Gun. Such a powerful word in today’s society, isn’t it? Whether you have a gun or don’t have a gun; think guns are evil or think guns are useful; or think gun laws need to be tightened or left alone; hopefully we can all agree that gun safety is something that should be talked about with all our children.
We had a township police officer come talk to our classrooms today about gun safety. We sent a letter home to parents beforehand, with bullet points as to what would be discussed and the link to the NRA-made video that would be shown.
Chad and I have talked with the girls about guns. At this point, the conversation hasn’t been anything more than saying, “This is what a gun looks like. Never, ever touch one. Walk away and tell an adult, no matter where you are.” At this age, that’s enough for them. I naively thought that everyone had these conversations their kids around this age, but after talking to other teachers in my building, I found that wasn’t the case. The consensus was pretty much that if there wasn’t a gun in the child’s home, it hadn’t crossed the parent’s mind to talk to their kids about gun safety. I don’t blame them, not at all. However, I’m thankful for the police officer who came to talk to my students today to educate them in an age-appropriate way to fill in that blank.
In the video she showed the students, put out by the NRA, the gun was found at a park. Think of all the places your child is where you might not be. Think of the times they are more than an arm’s length away from you. Think of the relatives’ and friends’ houses they visit on the regular. All these places and scenarios make it possible that your child might see a gun, even if you don’t have one in your home.
Ella hasn’t been left alone in someone’s house without me, unless I have a very close relationship with the adults in the house. When that time comes (which is way sooner than I’m willing to admit), I will have ask the parents about guns. I presume the conversation might be a bit awkward, but I plan to ask the parents if they have guns in the home and if they are kept locked securely at all times.
If you haven’t spoken to your children about gun safety, I urge you to do so as soon as possible. I’m going to attach the link to the Eddie Eagle Gun Safety video here to help you start the conversation. Part of the conversation happening in my classroom today involved talking about how fake/toy guns and guns used in video games don’t hurt people the way that real guns do. We used a walkie talkie radio as the “gun” and set up different scenarios for the students to walk up on and practice what the song told them to do, “Stop! Don’t touch! Run away! Tell and adult!” We had the students sing the song with the motions several times. The goal is for this to be engrained in their brains so it’s accessible if the situations occurrs in their real life.
My promise to my girls is always to keep them safe and teaching them about gun safety is one way I can keep them safe, especially when I’m not right there.
Until next time…
“Dear Lord, be good to me. The sea is so wide and my boat is so small.”