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How would you handle this?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by robMaine, Dec 27, 2011.

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  1. robMaine

    robMaine Member

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    So I am in a slightly sticky situation and I figured you all might have some good advice.

    WARNING, LONG RANT

    I will start with some background, my father-in-law is who introduced me to firearms. When I was about 17 I started dating his daughter and he invited me out to shoot and I had a blast. I have been steadily collecting and shooting ever since then. I am now 23 and just married his daughter, we still share an interest in shooting and a lot of our time is spent discussing guns and he is always asking me to bring him to my range.

    Now this may sound like an awesome situation, here is where it gets complicated. When I first got into shooting I respected everything he had to say, he seemed like a wealth of knowledge, and I hung off every word. I slowly gained a realization that he wasn't such an "expert", especially when it came to safety issues(muzzle control, eyes/ears, checking chambers). I could deal with his mistakes until this Christmas eve...


    So on Christmas Eve, I gave him a 30 round clip for his 22 and his wife received a holster for for her PK380. First off, he tested out the clip, brought the gun back in, took the clip out and put the gun down. I discreetly went over, and as I suspected he had left a live round in the chamber, so I cleared it. This may seem minor but it was downhill from there,

    Secondly while trying to get used the holster him and his wife proceeded to attempt holstering and drawing a loaded weapon, waving it all around in the process. I did my best to keep myself and my wife(pregnant) out of the way and kept my temper in check. When I got a chance I asked to see the gun and cleared it for them without making a big deal of it, he then had the nerve to (severely)correct me for not putting the safety of the now empty weapon on...

    I am completely stumped on how to handle this, he is an "elder" to me and I feel out of place correcting him, not to mention he would argue he did nothing wrong and would not let it go(you know the type). I have learned to leave and let be with most things, but this is putting me, my wife and my unborn child in danger,

    Any ideas? Sorry for the rant..
     
  2. CoRoMo

    CoRoMo Member

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    I usually use some type of humor to communicate with people who are hard to communicate with. For example, when you noticed that he left a round chambered in the .22 rifle, you could have made a remark like, "Whoa. It looks like you're trying to kill someone here". If it is said in neither a whimsical nor confrontational tone, but somewhere in between, I would hope that he'd get the message.
     
  3. Skribs

    Skribs Member

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    I work in IT, where people skills are sorely needed, but often nonexistant. I have met several dozen "experts" who don't know what they're talking about. My advice is, if it's a safety issue you should address it. If he doesn't think it's a concern, don't go shooting with him, because he is a safety risk.

    If it's something not safety related, listen to what he has to say. Disregard (internally) that which you know to be false. Fact-check everything else to see if it's false or true later.

    Just remember - experience doesn't mean intelligence. Practice doesn't make perfect, practice makes permanent. Just because someone is your elder doesn't mean they have the right experience or learned the right lessons from their mistakes. I know plenty of people who learned the wrong lessons (i.e. not "don't do bad things" but "don't get caught").
     
  4. robMaine

    robMaine Member

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    I have pretty much stopped shooting with him for various reasons, but it is then when we are at their house or they are at ours that is getting me. Maybe I will try the "serious" humor approach.
     
  5. ATBackPackin

    ATBackPackin Member

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    That is a difficult situation and be careful how you handle it. It could have some lasting effects.

    Maybe you could tell him that you are taking a safety refresher course and since since he introduced you to firearms you would be honored if he joined you to make it fun and you will pay. Tell him that with the baby coming the wife is making you take the class. Perhaps this time around some of it will stick better.

    Like CoRoMo said, humor can go a long way in breaking the ice so it doesn't sound so matter of fact like.

    Good luck
    Shawn
     
  6. rethin

    rethin Member

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    Get someone neutral (your wife, mother in law etc) to by the *both* of you a safety class you can take together.

    Make sure the idea is never connected to you. Just treat it like a day at the range with the old man.
     
  7. Telekinesis

    Telekinesis Member

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    I agree with the idea of the safety class. That way it is someone else who is correcting his bad habits and not you, and in the future (after the class) you can refer to the class if you need to (softly) correct his gun handling. You can claim that the class "really opened your eyes" to gun safety.
     
  8. robMaine

    robMaine Member

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    The gun class idea is AWESOME, this forum never ceases to impress.
     
  9. cor_man257

    cor_man257 Member

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    Sometimes its hard to correct someone with authority over you...

    The best way is quietly and respectfully. Like your mother in law with the loaded pistol. Take it, without saying a word and unload it. Hand it back. Stare them in the face blankly.

    You didnt insult, and you made things better. If its brought up more... go into it a bit. Respect is the name of the game. If they percieve a challenge it will get confrontational. You want to avoid that even when your rage is boiling.
     
  10. jp9mm

    jp9mm Member

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    I don't believe gun safety is a subject to be bashful discussing.
    when he corrected you about the safety not being on, if it were me i would of said "you know you handed me a loaded gun right ? you know you left your .22 rifle with one in the chamber before?"
    were they practicing with the safety on ? fingers off trigger ?
    :scrutiny:
     
  11. baylorattorney

    baylorattorney Member

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    Post rules in your house where everyone may read them and apply them equally to every member of your household and every visitor. One of the rules will deal with "no loaded weapons" or however you want to word it. This way your father in law won't feel singled out or discriminated upon. The reason for the new posted rules is you have a baby on the way and increased number of guests, etc.


    Mark, esquire
     
  12. MuleRyder

    MuleRyder Member

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    I like the safety course idea, It will be a refresher for you and will likely help your father in law, and no feelings get hurt.
     
  13. Skribs

    Skribs Member

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    Baylor, no loaded weapons = no firearms. They are always loaded.
     
  14. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    If I was in your situation I would have a talk with the wife and be on the same page first. Then use the reasoning and talk with him that "with the new baby on the way the wife and I have realized that the things we are sometimes doing with firearms are unsafe. We as a family have a responsibility to safely protect/raise the new baby above all else. So if I seem a little overly safety conscious to you especially around firearms, please humor me and help us all stay extra safe so that we can all be here to raise the baby together." Using the "we" word is less of an accusing thing than saying "you" and better tolerated. Then that is the time for the wife to say that her doctor has mentioned attending a firearms safety class would be a good thing for the family to help keep the new baby safe. If all four of you go and take the course there will be three of you that will be on watch if he makes a mistake to remind him about safety and you alone will not be doing all the correcting and therefore getting the brunt of his anger. A good approach with the proper motivation and he will get on board I would hope. Good luck with his enlightenment.:)
     
  15. Ghost Tracker

    Ghost Tracker Member

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    Do what is safe. Do it yourself if necessary. Say nothing. Do not instruct. Lead by SILENT example. Talk is cheap. He who speaks first...could be written out of the will :D. But NO AMOUNT of family or domestic tranquility is worth the risk of AD/ND tragedy. Would you rather piss him off, hurt his feelings OR deal with a fatal shooting? Make no mistake, that's the choice.
     
  16. Curator

    Curator Member

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    Rethin is right on target. Enroll with him in an NRA Basic Pistol class (about 8 hours with range time) On the way home remark how you had not been handling firearms as safely as you should have and how much you learned. Ask your father-in-law to review the safe handling with you so you would be sure to understand and practice it correctly. Make him part of the process and praise him for helping you get it right.
     
  17. rule303

    rule303 Member

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    Safety violations are not the situation to turn the other cheek. Even if he is offended in the short term, it may be his life you save by speaking up. The class idea sounds like a winner.
     
  18. scaatylobo

    scaatylobo Member

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    I would tale him aside and let him know that according to MY rules for shooting and gun handling,he had made a mistake.

    And we can agree to not shoot together as long as he insists on making me uncomfortable.

    As a "comfort" thing and as a guest in his house or range,he might feel compelled to make you happy.

    But if not,I would refuse to be near him when he has a loaded gun out.

    My safety and that of those around me come first.
     
  19. 303tom

    303tom member

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    They are family, tell them about it & if they don`t like it, too damn bad, safety first......
     
  20. montgomery381

    montgomery381 Member

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    If this was anyone else I would suggest being pretty direct with him. But the fact is that with that approach you run the risk of not only angering him but your mother-in-law as well. And the fact that you and your in-laws aren't getting along will also upset your wife. I think CoRoMo is on the right track. Just keep making, seemingly innocent, remarks. But another approach would be to bring up safety by talking about a safety mishap that you made. If you have to completely fabricate one. And from there you talk to him about how much more safety minded everyone has to be especially with your little one coming. By putting your self in the spotlight first it will not put him on the defensive but it gives you the oppurtunity to have a serious to the point conversation without pointing fingers. At the very least you will be able to frankly point out how important safety is and how EVERYONE can be safer.
     
  21. Shadow 7D

    Shadow 7D Member

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    Honesty and humility
    you know the guy, so, while it sucks,
    you also know how best to approach him

    if he is open, be open and honest
    if he is an 'expert'
    sniping, er, joking comments may work

    SUCH
    as when he points his gun in your direction, say
    "Whoa, you wanna have a gunfight, keep pointing that at me..."
    kinda gets the point across

    Or you can make the point like this
    "can you stop pointing your gun at your daughter and me, I'd like to at least see my son before you kill him"
     
  22. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Someone points a gun at me and they will get an earful. It might piss them off, but it might save someones life later as well.

    Never be afraid to impress gun safety on someone. Firmly and respectfully if possible, but firmly and irritably if you have to.

    My last one was when someone turned after shooting and pointed a pistol at me. I told him firmly to never to do that again. His response was "The safety is on". I responded with a very irritated "I DON"T CARE!" And this was a buddy from work who wanted to shoot his new toy. He was apologetic and I believe I made a positive impression on him as far as gun safety goes.
     
  23. JHenry

    JHenry Member

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    sneak in while their asleep and load there guns with dummy ammo. But than that kinda defeats the purpose of having a gun handy in your house
     
  24. ralphie98

    ralphie98 Member

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    I've had to correct eldrs too. With my dad I've always been direct and he prefers it that way. There was one time I had some old timer I was hunting with point his gun at my leg region while we were chatting. In that situation I kept it subtle while still getting the point across. I looked down at the gun took a big step back the looked back at him. He said to me "don't worry it isn't loaded". All I could think to say was "that's nice" and kept on with the conversation. He got the hint though that he should be mindful of where he points the thing.
     
  25. gym

    gym member

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    Wrong is wrong, and this man, elder or not, needs it spelled out to him, in whatever fashion you feel best. But not approaching the subject is as wrong as he is. He is putting others at risk, and you can't be around someone who does things that careless. You can always make it an agreement if nothing else works, that guns will be off limits when you are in their company, and leave it at that.
    This way from what you said he isn't going to listen to your opinion anyway, so for the peace of the family, you can just not enter into an never ending conversation. Just tell him you would rather not have the guns being handled when you are there. If that dosen't work, you have no choice but to stop going there. It will be short lived even if it comes down to that, hell get over it.
    I found that arguing with someone over such matters is a waste of time, you can try showing him statistics and the like, but if he's a cantankerous old guy, he won't even read them. Actions speak loudr, just make yurself scarce, he will ask you what's wrong, and there is you opening. We just don't feel comfortable with the way you handle your guns . It's an accident waiting to happen, and I won't subject my family to this nosnense.
     
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