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Gun Control, Saving Lives and Remembering Lost Souls

Friday morning I posted this on Facebook…

“The news from Connecticut this morning is beyond awful and devastating. Sending comfort and prayers to the children, parents and faculty. A heartfelt thank you to first responders and law enforcement at the scene and wishing swift and sure hands to the medical personnel healing those in need. What an awful day…”

Reports on the death count in the Sandy Hook Elementary School violence were still coming in when people in powerful positions sought to make their case for gun control. I find such callous, I-told-you-so commentary and promotion of their “quick solution” to the problem indicative of irrational thinking. With so little facts on what happened it not only made no sense, it added to my feelings of sickness and hopelessness. I look to my leaders to be rational, caring, controlled and logical. So many of these individuals yesterday indicated that, though they may be in positions of power, they do not possess the qualities of a leader.

I am not qualified to talk about why this deranged individual did what he did. As a law abiding citizen who follows government regulations set forth to legally own guns I cannot understand it. As someone who actively promotes safe, responsible firearm ownership, I struggle to comprehend it. As a mother, I cannot fathom it.

Guns are mechanical tools that launch a projectile into a target. Some would have you believe that a target is only and always a person. That is false. A target can be anything from an aluminum can to a piece of paper to, yes, people and animals.

The millions of legal gun owners in this country are not criminals or those on the verge of committing atrocious violence. This needs to be understood and the issue fully examined with regard to any gun control. I am not a politician, nor do I have any interest in becoming one, so I am not going to go into how we can fix the world. There are enough people doing just that right now. What I am going to write about is what I think is important with regard to guns. Here is what I know:

  • I know that people with guns save lives every day.
  • I know that there are cruel, sick people in this world who are capable, willing and have the desire to hurt people.
  • I know that it is my responsibility as a parent to give my children tools they need to both survive and thrive in this world.

And, I am going to be so bold to say that everyone should know and understand the firearms safety rules. If you’re thinking of owning a firearm, this is the first thing you should research and learn. If you already own guns, then this is what you need to practice, diligently. If you are vehemently opposed to owning a firearm, you should still learn about firearm safety.

The Basic Rules:

  1. Treat all firearms as if they are loaded.
  2. Keep your finger off the trigger and outside the trigger guard until you are ready to shoot.
  3. Do not point at or cover anything with the muzzle you do not intend to shoot.
  4. Be certain of your line of fire and backstop. If you aren’t sure, don’t shoot. 

When someone breaks these rules, they are being careless with your personal safety. If these rules are broken, bad things happen. It doesn’t matter if it occurs in the home, on a shooting range or in a public place. Unsafe handling of firearms cannot and should not be tolerated.

But how young is too young to start talking about  guns? There are some parents who want to shelter their children from gun violence. I certainly cannot fault them for that. I want my sweet munchkin to have a life filled with happiness and to enjoy innocence as long as possible. But when it comes to  firearm safety, I think of  it much like I view fire safety. I want my child to be aware of dangers and how to keep safe so that she can live a long, wonderful life and perhaps one day have children of her own.

Regardless of whether you love or loathe the NRA, their Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program is excellent and teaches gun avoidance to pre-K to third grade age children. The basic premise of the program is that if a child sees a firearm, they should:

STOP!
Don’t Touch.
Leave the Area.
Tell an Adult.

As gun owners, my husband and I go into more detail with our daughter. I don’t believe in preaching what people should do as parents, but I can share how we address it in our home in hopes that it can provide some help to others.

  • We stress that guns are not toys and that our child should never play with them. We do the same for sharp knives, or a hot stove. These things are dangerous and when she is older she can learn more about how to use these tools if she chooses to.
  • If our daughter has questions about guns we answer them. We keep things as simple as possible and try to include her in the conversation. I have found she is much more likely to remember the discussion when she is able to be a part of it and not just talked to.
  • We talk about the firearm rules in steps.  We do this in everything from teaching her to how to wipe her bottom on the toilet to gun safety. Some of the firearm safety rules are hard for her to grasp, but the easiest one is don’t point the gun at anything you don’t want to shoot. A simple analogy I have used is a water hose. She understands that if  the end of the hose with the hole is pointed at her she will probably get wet. If the end of the gun with the hole in it is pointed at her then she could be hurt.
  • We also discuss the importance of getting away from dangerous situations. If someone has a gun or a knife pointed at her, she needs to get away from them. I don’t care if she’s at a friend’s house, at school or on the range. If someone is pointing a gun at my daughter, I want her to  try to get away from that person.

Regardless of where you stand on the gun issue, the benefit to knowing firearm safety and teaching it to your children could help save lives and that is what we all want.

My heart goes out to the families of those who lost their precious, cherished ones. Like so many, I too am sending thoughts of comfort and prayers. In  loving memory of those we should remember…

Charlotte Bacon
Daniel Barden
Rachel Davino
Olivia Engel
Josephine Gay
Ana Marquez-Greene
Dylan Hockley
Dawn Hochsprung
Madeleine F. Hsu
Catherine V. Hubbard
Chase Kowalski
Jesse Lewis
James Mattioli
Grace McDonnell
Anne Marie Murphy
Jack Pinto
Noah Pozner
Caroline Previdi
Jessica Rekos
Avielle Richman
Lauren Rousseau
Mary Sherlach
Victoria Soto
Benjamin Wheeler
Allison N. Wyatt

Rest in peace.

From Julie Golob

All views and opinions expressed here are all mine and do not represent those of my employers or sponsors. Please review my comment policy before posting and be aware that links provided throughout this website may be affiliate links. For more info, read my disclaimer and disclosure page. ~JulieG

8 Responses to “Gun Control, Saving Lives and Remembering Lost Souls”

  1. Anna says:

    Very thoughtful, thank you, Julie!

  2. Evyl Robot Michael says:

    I agree with every word and will likely link to your pose later today.

  3. Bob says:

    Great job Julie. I am going to use the water hose analogy a lot now, since one of the greatest of all time uses it. Thanks. And you keep your munchkin safe! Like the proud mama you are. To paraphrase Mr. T, “I pity the fool who messes with Julies’ kin!”

  4. Mia Anstine says:

    Great post Julie. You are an amazingly classy lady.

  5. Quiet_Professional says:

    Well said, Julie! I’ve reposted on FB.

  6. ARL says:

    I don’t think we need to ban any type of weapon, even assault weapons, but we need to be much, much more vigilant about training, ownership, and custody of weapons and ammunition.

    Most gun owners are highly responsible, but this is a huge country and with so many gun owners that if even 1% are irresponsible, we have big numbers of guns that are not being kept under their owners’ control.

    So I have to say that you are wrong you use the word irrational to describe people who advocate for gun control. It is irrational to continue as we are and expect different results. It’s irrational to pretend that our lack of control isn’t a factor in death rates by gun in the US that are 20 times higher than other countries in the industrialized world.

    We absolutely cannot continue to have guns that owners do not keep properly stored and locked. A possible law, for example, would say that if you discover that your gun is out of your custody (neither in your hand nor in your gun vault) you must report it to the police within an hour of discovering it’s missing. If you don’t, you face legal liability for whatever harm is caused by that gun, no matter who uses it to cause harm.

    I’d also be in favor of massive restrictions on storing guns in homes where there is a mentally ill person present. The man who shot and killed a Capitol Hill police officer, for example, on July 24, 1998 was known to be mentally ill and violent, but his family made no provisions for keeping weapons out of his hands.

    National gun registry and tracking of gun ownership transfer (like the way your car is registered and has a VIN number) is another example of a law that would not interfere with ownership by responsible owners, but would allow us to find the source of guns used in crimes and to identify irresponsible owners.

    It’s not either-or, it’s not win-lose, it’s just ensuring that owners behave responsibly when the things they use are deadly. Like your car.

  7. What very informative and touching article. I want to thank you for what a great example you are. I couldn’t ask for anyone better to represent the gun industry as well as my own thoughts and feelings on such a heart wrenching subject.

  8. julieg1 says:

    Thanks for the kind words Madeline. I really appreciate it.