I’ve owned a handgun, and kept it for personal defense, since 1992. I had a young family and I wanted to be able to defend them. My intentions and resolve were clear.
Just about the first accessory I bought besides a holster was a pistol safe. I bolted it down in a secure location, and whenever I wasn’t carrying, my Glock went in the safe. Now, if we were home, the safe was open, but I closed it when I went to bed, and if I left the house without my pistol, which was rare. I practiced getting the pistol out, even if the safe was closed, in the dark. When I got new glasses, the old ones went in the safe as a backup pair.
Soon, my wife asked if I would teach her to shoot, and it wasn’t long before we both felt she was good enough with it that I could leave the safe open when I left home.
I suppose I should address my gun safe. Did I worry that my children might get to my gun? Not really. They are both inquisitive kids, but not the kind that tear into things. I think this is due a lot to how we raised them. We never made any secret of the fact that I had a gun, and we never made it a taboo item. My kids came with me to pistol matches, and had a great time. But, just like the hot stove, my kids knew that the gun was something they didn’t need to mess with.
In fact, it wasn’t until my kids were old enough to be left alone, and trained, that they even knew where my pistol safe was located. And as far as I know, neither have given it the least thought. There’s no showing off Dad’s guns to the friends – my son has enough Airsoft and BB guns that it would be almost a letdown.
Home defense was pretty much left to me though, and the plan was to barricade ourselves in the bedroom as a safe room.
Last night, my wife told me about some home invasion stories she saw on the news. We talked about them, and she asked me if there was a way we could start keeping a gun in the living room with us, so that she or the kids could get to it quickly in the event of an invasion of our home. Since most burglaries happen in the day, and my family is home in the day but I’m not, this makes a lot of sense.
So this is my new planning task. We have a split level home with entry in a foyer that has stairs to get up to the living area, so we already have some built in defense. I know it’s going to take more than just keeping the gun handy – we need to train as a family, and work out plans for what to do, just as we have for fires or evacuation.
I’ll share more as the plan develops. And as always, suggestions are welcome.