I’ve heard of gun owners who decided to get rid of their guns when their children were born, on the theory that the guns were a danger to the children. I find myself in wholehearted disagreement with such a decision, as it renders one’s household more vulnerable to criminals, and since proper gun storage and gun safety education virtually eliminate the risk that a child will find and misuse a gun:
Giving up firearms renders one’s home more vulnerable to criminals
A home without a gun is a home where criminals can leverage their superior strength, the element of surprise, and their own guns to harm their victims. All too often, criminals inflict unspeakable harms upon the children of such homes:
Lawson and the three other defendants were all teenagers when police say they barged into a 35-year-old woman’s apartment, raped her repeatedly, beat her 12-year-old son and then forced her to perform oral sex on the boy. The victims were doused in chemicals to clean the crime scene, and police say their attackers discussed setting them on fire before fleeing. [Full article here]
Ledezma, 22, was armed with a BB gun that looked like a real handgun, an ax, a hunting knife and a stick that looked like a police baton, said Assistant State’s Attorney Maureen O’Brien. He first robbed the family, which also included the wife and two daughters, ages 7 and 10, in the living room. O’Brien said Ledezma then forced the family down into the basement and forced them to strip naked. He then locked the parents and the younger daughter in a bathroom and assaulted the older daughter. [Full article here]
Police say they are looking for three to four men after a violent home invasion in which children were tortured and a mother and daughter were burned with hot oil. According to police, the men started choking the kids and threatening them with weapons and hot oil. They reportedly tried to shoot at a baby and the family dog, but the gun jammed. Relatives told News 13 the suspects [also] put the 15-year-old girl’s hands on a hot stove. The teen and her mother were both treated for second- and third-degree burns. [Full article here]
On the other hand, statistical evidence and real-life examples make clear the fact that armed self defense works – even when the victim is seemingly at a disadvantage due to a surprise attack. Guns enable mothers to save their children from violent attackers. They enable pregnant women to protect themselves and their unborn children. Guns allow sons to protect their mothers from burglars, and fathers to save their children from harm. Guns make it possible for uncles to defend their nephews, and son-in-laws to protect their mother-in-laws. Guns allow individuals to defend themselves, sparing their loved ones from the pain of losing a relative to violent crime.
Am I suggesting that every single violent crime could be stopped by armed citizens? Of course not. Just as car seatbelts can’t prevent every traffic fatality, gun ownership doesn’t render a person invulnerable to every conceivable crime. However, a great many violent crimes can be stopped by armed citizens. Moreover, each time a criminal is fatally shot, shot and then apprehended by the police, or held at gunpoint until the police arrive, there is one fewer violent criminal out preying upon innocent victims. There is also less of a risk that police will erroneously arrest the wrong person, harming that innocent person while leaving the true criminal free to victimizes more people.
Safe and responsible gun store virtually eliminates the risk that one’s child will find and misuse a gun
I understand that those who give up their guns do so out of a desire to protect their children from a perceived danger. However that danger is one that can be easily and effectively mitigated – without giving up one’s guns.
Using a gun safe to store one’s gun virtually eliminates the risk that child (or other unauthorized person) will gain access to gun. Gun safes with quick-access number pads and/or fingerprint readers also allow the gun to be safely stored, yet accessed in just seconds by the owner. Additionally, teaching a child the basics of gun safety from an early age has been shown to greatly reduce the risk that the child will ever misuse a gun.