ASK Yourselves if Your Children Are Safe
by Nicki Fellenzer
I’ve noticed the Brady Bunch has declared August 20th “ASK Day.” This noxious little idea encourages parents everywhere to:
1. ASK if there’s a gun in any home where their child plays
2. Make sure that if there IS a gun in said home, that it’s locked up “preferably in a gun safe” with the ammunition stored separately, or…
3. Invite the other child to play in their safe home.
So in other words – if you want to be considered a responsible parent by the Brady Bunch, you must:
1. Interrogate the parents of your child’s prospective playmate about their perfectly legal right to keep a firearm to defend their home.
2. Demand access to examine said weapon to ensure that it meets Sarah Brady’s “safety” specifications.
3. If it’s not locked up, dismantled, or charred beyond recognition with a blowtorch, to invite the poor unfortunate children who happen to reside in said home to your own little haven of security and well being.
The Brady Bunch even encourages parents to sign a pledge, taking a solemn oath to do all of the above. “This pledge is not about politics or judgement,” drools the last sentence of the document. “It is simply about committing to ask a simple question that could save [your] child's life.”
If no judgement or bigotry is involved, why not create an “ASK Pledge” for household chemicals, medications, knives or automobiles?
- Why not encourage parents to examine prospective playmates’ homes for easy access to household cleaners?
- Why not ask your child’s friends’ parents about where their car keys, knives, forks, and medications are kept?
- Why not interrogate parents of prospective parents about the location of their power tools or baseball bats?
- After all, the Brady Bunch believes that a baseball bat is an effective home protection device, right?
- After all, a knife, an automobile and any household cleaner can be just as deadly, right?
So why focus on firearms owners?
Why ask about guns, but conveniently ignore any other potentially deadly implements that could harm or kill a child?
The Brady Bunch claims that over 40 percent of households with children have guns.
Care to wager a guess as to how many households with children have knives, baseball bats, cars, household chemicals and cleaners and power tools?
Why, as a responsible parent who cares about your child’s safety, would you grill others about their Constitutionally guaranteed right to protect themselves, but not about potentially fatal chemicals, cutlery or medications that may be accessible to your children?
Oh, would asking about dangerous chemicals, medications and knives be an invasion of privacy?
So what kind of double standard is the Brady Bunch using to justify an inquisition about firearms?
As a responsible parent and a gun owner, I find this entire ASK Day offensive, abhorrent and insulting.
Because I take responsibility for my own children, and I certainly don’t expect others to be accountable for their safety.
Because quite frankly I don’t feel I have to justify myself to any slack-jawed, drooling, catatonic Sarah Brady disciple who deems it necessary to play inquisitor to my way of life.
And because as an Army veteran who’s married to a law enforcement officer, I’m quite sure I know much more about safe firearm ownership than Sarah Brady ever could. Ergo, I don’t need to justify my responsible gun ownership to anyone who takes the Brady Bunch’s word about safe firearms ownership as gospel.
And furthermore, any child of mine knows and follows a few extremely crucial house rules:
1. Guns are not toys. They are not to be played with, shown off to friends or otherwise handled without a parent present.
2. Never point a gun at anything you don’t intend to shoot.
3. Keep your finger OFF that trigger unless you intend to shoot something or someone.
4. If your friends insist on taking a look at the guns in your house while your parents are away, the answer is an unequivocal “NO!”
5. If they pressure you, throw them out of the house and lock the door.
As responsible parents, my husband and I always make sure we meet the parents of our children’s prospective playmates more than once.
Does that mean we interrogate them about their home protection? No.
Do we personally inspect their closets, cabinets or nightstands? No.
Do we meet them, sit down with them and get to know them and their views? You bet we do!
And you can be sure that none of our three children spend time at strangers’ houses. NEVER.
Furthermore, we never allow any of our children’s friends in the house unless at least one parent is present AND…
…We don’t allow our children into any home unsupervised.
Because we, as responsible gun owners and parents, know that the mere presence of a firearm in the home is no threat to our children, but irresponsible behavior is.
Our children know that IF one of their friends EVER decides to play with a firearm unsupervised, they are to do one or more of the following:
1. Insist their friend put the weapon back where he or she found it, and immediately notify an adult.
2. If the friend refuses, leave the house immediately and notify an adult, or…
3. Leave the house immediately and call 911.
Now, my husband and I both know that our children aren’t perfect, and they are bound to disobey us as they grow.
But the best thing we can do to ensure their safety is to take responsibility for our own kids, to continuously reinforce gun safety rules, and to teach them to properly and safely use firearms when we know they’re old enough to accept the responsibility.
So on ASK Day, why don’t we ask ourselves whether we have properly prepared our children how to deal with hazardous situations.
Why don’t we ask ourselves if WE have done enough to prevent injury to our kids. Let’s leave the inquisition at home.