The Next Front in Gun Control: Guns and Kids

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Responsible gun owners know that it’s important to keep kids away from guns.  It’s important to teach them to stay away, and when the time comes, to handle and shoot safely.  But these days, you just don’t leave a gun lying around, loaded or not.

But–because they’re losing the battle to ban or otherwise restrict guns, we’re starting to see some indirect attacks that we haven’t seen before.  There was recently a couple told they couldn’t be foster parents because they have CHLs.  And Eugene Volokh writes about a man told by the divorce court to get rid of his guns as a condition of getting custody of his kids (the order was overturned on appeal, thankfully–but not before the ex-wife argued that mere possession of a gun collection was evidence of mental illness).

There is some logic here; if I were a social services agency, I wouldn’t place kids from crappy homes with foster parents irresponsible enough to leave guns lying around.  It seems that their policy requires guns and ammo to be separately locked up, so they aren’t completely and utterly anti-gun.  And if I were a divorce court judge, I wouldn’t consider guns lying around to be in “the best interests of the children,” either.

But the blanket orders in both cases are a problem.  If you don’t make your decisions on the basis of actual safety, then…it’s still nothing but an anti-gun bias that’s driving you.  The father in question kept his guns in a safe that was in a locked bedroom.  Two locked doors seems like enough for safety.  And while I would expect the foster-care people to investigate the home and make sure there was a safe, and discuss how concealed handguns are handled, that wasn’t even attempted.

There are real safety concerns when it comes to kids and guns, and we as gun-rights advocates can’t ignore or minimize them.  But we have to be vigilant, because genuine concerns can be a great smokescreen for gun-grabbers to attack.

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