Everything Kids

I'm Asking Other Parents if They Have a Gun Starting Now

gun on nightstand
When my daughter was very small, I read an article similar to this one, about how you should ask other parents if they have a gun in their home before allowing your child to go there for a playdate. "Absolutely!" I thought. "I will definitely do that."

Fast-forward to the present, when my daughter is now eight and has gone on playdates to probably a dozen different homes. I have never asked that question.

What happened? In some cases I forgot, which makes no sense to me now, because how could you forget such a thing? It's literally a matter of life and death for my child. In other cases, I admit I've just assumed the parents don't have a gun because they don't seem like they would. Pretty dumb, as, statistically, one in three families with kids does have a gun in the house. Of course, it's also because it's such an uncomfortable thing to ask. So basically, I'm a forgetful, naive coward—and I'm so disappointed in myself.

Starting right now, I am asking every parent about guns before my daughter goes to their house. If they do, I will also ask if they keep it unloaded in a locked safe with the ammunition stored and locked up separately. If they do have a gun and it isn't stored safely, my daughter won't be able to go there unless they get rid of it or lock it and the ammo up. Until then, I'm happy to host their child for playdates at my gun-free home.

Ellen Sturm Niz is a New York City-based editor and writer. Follow her on Twitter and Pinterest.

Image via Shutterstock