Do you keep guns in your home?
This was the question a fellow parent asked me the other day, in anticipation of an upcoming sleepover.
I was struck not so much by the question, as I was by this particular parent's obvious discomfort and embarrassment by feeling the need to ask, anticipating my potential reaction.
I answered pleasantly and quickly, alleviating the parent's concerns. The conversation was short and comfortable - in other words, my answer was along the lines of: No, I don't, and no worries about asking me. But I wondered afterward, why the initial discomfort and embarrassment? Is this where we have gotten as a society? Don't we, as parents, have the right to ask whatever it is we need to know of others who are hosting our children in their home or elsewhere? Particularly if it's overnight? Particularly if there is a potential concern over firearms, as well as the related responsibility and safety?
I have no interest in second amendment debates or more pointless arguments about gun control. Whether or not you keep guns in your home, to the extent that the law allows, is clearly a personal choice, but it's not my point. My point is one of a parenting issue; how as a parent, you have the right to ask the controversial, embarrassing, and potentially offensive questions when it pertains to the well-being of your child. I, for one, have no issues with this question or others like it. I'm not the least bit offended, and I want other parents to feel comfortable asking me such things. The bottom line is, if you're not comfortable with guns or similar things when it comes to your child, that is absolutely within your rights to make that clear and act accordingly.
Furthermore, it may be your personal choice to keep guns in your home, to the extent that the law allows, but if my child is visiting, it is also my personal choice to ask if you keep guns, how you keep them, and to let you know whether or not I am comfortable with that, and if I will then allow my children in your house. And vice versa.
No one, let alone a parent, should ever be made to feel uncomfortable asking these questions. And if you're dealing with someone who makes you feel uncomfortable asking? Then eff them. You don't need them in your life, and you certainly don't need them in your child's life, either.
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