So. I was wearing my pistol around the house on Saturday while trying out a different holster. (And holster choice is a post for another day …) I said to Sweet Daughter, “Did you notice I’m wearing a gun today?”
Somewhat surprised, she replied “No, mommy.”
“Did you know that sometimes Daddy wears a gun when we go shopping?”
“Why do you think Daddy wears a gun sometimes?”
“In case the Big Bad Wolf shows up.”
“Right. Why else?”
“In case a bad guy shows up WITH the Big Bad Wolf.” (Close enough for a four-year-old. The Big Bad Wolf is the epitome of evil in her world.)
Not only do you not know he’s wearing a gun, nobody else knows, either. When we’re wearing guns, we’re happy to answer any questions you have, but only when there aren’t any strangers around. Did you know that some people don’t like guns?”
“Why not?” she asked, with a look of disbelief. (I swear I am not making this up.) “Don’t they know guns save lives?” (She must really, really like the bumper sticker.)
“Some people are scared of guns.” (Still getting the puzzled look.) “Can a gun hurt you if it’s sitting on the table?”
(She laughs like I’ve lost my mind …) “No!”
“That’s right.* What if it’s in a holster?”
“When can a gun hurt you?”
“If a bad guy picks it up and points it at you and shoots!”
“Some guns can go off if you drop them, but not this one. Do you want to see it?” (Thanks, Cornered Cat!!)
So I show her how I check the weapon to make sure it’s empty, and I show her the grip and trigger safeties. (“Mommy, is that a trigger shoe?”) She asked if she could hold it. I handed it to her, and she IMMEDIATELY turned so that it was pointing towards the wall I use when practicing magazine drills.
“Mommy – we practice shoot this way where it’s safe!”
We don’t discuss firearms much in general conversation at our house. We don’t go to the range nearly as often as we should, or would like to. Sweet Daughter isn’t drilled on the four rules, or made to genuflect towards Ogden, UT, before bedtime. She just picks this stuff up. Don’t ever underestimate your kids. They do listen to what you say, and your actions speak just as loud. Making sure I’m setting a good example for Sweet Daughter makes me a better gun owner, and that makes me a better citizen.
* Not unless your cat has it out for you.