I feel like I’ve told this story a million times ,so if you’ve heard it, ignore me…
When my mother was 6, she nearly shot her 3 yr old brother in the head with my Grandpa’s gun. It’s a story that I heard a lot growing up..partly because the bullet hole was left in the wall and people would be like, “Um, is that a bullet hole in the wall?” ,so it would start conversations. It was a seriously close call. My other uncle who was 5 at the time says he remembered his little brother moving just at the right moment and there on the wall where his head had been just a second before was a bullet hole.
My Grandpa was on the police force at the time but he had always had guns. His method of instructing his 5 children on anything was pretty much, “Don’t touch that!” or “It’s none of your goddamned business!”. Obviously, not super effective when it came to handling a gun or anything else, really.
Things have probably changed quite a bit among gun owners but a lot of this still hangs around. “Don’t touch that because I said so.”, might be the most instruction a kid gets on gun safety or (eve worse), “Just point at your target and pull the trigger, now.” Not to say at all that all gun owners take this approach. We have guns in our house and this is exactly the opposite of how we handle the topic. My personal belief is that a child has no business ever handling a gun, let alone owning one.
I don’t want to pigeonhold certain types of people and generalizing their actions, but I tend to believe (much of this based from what I’ve seen of people) that if a person is the kind of parent who doesn’t take the time to address a huge safety issue such as what to do with a gun, they aren’t going to talk about other important things with them either.
Like ,for instance, sex. They might say, “Don’t do that because I said so.”
This unfortunately does not only apply to gun owners who can’t talk about gun safety. People who don’t own guns falter on this topic,too. Basically, no one is perfect,especially once they’re a parent and the only absolute in parenting is that you really do not have absolute control over the actions of your children, no matter how good of a job you’re doing.
Teenagers are kind of known for 1) not doing what they’re told all the time and 2) being hornier than that one dinosaur with the predominant neck frill with lots of spikes sticking out this way and that (Styrosaurus. That’s it’s name. I think)
And even if you do tell them more than that and explain all the consequences and precautions and advise them to wait until that magical moment when they’re with their smoochy-muffin and the rain ends and a rainbow appears just as My Chemical Romance’s “Demolition Lovers” starts playing on the i-pod through shared earbuds…and they just KNOW it’s So very,very right….’
even if you tell them all the stuff a good sex-ed program should…about birth control and responsibility and all of that – they still might have sex. And they might forget the part of birth control OR like many adults, their birth control failed and they need to fix the situation before it becomes a baby. They might need emergency contraception. They might feel embarrassed to tell you they not only fucked but fucked up. They should be able to go get the help they need before they have to say, “Oh,hey… hold my hand while I have an abortion? Or baby,maybe?”.
Then there’s a whole other piece that people are not talking about at all and that is the connection between sexual abuse and teen pregnancy. Girls who are sexually abused are 5 times more likely to end up pregnant as a teenager. 20% of all teen pregnancies are a direct result of rape. Statistics are grayer when it comes to determining the exact amount of teen pregnancies that are a result of sexual abuse and not consensual sex because of their reluctance to report. 60% of teen pregnancies were preceded by rape,molestation or attempted rape. There is a huge connection here that is ignored. Teen pregnancies are not just caused by careless sex. These girls who are victims need to know that there is a backup plan for them to protect themselves from an unwanted pregnancy after an attack and access to it should not be prevented, regardless of if the girl chooses to report or not report the abuse or attack.
I think gun control and birth control are perfect companions for discussing side by side. The GOP wants gun owners to be the only ones in control of guns, and is ok with a 5 year old owning a gun .It seems like they also sort of want all the control over sex and female bodies. Does that really seem like a good idea? Because honestly, they aren’t managing the gun part too well these days. It doesn’t seem quite right they should have rights over uterine activities,too.That doesn’t seem too beneficial to society. Actually, no political party should have a right over the human body, whether it has a uterus or not. Age really shouldn’t be an issue. If she is able to conceive, she should be able to decide if she wants something growing in her uterus. Uteruses are not political domain. Guns ,on the other hand….
well…we’ll talk about that another time.