Gun Safety and Your Child

There are so many things we, as parents, can disagree on. Clothe diapers vs. disposable. Organic vs. Genetically modified foods. Screen time! Can I get an “AMEN”? 
Its hard to find another family who agrees on EVERYTHING. I thought that gun rules in all homes were the same, but I have recently realized that its another one of those subjects that has a long and variated spectrum. 
At one point in my life, I slept with my rifle everyday. For 18 months, I would take it with me everywhere – to eat. To shower. To pee and to sleep.  In that time – I learned a lot about gun safety and how to keep myself and my peers safe from an accidental discharge. 
I have many years of training on the importance of gun safety and have fired multiple weapons to ensure my expertise because it was an essential part of my job. I am comfortable with guns. 
My knowledge seemed wholly unnecessary in child rearing until recently. What I am not comfortable with, is people who are unsafe with guns when my children are present. 
It happens here.
September 22, 2017; Lawrence, Kan.
September 21, 2017; Kansas City, Mo.
August 8, 2017; Kansas City, Mo.
I don’t believe it’s out of malice or righteous indignation that some parents are more cavalier with their weapons. I simply believe that they haven’t been properly trained on gun safety. So – in an effort to bridge the gap between someone who doesn’t know anything about guns and someone who is a gun expert – I have put together some simple safety rules for avoiding what we all agree would be a great and preventable tragedy. 
1. Always keep your weapon locked to “SAFE.” 
2. Keep your ammunition in a separate, preferably locked, location from where your gun is located.  
3. Keep your weapons hidden out of reach of children of all ages. Preferably in a gun locker. 
4. Keep your weapon clean – if your muzzle gets dirty it can become clogged. This can potentially harm the shooter of the weapon more than the person/thing on the other end of the barrel. A dirty weapon will misfire when you shoot it. 
5. Never point your muzzle at anything or anyone that you don’t intend to kill. Even if your weapon is empty and on safe, its good practice and respectful of those around you, to always keep your muzzle down. 
6. When you are done firing your weapon, for whatever reason, ensure that it is completely cleared of any chambered rounds and put back to safe before properly storing it out of children’s reach. 
Visit to see the #NotAnAccident Index, a list of unintentional deaths in our area. I have also compiled a few of the most recent news stories in the Kansas City area, in which innocent children were harmed due to accidental discharge. A tragedy the gun owners will live with for the rest of their days.
If you are a gun owner, looking to secure your weapon, a Kansas City organization known as Charlie’s House will send you gun locks and other safety devices. 
And if you, as the parent, deem someone untrustworthy for any reason be it bad gun habits or any other behavior: Be brave. Be bold. Be proactive. If they are unsafe with guns surely there will be MORE things about them that are unsafe for your children. And we aren’t talkin’ non organic fruit snacks here, ladies. 
Steph is well prepared for the challenges of motherhood. A former officer in the U.S. Army, she led a platoon of soldiers to Iraq where she spent a year and a half conducting combat operations. When she hung up her dog tags to stay at home full time, she knew it was the right decision for her family. She now keeps household operations on point while her husband Adrian serves in the Army Reserves. After 10 years living through the Texas summers, she's back home in the Midwest and enjoying the Northland. Steph enjoys cooking, eating, drinking coffee (and beer), trying new things (failing at diets), and political discussion. Her mom village includes women that she respects: super crunchy moms, lawyer moms, college professor moms, musician moms, Crossfit moms, obsessively crafty moms, drinking buddy moms, super conservative moms, super liberal moms, Army moms, and anyone she hasn't yet met. Her favorite thing about the Northland (so far): Penguin Park.