The first day of summer has been deemed “National ASK Day,” which falls on June 21st this year. This day is marked to recognize the importance of both securing our own firearms in the home and, as parents, ensuring our children aren’t playing in a home with an unsecured firearm in it. In this article, Doug breaks down the importance of asking the question before sending your children into another home to play.
I’ll begin by getting something out of the way – “National ASK Day” (Asking Saves Kids) is a title created by the Brady Campaign, a gun control group. The only thing I have in common with any group like this is the Constitutional guarantees of Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press. When we get past that, however, our commonalities end. I believe in and encourage responsible gun ownership, believe in raising children to be responsible gun owners and, most importantly, hold our 2nd Amendment Right to Keep and Bear Arms as absolutely inalienable and of utmost importance.
The concept isn’t new – we wouldn’t send our kids to play at someone’s house if we didn’t feel that they would be safe there. There are guns in my house, in most of my friends’ houses where my children play, and there are guns in an enormous number of homes with children all across the country. There are also several kids unintentionally shot with unsecured firearms in the US every day. The difference between a tragic accident and a fun playdate is securing ALL of your weapons.
Unintentional shootings with an unsecured weapon are completely preventable. We can’t count on our children to remember that we’ve told them a million times not to touch a firearm, nor can we expect that our children won’t find where we’ve hidden one. Sure, it might have worked for you as a kid… but are you going to hedge a bet on losing the most precious person in your life on the fact that he or she, or their hyperactive and inquisitive friend who’s over for a visit, is going to make the right choice in the moment it matters? I’m not.
The first solution is securing our own firearms. The ones we don’t use for defense need to be in a safe and the go-to ones we need in a hurry need to be loaded and ready to go while sitting in quick-access lockboxes. This concept is a core tenant of the Tactical Parent – the ability to effectively protect your loved ones by ensuring you have immediate access to firearms while preventing little hands from doing the same.
The other solution is asking whether there are unsecured firearms in the home before you send your children over to play. Yes, I realize this sounds socially awkward and I also realize that not everyone wants to be open about what they may or may not have in their home. When confronted with these questions, though, consider that if you can’t ask someone about unsecured firearms in their home where your children are going to play, do you know them well enough to entrust them with your kids to begin with?
Please, ask the question.
Many are calling for “gun safety this” and “common sense that,” and yet we all know that what they actually want is to disarm and control the very people who aren’t the problem. Let’s take away the problem instead. In contrast to their opinions, the responsibility for keeping firearms away from children, I believe, rests on those who actually have the firearms. Not only does securing firearms keep children safe but it also takes the wind out of the sails of the gun control groups. The less we give them to work with, the better.
So, given that today is “National ASK Day,” please take the time to secure all your firearms. Start to talk to the parents of your kids’ friends about securing theirs too. Ask if there are any unsecured firearms in the house before letting your kids go over to play and, if there are, have that conversation. Point them to our Tactical Parent column if you think it’d help. Together we can make a dent in that tragic daily number while, at the same time, taking the wind out of the enemy’s sails. Most importantly, though, the life you save could be the one most precious to you.
There is no excuse for unsecured firearms. Let’s take-back the idea of “gun safety” and “common sense” from those who try to use it against us and create a culture of safe storage before someone decides we need a law to do it for us. Join me in keeping our kids safe and let’s mark today as the day responsible gun owners focus on what they can do to increase gun safety one family at a time.