Tag Archives: difficult discussions

Toddler accidentally shot himself with grandfather’s gun

I was heartbroken to hear this news story about a toddler perishing because he got a hold of his grandfather’s gun. (video)

It’s so tragic and unthinkable.

Here’s the thing, there are a lot of people – I’m specifically thinking about grandparents – with guns in their homes. How are grandparents practicing the best gun safety procedures, especially with grandchildren in the home or visiting the home?

My parents have guns and I was very clear, when my daughter was born, that they needed to have the guns locked up at all times. I remember my mother being a little bit surprised that my tone and energy about this was on high pitched alert – specifically since my daughter was an infant and I had grown up with guns in the house.

Well…it became confession time. You know those confessions adult children tell their parents – and all the blood drains from the parents’ faces when they receive this new knowledge.

I’m a child of the 70s and I think – without blaming – a lot of child safety discussions, routines, and expectations didn’t not fully exist.

I found one of my parents’ guns when I was child. I looked at the guns. I touched it. I held it.

So…with that experience and now being a parent, I’m totally freaked out about guns not being locked up properly in a house.

My daughter went to a sleepover a few weekends ago. She’s been in school with her friend for a long time. I’ve meet the parents at other parties and they are very pleasant. When my daughter mentioned the sleepover, as we were driving in the car to some big box store, my first question was, “Do they have guns?

Hubby and my daughter looked at me like I had lost my mind. I really didn’t care. I told my daughter to text her friend and find out…or…risk me calling and engaging in an inquisition.

Texting it was.

When we dropped my daughter off, hubby went in and had a brief conversation.

The “sleepover” parents’ responses:

  • No guns
  • So great you asked
  • More parents should be upfront about this
  • Pick-up at 11am tomorrow

If you are wondering about having the gun discussion with grandparents and other parents, I have posted some resources below.

A Guide to Playdate Safety

A Grandparents’ Guide to Home Child-Proofing

Parents Urged to Ask Tough Questions About Gun Accessibility

Talking to Other Parents About Guns

Guns and Playdates

If you have had the gun discussion with grandparents and other parents, how did it go? What did you say?

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