Tag Archives: responsible parents

Parents, explain something to me, please

While browsing news this morning, I ran across this screed. It’s in response to a woman — with an admitted anxiety disorder requiring treatment — wondering if she should ask about the presence of guns before sending her child away to a play date.

Dear Abby Says Asking About Guns In Homes Is ‘Off-Putting’
It is astonishing that in this day and age, when guns are the third leading cause of death for American children and we hear stories seemingly every other day about children getting access to adult’s guns, that anyone — let alone someone whose job is to give advice — would recommend that a parent be more concerned about not making another parent uncomfortable than about making sure their child is safe.

TL;DR is that Bland is shocked that possibly offending an acquaintance might take precedence over child safety “when guns are the third leading cause of death for American children.” (Which happens to be one of the latest lies being pushed by gun ban bunnies. They have to include gangbangers up to 24 years of age to get there.) But this is where I need some input from parents, since I’ve never been one.

Do you parents normally send your kids — I mean those too young to understand that guns aren’t toys — off to the homes of people you don’t know well enough to have a feel for how safe they are?

Do parents typically not teach their children not to screw around with other people’s property — guns, in this case — without permission?

Do parents encourage their children to hang out with other children who lack respect for people’s property?

As a non-parent, my experience is limited to my own childhood, observing friends and relatives with their children. Bog knows, my parents told me to stay away from certain kids and homes. None of my nieces, nephew, grand-nieces, grand nephew have even tried to get my — secured — firearms.

Or, going to some friends for example: I used to spend a fair bit of time with a couple with two young children, the oldest a boy about three years old at the time. Any time they had guns out for cleaning, they’d let the boy watch. And handle guns and parts under supervision. And all the while telling him about the Four Rules; conversationally rather than as a lecture, in simple language a 3y/o could grasp.

And to make sure he understood that guns can destroy things and people, we took him to the range. We fitted him with hearing and eye protection (which he wanted anyway, since the grown-ups were putting on their own). I set up a milk jug full of water on the target line, and shot it with .45 ACP (I believe I was usually running 185 gr. Federal Hydra-Shoks back then), as our young student watched.

He was impressed. I didn’t know eyes could get that wide.

To the best of my knowledge, he never ever “played” with a gun. Because he knew what they could do.

In another case, I attended a camping event which included a lot of shooting: a pistol competition, pistol and rifle classes, and near-continuous informal target practice. The camping area was on elevated ground, and there was a trail leading down to the valley where the range was set up with the firing line facing the other side of the valley.

Much of the time there was a five year-old boy parked at the trail head. Small .22 rifle slung on his shoulder (Chipmunk, I think, but can’t swear to), and a belt with pouches for his muffs, safety glasses, targets, and ammunition. Any time an adult approached the trail head, the youngster would speak up very politely. “Excuse me, sir. Are you going to the range?”

“Yep.”

“Could I go with you? I want to shoot, but my parents say I can only go to the range with an adult.”

So I took him to the range, since I also happened to know his father and knew the drill. That boy was one of the safest shooters I’ve seen; strict adherence to the Rules (not positive, but I think he might have been muttering the Four Rules to himself as we walked to the firing line). Not a bad shot either,

Because his entirely reasonable and responsible parents had taught him firearms safety and shooting. Is the circle of friends, family, and acquaintances I hang out with really that much more safety-aware than most parents?

A more general example: I live in a state where an estimated one in three people own guns (I think that’s pretty low, but we’re not the sort to tell strangers on the phone a lot of details). In my small town rural area, the anecdotal rate is more like 90%; most of the exceptions are military and Yankee transplantees who haven’t bought anything yet (although some have asked me for help on deciding what to buy). It seems to me that if fears of kids grabbing guns were the huge problem Ms. Bland and Mrs. Anxiety-meds believe, this county would have depopulated itself decades ago. It hasn’t, it’s growing, and I can’t recall the last accidental shooting by a minor, nor does a web search turn up anything.

So, real parents; who better represents reality? My responsible friends, or fearful folks being treated for anxiety?

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Mother’s Day Musings

Mothers, most of us had or have one. There are some politicians that I’ve wondered if they weren’t perhaps hatched out of a dodo egg, but that’s another discussion for another day.

 

I just want to say thank you, thank you to the Mothers that actually love their children. Up front disclaimer, all my children have either 4 legs and fur, or 2 legs and feathers. And I love them all. And as challenging as it can be to be a Mother to them, I understand from those that have children with skin and two legs, they are even harder to raise. Ok, I won’t dispute that, but will take your word.

 

When I was growing up, I was one of the very lucky kids. By that I mean I didn’t really grow up needing to be afraid. I didn’t have dreams of monsters under the bed or the killer clowns breaking in. Why didn’t I? Because I knew that my Dad had a revolver in the underwear draw and a shotgun in the closet. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that if my Dad didn’t drop them with a punch, he had the means and motive to use defensive tools to sort the issue. Now, while I view my Dad as a combination of Roy Rogers and John Wayne, I knew that when it came to his children, our safety was not a negotiable issue. I would like to think a lot of Dads are protective of their families.

 

So why do I consider myself so blessed? Because not only was my Dad willing and able to take care of us kids, so was my Mom. My little 5’4” Mom was a tough little farm girl. Not a lot fazed her when it came to taking care of her kid’s safety. Mom was a good Southern Baptist, and she was all about turn the other cheek, peacemaking and treating your neighbor as you would want to be treated. But there was no doubt in my mind she would look out for her brood.

 

“Mom, what would happen if someone broke in one day?”

 

“Sheila, your Dad will handle it, don’t worry”.

 

“But Mom, what if Dad’s not home?”

 

“Then I’ll handle it.”

 

By then I was about as tall and big as my Mom, which isn’t saying much. Sorry Mom.

 

“Um, how Mom?”

 

“I’ll shoot them.”

 

“Um, Mom, do you know HOW to shoot?”

 

Actually as it turns out, my Mom is a crack shot. Growing up on a farm, hunting squirrels or anything else she needed to, with not a lot of ammo to spare makes one a very good markswoman.

 

My respect for my Mother grew that day. I knew she loved us enough that she would do whatever she needed to in the effort to protect us, and she wouldn’t hesitate. I’m a blessed woman.

I knew that rather than fight and die to protect us, she would most likely fight and live to raise us herself.

 

I think about the pressures facing responsible Mothers these days. You have people like Shannon Watts who make a habit of telling Mothers their children don’t matter. She is supported financially by people like gazillionaire Mickey Bloomberg who I’m sure has a staff of security people armed with massive tasers and pepper spray to keep their families safe. He can afford them. We couldn’t.

 

Hollyweird celebs like Rosie O’Donnell, Melissa Joan Hart, Prince and a cadre of others who have private security telling us little people we will be safer if we are defenseless.

 

Pediatricians asking parents if they own guns, and yes, this happened to a friend of mine.

 

Then you have the mainstream media presenting biased stories against firearms, and for some bizarre reason people still watch stuff like CNN and MSLSD.

So to all the Mothers that stand against the pressures that would keep them from being prepared and able to protect their children, I applaud you. It has always been a sense of horror to me that I am more prepared and willing to defend a flock of chickens from a coon, possum or fox than some Mothers are to protect their children. More than one predator has met his eternal reward measured in shot. I figure I bought the critters, 2 and 4 legged, they had no choice where they wound up, I took on responsibility for them. Part of that responsibility is food, water, shelter, companionship, education and safety. Then I hear women with children (not sure they should be called Moms) say they are scared of guns, they don’t want them in their house or anywhere around their children. If there was a threat they would just call the police. While I am more than willing to admit perhaps I’m being too judgmental, an occasional failing, I can’t help but think if you didn’t want them, why did you have them? You have a smoke detector, a fire extinguisher, the pediatrician and Domino’s Pizza on speed dial, but one of the most urgent situations you could ever face you are willing to wait till someone can get there to help you. And you assume help will always be able to get there on time do you? Wow. Awesome.

So on this Mother’s Day, thanks Mom, I applaud you, and your “True Grit”. One of the highest compliments in our family, True Grit. And she has it.

Hero Moms
Hero Moms
Happy Mothers Day
Happy Mothers Day
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