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Before the Play date:
How to Start a Conversation About Firearms

Bringing Up the Tough Topic

Are you embarrassed to inquire about guns? Don't be: 97 percent of parents, including gun owners, wouldn't mind the question at all, reports PAX, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending gun violence. Here are ways PAX suggests you can broach the subject.

  • "At our last doctor's appointment, my pediatrician asked me about gun storage. And I haven't stopped thinking about it since."
  • "I feel really weird asking this, and maybe you'll think I'm totally neurotic, but..."
  • "I want you to know that I've spoken to my kids about not playing with guns. Is this an issue that you've thought about?"
  • "All of us in the PTA (or in our church group or some such) have committed to making sure our children are safe. So I've gotten in the habit of asking everyone..."
  • "My child is so curious and gets into everything. I worry what would happen if he came across a gun."
  • "Did you see that newspaper article about the boy who found his father's hidden gun?"
  • "I had no idea until recently that about 35 percent of households with children have a gun. So I've started asking other parents before Henry plays at their home."
For more information and ways to keep your child safe from guns check out the Asking Saves Kids Toolkit at

Copyright © 2007. Used with permission from the October 2007 issue of Parents magazine.