Before I allow my child to play with your child, there is something must ask...
As I'm sure you've noticed, there's been a recent campaign revolving around firearms and friends, children's sleepovers and playdates, in particular. The parent of one child is to ask the parent of the other child(ren) if they *gasp* own a firearm.
This social experiment is being promoted as a way to ensure the safety of your child.
The promoters are encouraging people to ask tough questions such as; do you have guns in your home, how do you secure the guns in your home, do you ever carry your gun on your person, where do you keep the ammunition, what kind of background and training do you have, and other incredibly personal and highly invasive questions.
Call me skeptical and old fashioned, but if I don't know the parent well enough to trust them with their potential guns, I'm not liable to trust them to be honest about their guns. Furthermore, and more importantly, I am certainly not going to trust them with caring for my child(ren).
It is my job, as a parent, to protect my children. If that means no sleepover at little Tommy or Suzie's house, because I don't know their folks, so be it.
Protecting my children also means that I ensure they have the training to be safe around guns even if others around them do not. There are many programs and courses available nationwide, such as (but not limited to) the NRA's Eddie Eagle program, information through organizations like Childsafe, or even good old fashioned teaching by parents, to train children to understand and utilize gun safety.
Parents cannot be with their child 100% of the time. That's just reality. We must ensure that they have the wherewithal to be alert and educated enough to recognize and take action to remove themselves from a situation where someone is being unsafe (firearm or not).
Do the parents asking about gun ownership also ask about prescription drugs, swimming pools, parked cars, and refrigerators? Do they ask if anyone in the home has ever gotten a speeding ticket? Do they ask if anyone in the home has a history of domestic violence? Do they ask, perhaps, if the parents have ever drank an alcoholic beverage and then climbed behind the wheel of a car? All of these things either have the opportunity to be, or statistically been proven to be, as potentially dangerous as having a gun in your home.
Then again, as all of us rationally thinking gun owners already know, this nosey neighbor campaign is not, and was never, actually about safety. Instead, it was yet another not so veiled attempt to publicly shame those of us who exercise our Second Amendment protected right to protect ourselves and our families.
The antis can whine, cry, and try to use our children in a play for emotional extortion (ie, if you own guns your kid will be friendless and lonely). Yet, we are not ashamed. We are parents. It is our job to keep our children safe when they are with us. It is our responsibility to teach our children how to keep themselves safe when we are not with them. We take that job and responsibility very seriously.
Should you wonder, if you or your child is visiting our home, we will take your safety just as seriously.
Blog posts are original content written by 1MMAGC moms and dads.