NRA ‘Home Defense’ Course Instructs Audience to Store Guns in Kids’ Room

Scott Keyes and Zack Beauchamp
Think Progress / News Report
Published: Sunday 5 May 2013
However, children are wounded and killed by accidental gunshots with horrifying frequency.
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Gun owners should store a gun in their kids’ room, according to a ‘Home Defense Concepts’ seminar offered at the National Rifle Association’s Annual Meeting, comments that came just days after the fatal shooting of a two-year-old at the hands of her five-year-old brother.

The course was taught by Rob Pincus, who owns the popular firearm instruction company I.C.E. Training. Pincus argued that, in the event of a home invasion, parents would instinctually run to their children’s room anyway, they might as well have a gun stored there to kill two birds with one stone:

PINCUS: How about putting a quick-access safe in your kids’ room? [...] Good idea or bad idea? We have an emotional pushback to that. Here’s my position on this. If you’re worried that your kid is going to try to break into the safe that is in their bedroom with a gun in it, you have bigger problems than home defense. [Laughter] If you think that the kid who’s going to try to break into the safe because it’s in their room isn’t sneaking into your room to try to break into stuff, you’re naive and you have bigger problems than this. So let’s settle that issue and think about it. In the middle of the night, if I’m in the bathroom or getting a glass of water or in the bedroom or watching TV in the living room, if that alarm goes off and the glass breaks and the dog starts barking, what’s the instinct that most people are going to have, in regards to, “am I going to run across the house to get the gun, or am I going to run over here to help the screaming kid?” And if I’m going to go to the kid anyway, and I have an extra gun and an extra safe, why not put it in their closet?

Defensive gun use against home invasions are extremely rare. Many of the statistics commonly cited by the NRA and its allies are based on mathematically impossible calculations, and the best available evidence suggests that almost all criminals hit in gunfire were shot by other criminals.

However, children are wounded and killed by accidental gunshots with horrifying frequency. Roughly 900 kids were killed in gun suicides or accidents in 2010. A Center for Disease Control study of 30,000 incidents of children killed by accidental firearm discharge found kids 0-4 were 17 times more likely to be killed in a gun accident in the states with the four highest levels of gun ownership than those with the four lowest (the figure was 13 times for kids aged 5-14). Relatedly, a RAND Institute study found that only 39 percent of parents who own guns kept their guns “locked, unloaded, and separate from ammunition.”

Pincus teaches an intruder defense course in schools around the country.

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ABOUT Scott Keyes

Scott Keyes is an investigative researcher for at the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Scott went to school at Stanford University where he received his B.A. in Political Science and M.A. in Sociology. He has appeared on MSNBC and TBD Newstalk TV and been a guest on many radio shows. His writing has been published by The Atlantic, Politico, the Christian Science Monitor, and the Chronicle of Higher Education. Scott comes to DC from southwest Ohio, a state very near and dear to his heart.

ABOUT Zack Beauchamp

ZACK BEAUCHAMP is a Reporter/Blogger for He previously contributed to Andrew Sullivan’s The Dish at Newsweek/Daily Beast, and has also written for Foreign Policy and Tablet magazines. Zack holds B.A.s in Philosophy and Political Science from Brown University and an M.Sc in International Relations from the London School of Economics. He grew up in Washington, DC.

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13 comments on "NRA ‘Home Defense’ Course Instructs Audience to Store Guns in Kids’ Room"

Grant Martin

May 13, 2013 8:50pm

People who buy and use hand guns are all insane !
Complications why ?
The Earth is a Perfect Place to Live
The problem with the USA and the world is it's filled with Stupid People.
There is a technology 6 thousand years old that will fix this problem it is called
Give Until it Bleeds !

study everything on these sites - watch all the videos
cough up the money to learn TM properly & sit twice a day in silence for 20 minutes
nature will come to save us

Eat only organic food. Preferably food you have grown yourself.

Protect yourselves and let the dumb ones die off eating Stupid Food

If you live in the USA travel to Fairfield Iowa - see their plans
for the future of our dear world ... the light glows bright there.
Good luck !

Let's let the Smart, the Wise and Kind Rule the World for a change !

Lightning Joe

May 12, 2013 6:39pm

A "quick access" gun safe has only four numbers in it's combination. This means that there are "only" 9999 possible combinations.

Kids can count. AND kids have no consciences anyway, so EVERY parent has "bigger problems" according to this guy... He wants to put the safe where the kid can work on it every free unmonitored minute...

Pancho Villa

May 12, 2013 12:03pm



May 06, 2013 12:32pm

so sick of the nra and its looney tunes........that people can be duped by all their lies is astounding........they are lobbyists and nothing more......its all about making money for the gun makers......thats why they want the assault weapons also.......more money for them....its so despicable and pathetic that they give less than a raisin how many kids have to die......just for the love of money.


May 05, 2013 7:44pm

It's enough to make an adult weep in shame, reading this article. What in the world is the purpose of evolving toward a civil society if we are all going to arm ourselves to the teeth? People who hold these opinions are tremendous losers because they do not, and cannot, think beyond themselves.

I think we should wrap them up, with all their arms, and send them off to Afghanistan, or whereever, to protect the troops. After all, isn't that what they really want to do: shoot, shoot and shoot some more?


May 05, 2013 4:29pm

Reality just does not seem to matter any more. Very few home invasion robberies occur with the occupants at home. So if your home is burglarized and you own a gun, unless that gun is locked up tight you will have provided a criminal with a gun. Ooops! Now if your home is broken into while you are there, you can be sure that the criminal(s) were anticipating that and either they will shoot you dead before you can get to your gun or, since most of us humans care about life, they will take your gun away from you and then shoot you with it. Only a very few citizens have the training and will to kill someone, even when that someone means you harm.
Of course, the entire argument is pure nonsense as the proposal in Congress was to require background checks for the 40% of gun sales that are now exempt. Has it occurred to anyone that if you can't pass a background check you probably shouldn't be permitted to own a gun? If you illegally posses a gun and get caught with it, not only will it be taken from you, but you will probably do time as well. But hay, some folk just hanker to own guns.

Kootenay Coyote

May 05, 2013 2:05pm

Not even remotely sane counsel.

Eric Arthur Blair

May 05, 2013 1:51pm

The kinds of people who suggest or would do this shouldn't be reproducing anyway.


May 05, 2013 7:46pm

Trouble is, they're probably also the ones who would deny contraceptive use to those who want it.

Norman Allen's picture
Norman Allen

May 05, 2013 10:36am

The new NRA director seems to have declared "to hell with the 90% of the people, we want our freedom to kill at will when we want with guns" and substituted the word "FREEDOM" to incite emotions of those vehemently in love with their killing instruments.... In other words, NRA has declared war on the society which wants guns controlled as lethal drugs. However, lethal drugs kill fewer people than guns.... How do we knock sense into such nonsense?


May 05, 2013 10:25am

Fascinating how the author skips around the all-important "How about putting a quick-access safe in your kids’ room?". A SAFE. They're called a SAFE for a reason. Articles like this do nothing to advance the cause of common-sense, responsible discussion.


May 05, 2013 7:26pm

A SAFE can be opened by the owner, and if it has more than one firearm in it, it is unsafe to leave it open while there are children or other untrained family members in the room with you. That is how a sheriff recently experienced his wife dying at the hands of his pre-schooler - he was handling one gun and wasn't aware that his kid had taken another gun from the open safe. While I wouldn't mind rabid NRA fanatics giving themselves a Darwin award, it rarely happens that way - they usually end up being responsible for the Darwin award being given by or to a family member, most often a child, and that just seems really hard on the children. Too high a price for such paranoia - I'd rather take my chances on being caught in the house with an armed intruder, which is much more unlikely.

Mike Strong

May 05, 2013 10:21am

The same folks who brought us the "ticking time bomb" scenario/fantasy now bring us the "screaming kid" scenario/fantasy.