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“In the middle of the night on Dec. 30, 2011, I received a call that my son, Noah, 13, who was sleeping over at a friend’s house, was in trouble,” Ashlyn Melton writes at

I drove over to check, but the call didn’t really alarm me. I assumed the boys were out knocking on doors or toilet-papering houses. They were young boys on Christmas break. What else could it be?

It wasn’t until we got closer that I realized something was wrong. Cop cars, an ambulance, fire trucks, and caution tape surrounded the house. I jumped out of the truck. Someone asked if I was Noah’s mother. Once I said yes, I was given the horrible news. Noah was shot by his friend, at his friend’s house, with an easily accessible gun.

Noah died from his injuries. The story marks today, National ASK Day. It was created by The Brady Campaign to Prevent Violence in collaboration with the American Academy of Pediatrics.

I’ve got no problem parents asking me about my gun safety (the real kind). But I do have a problem with parents who don’t teach their kids The Four Rules of Gun Safety.

I’m not blaming the victim or his parents in this horrible tragedy. But I am saying that all parents should understand that gun safety may begin at home, but it doesn’t end there.

If your child or children know The Four Rules that may be able to intervene when one of their uneducated friends brings out a gun. When they’re young, in an Eddie the Eagle kinda way (stop, don’t touch, tell an adult). Later, DON’T POINT THAT GUN AT ANYONE!

Given that there are gun-less parents and parents who don’t educate their kids about gun safety, schools should give this instruction — which can be done in less than an hour.

If the Brady’s and docs were really concerned about saving young lives from “gun violence” they’d be on my side on this. They aren’t. What does that tell you? Nothing you didn’t already know, but still . . .

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  1. Typo: “stop, don’t touch, don’t tell an adult”

    I think you mean DO tell an adult. Or are you saying “don’t plant any fingerprints on it, but leave it stashed for later”?

    • Missing an entire Eddie Eagle step: Stop! Don’t touch. RUN AWAY. Tell an adult.

      My son has been able to sing that since he was 3 and always gets a quiz/refresher before going to the grandparents. Even those simple rules might have saved Noah.

    • “If your child or children know The Four Rules that may be able to intervene when one of their uneducated friends brings out a gun”

      No, no, no! The kid should stop, not touch, LEAVE THE AREA, and tell an adult. They should be taught specifically NOT to “intervene” when other kids find a gun. Kids discussing what to do with a gun is dangerous. It’s NOT your kid’s job to try to solve or arbiter the problem; his number one job is to save his own skin, period.

    • The Eddie Eagle message isn’t limited to pre-school kids and pre-teens.
      When a kid finds a gun the message is STOP, Don’t Touch it, Leave the area and tell and adult.

      When there is an unknown danger, LEAVING is a good idea no what the problem is.

      Street gangs would leave loaded guns they had used and planned to use again, under a bush in a public park or in a front yard because they didn’t want to get caught with the gun. The message about “safe storage” doesn’t mean much to a gang banger.

  2. “schools should give this instruction.”

    Stop it. Just stop it.

    There are many reasons for the lackluster performance of many public schools today. One of those reasons is they are required to teach basic skills that parents should teach. The last thing a teacher needs is another mandate to instruct on a subject she has no expertise in, such as gun safety. Play the Eddie Eagle video and leave it at that.

    I’m going through employment applications today, hoping to hire someone for an entry-level position. The average level of literacy is poor enough already.

    • If you actually believe what you’ve posted here then methinks you need a harder look at the educational system.

      Are parents a problem? Yup, but “overworked teachers” is a cop out. The entire system is rotten to it’s core and that’s not an accident. The answer isn’t to demand less of teachers, it’s to get higher quality teachers.

      You want to know the real root of the problem? Schools of Education. Not only are they Progressive but their standards are practically non-existent. Some idiot applies to a university that has a school of education and gets rejected. Guess what often happens? They get a letter telling them to apply to the school of education attached to that university/college and generally, they get in. So your average high school teacher is a fucking moron that couldn’t get into a real undergrad program and instead became a unionized teacher.

      I’m not saying there are not smart, well educated teachers out there, but your average teacher is an indoctrinated dipshit.

      To make it worse the administrative people for schools are dumber than a sack of hammers. They get someone with, let’s say a BS in chemistry, who applies to teach at their school and they say “Oh, well here, teach physics.” to which the applicant says “Um, I’m not really qualified to TEACH physics without taking some more physics classes. I studied chemistry…” to which the school admins rejoin “Science, it’s all the same shit, here take these required “continuing education” classes about feelz and “how to teach” various subjects that you’ll never ever cover”.

      Then, when students fail tests, rather than raise the caliber of education we lower the standards to the lowest common denominator. Now we actually have states that refuse to teach pre-algebra in middle school because “it’s too hard and the kids can’t handle it”. Well, they handled it just fine 15 years ago so what the fuck changed? What changed is that the average IQ and the educational quality that teachers receive changed for the worse. That’s what happened.

      It’s many, many layers of retardation. Some are intentional and others are just the product of stupid people in positions they never should have had.

      • “I’m not saying there are not smart, well educated teachers out there . . .”. They are roundly resented by the drones who have been in control for many, many years. As a result many smart new teachers leave as soon as they can while the highly competent older teachers are counting the days until retirement. American schools and high education are both doomed.

        • It’s also the case that many people who would make outstanding teachers take a look at what’s going on and say “No thank you, there’s too much nonsense. I’d rather work somewhere else”.

          The result is what you say. The lackluster drones are the ones who get the positions. It’s been that way for decades now and the unfortunate effect is that now those idiots actually have positions of power due to seniority.

          What’s even worse however is that many of them aren’t just drones. They actively promote the SJW bullshit (feelz over facts, you don’t need to learn any scary math) they learned in their SoE and will use the disciplinary system of the school to enforce it. All to the detriment of society.

        • Until a few decades ago, high achieving females became teachers or nurses. The rest, including the unmotivated and idiots got married and spawned kids. Today, due to the progtard world, it is unusual for a woman to NOT go into the workplace and the highly motivaged/bright do NOT go into “education”. End up with the lower % teaching kids. The HS pat themselves on the back with all their “college level”/”honors” classes that 30yrs ago would not have qualified as HS classes/

    • I couldn’t agree more. Relying on the public schools to teach their kids gun safety is asking for trouble. Most parents already abdicate most of their teaching responsibility to the schools now, and guess what? Kids can’t read or do basic math, and are mostly ignorant of history and science. So let’s rely on these incompetent schools to impart potentially life-saving safety information. I’m sure they’ll do a great job of that, in spite of all evidence to the contrary.

      If you want your kids to be safe around guns (or to understand any topic, really), teach them yourself. If you want your kids to be uneducated, indoctrinated dolts, let the government schools raise them for you.

      • If it is part of the fundamental baseline of knowledge we want to expect of all children, it should be taught in schools. The foundation of public schooling is to help ensure that every child has certain minimal competencies to succeed in life. Anything beyond that can, and should, be considered gravy.

        I’d love to see the public school day shortened to a half day where only the essentials are taught, and parents encouraged to take the tax savings and spend it on private tutoring, training, or apprenticeships where their child can excel as is appropriate for them.

        Instead, we continually get new initiatives stacked on, leaving parents, teachers, and children frustrated while administrators and school boards laugh on their way to the bank (along with contractors building $72m football stadiums).

    • School teachers can’t even teach basic reading, writing and arithmetic. How would we ever rely on them to do anything really significant.

      Liberal parents can’t even teach their kids common values and morals, how could they ever teach something as important as gun safety?The Brady people do not care a rat’s back end for people, all they care about is their agenda of control.

      I grew up with guns and ammo readily available in my home and never had a single problem. My own kids grew up shooting and understanding guns, and they knew where our guns and ammo were and in case they ever needed them, and not one of them ever did anything stupid. No incidents, no accidents, no drama.

      Common sense and training. It’s really not all that complicated.

      • I guess except if you’re a stupid liberal. The sarcasm is mine. That kind of narrow thinking won’t save any lives. And your negativity about school teachers shows your complete lack of empathy.

  3. I don’t want to sound insensitive- because these types of stories break my heart. But isn’t 13 years old, old enough to know better? I mean at 13 I would have been too scared of the gun to even go near it.
    I completely agree though- gun safety should be taught in schools atleast. They teach you not to do drugs, why not teach about firearms?

    • When I was seven, my dad was off fighting a thankless war, and my brother, mother and self lived with my grandparents for a couple of years. Granddad has a pistol in a dresser drawer. One day, he took my brother an me into his bedroom, to the dresser, and showed us the pistol lying in the drawer. He told us it was real, was not like our toys, and if we ever touched that pistol, he would beat the hell out of us (actually, the idiom was “beat the tar out of you”). We always avoided going anywhere near my grandparents bedroom. The warning was all the gun safety training we needed. But, then, that was in the dark ages when adults were in charge, not adult aged children.

      • Not to mention I’m sure your grandfather was a man of his word and you knew (much like I knew my own grandfather) that he did not make idle threats or give hollow warnings.

        Today I hear parents give 37 warnings and 16 chances before they finally give up without ever doing anything to the child. No consequences feeds recklessness and immaturity.

        • “Not to mention I’m sure your grandfather was a man of his word and you knew (much like I knew my own grandfather) that he did not make idle threats or give hollow warnings.”

          Never doubted it, ever.

      • I got an almost identical warning from my dad in reference to the S&W Detective Special .38 revolver he kept on hand. I never did touch that gun, because I knew good & well what kind of consequences I had coming to me if I did. Dad loved us kids, sure, but his word was Law, and we knew it.

        I don’t know who the in hell removed the latter half of the phrase “parental authority” over the last generation or so, but that trend (more like a movement, really) is behind more societal ills than I can even count. Parents should be PARENTS. Not the “best buddies” of their precious little snowflakes.

        • “I don’t know who the in hell removed the latter half of the phrase “parental authority” …

          At least three generations of children raising children to remain children.

          The real Spock was not logical.

    • When I was 13 years old I had my own gun. If I came upon a gun that wasn’t where someone was obviously responsible for it I would know how to check to see if it was loaded; and, unload it if necessary.

  4. this is the scariest part of being a parent: other peoples kids. you can teach your children all the right rules and it won’t matter because someone else hasn’t done the same with their kids.

  5. I have to agree. Other people you can’t control, what you can do is teach your kids how to safely handle a situation with a gun and if others are being stupid, GTFO immediately. It won’t prevent every tragedy but it will prevent a good number of them.

    • Agree. You can teach your own kids all day long….in someone else’s(sp?)
      home where they there may be more than 1 other kid who doesn’t know the rules…educate them to GTFO.

  6. Yes, teach your kids, but remember that they’re still kids. A 13 year old is not just a short adult. They are not as mature, their brains are not as developed. So train your kids, but don’t trust them to always act reasonable. Because you’ll be disappointed. If that disappointment takes the form of your kid getting arrested for smoking weed and drinking booze in a park it’s a lot better than if it ends in a bodybag.

    How many parents have buried their children and said “I never thought he would do that, I taught him better?”

    All of this is even more important when you have 13 year olds together, some of which you didn’t raise.

  7. To start off i grew up in a house with loaded guns. My father taught me and my brother from an early age that they were hands off PERIOD under the penalty of getting our little backsides blistered. He showed us exactly what happens when a gun is shot and the damage they cause. He shot several cantaloupes as a demonstration of the potential harm they could cause. Parents should NEVER hide their guns from children whether they are loaded or not. Any honest parent knows you can’t really hide things from children. Their curiosity always get the best of them. TEACH them about firearms. The Good the Bad and the Ugly. Back it up with discipline. Not time out I mean real discipline. You can’t be with your child every minute of every day. So regardless of your Firearms beliefs for the love of your children TEACH THEM. It may save their life one day..

  8. I agree entirely, Robert. I too, sometimes get asked about guns and gun safety. Sadly, we live in a world where even basic skills, like knowing how to change a tire or put oil in a car, are absent in many people’s lives. There is ample evidence that the most dangerous people around guns are those who are most ignorant about guns. Case in point: a few years ago there was a similar 13-year-old-gets-shot-while-playing-with-a-gun story on our local evening news. One of the witnesses, another 13 year old was apparently the only person in the room who knew anything about gun safety. His account was that his buddy was playfully waving an “unloaded” 9mm around. He said “He didn’t know you’re supposed to rack the slide to see if there’s a round in the chamber—so I got out of there as quick as I could”. That kid probably saved his own life.

    Not to brag but, like a lot of red-neck kids of my generation, I knew about guns and gun safety as soon as I was big enough to hold a weapon. In my family’s tradition, the idea of male children not knowing these sorts of things was unthinkable. The issue is in not one of limiting “access to guns”, it is instead one of knowing what to do with guns when you are around them.

  9. Being surrounded by liberal idiots we have a Fight Club rule outside of the home.

    Yes, there have been a few parents who’ve asked, and the answer is no. Deceit? Surely. This is my sad face…

  10. The school system here uses police resource officers to teach what some parents aren’t teaching at home, including “Don’t Drink and Drive.” Which meant I got a lecture from my first grader for drinking coffee while driving the kids to school.

    “Don’t touch guns”, which they heard at school and at home, along with “Don’t play with matches” and “Stranger Danger.”

    Kids do manage to learn, but someone, hopefully parents, have got to teach them.

    • Custard filled is better than powdered sugar, which is better than cream filled, and stay away from jelly filled or you will need to rationalize larger vest?

    • “Which meant I got a lecture from my first grader for drinking coffee while driving the kids to school.”

      I remember doing that to my mom, except it was a coke. This was before I was even in preschool.

  11. I trained my children from start how dangerous they are, they were shooting with me many times. Two girls and a boy learned to shoot at a very young age. Along with fishing(hooks, knives cleaning), campfires and all kinds of dangerous things. This helps them coupe with life and prepare themselves with dangers. These things are taught so they understand and from that they learned not play with them. Be safe out there.

  12. At 13, I had been handling and shooting firearms for five years and was an accomplished marksman under my Father’s tutelage. As a few others here indicated, my Father’s words and rules were law, and I didn’t dare break them unless I was ok with waving at him as he went off to the gun range “without me” for the next number of months (not to mention other types of punishments). When I was growing up, this was the rule, not the exception for most children. Unfortunately, that is not the case in the past few decades, and it shows. It shows brightly!

  13. Back in the day I once took my brothers shot gun out and was looking it over when my brother caught me, being 11 years older than me he wailed me good, then he told our Dad and it was a trip too the shed and date with a willow switch, Major incentive not too touch weapons!
    Most modern parents are afraid too be parents as they might get accused of being an abusive parent if they reprimand their children using old style methods which actually work, once a child learns that he can’t be touched its impossible to to effectively discipline them on anything.Teaching children about hand guns is another PC no no {child endangerment} either way a parent gets screwed! and children die!

  14. How can society keep guns out of the hands of the stupid? I’m so tired of hearing these tragic stories that could so easily be prevented. I guess it would be nice to keep them from driving as well.

    • “I guess it would be nice to keep them from driving as well.”


      Can’t do it.

      Driving is a privilege.

      Owning a gun is a mere constitutionally protected natural right.

  15. A kid dies and no one is at fault. That is a BS, politically correct answer. If the gun owner left his weapon loaded and in an easily accessible location with kids around then that constitutes gross negligence. So this fool is negligent and suddenly it’s the fault of the public school system for not having gun safety as part of the curriculum. That cuts no ice at all and is a position of someone who can’t speak the truth because he’ll take too much heat.

  16. I always keep my guns locked-up but that doesn’t help when the kids are at someone else’s house. That’s why you have to teach them realistic gun handling guidelines that will stay with them for their whole lives. Realistic doesn’t mean stop, go tell an adult that might work when their 4 but in middle school, kids need to know more… When my son was 12, I brought him to the range and taught him how to handle a gun. The 1st thing they need to know is to check if the gun is loaded, how to take the clip out, rack the slide a couple of times and look down the chamber while pointing it in a safe direction and also see and handle a revolver. Forget about the stop, get an adult stuff that just isn’t going to work with a 15-17 year they don’t want to look foolish in front of their friends. Teach them how to handle the gun safety so it becomes a habit. Now, my son is older and he’s told me how many times he’s actually handled friends guns in cars and in homes, I think knowing what to do in those situations can save lives and keep accidents like this from happening.

  17. As the twig is bent, so grows the tree…
    My father would slap my hand and take away a toy gun away from me when I was a kid each time I pointed it at someone. No matter if it was a gun made made out of wood, water gun or a plastic non gun. The message was simple, you don’t point a gun at someone just for fun, period. In later years when I had a spring bb gun and he asked me to shoot his palm with it to see if it hurts much, he had to ask me like five times in a row to do it, I really din’t want to do it and just before I asked once again if he’s sure.

  18. I feel that every parent not matter what should teach their kids firearm safety. The only way to prevent this sort of mistakes is to make sure that everyone knows how to handle a firearm. Not just be scared of them so they avoid them. If you avoid guns there is a good chance some day you won’t be able to. That’s when “accidents” happen.

    When you don’t know how to safely handle a firearm and are forced to do so. Things happen.

    Every parent should gun proof their children not child proof their guns.

    • Most teachers don’t know shit about guns. Parents should instruct them. I agree with you, teach them the dangers and take the curiosity out of the subject. Same as talking to strangers with candy and puppys!. Not difficult.


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