No one goes into parenthood expecting to outlive their children. We just don’t. We tend to view our children as part of our legacy, someone to carry on after we are gone.
It doesn’t always work that way, though. Thing happen. Childhood diseases, fires, car accidents, and any number of other things can change that plan in an instant. I always think of my friends who lost children and I can’t help but wonder how they manage to even crawl out of the bed after something like that.
I expect many parents in such a situation blame themselves. I can only imagine how bad it must be when it might have been prevented.
That’s what went through my mind when I read about a young child who accidentially shot their sibling.
Experts are urging gun owners to talk to their children about gun safety. This comes after a 4-year-old was accidentally shot by their 9-year-old sibling in Anderson County.
It happened Sunday night in Rocky Top. The Anderson County Sheriff’s Office said those injuries are not life threatening and won’t require surgery.
“It’s very important that the children understand how to handle it, what to look for and what the consequences are,” said Joanie Vandagriff with S.E.T. Guns and Range.
Recent numbers show at least 73 children under the age of 12 were killed last year from accidental child deaths involving a gun. Local experts say it’s a tragedy that can be prevented and it all starts with education.
“It needs to be a conversation from day one,” said Vandagriff.
I couldn’t agree more.
“But Tom, didn’t you say just a few hours ago that this isn’t a pressing issue?”
Yes. Yes I did.
I stand by that, too. That doesn’t mean that as parents, we shouldn’t make sure our children understand how to properly handle a firearm should they come across one. Further, I also believe firearm safety should be part of the school curriculum in every public and private school in the country. Of course, I also think firearm proficiency should be taught too, but that’s just me.
Regardless, while it’s not an epidemic, it’s still a risk that children may or may not face in their day to day life. Kidnapping by strangers isn’t exactly common either, yet we still teach “stranger danger,” right?
Please, folks, teach your children what to do should they encounter a firearm. The NRA has the Eddie Eagle program that will help with that. There are also some books written for children by people who know what they’re talking about as well. Regardless of what you use to teach your kids, teach them to be safe.
Firearms are considered forbidden in today’s society, yet that’s likely to make them all the more attractive to children. You need to let them know that they’re not, expose them to firearms in a responsible manner, and keep a dialog with them so they can view firearms as tools and not something to play with.
The last thing I want to see is more stories like this. Let’s all work together to put an end to them.