I grew up in Scotland where the only people that had guns were farmers and veterinarians to protect livestock and euthanize sick cows or horses. When I was a kid even the police were not armed.
Because of such strict gun laws there was very little gun crime in the UK, even now a gun crime will make national news because they are not frequent. Perhaps this is why I have a greater fear of guns than the majority of the population in the US.
When my kids started school and began to go on play dates, I was paranoid about them being in a house where there were guns; I would ask the mom if they had guns in the house and the reply was always the same – a stunned silence.
I offended some people by asking, but most of them were shocked that they had never thought to ask that question when sending their kids to a play date for the first time.
Kids are naturally very curious and if you have a cabinet where something is hidden away, they are going to want to check it out, maybe even show off to a friend. Younger children and teens still tend to think they are immortal; they are not capable of thinking about the implications of playing with something dangerous.
Why do some people find it so hard to ask if there are weapons in the house? Are we afraid of offending someone? What’s worse? Offending someone or your child being in a potentially harmful situation?
What have you done to protect your kids from weapons? Have you taught them what to do if they find a gun or if a friend is playing with one? Do you ask their friends' parents if they have weapons in the house and, if they do, would you ask to see how they are stored before letting your kid play there?
Here are some headlines about Connecticut children that have been victims of accidental gun crime.