Walker County Messenger - - Sports -

Gun safety be­comes hot topic for par­ent

DEAR HAR­RI­ETTE: Now that the gun is­sue is top of mind, I have be­gun to ques­tion the peo­ple I know who may have guns and the lives of my chil­dren. I never thought to ask par­ents if they own guns be­fore I al­low my chil­dren to visit their homes. Now I think it’s a ques­tion to ask, es­pe­cially if I am plan­ning to al­low my chil­dren to go for a sleep­over.

How do you rec­om­mend I bring this up? I know it’s a po­lit­i­cal hot but­ton. I want to pro­tect my chil­dren. Hon­estly, I’m not sure if I want my chil­dren to spend the night at some­one’s home if they have guns. How do I ad­dress this? -- Chil­dren and Guns, Philadel­phia

DEAR CHIL­DREN AND GUNS: First, fig­ure out what your stance is re­gard­ing your chil­dren go­ing to sleep­overs with fam­i­lies who have guns. You have to be clear on your view so that when you talk to par­ents you know where you in­tend to draw the line.

If guns and am­mu­ni­tion are prop­erly stored, they should be child­proof, which means the guns are stored in bags with the am­mu­ni­tion kept sep­a­rate, out of reach of chil­dren.

How to ask? Just do it. You can frame the ques­tion by say­ing you have be­gun to think about the is­sue of weapons in the home due to the many in­ci­dents of late with chil­dren in­ad­ver­tently get­ting their hands on guns and hurt­ing or killing in­no­cent peo­ple. State whether you have guns and, if so, how you store them, and then ask if these par­ents have guns in the home. Be upfront about your con­cerns for your child’s safety. If the peo­ple you’re speak­ing with have guns, find out how they are stored. Make your de­ci­sion based on those facts.

Har­ri­ette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an ini­tia­tive to help peo­ple ac­cess and ac­ti­vate their dreams. You can send ques­tions to askhar­ri­ette@ har­ri­et­ or c/o An­drews McMeel Syn­di­ca­tion, 1130 Wal­nut St., Kansas City, MO...

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