Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Conceal from... your kids?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by FranklyTodd, Jan 22, 2010.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. FranklyTodd

    FranklyTodd Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2007
    Messages:
    516
    Background: I carry every day and have for a few years - either S&W snub in my pocket or P2000SK IWB. I am confident the weapons are well concealed. I have 3 kids, 12, 10 and 5.

    Question: How does anyone out there similarly situated handle the kids? My kids have been taught gun safety, and shoot a bit (none of them seem overly enthusiastic), but they do not know I carry. I would like to keep it that way, but they constantly hug me or push me around in fun, and I just know I'm going to get busted.

    In fact a while ago the 12 year old playfully punched me in the thigh in the car because I teased him about something - right into my M&P340 in my pocket! :eek: He asked what the heck that was (rubbing his hand :neener:), and I think I just mumbled phone and changed the subject...

    When they are old enough to decide for themselves I will support their decision whether or not to carry, but I do not intend to push them towards it.

    Anyway, at what age have you guys/gals let your kids in on your decision to carry? How did you explain it? How did you get them to keep the secret?

    Thanks!
     
  2. wrs840

    wrs840 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2008
    Messages:
    1,920
    Location:
    Brushy Mts, NC, growing feed-crops.
    My kids are in the age-range of your older two, they know daddy carries, they think it's normal for daddy to carry, and it actually seems to make them more comfortable, if anything. They never "out" me, seemingly knowing instinctively that being discrete is an important part of it. I doubt this uncommon at all, and while I admire your concern for their feelings, I think you may be fretting over their perceptions about concealed-carry unnecessarily.

    Les
     
  3. Jim K

    Jim K Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Messages:
    17,566
    I wasn't there, but I heard of a pretty little 5 year-old girl who stood in a shopping cart at a nearby super market and screamed at the top of her sweet little lungs, "My daddy's carrying a gun!"

    And I have told the story about a detective who was "made" by a small boy who nearly started a riot and could have gotten the officer or someone else killed.

    Lesson: If you carry concealed, carry CONCEALED.

    jim
     
  4. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2006
    Messages:
    4,908
    My kids grew up with me carrying a gun daily. No mysteries to them. Taught them gun safety and never had a problem with either of them announcing "Daddy has a gun".
     
  5. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Messages:
    33,510
    Location:
    Central PA
    My 6 year old daughter "made" me one day in front of family and a bunch of other Cabela's shoppers. She's hyperactive, fast, and a bit clumsy. She came flying down a row between some clothes racks and smashed fore-head first into the butt of my 1911! Made a canteloupe "THUNK" that I swear everyone in the store turned around to figure out "what was THAT?" She burst into tears and fell on the floor holding her head! Left a big white DENT right in the middle of her forehead.

    Assuming your kids are taller and less spastic, what do you have to worry about? LOL!

    Yeah, right, so anyway...

    My kids see me holster up quite often, but we've never sat down and discussed why I might choose to have it at the grocery store or wherever. I use some of the same habitual deflections and distractions to keep their hands (and heads!) off my sidearm that I do with other family and "huggers."

    But, like I said, I make no pretense about it around the house. They know it's usually there, and don't even seem to give it a thought. I think that hiding it from them until they're older and then announcing (or being discovered in) your mysterious secret might make for a more complicated and potentially awkward disclosure. I'd rather they were just raised that such things, "just are."

    IMHO.

    -Sam
     
  6. geronimo509

    geronimo509 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2008
    Messages:
    653
    Location:
    DFW
    I have a three year old and I carry everyday. I'm a stay at home dad so I play with my son a lot and he knows not to touch my gun. He has never screamed anything in public. I feel safer that it is not a mystery to him that I have a gun and he probably thinks that it is just a normal part of everyday life.
     
  7. wrs840

    wrs840 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2008
    Messages:
    1,920
    Location:
    Brushy Mts, NC, growing feed-crops.
    ^^^^
    I think this is the right track.

    I'm jealous. That's gonna sow and reap many benefits for you and your son. Enjoy!

    Les
     
  8. MrCleanOK

    MrCleanOK Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2007
    Messages:
    1,354
    Location:
    Alaska
    If you treat it as a normal, everyday thing you won't have problems with the kids. What causes problems is when guns, knives, the bench grinder, etc. has been mystified beyond the status of any other every-day item. Kids don't get excited about the lawnmower, but they also know it's dangerous and shouldn't be played with or used for chopping lettuce.
     
  9. David E

    David E Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2008
    Messages:
    7,455
    Your kids are at the age to keep their mouth shut.

    If they learn unexpectedly while waiting in the checkout line at Wal-Mart, it may not go well for you.

    If, on the other hand, they were already aware, they wouldn't be surprised and would even avoid "accidentally" discovering it at an inopportune time.
     
  10. TimboKhan

    TimboKhan Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2005
    Messages:
    8,047
    Location:
    Greeley, CO
    I have no children, but my buddy does, and his daughters (6 and 3) are fully aware that he carries. In fact, on several occasions they have seen him pull his pistol out to show me something on it, and for them that is a completely normal thing. His youngest doesn't necessarily get what a gun is I don't think, but the oldest does, and she knows A: Not to touch any of her dads guns and B: That it isn't anything to be worried about. I think she also knows what that gun is for, which I think is good.

    My dad didn't carry, but I grew up around his rather extensive collection, and I learned at a very young age what they were, what they did, why I shouldn't screw around with them and so on. I guess I don't know for certain at what age I was introduced to them, but I can say that I literally do not remember a day of my life that guns were not somehow involved, be it looking at them, shooting them, talking about them, reading about them or whatever.

    Also, I have to point out that I am perfectly well adjusted and not some violent/crazy/bloodthirsty mall ninja from the experience. Occasionally I mention that I grew up with guns and people look at me like they expect me to start spouting conspiracy theories and offer them positions in my militia. Such is not the case.
     
  11. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    18,494
    Location:
    northern california
    i raised 2 step-sons, my own son and now a daughter (8)

    i'm also of the opinion that it only becomes a problem when you keep it a secret...deceit works like that. let's be honest about it, once they are old enough to have some understanding of the difference between right and wrong, omission really is deceit.

    all my kids have known i've carried since they were about 6. it was just something daddy does and it isn't to be shared outside the family. never had a problem being "outed" by one of the kids and actually had one whisper to me once that my coat was riding up and i should "cover up" my take on it is, if they are old enough to understand what a gun is, they are old enough to understand that you carry a gun

    i thought it was pretty funny when my son made an observation in a store once. he pointed out a man wearing a photographers vest and asked "Why's he wearing a shoot me first vest?"
     
  12. jahwarrior

    jahwarrior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2007
    Messages:
    1,098
    Location:
    Dickson City, PA
    why would you conceal from your kids? i don't understand. you sound like a reasonably responsible parent; you've taught them gun safety, and take the appropriate measures to secure your gun when not carrying, correct? why the need to conceal around them?

    my daughter knows full well that daddy carries a gun everyday, all day. she knows where it is on my body, and she knows not to touch it.

    when i split with her mother, the ex tried to work in a stipulation that i not carry around my babygirl. she's a rabid anti, and doesn't want her kids to even look at guns. for a few weeks, i carried concealed around my daughter, for fear she'd run back and tell mommy. but then i thought, what the hell is wrong with me? she already knows daddy carries, and she knows i carry to protect her? i didn't like feeling like i was hiding it from her, so i stopped trying to hide it.

    i've carried openly for awhile now; my daughter isn't fazed by seeing guns. to her, it's normal. kids will only freak out and announce to the world that you carry if it's not a normal part of their life. when i do conceal, my daughter knows it's still there, and it's no big deal. she just turned 7, by the way.
     
  13. smince

    smince Member.

    Joined:
    May 19, 2005
    Messages:
    1,329
    Location:
    Northeast Alabama
    What they said^

    My son knows he can see any gun in the house if he wants to, he just has to ask me or my wife.

    I agree-taking the mystery out solves most problems.
     
  14. MrCleanOK

    MrCleanOK Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2007
    Messages:
    1,354
    Location:
    Alaska
    Classic. You're training him well :D
     
  15. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2008
    Messages:
    6,346
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    my daughter is now sixteen but I have carried all of her life. Until she was about 4 she had no clue. I had arranged my life so as to take care of a lot of the parenting duties and we spent a lot of time together.

    Eddie Eagle coloring books and constant asking her about the "rules" (don't touch, leave the area, tell an adult) were the norm. Occasionally I would leave an unloaded gun where she could find it and she always came right out and asked me if I could move it so that she could do what she needed to do.

    By age 6 she was shooting and knew that I carried.

    A few weeks ago a neighbor called and asked if I could let someone into their back yard as they were not at home. I wasn't home but knew my daughter was. When I called to tell her that some strangers would be next door she answered, quite calm and sounding British with the pacing of her words.

    "interesting the timing of your call father. Some strangers are milling about next door. I made sure that the 12 gauge is loaded and wrote down their descriptions and license plate number. They are being open so I don't think they are doing anything wrong, but it is wierd"

    After explaining the situation I asked her what she would do if they broke in. Again in a calm voice, "shoot them, reload and then call 911 and you"

    Love that girl!
     

    Attached Files:

  16. harmon rabb

    harmon rabb Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2009
    Messages:
    2,699
    my step-son is 14, goes to the range with me, and knows i carry everywhere.
     
  17. Webbj0219

    Webbj0219 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Messages:
    300
    Location:
    Manchester, NH
    I dont have kids of my own yet, so a grain of salt may be needed. I think that you should always be honest with your kids. And the older they get the more youll probable have to tell them. Like with the 5 year old will probable be satisfied with you telling him that you carry a gun for self defense and to protect your family, and thats the right thing to do. Whereas the 12 year old will probable want more of an explanation about philosophy of carry and all that jazz.
     
  18. FranklyTodd

    FranklyTodd Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2007
    Messages:
    516
    Original Poster here - I really appreciate the thoughtful comments.

    Some may have concluded that guns are kept mysterious or hidden in my house. Quite the opposite - my kids see me go to and from the range and clean all my guns. The older two know how to load/unload and field strip the handguns, and both of the older two have gone with me to both the handgun range and shooting clay pigeons. I totally agree that making guns off limits and/or mysterious is asking for trouble!

    What they don't know is that I carry a loaded gun with me every day to protect myself from some really bad people that exist in the world -- people who under certain circumstances I could be forced to shoot. That's a whole other level of discussion, imho.

    Someone else said deceit is all bad - come on, as adults I think we all keep some aspects of our adult lives from our children, yes? At least so far, I have treated my CARRYING as a part of my life I don't bring up to them. Those that have kept it out in the open since their kids were little might have the right idea, but that's not where I currently am, and I don't have a time machine.

    Further background - I live in a nice, quiet, left-leaning suburb of a pretty big city. Best schools in the state, very, very low crime, etc. Open carry would frankly be absurd around here - though technically legal. Counting my wife THREE people know I carry. I don't know anyone else - friends or family - that carries. The only person I even know that has a carry permit is a federal judge, but even he chooses not to carry.

    I'm not an agenda guy - I have no interest in convincing anyone that they should carry or arguing gun rights, etc. In fact, I've sat at dinner parties and heard tipsy liberal women rage about how great gun control is and how all guns should be outlawed. I disagree with them (obviously) but they are friends and I prefer to fly completely under the radar - not like I could convince them of anything anyway! I know others put the NRA sticker on their car, wear Glock hats, etc., and that's totally cool, but just not me. I work as a corporate lawyer (don't hate me - I don't sue people!) in a huge law firm, and I am not going to risk alienating clients or potential clients, who I occasionally drive to dinner, etc.

    Anyway, please keep up the discussion and maintain an open mind, I've really enjoyed most of the posts. Some think the issue is cut and dried that there is one answer, and I don't think that's the case - there is a little more nuance to it...
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2010
  19. Guillermo

    Guillermo member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2008
    Messages:
    6,346
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    know the kid and you will make the right call

    generally speaking those things spoken of do not have the mystical quality of the unknown
     
  20. UpTheIrons

    UpTheIrons Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2009
    Messages:
    388
    Location:
    South-Central Texas
    I have two kids, 9 and 7. They both know that I carry, and they both like to "go shoot with Daddy". My 9 yo daughter is the hugger in the family, so she is the one more likely to 'bump' into the lump on my hip. She knows its there, and it is not an issue anymore - the first couple of times, she was a little weirded out by it, but now it is a normal thing.

    They have both also been told that a gun is like your underwear - you don't talk about what's "covered up" in public. ;)
     
  21. FranklyTodd

    FranklyTodd Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2007
    Messages:
    516
    Thanks Guillermo,

    Actually that's super perceptive - my 12 year old I'd tell in a second, my 10 year old not so much, and not just because he's younger.

    True general statement, but guns aren't treated as mystical in my house, and 100% total ignorance of my carrying can't be said to create a mystical quality about carrying - trust me carrying a gun is not anything that's on their radar or that they are curious about, etc.

    They are old enough I don't think they would out me in an uncomfortable way ala the WalMart story above. My thought is, if/when they discover it, I'll explain it and say it's no big deal, I've been doing it for years. At this point, it seems to me sitting them down to have a discussion would be making a bigger deal of it than just continued silence!
     
  22. TonyDedo

    TonyDedo Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2007
    Messages:
    286
    Location:
    Concord, MA
    I'm of the mindset that nothing can truly be concealed from your kids - they're going to find out eventually (or at least realize that you're hiding something from them). Kids, on the other hand, tend to be very good at concealing things from their parents.

    It's bad enough to try to hide it from your kids, which is just going to draw their attention and curiosity. It's even worse that they're going to try to satisfy that curiosity and hide it from you at the same time. The last thing you want is for them to be snooping around your guns stuff without you knowing. And then they think they know a secret, and when kids think they know a secret, they want to share it with the world. The kid tells another kid at school "my dad carries a gun," he tells another kid, the teacher overhears, and the next thing you know you're getting harassed by school security when you go to pick your kid up from school, because it's a 'gun free zone.'

    Best to approach it as MrCleanOK suggested - treat it as a normal, every day thing. Because it is. Take the mystery and intrigue out of it, and your kid won't think twice about it. Just like the lawnmower.
     
  23. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Messages:
    33,510
    Location:
    Central PA
    I'll reiterate what I was suggesting before. The earlier you reach that point of "full disclosure" with your kids, and the more of a "matter-of-course" you make it seem, the less confrontation/surprise/questioning you'll have to deal with when they do discover.

    And as you get up into their teenage years, there is always a straining or redefining of trust between parent and maturing child. If they see this as something you've been deliberately hiding from them that trust can be more strained than it should be.

    If they're old enough to have realized that most people in society don't carry a weapon, and when they're 18 or 20 you "come out of the closet" in a big revelation, that's setting yourself up to seem "unusual." Considering that kids often are pushing back against the bounds and ideals of their parents, at least a little bit, at that age, I'd worry about building up to such a disclosure by continuing to deceive.

    If I was in your position, I'd begin (NOW, if not sooner!) to allow them to see the gun on my belt as I was putting on my jacket to go out -- just casually, just occasionally. If/when they question why you have it, a simple and fairly light comment like, "Well, you never know just what might happen out in the world these days," will probably appease their mild curiosity. It's pretty unlikely you really have to dig into the deep, dark, dangers that lurk in society. At least not yet.

    But I wouldn't hide it any more. Make it seem normal now and it won't be a big divisive issue later.

    -Sam
     
  24. TonyDedo

    TonyDedo Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2007
    Messages:
    286
    Location:
    Concord, MA
    That's great!
     
  25. FranklyTodd

    FranklyTodd Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2007
    Messages:
    516
    Sam and Tony,

    Great posts - thank you, sincerely. I'm considering telling them (or letting them notice on my terms), that's why I posted. You (and others) have given me other perspectives and/or things to think about. I think there's a huge chance that when they find out it will be most anti-climactic moment in history - "oh, ok, didn't know." I would be surprised if they are totally surprised. I've done martial arts since before they were born, so they know I have a self-defense mindset, and they know I shoot a lot. Not a huge leap to put the two together...

    I think I'm going to let my wife read this whole thread and we'll have a discussion about it. She's very tolerant of my carrying, but far from a fan.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page