Tomorrow is the first day of Summer, WHOOHOO!!!! It’s about gosh darn time! But it’s also National ASK day; ask what you may be asking. Haha, starting this one off with zingers! National ASK (Asking Saves Kids) day simply asks that you ASK one question: “Is There A Gun Where Your Child Plays?” It’s just that simple, one easy question, that takes less than a minute to answer, but could potentially save a life. Is it worth your time to ASK? It’s certainly worth mine. But don’t stop there; once you answer, ask a friend, a neighbor, or a family member. I’m taking the time out to ASK you, in hopes that you’ll pay it forward and ASK others.
I was recently approached by a representative from The Center to Prevent Youth Violence and informed about National ASK day. Reading through the information really hit home for me and whisked me away on a trip down memory lane to relive my long history (or lack there of) with firearms. Gun ownership has always been a sensitive subject for me. My stance on owning a firearm has changed throughout the years. When I was younger, I
needed wanted a gun for protection from the mean streets of Ruff Buff. However, it probably wouldn’t have been in my best interest to have one based on my ridiculous temper. It was bad, I mean hop out of my tricked out Dodge Neon (yup, you read that right, my tricked out DODGE NEON, haha) with a spray painted baseball bat named Butch because someone took my parking spot at the mall. Not necessarily the type of citizen you want walking around with a loaded firearm right?
Don’t get me wrong; I loved shooting guns just as much as the next guy, but having one at my beck and call just wasn’t for me. As I grew older, and my temper subsided, I reevaluated my potential to own a gun. This time, basing it on the desire to protect my home and my family. But for whatever reason, I have yet to pull the trigger (get it?) and purchase one. Mostly, because I’m still afraid that it may potentially cause more harm than good, especially with the kids being at such a young and curious age. I mean seriously, who hasn’t rummaged through their parents closet at least once when they weren’t around? Ah who am I kidding? The real reason is because my wife is a tab bit loco, and I honestly don’t want her having easy access to end an argument with a powerful “closing” statement, if you get what I’m saying….
But seriously, in my opinion, guns are completely fine around kids; as long as they are locked away, ammo stored separately, and closely monitored. That’s why I thought it was so important to participate in National ASK Day, because while as parents, we may be completely cautious and make the right decisions, are we positive that Uncle Bob and Grandpa Joe are making the same choices when our children are over for a visit?
Below is some information that I found extremely interesting. Check it out and then go out and ASK!!!
Get involved by “liking” Arm Yourself With Knowledge, The Center to Prevent Youth Violence’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ArmYourselfWithKnowledge?fref=ts, which offers simple, empowering solutions to prevent youth violence by making your home, family and community safer.
“About 1/3 of homes with kids have guns*, many of which are left unlocked or loaded, and talking to your child about gun safety is not enough. Children are naturally curious and if there is a gun accessible, there is a good chance they will find it and play with it.
Nine children and teens are shot everyday in unintentional shootings**. In 78% of accidental shooting deaths of children under 15, the child was shot by another person, usually a friend or family member***.
“As parents, we think nothing of asking if there is a pet in someone’s home if a child has allergies. We are aware of the dangers of pools when small children are around. But we almost never think to ask if there is a gun in the house and if it’s secured,” said Lintz. A study by CPYV found that more than half of the parents surveyed never thought to ask if there is a gun in the home before allowing their child to play there.
Parents should ask if there is a gun where their child plays. If the answer is no, that is one less thing for a parent to worry about. If the answer is yes, make sure guns are stored unloaded and locked, ideally in a gun safe, with ammunition locked separately. If the parent has any doubts about the safety of any home, they should invite the child to play at their home instead.”