Kids Guns & The Truth

I was having a pint the other day with one of the other soccer dads, it was one of those getting to know you beyond the soccer pitch kinda things. As we quaffed our beer, we talked about our families and a few other manly topics that I won’t get into here and then the topic of guns came up.

Turns out this mild mannered (that is a bit of a stretch) soccer dad is a gun expert, knows everything you ever wanted to know about them and teaches law enforcement officers how to use them properly. He has even gone so far as to write a book about guns, not about how great they are as one might expect but instead it is a level headed look at guns in our society and what that means to our kids.

The premise of his book is simple. We teach our kids about the dangers of drugs, drinking and driving, unsafe sex, dating safety, walking alone at night… The list is endless but we NEVER talk about guns. In his book York thoughtfully questions the thinking behind this safety oversight and proposes some simple solutions to what is becoming an ever growing concern for kids and parents.

From this conversation, I came to realize just how different my relationship with guns was as compared to my own children.  When I grew up every kid on my block had at least one Pellet or BB gun at their immediate disposal and somewhere,  placed safely away in our homes, were a myriad of other firearms including 22’s, shotguns and rifles.

Certainly we didn’t have access to the higher calibre ordinance, as they were to be used only for the purposes of hunting or the occasional target practice under the supervision of a parent but the point is guns were always present. We knew what they looked like, how they felt in our hands, how they worked and ultimately and perhaps most importantly, they damage they could do.

Curiously, this lack of access to guns seems to have created a much more dangerous situation when kids do get access to them. Instead of a healthy respect for firearms and what they can do, kids today seem to see guns and the damage they can do as nothing more than an extension of the video game world.

What the answer is, I don’t know but I think York Furstenwald’s book Kids Guns & The Truth is a good start in beginning a dialog on how to make our kids safer and wiser when it comes to guns. Although I had some exposure to firearms when I was a kid, there are no guns in my house and nor do I intend to acquire any. It is people like York that will lead the way in the new world of gun safety.

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