Shannon Watts is just one of many busybodies, but she’s best known for her busybody attitude regarding guns. After all, The Moms Demand Action founder is really something of a one-trick pony. Her latest? Pester friends and family this holiday season regarding firearms.

Now, don’t get me wrong. People should store their firearms securely so curious hands don’t get hold of them. There have been far too many tragedies through the years because guns were placed where young and inquisitive people–usually boys, to be fair–would find them and treat them as toys.

However, it’s also no one else’s business if I have firearms in my home. It’s also no one’s business how I store them.

If your kids are coming over to my home for the holidays, then here’s what I expect:

Respect Boundaries

Your children need to respect that this is my home. That means no plundering through my stuff and to stick to the common areas of the home and any other regions expressly permitted (my kids’ bedrooms, for example). If they do this, they won’t be digging in my nightstand or closet or anywhere else that people typically keep firearms they want ready access to.

Most gun owners don’t have guns scattered throughout the house. They keep them in a few different places, and almost all of those aren’t in the common areas of the home such as the kitchen, living room, dining room, etc. They’re private tools and are kept in private places.

If your child is going to be welcome in my home, I have a right to expect those private places to be respected. You wouldn’t want my kids plundering in your room. Show me the same courtesy, for crying out loud.

Teach Them Basic Firearm Safety

 

Photo from Flickr, by greenmelinda

It’s the responsibility of every parent to teach their children some basic firearm safety.

For my five-year-old daughter, it’s mostly “don’t touch” and “tell an adult if you see one.” For my 16-year-old son, he gets the full Four Rules treatment. He’s old enough to understand them. She may or may not be, but she’s also not likely to pay attention enough for them to stick, so we go with what will.

It’s up to each parent to teach this to our children because the schools simply won’t. There’s no effort to educate children, particularly in the inner cities, on how to treat and respect firearms. As a result, accidents happen with “found” guns far too frequently.

But if you’re coming to my home, and you’re worried about your child getting into my guns, then it’s up to you to teach them what not to do with a gun. Remember, you and your child are guests in my home. It’s up to you to keep your child safe and sound, not up to me to teach them about firearms.

Now, if you’re clueless and you ask me to, I’ll be more than happy to help. I speak for the vast majority of gun owners, if not all of them when I say that we’d be thrilled to help educate your child on gun safety. While the holidays may not be the ideal time, many of us are willing to carve out a bit of time to educate someone to be safe.

Act Like A Parent

It’s not my place to parent your child. While I am a responsible adult, it’s not up to me to do everything. You are their parent, so make sure you act like it. If you’re in my home, you see to your child. It’s up to you to keep them from plundering in bedrooms, in closets, or wherever else they may go, just as it’s up to you to keep them from pulling out the chef’s knife and running around the house with it.

If you maintain control over your child, even in someone else’s home, most accidents will generally not happen. This doesn’t just include gun accidents, either, but many others.

Now, if your child is spending the night with family or friends, that’s different. You simply can’t be expected to maintain a vigil when you’re not there. No one would say otherwise. But in that case, you really should have laid the groundwork beforehand. You should have educated them on how to be a good houseguest.

You Do Your Part, I’ll Do Mine

Plain and simple, if you do your part, I’ll do mine. I’ve already educated my children, and I also don’t let them run all over the house. If your kids come over, my kids should do their part in this. If you do your part as a parent, we should be able to have a safe and joyous holiday.

But if it’s clear that the onus for all of this will fall on me, simply because you think guns are icky, then we’re going to have a problem. Oh, your kid will be safe. I and my children will make sure of that, but then you and yours will never be welcome in my home again.

For me, it’s not the anti-gun attitude that will severe the bonds of friendship or family, but the poor parenting skills on display. If you, a parent, thinks it’s all on me to keep your child safe, then that’s nothing but shirking your responsibilities. My ownership of guns is irrelevant, it’s you that is failing.

Shannon and company can pretend they’re righteous when they pontificate on how everything is all on gun owners, but there’s remarkably little talk from her neck of the woods on what she needs to do as a parent in such circumstances. It’s past time these busybodies get called on their determination to make everything our faults.

It’s not.