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Old June 28, 2005, 06:38 PM   #1
Porkchops
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Explaining concealed carry to your family

My CCL (and my wife's) are on the way. Should have them this week, I think. I'm not sure when I'll start carrying for sure -- it may take some time to actually do it. But, I'll have the license, so that I can when I feel that I need to.


Here's the main point of this thread:

My family isn't anti-gun, but almost none of my several brothers, sisters, or inlaws carry a gun or even shoot. They'll most likely think I'm off my rocker when they find out (some day) that I'm carrying.

I KNOW that many of you must have had to deal with family once you made the decision to carry.

I'd be interested to hear your experiences, stories, etc.

For example, what about being around your nieces and nephews (did your inlaws, or siblings, demand you not carry around their kids??)

Or, were you the first in your family to carry, and now several of your family carries as a result of your wisdom?

How do you explain this to your family?
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Old June 28, 2005, 06:48 PM   #2
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This is an excellent question

And one which I'm sure gun owners across America have to deal with often.
All I can tell you is how I deal with anti-gun relatives.

First of all, I don't "explain" anything to them or anyone else about why I have firearms. I do because I can. There is usually no point in trying to engage in any kind of discussion with anti-gun types on a logic basis.

If my brothers/sisters do visit however, I show them my security procedures. If I was a parent, I would expect no less. If they choose to not come in spite of that it is their choice. I do not change my procedures accordingly.

I also respect their domiciles and would not bring anything into their homes that they didn't approve of. That usually means I don't visit very often. Again, that's OK. It's their choice, not mine.

Generally speaking, I find open communication works pretty well. If it doesn't, then maybe it wasn't meant to be.
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Old June 28, 2005, 07:32 PM   #3
Javelin Man
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My family is progun after growing up with guns. My two brothers are married to wives that are antigun, but show no qualms to me about carrying. My twin brother asked if he could borrow my license.

That said, my wife used to think it was getting bothersome when I put my gun on. Now she just asks if I'm packing and it doesn't bother her. My oldest daughter sees if she can spot my gun before we go out.

I don't carry in my relative's houses, though. I had a lock installed in my glove compartment to store the gun.

I've only used it once when a guy approached me as I went to a parking garage in Cincinnati and he asked for spare change. I said no and reached in my pocket. He realized I wasn't reaching for my wallet and he disappeared as quickly as he came. A guy was shot in his car at the same intersection a couple months later by a guy walking by.

After that incident, I really don't care what other people say as I'm glad I can sit and listen to them.
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Old June 28, 2005, 08:40 PM   #4
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If I've got my Kahr PM9 in a pocket holster my family can't tell I'm carrying. I don't explain to them or tell them anything. Concealed means concealed.

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Old June 28, 2005, 09:08 PM   #5
joab
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Quote:
How do you explain this to your family?
This question has come alot here
Here's my standard answer

I don't.

I don't explain my choice of underwear or hemoroid creams either.

It's just what I do
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Old June 28, 2005, 09:25 PM   #6
Garand Illusion
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I don't feel a strong need to explain either, but I do enjoy a good debate . So when it does come up (as it inevitably does) my answer is simply ... why wouldn't I?

I start out by saying, "alright ... suppose the anti gun groups are right and we need to get guns out of America. Is that going to happen tomorrow?"

And of course they concede that it can't after some hemming and hawing, admitting it would take years to get the country moving in that direction.

"So ... with the bad guys definitely carrying guns, why wouldn't I want to have that advantage? I've taking training to carry a firearm -- as much as some police officers (I believe that is true, BTW, though it may be stretching it somewhat). I can outshoot many police officers (absolutely true) and I'm a responsible citizen. I carry a safe and modern weapon and you KNOW I'm a level headed guy who's not going to start shooting just because someone cut him off in traffic."

Of course, there will be further arguments, like blood running in the streets and shootings over traffic spots. Some more talking points:
  • Florida has had concealed carry laws for going on 20 years, with nothing but positive results.
  • FBI statistics prove that a victim is not likely to be harmed if they resist an attack with a firearm.
  • When the people sat in that Texas cafeteria before CCW, how many do you suppose said, "Well, we're about to be gunned down in cold blood. But at least I'm not carrying a gun today!"
  • During the nazi purge of the Warsaw ghetto, how many fathers looked at their sons and said "Abraham -- I have no means of protecting you or trying to fight for a breakout. But at least there were no school shootings this year" (note -- the jews in the Warsaw ghetto with just a handful of stolen weapons put up ONE HELL of a good fight)
  • I'm sorry you disagree witth the law. But as long as I'm allowed this level of protection for myself and my family, I WILL have it.

For general anti-gun people who think there's no social value to gun ownership, I tell them the Condoleeza Rice story, and how her father organizesd his black congegration in Alabama to resist the KKK with guns. To me, it's just plain proof that an armed citizenry has clear advantaged from every viewpoint except that of a totalitarian government without popular support.

Look up this story -- I don't have time to write out the particulars. It should be required reading for any RKBA patriot.
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Old June 28, 2005, 09:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
I don't.

I don't explain my choice of underwear or hemoroid creams either.
That's a great response. I'm just too much of a debater and for me the concept of "unarmed being better than armed" is just too easy to logically pick apart for me to let it go. And I have converted a couple of people grudgingly to being at least somewhat supportive from total anti.

But yeah ... it's a personal choice and nobody's business but our own.
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Old June 29, 2005, 12:33 AM   #8
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I always carry - period.

Not because I'm looking for trouble, expecting trouble or disregarding any warning signs of impending trouble.

I carry because I feel it the right thing to do. I have never had to use my weapon(s) against anyone (thank goodness) and I hope that situation never comes.

When a couple of my ex relatives asked my carrying guns they were pretty boneheaded about it. To the point of forbidding my niece and nephew from staying in my home unless I swore they would remain locked up the entire time.

The kids came for a visit during the summer and I took them for ice cream, with a stop at the range before hand. I spent a few hours teaching them basic safety, had them memorize the four rules and swear blind never to tell a soul.

They went thru two bricks in the 10/22 and my niece shot my (then) carry gun.

Got it on tape too Things were going great until a while later me and the ex went to get the video camera to use for a Saturday. She powered it up and the tape was still in it. Well... that just about started WWIII.

Nowdays, when I see my niece and nephew when they visit, my ex knows I carry and she knows I will just probably take the kids to the range. They both love it.

The inlaws have been uber chilly since then, and I know they are the parents, but I decided to take the kiddos and expose them to guns anyway. They both are very aware of safe gun handling procedures and are good kids.

The only time I ever discussed it with the (ex) inlaws in depth was when UPS was dropping off some ammo from AIM at just the same time they arrived. All of it wasn't mine. A buddy of mine works nights and didn't feel good about leaving the ammo on his doorstep, so I took delivery for him. They were certain I was preparing for the end of the world. They freaked.

The inlaws didn't understand then, they don't understand now and probably never will. Rational conversation with those people isn't possible.

So, as a result, now if the subject comes up with anyone, I tell them I carry, and have for years - every time I have been in their presence. The most common response is 'well no kidding.. I never knew a thing'

Most people find it a little bit novel, and some could care less. Others who might just be rabid anti's will never know.

If they do, and can't learn to accept that, then I understand if we don't see each other again.

Suprisingly, of the inlaws, outlaws, cousins etc that do know, many have asked to go to the range sometime to see what it's all about.

So far, in my extended family there are 11 CCW's, just about all of my close friends carry and many of my acquaintances do too.

Carrying doesn't make you evil, some people are smart enough to realize that.

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Old June 29, 2005, 02:35 AM   #9
Edison Carter
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I found that my ex-wife, and some ex friends left my life as a result of me
owning guns. (never mind carrying)

I am not so sure it was their feelings about guns per se, but perhaps that
I did not ask for their "permission", I had no interest in their "opinions",
and I would not submit to scorn, ridicule, and ignorant judgementalism.

I still have a couple friends from my pre-gun era who, while they do not
especially understand where I am coming from, had no inherent NEED
to control me.

Bottom line: if your friends do not support your views on armed self
defense, and they presume to tell you not to carry or discuss guns in their
presence, GET NEW FRIENDS!

EC
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Old June 29, 2005, 03:30 AM   #10
big daddy 9mm
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what would you say if they ask...

do you really think that you will need 'that' I know my aunts and cousins will say that exact sentence.
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Old June 29, 2005, 05:04 AM   #11
Edison Carter
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If I really thought I needed a gun,
I'd carry my SHOTGUN!

EC
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Old June 29, 2005, 05:21 AM   #12
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I started carrying ~35 years ago in NY when my father died and I inherited his little .32 S&W. I carried when I lived in PA for 20 years and I carry now living in SC for the past 4 years.

MY wife does not like guns but accepts the fact that I am ALWAYS armed. I taught my children gun safety and how to shoot when they were old enough to understand. They became familiar with guns but, except for my daughter, never took up the sport. Most of my friends know I carry but we just don't talk about it unless they are my shooting partners. Most of the time I don't even think about it because it is such a habit.

If I go to a stranger's house, I will still carry. My gun is concealed - I just don't talk about it. Why start an unnecessary discussion.

.....and "yes" ... I had to discharge it once while being robbed and another time just to "show" which stopped a possible attack on some unsuspecting guy.
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Old June 29, 2005, 08:17 AM   #13
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I've carried to every family gathering since getting my CCW, and have not once been questioned about it. Hell, I don't even know if anybody's noticed. I suppose if I ever got the "Why do you need to carry that?" line, I would probably say something along the lines, "God commanded me to arm myself in preparation for the apocalypse, where I will be called on to smite the unrepentant sinners." Typically I find that one ends conversation pretty quick.
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Old June 29, 2005, 09:00 AM   #14
Dave R
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I don't think any of my family know I carry. (Other than my wife.) Its a personal matter.
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Old June 29, 2005, 09:50 AM   #15
Edward429451
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Quote:
do you really think that you will need 'that' I know my aunts and cousins will say that exact sentence.
My inlaws said that years ago. I said I hope to hell not and was real casual about it, like I carried a flashlight or something. If you don't make a big thing about it, they prolly wont either. Offered to take them shooting, they declined at first. One by one they went. One by one they had fun and were converted. Now they have a house full of guns.

The key is not ever do anything stupid with a gun around them. No dirty harry jokes or anything. They soon see the man is safe and stop fearing the gun. Oh and to have a .22 or three so when you take them shooting for the first few times, they have fun. Let them ask to shoot the hoglegs, don't push anything on them. Patience. Don't pull out too many guns at once at the range so thet don't feel overwhelmed or surrounded by guns. Patience.

The MIL was absolutely paranoid at first. Few years down the road, she asked to borrow one for protection. Yep. Few more years she got her own and sees them as just another piece of outdoor equipment like a fishing pole that can also be used for protection.

It worked for me. YMMV.
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Old June 29, 2005, 10:15 AM   #16
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What to tell family...

Hmm, this question popped into my mind yesterday actually. I picked my mom up from the airport for her first visit up to this part of the world. And I was packing. I do not road trip anywhere without packing. While I can fix a flat or breakdown on the side of the road, Mr Fix It who stopped to help can still be a threat to this chick.

Anyway, I don't know if Mom realized I was carrying or not. I didn't try to hide it, I just went about adjusting myself getting into and out of the truck like I would around my husband. He knows the signs, Mom might have just thought my clothes were itchy. I considered mentioning it to her while we were sitting down for lunch at a restaurant, but I decided against it. There was no good reason I should tell her. I didn't need to explain myself. While it is a "neat" thing, carrying isn't something you should play show and tell with.

So, I'm doing the same as I did when I got my belly button pierced. The first time my parents knew about that was the first time they saw me in my swimsuit. It's already too late Actually, they had no pull at that time anyway, I was in college and on my own. Now I'm married and on my own, so the decisions I make are none of their business unless I make it their business.
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Old June 29, 2005, 10:29 AM   #17
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I don't explain anything to anyone. It's none of their business. It does go back to the concept that concealed is CONCEALED! No one knows.
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Old June 29, 2005, 10:36 AM   #18
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Almost had to face this last Sunday. I was at my dad's for his 74th birthday; got up from the couch and my stepmother said, "What I want to know is why you have a gun in your back pocket?" (It was actually in my IWB.) I pretended not to hear and she didn't pursue it.
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Old June 29, 2005, 10:45 AM   #19
Garand Illusion
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Quote:
do you really think that you will need 'that' I know my aunts and cousins will say that exact sentence.
Another common one.

My answer:

"Statistically as an individual, probably not. But did Joel Myrick think there would ever be a school shooting at his school? Of course he didn't. But he knew there could be a school shooting somewhere, so he prepared himself. And when he won the bad luck lottery, he was able to save lives. How many shooting rampages could be ended if even 5% of the population were armed and trained? I don't put my baby in a child seat because I think I'm going to get into an accident; if I thought that I wouldn't put her in the car in the first place. I put her in the child seat because sometimes bad things happen, and I want to protect her however I can. By training and arming myself, I am not only better able to protect myself and my family, but arguably I become an asset to society."

Quote:
Pearl High School in Pearl, Mississippi in 1997. Luke Woodham slit his mother's throat, grabbed a .30-30 lever action deer rifle, packed the pockets of his trench coat with ammunition, and headed off to Pearl High School to commit a mass murder. When Vice Principal Joel Myrick heard the shots, he ran to get his Colt .45 handgun, but was delayed due to his compliance with existing "gun control" laws. He ran a considerable distance to his truck, unlocked the door, removed his gun from its case, removed the ammunition from another case, loaded his gun, and ran back to the school to stop any additional murders. "I've always kept a gun in the truck just in case something like this ever happened," said Myrick. Woodham kept shooting and reloading, shooting and reloading, until he heard sirens. He then ran to his car to drive to nearby Pearl Junior High School to shoot more kids before police could show up. But Myrick, armed with his handgun, prevented those additional murders. He pointed his gun at Woodham's head, causing Woodham to crash the car. Myrick approached Woodham and used his gun to detain Woodham until the police arrived.
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Old June 29, 2005, 03:23 PM   #20
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Quote:
I don't explain anything to anyone. It's none of their business. It does go back to the concept that concealed is CONCEALED! No one knows
Obiwan1's quote is exactly on point. If you and your wife are going to carry concealed - then it is not in your best interests to make that public information - to anyone! To let it get around that you carry concealed defeats the purpose of carrying concealed.

I have carried concealed for over 40 years and, with the exception of my wife and children, I have never told another person - period!

I most sincerely and strongly advise you to follow that policy too.
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Old June 29, 2005, 04:09 PM   #21
chris in va
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Quote:
Concealed means concealed.
Ditto. I don't point anything out when at a friend's (or strangers) house, and I go about my life as normal. It's like a Leatherman...just a tool.
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Old June 29, 2005, 04:16 PM   #22
Nio
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I like this web page:

Why I Carry A Gun

Says it all. I'd just refer my family there.

Nio
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Old June 29, 2005, 05:56 PM   #23
Russ5924
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Like the old saying "what they don't know won't hurt them" just don't say anything isn't worth the trouble.But am glad I have friends and relation that just don't care all my family has lived with the guns for a long time.
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Old June 29, 2005, 06:08 PM   #24
Mannlicher
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why do you feel compelled to explain anything to anyone?
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Old June 29, 2005, 07:38 PM   #25
butch50
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My wife's first cousin killed himself with a gun. She was raised in a family that had no guns and had no gun background. Not only were guns foreign objects to her, but what she knew of them was what she saw on TV (bad education that) and what her cousin did to himself. She never had any good experiences with guns, zero zip nada.

When we got married she of course knew of my passion for guns and she was familiar with my collection. No problem because she trusted me to behave rationally with them. She brought two boys to our marriage from her first marriage and of course boys love guns and they wanted to shoot - so I learned them how. She was all for it, wanted her sons to know and respect guns. Couldn't get her to go shooting though.

After I started carrying I asked her how she felt about it - I didn't ask her permission or really discuss it with her much except to tell her what I was about to do. Her answer was pretty thoughtful, and telling. She said that she felt safer knowing that I was armed because she knew that I would only resort to the gun as the very last effort. But knowing that I had it made her feel better because who knew what situation might crop up.

As for my kids, they just take it as "of course, wonder what took him so long to start carrying". I have though asked my immediate family not to discuss it with anyone else, including my extended family. I do not carry into their homes as I don't think that is respectful of their homes. My thoughts are that the fewer people who know the better as I want to maintain the element of surprise in any given situation.

Sometimes it is hard to understand why some people don't feel the same way about guns as I do. My wife's background helps me to understand though that if you are not raised with them, have had maybe a bad experience with them, and only know about them from the liberal media - then they have a far different experience than mine - I was raised with them from my toddler years and was out hunting with my own .410 gauge shotgun, without any adult supervision, from the age of 10 on up. My whole family is that way.

It's almost like different religions - gun lovers vs. gun fearers - like buddhists vs baptists, no common ground.....
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