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Should I Let My Kids Do A Sleepover With A Gun In The House?

I ask you to read this with your child in mind. I do have my own views and opinions about guns, this is not a anti/pro gun article, no politics. Just about keeping our kids safe.

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Which is every parent’s goal.

These days there is a lot of talk about whether parents should let their children stay at a friend’s house if there is a gun in the house. It is an extremely important topic, that should not be taken lightly. I think everyone can agree?

I feel like the most important thing is to make sure that your child is educated on gun safety. If they see a gun they need to know what to do and what not to do. They need to learn that real guns are NOT toys. 

I’m not talking about how to use a gun, I’m talking about teaching your kids what guns can do and the difference between a real gun and a fake gun.

I don’t want your child to be a statistic, please don’t make mine

According to the (Research Institute at Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia), 1.7 million kids live with loaded unlocked firearms in their homes- 1 out of 3 homes with kids have guns.

More than 75 percent of first and second graders know where their parents keep their firearms and 36 percent admitted handling the weapons, contradicting their parents’ reports; according to (Center for Injury Research and Prevention).

 

In 2015, 2,824 children (age 0 to 19 years) died by gunshot and an additional 13,723 were injured. Among children, the majority (89%) of unintentional shooting deaths occur in the home. Most of these deaths occur when children are playing with a loaded gun in their parent’s absence; (Center for Injury Research and Prevention).

Age to teach gun safety

I’m not sure if there really is a correct answer to this. However, I think as young as three is a good age. My kids (3 and 5) like to pretend they are superheros and bad guys and they pretend to have guns.

Even though my 3 year old might not completely comprehend what I am saying about the difference between real guns and fake ones, and what they could do to someone. I think it is good to start young because they do retain so much. I also think we underestimate the intelligence of the young ones.

It’s okay to pretend

I personally don’t have a problem with my kids having fake guns. I grew up having them, and so did my brother and sister.

Kids playing is a huge role on their learning development and imagination. They don’t fully understand what they are doing. When they are playing they don’t have it in their mind to intentionally hurt the other person.

Guns in your home

If you do have guns in your house be careful and smart about it. Some parents might think that their kids will never find the gun, or it’s up high and they can’t reach it.

Kids are mischievous little creatures and love to explore. Put them in a safe place that you know they can’t get into – ever. I would recommend getting a safe that uses your fingerprint, instead of a key lock, or one with a code. 

I have a gun in my house- not thrilled about it, but my husband’s grandpa gave it to him. I make sure that the kids don’t know about it, or know where it is if they find out there is one. However, if they do find it we have it in a safe they can’t get into. 

 

When kids are older they figure things out. They don’t stop until they can break the code, if they want something bad enough. I remember being young – my siblings and I were able to figure out codes and get into things we weren’t supposed to get into.

They have so many different fingerprint gun safes for smaller guns, and safes for bigger guns or rifles, if you’re a hunter. 

Store the gun unloaded and keep the bullets in a different safe.

Guns at their friends house

Teaching your kids about guns and their potential capabilities is key. Tell them if they ever see a gun to not touch it and  leave the area, and to tell an adult.

Make sure they know if their friend is showing them a gun and they feel uncomfortable being around it, it’s encouraged to leave the room and call their parents or another adult.  

Ok to ask the parent

It is completely ok to ask your friend’s parents if they have guns in their house.

One time I read an article (I don’t remember where), about a mom wondering if she should ask or just not let her kids sleep at anyone’s house. That’s a really tough question. For me, I would love my kids to be able to have fun and hang out at other people’s houses if they are in a safe environment.

If someone asks if you have a gun in your house and if it’s locked away to where they can never find it, don’t get offended by it. We are parents that want one thing for our kids- to be safe.

Put yourself in their shoes. Would you want to get a call from another parent saying your child was accidentally shot? Or would you want to be the parent making that call? 

So, just help give everyone a peace of mind knowing they can be safe staying at your house, and that you will make sure they stay safe.

As parents we all want the same thing- for our kids to have fun and be safe. We want them to be kids and make memories. We want to remember our kids smiling and laughing. Don’t let that end too soon.