Do Your Kid’s Friends’ Parents Have “Loose” Guns In The House?

My Son Doesn’t Know What A Gun Is

July 23, 2013 at 4:24 pm , by 

2 years, 8 months.

Dear Jack,

Your Auntie Jenny and her family had a special gift ready for you as soon as they got here to meet us on our annual family vacation to Sacramento.

It’s the Imaginext Sky Racers Twister Jet.

And it’s actually pretty awesome! I’ve never seen giant chainsaws on the front of a fighter jet before…

In fact, that’s so creative of an idea I’m sort of jealous I didn’t get hired by Imaginext to come up with ideas for toys!

It’s good timing because Mommy and I are planning to take you to your very first movie in a theater: Disney’sPlanes.

So your Twister Jet serves as not only your first real toy plane, but also as a way to pretend you’re flying one of the planes from the new Planes movie once you officially become obsessed with them… which you will.

Your cousin Matt and I were talking about the “practicality aspects” of having two giant chainsaws on the front of a fighter jet, when he happened to look down into the wading pool full of toys you’ve been playing in and saw what he thought was a toy gun, only to learn that in reality it was one of  your girl cousins’ toy hair dryers.

“Does Jack like toy guns?” Matt asked.

That was the first time I had considered the fact, that honestly, you don’t even know what a gun is.

It’s not that I’ve purposely sheltered you from toy guns; water guns, in particular.

But even with your water table on our back patio, you don’t need water “guns” because you have several toy animals that squirt water instead.

By no means am I endorsing any kind of agenda either against or for guns, especially because for the past month as I’ve been working on a letter to you called “Never Talk About Politics, Religion, Or Peoples’ Food,” I’ve been trying to deliberately not perpetuate America’s polarizing tendencies, especially in social media.

At some point, you’ll be old enough to know what guns are. You’re not even 3 years old yet.

As for now, we’ll just stick with chain saws.




My Firm Decision To Get A Gun For The House (Or Not To)

May 7, 2013 at 9:13 pm , by 

2 years, 5 months.

Dear Jack,

Yesterday’s “Should Daddy Get A Gun For The House?” originally had a different ending, in which I made it clear whether or not I decided to get a gun.

However, at the very last minute right before I published the letter, Mommy and I decided that broadcasting to the social media world whether or not we have a gun in the house is not a wise decision.

I think that to announce either way is to raise a red flag.

So in the likeness of the vague closure in the final episode of Lost, I ended the letter by simply saying, “My research is complete and my decision is now made.”

The way I see it, whether or not I own a gun is not really the issue; for me, anyway. The real issue for me was sorting out whether or not I am really capable, willing, and ready at all times to take the life of another human being who threatens the safety of my family.

That was what was important to me; taking the time to truly process that all the way through.

Like planning out a fire drill, in my head I have now mapped out an official “intruder drill.” Now I know the quickest and most efficient strategy for obtaining the [deadly weapons] on both floors of our house; in addition to immediately grabbing the cell phone to call 911.

It sounds so morbid, to say that I’m now ready to take the life of another human being, if necessary. And to be ready to do that at any given minute of the day.

But like Sayid on Lost, you want to have somebody on your island who is willing to be your bodyguard; someone who is always ready to fight and kill for you.

You want someone who is dangerous enough to keep you safe.

That person is me.





Photo: A toy hand gun, Shutterstock.

Should Daddy Get A Gun For The House?

May 6, 2013 at 9:35 pm , by 

2 years, 5 months.

Dear Jack,

For the past two weeks, I have been spending a lot of my time trying to figure out the best answer to the question: Should I get a gun for our house?

Just to be clear, here are questions I am not asking today:

Should gun laws be changed?

Should no one in America have a gun in their house?

Should everyone in America have a gun in their house?

This is simply about us; our family. What other families choose to do in regards to protecting themselves is none of my concern or business.

However, I do know that every family whose political and/personal beliefs allow the option of owning a gun has had to deal with this question: Should we get a gun for our house?

So I did my homework. I borrowed a few issues of Concealed Carry magazine from a friend from work. Coincidentally, a coupon came through the fax machine for a handgun permit class that same day.

I had some lengthy conversations with the three coworkers who have concealed weapon permits; one of whom is a former cop of seven years.

In the end, the former cop with a concealed weapon permit and two young children was the most convincing.

I have no idea if he is a Democrat, Republican, or a Libertarian, like me. What I do know, his answer made the most sense, without any political strings attached.

His advice was this: Should you decide to get a gun, after you spend the time and money to get trained on how to use it, then, find an easy access place to keep the gun, but a place that is also out of reach of a child, you have to be confident you’ll be able to quickly turn on the light, to make sure who exactly you are aiming at, to make sure it really is an intruder. Also, you must be psychologically prepared to take the life of a person who is threatening your family’s safety.

It was important for me to hear and consider all that goes into owning a gun. The most valuable lesson for me to learn in my research was this: To get a gun is one thing; to get one and be ready and responsible from all aspects is another.

My research is complete and my decision is now made.





P.S. To read the follow-up to this letter, which further explains (or blurs) my decision, click here.


Photo: Wooden Catapult Gun, Shutterstock.

The Funny Thing about Old Goofy Pictures of Ourselves

Old pictures are funny.  But that means current pictures may eventually become funny too.

No matter who you are, you didn’t look cool in 1992.  That was a brutal year was for clothing fashion and hairstyles:  Both male and female mullets, pale blue jeans, neon and/or gold accessories.  It was just atrocious.  But at the time, people didn’t necessarily realize how laughable they truly looked.  (I was aware, but that was also the year I started Junior High, so by default I felt especially awkward.)

But 1992 isn’t the only year where if we look back through our old snapshots, we’d see an embarrassing version of not only ourselves but also of each other.  The general rule is that pictures of ourselves from at least ten years ago are definitely going to be funny.  I remember clearly thinking in 1995 (freshman year of high school), “There is nothing about right now that I will be able to come back and laugh at in the future.”  But while I was thinking that to myself, I was wearing a hooded flannel shirt with Airwalks and my hair was parted down the middle like Sean from Boy Meets World.  Though I was probably trying to look more like Corey’s older Eric at the time.

Of course it’s not just outdated fashion that makes these old snapshots so goofy.  Physically, were we most likely a bit different back then, too.  A while back, a guy from work brought in a picture of himself from the mid ‘90’s when he was about 50 pounds lighter and still had hair (and his hair was still brown).  It was interesting to watch people’s reactions as he showed the picture to people individually.  What was the best response?  “Wow, look at that stud!”  Or laugh and say, “That was you?  You looked funny back then.”  Either way, it’s a weird situation to be put in.

And that brings me to this point: Ten years from now, there’s a good chance that we will laugh at pictures of ourselves from the year 2010; despite how normal-looking and not funny-looking we think we look now.  So in one sense, we can never really look normal.  It’s funny how in an attempt to appear to be modern, we inevitably set ourselves up to be outdated.