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Children know the truth
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Child safety is not No Nonsense Self-Defense's major focus.
It is very much a specialized field. A field that
When I reached out to a well known authority on this subject for reliable resources to send you to, I was informed there is entirely too much money making and bad information. Which leaves you in a quandary. How do you find information relevant to your needs?
Let's start by asking a basic question: How much danger is your child really in?
For you to accurately assess that we have to cut through much of the fear mongering for funding that surrounds this subject. We're also going to start out in the deep end.
Kidnapping, Missing Children
Your child is far less likely to be 'abducted' by a stranger than by family members. An overwhelming number of 'missing children' are actually taken in custodial disputes, unfit parenting issues (e.g., the child moves in or is taken by grandparents) or are runaways. Yet these numbers are all rolled together to create the scare over 'child abduction.' While yes, children are kidnapped by strangers, the numbers are almost statistically meaningless in comparison to custodial interference.
Still buying the marketing about the danger your child is in from stranger kidnapping? U.S. Department of Justice.
If you notice teens face dangers of sexual assault from a much bigger proportion of acquaintances. This is more in line with the realities of rape (A super majority of rape victims 'know' their attacker). If your concern is over a teen's safety regarding sexual assault, we suggest you go visit the NNSD's Rape Hub.
Child Gun Deaths / Injuries.
A cornerstone of the 'gun control' lobby's strategy is "Save the Children." Then they proceed to supply horrendous numbers about dead children due to firearms. What they don't tell you is how they get these 'numbers.'
Usually by rolling together gang warfare (homicides done over control of drug sales, rip offs, robberies and other gansta' issues), suicide, and accidental deaths. Then there's the issue of 'what's a child?' You imagine a dead six year-old, when one oft-quoted study published (later withdrawn) by the CDC about 'children' dying by guns identified anyone up to the age of 23 as a child. Lies, damned lies...
Having said that, the greatest age group in danger from firearms are teens. Even then, it's not cut and dried.
Going big picture, something that is not normally tracked on a national level is the criminal records of 'murder victims.' For that, you usually have to go to state or municipal sources. When you do you'll discover that depending on the area, between 80 to 100% of 'victims' have criminal records -- and this includes 'children.'
Gang members -- who are often under 21 -- have a bad habit of shooting each other. Also gangsta's often open fire on other criminals when their targets are surrounded by family. So yes, that dead two year-old girl was innocent. Her seventeen year-old drug dealing father, who was both holding her and the target, not so much. But just try to get that child away. (Our family court system is a mess.)
Oh, by the way, the guns being used in these shootings are illegal/ stolen/ ghost guns. Felons and children aren't allowed to possess firearms. So we're already talking outside the law and beyond so-called 'gun control measures.' Basically, America doesn't have a gun problem, we have a gang and armed criminal problem. Many of them are under 21. Keeping your kid out of gangs and the drug business does wonders to reduce his/her chances of being shot.
You should know a majority of 'firearm deaths' -- of any age -- are suicide, not homicide. The exact numbers vary from year to year, but this majority remains constant. Lumping them all under 'gun deaths' boosts the numbers without distinguishing between homicide and suicide.
Suicide is another issue beyond the purview of NNSD, but know teens have a higher suicide rate than most other groups (followed by individuals past 50). So guns, teens and suicides are very much an issue.
You should also know there are -- yearly -- over three million reported suicide attempts. While the numbers of completed suicides has been increasing (again varies yearly) in comparison to 3,000,000+ attempts, 45,000 successes isn't that big of a number. However, the reason I tell you this is because of those successes an average of 50% are done with guns -- usually by males. So guns and suicides, yes, there's an issue. However, when I went digging into the numbers for one year, I discovered while there were three million-plus attempted suicides by other means, there were only one-hundred- ninety- seven attempts with guns.
If you need a visual, that's 197 versus 3,000,000+.
In essence, when someone is serious about committing suicide, odds are good they're going to go for a gun. So if you have someone with emotional issues in your home, either get the guns out or secure them in a safe/lockbox that only you know the combination for. (Keys can be stolen.)
Oh, and when it comes to both attempted and accomplished suicides, if someone is emotionally distraught, you'll get far better results if you control access to prescriptions and booze as stringently as you do firearms. That combo is the supermajority of attempts and almost half the successes. In fact, you might want to be more controlling about prescriptions and booze.
This brings us to 'accidental' shootings of and by children.
A term that makes firearm instructor's teeth is 'accidental discharge.' They use it because... well, not insulting paying students is a good business strategy. However, among themselves, instructors dismiss the idea of these being an accident and refer to negligent discharge. Somebody screwed up.
Well if a child or non-criminal teen gets a hold of a gun somebody screwed up. Usually because the gun owner did not take appropriate safety and storage measures. These mistakes are often done in the name of "If I need it, I need it fast" and "MY child knows better."
Simply stated, the inside of kids brains are still pink. Sure they know they're not supposed to touch it, but...
Still another issue is forbidden fruit. Does your child have firearm safety training or are your orders just 'don't touch it?' Yes a child with safety protocols and firearm training is less likely to make the same mistakes another child without such training. (While we're at it, it wouldn't hurt for many adults to get the same training.)
Other times, they are too young to know better and the find a parent's loaded and cocked gun somewhere and bad thing happen. (I know of a grandmother who was shot through the car seat because her daughter put her purse --with a gun in it-- next to the child safety seat.)
Fortunately there are many storage methods readily available for cheap. I'm not just talking gun safes, but also storage boxes that allow for fast access -- if you know the combination. If you're going to have a firearm in the house, especially for home defense, with children (even visiting) we HIGHLY recommend you invest in such safety measures.
Unfortunately, when it comes to bullying we are again left with few reliable resources that will benefit your child -- especially tweens and teens.
What we can say is that the best defense against bullying are strong social ties, boundaries and people skills. Young people struggle with these and are trying to build social status and a sense of identity. Unfortunately in our current environment, this jockeying for position is often deemed as bullying instead of just a natural part of growing up and developing a sense of self. There also exists some serious questions about how much the bullying issues we now face arise from current child rearing, conflict avoidant teaching and letting institutions and organizations set the standards of the subject. In essence, are we raising our children to be victims of bullying by teaching them not to stand up for themselves? Or worse, putting them in situations where they are punished when they do?
So where is your child going learn how to do this? Well, the real answer is his or her best source is from you. Children model the behavior they see and understand (especially about what they perceive as power). If you don't know how to stand up for yourself -- or can't explain it -- we recommend you take a look at some of the books in the columns next to this one. If nothing else, they'll help you better explain to your children these necessary skills.
A bullying project from us is in the works, but the issue is much more complicated than you might imagine-- particularly because of Zero Tolerance policies in many schools.
Having said that, there are a few points that you must consider if your child is being bullied or harassed at school. Hand in glove with these are issues you, as a parent, must consider before following anyone's advice about what to tell your children regarding their safety and how to handle bullies and violence. Starting with is the only option they are allowed to run to a authority figure and complain? Not just 'what's the lesson in that,' but also how does it help your child develop necessary life skills -- especially about boundary setting and fear?
Teenagers are encouraged to read both the links and the information on this Web site. Many of the problems they face will be a blend between adult violence and some of the issues discussed here.
Don't Lie To Your Children
For example, is someone, who with honestly and sincerity passes on something a liar told him/her, also a liar?
You may not think so, but your child won't ... especially if what you told him or her, resulted in your child getting beat up or encouraged harassment.
We bring this issue up because often parenting puts you into a position that you must deal with problems that you have no idea about. Usually about subjects that you accepted answers, assumptions and ways of thinking on. And luckily these were never challenged or put to the test. This not an insult, but rather a statement both on the human conditioning and parenting.
And then your child comes to you looking at you for wisdom and advice, because he or she IS having this kind of problem. And the general response is to reply with socially acceptable (and in other circumstances, generally true) homilies and clichés.
While in adult society these statements usually make for peaceful co-existence, in the worlds of children, teenagers (and criminals) these same rules are not only not effective, but they actually tend to encourage further bad behavior. Now your child has a bigger problem AND he or she doesn't consider you a reliable source to go to get help from.
Ted Truscott of "Defend Yourself 101" has a piece he calls " Lies to Bleed For: Myths Your Parents Taught You" that takes a sobering look at many of the cliche and bad information parents unwittingly give to children for dealing with bullies. The last thing you want to do is undermine your credibility with your child about 'coming to you for help.' Later on the same page, he discusses issue teens need to think about as well.
"Zero Tolerance Policies" AREN'T for Your Child's Protection
The raw truth is if your child is in a bullying/self-defense situation at school, your child is in as much danger of being expelled as the bully. If you keep this idea in mind, you will have a much easier time dealing with the administration and keeping your child safe. Find out how to use this policy to your advantage and get results.
Is Your Teen Afraid To Call You For Help?