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No guns allowed

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
We had family visit last week. I have a relative who insists on traveling with a gun (he has a legal permit). Usually when they visit he leaves it locked in their car.

This time his car was having trouble and needed to see a mechanic when they arrived. He wanted to bring the gun in our house while his car was being fixed. I refused. I knew this put him in a predicament, but I honestly did not feel the solution was for me to do something I felt was unsafe.

This led to an argument. He offered to dis assemble it, lock it in a special case, and put it in our attic, car trunk, or other place out of reach from ds. I still wasn't comfortable with it. Dh agreed with me. I feel responsible for it if it's in my house (or car) and I am not willing to be responsible for a gun, period. I told him all of this but still he persisted. I suggested he leave it locked in his car (he refused, thinking the mechanic might steal it), and also offered to call the sherriff and find out if there is a place where gun owners can safely store their guns. He refused that too.

We wound up paying for a hotel room for them. I'm sure they think this was totally unnecessary and unreasonable. I'm sure everyone in the family will now here about how unfair we were for refusing to accomodate the gun.

So, do you think it was unfair?
post #2 of 22
I really have a lot of respect for you--you stuck by what you felt was right, even when it was really difficult to do.
post #3 of 22
Good for you!
post #4 of 22
i wouldn't have even paid for their hotel room! he knows you don't allow guns so he should have known that it wasn't coming in the house.
at least now the word will get out that you are not a woman who can be pushed around!
post #5 of 22
I wouldn't have paid for a hotel room either. That was quite generous of you.
post #6 of 22
I wouldn't let a gun in my house, either. Kudos to you for sticking to your guns and for being so generous - I wouldn't pay for a hotel either. I hope those who hear the story can see that part. I'm the freak of my family, by a long margin, so I know how it feels.
post #7 of 22
OK, maybe it is just because DH and I both have many relatives that hunt (not our favorite thing in the world but they do actually USE the meat and animal products, and seem happier to have the food than to have killed an animal, so we can live with it), but I think that I would allow a dissassembled and locked gun into my attic.

I think that if I felt so strongly about the matter that I wouldn't allow such a situation, where the safety was absolutely maximized, then I wouldn't let this man visit, either. It sounds far more dangerous for it to be locked in his car, assembled, just a key-turn away from disaster, than for it to be dissassembled and hidden, KWIM?

Then again, none of my relatives own pistols, they all own rifles, and they wouldn't ever take them on a family visit. It kind of freaks me out, unless this guy is in law enforcement anyway. I mean, it is one thing to have hunting rifles and use them for hunting, and quite entirely another to have a pistol you carry - for what? To shoot someone? I don't want someone who would carry a pistol "in case they needed to shoot someone" in my house, because that's just a wrong kind of attitude IMO.

But whatever else is going on here, it is YOUR house and if you are uncomfortable with the gun, that is YOUR call. If he knew in advance how you felt and still brought the gun, knowing that this situation was possible, then he totally shouldn't have pushed the issue and should have taken care of the matter himself. Whether he knew about it or not, he should have been responsible for finding somewhere else for it or for himself. If you say no guns, then the rule is no guns. It is your house and you have that right, and although I would have grudgingly allowed a locked dissassembled gun into my house, I by no means think that you were out of line not to.
post #8 of 22
sticking to your guns
No pun intended, right doulamoon?

Sorry, couldn't resist.
post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 
Well, so far I'm glad to see I didn't come off looking unreasonable to any of you

Nikirj--it does bother me that he insists on keeping a handgun, even when travelling. And it was sad to see him choose the gun over us. He is a very close relative, and I think it's important he be included in ds' life, so that is why we encourage him to visit despite this (they were here to celebrate ds' birthday).

As far as paying for the hotel--it was late, and they were arriving from out of town when the gun issue came up. They have helped us financially in the past, and I felt it was the right thing to do--it gave them a night to think things over without feeling stranded because of an argument.

They chose to stay at the hotel the following night, and we did not offer to pay for that (by then they could have found accomodations for the gun and come back to stay with us if they wanted too).

Anyway, even though I felt we did the right thing, it was upsetting to know we would not be respected. I'm sure it will only serve to convince them we truly are the oddballs of the family....
post #10 of 22
Well I'll be the minority. I think you went a little overboard. Realistically a dis-assembled gun isn't a gun any more it's just a bag of strangely shaped pieces of metal. I would much rather have an unloaded, disassembled gun in my attic than a loaded one in a glovebox in my driveway. It seems to me that you may have sacrificed the logical evaluation of what is/is not safe by elevating the physical object to a level of some mystical object that has the power to endanger you should you allow it to pass your threshhold.

I am sorry that you see this as 'choosing the gun over you'. I think it would have been really irresponsible of him to leave the gun in the car at a repair garage. He sounds to me like someone who takes difficulties of gun ownership very seriously and i respect that even if I would prefer he simply didn't own one.
post #11 of 22
At the risk of having a really unpopular opinion, provided the gun was taken apart and completely locked up in one or more locked locations, I would have had no problem with it. Frankly, I'd be more scared of someone getting a hold of the gun in one peice and using it for illegal purposes than someone who has gone through training, background checks, etc.

My parents both have CCW's - I assume my dad was carrying when visiting us a few weeks ago and had no problem with him locking the gun in the center console of our car when we all went for dinner at a place that served alcohol. (As per state law)

Then again, I am also getting a CCW and do fully adhere to all safety measures to that a loaded gun is in no way accessible to anyone but myself or my SO. When Gavin is old enough, he will be going to gun safety courses, and will be told (as is now, although a 4 month old obviously doesn't get it) to treat ALL guns as loaded and ready to fire, even if one is told it's "safe".
post #12 of 22
I will also be in the minority. I have to agree with kama'aina mama in that it would be very irresponsible and/or stupid of him to leave the gun in the car while its being repaired.

I really fail to see what the deal is about having a gun, they dont kill people, its the people who use them irresponsibly who do. A person can kill just as many people with their hands, car, kitchen knife, ax, ect. Should a person not allow those in their house also?

What about the fact that he feels that it is needed to protect himself while traveling, his need to protect him himself might be as strong as your feeling for not having a gun in the house.

Children can be very easily be taught a healthy respect for guns.

**Putting on my flame proof suit now**
post #13 of 22
the point is she has a long-standing "no guns in my house" rule.
post #14 of 22
I'm not sure that is the point. She herself asked if we think it was fair... which tells me that she has an inkling it may have been a bit much. I dunno. She has previously allowed this relative to bring a gun TO her house. I'm just saying that maybe she has drawn the line in the wrong place and that his proposition as to the storage of the gun on THIS occasion might be a more appropriate and safer method than the one they have already countenanced on numerous occasions.

There are people who feel that many public places and their own homes have a pretty solid, long standing 'keep your clothes on' rule but we get darn mad when they try to use it to prevent us from nursing. I'm just saying that rules virtually always have wiggle room when applied by people who want them to be sensible rather than dogmatic.
post #15 of 22
You're entitled to your opinion about guns in your house. Your relative must have known your feelings on the matter. It was very rude of him to PERSIST after you told him your feelings. Why bother feeling bad or unfair when this relative obviously had no concern for your comfort or feelings? I wouldn't have paid for the motel. My dh and his relatives all hunt. They have their guns locked away in gun safes. I asked dh what he thought about this and he doesn't understand why anyone needs to carry a gun around like that. If your relative needs to carry his gun around, he should have thought about contingency plans. He's an adult, it's his responsibility. It's kinda like someone travelling with their dog or pet to a house where they know someone is allergic to pets. I think it's rude of him. Whether or not the gun was safe or not in your house is not the issue. Good on you for being assertive.
post #16 of 22
Thread Starter 
Kama I never knowingly let him in our house before with the gun. This was the first time he visited without his car, which was where I knew he stored it.

FWIW I felt I was fair. It was an upsetting ordeal because I don't like confrontation, and I sometimes like feedback when I have a real-life issue on my mind. I would handle the situation the same way if it came up a second time.

I strongly object to what handguns represent, and that was still an issue after he offered to dis assemble it. The only purpose of a handgun is to kill someone. I don't want an object in my house created for that purpose. And anyway I think a handgun always represents a safety problem, regardless of whether it is taken apart. You can just as easily put it back together. It's potential never changes. You can't bring a disassembled gun into a school or on a plane for that very reason. It's still a threat to others.

But this wasn't even meant to be a debate over guns. I guess some people think it was unfair and some think it was fair. I do appreciate all the feedback.
post #17 of 22
I read in Mothering magazine that guns are now (or very nearly) surpassing cars as the leading cause of death for children in the United States.

No one ever thinks it is going to happen to them. The only way to be certain is to never allow a gun into your home, period. I wouldn't let that person park his car anywhere near my house, either.

I think you were totally in the right, heartmama. Good for you!!
post #18 of 22
I think you were totally right, and very generous to pay for the hotel. I would never in a million years let a gun in my house either, no matter how many pieces it was in. As you say, this is an object whose sole function is to kill things. Blech. If he knows you don't allow them in your house, he should have left it at home.

I have lost both a brother-in-law and a five year old cousin to guns that were supposedly safely stored. I don't enter other people's homes who own guns. I would also feel that your relative chose the gun over you.
post #19 of 22
you can come over and take apart my dh's glock. I wouldn't mind if you "accidently" couldn't put it back together.
post #20 of 22
Thread Starter 
Do you believe that a handgun, even if disassembled and locked away, is a threat to your children?

If they're to be difficult ... which is more important, your family member's participation in your lives, or politics?
I saw the question as : Which is more important, their involvement in our life, or safety? I also felt they really had to answer this question. They knew it was a safety issue for us, and they decided it wasn't worth the sacrifice to go along with that.

FWIW I also don't allow smoking in the house. People have to go outside. If they find that unreasonable, I guess it's a short trip to the hotel for them too. I don't think I'm being a good host if I compromise safety for comfort.
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