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Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Mark Benningfield, Dec 29, 2002.

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  1. Mark Benningfield

    Mark Benningfield Member

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    Hello All.

    Okay, here's the deal. I've always done my best to teach my children how to think and how to spot flaws in reasoning. I also spend a good deal of time teaching them actual history, to counter the revisionist clap-trap they run into in school and in the media. My oldest has already had several run-ins with his history "teachers" and, by the way, has come out on top, with a little help from me and a couple of parent-teacher meetings. :D

    The problem, though, is not with his teachers. It is with his maternal grandfather (my ex-wife's father). Over the Christmas holiday, my oldest was talking to his grandfather about guns and rights, and he said that when he is old enough, he is going to get his own Concealed Carry license. His grandfather proceeded to tell him that there is no need for anyone to carry a gun; if everyone carried a gun the streets would be like the Wild West; and that he was brainwashed (ostensibly by me :p ).

    Now, since I don't believe a boy should have to listen to anyone run down his kinfolks without being able to take a swing at them, I don't disparage his mother or anyone on her side of the family. I also believe that a boy should be able to trust the elder men in his family, so:

    How do I teach him that his grandfather is one of the sheeple? How do I show him that such a position for a grown man is contemptible, without him losing the respect for his elders that he must have? Anyone else run into this problem?
     
  2. Mike Irwin

    Mike Irwin Member

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    If your boy is as smart as you think he is, don't worry about it. He'll be able to process the information accordingly.

    Talk to your boy about this. Let him know that some people don't believe that firearms are a right, and that the Second Amendment isn't worth anything.

    Use it as an educational opportunity.

    And tell your son his Grandfather has a propensity for sheep... :)
     
  3. RANash

    RANash Member

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    I would emphasize the sentiment of "Grandpa, I love and you and respect you, but I have to disagree with you on this one point...and here's why:____"

    And when talking about Grandpa to your son, I'd be saying things like, "We love grandpa, and he's a great guy, but I think he just doesn't have all the facts. (Then spell out all the facts.)"

    If you and your son take that approach, you just may win grandpa over. Anything else will just make him dig in his heels and harden him in his point of view. The logic of our point of view is unquestionable. However, like most sheeple, grandpa's view isn't based on logic.

    You sound like a great dad, by the way.
     
  4. Blackhawk

    Blackhawk Member In Memoriam

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    Depending on your son's age, you're going to have to adjust how you handle the situation.

    Does he still believe in Santa and the Tooth Fairy? If so, he's too young to address the issue with.

    Does he understand that people of good faith can have differing opinions about right and wrong?

    Does HE have opinions that differ from adults he likes and respects?

    My advice is to talk to him as though he's old enough to understand, i.e., as an adult, but without disparaging any adults, especially family members.

    Sticky wicket, though....
     
  5. dev_null

    dev_null Member

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    Good time to point out the First Amendment as well. You could tell him that people have different opinions, and that while you respect grandpa's right to his, you have already considered the points he (grandpa) mentioned (if any) and you strongly disagree, and here's why... You can then give what counterpoints you feel are appropriate for his age and attention span. You could end with a comment on how the 1st Amdmt gives us the right to our opinions, and how you believe that the 2nd helps guarantee the others. The bottom line or recap (always a good way to ensure the major points get across) is that you feel his grandfather is entitled to his opinion, but you have good reasons to disagree with it.
     
  6. RANash

    RANash Member

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    And yeah, I've run into the very same kind of situation, although it wasn't about the RKBA exactly. My father-in-law took the liberal position on almost everything. I always was very careful to let him know that I respected him before I blasted his illogical conclusions. As a result, I actually got him to vote for Reagan in '84!

    Although my f-in-l was a illogical man in the area of politics, there was much in his life that deserved respect. I would do things like ask his opinion on decisions I was facing, or ask for his help on things. Then, when I opposed his ideas, it didn't come across disrespectfully.
     
  7. sm

    sm member

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    Perhaps an opportunity instead.

    Well you do get the prize for the toughie question of the day:p

    This just re-enforces what you've been teaching. I can't find the RKBA notes that deal with this(perhaps someone else has them handy). These deal with answers to questions of which you speak. I'd be prone to listen as to why he (grandpa) feels this way.

    I'd also , respectfully, use data from Gary Kleck, to cite how decreaseof crime (attempts also) occurs with increase of CCW. Cite also the opposite.

    "Grandpa, why so you feel this way?, You see here (sources cited) I see areas where strict gun control here and abroad has not decreased crime but instead given criminals a run of things. But here grandpa where people are allowed their rights crimes are less. Grandpa these are sources not contrived to misinform and shape those whom would take away our rights. So grandpa didn't you go through the times when the gov't was supposed to take care of you--but instead you had to form your own opinions and depend on self-reliance , because the gov't interests were not necessarily yours?".

    Respectful and not condecending. Grandson asking sincere questions. Sometimes kids are so honest and see through things, we adults slap forehead and --well can't see for looking at it--or realize we've become complacent.

    Might get Grandpa to think...if allowed to. Grandpa probably rebel if forced and talked down to.

    HTH
     
  8. King

    King Member

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    I wouldn't worry about it at all......your the lad's father and his primary teacher relative to the important things in life. He'll listen to you and watch by your example. All else will compare to what he learns from you. Be a good father and teacher, listen to the young people, guide and protect.

    He'll enjoy your respect for guns when it counts and at the right time.
     
  9. WonderNine

    WonderNine member

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    Most of the violence in the Old West has been sensationalized. The rate of violence in most of the West during the frontier days was actually quiet low. The desert southwest was the worst though.
     
  10. pax

    pax Member

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    Good question, Mark.

    As others have said, a good part of the answer depends upon your son's age. You didn't say in your post, but I'm guessing that he's somewhere between 10 to 14 years old?

    It's a fine line, but an important part of teaching them anything at all, is teaching them how to respect their elders even when they know the elder is wrong. Think about it: most adults gainfully-employed adults have mastered the art of getting along with the boss, even when the boss is a Pointy-Haired Idiot (TM).

    Right around the time they hit puberty, most kids figure out that adults don't know everything. A lot of them extrapolate from that, that adults don't know anything, and get themselves in all sorts of trouble before they learn otherwise.

    So the trick is to teach your kid how to show respect for authority figures when they don't agree with them, and to teach him how to hold his tongue when he disagrees, until the time is right to speak. And along with this, to teach them that someone can be an idiot in one area, and worth listening to in another.

    If it were me, I would privately agree with him that Grandpa is nuts on this issue, and show him why. Let him know that on this issue he's absolutely right, and Grandpa is absolutely wrong. Then I'd point out that there are other things that Grandpa is pretty good at (name it -- what's he done that's worthy of respect? Stuck with the same woman for 42 years? Kept his family fed? Fought in a war?). And I'd make sure the kid knew that even when Grandpa is completely wrong, Grandpa has a right to expect the kid not to roll his eyes and tell Grandpa what a moron he is.

    Eventually, the kid will be old enough to argue political theory with Grandpa. But before that happens, he's got to learn the basic body language of respectfully listening to nonsense.

    It's an important life skill!

    pax

    Remember, your basic assignment as a parent is to work yourself out of a job. -- Paul Lewis
     
  11. telewinz

    telewinz Member

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    Treat it like a learning experience, your son will have to deal with different points of view from respectable and non-respectable people alike. Let him start to use his own judgement on the matter. Re-state both views fairly for your son and see what decision he makes. Its most rewarding to have your offspring make a decision based on logic, not emotion. If the facts support your beliefs fine, if they don't well........
     
  12. JimP

    JimP Member

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    Just start slappin' granpa around until he cries like a little schoolgirl and tell your son that you wouldn't be able to do that if Granpa was armed. Both of them will get the picture. :eek:
     
  13. piccolo

    piccolo Member

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    TWEEEEEEEEEEEEET!!!!!!!!! <Red flag flying through the air>


    Uhhh, Hey, Sports Fans, it looks like there are going to be penalty markers out for that one!
     
  14. Bog

    Bog Member

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    Oh, I can see that I shall like it here...

    Mark,

    What a superb question to help kick off this forum with! To the root, sir! To the root!

    I don't think I have a lot to add atop the other comments (apart from the blatant witticism, which I think we all recognised).

    The facts, the facts, the facts!

    The facts bear our that armed citizens make for safe communities. The facts state that gun controls make for bipedal, sentient targets. The facts show that a state an armed gendermerie and a disarmed populace have domestic predators (to whit, armed criminals) in abundance.

    Place your faith in facts, and in reason - and opinion will be left to either align with truth, or swing in the breeze.

    You sound like you've done a lot of good work with your boy. Any lumps in his logical road, he should trust you to smooth. If the counter is the case - then a bit of reasoned debate should solve it.

    It sounds like the kid's got a lot of faith in you. This is very important in the young - and can be shocking fragile. It's very easy to destroy a young person's faith in yourself - especially one who's more than half-trained to think for himself or herself. If your ex-wife's father persists in his message of foolishness, let it come down to you bearing out your child's faith in you to tell him the truth - and to make his own decisions.

    Selah.

    Bog
     
  15. Mark Benningfield

    Mark Benningfield Member

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    Hello All.

    Thanks for the help. Sorry, I forgot to mention that my oldest just turned 16, so yeah, he's starting to get the idea that anyone over 20 cannot possibly know more than he does. :D Plus, I'm having to address more and more of the "Well, my friend said such-and-such." That, together with the standard teenage eye-rolls and deep sighs makes me wonder why my Dad didn't just pound the tar out of me and my brothers on a daily basis just for good measure. :p

    Seriously though, I've basically told him (my son) that he should tell his grandfather that they simply disagree, and to attempt to avoid arguing about it until he is mature enough to do it without getting upset about it. Verbatim:

    "But Dad, I'm NOT upset!"
    "Well, son, you appear to be upset."
    "You just don't UNDERSTAND!"

    Man, will I be glad when he's over 25 and I can stop being a moron! :D
     
  16. stellarpod

    stellarpod Member

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    Mark:

    This thread has some crown-jewel responses so far. It is difficult walking the fine line with your adolescent son, trying to keep him on the proper path while giving him enough lead to become self-reliant. My son is 18 now and Lord knows I've had my share of incidents similar to yours.

    There comes a point where you have to rely on faith that the values you've already instilled are going to hold true and that your son will make the proper call. As you've already pointed out he is now in that stage in which he's questioning the mental faculties of most adults. It sounds, however, like he will weather these little squals because his father cared enough during his rearing to weave the right ratio of value-threads into his fabric.

    There was a time when I had to make a decision as to whether I was going to let my son continue to visit his great-grandfather, because g-g'pa unconsciously used racial slurs that were unacceptable to me. My son was about 5 years old at the time. In the end I decided that the experience gained from interacting with his g-g'pa was too important for him to miss. It then became all the more important that I counter the racial slurs with a proper dose of civic/social/moral tutoring. In the end, my parenting overcame the moral transgressions that he heard during his visits, and in fact caused him on more than one occasion to respectfully ask his g-g'pa why he said those things. They were close right up to his great-granddad's death.

    It sounds to me like you've done an excellent job thusfar. I believe in the end most people gain more ground in any debate with their elders by showing the proper measure of respect and compassion.

    stellarpod
     
  17. Blackhawk

    Blackhawk Member In Memoriam

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    Mark,

    Many of us forget that a 16yo male knows EVERYTHING, and we get stupider each year after that.

    That he's asking is the best indicator that he has no problem with guns, and that he just wants some reinforcement from you.

    There may have been a few 16yo male pacifists or gun haters at some point in the past, but most accept violence as an acceptable solution to otherwise insoluble problems. That's one reason teens make such good soldiers.

    My bet is that he's looking for an experienced counselor, and you are extremely blessed that he's asking you! You must have been doing a good job as a dad all along! :D
     
  18. Chainsaw

    Chainsaw Member

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    Mark, I see a great opportunity to get Gramps out to the range. Many just don't know how much fun shooting is--------Chainsaw
     
  19. Kevinch

    Kevinch Member

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    As much as we wish it weren't so, there are 2 sides to this issue. Your son should, & will, be exposed to both.

    I would keep exposing him to the positives about gun ownership & concealed carry. I would also continue to expect him to respect all his family elders. That would mean listen and acknowledge. His decisions will come when he is an adult, & it is up to you to teach him how to investigate all sides of an issue & make rational judgements.

    Sometimes, that can be best done by quiet action & calm discussion. I'm in a somewhat similar situation you might find interesting.

    My late teen step-daughter (who lives with us) has a father who is agnostic at best, feels that it is unhealthy if she is not having frequent sex with her BF, has wondered to my wife outloud when she (my SD) was between BFs for a while if she was a lesbian, & feels the world owes him a living (which is why he is unemployed yet again, at the young age of 56).

    In contrast, this is a Christian home. While my SD is very much aware of my values, it is mostly by action - involvement in the church & local outreach, the friends we associate with, where we go & what we do when we go out, etc. My SD is welcome to come along anytime - when we go shooting, when we go motorcycle riding (my wife rides he own, so I have a seat for my SD), when we go to dinner with friends (they all welcome her too), etc. While I've accepted her as a daughter, & the responsibilities that go with it - including her education, which her bio father has chosen to ignore - I have always encouraged her to treat him with respect and maintain a relationship with him - and she loves him as she should. But I have never crammed anything down her throat - much the opposite of her bio dad.

    On my Christmas card this year, she wrote that in the 2 years we have spent living under 1 roof she has been able to find clarity in her values & that I have been a "true" father to her - this after telling an acquaintence of mine that she is glad her mother married me, & that I have been a very positive influence in her life. She made Dean's list (3 "A"s, 1 B+) this last semester - which was her first at the university after transferring from the Community College, and now has split from her BF of 3 years whose values & interests are completly oposite of hers, and is pressuring her to move in with him. That has torn her up - & she comes to me to talk about it.

    Take the highroad with him Mark (pun not intended!), and be somebody he can respect. If you actions back up your words, he'll notice.
     
  20. Don Gwinn

    Don Gwinn Moderator Emeritus

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    I have the same problem, only my kids are only six, and they lived with their grandparents a lot longer than they've lived with us (it's a foster-care situation that would take most of this week to explain fully.)

    Their grandparents and their teachers at their pre-school near Chicago all told them that guns are bad, that hunting is bad and only bad people "kill nature," and other such nonsense.

    We try to phrase things in terms of what makes sense, and we simply tell them that although we love grandpa too, and we're sure Missy from Kindercare is very nice and all, we think they're wrong. Then we explain why (in six-year-old terms, of course.)

    Now we've got their school to deal with. I never taught elementary school and I wasn't aware of just how bad it was. Now I know why my eighth graders were so far on the wrong side of literate.
     
  21. Kentucky Rifle

    Kentucky Rifle Member In Memoriam

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    Hi Mark,

    I'm 52, so you can guess how old my mother is. All her life, she has been afraid of firearms. She remembers every single story of a "bad shooting" or an AD/UD in which somebody got hurt or killed. Which is quite odd because my father was a champion skeet shooter. There is NOTHING anyone could do to get her to a range. She's not an "anti", she's just plain afraid. She's lived her life afraid of guns. Some people's minds will never change. Grandpa could well be one of those.

    KR
     
  22. G-Raptor

    G-Raptor Member

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    I agree with the general sentiment here, but it's too late to worry about converting grandpa. Although he seems to dislike the idea of CCW (which is not uncommon), you didn't indicate that he was generally anti-gun. If grandpa's idea of KABA is a rifle over the mantel or a shotgun in the closet, let it be. Kids should have an opportunity to learn from their grandparents, but it doesn't mean they will believe everything they hear.
     
  23. grampster
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    grampster Member

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    Mark,

    Who told you that when your kids turn 25 the problem ends?
    I'm 59 and my mother is 91......Ask her whether I know anything.
    Heh heh.

    grampster:p
     
  24. Deadhand

    Deadhand Member

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    I'm new to this forum, but I'm a member of several others, (not gun related). I am absolutely impressed with the well-written and intelligent responses to Mark's question! Proof that firearms enthusiasts are a cut above.
    My son is now 23 and a Sergeant in the Army Airborne. When he was only 8, his mother and I divorced. She became a radical Left-wing anti-gun- environmentalist wack-job, so, naturally, during his visits, he learned all about extreme permissiveness, promiscuity, recreational drug use, etc. While with me and my new wife, he learned honest core values, aided by irregular church worship and membership in a dynamic Boy Scout Troop. The weirdness at Mom's was alluring and fun for sure. My wife and I worried that those values we taught him would be lost once he left home. However, when he came home on leave, we saw that he has become a good, honorable man of high moral caliber. Hang in there, Mark. Your son will weigh the "rights and wrongs" and make the right choices. Good job!
     
  25. Mark Benningfield

    Mark Benningfield Member

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    Hello All.

    More excellent help. I'm much obliged. That's one of the things that doesn't make a lot of sense to me about my son's grandfather: he and I went hunting several times together when I was married to his daughter. He's a pretty fair quail hunter, but he was never what I would call an enthusiast. I dunno, I think it comes down to he's one who never does anything without seeking permission. So, no he's not anit-gun, but he's not too pro-gun either. As I said, sheeple. Such a waste.
     
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