By Kellene Bishop
In yet another ridiculous move by the anti-self-defense camp, a national “ASK” day was established about ten years ago. Its purpose was to remind parents to be proactive about protecting their children from firearm accidents simply by asking their friends and neighbors about the use of guns in their respective homes. Its intent was to remind parents to inquire of friends and neighbors that their children are associating with whether or not they have firearms in the home and whether or not they are stored “properly.”
Here’s the huge problem with this campaign. It’s putting the majority of the safety of your child in the hands of someone else. Just because you ask if there is a firearm and the answer is “no” doesn’t mean that will remain the case perpetually. Another adult could enter the home with a firearm. Another child could bring a firearm to the home as well. Are you planning on asking your neighbor this series of questions every time your child goes to visit, or even on a monthly basis? Are you prepared to track down and research every other child that may also come to visit the same home? How does this line of questioning completely protect your child from a firearm accident?
What if a mother was sending her child over to a policeman’s house? Would it be acceptable that a law enforcement officer have a gun in the home? If not, then are you teaching your child that police officers are bad or that they should be avoided? The same goes for a concealed carry permit holder. Several of the books I’ve read by Ayoob and Lott Jr. over the last year point out that fewer accidents occur among concealed carry permit holders than do police officers. (just a little sampling: http://www.ktvu.com/news/5441146/detail.html) In fact, a police officer’s gun is used against them in significantly more incidences than a private owner’s firearm. What does your questioning do to protect your child in these circumstances?
Additionally, you are relying on your questions being answered truthfully. Don’t you think there might be some hesitation on the part of your neighbor when you ask someone if they have a firearm in their home? Do they want to publish its existence to the world? I know I don’t go around telling people what kinds of firearms and how many I own, under any circumstances. Frankly, if you don’t know someone well enough to know about their stance on firearms and firearm safety, your child shouldn’t be spending time over there anyway, in my opinion.
Ultimately, the only way to truly protect your children from a firearm accident is to educate them continually—not talk to them a little bit. Every gun scene you see on television or in a movie is cause for education. Every time you say “no” to particular video game, it’s an occasion to educate. Ultimately your child’s education is their prime defense against any firearm accidents. Properly educating your children on safety around firearms is not a one-time conversation. It must be a consistent and congruent process of education. Oh, and by the way. Questioning your friends and neighbors about their beliefs in gun possession is no more effective in promoting the safety of your children than trying to do crowd control at a “Day After Thanksgiving Sale” at Wal-Mart.
Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved. You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop.
Filed under: children and guns, concealed carry permit, firearm education, firearms / guns, police | Tagged: ASK campaign, ASK day, asking saves kids, ayoob, concealed carry permit, firearm, guns, law enforcement, lott jr. |