Should a mother own a firearm to protect her children at home?

Context: USA

So my question is: should a mother own a firearm to protect her children at home? This is assuming that she will go through training and regularly practice at the shooting range and will follow all laws pertaining to the purchase, ownership, and use of firearms in her state.

Yes or no, and why?

Owning a firearm with young children around is dangerous. They are likely to harm themselves or someone else with it. And any intruder is likely to steal it and use it against the family.

May I ask why you are questioning if a mother should? Is this any different than a father doing so? If properly trained, licensed and the weapon is secured when not in use then yes- a family could certainly choose to do this for protection and depending on what area of the USA one lives in it may be uncommon NOT to be doing this.

Prudential Judgment.

Well this is more than hypothetical. I used to sport shoot, and really enjoyed it. I competed in shooting clays and skeet as a form of recreation. I had my own shotgun and gear and everything. And I went to pistol ranges with friends and practiced with their revolvers. I enjoyed it immensely and I also never felt afraid of a home invasion, knowing I was armed and well-practiced at the use of my shotgun.

However, when I became a pregnant, I stopped handling shot because of the lead concerns. And then I asked my father-in-law to keep my gun for me in his safe until I decided what I wanted to do. That was over a decade ago.

We have ended up with SWAT on our lawn due to a murder next door (killer committed suicide rather than be taken by police, after being holed up for hours). There are concerns about living where we do and needing to defend ourselves that I won’t elaborate here, but suffice to say that I need to revisit these questions and I would like some Catholic opinions.

Use of a gun safe is a way to prevent such from happening. Intruders are usually already planning on using weapons against the family in the home.

Can you offer any other reasons why it might not be prudent? Thanks :slight_smile:

That’s a horse of a different color (or a gun of a different caliber). It sounds like it would be quite easy for you to get some practice in and pick up where you left off.

Given the circumstances you mentioned I would absolutely go ahead and do what you need to do for your personal protection. We don’t have weapons in our home, but I was talking with DH last nights about what I would do if there was a town lock down like in San Bernardino. All I could do is lock the doors, put the house alarm on and stay in the basement away from the Windows. Of course this makes me and the kids trapped should someone come in the house and not be scared off by the alarm. My only protection would be the locks and a cell phone to call for help. Not very comforting.

Yes, it is fine to own a gun to protect your family. As long as it isn’t lying around for the children to be able to get it, there is nothing wrong with it.

I’d imagine one intending on being a responsible gun owner would not just leave their weapon lying out where the little ones can get hold of it. And possibly even, and I know this is wild, teach their children how to be safe and responsible around guns.

I’m curious as to whether you have any evidence to back up that it’s “likely” for a homeowner to have their own gun turned on them by an intruder.

Let me quote the Leigh Anne Tuohy character from The Blind Side…

“I’m a member of the NRA, I’m in Bible study with the DA, and I’m ALWAYS packin’…”

It’s prudential judgment, but from what you’ve written I think it might be *prudent *to have a keypad entry gun safe with a pistol in it in your neighborhood!

In my small town where people don’t even lock their doors half the time, we had a series of 8 violent home invasion robberies last year, and they all occurred in broad daylight. They caught the people, but trust me… I seriously considered it because I work from home and my husband is often on a part of the farm away from the house.

:eek: Given the other things you’ve shared about trying to cut back and limit possessions overall, plus a desire for more mobile lifestyle, I wouldn’t get a firearm. But the events you describe sound scary so I can see why you may be thinking about protection of your family! Let’s hope and pray that was just a random occurrence that won’t be repeated!

Considering I lock up the scissors and knives in my house, I obviously would be extremely careful to lock up any firearms as well, but I would want an gun safe with a touch pad for quick access in an emergency.

And to place it all in context, we are nearby a city that had a horrific mass murder and also near a city that is a named ISIS target. Those tend to be public places, though.

It is a very good idea to get a gun considering your surroundings. You wouldn’t want to regret it if you happen to need it.

Thank you all for your feedback so far. I wasn’t quite sure, as a convert, whether it was truly permissible to own weapons for self-defense.

When seconds count, the police are always just minutes away.

There is no reason why it would be “impermissible” to own a firearm, subject to all local laws. The Church recognizes self-defense.

However, self defense and child security are cross purposes. A weapon in a gunsafe would not be easily available in a crisis situation. The two requirements need to be balanced out.

ISIS notwithstanding, a child is far more endangered, IIUC, by a weapon in the home than by an act of terrorism. So “count the costs” carefully.

GOD Bless and ICXC NIKA.

I don’t see any problem with it as long as the gun is kept safe from the children.

If you do decide to purchase a firearm, I would highly recommend regular PRACTICAL training if available in your area. While regular range time with your firearm is good, it may not adequately prepare you if, God forbid, the time comes when you have to use it in a high-stress situation to defend yourself and your children.

as long as its not casually left somewhere in reach of a child (like that tragedy where dad left the gun on the bed and the child found it and shot himself).

Keep safety on when its not in use.

Older children should know its a weapon, NOT a toy. Its for defense not to play cops and robbers or cowboys and indians. Do not ever leave it within each of a little child that would think its a toy.

This is just plain common sense. Too many trageies have happened because the parents were not smart with where they kept their guns.

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