Since the horrific tragedy in Newtown, Ct, there’s been a lot of debate about whether the country needs stricter gun control measures. Many people understandably have strongly held beliefs on this subject, but there’s one aspect to this issue that we should all agree on – unsupervised children cannot be allowed to have access to guns. The statistics regarding kids and firearm deaths are staggering, but I’m not here to take a side in the gun control/gun rights battle – I just want to keep them out of the hands of unsupervised kids.
There is lots of web content on the internet about gun safety when it comes to children, and a great, comprehensive document I’ve found is by the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services. It’s entitled simply Gun Safety, and, if you have kids or if you own guns, I highly recommend that you read it.
A few of its initial recommendations:
- Unload and lock up guns
- Lock and store ammunition separately
- Hide keys where kids can’t find them
- Gun safe’s are best, but gun locks/trigger locks can also be effective when used correctly.
These suggestions are pretty self evident, but the article also contains helpful suggestions for how to teach children the difference between reality and fantasy play, and also separate tips for parents who own guns and parents who don’t. In my next posts, we’ll talk further about those topics.