Probably not the question that crosses your mind to ask when you meet a mom near you for the first time, right?
Like, Hey, it’s already super awkward meeting you and please let me get your number and wow what a great home you have, thanks for inviting us over for this playdate and, um, do you have a gun? Where do you keep it? RANDOM.
Well, not so random, actually. According to an ABC News 20/20 special, hosted by Diane Sawyer, there is a good chance your mom friend does have a gun hanging around, and a pretty solid chance it’s not locked up. I repeat – SOLID CHANCE IT’S NOT LOCKED UP.
They state that half of U.S. households contain one or more firearms and reported that 1.7 million children live in a home with an unsecured and loaded firearm. Here is a clip from the video.
Heavy stuff, right?
A few of my close mom friends own guns. One of them has a license to carry so there are times the gun is not locked up in the home and another friend has one propped nearby when bedtime comes around.
(No, this post is NOT about the government and gun control. It’s your freedom to have a gun in your home. I respect that. This post is about understanding the environment our children are playing in so that we can all work together to keep them safe.)
Does this mean these moms are off my playdate list (the moms with unlocked guns)? Well, they happen to live far enough away that playdates haven’t come up yet, but when they do, you can bet your money we will have a serious conversation to make sure those guns are locked away each time we step foot into their homes for playtime. And if there is an issue, they’re off the playdate list. Not the friend list, but the playdate list. End of story.
So please, ask your new mom friends, or anyone who may host your child for that matter, if they have a gun in the house. If they say yes, follow up and ask where and how it is kept. This isn’t about making mom friends, ladies. Okay, it is about making mom friends, but if someone is turned off by genuine concern for the safety of your child when there are unlocked guns around, she might not be best mom friend for you.
And if you do find out there is a gun in another mom’s home, treat the situation as if it were your own home. Just because you have certain childproofing expectations does not mean your mom friends are on the same page. If they hide it in a closet, can you picture your child finding it? There will be a time when the kids can walk and explore. There will be a time when you give them their independence. And if your child is like mine and many of the kids in this video, he will climb and do what it takes to figure out ANY complicated object. And chances are, at some point he’ll turn that object on himself or his playdate. It’s just not worth it.
I would love to hear from other moms on this. Let’s keep the conversation going.