Prussik said: My 5 year old granddaughter has her own 22 rifle (uses under strict supervision). The parents attitude toward firearms will be reflected in their children. My opinion is that if they can reach it, they should know how to use it.
This is incredibly irresponsible. There isn't a single 5 year-old alive on the planet who is sufficiently mature to handle a firearm, regardless of the level of adult supervision, regardless of the fact that it's "only" a .22. I say that as a parent of a child who was five only a few years ago, a parent who understands and has been around a lot of children, most of whom were raised by highly responsible, caring and attenting parents, people who are very intelligent and highy educated as well.
If a child can reach a firearm that does not have a secure trigger lock on it, a lock that the child cannot open, then the parent is also being incredibly irresponsible, regardless of how much they have lectured their child on gun safety.
The people that think they can have a loaded, unlocked gun lying around safely in a household with kids have the same mentality as the teenagers who think they don't need to use contraception or who think that they can get away with driving drunk, a juvenile feeling of invulnerability.
I've known a family who had a loaded gun in the household for protection, had young teenagers over who got hold of it and they were so cool and brave, as teenage boys think they are, and play-acted blowing each other away, like on Call of Duty or some other video game. Except that although both boys knew enough about guns to check to see if it was loaded and had handled guns with respondible adults around enough times to have learned gun safety, neither bothered to see if the gun actually was loaded (real men don't worry about silly stuff like that). And one of the boys raised the gun and yelled BLAM. But his finger was on the trigger, it may have been a lighter trigger than he was expecting, and a split second later the next sound heard was "Crack." And a second after that, only one boy was standing, with a shell casing on the floor next to him and his best friend dying on the floor in front of him. Watching multiple adult members of that family tearfully relate what had happened to their relative, who will spend time every day for the rest of his life reliving killing his best friend (let alone how family members of the deceased must feel), made me think about how silly those concerns were about the necessity of having a loaded gun lying around for "protection." Talking with that family was a very sobering, extremely sad experience.
But I'm wasting my time telling this story because those who are convinced of the need for loaded self-defense guns in the home believe that they are far too smart, far too careful, far too knowledgeable, far too responsible, etc.... to ever worry about something like this happening in their households. They all are thinking "It would never happen to me!"
I don't have any sort of firearm in my house (I shoot airguns, which no child who has ever been in my house would be able to cock and the spring becomes ruined if left cocked for any extended period of time, so they're always uncocked and unloaded when I'm not using them, plus they are not accessible to a child in a locked place) so I don't know the specifics of the latest trigger locks, but aren't there some with fingerprint detection on them that can release quickly and be unlocked even in the dark? ANSWER: no, apparently not readily available, if they are even available at all - I just decided to do a google search to answer my own question and although a few years ago there was a hubbub in the NJ legislature about requiring guns to have fingerprint locks built in when the techonolgy becomes available, there really are no such clamp-on trigger locks on the market. I find this incomprehensible - the technology has been available for years in a compact size - see e.g. laptop thumbreaders. However, they do make quick access pistol safes designed to be opened in the dark, some with the biometric fingerprint locks and they seem to run in the $150-$250 range, which is affordable. I urge anyone who is convinced that a loaded firearm in their home is a necessity for their self-preservation to resist the urge to shriek about "MY RIGHTS!!!" for a second, think about safety, and get one of these quick access safes to put behind, under, or on top of your nightstand - isn't the reduction in risk of accidental access by a child or a desparately depressed relative/friend/neighbor (guns are the number one method of choice for those committing suicide) worth the modest extra cost and very slight inconvenience?