by Kayla Bodron
As the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season approaches it is time to have an important conversation about gun safety. As a responsible gun owner you probably already have a safety plan worked out in your home. This system works well with your own children, but may not be as effective when you welcome family, friends and their children over for the holidays, since some of these individuals will likely know less about firearms safety than your own children.
I often hear people talk about leaving guns strategically placed around the house, so that the guns can be quickly accessed if needed. Staging guns throughout the home might ordinarily be a workable home defense strategy, but when a large influx of guests enters your home it can quickly become a very bad idea.
The on-body vs. off-body concealed carry debate has been raging for years, and it will likely continue for years to come without resolution. Regardless of your position in this debate I would urge you to consider on-body carry in the home, at least for the holiday season. On-body carry is the best solution for retaining access to your firearm if needed, while also eliminating the opportunity for children to gain access to it without your permission. I would humbly submit that during this holiday season there is no better time to begin on-body carry in the home. By maintaining physical control of your firearm at all times when awake and only removing your firearm at night (when it is locked in your bedroom away from the prying eyes of children) you can do your part to eliminate holiday firearms related accidents.
Of course the efficacy of this system hinges on a few other things as well. As the homeowner, you must also ensure that all your other firearms are securely locked up in a safe or case out of reach of any children. You must also remember that since you are potentially carrying while holiday parties are taking place, you will need to be particularly vigilant and stay away from the spiked egg nog and other cocktails. Firearms and alcohol simply don’t mix. Period.
This might also be a good time to begin teaching children the basic tenants of gun safety. A good starting point is Eddie Eagle’s rule for what to do if you find a gun, “stop, don’t touch, leave the area and tell an adult.” This is a great place to start, but I recommend doing more If Christmas at your house looks anything like Christmas at ours. One of your kids will receive a gun as a gift. This is an excellent opportunity to bring the whole family along and spread the joys of shooting to those that may never have experienced it. Curiosity is one of the leading contributors to firearms accidents involving children. When children that know about guns, they are less likely to handle them unsafely or without permission.