My father was a police officer before I was born and we always had a gun in the house. He kept it under his mattress. It was very shiny. That is all I remember about his gun. It was shiny.
I guess that is why every once in a while I would look at it. Sometimes I would lift up the mattress and glare at. Sometimes I would push the gun back under the mattress when it was sticking out which was often. One time I took the gun from under the mattress and held it in my hand. I only held it for a couple of seconds because I was scared. Not scared of the gun but scared my mom would catch me.
I could have easily shot myself by accident. Once I remember me and my cousin looking at the gun. He was one year older than me and a lot more adventurous. I am so thankful that we didn’t end up hurting ourselves.
My dad and mother were very reckless keeping the gun under the mattress. I don’t know what they were thinking. When the time comes, I will make sure my mom’s gun is put away with a gun lock on it. I am thankful that I will learn from my parent’s mistakes when it comes to gun safety.
Unfortunately my ignorance has given me false security. I thought I had at least three more years before I had to think about gun safety. My thoughts changed when I read a story about a 3-year-old girl fatally shooting her 2-year-old brother in Utah. It was a sad story. The father had put the gun down and walked away. Somehow the little girl accidentally shot her brother.
I was shocked when I read this story because I had no idea a 3-year-old would have the strength to fire a gun - any gun. In my mind I don’t think I would have the strength to pull a trigger on most guns. This is how ignorant I am about guns.
In the Utah police statement it states, “The gun was in an unloaded state but did not have live rounds in the magazine. We believe the 3-year-old had to manipulate the action enough to chamber a live round prior to the incident occurring.”
I have no clue what any of that means but it scares me. I don’t know if my mom’s gun is loaded or not loaded. I don’t know how to unload or load a gun. I do know that it is time for me to learn all about gun safety now even though my son is only two.
I know plenty of people who take their kids shooting and hunting at an early age. I am not against it. However if you have a gun, please make sure to take all precautions to keep the gun safe. Even if you don’t have children, if you have children that come over to the house, make sure your firearms are put away safely. Shoe boxes, under mattresses, in dressers, in closets are all unacceptable places to store a gun.
I am sadden that my quest for gun safety knowledge stemmed from such a tragic event. However, I am glad that I have taken the steps to learn about gun safety. I hope many more can also take the steps to learn about it. Please visit www.projectchildsafe.org for more information about gun safety.
© 2014, MaLu Bradford Beyonce, All Rights Reserved.
You may reach MaLu Bradford Beyonce at firstname.lastname@example.org.