How to balance child safety with intruder preparedness?

How to balance child safety with intruder preparedness?

This is a discussion on How to balance child safety with intruder preparedness? within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; 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 ...

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Thread: How to balance child safety with intruder preparedness?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array adric22's Avatar
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    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.


  2. #2
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    Array HotGuns's Avatar
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    Gun proof your kid.

    Teach her about it. Kids are naturally curious and at some point in time she'll want to see it. Take the time to show it to her, explain how it functions and drive home the terrible consequences of its misuse. Let her handle it and take her shooting. Get that curiosity out of the equation. Set some guidelines, let her have no doubt as to what the rules are. She is 8 years old, she can handle it,although its sounds like you've got most of that covered.

    As for the not wanting to shoot it, make it interesting for her. Make sure that she has the proper hearing protection and eye protection. Use the mildest loads you can get and if you can, get a .22, something that has little recoil. Sometimes taking a friend along kind of warms them up to the shooting scene. Of course, you'll need permission and you'll have to insure that the friend is up to speed on the rules.

    Don't force her to "take" to it, she'll come around eventually. The more she sees you shoot, at some point she'll want to try it herself.

    As for your wife, that will take some time.Invite her to go shooting with you. It'll take some work for her to get comfortable with the idea of a gun in the house. The best thing that you can do for her is to be responsible with it and not let yourself get into situations with the gun that you have to explain yourself to get out of.Keep it out of reach and make sure that no one but you can get to it. It was never my kids that I worried about when it came to guns, it was all of their little buddies that they brought in the house with them. You don't know what kind of training, if any, that they had. Settle the fears of your wife and eventually she'll come around too.

    Gun proof your girl and gun proof your wife. One isn't much good without the other.
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  3. #3
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    It's all relative and it all involves compromise.

    I have a boy who's trained in firearms. It's not him that I'm worried about, it's his friends. I'm naturally absent-minded, so I overcome this weakness with iron-clad routines (and frequent notes to myself). If the firearm is not in a holster on me, that means I'm either servicing it, or it's locked in one of many safes that I have hidden throughout the house. That's it.

    If I really think I need quicker access than a safe, then it's in a holster on my person.

    Last night the power went out. It was storming outside, but naturally my wife wakes me up to ask if I think someone cut the power to break into our house... I really didn't think so, and a quick glance at the alarm pad on the wall told me that all doors and windows were still secure. But to put her and my mind at ease, I opened the bedside table drawer, popped open the safe lid to expose a cocked & locked 1911, and went back to sleep. When I woke up, I closed the lid on the safe, and went about my business.

    Other than standing 24-hr guard duty, you'll likely have to accept some level of compromise. I found that having multiple safes throughout the house solved the logistical problem on access for me.
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    VIP Member Array Civil_Response's Avatar
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    Might want to check your local laws, in Minnesota you'd be guilty of a gross misdemeanor depending on what is defined as a 'loaded weapon'.

    It is a gross misdemeanor to intentionally or recklessly cause
    a child under the age of 14 to be placed in a situation likely
    to substantially harm the child’s physical health or cause the
    child’s death as a result of the child’s access to a loaded
    firearm. It is also a gross misdemeanor to negligently store
    or leave a loaded firearm in a location where the person
    knows or should know that a child under the age of 18 is
    likely to gain access, unless reasonable steps are taken to
    secure the firearm against access by the child.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Array adric22's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HotGuns View Post
    As for the not wanting to shoot it, make it interesting for her. Make sure that she has the proper hearing protection and eye protection. Use the mildest loads you can get and if you can, get a .22, something that has little recoil.
    Actually, that is why I bought the Walther P22, was just for her. I trained her how to use it at home with dummy-rounds. She was actually excited about shooting it, but as soon as we walked into the "hot" part of the range, despite having hearing protection on she said it was too loud and didn't want to stay in there. Too bad I don't know anyone around with some rural land. That way we could shoot just the .22 and wouldn't be surrounded by people firing off .45 calibers.

    As for your wife, that will take some time.Invite her to go shooting with you. It'll take some work for her to get comfortable with the idea of a gun in the house.
    I guess you misunderstand about my wife. She has her own gun and also has a concealed carry permit. So she is not anti-gun by a longshot. But she just doesn't share my concern about having an easily available loaded weapon while we are sleeping.

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    Member Array tomtsr's Avatar
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    First, I agree that biometric safes aren't the best IMO.

    Unchambered is a two edged sword, safe to a degree, slow and broadcasting, the noise most autos make when properly racking the slide. I would look at a gun that had a mag safety. When the mag is out the gun will not fire. Keep a round in the chamber, but the mag out of the gun close by.

    Try to find a lady for your wife to shoot with at the beginning. My wife would go to the range once in a great while with me and had no desire to CC. But when she found out a lady friend of hers had her CHP she renewed her desire to shoot and carry. Now she plans some of our range time. Worked for me.
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    Ex Member Array apvbguy's Avatar
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    I think that the best advice is to "child proof the children"
    teach them about guns, gun safety and even bring them shooting and let them shoot, once the gun isn't a mystery and they learn gun safety rules they should never touch any gun that they see

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    Distinguished Member Array BadgerJ's Avatar
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    How about locking the bedroom door? Physical safety is a matter of layered protection. If the BG walks into your room and finds your HG that's not acceptable.

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    Member Array nazshooter's Avatar
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    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.
    Imho the obvious solution is to secure the house better. I don't know what you have done so far but whatever it takes to buy enough time to get your firearm and get your kid to safety while the BGs are still outside would seem appropriate.


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    Senior Member Array Cold Shot's Avatar
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    I'm sure many people have successfully raised children with loaded, unsecured guns in the house, and it should be a personal decision. Teaching children weapons safety at a young age will most likely prevent any dangerous situations, but even bright children can do dumb things from time to time. A lot of people I know didn't really stop doing dumb things until their mid 20's. There will come a point when your daughter will be able to chamber a round, so that argument will be invalid in coming years.

    Make a decision that you feel is best and train around it. Your job is to protect your family, and you should feel comfortable with the circumstances. As for convincing your wife - women like to be led, and not everything needs to be a compromise. However, your daughter's safety should come first.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Array CowboyColby's Avatar
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    Sounds like your on the right track lock the safe when you wake up unlock when you go to bed.

  12. #12
    VIP Member Array Harryball's Avatar
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    I have a 9 year old girl, she is great....I started with her when she was 5. Now she cannot get enough of the range. I took the mystery right out of it for her. Any time she wants to go we go. Thats the best thing for the little ones....Good luck.
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  13. #13
    Member Array Timezoneguy's Avatar
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    +1 to what all have said. consider a back of the headboard hiding place or some other place that is out of sight. Might help Mom feel better too.
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    Several suggestions for you.

    1. As HotGuns said, gun proof your child.
    2. I may have mis-understood, but it sounds like you have more than 1 gun in the house. Keep any gun your not physically in control of locked up.
    3. Always keep your gun on your person when your awake.
    4. If your worried about your child getting ahold of your gun at night, and still want immediate access to it. Keep it unloaded with the slide locked back and the loaded magazine in a safe place where she can't get it. If needed, just insert magazine and release the slide, your now loaded and ready.
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    VIP Member Array Eagleks's Avatar
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    Mine is in a lock box that I hit 4 numbers and it's open.... sits right next to my bed. I have practiced doing it in total darkness and committed it to finger memory. I can open it now faster by not looking at it, then if I had the light on looking at it. No one else knows the number. This is when my grandkids are here, and I raised them for the first 10 yrs of their life.

    With my kids, I had a "keyed" lock box with the gun in it...... I had a little hook the key hooked onto on the back of the nightstand. IT took a couple of seconds to grab key, lock box, open and ready to go.

    They have nightstands with biometric locks on the drawers..... that would be a great option for the gun.

    Just some suggestions.

    NO..... I would not leave it on the nightstand , even if she's quite aware of guns , etc. Because I couldn't live with myself if something happened, no matter how obsure the possibilities of it occurring might be. I've seen the impossible and improbable happen too many times.

    IMHO ... rethink it.
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