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Monthly Archives: January 2015

“Loaded Gun Inside”

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This story has me shaking: “5-year-old boy finds gun, shoots baby brother in head.”

I grew up in a home with guns, hunting rifles kept unloaded. My dad may have kept had a loaded gun somewhere. He may now. I’m appalled I haven’t asked.

My family vehemently defends the 2nd amendment. “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” Their arguments align with Blackstone’s “rights of self-defense, resistance to oppression, and the civic duty to act in concert in defense of the state.” I mostly agree with them, in theory.

Conflict: I don’t want any child of mine playing where loaded guns are kept. I don’t want them knocking on the door of a home where someone might answer with a loaded gun.

If that statement makes you uncomfortable, I suggest you take a look at this article for context: Children and Guns: The Hidden Toll.

These stories have fellow parents and friends of mine worrying about how to ask about the presence of guns without offending the homeowner or starting a lengthy debate. The truth is, if your home has a loaded gun inside, many of us deem it unsafe for our children, no matter how responsible you are. That is likely to feel like judgement to some.

The feeling I can’t shake is there is some middle ground here. Shouldn’t the burden of safety fall on the gun owner? Shouldn’t awareness of the danger be the right of the public? If drug companies have to warn the entire public of potential side effects on the off-chance they might convince their doctor to prescribe them a potentially harmful drug, shouldn’t there be some basic right of notification about something as lethal as a loaded gun?

What if gun owners were required to post a sign out front (like those alarm company signs in the window): “Loaded Gun Inside” – could we get behind that?

This is an honest question, I’d love to here your thoughtful and kind responses. I’d also love to hear a reasonable defense of concealed handguns but that’s another can of worms. (Personal attacks will be moderated and unpublished).