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Mayor & Mom, Ivy Taylor: talking with our children about guns

Mayor & Mom, Ivy Taylor: talking with our kids about guns

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.


San Antonio Mom Blogs is proud to partner with Mayor Ivy Taylor to provide a nonpartisan venue for her to share resources for, and news and topics pertinent to, San Antonio families. A mom herself, Mayor Taylor understands the importance of family and we hope you’ll enjoy the unique perspective she shares with us here on San Antonio Mom Blogs.

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Comments

  1. Thank you, Mayor, for sharing this story! Born and raised in rural Minnesota, my family was one of few that did not own any type of firearm. After training in the military, having four daughters, and living in a few less than favorable areas here in San Antonio, I do own a gun. Even though I take all the necessary precautions, I still have my reservations about having a gun in a home with children, as I was never accustomed to such a situation growing up. I definitely think that having early and frequent conversations about guns and gun safety is important to keeping children safe around guns, so you’re doing awesome!
    Karly recently posted…Chicken Satay with Kecap Manis & Peanut SauceMy Profile

    • Karly, thank you for sharing your story and experiences with me. I feel the same way you do as I still have my reservations but I agree that talking, explaining and doing both often are the way to go now. Have a great day and thanks for reading!

  2. Wow, I could have written this story!!!! I am not a fan of guns but my husband does have them and after three young men tried to kick in our front door at 3 in the morning, I was thankful that he did have a gun in the house!!! We have a 13 year old son and have talked to him about the same things you spoke to your daughter about! I think it’s a great idea to have your husband take her to the gun range. I have been telling my husband to do the same with our son. Not necessarily to learn how to shoot but to gain understanding of what they can do. Happy you all are safe and it didn’t appear that the person was there to harm you! Thank you for your leadership!!

  3. I appreciate this topic being brought up but it doesn’t go far enough. As a role model, Mayor Taylor should encourage parents to ask one another if they secure their guns unloaded in gun safes. I ask this question anytime my kids go somewhere new. It gives me peace of mind and puts the responsibility for our kids’ safety on the adults. The potential consequences of not asking and simply expecting kids to follow the rules (don’t touch, always tell me) are too devastating

    • Nicole, you’re right. All parents who are gun owners should secure their weapons. That’s another hard conversation to have, except this one would be with adults who you may not know as well as your own children. I wonder how some parents would take the questioning? Would it be considered intrusive?

  4. Mary, it’s crazy that so many of us have similar experiences. Thank you for sharing yours and for your kinds words. Have a great day and thanks for reading!

  5. Norri Leder says:

    Thanks for this story, Mayor Taylor. I know several families who have lost children because of a gun that wasn’t secured properly – in a safe with the ammo stored separately. It has been devastating to say the least, and I now ask about safe storage before my kids go to anyone’s home. The experiences I’m referencing all involved teens, whose curiosity is still high and judgement not fully developed. THANK YOU for including the safe storage component. While many of us own guns, as adults, we have to take responsibility for having “the talk” about guns. But more than that, we have to BE responsible gun owners.

    • Norri, I was so sad read that you know several families affected by gun tragedies. My heart goes out to them. “The talk” definitely is needed, along with safe storage. We’re now doing both. Thank you for reading and sharing!

  6. Dominique A. Anderson says:

    Mayor Taylor,
    I am great-full that everyone was safe and no one was harmed. I am glad you and your husband talked to your daughter. I pray that is used as a catalyst to prompt others to have this same conversation with their kids as well.

  7. Thank you for sharing Mayor! I’ve always been iffy on guns but I loved hearing this neutral take you provided. It does make me feel better knowing that there are steps to take for gun safety in your home.

  8. We grew up as hunters and were taught early on, (about age 6-7) proper gun safety. I’ve had several occasions to get a gun out! A trespasser in our back yard was attempting to cut my barking dog with tree trimmers around her neck, four young thugs rushed up to our front door, breaking the storm door open…
    THEIR EYES got big when they saw two of us pointing guns at them as we threw the front door open before they could break in! “We got the WRONG HOUSE!”. Sure did! LOL I can’t imagine ever feeling safe without a gun!

  9. Rebecca Knaack says:

    So glad that no one got hurt!
    It might also be smart to lock your cars, as well as your house and gun storage.

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