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#1 of 13 Old 08-23-2012, 10:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Please help me get a handle on this. I just found out my 23 year old cousin is getting a gun. He's also getting some permit or something so that he can carry it concealed on him all the time. I'm not a guns person. I feel like I'm more likely to get hurt from a gun that someone owns to protect himself than from some crazy person out to shoot me.

 

My cousin lives out of town, so I'm in no immediate danger ;) but now I'm concerned for my children at our family get-togethers. I'm somehow picturing either my cousin wearing his gun at the party, showing it off passing it around, and what not. Or having it tossed in his luggage while he stays at his parents house and them some child running around the house finding it and hurting someone. I'm totally going crazy imagining all of these scenarios. My first instinct is that I do not want to be over at my aunt/uncle's house if my cousin's got his gun. But then is that just because I am aware of the gun? How many other people who's houses I frequent have guns in their houses in random drawers and what not? If I'm not going to go to these parties because of this gun, do I know have to ask every place I go with my children if there's a gun in the house? Is this something I should be doing already?

 

From reading online it seems that people with children should have their guns unloaded locked up with the ammo locked up in a separate location. Great, but who really does this? How is a gun supposed to "protect" someone if they need to unlock two locations, and then load the gun to use it?

 

Lastly, am I being overcautious? I try to be all free-rangey with my kids, and not a helicopter like parent, but I guess I don't really know the statistics about how likely my sons are to be hurt from a gun. Is this worth my time worrying about?

 

Thanks

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#2 of 13 Old 08-23-2012, 10:22 AM
 
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My dad and brother both carry at all times and I've never worried, but they are responsible. If he gets his CHL permit he will learn not to take it out. I think you were right on when you said you don't know who's house has guns in them. I think you're feeling a little over protective.

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#3 of 13 Old 08-23-2012, 11:09 AM
 
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We will never, ever have guns in our house of any sort. I wouldn't allow my children in a house with loaded guns of any sort.

 

But my dad  had them growing up and practiced perfect gun safety. Guns were always locked, unloaded, in a gun safe unless they were being cleaned and while they were being cleaned we weren't allowed in the room. It is possible to be safe, but I don't believe a 23 year old walking around with a loaded weapon is ever safe.

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#4 of 13 Old 08-23-2012, 01:15 PM
 
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It is possible to be safe, but I don't believe a 23 year old walking around with a loaded weapon is ever safe.

 

That's ridiculous.

 

OP, I think gun safety classes are important for everyone, whether you ever plan to own a gun or not. I also think all children should learn gun safety from a very early age.  The majority of gun owners are extremely responsible and do keep their guns locked and unloaded and the ammo locked separately. 

 

If I were you, I'd talk to your cousin.  Explain your feelings and listen to what he has to say. At least here, you must take a class to get a concealed weapon permit so it's not like he'll be completely uneducated.

 

Not everyone with a concealed weapon permit is a gun wielding lunatic.  I know many people with those permits and they rarely even carry.

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#5 of 13 Old 08-23-2012, 01:21 PM
 
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Do you know his reasons for wanting to be armed?  I think that would affect how I felt about it.  At least he's arming himself legally, and not just buying a blackmarket weapon.
 

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#6 of 13 Old 08-23-2012, 01:55 PM
 
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Hmmm
Well I do not allow guns in my home.

And when I learn or suspect that someone keeps guns in their home I am uncomfortable there. I keep my son in sight when in those homes.

Is your son old enough to learn about gun safety? You can't control your cousin but maybe you can protect your kiddo by educating him about guns.

Can you express your concern to your cousin? Perhaps a frank discussion can help set some boundaries and alleviate some fears.
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#7 of 13 Old 08-23-2012, 03:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't recall the specifics, but him wanting a gun (basically after I heard he was getting a gun, my mind started going crazy with all the possible scenarios). But according to my mom, his wanting a gun has something to do with that movie theater shooting.

 

My sons are 3.5 and 1.5. However other kids in the extended family are a bit older and I worry about them getting their hands on it too.

 

Also while I think it's good to educate kids about guns, according to what I've found on the internet, kids who are trained and educated to not touch/play with guns still can't help themselves, and do it anyway when an opportunity presents itself. (The links to the research is almost halfway down through the article). http://www.med.umich.edu/yourchild/topics/guns.htm

 

It's kinda weird the dynamic in our family too. The only times I really talk to my cousin are at family get togethers. When my mom told me about the gun I basically freaked out. Then she was all "I shouldn't have even mentioned anything to you." Now I'm like, great, so for future reference she's not going to tell me when she knows of someone having a gun when my children are present?!

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#8 of 13 Old 08-30-2012, 08:14 AM
 
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Where I grew up, it would have been hard to find a house without a gun.  It was a rural area where everyone hunted.  What scares me about then versus now is we never, ever, ever would have touched a parent's gun.  We were taught proper behavior as it related to handling and respecting guns. 

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by dejagerw View Post

From reading online it seems that people with children should have their guns unloaded locked up with the ammo locked up in a separate location. Great, but who really does this? How is a gun supposed to "protect" someone if they need to unlock two locations, and then load the gun to use it?

 

 

Lots of peolpe, including myself and all of my gun-owning friends and family.  This group falls into the type of gun owner that keeps guns for hunting, sport or collecting. They don't keep them for protection.  These are valuable possessions and like cash, you wouldn't leave $2,500 just laying around for someone to pick up.  In our house, we have guns that were passed down through the family.  I could care less about them but they mean something to my husband.  These are locked in a vault and there isn't ammo in the house.  Point being, there are reasonable gun owners.

 

But, I hate to say it, guns in other peoples' houses are a real concern for me as DS gets older.  While I know many responsible gun owners, there are idiots out there that are careless and irresponsible.  A gun carrying 23 yo male that isn't in law enforcement or the military would concern me greatly.  Actually, anyone owning or carrying a gun that hasn't had extensive training concerns me greatly.

 

The NRA has booklets for kids teaching gun safety that made a HUGE impression on my son.  The Eddie Eagle character teaches kids what to do when they see a gun - something like stop, don't touch, leave the area, tell an adult.  My son could recite it word for word and it is very effective.  The first time he did see a gun outside (during hunting season, unloaded, on a rack) he came right to me and told me about it.   This turned into an opportunity about how to safely be around a gun and so on.  We picked up the booklets at a carnival but I suspect you could order on line or pick up at any place that sells guns. 


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#9 of 13 Old 08-30-2012, 08:16 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dejagerw View Post

Also while I think it's good to educate kids about guns, according to what I've found on the internet, kids who are trained and educated to not touch/play with guns still can't help themselves, and do it anyway when an opportunity presents itself. (The links to the research is almost halfway down through the article). http://www.med.umich.edu/yourchild/topics/guns.htm

 

 

Adding that even all the education in the world won't stop a kid from being curious and picking up a gun but I do think taking the mystique and "cool" factor away does help a bit.


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#10 of 13 Old 08-31-2012, 04:37 PM
 
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If your cousin is responsible, he's not going to leave his gun laying around for the kids to be curious about. It will be on his person, and when it isn't it will be locked up. 

 

Talk to him about your concerns. He is taking a safety class in order to get his concealed carry permit. They will teach him things like "how to keep it out of reach of others, including children." If you still feel he's being irresponsible after you talk to him about what precautions he's taking, then it would be a good idea to limit or closely supervise your children when they're around him or in locations where he might leave his gun "hidden." 

 

Our guns are locked in a safe with the ammo locked in a different safe in another part of the house (and hidden). My husband has a concealed carry and I don't even know (or ask) when he is or isn't carrying. I know it isn't all the time. But I trust him to use his judgment and put his gun away when he's not carrying it. We also teach gun safety to our children as soon as they're old enough to understand, but we don't trust just "teaching" to be the only way we keep our kids from playing with guns. 

 

One of my husband's favorite lessons is that he takes a child out and shows him a loaded revolver. He then demonstrates unloading it and has the child look to see all the compartments are empty. Then he puts the gun in the child's hands and helps him aim at a target to fire. Scares the crap out of the kid when it actually goes off, makes his ears ring, knocks him back, and destroys the target - because the kid just SAW that the revolver was empty - except for the one still left in the chamber. This is called the "All Guns Are Always Loaded Even When You Know They're Not Loaded" lesson. It also helps satisfy a child's curiosity about what really happens when you get a gun in your hands. Of course it's no substitute for keeping the guns and ammo out of the reach of your children. But it helps when they get into those situations where a less than responsible gun owner left a gun where your kid could find it. 


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#11 of 13 Old 09-02-2012, 12:54 AM
 
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Originally Posted by JudiAU View Post

We will never, ever have guns in our house of any sort. I wouldn't allow my children in a house with loaded guns of any sort.

 

But my dad  had them growing up and practiced perfect gun safety. Guns were always locked, unloaded, in a gun safe unless they were being cleaned and while they were being cleaned we weren't allowed in the room. It is possible to be safe, but I don't believe a 23 year old walking around with a loaded weapon is ever safe.

Police?

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#12 of 13 Old 09-02-2012, 11:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dejagerw View Post

Also while I think it's good to educate kids about guns, according to what I've found on the internet, kids who are trained and educated to not touch/play with guns still can't help themselves, and do it anyway when an opportunity presents itself. (The links to the research is almost halfway down through the article). http://www.med.umich.edu/yourchild/topics/guns.htm

 

 

Some of the best advice I've encountered regarding kids innate curiosity around guns was on the blog of a mom with a number of boys and a husband who is a gun enthusiast. I can't remember the blog, but they told their boys if they ever found a gun they should:

 

1. Stop

2. Don't Touch

3. Tell an Adult

4. But if you really, really, really want to touch it let mom or dad know and they will help you touch it safely.

 

I think kids are inclined to pick up unlocked guns because they know the second they tell an adult the gun will be put away. Letting them know you'll let them touch it as long as you are with them and doing it safely takes away the need to hide and play with it.


lather, rinse, repeat
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#13 of 13 Old 10-09-2012, 09:50 AM
 
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Originally Posted by JudiAU View Post

 It is possible to be safe, but I don't believe a 23 year old walking around with a loaded weapon is ever safe.

 

ridiculous. That is all I have to say.

 

 

Talk to your kids. Talk to your cousin. Keep an eye on your kids just like you would do in any situation where they could find something dangerous.  Kids can get seriously injured by more than just guns, so don't obsess over one thing. Do they keep steak knifes in this house? How do you deal with that?

 

I think you are getting too worked up about the situation. If I were you I would express my concerns to him and check with him when I arrived that the gun was locked up. Most people who get a permit don't carry the guns around the house with them.

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