Parenting Problems/Tips

The Gun Problem: So What Now?

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The Gun Problem

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After the recent community college shooting in Oregon, I vowed to do something about the issue of guns in this country.

As I’ve sat here trying to figure out what can be done, more and more instances of unnecessary gun violence have made the news.

Recent news articles that have haunted me…

But I think the most troubling fact I’ve come across is this one:

1.5 million children in the U.S. live in a household where guns are kept loaded and unlocked.

Are you kidding me?! That is disturbing and just plain WRONG.

Maybe you had been fooling yourself that “it won’t happen to my kid.” Not in my neighborhood. Yet with that insanely high statistic, can you really be so sure?

I’m not willing to bet my kids’ lives on the assumption that since my neighbors seem smart and friendly and nice then that must mean that they don’t have guns…or that if they do have guns, that they are kept locked up.

Take the instance of Brooklyn, a 13-year-old girl who was shot by her friend in Nevada. Her friend’s dad kept a gun in the house and showed his daughter how to use it in case of an intruder. Well, an intruder didn’t come but the friend was “messing around” with the gun when she shot and killed Brooklynn.

Brooklynn had been taught that guns were not toys and if she ever found a gun at someone’s house, she should get as far away as she could– which she did. She was walking away when her friend shot her in the back.

So the question remains, what can YOU do to help stop these tragedies from occurring? I have vowed to start asking potential play dates if they have guns in their houses and whether or not they are locked up. In fact, I did it for the first time the other day.

Did I feel uncomfortable mentioning guns to a neighbor I just met? Kind of.

But the potential risk in not asking and not knowing a household’s gun policy is not a risk I’m willing to take.

It doesn’t have to be a serious conversation; I did it over Facebook messenger. I had invited a neighborhood child over to play and I informed the mother in a casual way that “I just want to let you know, we are all vaccinated and we don’t have guns in our house.” She responded that they, too, are vaccinated and have no guns. It was easy.

And if she had said that they did have guns, I would have asked if they were kept locked. I’m sure that I will encounter this situation sooner rather than later being that I now live in the Virginia countryside.

While that is an important first step, there are other steps you can take to tackle this national crisis.

You can BE SMART.

BE SMART is a campaign by Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. It stands for:

S ecure guns in homes and vehicles. Meaning, guns need to be securely LOCKED UP and kept out of a child’s reach.

M odel responsible behavior. Tell your kids repeatedly that guns are dangerous and what they should do if they ever find a gun– don’t touch it and go find an adult.

A sk about unsecured guns in other homes. Just ask.

R ecognize the risks of teen suicide. The teen years are rough. A suicide attempt by a gun will most often be fatal, unlike a suicide attempt by other means. We need to keep guns out of homes where at-risk teens can find them, making a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

T ell your peers to be SMART. Get your friends and family involved and on-board for this cause.

What else?

You can become a citizen lobbyist. Call your politicians and tell them that enough is enough.

And get out there and vote this November! Vote for those politicians who support strict gun control measures. Make your voice count!

Follow Moms Demand Action on Facebook and join the movement!

Hey, you! Stick around. My spidey senses tell me you might be interested in one of the following posts…

guns gun violence vaccines measles pulmonary embolisms

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  • Beth Dixon
    October 26, 2015 at 10:01 AM

    Lindsay, my sister lives in CT, and on Friday someone called her kids’ elementary school and told the secretary, in a computerized/disguised voice, that they were on the way to the school with an AK-47 and were going to raise hell. The school went on lockdown for 2 and a half hours; kids stuffed themselves into lockers or huddled in corners per their drills, and teachers having no idea what was going on and if they were about to lose their lives. but having to keep the kids calm and quiet. A friend was in the principal’s office at the time and said she, the school principal, and the secretary were sitting on the ground holding hands crying and waiting for gunshots this whole time. It is outrageous that this is the new normal.

    • Lindsay
      October 26, 2015 at 3:10 PM

      That is horrifying! It’s enough to make me homeschool my kids or move to Australia!