When it comes to guns and kids, leave your politics at the door

Perusing social media, I strayed upon this blog article posted by a friend, summarizing “something bad could always happen.” Here, a mom left her 12 year old in the car while running in to a bank. Tragically, the mother was then killed by a bank robber, while the 12 year old was unharmed. This, of course, was on the heels of recent arrests for parents that unknowingly left their children in their cars. Her point? Voicing out against laws* that infringe on our autonomy (maximum freedom, minimum government), she argues:

“There is risk in everything in life. Punishing parents who make rational decisions just because something bad couldhappen is not going to change that. Something bad could always happen.”

This popular argument always seems to come up when defending guns in the home with children.

A couple of examples:

pic1 blog

And here (in response to same article):

blog pic2

So we’re missing the point.

‘Que sera, sera’ is certainly a fun Instagram #yolo, but it makes for really lousy parenting. Yep, something bad could always happen, and accidents do happen. We accept this, and do our best to weight and minimize these risks wherever possible. Bike helmets, seatbelts, fences around pools, etc. This is ok. This is parenting. Guns are no exception. Leaving you kid in the car unattended is no exception.

Instead, some seem to suggest it’s fine to ignore risk, because ‘something bad could always happen.’ In reality, though, I think they are ignoring risk because it gets in the way of their politics. This is really selfish, and it’s jeopardizing the safety of children. And for what? The right for an adult to keep a gun in the house with children? An opportunity to decry a state law infringing personal autonomy? When it comes to protecting the lives and safety of children, we need to keep our politics to ourselves. It’s distorting our perception of risk, which isn’t fair to our kids.


*This particular case, by the way, I’m pretty sure isn’t illegal. Most laws, in the states that do have laws, pertain to children under 7, and usually only under certain dangerous situations. See here for your state’s law. http://www.kidsandcars.org/state-laws.html

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