Being Safer Without a Gun
I’m always surprised when I hear people say they need a gun to feel safe. On the contrary, I don’t own a gun precisely because I think my safety, and the safety of my loved ones, would be put in greater jeopardy if I did have a gun. Certainly if I lived in an area where wild bear attacks were a real risk, not keeping a gun would be irresponsible, but short of that, there are very few scenarios that I would consider owning a gun improving my safety. My only fear is that the gun industry, in search of greater profits, has done everything it can to spread guns far and wide, thus making them easily accessible to all manner of people who might shoot me because I was making too much noise in a movie theater, but my odds of winning a shoot out, especially without shooting an innocent bystander, seems slim.
There are so few scenarios, even including a home invasion, where I would realistically be able to get to a gun and use it to fend off an attack, that it is just not worth the risk that owning a gun entails. Right now, there is no chance my children can accidentally shoot themselves or anyone else in my home, because there are no guns for them to find. As soon as a gun comes into my house, no matter how well I store it, that risk just went from absolutely zero, to existing. Having guns also increases the chance of a depressed teenager using it to take their own life. I have personally seen a case of a 14 year old who killed himself with a rifle, and while its possible he might have tried another option, the gun was by far the easiest and most certain method he had available. If his home didn’t have guns, I believe there is an extremely high chance he would still be alive. This is just one example, but it repeats itself all over the country.
I would not let me children stay alone with someone that carried a firearm, even a close relative. They are still humans and even if they are extremely careful, all it takes is one slip for that gun to be left unprotected and a child to decide to play with it. No one should believe that they are absolutely certain to never let that happen. Every year about 30 children die because their parent or caregiver forgets that they are in the car and leave them unattended. If it is possible for that many people to actually forget they had a baby in the car, of course it is possible for you to forget to unload or lock up a gun.
I firmly believe there is a significantly higher chance of my children being injured by misuse of a firearm, than of me or any person successfully defending them with a gun. I can certainly understand that people want to feel some security, but owning a gun is just trading some security for more danger. So if you invite my kids for a sleepover and you have guns, don’t be offended if I politely refuse. I wouldn’t let them stay if you smoked in the house or let them play with fire either, so why would I let them stay in a place with deadly weapons and almost no chance of them being needed.