Cake
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    • The unfortunate bit is that you get this wall of text and you don't get the recordings of our conversations to date. Just my one-sided summary. I have asked these questions and without the politicizing you highlighted. My sister, per texts last night, has also been very vocal with him about his choice, and unsatisfied with his answers, has similarly barred her children from going to his home over the last year-plus.

      My specific wording done here is done with intent, as it is an example of many trends we have here in the country. While some think I should handle this completely offline, my feeling is that we are too often only talking about this after some disaster has occurred. My choice here is to instead talk about it before an incident happens, as a point in time. If we can have open discussions about safety and how one person's choices have downstream effects, even if they are uncomfortable, that's preferred to 72 point headlines and body counts.

      I would rather navigate hurt feelings and some embarrassment instead of identifying my kids in the morgue and hoping my insurance covers funeral costs.

      It is telling that my sister knew he had the gun for a year and chose not to tell me, as she had kept those conversations private. But by her knowing the gun may have been in the home and yet she didn't tell me, my kids may have been at risk. By talking publicly, I reduce that risk for my other relatives who probably also haven't been told.

    • I included the CDC information to point out there are a lot of things those of us who don’t have kids in the home have that are far more hazardous than the gun. Of course, I think you are right to be concerned about safety of your kids anywhere they go.

      I want to tell you a story that’s completely unrelated to guns but involved the death of a you child. About 20 years ago, a work colleague was at home with his kids. The kids were playing in the yard and after a while, my colleague went to check on them. Found one by not the other. There was a frantic search and he could not find his son. The police were called and within an hour or so, they found him in a cooler. He’d climbed in while playing hide and seek; the lid closed and he was trapped.

      This story has troubled me for a long time. Not because mom and dad were irresponsible, far from it. They were great parents and this was a terrible, terrible tragedy. It’s also made me aware that there are many things kids can get involved with that can hurt them. Things I take for granted and I’m sure many others do as well.

      So if you ask about anything concerning kid safety, I’d expect you to be given a reasonable answer.

    • FWIW, Louis, I think you're doing the right thing. Any discussion about guns seems to go sideways in our society, which is unfortunate. Yes, kids find guns. I found my father's revolver, which was unloaded and more of historic value than use as a weapon.

      I own handguns. I can't imagine not being responsive to a parent's concerns about how I store them. Seems like common sense to me. But then again, a lot of things do and yet our country marches determinedly in the opposite direction.

    • Since Cake is about reasonable discussions.....I would just offer up that I owned a pistol in my 30's and it always made me nervous around the house. I am not happy that our country has devolved where people thinking that having an open-carry permit makes the world safer. I do not want to pay taxes and live in a country where 2nd Amendent promoters selfishly create a culture where guns are mandatory. I am so happy I am not raising kids today....young minds and souls where not intended to process mass shootings on a regular basis nearby and afar. It does not take a brilliant person to realize that countries like Syria and Iraq will suffer for 100's of years as their infants to youth have been terrorized with brutal imagery and experiences of murder and bloodshed.

    • My wife's father is a veteran and in charge of funerals for service members in the St. George, Utah area. Great guy. He does 3-5 funerals each weekend with a 21-gun salute and color guard. He keeps their guns locked in a safe and he's fanatical about keeping them clean and in good working order. He was in the military police. He also hunts in deer season.

      I don't know how long ago this was, but one of his older teens got ahold of one of the guns, maybe when it was out being cleaned after a funeral? He loaded a bullet in the chamber just to see how the action worked and somehow it went off in the living room. It went through a wall and through the crowded kitchen dining area where guests were, and then out the kitchen window. It missed everyone. The family still talks about where it entered and exited and somehow went through a crowd of people without hurting anyone.

      That was one of two incidents the fam talks about all the time.

    • The study that just came out about ownership & storage practices in the US is honestly alarming. There are almost more guns in the US than there are people. 1 in 3 households has one.

      - 30% of owners have the guns loaded & easily accessible (...holy shit)
      - 50% keep them unloaded & easy to reach or loaded & locked (...sure let's half ass it)
      - 20% of gun owners keep them unloaded & locked (why is this so damn low)

      Oh but it gets scarier:
      40% of owners have no idea that their kids/grandkids know where the guns are
      25% of owners had no idea that the kids/grandkids have grabbed the guns & played with them.

      First: ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
      Second: 40% chance the owner has no idea a kid knows where it is...sorry but not knowing that kids know where the guns are is just flat out unacceptable.

      As parents, you do your best to protect your kids with the information you have. It is not unreasonable to confirm that your child will be safe - be it with guns, carseats, helmets or double buckling. If we don't demand accountability on gun safety from our own family members, then we're enabling it. And I don't think I am alone in saying that -- not asking these questions rests way more on the side of negligence. There is no "oops" here. Louis you did the right thing.

    • 10 pages easy.... These topics are so difficult to have on the web. The original post was more of a statement. No questions were asked. Was this for validation, venting, just cause..internet?
      People are very charged about both sides, so easy for it to go sideways as folks misinterpret responses or read into the text in a way that was not intended.
      Pass the popcorn........

    • Yeah, the subject is so charged. It seems like it's charged everywhere, in every venue, not just on the Internet.

      I remember my wife and I touring Norway and striking up a conversation with a teenage girl around Bergen. We commented on how great her English was. She commented about how her family likes to travel and how they had been in Scotland and England. And how Norwegian teens get to watch American movies.

      We asked if she'd visited America. She said no and she may never go because guns. That's how America is known to Norwegians, she said, as the place people shoot each other.

    • Probably not going to Mexico, South/Central America either. Or many parts of Africa where violence is a huge part of every day living. I remember a text a friend sent while he was in Mexico staying in a place that’s considered reasonably safe. The Federal Police were having a shootout with cartel members just outside of their hotel; 12 dead.

      It is a very charged subject.

    • Yeah, I think that's true. We tend to compare ourselves with Europe, Canada and Australia, but this chart is pretty shocking:

    • Of note, since I am sure you're curious... I had a 30 minute discussion with both my parents this week. They agreed to ensure the gun is nowhere near the family when we visit, and we will need to tell them in advance if we are coming, in the event he were to have it at home for target practice and we just showed up.

      My mother and my siblings are not pleased he has a firearm, but at this point, cannot talk him out of owning one. But we can reduce the risk to our family by keeping it away from them, and it seems this has been done.

    You've been invited!