Today, June 21st is officially ASK Day. ASK stands for Asking Saves Kids. The campaign encourages parents to ask a simple question when their children go to play at another home “Is there an unlocked gun in your home?” Pretty simple, right?
I became a parent a few years ago, and I never thought about this question, ever. In fact, until recently I would have thought this question was almost rude, it’s not a question one should ask – or so I thought. You see, I have two little boys and EVERYTHING they play with turns into a gun. It’s just what they do. So, I can only imagine what would happen if my son saw a real gun lying around. He wouldn’t be able to stop himself from shooting it, because that’s what a gun does. And according to the research my babies are in the most danger.
We seem to ask almost every question under the sun when our children go to another home, is there a pool, will there be parent supervision the entire time, will dinner be gluten free, etc, etc. But how many of us ask about unlocked guns?
Gun control is a very polarizing issue in America. However, keeping our children safe and promoting gun safety shouldn’t be. We as parents need to remember that our little ones are sponges. They may not be able to recall what they did at school, but according to the research 76% of children as young as 5 know the location of all of the guns in their home and even how to handle them.
Some of the scariest research shows that only 1/3 of guns are safely stored. The question is not whether you can or can’t own a gun. The question is if you’re storing it safely!
If I had a potentially lethal animal in my home and didn’t protect my children let alone anyone else’s children from the animal most people would accuse me of child endangerment. I feel like safely securing firearms is exactly the same thing.
So, please, ASK.