I am an expectant mother. Not in the traditional way, however! My husband and I are currently on the waiting list to adopt a baby through a domestic adoption. We are thrilled to be expanding our family! When we first decided on pursing adoption, we were overwhelmed with the amount of paperwork and background checks involved. As gun enthusiasts, we’ve had many background checks done, but these were a lot more intense than your average gun purchase background check! What we were most concerned about was the home study. The home study is our adoption caseworker’s way of getting to know us. We generally don’t care if people think we’re “gun nuts,” but when it comes down to the people who control if we get a baby or not… we care.
For those of you who don’t know, whenever you go through the adoption process, one of the components of the process is the home visit. Our caseworker came to our house to inspect it, and generally check to make sure it’s a safe place for a child. We were very nervous, because of the number of guns we have. Our caseworker knew before this point that we are gun enthusiasts and that my husband and I are NRA Certified Instructors, but for some people, there is a major difference between us telling them and her seeing all of our guns. We did our research, and heard from some people like police and federal agents who adopted, and obviously they have guns! They said they had no problems. When we brought up our concerns to our caseworker, she kind of laughed, and said that there are not a lot of people in Colorado who don’t have a gun! She said all she cared about is that we had our guns in one safe and our ammunition in another safe. When the time came for her to check out our home, we showed her our safes, and she didn’t express any shock at the amount of our guns. The home visit went fine, and we were able to breathe a sigh of relief.
Now that we are on the list as a waiting family, it got me thinking about children and guns. Let me make one thing clear: I don’t have kids of my own yet. I’ve just been thinking about how I’m going to raise my kids around guns. I keep hearing about horrible situations where kids have gotten a hold of someone’s gun and have hurt themselves or someone else. I already have a pretty good idea of how I’m going to prevent this from happening to my future kids.
I like to compare kids and guns to kids and alcohol. Strange analogy, yes, but hear me out. I’m a military brat, so I lived all over the world, including Germany when I was 7 and 8. There is no drinking age in Germany. While I was there, I tried sips of wine, champagne, and beer. Even after we moved back to the states, when I was a teenager, my parents would give me half a glass of wine with dinner on special occasions. Because I was raised to feel that alcohol wasn’t “forbidden,” I never had the desire to sneak alcohol or get really drunk.
Parents should educate their children about guns, and never make guns feel forbidden. Parents should take their children to the range at a young age and show them what guns can do. If the children are interested in shooting, great! Let them shoot a .22! It’s a very healthy hobby for a child to have. Shooting can teach a child discipline and responsibility. If the child isn’t interested in guns at all, that’s okay too. When a child is educated about guns, they won’t seek guns out and hurt themselves or others.
Just don’t do what my father-in-law did to my husband. My husband was 5 when his dad first took him to the range, and Dad handed his little boy a Colt .45 revolver… I’ll let you imagine how that went! I just find it amazing that my husband ever picked up a gun again as a young boy!