Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Parenting & Relationships

Tell Me About It: Mom who owns guns comes under fire

Q: My husband and I have two children (5 and 7). We also own firearms. We are shining examples of how to do gun ownership right. We have attended safety courses, passed background checks, and are fully permitted. We also keep the guns safely locked away at all times. Without the code to the safe, they are not accessible.

In addition to this, our children know exactly where the guns are stored, know not to go near guns, and know exactly how dangerous guns are.

My 7-year-old apparently told his best friend that we own guns, and the child told his mother, who called to inform me that her child will not be allowed in our house anymore and that I should be ashamed of myself for owning guns in a house full of kids.

I don't want this mother spreading gossip that I am a crazy gun-owning bad mom all over town. What can I say to her and her child?

Guns in the Home

A: You can invite the mother over to show her your setup, so she can make an informed decision.

She's not the only one making what sound like politically tinged assumptions, by the way. She assumed the guns are handled irresponsibly, without bothering to ask. You, meanwhile, assume your children "know not to go near guns." You have told them this, but can't assume they will heed it. That's the whole point of locked safes: The idea that a 5-year-old will do exactly as taught is ludicrous. Some will, but which ones? Nobody knows except in hindsight, when often it's too late. So, you get a safe and lock it.

Since both of you could stand to tone down your certainty that you're the one doing the right thing, have her come look for herself. Then, discuss the gun issue as two adults who both believe you are protecting your kids, versus two adults looking to protect a viewpoint.

Then accept her now-more-informed decision, even if it doesn't change.

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