Parents of children should ask about guns

Parents of children should ask about guns

Recently, Dear Abby responded to a first-time mother wondering how to broach the subject of guns in the home for playdates.

I was appalled to read her advice to just host all playdates and not be "off-putting" by asking about guns.

Never allowing your child over to a friend's house is unreasonable, and personally, I find funerals more off-putting than asking a simple question of a playmate's parents.

Gun-related violence and accidents is the third leading cause of death for American children. A recent CDC study revealed that 7,000 children are wounded or killed by guns in this country every year.

I work with the local chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, but even the NRA has literature recommending parents lock and store their guns separate from ammunition to keep children safe.

Our BeSMART program teaches caregivers how to secure guns in the home and ask parents about unsecured guns in the home before playdates. Learn more at

Dear Abby should have taken the opportunity to model smart playdate protocol.

I always text a new friend's parents with, "Before my kids go over to a new house, I have to ask if there are any guns in the home, and if there are, if they're locked away and separate from where the kids will be."

I have only gotten kind responses, and it normalizes the question for more families.

I hope all parents will take my script and ask. Doing so will save children's lives.