Sometimes when my sisters and I were young, we would go with my mom to visit her elderly aunt who lived alone in a large rambling house. As my mom and her aunt visited in the kitchen, we would be off on our own, exploring all the rooms in the house.
There was one room that held great attraction for us – as well as fear and daring. And that shadowy room had in it an ornate secretary desk. It stood dark in a corner – closed up – but one day we opened it – inside, there was a black revolver pistol.
That was enough for us. We closed the desk and ran out. But, every time we visited, the attraction of seeing the revolver was too much – and we would need to go back and look at it.
We never picked it up – although I think we dared each other to touch it. It was a frightening object to us – and one we never told any adult about.
I’m sharing this with you because there may be guns in people’s homes now where your children play. The question experts advise parents to ask of the homes their children visit is “Do you have a gun in your home and is it unloaded and locked up, and is the ammunition stored separately?”
Because just as my sisters and I found out – the attraction of just looking even at the gun we discovered was a thrill.
And many children – braver than us – could actually pick up a gun they find, point it and even pull the trigger, innocently ending in loss of life.
So … it’s a hard question to ask, isn’t it? But The Academy of Pediatrics advises it’s a question that needs an answer – for the safety of your children.
Sometimes we have to start the difficult conversation.
People who have a gun properly stored will not take offense. And those who do react negatively to your inquiry, that, too, might just be your answer.