Information Sharing

Gun Control and Parenting

Kind friends and colleagues,

Thank you for all this information, wisdom and most importantly connection. It is hard for us all to know where to begin and you folks are finding away. My instincts are to find ways to volunteer for the community, but honestly also to look for ways to work effectively toward gun control.

My husband, who has been a youth services worker, clinician and parenting educator for decades, said to me this morning that he never talks in parenting classes about gun safety. And that perhaps we should be. Does anyone already do this?

I can’t remember where I saw it, but I think it was someone from this listserv who stated that gun control is a parenting issue. That feels true now.

Kindest regards,

Ruth Ettenberg Freeman

7 Comments to “Gun Control and Parenting”
  1. Interesting question Ruth. Suggestions on gun control would be just one of many things that should be added to a course on COMMON SENSE PARENTING. We should then add all sorts of other safety minded points like safety with stoves, outlets, chemicals, medications, tools, etc. The list could go on. And if we added all of these topics, that would leave us no time for teaching topics we are more skilled at teaching parents, such as creating cooperation, improving parent/child relationships, or helping a child to fit into the social structure. Wouldn’t be great if all parents were required to go through that COMMON SENSE PARENTING course before attending ours. It would make our jobs so much easier.
    Bill Corbett

  2. NCPEN promoted National Ask Day on our Facebook page in 2012. The event encourages providers to ASK parents about guns in and around their home and to inquiry about how they are stored. It also encourages providers to recommend that parents ASK others whether they have guns in or around their home and how they are stored before their children stay or play.

    For more info:
    ASK Day | CPYV : The Center to Prevent Youth Violence

    Stephanie Jones

  3. I think that teaching conflict resolution and working on general violence prevention may be more valuable. Gun control is necessary however considering there was a similar incident in China yesterday where 22 kindergartners were stabbed to death. Gun control can not be our cry it must be violence prevention.

    Barbara Harvey

  4. Please check your source. The children were injured, which is terible enough, but none were killed and all will recover.
    Pam Langer

  5. In this case of the 22 kindergarteners attacked, you are correct. Security guards had been placed outside of schools in light of the many attacks on school children which had been happening in China in recent years which may have preempted a more severe outcome. However, in March of 2010 a Chinese doctor killed 8 children with a large knife at an elementary school in eastern China. If someone really wants to kill someone, they will find a way. I believe as parent educators we will not be able to cover all the options. I agree with Bill that we need to help parents with “creating cooperation, improving parent/child relationships, or helping a child to fit into the social structure”. As I read in a blog “this isn’t about guns or knives, it’s about how we communicate to our children what is right and wrong and what should never be done.”


  6. Colleagues:

    It is important to teach about safety, conflict resolution, normal child development and mental health warning signs and resources. However it is insufficient to do so without acknowledging that children do not die of gunshot wounds at schools over and over again due to some tragic coincidence. They die because of policy: inadequate mental health care, gun control and public security policy.

    It is true when someONE really wants to kill someONE she or usually he will find a way. However when someONE wants to murder a lot of people at once in a mall, theatre, school or workplace then a Glock or similar gun is clearly the weapon of choice.

    Years ago we started lockdown procedures in parent-infant and parent-toddler classes as part of our program’s policy. We practice each semester. Sometimes parents and staff roll their eyes about it. They won’t anymore.

    Who is next? Preschoolers? Toddlers? When?

    Mary Maher

  7. Thanks Pam. I stand corrected. However I think my point still stands.

    Barbara Harvey