According to one report, at least 392 guns were brought to school last year. Ages ranged from pre school and day care aged kids to high school. There seems to be a few different ways to keep this from happening if the parents and schools were willing to act appropriately.
What we DO NOT need, are more gun laws.
I think I'm going to speak for all of us when I say that nobody wants a kid to bring a gun to school unless they're on the school's shooting team. School shooting teams, by the way, aren't really a thing anymore except in a few areas.
The “experts” have their own take on what to do about this, but I'm going to lay out some simple steps that both the schools and the parents can take to help prevent children from bringing their parent's guns to school.
After all, even a pre-schooler can unintentionally shoot and kill another kid with a loaded gun. That's tragic and we should all do our best to prevent that from ever happening.
In the home:
I'm a firm believer that each set of parents needs to do the primary teaching, leading, and raising of their children. This is one of the reasons why we home school three brilliant little kids. I want to be the one raising my kids and teaching them not only about math and reading, but also about life skills.
This includes gun handling and safety skills.
Because education starts and ends in the home, even if your kids go to a public school, they should be taught gun safety from you, the parents. All of mine started learning at a young age. As soon as they were able to retain knowledge, they learned about gun safety and still do learn it.
A huge part of the problem (though certainly not all of it) occurs when the parents are afraid of guns to the point where they won't even let them play with Nerf Guns and other toys. They're so afraid that they can't even have a conversation with their kids about guns because even the thought of a firearm outside of Hollywood is uncomfortable.
That is not okay. First, I believe it is unhealthy to have such a massive fear of an inanimate object that is capable of no harm on its own. Second, you're doing a massive disservice to you and your child.
But here's the thing, because these parents are afraid of guns, Hollywood is the one teaching the kids about the them. So, automatically, because the guns can be seen on the big and small screens, they're made “cool” or “fire” or whatever term kids these days are using to describe something they like.
So, some of these kids out of a massive lack of understanding bring their parent's guns to school just to show them off to their friends.
The simple fix here is education. If we properly educate our kids about guns, gun handling, gun safety, gun respect, the parts of the gun, etc., it would mitigate most of this from ever happening.
In the safe:
I know I'm about to upset some of you over this, and that's okay. I think as two adults we can have a conversation without it growing into an uncontrollable argument.
If you've got kids in your house, or you have kids visit your house, your guns should be locked up. Period. If your kids can't get to your guns, they can't bring them to school. It doesn't have to be an expensive fire safe, but if your gun is not in use lock it up.
It's that simple. Heck, it's a good idea to lock your guns up just to keep them out of the hands of a criminal who may break into your home.
Just the two steps I've highlighted so far would make a huge difference. 1) You teaching your kids about things like guns and gun safety, and, 2) Actually locking them up will do wonders to protect your kids from their own curiosity.
I believe that if all parents did these two things, locking up their guns and talking to their children about gun safety across the country, most kids would not bring firearms to school.
I'm not calling for gun storage laws … just for people to use their brains.
In the school:
While I believe that the above two steps would work without getting any government institution to ban guns or make gun storage mandatory, some parents will not take the above steps, which is why I always like to have a plan “B.”
No, my plan “B” is not more gun laws. Gun laws don't work.
If you're like most hard-working Americans, chances are good that you send your kids off to school. I'd like for you to petition your school district and ask them to start teaching about firearms.
I'm NOT an advocate of someone teaching about any subject, guns included, who is not knowledgeable about that topic. Therefore, having the English teacher who has never held a gun before, or the gym teacher who goes hunting twice each year to teach gun safety is not what I'm talking about.
The school district needs to bring in someone who is a qualified firearms instructor who will NOT make a blanket statement that guns are bad, but teach proper gun safety.
I'm a firm believer that education is key. Sadly, this step will not happen in most areas, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try to get them on board.
As a society we need to start educating our children about gun safety and handling. We need to teach them not only how to handle a firearm, but also the safety rules, and the parts of the gun. We should also keep them locked up and out of the way unless being supervised being used by an adult.
If these steps are taken, kids will stop bringing their parent's guns to school. How could they not? Did I miss the mark on this? Let me know in the comments below.