Women in record numbers are either training to protect their families, hunt, and/or compete. Many more are taking the foundational steps to learn gun safety and get familiar with guns already in their home, even if they don’t ever intend to pull the trigger. Many have started to check their options on gun handling and are becoming more and more familiar with them every day.
Looking back on the many, many years during which I was afraid of guns, I realize that it not only paralyzed me, but that it also led to me not REALLY, truly educating our children about how to safely live around firearms.
I think back to when our daughters were in those play-date and sleep-over years ~ how accessible were firearms in their friend’s homes? Could I have had better conversations about safety in their homes, rather than trusting (rather blindly, I might add) that they would not touch a gun? I am positive that we have more firearms in Wyoming than residents. Since we typically want what we can’t have, did “don’t touch guns” style of conversation make it more tempting to sneak a peek or handle the tempting ‘forbidden fruit’? Maybe (hopefully!) they never had the situation arise. My parental guilt issues aside, I’m so grateful that my children are training their own children (and that I can train other families now!) in family safety in the presence of firearms.
What will your child do if he comes across a gun in your home? Or at a friend’s house?
How will he talk to his friend about the gun they find? During or afterward?
Will she be curious? Or feel guilty or shamed for being curious?
Will she talk to you about it?
Do YOU know how to safely check that the gun in your partner’s bed stand is loaded or clear of ammunition? Why might you want to know?
How do you safely handle a firearm to move it from one place to another?
Have you communicated with your partner about his or her handling and storage of the gun/s and ammunition within your home? Or, like I used to, do you prefer to pretend it’s not there?
What is the intended purpose of the firearms within your home? Have all potential users been trained?
I clearly understand and respect that some people choose to NEVER use a gun; not for target practice, plinking cans, hunting, personal defense, competition or any other purpose. You own you; this may be your choice and I honor that.
I do also encourage you to seriously consider learning about firearms and shooting, becoming educated in safe handling rules and fundamental skills. If you don’t want to ever personally pull the trigger, don’t! But if you have guns in your house, or your children/grandchildren ever visit someone who may, I personally and passionately encourage you to consider taking the huge mental and physical step of learning safe handling and fundamental skills.
Am I now a Shooting Instructor? Yes.
So, is this a self-serving article? Yes: To write, to speak and to teach about living safely around firearms helps me to reconcile my guilt for not educating my children with knowledge-based practical skills in hopes that YOU will do so for you and yours, and to encourage you to take the leap and educate yourself in gun safety. Visualize the scenarios above and others. Find a well-qualified instructor near you to help you get familiar with guns and learn gun safety. You may just save a life.
We are offering a class, in coordination with the Teton County Sheriff’s Office, St. John’s Episcopal Church and the Jackson Police Department, on May 10, 2016 that is perfect for the person that is not a “gun person” but accepts the responsibility of keeping their family safe.. Learn more HERE.