Friday, April 23, 2010

Is My Gun Your Business?

I just finished reading this post about having guns in the home where young children live and play.

I can't speak for everyone else. I can only speak for myself. Well, really, I guess I'm speaking for Texan Papa since he is the gun-owner in our house.

We have guns. Mainly we just have shotguns and rifles for hunting (and more, really just for collecting.) We store the guns in a gun locker, unloaded. The ammo is in a completely different place than the guns (not, say, on an adjacent shelf. It's in another room, I think.)

I don't mind the guns being here. Me, I'd never shoot anyone or anything. I'd much sooner pick up a knife or baseball bat to defend myself. But Texan Papa loves to hunt and loves even more to protect his family.

So, I'm wondering, when kids come over, should I let their parents know about all this? Should I ask the little girl from down the street, "Oh honey, did your mom say it was okay to come over? She knows about OUR GUNS, right??" Or, should I just keep my mouth shut? This is the coward's way out, but I'd really love to not force the issue with a kid.

What does your gut tell you?

13 comments:

THE OLD GEEZER said...

I would just keep my mouth shut unless the subject comes up.

I learned to hunt when I was a kid on my grandfather's farm in Texas. Those were some of the best days of my life.

God bless The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution

Gigi said...

This is a sticky one. I refused to allow guns in my home when M-C was small - and this was just one of the reasons why. But, your guns are locked (and, I assume the children can't get to the key). The ammo is elsewhere. You've made your home safe for the children in that regard. So what would be the point in bringing it up? I'd let it go unless you are asked point blank.

Jess said...

I never thought to bring it up either. I guess I just thought since we had them locked away and no one but hubs and I know where the key is we are good. I'm interested to hear what others say.

Raising Madison said...

I think in your situation there is no reason to tell people. If you have them properly locked, stored & away from the kiddos then there is no danger. I say this as someone who will never have guns in our own home but I don't have any judgement for others.

Now, I will note the day we interviewed a DAYCARE provider & she casually mentioned how she kept a loaded gun under her mattress. Her husband was a cop and she watches kids in her home, and she thought this was okay. My husband and I practically lost our cool.

Swizz said...

When I was growing up, my parents asked. That was one of the first questions they asked when we were invited to play at someone else's house. If they were locked up, we were allowed. If not...a no go.

Honestly, I think it is the responsibility of the parent who is visiting to ask the questions of the parent who is hosting. And to tell their kids to stay away from guns.

The responsibility of the parent who is hosting is to make SURE the kiddos are safe...in EVERY aspect! If your guns are locked up and unloaded AND the ammo is locked up somewhere else, then the kids are more likely to get hurt on the trampoline or in the pool than from the gun. Just my opinion.

GunDiva said...

When the kiddos were little, I kept a loaded gun on me at all times (we were being stalked). The key was that my gun was physically with me AT ALL TIMES; there was never a time when it was unattended for a friend of the kids to find or play with.

I never brought it up, but would honestly answer if anyone asked. It's my Constitutional Right to own and carry a gun and it's my God Given Right to protect my children from a crazy stalker.

Surprisingly, none of the parents who asked and got an honest answer had any problems with it that they told me about. Their kids were still allowed to come over and play with my kids. I was honestly surprised that I never had any resistance.

Emily said...

Personally, I think it's the other parents responsibility to find out. Guns are completely legal in the county and you (or Texan Papa) as the right to own one. If a parent does not feel comfortable allowing his/her child in a house with guns, then it's their responsibility to ask and then make the decision for themselves.
My husband is also a hunter and has shotguns. They are all locked, in a safe place, and we have no ammo in the house.
Wait a minute, though, y'all live in TX...I thought it was a law there that you HAD to own a gun. lol...kidding!

Foursons said...

Hmmm...I don't know. I will be reading your responses.

Jennifer said...

As long as you live in TX I would think that people would expect you to have a gun in the house (I do, other parts of the country are probably different) and I wouldn't say anything unless asked. I think the most important thing to teach your child gun safety so that they know how to act around guns whether they are in your house or someone else's.

FishHawk said...

Well, I was raised in a house with enough weapons and ammo to outfit a small militia, and there was absolutely no concern over having them locked up. Furthermore, I can't recall ever hearing of anyone in the area (mostly southwestern Missouri) having having their weapons locked away. For it is hard enough shooting a varmint getting into the chicken pen in the middle of the night without having to also fight with a lock and key to get something to shoot, and it was a hard and fast rule that you just didn't mess with someone else's weapons unless given specific permission to do so, which was learned as soon as you were big enough to pick up even a knife--let alone a rifle or a shotgun! Of course, I realize that it is supposed to be a different world now (I'm 52), and that grieves me deeply.

Lue H said...

My son collected knives when he was young. He had large machetes, hunting knives and folding knives given to him by relatives. He kept them put away in a drawer and the larger ones were stored under his bed. One day a little boy came home with him to play. I had never seen the boy before and asked him where he lived and for his parent's names. He stayed and played for hours with our son, leaving about supper time. Within 20 minutes, a woman drove up my driveway and began screaming at me because there were knives in my son's room. I asked her if she had any idea where her son had been for the last 3 hours and why she had not come looking for him earlier? I assured her that they were not playing battle with knives. My son told me that he had only shown his collection to the boy. My son learned that he could not show his collection to anyone without my permission in the future. I'm glad he didn't tell the kid that we have alot of guns as well!!!!! He would not have shown the guns at all. Both of my boys grew up around guns and know that they are not toys, but most other kids do not know better. He learned that day to not show off his collection. Needless to say the little boy never came back to play at our house.

Ash said...

Wow - interesting question for sure. I have to be honest and say I've never thought of asking. But my kids are younger and I don't send my Oldest (7) on solo playdates too often, yet.

I do know our neighbors are armed to the teeth. I count on it quite frankly :-) But I also know they are extremely cautious and responsible, so I don't think twice about it.

You got me thinking though. I'm going to go with making it the visiting parent's responsibility to ask - volunteering information when you know for sure the guns are locked up safe and tight seems TMI.

That might be the Texan in me talking though.

Wendy said...

We have an arsenal here. Parents sometimes figure this out when they drop by & hubby has an automatic rifle disassembled on the counter.

All of ours are in a safe, locked up. The only one that is ever out & about is the one that my husband carries on his person (he is licensed). We don't advertise it, because we don't want to make ourselves a target for a robbery, but if anyone asks we let them know that all the guns are in a locked safe.

One girl came over & Dolly told her that she owned a gun. They decided to go looking for it, a HUGE no-no in our home. I realized what they were doing (and they got heavily scolded) & I let the girl's mom know later that she was curious & they were looking, but that they were never in any danger of finding it or laying hands on it.

I would strongly recommend that you put them under lock & key. Kids get curious, and sometimes they forget themselves & forget the rules. Even though they couldn't have gotten to the gun, and wouldn't have been able to find ammo even if they did, I don't ever want them any closer to that capability than they came that day.