ASKing for the Ridiculous

By Kellene Bishop

ASK Campaign

ASK Campaign

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?

Photo c/o iacop.org

Photo c/o iacop.org

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.

Photo c/o blogs.chron.com

Photo c/o blogs.chron.com

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.

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10 Responses

  1. I have a dog and a Ruger GP-100 with hollow-points. I am twice as safe!

    Love your site and re-tweet your tweets!

  2. I just heard you on a replay of Cam & Company. Went from there to your blog. We raised our girls using pretty much the philosophy you give. It seems to have worked out. Both are very successful at what they do and still shooters. The elder has already claimed the .22 rifle that I shortened for her when she was six for her new baby girl. Her little sister will just have to wait or I’ll fix up another, I guess.

  3. These groups never think what they ASK people to do. Do we ask if our neighbor has a pool before letting our children play at another house? Not usually, but pools account for far, far more deaths than accidental shootings. The fear factor works against gun advocates.

  4. I can understand their goal, but they’re asking the wrong question from the wrong people.

    The proper question is to their child – “What do you do if you find a gun?”

    My 4 year old answers that question correctly. “Don’t touch it. Leave the room. Find an adult”. My 7 year old has already shown she knows what to do.

    My daughters’ friends’ parents know when they’re children come over that there are guns in my house. That’s because I always ask THEM if they’d like to go shooting with me. I ask everyone I know with kids if they have taught them what to do in case of finding a firearm. The response I get has been practically 100% positive with many parents shocked when they realize they can’t guarantee their kids won’t run up on a firearm.

    I think our actions as ambassadors for the gun owning community have a greater impact than these silly ads.

  5. […] Kellene looks at the ask campaign. […]

  6. Excerpt from the book; The Bielski Brothers, which the movie Defiance was based on.

    Foreword: After the Nazi’s atrocities against the local Jews, the Bieskis brothers began to gather arms. Possessing gums, and particularly ammunition, as one any gun owner can appreciate, became more precious than gold. The following excerpt has been edited by me for brevity, with my comments in parenthesis;

    Asael (Bielski) also visited Haya Dziencielski, the young woman on whom he’d had a crush since she helped him balance the books for the mill years ago. He presented her with a pistol. But he didn’t give her the weapon simply so she could protect herself. It represented, rather, a declaration of his love for her…..

    ….With little fanfare, he turned to the Dziencielski couple (Who were hiding with non-Jewish peasants) and announced that he was seeking permission to marry Haya. Pleased to hear the news, Haya’s father gave his consent. Asael then recited lines from the marriage ceremony in Hebrew—“Behold thou art consecrated unto me by this ring according to the Law of Moses and Israel” —and presented the young woman not with a ring but a small handgun, a German Mauser of the sort used by the Nazi’s (I speculate it was a 1914 Mauser 7.65 .32 ACP –not a C96 Broomhandle, which is big for a handgun.)…..

    …When he gave me the pistol, I was already in love, Haya later said…the two then went into the barn and Asael showed Haya how to fire the pistol. But as Haya later recalled it, she felt no surge of romantic love as she held the weapon. She was thinking that she could kill herself if the Germans ever captured her—she would be able to end her life before being forced to endure the indignities of the Nazi criminals. It was far from a wedding night of bliss.

    ——–The Bielski Brothers, Peter Duffy P.67-68

    Notwithstanding Haya’s grim mediation on using the pistol on herself in case of capture—one would have to read the previous pages were it details the many cruelties performed by the Einzengruppen on Jews prior to murdering them to appreciate her perspective—- I find this account revealing the essential inherent duty one should do to provide protection for his spouse by providing the tools and training to do so. Comparing the debt-related expenses attached to Bridezilla weddings and honeymoons, the cost of giving a spouse a firearm and training for self-protection is trivial, yet proves to be of lasting greater value. What other gift says, “I love you”, more than giving the means to prolong the life of your loved one in a dangerous world?

    Ron Shirtz

  7. Interesting stuff, I think TEACHING YOUR KID what to do around guns is the real answer. You can’t control other people but you can teach your kids.

    If nothing else when I was a little kid and went over to my Grandpa’s he said something real simple “if you see a gun don’t touch it, ask me and I will show it to you” which would go a long way towards dealing with kids and unsecured guns. Of course he didn’t have loaded guns in plain sight all over the place but he did have several guns and being a bit older might not always remember where one was stored.

    I think kids and gun storage are a whole topic in and of themselves. IMO it is probably easy enough to have a gun in your physical possession or locked up in some way. Between compact gun safes (finger punch and fingerprint) and assorted small easily opening cabinets and safes for all nooks and crannies this issue is a lot easier to deal with then 30 years ago. For around the price of another pistol you don’t need anyway there could be super quick to open mini gun safes big enough to hold a pistol and a few mags in 3 or 4 rooms of your house.

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