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How to Talk to Your Kids About Guns

Hint: It's the same way you should talk to them about kidnapping.

Here are two true statements:

1. The number of privately held firearms in America has nearly doubled in the last two decades while the number of gun murders per capita was cut in half.

2. The number of kids abducted by strangers in 2011 was 105, out of approximately 73 million children in the United States. That's down slightly from 115 two decades ago.

After Stephen Paddock killed 58 people and injured hundreds more by firing into a crowd from the 32nd floor of his Las Vegas hotel in October, America dove headfirst into our now-traditional national shoutfest about gun laws.

One side sees its argument as self-evident: The moment when dozens of people lie dying in the street of gunshot wounds is the right time to pass laws restricting private gun ownership. The other side, by and large, frames its argument in the language of rights and freedoms: You may not like what some people do with some guns, but the Second Amendment exists for a reason.

Too often absent from both sides of the debate are well-parsed statistics. Restrictionists will cite the approximately 33,000 annual gun deaths in America, but that number reveals almost nothing about the question the public really wants answered after Vegas or the Orlando nightclub shooting before it: How likely am I to die in an incident of random violence?

Two-thirds of gun deaths are suicides, as statistician Leah Libresco explained in The Washington Post shortly after the Vegas shooting, and "almost no proposed restriction would make it meaningfully harder for people with guns on hand to use them." Next are "young men aged 15 to 34, killed in homicides" that are often gang-related, and after that "the 1,700 women murdered per year, usually as the result of domestic violence."

The number of people killed in mass shootings is far smaller—there were fewer than 90 incidents that fit the FBI's formal definition of "mass killing" with a gun in the last three decades, most of them with just four victims—yet the center of gravity in the gun control debate isn't suicide hotlines, drug legalization, or domestic violence shelters. Instead, politicians and pundits perseverate on reducing firing speeds, excluding mentally ill people from the right to buy a gun, and building lists of people with ties to terrorist groups: interventions aimed at minimizing the odds of already-rare deaths from mass shootings.

A frenzy of attempts at preventive policy making follows each high-profile incident but actually creates the conditions for future failure. Gun prohibition produces the same problems as drug or alcohol prohibition; attempts to restrict harmless sale and possession in order to catch a minority of misusers yield all kinds of unintended consequences.

Black markets make the purchase of prohibited items riskier and more expensive, and make the transactions untraceable. Bans are likely to be disproportionately enforced among black and Muslim gun owners, increasing racial disparities. Narrowly tailored restrictions will push product development teams at big firearms manufacturers and garage tinkerers alike to find workarounds that circumvent the letter of the law. And any mass confiscation of illegal weapons or accessories will lead to more violence, as die-hard gun rights believers inevitably fight back against law enforcement.

Take a misunderstanding of the scope and nature of a problem, combine it with a desire to "do something" in the face of national anguish, and you get a recipe for both bad law and cultural conflict.

A nearly identical problem plagues another heated national conversation: Are our children in danger? How likely is my kid to be grabbed by a kidnapper? Underlying much of the invective about helicopter parents, millennial snowflakes, and trophies for everyone is the question of what risks American kids realistically face.

In a country where violent crime has been largely declining for decades, and where crimes against children have declined even faster, there is nonetheless an overwhelming conviction among parents and the press that the world is more dangerous than it was for previous generations. But the FBI says reports of missing children are down 40 percent in the last two decades, and the Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that teen homicide rates have fallen by more than 40 percent; homicides of kids under 14 are at a near-record low; and overall child mortality rates have declined almost by half.

As Lenore Skenazy and Jonathan Haidt explain in "The Fragile Generation" (page 18), the result is a cultural and legal landscape where attempts to protect kids from imagined or exaggerated risks generate new—and very real—threats to their well-being. Oversupervision and reflexive appeals to authority for conflict resolution push ordinary kid squabbles and teen misbehavior into the principal's office or even prison, instead of giving kids the chance to resolve disagreements on their own. As parents opt to keep children indoors, opportunities to practice independent decision making and to make mistakes in low-stakes situations with friendly strangers disappear. Obesity is on the rise, and physical fitness—an aid to self-determination and independence, according to J.D. Tuccille (page 14)—is suffering.

Parental paranoia also conspires with legal paternalism to keep teens out of the grown-up world. On page 54, check out a map of all the ways the law is delaying adult milestones and sending mixed messages about when adolescents can be trusted to make decisions about marriage, work, driving, smoking, and more. In her interview with Reason's Robby Soave on page 56, advice columnist turned Atlantic essayist Emily Yoffe describes a campus culture where women in particular are neither trusted nor expected to know their own minds when making decisions about sex and alcohol, and where young men are subjected to flawed adjudications where adult authorities determine their fate, sometimes without ever getting a chance to defend themselves.

Raising kids to believe in personal responsibility and autonomy is tough in a world where the politicians and bureaucrats respect neither. In the 21st century, when a child is taken from his parents by people he barely knows, it's likely to be the result not of a snatching by a stranger but of busybody neighbors calling Child Protective Services because they disagree with someone's parenting choices.

Mass shootings, kidnapping, and child abuse all happen, of course, and they are horrible. But demagoguing those small-but-real threats to push through intrusive laws is dangerous in its own way.

Unfortunately, citing statistics rarely changes hearts and minds. Each mass shooting seems to ratchet up the panic over private gun ownership. Each kidnapping calls for wall-to-wall coverage while parents enroll their children in yet another supervised extracurricular.

One reason Americans are more inclined to panic over shootings or kidnappings these days is, perversely, that these incidents are so rare. They are the last isolated cases in what was once an epidemic of commonplace violence. Because kids do not go missing as a matter of course, we freak out more on the rare occasions when they do. As even schoolyard fistfights become unusual, we treat each one like a national security incident instead of a learning experience. Our culture has changed, mostly for the good, with wealth, a robust rule of law, and an ever-expanding circle of empathy driving the drop in violence.

Legislation is a blunt instrument, and carving ever-changing mores into the legal code means pushing well-meaning adults to behave in nonsensical ways. Police, social workers, and a large number of teachers, doctors, and other trusted figures are increasingly required by law to behave as if the sidewalk in front of the school, the Publix parking lot, and the Las Vegas strip are risky environments, when in fact they're safer than they have ever been. The law is nearly always a lagging indicator of changing social practices and expectations, not a leading one.

Would-be restrictionists of all kinds thrive in a world where ordinary people believe they are constantly in deadly danger—even when that danger is grossly exaggerated.

Photo Credit: Lenm/123RF

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  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    "How To Talk To Your Kids About Guns"

    1. "No, it is not 'unloaded', you little twat, ALL guns are ALWAYS loaded, do you understand?"
    2. "DO NOT POINT THAT THING AT ME you fucking moron! Fuck, why did I even want joint custody of you, anyway?"
    3. "Finger off the trigger or no ice cream later. And don't you look at me like that you worthless little shit, I saw that."
    4. "WOAH WOAH WOAH! Stop, cease fire! Jesus fucking Christ, did you not see my fucking car parked behind the target? What did I tell you about checking what's behind your target before you shoot? YES I DID TELL YOU! Yes I did, you were just too busy playing that stupid Mad Birds game to listen to me! You know what, just fuck you, okay? Just fuck off and go home and cry to that hideous cunt you call a mother. No, I'm not calling you an Uber, just fucking walk, you little bitch, you can get there before dark if you start now. No, you can't have lunch first. Get going."

  • Deven||

    Well, a few 3 letter agencies probably just flagged your children, haha.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    It's not his job to deal with the fact that everyone else is a bunch of cunts.

  • jogibew||

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  • josh||

    The most important lesson is to remind them to only use a gun if they are in danger, the King of England is coming after them, or they remembered to get an insurance policy on whoever they're pointing it at. The more you know...

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    Excellent! I'm going to print this and post it at my local range!

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    Yay! I got published!

  • SQRLSY One||

    "...and an ever-expanding circle of empathy driving the drop in violence."

    Empathy, that is, for all except the taxpayers and victims of the violence-backed coercion of Government Almighty.

  • ||

    Yeah, if you substituted apathy for empathy you get the same result.

  • PlaystoomuchHALO||

    They way to talk to your kids about guns is to take them shooting.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Statistics don't get talked about in the gun control debate because the Progressive Left has a disproportional degree of control over how the debate is framed, and accurate statistics don not help their case. When gun ownership advocates bring up statistics which do not support the gun control argument the Progressive Left hay loud hysterics in an attempt to silence the other side. It is particularly telling that this tactic is being far less effective these days. The Left is losing power.

    Of course the killer argument, which the Left ALSO desperately doesn't want to entertain, is that widespread registration and confiscation has been tried, and in the primarily anglophone societies that most closely resemble us, it has not had a statistically significant positive effect on violent crime. There are, in fact, arguments, that it has made matters worse.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    "If you're gonna play with it, be careful, 'cause its loaded."

  • LarryA||

    4-H Shooting Sports, Project Appleseed, Single Action Shooting Society, your state's Hunter Education class, plus local alternatives.

  • Qsl||

    In the face of the sexual misconduct allegations that seem to be springing up from all corners of the earth, does the same rational apply? If you are going to cite statistical evidence of gun violence in terms of how likely someone is to die from guns (and the need for additional regulation), does the same apply to the likelihood of being sexually abused from some media mogul or otherwise perceived power imbalance? What do the statics suggest in these instances?

  • jerbigge||

    Once you eliminate the "suicide by gun" numbers along with the "gang bangers" (most of whom are involved in the illegal drug industry and thus could obtain guns regardless of what laws we write) the number of firearm killings is about 10,000 a year in a country with a population of nearly 330 million people (including those here illegally). Drunk drivers kill more people than guns do. How many of us worry about being killed by a drunk driver?

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    Eliminating our +/- 21,000 gun suicides and +/- 400 accidental gun deaths from the discussion leaves about 11,000 gun murders, of which about half to two-thirds are druggies, pimps, robbers, fences, and bangers that insulted the wrong dude. So actual "innocent" gun murder victims are probably more like 4,000 to 5,000. But of course the aforementioned ne'er-do-wells are mostly responsible for those "wife-beater", "stray bullet hitting a baby carriage" and "robbery gone wrong" type killings as well.

    Why it is that US cities with murder rates of 15 to 60 per 100k must be compared to London or Sydney, instead of, say, Rio De Janeiro or Johannesburg (gun control efficacy, status: less than hoped for), is beyond me- or at least, it would be, if I were still expectant of intellectual honesty from the opposition.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I think it's a weird combination of nostalgia and some racism. Progressive politicians want to be Europe because they are some bastion of many things they believe in. Conservative politicians have a strong nostalgia for Europe as a type of motherland for us.

    Many people just don't like thinking that our most similar peoples are Mexico and Brazil. I also think that might be why the common perception of Mexico is a place that is constantly on fire instead of a tremendously large and economically advanced nation with one of the largest cultural centers in the world (Mexico City). They do have problems, and a lot of them are tied closely to similar issues were have here in the states (The cartel stuff very directly tied to us in ways we dislike talking about).

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    I think America is roughly culturally intermediate between the EU and Latin America/Africa (and that's across race/ethnicity: the rednecks here in rural Texas have more in common with Mexican ranchers than Belgians or Swedes).

    The problem is that "inner city" has become such a shorthand for "the person saying this is a racist" to Progressives that they board up their ears as if a hurricane were coming the second they hear it; the fact that disparately-impactful police activity and nativist policies are in no small part responsible for the parts of the USA that remain "undeveloped" ought to neatly dovetail with the Leftist worldview, but the fact that this undermines their need to classify us as "developed" for rhetorical gun law comparisons forces them to doublethink their way into believing that America is "institutionally racist" AND "developed" at the same time. And of course the continued presence of right-wingers that DO refer to "the inner city blacks" or "the Mexicans" as the root of all our problems doesn't help with that.

    The sad irony is they don't seem to be aware that continuing prejudice against Brazil's Afro-Hispanic population is actually a big part of their problem too...

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Part of it is a way to save face. As much I get somewhat burned out on continuous Lefty blaming here, cities have been under continuous control of generally leftward politicians for the better part of the last century. That these cities face so many problems that they are explicitly opposed to, indicates some issue at least with their own philosophy. Rather than face that racism has become the go to way to blame take away from analyzing how their policy has impacted these issues.

    Racism does exist, but it's become a common spook for many to discourage analysis of other reason for such disparity. Also, it decreased the value of the word to identify true bald-faced racism.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    Yeah, they don't want anyone questioning why it is that 50 years have passed since the Great Society and yet low-income urban Society doesn't look all that Great. But welfare and the municipal war on business only exacerbated the dynamic that existed before: taking a 1950s white murder rate of 2.5 and black rate of 20 or so and causing both to double (until Clinton's mass incarceration push drove it back down to what it was in the Fifties from 1994-1999). That ridiculously high black murder rate in the Fifties was obviously the result of ol' Jim Crow and his buddies, and while that racism is perhaps mostly absent now (perhaps), I think it's obvious that it is what created the high rate in the first place, and the Great Society merely first magnified it, then preserved it long past the time it should have healed.

    QED: white racism, either from half a century ago or from now- likely a combination- is *basally* responsible for the disproportionate black (and to a lesser extent Hispanic) murder rate; and, thus, racism, albeit possibly in a roundabout way, is the real culprit behind America's high murder rate, compared to the until-recently minority-less principalities of the EU and Anglosphere. Which is why it is so frustrating that the Left insists on pointing to guns as the cause, when they, of all people, should be able to understand that the actual problem is one they already have so very, very much political capital invested in.

  • vek||

    In all fairness we are more similar to Europe in a lot of way too. The racial/gang aspect is the main way in which we are different and more like South American countries etc.

    The thing is those racial/gang issues are almost 100% responsible for the differences in our murder rates! The bottom line is that white Americans kill each other every bit as little as white Europeans, BUT to mention that something like 70% give or take of our murders are minorities, and mostly gang related, as a meaningful point of distinction in the conversation would be RACIST. America doesn't have a gun problem, sub sets of black and Hispanic Americans have a gun problem.

    Ending the drug war would likely help a shit ton, but those people would still have poor/dysfunctional communities, so it would probably still be bad. Of course the destruction of minority families via the welfare state helped create half of that mess too...

  • Robert||

    Ending the drug war would help that situation, but not a shit ton more than it'd help problems generally. The "drug problem" fell to them because it had to fall somewhere, and mostly those who perpetrate drug-related crimes would perpetrate just as many other crimes. Criminals didn't create the drug problem, & the drug problem doesn't create many criminals, either. You make something the province of criminals, there are criminals to fill that role.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    The criminals who had smuggled alcohol didn't keep commiting murder at the same rate after Prohibition as before: the murder rate went from 10+ in the late 20s to +/-5 by the 40s. It probably wasn't just Repeal that did it- the formation of the FBI reduced interstate bank robberies, IIRC, and suchlike- but it clearly played a role. 80% of murders in Baltimore are drug-related: you make that black market open-air again, I'm guessing at least half of that 80% goes away, and a third of the US overall rate with it.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    "The bottom line is that white Americans kill each other every bit as little as white Europeans"

    IIRC, the USA Caucasian murder rate is 2.5 per 100k, whereas most EU countries have around 0.5 to 1.5 per 100k overall, with their white rates being slightly lower than the national averages. Further, America's white population primarily comprises its rural and upper-income strata, whereas the EU's has more poor and urban whites (since until recently, there weren't really any minorities around to fill those categories in Europe).

    As it happens, it is actually in lily-white states like Vermont, New Hampshire and Idaho that one will often see the most *non-gun* murders as a percentage of the overall rate (and a few of those states do happen to be as peaceful as Europe at times). So it isn't guns that are the cause of our higher white rate. But it is higher overall for some reason, most likely just culture. Finland is a pretty good comparison: national rate of about 3.5, usually with knives, almost always drunken arguments between dumbass young bucks or grizzled old bar fighters.

  • vek||

    All true as best as I remember stats I've looked at before, but the point still stands. Without our uniquely American problems we're within spitting distance of Europe on murder rates.

    The vague "our culture" thing probably does explain away much of the rest. Europeans are a lot more domesticated in a thousand ways than Americans are. They really do just behave like cattle in a lot of ways, and cattle don't kill too often. In all fairness I wouldn't be surprised if their welfare state actually helps reduce those small numbers somewhat. A poor/dumb white kid in a big city here might start slingin' dope or doing other bad shit for cash, while a Belgian kid just sits at home and plays video games because of their generous unemployment payments etc.

    Keep in mind I'm NOT advocating that it's a good thing even if it had that effect. I imagine one could think up a number of other reasons that seem plausible too if one went down a list of possibilities.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    I agree it wouldn't matter if their welfare states reduced murder (given how incredibly rare murder is, compared to the GDP-level wasted wealth that kills vastly more in other ways), but I actually think the evidence indicates that welfare *increases* murder rates. The Great Society obviously correlated with a big increase in US murders (across all races, to boot), but even in Europe you see increases in various places that seem to correlate with expansions of the welfare state. Now, they mostly ended up going back down- mostly- but on net, murder rates aren't actually lower today in Western, Central and Northern Europe than they were in 1900 (Southern Europe is the exception- Italy has come a long way). This is also a useful perspective for gun crime, given that gun laws were rare throughout Europe a century ago, yet their murder rates were no higher for it.

    Best example: Scotland. Their murder rate *quadrupled* from the 1960s onward, which I believe (don't quote me on it) was when welfare was introduced in a big way for the first time. It sure as hell didn't lower it. I recall hearing about a book someone wrote describing the damage welfare has done there; can't remember the name.

    So, what is the difference between us and the EU? Beats the fuck outta me. But I think we can rest assured that the socialists' "solution", isn't one.

  • vek||

    Yeah, I think, as with many things, it's a complicated interplay. I think the trick with welfare programs is this: Insofar as people have employment preferably, or sufficient sustenance from welfare to not need to resort to crime to live decently, crime will be reduced.

    In other words if welfare gets to the point of harming employment prospects, but does not fully provide for a lifestyle nice enough to not want "more," then it might increase crime. This is what we have here. In America much of our welfare system is more or less just enough to not starve, and unless you have 37 children you're not living well.

    In many parts of Europe their systems often provide enough to be reasonably comfortable. Hence in criminal activity we could get different results caused by our welfare system than they do from their welfare system.

    The devil is in the details. I'm opposed to welfare in general, but the extremely poor outcomes of our specific programs and their incentives/disincentives really peeves me. If the progressives really wanted to solve poverty the programs could be designed infinitely better.

    But yeah, it's not guns themselves whatever the case. It's quite clearly easy to spot and also other hard to nail down societal factors that drives murder rates.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Well, MADD worries about it to the point of trying to pointlessly five the legal blood alcohol level down, when the old level was enough to catch anyone seriously impaired. Of course that may be because they have stopped being a Drunk Driving activist group and become a 'temperance' group.

    Noteworthy that their founder has disassociated herself from them.....

  • NYC2AZ||

    I always find it amusing how the anti-gun arguments include the 21000+ suicides and, in seemingly the same sentence, is followed by the pure "gun free" numerical virtues of the UK (11.8/100k is a similar total per capita suicide rate as the US 12.6/100k) and Japan (15.4/100k is higher per capita suicide rate than the US). Hell, as recently as 2014, Japan had a higher per capita suicide rate than the combined suicide and homicide rate in the US (20.1/100k vs 12.6 + 5.3/100k). The European Union's number, 11.9 suicides per 100k, isn't too far off from the US 12.6 per 100k either. It's almost as if the anti gun groups and their media lackies understand this cause du jour isn't as pure and just as they claim.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    I think America's suicide rate is about 13.5 right now. However, Australia and New Zealand are pushing 13 too, and they're more demographically comparable anyway. Britain's suicide rate is odd- the official ONS (UK gov) data usually says 10 to 11, but UN data says something like 6 to 8. I've never known what the procedural screw-up there is.

    Anyway, the argument about Japan and South Korea is usually that they would have "even more" with guns- but putting aside that hanging is only about 1/5 less effective than a gun (70% vs. 86% lethality), their rates, IIRC, aren't actually that different for women or youth- it's only in older males that they have significantly more, almost exclusively as a result of loss of a lifelong job that was the norm in those places until recently, and that's the demographic that is most likely to use hanging; so they actually don't have nearly as much of a "suicide culture" as Westerners think, and wouldn't see major increases with common gun ownership.

  • Ron||

    I have pointed out the high suicide rate in Japan without guns to only be shot down, pun intended, by the claims that if they had guns in Japan the suicide rate would be even higher. that of course is a BS response but that is their answer.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    The problem is that it is an assertion that cannot be falsified, since we don't know what Japan would look like with guns.

    Here's an argument with better footing:

    -hanging is only 20% less effective than a gun
    -guns are the preferred method of US rural males
    -hanging is the preferred method of every other country's rural males

    So what do you think would happen if America's rural males didn't have guns any more? Answer: there would be fewer suicides, but not nearly fewer enough to make up for the economic and defensive damage done.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    It is perhaps unseemly to quote Trotsky, but as he said: if an adult wants to commit suicide, there is no way to stop him.

    Same with assassinations. JFK said it best: if someone wants to kill a President (or anyone, for that matter) and is unafraid of death, there is nothing you can do to prevent it.

  • Brendan||

    My favorite is their pivot to talking about how guns just make suicide attempts more successful.

    If this is a relevant factor, then US residents are uniquely less suicidal than nearly every other country, just more successful on first attempt due to guns.

    I guess this means all those countries we're supposed to emulate are even worse off since their people are far more suicidal than use, just not as successful the first time around. When Korea has something like 24/100k rate, what is the ratio of attempts:successes?

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    Compared to America at least, I don't think many would argue that Japan and South Korea are more culturally inclined to suicide. So that isn't a winning line of argument.

    The important thing is that *Australia* and *New Zealand* have almost the same suicide rates (12.5 vs. 13.5) that we do. And Canada, Ireland, Britain and most of Europe are only a little further behind, with France, Belgium and a few other EU countries somewhat worse. So we're not worse off than our "near-peer" cultures either.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    CORRECTION: I don't think many would argue that Japan and South Korea are NOT more culturally inclined to suicide.

  • josh||

    This is a good article, but it would also help if you talked to your kids about how "need" and constitutional rights are incompatible. I can't count how often that's the argument being made, when no one else would make that argument for any other amendment.

  • Mitsima||

    "Bans are likely to be disproportionately enforced among black and Muslim gun owners, increasing racial disparities."

    I appreciate the attempt at talking to the Left in terms they use, but the fatal flaw in the premise is that they actually give a shit (let alone two) about minority groups: no one cares about cannon fodder.

  • Agnes||

    How about just talk to your kids, period. Parents now a days are so scared of their children - what they can handle and what they can't - that they end up creating monsters who can't cope. My parents:

    1) taught us the importance of gun safety at a very young age. We never thought guns or handling them was a joke. We were also made to be comfortable and not scared of them.
    2)my mother taught us the importance of knife safety and how to cut vegetables in the kitchen (this sounds dumb, but so many parents now a days do not involve their kids with kitchen prep or using sharp objects.)
    3) my mom talked to me at a young age about sexual assault and how no one is allowed to touch me in my private areas.
    4) my dad talked to us about drugs.
    5) mom talked to us about safe sex
    6) we practiced fire safety and how to properly escape if our two story home was on fire.

    We even talk today of what would happen if terrorists plan a major US attack and where we would escape to. We generally laugh at this one because it seems extreme and little doomsday prepper-y, but after seeing how people freaked out over gas after Harvey, I realized plans like these are unfortunately needed, regardless of statistics stating their likelihood of happening.

  • bvandyke||

    Gas freak out after Harvey? Yes, as someone that was right in the middle of it,t it was very strange and very telling. Paying a little attention will do wonders. People were acting like it was the end of the world.

    I went into one local store to get something and there were 3 or 4 different people hammering the owners on when they would have gas. These people where panicked. The owner said, once the water goes down off the road into the area they would have gas (two days or so). The panic on these people was scary. It wasn't the situation, it was the people that made it scary.

  • ||

    Hint: It's the same way you should talk to them about kidnapping.

    Son: Hey Dad, where are you going with the gun?
    Dad: I'm going to go kidnap a deer.
    Son: That's hilarious, can I come too?

  • AtomicCowgirl||

    Katherine, excellent article. My only nitpick is that the title is misleading as to the actual content. This is a wonderfully informed, statistically support article that actually mentions not a word about what to say to your children themselves about gun violence, unless I'm discussing gun control with my teenager because she's being systematically brainwashed by her progressive father. :)

  • AtomicCowgirl||

    And her public school.

  • flyfishnevada||

    We took our kids shooting. They learned the deadly power of firearms and how to handle that power safely. No more fear and they are demagogue-proof. You can't scare someone that possesses knowledge. You can only scare the ignorant.

    Politicians and activists count on ignorance and too often have no problems finding it.

  • bvandyke||

    Even if you don't own a gun, get you and your kids trained on there use, operation, and how to handle safely. You children need to know what to do so when their little idiot friend comes out with one, or they stumble on one, your kid knows what to do and can talk to the others about sitting it down, leaving it alone, unloading it, etc. If the other kids won't listen then they know enough to leave the situation and get an adult.

  • Jim Macklin||

    Teaching children and adults about firearms has been the primary purpose of the National Rifle Association from its formation in 1871 until about 1970 when it was forced to create a "gun lobby" to defend the Constitution from all the assaults on firearm owners that began in the early 1960s.
    I won't repeat the gun safety rules the NRA publishes and teaches, but I will suggest that children should be taught US and world history and the Federalist Papers and the Anti federalist Papers too .
    I will paraphrase the Second Amendment so it might be easier to understand.
    A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state? [Yes, therefore]
    The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

  • Sanjuro Tsubaki||

    Shut up and let me watch my cowboy films.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    It is also a fact that people who get their panties in a wad over these incidents tend to be cosmopolitan liberals who know nothing about guns, how they are purchased and used, nor how to maintain guns safely in one's home. Those of us who have learned and lived with these things mourn events like Vegas and Texas (and pray for the victims and their families, Don Lemon be damned), but know they have nothing to do with our lives and the realities of gun ownership. To all hyperventilating liberals I simply say: tend to your own garden and leave me and mine alone.

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