Guns and kids: they don’t really go together. The most recent tragic example: a 29-year-old mother shot dead in an Idaho Walmart by her toddler. The two-year-old boy had found his mom’s loaded handgun in her purse. Like any parent, (or human being), I read that story and felt profoundly sad.
Melody Lauer felt sad too, — but had a different take.
Lauer is a stay-at-home mother of three in Iowa who practices attachment parenting. She’s worked at a center that teaches childbirth, baby wearing, and breastfeeding classes. She’s also been a firearms instructor at gun shops and shooting ranges, and since 2006 has been training with weapons, learning first-aid skills, and practicing self-defense. Lauer told Yahoo Parenting that after hearing about the Idaho shooting, she thought “there’s no reason this should happen. We are adults and can be responsible.”
So she did what to her was the logical choice, and began teaching a class on how to pack heat safely while wearing your baby.
Her first seminar drew about a dozen moms and a few dads, all of whom were instructed to bring their strollers and baby carriers as well as their guns, though not loaded. Offsite childcare was provided, while Lauer taught safety tips about how to properly holster your gun instead of tossing it into your bag or a drawer where a child might stumble across it. Because of course, as Manic Pixie Dream Momma writes, any kid who’s seen Star Wars or The Avengers is going to know how to fire a gun. They just won’t realize that unlike in the movies, your dead parent isn’t going to come back.
Some of Lauer’s tips, like “if you have a baby on one side, it’s best to have a gun on the other side,” are so common-sense they seem laughable to me. But there are a lot of people out there eager to hear them. She had to cap registration at the shooting store where she led one workshop, and she’s planning on running larger classes at firing ranges and through various chapters of Well-Armed Woman, a resource group for female gun owners.
Lauer’s class sounds ridiculous to me, but then again, I am stridently against the culture of firearms in our country. The high rate of violent crime in our country comes from the great accessibility of weapons designed to murder people. It seems like a no brainer to me. If you have a machine designed to hurt and kill, then blood will be shed. I’m firmly in the camp that believes in limiting the use of firearms, especially military-style weapons, among both civilians and our nation’s police force.
Melody Lauer, on the other hand, obviously feels very differently than me. “I’ve coslept with my babies, I’ve been wearing my babies, I’ve loved them, and I’ve worn a gun the whole time,” she told Yahoo Parenting. “I will never try to convince someone that they should get a gun,” she said. “But if you feel that a gun is for you, then I will help you do it safely.”
Even though I don’t share her logic, I respect that she’s trying to do good and reduce the amount of accidents that occur from mishandling guns. I appreciate her motives, but can’t get on board with her motives. What do you think?More On