How to balance child safety with intruder preparedness?
Okay, to elaborate on that. My wife is constantly nagging, complaining, swearing, making a scene, etc.. about the fact that I won't always lock up my pistol when I am at home. We have a gun safe, it is one of those biometric ones that scan your fingerprint. But often I won't use it.
The problem is I'm afraid that if somebody breaks in at night I won't be able to get my gun in time to defend our family. (read my other post about my home business to know why I think I'm at higher risk than the average Joe) Even with the biometric safe, it takes several seconds to open it and if I'm in a rush I will almost always have to run my finger two or three times before it accepts it and opens. The problem is, even though we have an alarm system, I most likely wouldn't be aware of a break in until after the crooks are already inside the house. So I like having at least one loaded gun I can reach in a hurry.
Okay, so that is my side of the story. My wife's concern is about our 8 year old daughter. What if she were to get one of the guns and accidentally shoot herself with it, or somebody else? The law even holds us liable if that were to happen because we failed to secure our firearms from a child.
Well. Here's my take on this.
- First of all, she'd have to sneak into the bedroom and night and grab the gun while I'm sleeping.
- Second of all, I still don't leave my guns chambered (even though many people here suggest that I should) I also know from experience that my daughter does not have the physical strength to rack ANY of my guns. When teaching her how to use the guns, she has tried each one several times and she cannot pull the slide back. So in theory, even if she were to get the gun, she could play around with it and it might as well be unloaded because she'd never be able to chamber a round.
- Lastly, she is sort of afraid of guns. I taught her how to load bullets, chamber a round (with my help) check the chamber for rounds, all of the usual safety stuff, etc. She is okay with that. But when I take her to the range, she will not fire them. She is scared of the loud noises of all of the other guns and she won't do it. (much to my disappointment) So unlike many kids who play with their parents' guns, my daughter has had some exposure, she understands how they work, and has a lot of respect and fear of the power they have. So I don't really think she'd be the type to secretly go play with a gun anyway.
So anyway.. there you have it. Any suggestions on how to make my wife feel better about the situation without compromising my ability to quickly respond if I have an intruder? Oh - one last thing. I have tried other gun-safes and personally I think they all take too long to open. The ones where you type the code in take just as long or longer to open.