It’s always fun when moms write advice columns about kids and guns – you know, the kind without any actual knowledge of guns. Take this one I came across today. Her initial suggestion is along the lines of Eddie Eagle training & focusing on how guns aren’t like toys. That’s reasonable, but it may not be something that sticks well without a more thought-out lesson like Eddie Eagle.
Then she turns to a parenting coach who she doesn’t cite as having any knowledge of firearms. I’ll say this, at least the coach admits that her advice is embracing the crazy.
Susan Epstein, a psychotherapist in New London who has coached parents for more than 20 years, believes it is our duty to tackle the tough questions.
“I would say it in a self-deprecating way, ‘I’m over the top, but I just want to know if there are guns in your house,'” she suggests saying. She thinks this humble, nonjudgmental “you might think I’m crazy” approach can defuse many difficult situations.
Because, let’s face it, if you tell me that you’re crazy and then want to know about my guns, I’m just going to line up to tell you! Even better, the columnist suggests not just asking about guns in the home, but asking detailed questions about where they are stored and how they are accessed. The questions she suggests seem more like casing a joint rather than actual concern about your child’s access. I guess that’s just part of embracing her crazy.
Of course, said advice columnist then cites a shooting incident that has absolutely nothing to do with the issue being discussed in the column other than there was a gun and a kid. I think that’s what pisses me off about these kinds of columns. It is reasonable if you’re sending your kid over to a new house to talk to parents about what’s going to happen during said visit and what kinds of concerns you might have for your child’s safety while they are in the other parent’s care. But throwing out sob stories that are off topic and citing people who have zero knowledge about actual risks kids might face doesn’t help others to be anything other than scared and crazy.