even when he is taught how, never at anytime can he use a gun unless we have first given permission.
We were always very strict with toy guns even. Genghis was not allowed to have any for a long time. Once we felt he was old enough to tell the difference between a toy and a real gun we slowly introduced the toys. He is not allowed to have any that resemble real guns. Nerf it is!
If one of your boys is more like my daughter, curious about everything with no fear, then this takes a little more diligence on your part.
One option of course is keeping the gun, magazines and ammo in separate places and even hiding some of them. But honestly, an unloaded gun is about as useless as a handle on a snowball. If you have any intentions of using the gun for self defense, the bad guy isn’t going to wait for you to locate the magazine, locate the ammo, load said magazine, load the gun. You see where this is going.
Depending on the type of gun this can be solved as easily as a holster. If you are interested in a hand gun, your children are not going to be playing around with it if it is in a holster and on your body.
A safe is also an option. You can get anything from a regular combination safe to a finger print safe, to a combo of the two. Of course while a safe is a great option, if using the gun for self defense, having it locked up all the time can be a problem.
You can also buy a gun lock. This is basically a very simple pad lock that goes through the trigger guard and barrel of the gun making it inoperable. Again, keep in mind if you are using it for protection, this can also be a hindrance.
It seems I may have given you more solutions with problems than some clear cut advice. Honestly, it all comes down to you know your children. You know what will work for them in your home. And while some of the solutions do have some major drawbacks, it is possible to have children and guns in the home at the same time and not have any issues.