Earlier this week, I had a much ruder awakening than my usual alarm clock. At 5:30 a.m., the dog started barking frantically and I heard Morgan’s footsteps running down the hall to our bedroom.
“Mommy, Daddy, somebody is jumping over the fence into our backyard,” Morgan said.
Rodney and I both bolted out of bed and he yelled for me to call the police as he got his gun. I made Morgan stay in the bedroom with me while we waited for the police to arrive and Rodney surveyed the backyard. Officers arrived within minutes and found that a very disoriented man had jumped the fence and decided to take a nap in one of our vehicles.
I calmed Morgan down by joking and telling her that the intruder was just like Goldilocks – the Volvo was too big, the Thunderbird was too small but the Nissan was JUST right for his nap. She laughed and hugged me tight but later on, she told us, “I think Daddy should get a gun.”
Well, this brought on a conversation I had been dreading. We had never told Morgan that Rodney already had a gun. I didn’t grow up around guns and so I was really hesitant about bringing up the subject.
Finally, I sat her down and told her that Daddy has a gun and that it is in a secure place and that she should never try to touch it if she happened to see it for some reason. I also told her that if she ever visits a friend’s home and the parents have an unsecured gun that she should immediately leave and call me. She told me that she had heard a story of a child accidentally shooting and killing another child when they were playing with a gun.
Rodney wants to take her to the range and teach her the basics of gun safety so she will know how to protect herself in the future. It doesn’t all sit quite well with me, but I married a Texan and I am going to have to pray and compromise. The most important thing, I think, was to have that candid talk with her.
So, my thanks to the guy who woke us up that morning. He forced me to wake up and take care of something I should have dealt with before. If you haven’t ever talked with your kids about guns and gun safety, I urge you to do so.
Editor’s note: San Antonio Mom Blogs is an advocate for the Be SMART program, a conversation for parents about kids, guns, and safety.
Every year, at least 100 children age 17 and under die in unintentional shootings, and over 400 die by suicide with a gun. Many of these deaths are entirely preventable with responsible gun storage. We know we can keep our kids safer by introducing these five easy steps to parenting and everyday life.”
– Be Smart
S – Secure guns in homes and vehicles.
M – Model responsible behavior.
A – Ask about unsecured guns in other homes.
R – Recognize the risks of teen suicide.
T – Tell your peers to be SMART.
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