By Alma Gill
Guns and Kids
My college roommate came to visit my husband and me and our new baby. She lives in another state. My husband has a daughter from a previous relationship, she’s seven. She spends every other weekend at our house. My college roommate is our baby’s new Godmother. We’re all very happy about that, and the fact that she’ll be visiting with us more often. Problem is, her husband came for the weekend with his gun. I saw it on the side table in the guest room. He’s a police officer and I understand he uses it for work, but I wasn’t happy about the gun being in my house. How do I broach the subject without having it out with her husband?
Allow me a moment to remind you, you are the architect of your “house rules.” Those of us, including a new godmother, SIL or coworker of your neighbor’s brother, when visiting your house, must abide by your rules.
The argument of carrying a weapon off duty has been a lively topic for decades and fortunately we’re not here to resolve that issue. The only answer that you need clarified at this moment is what works in your house.
Understandably, you don’t want firearms lying around with little ones in the house, and I feel you on that one. Here’s what you do, call your girlfriend and let her know you noticed the gun during their last visit. Tell her you’re concerned about your stepdaughter’s safety and would prefer they not bring it next time. If it turns out that he has to carry his weapon because he’s a police officer, I’d suggest you invest in a lock box. Put the lock box in the closet of your guestroom.
I get the impression guns are not your thing, and this is a fish you’d prefer not to fry, and again. Let me reiterate: you’re in control of what’s cooking in your house. But since he’s an officer, he may not have a choice.
I understand your concern, you’re a new mom with a million other things to deal with. He’s not your husband, so you don’t have to live with something that makes you uncomfortable. If you’re so inclined to add some potato salad to this fish fry, ask her how she thinks it would be best to handle the situation. That way, you’ve allowed her some input. I’m sure you two will come up with a solution that satisfies all involved.
This my dear, is a situation that can be resolved amicably, with the two of you remaining the best of sister-friends.
Alma Gill’s newsroom experience spans more than 25 years, including various roles at USA Today, Newsday and the Washington Post. Email questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Facebook at “Ask Alma” and twitter @almaaskalma.