So many people want to know how to ASK about guns in one’s home, but it’s also important to consider HOW TO RESPOND if you are asked, especially if you are a gun owner. Consider these helpful hints:
- Applaud the parent’s concern for their child’s safety. Do not view this question as an attack on your parental responsibility.? This parent is just checking in with you on an important home safety matter.
- Recognize every child has exceptional skills to explore and discover. View this question as a reminder or an introduction to another child who is the next Christopher Columbus or Sally Ride. By nature, a child is an invasion of your privacy and much more intrusive than the mere question about firearms from that child’s parent. Check again to make sure your firearms are secured!
- Be open and honest about the status of firearms in your home. Explain your storage systems to the parent, addressing ALL firearms you keep. Don’t conveniently leave out the loaded gun in your nightstand. This is an opportunity to show just how responsible you are as a gun owner and create a positive identity for those who do own firearms. Do not feel obligated to make changes to your storage system during another child’s visit, but the other family may appreciate it if you sense some discomfort. You may also consider offering to show the other parent your safe!
- Respect the other parent’s value system and comfort level. Don’t take it personally if a parent expresses discomfort with the status of firearms in your home if you have them. We all have different experiences and relationships with firearms, some of them completely devastating.
- Express gratitude. Genuinely thank the other parent for their concern and for doing their job as a responsible, active parent: assuring the safety of their child at all times and in all places.
From the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital at University of Michigan Little Victors blog
Article originally published January 7th, 2013
People have asked me: “Why MOMS? Isn’t this about all parents who have kids? Why isn’t it just “Gun Safe HOME?” My response is that this is about PEOPLE. It’s a call to namely mothers, who are the gatekeepers of their children’s activities?and social contacts, to own the gun accessibility issue. And mothers REALLY don’t seem to like talking about this. Guns are typically not part of their culture. I hope all parents will embrace the principles of Gun Safe Mom. People have these important conversations. People are instrumental in making changes. People are the ones who need to act safely and protect their children. You can make a difference today without waiting for legislation or someone else to “do something” or having another tax dollar of yours diverted to another new campaign or safety initiative. By displaying a Gun Safe Mom sign and asking and telling about gun access in places your children spend time, you are making it socially acceptable to discuss gun access and potentially save lives. I believe this will make a difference.
Do you realize that most every school shooting began with a young person accessing a gun in their home? Two things happen after every school shooting if you watch the news: 1) You hear 1st hand reports of parents and students saying they thought “it could never happen in our town” and 2) officials tell you it’s a good time to “talk to your kids about guns”. Sadly, most people still defer the gun conversation and don’t ask about gun accessibility. Our conversations CAN change behaviors for the better. Share this if you know better and are willing to ask more frequently.
After literally years in the making, I am proud to give our followers a sneak peak at Gun Safe Mom’s new logo for our national home safety signage campaign! We are aiming to get the conversation started all over this nation and no matter what angle you are coming from, let’s all come together and respect the conversation. We selected purple to represent neutrality and bravery. Let’s be brave, Moms! Thank you Abby Walton Porter for your talent and time! Where do you want to see this sign besides on cars or in windows of homes your children play? T-shirts? The Gun Safe Mom website will be up and running in a few weeks where signage and decals will be available for purchase. Wow! What a road…