Children, Guns, Home Invaders, and Likely Events

Recently on a Facebook discussion, a question was posed to a group of generally very well trained gun people. The original poster is a high level military guy, and a much tougher man, better shooter, etc. than I’ll ever be. He asked this question:

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So he’s concerned with Home Defense (HD) presumably because he wants to protect his family. So he wants to be able to get to his tools if his home is invaded. He thinks he’ll need them so fast that safes and lock boxes are out of the question. Most of you already understand the issue here, as did most of the respondees to his original post. This decision process is showing that he believes it is more likely to need a firearm than it is for the child to happen upon the firearms or gain access through toddler cleverness.

We, as gun people, need to keep in mind the relative chances of different events when we prioritize how we layer our home security. It seems that total novices as well as extremely competent gun owners can suffer the same failure in logic. I won’t bore you with numbers, but which do YOU think is more probable:

  1. A team of home invaders kicks down the door during dinner requiring a sub 10 second reaction time to start dealing justice… or…
  2. A child that lives in your house comes into contact with your weapons (in whatever condition) in the several years between birth and being old enough to fully understand the dangers of firearms and resist the temptation to play even when no adults are present?

It’s pretty obvious. Lock away any firearms you aren’t carrying.

This gentleman is banking on height over floor being a deterrent:
dude 2

I posted this video:

He then said something like, “A parent would know if his kid was spiderman and wouldn’t store guns where he could get them.” Sure, but would you want the first time you found out he/she was a climber to be when you see their lifeless body next to your carry gun under the fridge? Me neither.


dude 3

So he’s banking on height and condition 3 (mag in, empty chamber). If you give a child enough time to tinker with something, they eventually will figure it out, even if it’s by dumb luck. They are learning, problem-solving beings. They’re people and they’re watching.

The cost of a mistake is just too great.

If our ultimate goal is to protect our families from being killed, pick the low hanging fruit first. Lock them up.



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14 thoughts on “Children, Guns, Home Invaders, and Likely Events”

  1. Any firearm in a home with children that is not in a holster on one’s person should be locked up. A rapid access safe is the best option for multiple reasons. All stop. Ex-military, ex-paramedic here.

  2. Many more small children die each year as a result of gaining access to unsecured firearms than from home invasions. The numbers are as simple as that. Plan accordingly.

  3. That last guy, who explains the rules of finding his gun to his daughter, “in a safe condition”, I wonder if her clears the chamber and verifies safe in front of her. Then assumes she doesn’t know how to rack a slide…

  4. Years ago I had to take my brother to the ER. While we were waiting they rolled a gurney past us. A 5-year old child who looked very ill was on it. He gained first priority over all other patients. Seems he had climbed to the inaccessible shelf where his dad’s “unloaded” .45 was stored and took it down and shot himself accidentally. He died shortly after being brought in.

    I did not make this up. My brother and I learned a lesson from a father’s fatal, tragic mistake.

    McCoy Burgess

    1. That is absolutely heartbreaking. If ONE parent heeds our advice and locks their gun away when not being carried, this whole blog effort was worth it. Thank you McCoy.

  5. I have a stepson, via my wife’s previous marriage. While we’ve educated him in the good uses of firearms, and we’ve taught him what to do if he sees a gun lying around unattended (anywhere!), we don’t take chances. One of us always home-carries, and any other firearms are locked up in a safe.

    As far as response time, if we’re home, one of us is armed (as I said), and it’s not a concern. Strange noise or sudden boom at the door/window/whatever? The one with the gun checks it out.

    At night, the guns are secure, but we have the benefit of an alarm system as well as a large dog who tends to bark at anything, which we don’t discourage. An alert system if you will.

  6. If he actually needs to have instant access to his weapon while in his house and not asleep, he should carry at all times. If it’s on his person, then it’s not accessible to the kids. At night when he showers or goes to bed, put it in bedside finger safe. Other than that, he needs to lock them up if children in house, period.

  7. My FAS1 safe presents my holstered handgun in the exact same place and orientation every time making it very quick and safe to grab my loaded gun even in complete darkness. I’m probably “old school” these days with the popularity of electronics, but I also understand their flaws and won’t store my home defense guns in anything that is electronic or biometric. If my gun was in my nighstand drawer it would be slower to access than from my safe that’s bolted to my bed frame. Not just for kids, but no one that comes to my home has access to my defensive guns.

  8. If you want it quickly accessible (which I get because my file is full of home invasion examples where there was no time to access a stored weapon) – carry it.

    End of story.

  9. Holster or quick access safe. 20 years U.S. Army, 2xIraq vet, powerlifter, other tough guy stuff and such for the required clout to give opinion on the internet.

    -P.S. “high level military guys” can be D-bags too, we wouldn’t need CID if they were all super smart experts.

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