One of the mamas on a message board that I belong to asked whether we thought guns should be kept locked up around children. The link she provided was to a site called Common Sense about Kids and Guns. Among the more histrionic claims there was that, between 2000 and 2005, according to the CDC, an average of three kids died every day (at the rate of one every 9 hours) from "non-homicide firearms incidents."
Conveniently, the webpage contains a link to its own debunking--the CDC's WISQARS system. According to this (which was supposedly the source of their statistics), in 2006 a whopping 125 children (ages 1 - 18) died from firearms. This guns on par with falls, and far below the things we all know are far more dangerous--motor vehicle accidents, drownings, poisonings, fire, suffocation, and pedestrian accidents.
I realize I'm preaching to the choir here in telling my regular readers that guns in the home aren't as dangerous as swimming pools and cars.
My point is this:
Guns are merely one thing of many that can kill our children. The substantive difference? We educate our children about the other dangers.
My oldest daughter can recite (usually) the four rules. All three daughters can recite Rule One--all guns are always loaded. When I brought home the pistol Erik gave me (greatest boyfriend ever), I showed it to the girls and had each check it clear in turn, then put it away (at the time still unloaded) and told them not to mess with it again. For the record, this is the course of action my ex-husband took with his Glock. I have chosen the path of education.
We teach our children about the other things that endanger them. We teach our kids how to swim (well, I actually don't know how, so I have taught the girls general water safety--like "don't go into the pool without me or Daddy"). We teach them to stay away from open windows. We are careful in giving them fluffy bedding/pillows. We teach them to not touch cleaning supplies. We keep them away from open windows on the second floor. We teach them not to play with matches and lighters and the stove...
So why don't we teach our kids about guns? Why do so many mamas let fear rule them in this one thing?