Fonticulus Fides

Friday, December 17, 2004

A lesson no parent can afford to ignore

It happened again, this time only a few miles from our house. A teenager showed off his new hunting rifle to his friends. One of the buddies who had no experience with guns apparently handled the rifle and accidentally shot one of the boys in the group. The victim died later at the hospital -- this story says he was 17, but on the radio this morning, they said the boy who was killed was 18 and the owner of the new gun.

Even though my father-in-law is an avid hunter and my husband grew up shooting pop cans off the barnyard fence first with BB guns (when he was five) and then with a real .22 (when he was six), we have a no-gun policy in my household. But we know that's not enough to keep our kids safe.

ALL children -- A-L-L CHILDREN -- need to learn gun safety, even if you have a no-gun policy in your household, because you never know when they will be exposed to a gun. Kids bring them to school. Kids show them off on the playground. Kids invite your kids over and reveal a weapon of some kind. Please take the time to teach your kids -- no matter how old they are -- gun safety rules. If the three teens in my city would ALL have known these rules, they would probably ALL be alive today. We insisted that Zooey learn these rules before he even got a toy (non-firing) gun to play with, and we enforce them even with the toy gun. And by the way, a BB gun or pellet gun is NOT a toy - that's a weapon, too. These rules go for BB/pellet guns as well as regular firearms.

Gun Safety Rules for Little Kids

When you see a gun:

1. STOP!
2. Don't touch!
3. Get away from the area.
4. Let a grown-up know.

Gun Safety Rules for Older Kids

1. Always treat every gun as though it was loaded, even if you know for a fact that it isn't.
2. Never, ever point a gun at another human being.
3. Never, ever put your finger on the trigger of a gun unless you are ready to shoot: outdoors with a grown-up and are pointing the gun at an acceptable target.

More important tips for parents here. And my thanks to the NRA for this information -- love 'em or hate 'em, they provide some very good tips for parents on teaching kids gun safety. And in this day and age, we ALL need to know how to keep our kids safe from guns.

Please pray for the boy who was killed and his family, and the boy who inadvertently shot and killed him and his family. What an impossibly difficult loss!



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