The Cornered Cat
Kids say the darnedest things

Before I got married, I had six theories about bringing up children. Now I have six children and no theories. – John Wilmot

When my kids were little, I told them that “gun talk” was kind of like “bathroom talk.” That is, we aren’t ashamed of our firearms and there’s nothing wrong with them, just like there’s nothing wrong or shameful about needing to use the potty sometimes. But other people sometimes feel funny when we talk about those things, so we only talk about them to the people we live with.

That worked for my sons when they were around ages three or four. As they got a little older, and started talking about “bad guys,” I gave them a fantasy-almost-reality idea they could play with: “There might be a bad guy spy around! We should never ever talk about [blah blah blah] so that the bad guy spy won’t find out…”  (This, of course, is the literal truth: we don’t talk about firearms with unknown others because we never know if the sweet person we’re talking to actually has a criminal family member who might be looking for a place to rob.)

I’m pressed for time, so the rest of today’s free ice cream comes in the form of a question for you to answer for each other:

If you have kids, how have you taught your kids not to talk to outside others about your firearms? What tips would you give a young mom on this topic?

2 Responses to Kids say the darnedest things

  1. Old NFO says:

    I taught my kids about privacy early and guns were part of that privacy discussion. You don’t brag about what you have, you don’t tell other kids about your stuff and you don’t talk about what momma and daddy have either.

  2. Wyld_Goose says:

    This seemed to be the best place to post this. I actually first wrote this to post on the Cornered Cat facebook page, but rethought it after realizing some people I would not want to see it, might possibly read it. I think the “who” will become apparent as you read.

    Though my genetics should allow me to have a full set of hair until I’m well within old age, I’m starting to fear of early balding due to increased pulling out of my hair over my wife and her outright hysteria of guns. Just this week alone there have been two children’s deaths due to firearms here in Florida. The first was a 4 year old who was visiting at his aunt’s house, found the weapon and shot himself. The other was a 16 year old “accidentally” shooting his younger 14 year old brother. I say “accidentally” because I believe in teaching children about guns whether you choose to own one or not, because sometime in their lives, they will encounter one. There is nothing “accidental” about being negligible in a parent’s duties to raise and teach children about life. No parent wants their child to ever get burned, but is it logical to have such a hysteria about not wanting the child to be burned, that you would banish any devise capable of causing a burn from the house? You know, get rid of the lighters, oven, stove, microwave, hot water heater, central heat and possibly any carpet because it may cause a carpet burn. No one wants a child to get burned, but we don’t rid our selves of life-sustaining devices, we train and teach our children the dangers of misuse and warnings. We’ve all had to do the “no baby, it’s hot! Can you say hot? Ouch hot!”

    It’s almost impossible to bring this subject up in most forums, because you always have the “manly” gun owners who speak up with such things like “well that’s why I divorced my first wife” or “you need to put you foot down and say ‘I’m the man of the house, and this is the way it’s going to be woman!'” (which I assume is the cause of the first divorce) or they say such things like “well that’s why she knew I was a gun owner and would always be, before we started dating”. All in all, from my experience, most gun owning guys fall into two categories, either they are just plain a-holes when it comes to the subject of gun hysteria from a wife, or they stay quiet because they are in the same boat. Ultimately, no real answers. The reality is, in today’s times, having psychotic fear of guns (not just a normal fear or rather respect of guns) is not normally due to a earlier tragedy in life dealing with a gun. (Unless that tragedy is referring to society scaring the hell out of people about guns)

    It’s not that I don’t see logic from my wife most of the time. She posts links to 2nd Amendment subjects on my facebook wall, and verbally rallies against things like the 2nd Amendment being stripped away. It ends up being the case that she believe in everyone else’s right to be gun owners, just not in our house, especially after having children. AARRGG!

    After seeing the news stories of the children shooting themselves or another child, she chimes in with “and that’s why we will never have a gun in this house”. I rebuttal with “I blame the parents for never exposing the children to guns, thus creating a taboo object they are never to touch, look at or think about, and setting up a situation that will always happen when a child is in a room with an object they are to never touch and no one is around to tell them not to”. Her counter: “What about the 4 year old, he wasn’t even at home. He was at his aunt’s house?” And my counter “Exactly! Even if the parents choose not to be gun owners, the are neglect in there duties to teach about guns because kid-shooting don’t always happen at the home of the parent gun owner. Kids do visit other people’s houses.” Now this is where the discussion ends, because it enters fantasy and if I attempt to argue against fantasy, things get nasty. Her nail in the coffin argument at this point becomes “well, that’s why our kids will never go to someone else’s house that owns a gun!”. [face palm]

    This is the end-all answer to any reasoning or analogies used. Here in Florida we have a lot of pools. I saw this example as being the greatest when it comes to teach children about guns. There are a lot of pool drownings by children every year. Even with strict regulations of having pool gates to prevent children from getting near the pool (regulation of gun locks and trigger locks) many parents opt to enroll their children, as young as less then 1 years old, in swimming courses. The idea is that with all of the regulations and laws dealing with gates, locks and such to prevent drownings, child always seem to find away around those things and may still find themselves face to face with entering a pool without and adult around to quickly save them. They teach them to flip over on their back and float. (Do you see the correlation I was going with when it comes to teaching children about swimming with teaching children about guns?) Can you guess the response to my perfect analogy? “Well, if this like owning a gun, we will never own a pool nor ever let our child ever go to someone’s house that owned a pool.” I don’t think Rogaine works on guys that have physically ripped their hair out.

    So, I’m left with my current situation where my handgun is safely tucked away at a friends house two towns away, where it is conviently located if I ever need it quickly in the case of a break-in. I will not just simply bring the gun to my house and hide it, hoping never to have to use it in fear of my wife finding out it’s in the house. (“Don’t you think she would be happy if it was needed and you had it?”) I don’t know, but I do know what would happen if she was to ever found it. What’s the point of having a gun your hiding from your wife? I can’t teach my children about guns and gun safety with a gun that isn’t supposed to exist in the house. I can’t make sure my wife knows where the gun is, what combination to use to get the gun out and how to load, cock and fire it in case she is home alone with the children and a home invader comes knocking, with a gun that isn’t supposed to exist in the house. I’m perplexed at the concept that some guys would simply say to kick the wife to the curb, as if the the owning of a gun is more important in their lives then the access to a gun to protect their family is. “I love my wife so much i want to have a gun in the house to protect her with it. But if she has a problem with the gun, she can get the hell out. (where I can no longer protect her) As long as I can have my gun.” If in case it seemed that I was only pointing out the irrational in wives, that last quote should sum up the irrational idiocy in husbands. I don’t bring the gun into the house, because I love my wife, no matter how unreasonable she may seem to me over the subject. I don’t and never want to start to lie to her. She is my partner in all things. When it comes to guns, especially guns, she needs to be my partner with it, if there is to ever one in the house. I will not go behind her back and sneak one in because “it’s my duty as a man to protect my family no matter if my wife irrationally chooses to for herself and our children to live as victims”. I have to guess that a lot of the guns that were used by children to shoot themselves or another child was a gun snuck into the house and hidden. Children have excellent skills in finding things they were never suppose to find. (I would say wives do too)

    So I do what I can in bringing up the subject from time to time (at the appropriate times) and try to get a dialog going about guns and having a rational fear of an object that is unfamiliar. I say rational because guns are scary! I too had no experience with a hand gun, and until becoming familiar with one, was hesitant to just walk over and pick one up. I wanted to know everything about that gun before I would even touch it. I get it! Rational fear exist. It’s natural and healthy. It’s when it becomes irrational, the problems begin. And when after months of making inroads over the subject within one week have 2 stories of children dying at the hands of a carelessly owned handgun, I find myself back at square one, possibly square -5! So with that all said, if you were hoping that I would be that one guy who had an answer, sorry. I’m just venting.

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