Fuming over incident with my son

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Fuming over incident with my son

Postby Ladybug26 » Thu Aug 30, 2012 11:07 am

My husband and I are both gun owners. We have two children ages 19 months and 7 months. This morning, my husband left his gun on the night stand in our bedroom because I had a baby gate in the door way...but he didn't tell me this. When my 7 month old went down for his nap, I moved the baby gate into his bedroom door way so that big brother wouldn't wake him. My 19 month old brought me Daddy's gun. This never should have happened. The what ifs are horrifying! How would you handle this?
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Re: Fuming over incident with my son

Postby jabeatty » Thu Aug 30, 2012 1:29 pm

Ladybug26 wrote:How would you handle this?

Sounds like your 19-month-old is due for an Eddie Eagle-style training session.
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Re: Fuming over incident with my son

Postby Sevens » Thu Aug 30, 2012 1:37 pm

In the long run, the absolute best guard you will -EVER- have, and it beats everything else on Earth, is the education of the children. There's no vault, no law, no black magic that will ever do the comprehensive effect of the children growing up armed with the training of safe gun handling.

At what practical age that starts is to be debated, most will say it "starts" from day one and it does, but that training isn't a sure bet on a 19-month old.

It's horribly obvious that your husband failed miserably, just horribly -- and as a married person, good luck with how you reconcile THAT.
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Re: Fuming over incident with my son

Postby DontTreadOnMe » Thu Aug 30, 2012 1:45 pm

Until both children are old enough to be instructed on handgun safety I'd suggest you and your husband agree that anytime a gun will be out of your physical possession, no matter why or how briefly, it gets secured.

What 'secured' means is up to the 2 of you. Locked up or at least unloaded are a couple of choices.
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Re: Fuming over incident with my son

Postby Sevens » Thu Aug 30, 2012 1:51 pm

I take my handgun with me when I go in the shower. It's not because I'm expecting an attack at that moment. It's because I don't want to open the safe and lock it up. When it's in the bathroom, door locked and I'm in the shower, I don't have to worry that nobody else is going to happen upon it.

Absolutely, my children are trained. 9 and 13 years old, we go over it often and I'm very happy with their level of training. But my roomate's girlfriend's daughter? Or any friends of my children? I'd love to train all the children in America, but that's not possible. So I have trained my children -- and myself.

It's ludicrous to leave a loaded handgun on a nightstand if you aren't in the room. It doesn't need to be a 19-month old specifically that you are looking out for, it could be anyone. What if he left for work and it sat on that table for the next 11 hours? What if you had an appointment for the cable guy to change out that old cable box in the bedroom? The list of scenarios is endless.

Loaded handguns shouldn't be left unsecured for a myriad of reasons and the training ultimately rests with the gun owner.
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Re: Fuming over incident with my son

Postby TSiWRX » Thu Aug 30, 2012 1:59 pm

As the parent of a younger child, myself - I am in-line with these two responses:

jabeatty wrote:Sounds like your 19-month-old is due for an Eddie Eagle-style training session.


and

DontTreadOnMe wrote:Until both children are old enough to be instructed on handgun safety I'd suggest you and your husband agree that anytime a gun will be out of your physical possession, no matter why or how briefly, it gets secured.

What 'secured' means is up to the 2 of you. Locked up or at least unloaded are a couple of choices.


I am of the opinion that I can't trust my child - no matter how much I think I know her and how much I *think* I can trust her, the reality is that she's her own person, and a child at that. Towards that end, I do as the latter of those two posts.

But more proactively, yes, I'm trying to teach my child firearms safety. In an age (more like "ability," actually: since each child's ability will vary greatly)-appropriate manner, I've taught her how to respond when she happens upon an unsecured firearm.
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Re: Fuming over incident with my son

Postby SC-JG » Thu Aug 30, 2012 2:01 pm

DontTreadOnMe wrote:Until both children are old enough to be instructed on handgun safety I'd suggest you and your husband agree that anytime a gun will be out of your physical possession, no matter why or how briefly, it gets secured.

What 'secured' means is up to the 2 of you. Locked up or at least unloaded are a couple of choices.


As the mother of two (now grown), that ^^^^^^^
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Re: Fuming over incident with my son

Postby carmen fovozzo » Thu Aug 30, 2012 2:01 pm

This father gets a second chance. Hope he uses it well...
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Re: Fuming over incident with my son

Postby brian0918 » Thu Aug 30, 2012 2:32 pm

Pound into your husband's head the simple truth that your son almost died, and it was only random chance that saved him. Whatever you do, make sure it's with that context in mind. If either of you try to pretend nothing would have happened, or that the situation wasn't as bad as it actually was, you are likely to not properly prevent it from happening again. And with kids, if it's happened once, it's probably going to happen again.
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Re: Fuming over incident with my son

Postby brian0918 » Thu Aug 30, 2012 2:48 pm

At the very least, always make sure that your handguns have nothing in the chamber. Toddlers shouldn't be able to rack the slide, though that's not necessarily a guarantee that they're safe.
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Re: Fuming over incident with my son

Postby rradenheimer » Thu Aug 30, 2012 2:54 pm

Education is by far one of the best options. I could not fathom leaving one in the open with kids running around.

What I tell my girls (9-12)
19 months old is a little young, but repetition really sinks in with kids
(From the Eddie Eagle Program)
If you see a firearm laying around.
1.) Stop
2.) Don't touch it!
3.) Leave the area
4.) Tell an adult
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Re: Fuming over incident with my son

Postby Tweed Ring » Thu Aug 30, 2012 4:21 pm

Wen I was a kid, my Dad kept two loaded revolvers in the house. Since, as a kid, I was inquisitive, nosy, and a climber - once a year, he would unload both guns, and give me a chance to pull the triggers. Once I reached the point in my young life, when I had the hand/finger strength to pull the trigger with both hands, the guns literally disappeared.

With toddlers, height of furniture may be an advantage. After the toddler stage, training for the kids, and, lock up the guns in a secure location. There are clearly some trade-offs here - make sure one decides on the behalf of the safety of one's family.
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Re: Fuming over incident with my son

Postby Tourist » Thu Aug 30, 2012 4:33 pm

I absolutely agree that your husband should not have left a gun in the open when there are children around. You should have a conversation with him and decide where guns should be.

On another note that nobody has mentioned, you are also at partially at fault. You changed the status of a room (effectively locked to unlocked) without checking to make sure it was safe. While leaving the gun was a very bad thing for your husband to do, there are many other normal things that can be a hazard to a 19 month old that we use every day. In the process of checking for small objects, you would probably have found the gun. :wink:

So have a discussion, but remember the story about the glass house. 8)
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Re: Fuming over incident with my son

Postby Mrs. Daspirate » Thu Aug 30, 2012 5:01 pm

You're really going to want to have a big discussion, and when you do consider that, at 19 months, it won't be too much longer at all before a baby gate should not be considered an effective barrier between a child and a loaded gun. I wouldn't have considered it a safe enough barrier the second the kid started walking, but that's a personal choice, I think. You and your husband, during your conversation, need to consider that your kids will grow quickly and the situation will change as they do so. So whatever agreement you come to now may not suffice even two months from now, depending on what you decide. That may influence your solutions.
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Re: Fuming over incident with my son

Postby Mustang380gal » Thu Aug 30, 2012 5:13 pm

Mrs. Daspirate wrote:.... I wouldn't have considered it a safe enough barrier the second the kid started walking, but that's a personal choice, I think. .....


Haha! All of my kids could climb over the things within a short period of time after they could walk. Certainly by 18 months they were climbing over. I finally gave up, realizing falling over the gate might be worse than what I was trying to protect them from.

We chose the up high and out of sight method for gun storage at first. There was nothing they could climb on to get to the firearms. Our choice was never to leave one in plain sight on a nightstand. (Ours like to wake up and walk at night. You don't have control of it if you are snoring.) At least one firearm was stashed up high and out of sight in the bedroom. Now we have some small safes with easy access.

edit to add this The Cornered Cat website section may be of help.
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