A better question to ASK

There's a silly news release trumpeting the fact that the University of Kentucky has allowed itself to become a tool for political propaganda: Is There a Gun Where Your Child Plays? 

It's talking about the silly ASK campaign designed to encourage fear, suspicion, and social ostracism of gun owners and their children.  I do not think I have ever seen a more blatant attempt to achieve political goals by demonizing a targetted group through their children.

Some people have suggested that gun owners should respond to parents asking this question with a simple, terse "none of your business".  I think perhaps a different tactic is appropriate -- one that will better counteract the intent of the propaganda.

Imagine a conversation that begin like this:

"Hi!  I'd like to send my little Johnny over to play at your house.  But before I do that, I need to ask you whether you have a gun at your house, and whether it is safely stored, so I know my son will be safe!"

"Thanks for asking.  Yes, I do have a gun at my home.  I keep it loaded and on my person at all times; in fact, I am carrying it now.  I can assure you that little Johnny will be quite safe here and supervised by an adult at all times.  However, since I do have guns around the house, before I can allow Johnny to play in my house I will need to make sure that he understands the rules of gun safety so he can do the right thing if it ever comes up.  Have you given him any instruction?  If not I would be glad to, and you are welcome to sit in yourself."

This response neatly turns the question back on the questioner, frames the question of safety differently ("Your son is safe because I have a gun to protect him") and provides an opportunity to open a dialogue on safe terms ("gun safety") in a non-threatening environment (since the instruction is directed at the child), while reinforcing your own image as a responsible adult capable of owning and using firearms safely.

I haven't had anyone nosy enough to ask me this question, probably at least in part because I don't have kids.  I'd be interested in hearing from anyone who has.  Leave a comment!

This entry was published Tue Jun 20 18:58:42 CDT 2006 by TriggerFinger and last updated 2006-06-20 18:58:42.0. [Tweet]

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