Welcome to Common Gunsense

I hope this blog will provoke some thoughtful reflection about the issue of guns and gun violence. I am passionate about the issue and would love to change some misperceptions and the culture of gun violence in America by sharing with readers words, photos, videos and clips from articles to promote common sense about gun issues. Many of you will agree with me- some will not. I am only one person but one among many who think it's time to do something about this national problem. The views expressed by me in this blog do not represent any group with which I am associated but are rather my own personal opinions and thoughts.
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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Sequel to guns and babies

I just saw this article with 2 more shootings involving children- both seemingly accidental. Yet again, what are people thinking? These children may suffer from long term health and physical problems due to these accidents with guns. It will cost their families and their communities emotionally and monetarily, including the health care system which takes care of the injured. We all pay for these injuries in our health care system. Gun injuries and deaths make a wide arc in our communities. 


Kids will play with guns if they find them. Having accessible loaded guns around the home is just not a good idea, as I said in my first post about this topic today. There is advice in this article to parents and others who have chosen to have loaded guns in their homes. Safe storage is essential. Trigger locks should be used. Guns are just not for kids. Here's a quote in the article from a firearms trainer: " "If they're curious and start asking questions about them, and they want to pick them up, they want to touch them, that's when you need to sit them down and start going over the safety aspects of these things," according to Hutcherson." I have another idea. How about just not having guns around young children. Put them away. 

22 comments:

  1. "Safe storage is essential. Trigger locks should be used."

    I agree that safe storage is essential, but trigger locks are just not a good way to go about it. They take far too long to get off in an emergency and they don't provide any protection against the guns being stolen in a burglary when you're not at home.

    By far the best place to keep a firearm for home defense is in a holster, on your person. Carrying the home defense gun ensures quick access in the event the gun is necessary for self defense and that it will remain under your direct control at all times, eliminating any chance for unsupervised children to get at it. The next best solution (and the best solution for when you are asleep) is a quick access gun safe. These provide protection against both inquisitive children and burglars, while still making it much easier to get the gun into action in an emergency than a trigger lock or non-quick access safe.

    ""If they're curious and start asking questions about them, and they want to pick them up, they want to touch them, that's when you need to sit them down and start going over the safety aspects of these things," according to Hutcherson." I have another idea. How about just not having guns around young children. Put them away."

    I have to strenuously disagree. No matter how good your firearm storage practices are, educating your children about gun safety is absolutely vital. Even if you are 100% reliable in safely storing your firearms, other kids' parents may not be.

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  2. "How about just not having guns around young children. Put them away."

    Yep, 'cause that works so well with drugs and alcohol. If you pretend the problem does not exist you end up letting them "learn" from movies, TV, and their peers.

    1. Stop!
    2. Don't Touch
    3. Leave the Area
    4. Get an Adult

    Better to introduce them to the reality of guns than either the hysterical fear of some, or the ignorant stupidity of movies and TV and school friends.

    As an FYI. When I was a child I knew where dad's guns were. I also knew that if I was to touch them without supervision for any reason other than to repel a home invasion, my life would end, suddenly and violently. Probably with a belt. And my mom wouldn't help me. When I got old enough to be interested in things of a more biological nature, I had the brass to reach past the guns to get to the porn. I could take the punishment for porn, but not the punishment for guns. Children are capable of understanding quite a bit.

    It isn't surprising though, that you want to prohibit children access to firearms. You don't much like adults having them. Luckily Heller and McDonald ruled that laws that prohibit functional loaded and accessable firearms in the home are unconstitutional. When you need a gun for any honest defensive purpose, you rarely have time to assemble, unlock, or load it first. It has to be ready to go immediately.

    Talk to your children about guns, alcohol, tobacco, and drugs. Don't let their ignorant school friends teach them.

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  3. It's a sick irony that the gun owner who thinks he needs a gun to protect his family is more likely to suffer a mishap with that gun than to ever use if in self defense.

    Of course there are exceptions to this, but for the most part, guns in the home do more harm that good.

    Educating the kids as a preventative measure is never enough. Anyone who's raised kids knows this unless they're so biased they're kidding themselves.

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  4. I believe gun owners should be required to have liability insurance to cover mishaps like these.

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  5. "I believe gun owners should be required to have liability insurance to cover mishaps like these." Really? Liability insurance?

    I would much rather NOT have someone's life end at the hands of a gun. Insurance cannot replace a life.

    Education is key. Kids get taught in public school at a young age the danger of knives and sharp objects, and dangers of traffic, but nothing about gun safety.

    Public Schools should be teaching gun safety at a young age.

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  6. Public schools have enough on their plate. They are certainly not going to take time to teach gun safety. Teachers are trained in many subject areas, but hardly gun safety training. That is for parents if they so choose or for after school programs such as Boy Scouts, etc.

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  7. It would be too hard to take a break from coloring one day to teach something that could save their lives?

    Every NRA instructor would be happy to come in and teach the Eddie eagle rules. The NRA funds these things, and even hands out bookmarks, stuffed animals, and stickers.

    Anywhere from kindergarten to 3rd grade, and a more comprehensive session in middle school.

    Teaching basic gun safety should be a priority, and not reserved for a select few kids with proactive parents.

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  8. Coloring?? Is that what you think goes on in elementary school? As someone who has worked in one, I would say you haven't been in a school in a very long time. It is not the role of a teacher to teach gun safety. It's controversial for one thing. I would not want my children learning gun safety because they didn't have guns around the home. It's just not gonna happen. Think of something else. Then find out what the teachers are teaching small children these days. You might be surprised.

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  9. I'd say that there's plenty of time to discuss firearms safety in school. I know for a fact that lots of schools do a Safety Day about fire drills, being careful around sharp objects and not taking candy from strangers, so it shouldn't be too hard to work a little bit of Eddie Eagle in there somewhere. Besides, if it saves just one life, isn't it worth it?

    You claim that you don't want to ban guns, and that you want to reduce gun injuries and deaths, but when there's a common sense idea like teaching gun safety in school along with everything else that's taught safety-wise you don't support it. I'm not really sure that you say what you mean, and vice versa. This seems to be an easy area to compromise between our two groups, so I'm not sure where the conflict lies.

    Wouldn't you want a responsible adult teaching your children about firearms safety, especially if you're an anti-gun family? Those families probably don't have guns, or really know much about them, so their children could definitely benefit from learning about firearms safety from a knowledgeable adult in case they encounter one at a friend's home or even on the street (I believe you posted a link about something like that happening).

    --Colin

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  10. No I wouldn't. I don't choose to have my children learn about gun safety in school. Why don't you lobby school boards and see if this is something they want to add to the curriculum? Poll teachers to see if they want to add this to the curriculum. Then let me know the answers. It's not gonna happen.

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  11. "It's not gonna happen"

    This is sadly true. School does not exist to teach young people to be citizens, cognizant of their rights and responsibilities as adults in our society.

    They'll teach how to put a condom on, but not how to stand up to a belligerant police officer bent on violating the 4th and 5th Amendments. The teacher that showed his class the ACLU's fantastic (and i'm not being sarcastic, it is fantastic) Flex Your Rights video made national news and was castigated roundly for it.

    Imagine the uproar from the left if teachers started explaining to children (teenagers, really) ALL of their rights. Imagine if it was part of the curriculum for the teacher to say, OK you have a right to keep an bear arms. Here's how to do it without hurting yourself or others. Nope, never happen.

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  12. "It is not the role of a teacher to teach gun safety. It's controversial for one thing."

    Sex ed is controversial too, probably much more controversial than gun safety. That doesn't stop schools from teaching it (and rightly so, I might add).

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  13. Not teaching children about guns as an absolutely abhorrent idea. It's like saying "Pornography is evil, do NOT let them see it. Then they'll find out about their own naughty bits." What's wrong with that? You can't let them see that stuff! Except eventually, they WILL see it, they WILL experiment with what "they're for". Would you rather they already know or would you rather they just learn from their buddy Jim in the 12th grade that's already laid every hottie on the cheerleading squad?

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  14. I published Tango's comment as an example of the kind of convoluted reasoning presented by people who are commenting on my posts. Of course, no one said people shouldn't teach their own children about guns and gun safety if they so choose. I am saying it is not a part of school curricula other than to talk about the dangers and avoiding being in situations where guns are present. But to teach kids how to use guns is for another organization after school hours.

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  15. For those who think young elementary age children are just coloring, check out this link from the Star Tribune: http://www.startribune.com/local/104541884.html?elr=KArksLckD8EQDUoaEyqyP4O:DW3ckUiD3aPc:_Yyc:aUycaEacyU

    " Leroy Jr.'s class is different from his father's kindergarten and his fond memories of dunking graham crackers in milk. Snack time is a relic of the days when kindergarten was play and social development, Principal C. Bennice Young said.

    "You think we have time [for snacks]?" she asked. "It's called lunch, at 10:45.""

    Reading the article will inform readers about why teaching gun safety is just not in the cards for the curricula of elementary schools. There are high expectations beyond coloring as one of the commenters, above, suggested.

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  16. "Public schools have enough on their plate. They are certainly not going to take time to teach gun safety."

    So, guns are SO dangerous and SUCH a problem that you feel the need to blog about it constantly... but it's not enough of a problem that kids need to be taught about it. Okay, gotcha.

    "Teachers are trained in many subject areas, but hardly gun safety training. That is for parents if they so choose or for after school programs such as Boy Scouts, etc."

    If I said "Teachers are trained in many subject areas, but hardly American History", would that mean that American History just shouldn't be taught? Or, rather, would that mean that American History is important enough that teachers should know it and be able to teach it?

    Nobody here is suggesting that we start teaching 6th graders marksmanship or military tactics. Rather, we're suggesting teaching them what a gun looks like, what it's capable of, and what they should do if they find one (don't touch, tell an adult, etc).

    One more thing you might be interested in knowing, japete: All the way up until the 1960's, firearm safety and marksmanship were taught in public schools. Not only did students receive instruction, but they were allowed to bring their rifles to school and practice marksmanship on school time using school facilities. Not surprisingly, accidental shootings by school age children were virtually unheard of back then. So, gun safety training in schools is not a new idea, and it has proven to be very safe and effective in the past.

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  17. Not to date me or anything, but there sure as heck were no trainings in firearm safety and marksmanship in my schools. No one brought a rifle to school. Maybe there were a few schools that did this but I am not aware of them. Do you have figures about those accidental shootings in those years you are talking about? I know there were some but they weren't talked about as much. Maybe we should look that up to check it out.

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  18. "Not to date me or anything, but there sure as heck were no trainings in firearm safety and marksmanship in my schools. No one brought a rifle to school."

    Firearm training and rifle marksmanship in schools was quite widespread from the early 1900s until the late 1960s. Programs began around WWI, flourished around WWII, and continued until the mid- to late-1960s, when they began to get cut (often as a response to public dissatisfaction with the Vietnam war). Even schools in Chicago and New York - places where guns are all but taboo today - offered ROTC and marksmanship programs. Rifles were brought to school by students, were stored on school grounds, and were shot on school owned and maintained target ranges (some schools even shot inside their gyms). At the end of the day, students would take their rifles home.

    "Maybe there were a few schools that did this but I am not aware of them."

    It was a lot more than "a few". The NBPRP (National Board For the Promotion of Rifle Practice) was established by the government to get youth involved in shooting sports. Participation was widespread. In the mid-1960s there were over 30 public schools in Chicago alone who participated in regional and national shooting matches.

    "Do you have figures about those accidental shootings in those years you are talking about?"

    Unfortunately, the ATF didn't even exist until 1968, so they can't supply statistics prior to that. The CDC doesn't seem to make statistics available prior to about 1978. So, there is really only anecdotal evidence to rely on.

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  19. Actually, I think I do remember my brother saying that kids brought guns to school and stored them. But there were no classes during the school day= perhaps after school classes, which is different.

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  20. The point is, gun safety, marksmanship, etc. were being taught in public schools. Students were not only instructed on the use of firearms, but they were encouraged to bring them to school and shoot them (under supervision, of course). So, advocating for this type of gun safety instruction in schools is not some new concept.

    I personally believe that an informed child, who's been taught the dangers of firearms, is preferable to simply saying "they're bad!". Especially since, sooner or later, children always find a way to satisfy their curiosity. You can either educate them before they get into trouble, or you can deal with the aftermath.

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  21. People can sign their children up for gun safety classes if they so choose.

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