In December, the father of a family who planned to vacation with Shelby's grown daughter and her family called to ask if there were any weapons in the Shelby family's Florida vacation home.
"I was impressed," Shelby said, noting that he'd told the man that he had a well-secured shotgun in the home. The vacation went on as planned, Shelby said.
He later attended a Gun Safe Mom event and supports Smith's mission.
As for Daggett, she said her friends responded well to the gun question the first time she asked it. The avid hunters assured her that all of their weapons were locked up in a gun safe.
She's gotten better at asking the question since. It's part of her standard rundown now, anytime she ponders allowing her kids to visit another family's home.
With a curious 4-year-old daughter she calls "the raccoon" and a 13-year-old son -- the age of so many school shooters and victims -- she feels like she doesn't have much choice.
"I could so easily see my son or one of his friends picking up a pistol and saying, 'This is so cool!' " Daggett said.
Starting the conversation
Here are some tips from Knox and Smith about having the gun conversation with other parents:
-- Start by having a family policy on firearms safety that you're already following, Smith said. "If you're not thinking about it ahead of time, you don't really know what you like or don't like," she said.
-- Don't make gun safety a bigger deal than, say, pool safety or food allergies, but do make sure to clearly cover it, Knox said. "Blend it in with other topics," she suggests. "It's important to not make this too heavy or a subject that shouldn't be talked about."
-- Don't make judgments. "It's not just what you say and the content of your question, but the manner you express your question," Smith said.
-- Don't worry about offending other parents, Knox says. She said the group's field work shows gun owners are rarely offended by the question, but concern about opening up a rift between families keeps some parents from talking about the issue. "It's a barrier of anticipation," she says.
-- Have the conversation when kids aren't around, Smith suggests. She recounted the experience of a friend who brought up the issue when her son's young friends were around. Their mother froze -- she hadn't told the children that a gun was in the home. It turns out the weapons were secured, Smith said. "But she didn't want the kids to know they were there." Whether you agree with that or not, respect the other family's values, Smith said.