Adapted from a recent online discussion.
My husband and I have two children (5 and 7). We also own firearms, both for sport and personal protection. 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, 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.
Knowing about guns and how dangerous they are is good for kids! My kids have never been tempted to tamper with the guns, because they know the dangers.
I don’t want this mother spreading gossip that I am a crazy gun-owning bad mom all over town! Am I doing something wrong? What can I say to her and her child?
Guns in the Home
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, vs. two adults looking to protect a viewpoint.
Then accept her now-more-informed decision, even if it doesn’t change.
I am very busy — full-time job, I run an arts program on the side, I help care for my elderly parents, and my husband and I are in the middle of a home renovation we’re doing ourselves. When friends get in touch with something urgent, I try to respond right away. But if they’re just saying, “Let’s get coffee,” sometimes it can take me a week or two to reply.
Most of my friends seem okay with this, but my friend “Sara” gets very upset when I don’t reply within a day or so. I try to, but I’m not always successful.
Am I being horribly inconsiderate? Or is it okay to occasionally not reply right away?
Horribility is in the eye of the beholder. Some won’t take silences personally, some will.
If you value Sara, then you have a choice: Make an exception for her and reply immediately every time, or sit down with her and explain the delays aren’t personal — it’s just busy-ness. Then let her say her piece.