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Gun Safety how would you react?


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Yesterday my daughters (12 and just turned 9) visited a friend's grandparents along with another child. The friend (almost 8) is the daughter of one of my friends. I've met the grandparents at their house and thought they were lovely people. My friend feels strongly against guns since her brother was killed in a gun accident. She doesn't allow any type of play with guns at all nor will she allow them in her home. I never thought to ask if the grandparents had guns and how they were stored.

 

The grandparents' cat has a fun litter of kittens! While following one of the kittens, all the children ended up in the grandparents' bedroom. The other child while climbing on the bed found a gun hidden under a pillow. Thankfully, none of the children touched the gun. Last night as I was working, my 12 year old casually mentions they played with the kittens and found a gun. It took a few moments for her words to sink in. When they did, I was very upset.

 

After talking with my girls and my friend, it turns out the handgun under the pillow was loaded but the safety was on. Does this mean the gun couldn't be fired by a child? I know so little about guns. There was also a rifle or shotgun on the dresser and another handgun in a jewelry box. I'm not sure if these other guns were loaded.

 

First, I was shocked that guns were accessible in a home where children were invited although to be fair only the grandparents live there. Then I was shocked that that my daughters treated it so casually after what I thought were many discussions about safety including gun safety. At least they didn't touch it. Also, my daughters know (or so I thought) that they are not allowed in private parts of someones home such as adult bedrooms. I'm not going to discipline my girls this time. After long talks last night, I've decided neither were thinking! It wasn't disobedience.

 

My friend told me last night that I'm overreacting for these reasons: the safety was on, the children never touched the guns, and boys are the ones who are usually curious about guns, her daughter is well trained not to touch guns, and the children were where they were not supposed to be. She did mention she should have checked on the kids more closely though knowing guns were in the house.

 

As of now, my girls are not allowed to visit my friend's parents anymore. So am I over reacting? What would you guys do in this situation? Also, do you ask about guns or other safety issues when your children visit others? I didn't get any sleep last night thinking about what could have happened and how many other gaps I may have left in my girls safety training.

 

Judy

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Well, I can tell you from personal experience that I was a compliant child and probably the most calm of my sisters. I was not at all a tom boy. But I have a very strong memory of searching all over my parents house for my father's gun. Somehow I knew he had one. It was an old rifle from his own grandfather's farm. Once I found it, I searched *everywhere* for ammunition. I never found any, but if I had, I fully intended to see how that baby worked. And really, I was a very girly girl. I have no idea what I was thinking. You would never have pegged me as a girl who would be interested in "boy things." I probably took my Barbie doll on that search.

 

So while I think it's very very good that your daughter didn't touch it, I think your friend is an idiot to think this is only a worry if you have boys.

 

I don't know about safeties. My understanding is that they have some very good, child proof things now.

 

But I still would be upset and I still would not let my children play there again. People who don't have the sense to put a gun away with children in the house don't get to babysit my children. While I do fault your daughter for going in someone's bedroom, she's a kid. I would address that with her, but it wouldn't change how I felt about the grandparent's potential judgment problems.

Edited by Danestress
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It could have been easily fired by a child, depending on the type of safety it had. Some are just an on/off type switch near the trigger.

 

Here's a wikipedia article explaining the types of safety mechanisms guns have.

 

I'm not gun shy but the kids finding a handgun under the pillow when playing with the kittens would bug me. I feel it either shouldn't have been loaded (with ammo locked up) or been properly put away where the kids couldn't get to it.

 

My personal feeling is to not to be afraid of guns and my kids going to homes with guns, but to be sure they know how to be safe around guns. At younger ages, that means don't touch them. At older ages, they will be taking a gun safety course and taken shooting at a range. I'll probably ask my police officer friend to take them out because he both as the knowledge and would probably enjoy taken them.

 

The idea that girls are not interested in guns is bull. I spent my teen years shooting. I've shot rifles, shotguns, handguns, and semi-automatics...all when I was a teen. My aunt, who lives on 105 acres in the mountains of CA, had a family reunion once. There had been a cougar sighting that week. All kids had to be with an adult, or me, who had a gun when away from the immediate area surrounding the house. Why me? Because I was the only kid, including my older boy cousin, who knew how to use a gun properly and safely.

Edited by joannqn
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Children do things they are told not to do. Children do not go about turning things on and off, opening them etc like adults. Children have gotten into every fence put around a pool, managed to shoot guns that had a safety... Guns belong locked up and ammunition separated from the guns! My teens were in Alaska and many people had guns. I don't have to tell you the stories. :(

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As a daughter of somebody who owns guns I was given many lessons on gun safety, use, and storage. One very important one was that guns be stored out of childrens reach, with safety on and under lock an key...amo locked somewhere else. When we visit grandpa I always remind him and he puts the one gin he has in his room under lock and key, and locks the door. The other guns are in a gun chest, locked in a secret storage area. The children are watched and do not wonder by themselves in the area of the home where Guns are located.

 

 

As gun owners your friends parents should have taken these precautions. It is sad that they are making it seem like no big deal. When children are present it is a big deal. I would not allow my children over again.

 

Danielle

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Those guns should be LOCKED up at all times! Those people are STUPID! Please don't let your dc EVER go to that home again!

 

 

P.S. WE have many guns in our home and they are ALWAYS locked up at home. My dh and sons target shoot at our local rod & gun club. My dh runs the pistol league at that club and I'm SURE he would agree with me.

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I have guns in my home, but they have trigger locks and are locked in a lock box. They are not accessible to my children or anyone elses. I would not allow my children to play in someone's home that didn't have guns under lock and key.

 

Now saying that my older children have all handled guns, and these two little ones will too. Under adult supervision, with proper respect and training. But even at that, I don't trust even them with an unsecured gun !!!

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Wow. I would be outraged. *I* would feel unsafe in that home, let alone having a child there. Guns should be double locked at all times when not in use. Please tell me the gun was not loaded!

 

And your friend saying its only boys who like guns? Ridiculous!

 

And don't get me wrong, I love guns. But like other dangerous adult toys (like sports cars), they are not for the untrained to use.

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Judy,

 

I don't think you are overreacting at all. Guns should be kept in a totally different part of the house as the ammunition if any kids will be in the house. The gun was LOADED. I don't know much about guns, but I don't think it would be hard to figure out how to unlatch the safety accidentally or on purpose. That is scary.

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I'm still reeling from the potential tragedy in this situation this morning. My younger daughter's 9th birthday is tomorrow. I have a vivid imagination and kept waking up thinking of what might have happened. From this point forward, I'm going to ask about guns before my girls visit anyone's home even if I've been there before. Thank God in this case all four girls were more interested in the kittens than in the guns. I found out today that two of the three guns were loaded and both had some type of safety on but I don't know what kind. The rifle or shotgun (I'm still not sure which it was) was not loaded.

 

In some ways, I'm glad this happened. It's allowed me to have some long, hard discussions with my girls but oh Lord my heart is still racing.

 

 

Judy

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Did anyone speak with the grandparents? I know that my parents are so far away from the days of supervising kids that they simply don't think about this sort of thing. I'm sure those grandparents did not anticipate the group or children entering their bedroom.

 

So, I'd be open to another visit. But it would come after a frank conversation with the grandparents and would depend on their response. They sound like lovely people -- inviting kids over to play with kittens.

 

They may be horrified and embarrassed about what happened, for all we know.

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My friend talked with her dad last night and again this morning. Apparently, he doesn't see the problem. My friend feels putting the safety on and the bedroom location coupled with her "training" of her daughter is enough. Frankly, their attitude surprise and sadden me. Her daughter is a lovely child and spends a lot of time with us. But I have seen her recently disobey my friend with little consequence. There's no way I would trust her not to touch a gun if she were interested. Yesterday, all four girls were entranced with the kittens, thankfully.

 

You're right though that my friend's parents are lovely, kind people. I guess that's why I have such a problem understanding her dad's reasoning.

 

Judy

Edited by emzhengjiu
correct spelling
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Danestress, you are so much like my older daughter usually is. She's compliant but curious about how everything works. I wouldn't have thought at 12 she would have touched the gun. She might have though just to learn about it never thinking about how dangerous it could be. After our discussions last night, I hope both girls will always remember to leave guns alone.

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Different people have different levels of comfort around guns. It's a mistake for anyone to tell someone else how to properly store guns.

 

HOWEVER, once someone else's kids come to the house, there should be a higher degree of safety consideration. Now that you know that there's a gun in the house, you should be able to say what minimum level of safety you want as a condition for the kids coming over.

 

Having a gun under a pillow is a terrible idea IMO in any case. Knowing that kids were coming over, the gun should have been placed out of reach.

 

The description of the situation is a little vague. The statement that the gun was loaded is less than clear. The two common types of handguns are 1) revolvers and 2) automatic handguns. A revolver has a rotating cylinder and looks like what they carry in old westerns, and older police dramas. An automatic handgun has ammunition that is fed through a magazine in the handgrip. Safeties are rare on revolvers, so I'm assuming the gun in question is an automatic.

 

"Loaded" can mean that a bullet (or "round") is in the chamber. If that's the case, that means that if the safety is off, pulling the trigger will fire a bullet. It can also mean that there is no round in the chamber, and that firing the gun would require pulling the slide back all the way ("racking" the slide) to load a round, and also releasing the safety.

 

A safety exists to prevent accidental discharge by someone who is holding a gun or who has it holstered. It is not sufficient to prevent a child from discharging a gun. When I carry my gun, there is a round in the chamber and the safety is on.

 

If there is no round in the chamber, it takes significant arm strength to pull the slide back. At our house (if I'm home), my gun is stored with a round NOT in the chamber, safety on, up high. If I'm not home, the gun is stored with a cable lock through the handgrip and action, so that it cannot be fired until the cable is removed.

 

The idea of this is to have it accessible in an emergency, but safe if it I can't be fully aware of its location and condition at all times. It's easy for an adult to rack the slide, but not easy for a child.

 

As my kids get older, I'll have to store the gun with a cable lock at all times, because they'll be able to get access to it. However, I also show them the gun whenever they like, and when I clean it, and they know that they don't have to sneak behind my back to see it. They are also reminded at all times how dangerous it is.

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My brother's best friend shot and killed his sister's boyfriend thinking he had taken out all the bullets. It has ruined this man's life. He was 14 at the time and the boy was also his best friend. The emotional damage is too intense to even describe.

My motto is better safe than sorry. You only get one chance with a gun. One. And you can't ever un-shoot it.

I'm not anti-gun. I'm anti-guns around children, unless they are locked in a gun safe with the ammunition stored seperately.

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You are certainly not overreacting! We have guns, but they are locked in a safe and always unloaded before entering the house. The safety is not childproof; it is designed to keep a gun owner from shooting themselves in the foot and other such accidents. Kids would be purposely messing with the safety and could turn it off.

 

Obviously it is not a problem for the grandfather to store his gun however he wants in his house when kids are not around, but when you have kids around (especially someone else's kids) precautions should be taken.

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Different people have different levels of comfort around guns. It's a mistake for anyone to tell someone else how to properly store guns.

 

HOWEVER, once someone else's kids come to the house, there should be a higher degree of safety consideration. Now that you know that there's a gun in the house, you should be able to say what minimum level of safety you want as a condition for the kids coming over.

 

Having a gun under a pillow is a terrible idea IMO in any case. Knowing that kids were coming over, the gun should have been placed out of reach.

 

 

:iagree:

 

i like guns --so i'll add another amen to girls LIKING guns :D

 

I would not send my kids to a house *with other kids* knowing there are guns within their reach. We have guns that would be considered accessible to children, but they are locked up completely out of the house, in the shed, when other children are over.

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Dangerdad, my daughters told me the gun under the pillow was smallish but not like a revolver. The one on the dresser was long like a riffle or shotgun. My friend's father told me he keeps them for protection. He said the gun under the pillow was loaded but I didn't ask what he meant. Actually, I wouldn't have know to question the term until reading your post. If I had know ahead of time, I wouldn't have allowed my girls to visit. My rule has always been guns have to be locked safely away but I didn't think to ask. I'm not trying to tell them how to store their guns but don't want my girls visiting homes where guns are kept in such places as under pillows, on dressers and in jewlery boxes. Thanks for your post, I'm learning along with my girls every day whether I want to or not. There's so much I don't know about guns and gun safety.

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There is a retired man who lives across the street from me. He is a firearms instructor. He is very pro-gun. He just offered firearm courses for the entire street for free, but...when his grandchildren come to his house, all the guns are unloaded.

 

Why were these children looking under the pillow? It sounds like one of the children knew there was a gun there and was curious. I don't think you are overreacting at all. If your friend thinks that the safety being on makes the gun safe, she is misinformed. A child could very easily remove the safety from a gun and fire it.

 

Paula

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Wait... I don't understand how playing with kittens translates into "accidentally finding a gun under a pillow."

 

I understand everyone's concern about unsecured firearms around children, but personally, I believe the onus is on ME as my child's parent to ensure that he is well schooled in firearm safety. My child knows not to touch a weapon. He knows to leave the area immediately. He knows to tell an adult that a weapon is in an accessible place.

 

It's the whole NRA Eddie Eagle thing - we don't assume someone else will play by our rules, ever. IMO, all children should know gun safety. I find it very sad that so many of the stories that make the news are about "kids who were curious."

 

Curious? Fine. My son is immensely curious. Yet, magically, we've taught him not to touch weapons w/o adult supervision, wander off, play in traffic, etc. I know this sounds harsh, but I really am not willing to have anyone else responsible for my child's safety.

 

 

a

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Dangerdad, my daughters told me the gun under the pillow was smallish but not like a revolver. The one on the dresser was long like a riffle or shotgun. My friend's father told me he keeps them for protection. He said the gun under the pillow was loaded but I didn't ask what he meant. Actually, I wouldn't have know to question the term until reading your post. If I had know ahead of time, I wouldn't have allowed my girls to visit.

 

And that makes perfect sense. It's reasonable for you to ask for guns to be locked up when your kids are visiting. You set the rules for your own family. When I carry a gun on me, I don't take it into anyone's house unless they know about it and give me permission. I make sure to lock my gun if I'm leaving it at home rather than taking it with me. At night it's not locked so I could get to it if necessary (though we have a very safe neighborhood and I would be very surprised if I ever had to use it).

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.. Guns belong locked up and ammunition separated from the guns!

 

 

Guns are very dangerous. I have also never allowed gun play of any kind. I think it sends children the wrong message. Guns are not toys.

 

 

When friends of mine have neighbor children in the house, the guns are locked up, or the room in which they are kept is locked. This is reasonable and may be expected. (The obvious exception being the rifle over their fireplace) I too would be upset if my children came upon a gun that was unattended in someone's house, but I would also be upset with my children for rummaging through someone else's bedroom (regardless of if other family children were there). Nevertheless, this thread has passed the bounds of reason.

 

It is accepted that firearms are frequently used for self defense. There are thousands of news articles about firearms being used for this. The proliferation of laws allowing law abiding citizens to carry concealed has caused a drop in crime. These are givens and not up for debate except by those for whom no fact, no reality, no truism will change their preconceived notions.

 

Given that "we the people" may use firearms for self defense, to argue that a homeowner should keep them locked up WITH THE AMMO separated simply leaves the bounds of reason. I have yet to hear of the gentleman robber who will patiently wait for the homeowner to unlock the gun THEN unlock the ammunition THEN load the gun and THEN deal with the intruder. As I said the thread passes the bounds of reason.

 

Now to the issue of wrong message. Come on boys have played with toy guns since the things were invented. Not letting children play with toy guns.... well, when I grew up boys played with toy guns and girls with dolls (and toy guns). The society I grew up in did a fair job of generating males who turned into men, frequently into gentlemen and girls who turned into women, frequently into ladies.

 

If you don't let children play with toy guns how about with models of fast cars, do you let them pretend to crash aircraft, obviously toy soldiers would be out of the question. What exactly is the message that is wrong. If it is, as you say, that guns are not toys then surely we agree that cars are not toys, airplanes are not toys etc. The truth is that guns are not toys but TOY guns are toys.

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I don't own a gun, but I would like to. Even so, I would be VERY upset if my children came across guns at someone else's house like that!! If I ever do get guns, I can assure you, they will be under lock and key, and maybe even a combo lock as well. My son would be searching for that gun and trying to work it within a week of me bringing it into the house. Kids are too prescious, and unfortunately, they just don't know any better. Anyone who owns a gun should have the good sense to lock it up with kids in the house.

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You are absolutely not overreacting. Whenever we make new friends and if my kids are invited over for a playdate, I make it a point to as if there are any guns in the home. I just have to know. Then I proceed to ask if they are locked up, etc. Depending on how well I know the family and if I am comfortable with the situation (or not), I decide whether or not let my child go over and play. There's been a few times where I've had to decline; however, their children were welcome to play at our home.

 

It's a little awkward to just come out and ask someone if they have any guns in their home, especially if they are a fairly new acquaintance. But it soooo is worth it (and I can worry a little bit less.)

 

My kids know not to go near guns, and to report it to an adult should they ever find one. But as a previous poster mentioned, it just takes one curious child...

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While following one of the kittens, all the children ended up in the grandparents' bedroom. The other child while climbing on the bed found a gun hidden under a pillow...

Also, my daughters know (or so I thought) that they are not allowed in private parts of someones home such as adult bedrooms. I'm not going to discipline my girls this time. After long talks last night, I've decided neither were thinking! It wasn't disobedience.

 

I would not be happy that my dcs went into someone's bedroom. They would have gotten, at the very least a stern lecture. See, I want them to remember NEXT time they start following some adorable little kitties that they need to stop, before they go into someone's room and if I did not react to it happening the first time, why would they remember the next time?

 

Also, had they followed that rule to begin with, the guns would not have become an issue.

 

Does this mean the gun couldn't be fired by a child?

If they knew enough about guns they could turn the safety off, and I guess messing around with it enough they might be able to, but I don't see it happening purely by accident.

There was also a rifle or shotgun on the dresser and another handgun in a jewelry box. I'm not sure if these other guns were loaded.

 

First, I was shocked that guns were accessible in a home where children were invited although to be fair only the grandparents live there.

That is a lot of guns, imo, but, it's their house. I'm going to guess, they don't normally have the kids in their bedroom.

Then I was shocked that that my daughters treated it so casually after what I thought were many discussions about safety including gun safety.

She must've felt well prepared.

 

As of now, my girls are not allowed to visit my friend's parents anymore. So am I over reacting? What would you guys do in this situation? Also, do you ask about guns or other safety issues when your children visit others?

Judy

I don't think you're overreacting. You feel strongly about this. Your friend ADMITTED she should have been watching them closer. If it was me, I would probably do the same thing. I'm not going to lambast them for having guns, or the friend for letting her kids visit, but I would not be comfortable sending MY kids over there. I do not ask about safety issues... I go to the house and hang out with the parents before I leave my kids places. I get to know the adults and decide if I trust them or not.

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Yesterday my daughters (12 and just turned 9) visited a friend's grandparents along with another child. The friend (almost 8) is the daughter of one of my friends. I've met the grandparents at their house and thought they were lovely people. My friend feels strongly against guns since her brother was killed in a gun accident. She doesn't allow any type of play with guns at all nor will she allow them in her home. I never thought to ask if the grandparents had guns and how they were stored.

 

 

It's interesting that someone who has lost a family member to gun violence seems so relaxed about letting her child in a house with guns.

 

 

 

My friend told me last night that I'm overreacting for these reasons: the safety was on, the children never touched the guns, and boys are the ones who are usually curious about guns, her daughter is well trained not to touch guns, and the children were where they were not supposed to be. She did mention she should have checked on the kids more closely though knowing guns were in the house.

 

 

 

 

I don't think you are overreacting at all. Years ago I saw a report on 20/20 or Dateline where kids who had been trained in gun safety were let loose in a (secretly supervised) room that had an unloaded gun in it. All their training went right out the window as they played with it, pointed it at other kids, etc. It was actually disturbing to watch.

 

But....the idea that someone should ALWAYS keep their gun unloaded, locked, away from ammo is also unrealistic. If you have the gun for protection, what's the point if you can't use it exactly when you need it.

 

I think when the grandparents are alone in the house, they can do whatever they want with their weapons, but when children come visit they should take extra precautions, since a kid's curiousity will always trump their training.

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Different people have different levels of comfort around guns. It's a mistake for anyone to tell someone else how to properly store guns.

 

Well, that depends on where you live... I believe it's actually the law here (Canada) that you have to have the weapons & the ammunition stored in different, locked locations. Something like that, anyway. I'd have to look it up for specifics. You can't have a loaded gun under your pillow, that's for dang sure! :001_huh:

 

(Under the pillow. I can't even. . . do they SLEEP with it there?? I'd be terrified that I'd somehow shoot myself in the nose. Aiiiii. )

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It's interesting that someone who has lost a family member to gun violence seems so relaxed about letting her child in a house with guns.

 

 

I was wondering more, why the parents of someone killed by a gun would have so many?????

 

 

I don't think you are overreacting at all. Years ago I saw a report on 20/20 or Dateline where kids who had been trained in gun safety were let loose in a (secretly supervised) room that had an unloaded gun in it. All their training went right out the window as they played with it, pointed it at other kids, etc. It was actually disturbing to watch.

 

But....the idea that someone should ALWAYS keep their gun unloaded, locked, away from ammo is also unrealistic. If you have the gun for protection, what's the point if you can't use it exactly when you need it.

 

I think when the grandparents are alone in the house, they can do whatever they want with their weapons, but when children come visit they should take extra precautions, since a kid's curiousity will always trump their training.

I still have to say, the kids should have never gone into their bedroom. I'm trying to see this from their point of view and I wonder if they really believed the kids would respect their personal space.

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I still have to say, the kids should have never gone into their bedroom. I'm trying to see this from their point of view and I wonder if they really believed the kids would respect their personal space.

 

 

Best construction says that'd be the reason hopefully, but I still think that the kids should've been watched better.

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Best construction says that'd be the reason hopefully, but I still think that the kids should've been watched better.

Sure, that too. I would not take someone else's kids to my parents' house and just let them go wandering! Then, my parents would not have put up with that either, and their room is off limits for everyone, but them. I've had them send MY kids home for breaking that rule.

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I'm not gun shy but the kids finding a handgun under the pillow when playing with the kittens would bug me. I feel it either shouldn't have been loaded (with ammo locked up) or been properly put away where the kids couldn't get to it.

 

My personal feeling is to not to be afraid of guns and my kids going to homes with guns, but to be sure they know how to be safe around guns. At younger ages, that means don't touch them. At older ages, they will be taking a gun safety course and taken shooting at a range. I'll probably ask my police officer friend to take them out because he both as the knowledge and would probably enjoy taken them.

 

 

Yes, I think rather than make guns out to be something intrinsically bad, we taught our son what a gun can do and when he was old enough to handle it he was taught how to shoot. Not so he can kill anything for fun, but to know how to be safe around guns and - thank God it has not been necessary - to defend himself should he need to in our very rural area where the occasional prison escapee or drunk show up on your property.

 

Guns should be in a safe place - we don't store them under the pillows! However, if these people did not expect young ones to visit they may have felt free to leave them wherever.

I personally cannot imagine leaving loaded guns lying around. For this reason, I would be cautious letting children visit again - not because these people own guns but evidently they treat them as home decoration.

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It doesn't surprise me that the gun under the pillow was loaded. It would be useless for home defense if it wasn't loaded. A safety does not prevent it from being fired--it just adds a brief step to get the gun into a firing mode so that it doesn't go off from being jostled or something. A trigger lock does prevent it from being fired, but for an 'immediate danger' situation where a gun is pulled out from under a pillow for defense against an intruder, a trigger lock would slow things down too much to be workable. So it doesn't surprise me that there was none.

 

For that generation, it's not as common to be hypervigilant on safety issues, including electric sockets, very high decks overlooking rocky ground, guns, etc. However, the underlying assumption is that kids are very thoroughly trained and monitored to keep them safe, and that their parents are responsible for this. That system didn't work so well! I remember news stories about many stupid 'accidental' shootings 20+ years ago--the new focus on safety is responsible for saving a lot of lives, IMO. And most of those were from someone playing with a gun that they thought was not loaded. Crazy.

 

So. These people will not protect your children. They aren't malicious; they just don't think that way. They might say that they will lock the guns away, but I don't think that I would believe them about that. Not because they are malicious, but this is just not that important to them, and I would doubt that you can possibly convey how important it is to you. They would probably think you were just being silly.

 

I don't think that you can send you children over there anymore. The downside risk is too serious.

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I think people have a right to own guns, keep them loaded, and under their pillow.

 

But unless these people are challenged in some way, thinking having a loaded gun under a pillow, and then inviting kids over to play with kittens that meander around the house, is sort of like thinking leaving all the doors to the pool unlocked, open and unguarded and letting babies crawl around unsupervised is ok because "I thought they were all blanket trained!"

Edited by LibraryLover
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It doesn't surprise me that the gun under the pillow was loaded. It would be useless for home defense if it wasn't loaded. A safety does not prevent it from being fired--it just adds a brief step to get the gun into a firing mode so that it doesn't go off from being jostled or something. A trigger lock does prevent it from being fired, but for an 'immediate danger' situation where a gun is pulled out from under a pillow for defense against an intruder, a trigger lock would slow things down too much to be workable. So it doesn't surprise me that there was none.

 

For that generation, it's not as common to be hypervigilant on safety issues, including electric sockets, very high decks overlooking rocky ground, guns, etc. However, the underlying assumption is that kids are very thoroughly trained and monitored to keep them safe, and that their parents are responsible for this. That system didn't work so well! I remember news stories about many stupid 'accidental' shootings 20+ years ago--the new focus on safety is responsible for saving a lot of lives, IMO. And most of those were from someone playing with a gun that they thought was not loaded. Crazy.

 

So. These people will not protect your children. They aren't malicious; they just don't think that way. They might say that they will lock the guns away, but I don't think that I would believe them about that. Not because they are malicious, but this is just not that important to them, and I would doubt that you can possibly convey how important it is to you. They would probably think you were just being silly.

 

I don't think that you can send you children over there anymore. The downside risk is too serious.

 

:iagree:

 

And gun accidents were happening not just 20 years ago, when people might say discipline was breaking down. My mom talked about growing up with a boy that lost an eye because a friend was playing around with his BB gun, and this would have been in the 30's.

 

BTW, I find it very ironic that there are so many rules and laws about taking my dog with me, even if I want him for protection, yet in many places people can carry concealed guns. They can even be carried into bars where judgement is often impaired. Yet I would trust my dog around kids in a heartbeat, even if they forgot how to behave. Why can't I take my dog with me??????

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"the safety was on" --every safety has a way of being dis-engaged. Depends on the gun, make, and safety being used. A safety isn't a fail safe mechanism unless it was a lock and key safety--which defeats the purpose of a safety and a loaded gun...but I digress...

 

"the children never touched the guns" - irrelevant.

"and boys are the ones who are usually curious about guns" -- again, irrelevant.

"her daughter is well trained not to touch guns" --a child shouldn't be in charge of training or supervising other children.

" and the children were where they were not supposed to be"--I agree with your friend.

"She did mention she should have checked on the kids more closely though knowing guns were in the house"---Were the ground rules laid out to everyone for what was off limits? That door should have been either locked or the gun unloaded. Period.

 

So am I over reacting? Since you asked; yes, I believe you are. Regardless of your views on guns in the home your children may encounter them in ways that you'd never imagine or plan. Children need the instruction to respect the tool, and that's what a gun is, a tool. And yes, they are often misused with devastating consequences. It has a specific purpose and is to be used accordingly. Yes, we have fire arms in our home and I have grown up with them.

 

However, it is OUR responsibility to teach OUR children to respect the tool and never approach it from any other perspective. But we also teach about being in a room they should never be in either. I'd be just as concerned as my children wandering into an adult bedroom--an adult bedroom is tops on that list. Were are most firearms kept that aren't secured? Let alone that a child should never be in an adults bedroom other than their own parent. Period. Asking for trouble.

 

There is enough responsibility to spread around here that should be shouldered by all adults involved. Talk it out and work through the problem, don't focus completely on the details of the situation. Go reason together.

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Are the grandparents the parents of the brother that was killed???

 

I do not think that you are overreacting - not. one. little. bit. To me it sounds like those girls knew the gun was there and found a way to "accidentally" show it to your daughters.

 

I do not think any amount of "training" is sufficient to trust a group of young kids in an unfamiliar environment with a loaded gun. No way.

 

Glad your kiddos are safe!

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First I would say as an owner of guns and a concealed weapon permit, our guns are locked up, solely because of our child. Second, I believe in this instant the grandparents should have put them away or up. With the safely lock on, they can't be fired unless it's faulty. Thirdly, I don't know why children go into parents or grandparents bedrooms as those are personal spaces where children do not belong, however that's my personal opinion there. And lastly, no matter what your feeling is on guns, whether you hate them, have them, don't have them or love them, ALL children should be taught about guns on a regular basis. You never know what they'll find or where they'll find it. It could be in a backyard or under a bush. Teach children gun safety even if you don't allow them or hate them.

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I do not think any amount of "training" is sufficient to trust a group of young kids in an unfamiliar environment with a loaded gun. No way.

 

Glad your kiddos are safe!

 

I completely disagree. Any amount of training is helpful. However, training is that "training". It's not just about not touching them it's about how to handle one. It's not a one time lesson. It's something that is ongoing. Yes, they should be locked up (as ours are) but as for training almost weekly, we drill my kid on gun safety. The one that has had no ongoing training will be the kid that wants to touch it.

 

Training in gun safetly is as important as looking both ways before crossing the street. It's not a one time lesson.

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I've not read all the replies, but I definitely think you are overreacting.

 

Ds has not yet been to anyone else's home on a playdate without me yet, but my SIL advised me since he was a baby that when the time comes to always ask the hosting family if they have guns in the house. And if so, are they unloaded and locked away out of reach from the kids.

 

I can see why you wouldn't really think about it though since the mother is so anti-gun. I probably wouldn't either. Thank you for posting your experience!

 

I'm so glad no one got hurt.

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You are not over reacting. I would never discipline a child in this situation because you always want your child to come to you and talk to you about it if something were to happen like this again.

 

In my state the grandparents would be held criminally liable if a child( under 17) as access to a gun and either used it or threaten to use it. It is the adult's responsibility to make sure the children are safe NOT the child's responsibility to not touch the gun.

 

Not only do I ask gun/safety questions when my children visit other homes but I offer gun/safety answers before other children stay in my home.

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