Annie's Mailbox / The New Ann Landers


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general
March 11, 2004, 02:18 AM
I hope General... is a good place for this.. just some musings..
Found this hiding in the paper the other day...

www.creators.com (http://www.creators.com/lifestyle_show.cfm?columnsName=ama)
FOR RELEASE: MONDAY, MARCH 8, 2004
Dear Annie: My son just started first grade, and he is making new friends. I am thrilled that he is popular, but I have one concern. Some of these friends have guns in their homes, and I am worried sick that something could happen to my child.

I have heard so many horror stories of accidents happening when kids become curious about guns. How should I approach this with his friends' parents? Is it reasonable to tell my son that he cannot play at a home where the parents own guns, even if the guns are locked up? I realize I sound overprotective, but I don't want to take any chances with my child's life. -- Against Guns in Lawrence, Kan.

Dear Lawrence: Accidents with guns are not unheard of, and, yes, they can happen even if the guns are locked up. A first-grader sometimes knows where the keys are and where the bullets are kept. And while most gun owners teach their children about gun safety, you cannot know if someone is careless.

This isn't an issue of right or wrong. You are entitled to set the boundaries for your own child, even if others disagree. It is OK to tell these parents, "I know you are responsible gun owners, but I am uneasy having my child around guns. I hope you won't be offended if I ask the kids to play at our house instead."
__________________________________-
Felt I had to respond..

Dear Kathy and Marcy,
With all due respect, I never thought I'd live long enough to hear ignorance preferred over education. As you say "..most gun owners teach their children about gun safety..." and "You are entitled to set the boundaries for your own child." It would appear obvious to me that someone who truly cared about their child would stop at nothing to educate them to the dangers of the world. This would obviously include, but not be limited to, crossing the street, the dangers of drugs AND what to do about firearms. Granted, a gun is but a simple machine and I'm sure back in the early days of electricity you could hear parents voicing the same concerns about that great unknown entity, "You stay away from Bobby's house, I hear they got 'lectricity!"
From the basics of "don't touch, tell an adult", to more advanced education specific to each child depending upon the wishes of the parent, can be found at the one resource most ignored by the mainstream press. The National Rifle Association has been teaching about gun safety since its incorporation in 1871. The Eddie Eagle program has educated millions of children on gun safety.
It is plain to see that "Against guns in Lawrence, Kansas" is also against proper education of her child in the realities of the world. We can not hope to insulate our children against every danger of the modern world. That is completely unrealistic. I do hope she will not perpetuate the myth that guns are most dangerous to children. Electricity, bicycles and swimming pools still retain that title.
Sincerely,
XXXXXXX

But this did give me an idea...(a waking thought.. lot of that going around)
Why isn't gun education pushed by these "for the children" folk? I mean, yes, 'I' know that they aren't really interested in that.. but what about the vast majority of Americans. What if sending your kid to school with out at least a basic amount of firearms education was like sending your kid to school with out vaccinations or school supplies.. or properly dressed...?
I can hear the other Moms now... "Can you believe she sent her daughter to school without even showing her a revolver?!" Lord help us?!"
Then they would have no excuse... "kids' shouldn't handle guns"... But like other things, you can't watch them round the clock. The should be taught by their parents and siblings about guns just the way they are educated about other things they may encounter in their youth.
This kind of equates guns as something to be warned about? (like drugs?) that would be a bad association..
Well, that's all I've got... can anyone take it further or add to it in any way?
Good idea? Bad idea?

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nipprdog
March 11, 2004, 07:04 AM
I sent them this "different view";

(I didn't write this, got it from another site)

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


When a "Concerned" Parent asks you...

Here is your "script".

A gentleman in suburbia writes:

I’d just finished cleaning my .30-06 when the doorbell rang.

Setting things aside, I got up and opened the door.

Found a young lady standing there.

“Mr. Simoneaux?”

“Yes.”

“I’m your neighbor from a few doors down. Our boys are friends with your son and he’s asked if they could come play at your house.”

“No problem there. Jason’s our youngest and we’ve been through having kids over with our older two. Got the place almost to where we can hose it down after an afternoon of whatever the kids get up to.”

“Well, that’s good Mr. Simoneaux, but, you see, I’m a concerned parent…”

“Aren’t we all. I was mostly concerned with staying sane while my two oldest went through their teens. Still not sure I made it and I still have Jason to go.”

“Well there is that worry but, just now, I’m more concerned about guns.”

“Good one to be concerned about.”

“So, you’re concerned about guns in the home too?”

“Absolutely. I’ve just about run out of space in the gun cabinet what with the rifles and shotguns we have for when we all go hunting together.”

“No, what I mean is I’m concerned about guns in the home and I don’t want my kids in danger.”

“I’m with you there. You wouldn’t believe how tough my wife and I are on that subject. Locks on the gun cabinet door. Safety chain running through the trigger guards to lock them into the cabinet. Ammunition locked in a small cabinet in the garage. My wife’s Italian, you know. I’d be sleeping with the fishes if I weren’t careful.”

“So you keep guns in your house?”

“Yep. How do you store yours?”

“We don’t have guns and that’s why I wanted to talk with you.”

“You want me to recommend a safety course? Be glad to and, I might say, you’re doing the right thing. Getting the kids through a course beforehand is the only way to go. Sure wish more people thought like you.”

“That’s not it at all. I’m worried about where my boys play. And, with guns in a house, there could be…”

“An accident? Ma’am, I worry about that too. That’s why all three of ours have been through safety and hunting courses and have shot until they’ve reached the point of not wanting to unless we’re going hunting. Then there’s that wife of mine. She’s laid down the law about ever touching a gun in this house unless one of us is around. Then there’s all of those locks…”

“You’re still not getting my point. I don’t want my boys anywhere near danger.”

“Me neither. Say, you don’t leave loaded buckets around your house, do you?

“Loaded buckets?”

“Yeah, buckets full of water. Like when you’re mopping and go off to do something else. I read about toddlers falling into them and drowning. When ours were younger, we were really careful about that. Wouldn’t let them play in any house where people left loaded buckets around unattended. You wouldn’t believe the statistics on those things. But I can tell you’d never leave one out and Jason’s pretty big. I’d have no worry whatsoever about him playing in your house.”

“Mr. Simoneaux, you’re still not getting my point about guns. I saw the sticker on your truck that says you’re an NRA member.”

“Is that what this is about? You want to join? Don’t worry about not owning a gun. They have all sorts of safety courses that you and your kids can take beforehand. I think I even have some applications somewhere.”

“That’s not it. You have guns in the house and I don’t want my kids…”

“To feel embarrassed? Ma’am, I’ve lectured my kids over and over on the Golden Rule. Believe me, if they ever tease someone who hasn’t had all of the chances they’ve had to learn firearms safety, I’ll take a switch to ‘em.”

“You’re missing the point. I’m scared of guns and…”

“Scared of guns? Have you looked into professional help? Those shrinks can do amazing things nowadays for people who’re scared of inanimate objects.”

“AAAAIIIIEEEEE!!!”

“Larry, who’s that screaming?”

“It’s our neighbor. She was asking about gun safety and just ran away.”

“Is that gun cleaner I smell downstairs?”

“Uhh…”

“Are you cleaning that rifle on my new dining room table?”

“Don’t worry. I put a lot of newspaper down and, besides, I left your tablecloth there in case I spilled anything and it got past the paper.

“AARRRGGHHH!!!”

Good grief. Two screams in one day. Was it something I said?

TallPine
March 11, 2004, 11:26 AM
To be honest, I also discretely try to find out if the homes that my children visit have guns in them.

I want to know that the family has the means to protect themselves and their visitors.

:neener:

geekWithA.45
March 11, 2004, 11:44 AM
Sounds like someone over at the national ASK campaign thinks they're pretty clever.

Eskimo Jim
March 11, 2004, 12:06 PM
General,
I think that the Eddie Eagle program should be part of the school curriculum but I'll supplement my children's education with home schooling. I'm certainly not going to delegate educating my children to the public school system. Quite frankly, I'd rather that my kids go to school to get a break from their parents teaching them things.

Maybe if local clubs sponsered an Eddie Eagle program on a Saturday morning and were allowed to advertise the program in the local school system it might work better.

It doesn't take much to teach the Eddie Eagle program, two to four hours to a classroom or auditorium of school children. Maybe more time is needed however it would be time well spent.

In my opinion, I think that there should be a rifle and pistol program in every high school.

-Jim

general
March 11, 2004, 01:06 PM
Eskimo Jim:
Yeah, I'm with you on that.. Turning over control of your childs education to others - without direct involvment.. is ... well, kinda like sending your kid to the doctor for unknown ailments and just waiting outside for the result. Re: Eddie Eagle; Don't know if schools would do it ... you know..
:rolleyes: Liability concerns...:uhoh:
To use the same tried and true line of the libs...
You'd think that if gun education could save just one child.....
:eek:
nipprdog:
That is excellent...
Gotta watch them buckets.. an bikes... Oh, an that 'lectricity. Thet thars dangerus stuff..uhhuh.

johnnymenudo
March 11, 2004, 01:51 PM
I don't really see any problem with their response - if I wasn't comfortable with the parents or the situation - unsupervised, etc., I wouldn't want my kids at that house either. Just because you and I have comfort level with firearms doesn't mean that everyone has to. Some people have irrational fears of large dogs and I would understand if they didn't like being around dogs even though I disagree. And truth of the matter - not all people are safe around firearms. You have all seen idiots at the range - you don't think that can happen in a living room??

Let the parents decide what they want for their kids. Even if they are mistaken - it is their right as parents.

JM

DigMe
March 11, 2004, 03:13 PM
If it was free to educators I'd show the Eddie Eagle program to my kids with no problem. I work with 6th, 7th and 8th graders (would they be too old for Eddie Eagle?) and I have shown videos and talked to the boys about gun safety before...starting out with the question "Are guns good or bad?"

One 6th grader actually had the sense to say "Guns aren't good or bad!"

brad cook

7.62FullMetalJacket
March 11, 2004, 03:18 PM
Public skools will spend time teaching young children to put a condom on a banana but will not expend any non-PC time with firearm safety instruction. It was not always this way; we had firearm safety instruction right in the school.

M1911Owner
March 11, 2004, 04:17 PM
A first-grader sometimes knows where the keys are and where the bullets are kept.Doesn't sound like too much of a problem, unless the first-grader also knows where the primers are kept, the powder, brass, and reloading equipment, and knows how to use the reloading equipment... ;)

Standing Wolf
March 11, 2004, 06:31 PM
The original Ann Landers was a no holds barred anti-Second Amendment bigot for decades, so it's no surprise her successor is another.

Sane people are concerned about criminals, not firearms.

Gordon Fink
March 11, 2004, 06:58 PM
Why isn’t gun education pushed by these “for the children” folk?

Because the problem is insignificant. In 1996, for example, only 21 kids under the age of 15 were killed in firearms accidents—and I would bet a few of those “accidents” were actually murders.

Accidental shootings are a non-issue raised only to frighten the ignorant.

~G. Fink

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