Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Gun Debate-- Knowledge is Power, Right?

Let me preface this by saying that my wife and I are both very anti-guns.  We don't want guns in our house, we don't want our son to play with guns, we don't let him have a water gun, we don't like it when his toys have guns, etc.

Naturally, this makes him want to have guns all the more.  (Well, that and he's a 3.5 year old boy consumed in a media culture frenzy that has guns at every opportunity)  But that's grist for a different mill.

At a picnic last week, I saw a guy who I know who is a friend of my friend.  He's a good guy, we pretty much see each other once a year at this annual party/picnic.  He's got a 10 year old boy, he lives in suburban NJ.  Somehow our conversation turned to guns,  and I mentioned our position-- that we don't like them.

He said, "I happen to be a big gun proponent.  I'm not a gun nut, but I think everybody should own one and know how to operate one.  I grew up around them and that's part of my culture.   I have taught my son about guns-- not because I want him to be a gun nut, but because I want him to be prepared and knowledgable.  I want him, when one of his friends says "Hey look what I found in my dad's closet"-- I want him to be the kid who can take out the clip, take out the one in the chamber, put the safety on, and turn to his friend and say, "This is not a joke.  Let's not play around."

And I have to say, other than my abhorrence to guns, I don't find much to argue with there. (and the fact I don't want my kid to play in places where there are guns!)

Knowledge is power, and making sure your child is armed (pun intended) with the necessary information is a good thing, and a principle that I want to live by.

I'm not sure that we'll end up going down this route, because I don't want to get a gun.   But I am going to consider, when the time is right, taking him to a gun safety class.  If I can get over my own gun squeamishness.  And convince my wife that this is the right decision.

1 comment:

Chris Carbone said...

Gun clubs have open houses. You could take you kid to one and take into gun safety/operation classes. That said, the world is filled with dangerous things and you can't possibly have direct experience with all of them. Teaching kids to be safe and sensible is the best anyone can do.