2018 is in the books as a year we will never forget. 2019 came in like a wrecking ball and it’s only day 4. I am not into resolutions because let’s be honest, how many people actually stick to them. Not many. But one thing I would like to do in 2019 is to become more understanding and less confrontational. Let me explain.
As a gun rights advocate who began his journey bashing leftists and liberals (Yes, I wrote a book called 10 Little Liberals: A Tale of Hope), I have seen the folly of my ways. Now, before you get your pitchforks and torches out to Frankenstein me, let me explain. I am rabidly against the liberal agenda. I am a social and fiscal conservative. I believe in small government, the mightiest of militaries, and the 100% belief that the founding fathers knew what they were doing when the wrote, “Shall not be infringed.” That said, I want to concentrate on being more inclusive to those out there, be they liberal or conservative, while dealing with firearms. I want to educate instead of being combative.
What do I mean? Politics aside, there is a question I am asked frequently asked because of the nature of my books and what I do for a living. That question comes from other parents who are gun owners and I am always shocked to hear how angry and combative they get. The question is this: “Our children have friends in their class who want to come over for a playdate, but their parents always ask us if we own guns? I mean, how dare they infringe on my rights. Who are they to ask a question like that? It is not their business if I own a gun!”
Woahhhh! Grab the reins and pull back hard buckaroo. Let’s take a deep breath and talk. First, if you are being asked that question, no one is infringing on your rights. So cut that crap out (yes, I have had someone tell me that). Secondly, realize that the other parents only want what’s best for their child, that being a safe and secure environment where any concern for a potential accident can be avoided. Lastly, and most important, if those parents are anti-gun or scared of a firearm, take a moment to educate them instead of snowflaking out.
The media, Hollywood, and many members of the U.S. government have painted a photo of the modern day American gun owner. We are all a bunch of old, pot-bellied, teeth missing, ZZ Top bearded, beer chugging, anti-hygiene, living in rural (insert your preference), waving the Confederate flag, whistling Dixie, white boys who are part of the anti-American militia, stock piling copious amounts of firearms and ammo, waiting for the perfect moment to launch the next American revolution. Of course, they are wrong. Nothing could be further from the truth.
But when parents approach you and ask if you have guns in the home, they are conditioned to think you are reckless and have loaded firearms within arms reach of any child in the home. My answer to these parents is quite simple and this is where the educational portion comes in.
I tell them, “As a matter of fact, I do own firearms and I do have them in my home. If they are not on my person, I have them locked up in a safe. My wife and I are the only ones that can access the safe through combo, bio, or electronic (depending on what you have). Furthermore, my children know the rules of firearms safety and know never to go near a firearm without their parent’s guidance. They know if you find a gun, they need to come and tell one of us right away.”
Take the opportunity to educate instead of getting mad at the question. Showing other parents that your house is safe and secure even with firearms can do one of a few things. First, it shows them that responsible gun owners do exist. It also shows them that the common American gun owner is not a gung-ho cowboy ready with an itchy trigger finger. Lastly, it could be the first steps to those parents having a change of mind when looking at guns. It could spark something in them to become responsible gun owners themselves because they see the positive in gun ownership.
Again, stop thinking you are God’s gift to the human race. Be patient (yes, I know its hard) with parents who are only making sure their child is safe. Use these moments to educate rather than alienate.
As George Washington Carver once said, “Education is the key to unlocking the golden doors of freedom.”
Yehuda Remer is the author of the Safety On series and owns and operates Thepewpewjew.com. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram @Thepewpewjew.