Maxfield has a friend, Johnny, who lives up the street. Johnny comes to our house to play and they are, for the most part, somewhat supervised. I say somewhat because sometimes the two five-years-olds will go to Max's room to play with cars or action figures and neither Lauren or I are actually in the room where they are playing. I know the boys are safe in Max's room and that there is really nothing upstairs that could harm anyone. I know because it is my upstairs.
Max has been spending more and more time playing at Johnny's house. Johnny's parents are always home when Max is there and I have to assume that the boys are somewhat supervised. Johnny's parents are real nice people and they seem to have good instincts when it comes to their three kids. I can only guess at the "good instincts" part because I am only recently really getting to know them, but my gut tells me they are good people.
I am always paranoid when Max is not home with us and my thoughts and fears get the best of me. One day, while Max was at Johnny's house, I asked Lauren if she thought that Johnny's parents would own a gun. I explained my fascination with guns when I was kid and that I think to some extent little boys are drawn to weapons. I worried Max would be the same as me and that there was potential for danger. When I read or hear about children and firearm accidents it makes me sick to my stomach. I see and understand why people may own firearms but I know that I am not comfortable around guns and I will not have one in my house. * One day, when I feel Max is old enough I will have my friend DC teach him about gun safety but until then Max will know very little about the danger of guns.
My favorite line I have ever heard anyone say about guns was said by a guy I knew named Croke. He worked security with me in the nightclub business and one night while we were patting down patrons and checking for weapons a club-goer said to him "Don't worry, there is no need to check me. I don't believe in guns."
Croke laughed and said, "Don't believe? Listen buddy, guns are not like the Easter Bunny or the Tooth fairy. Guns DO Exist. So you better believe I am going to check you."
So yes, I believe in guns. I believe they exist. I know they exist.
Lauren did her best to calm my fears but she did think, that maybe, I should ask Johnny's parents if they had a gun in the house. I told her I would ask them when I went to pick-up Max that afternoon. I told myself I had a right to know if they had a gun because my son was there a lot.
As I walked the 5 houses up to Johnny's house I had a change of position. I was not going to ask them about guns in their home. I had no right to ask them. Sure I could ease my own worry about Max's safety but in reality where would my questions stop. If they did or did not own a gun I am sure there were other things in their house that could harm Max. Was I then going to ask them if there were any prescription pills in the house that Max could mistakenly think were PEZ candy? Taking medication could kill him just like a gun could. Was I going to ask them how far from their kitchen counter's edge they kept their kitchen cutlery? Max could have a fatal accident with a sharp object. Or should I ask if they cut all of their blinds strings down to a size that could not strangle a young boy. Was I going to ask in the future how much alcohol the parents drank in the event that one of them may eventually take Max in their car to get ice cream and wrap their vehicle around a tree? Drunk Driving is another serious way of harming someone. The possibilities are endless.
I never did ask them about the gun. As much as it is my business, it is also none of my business. I have to trust my gut with the fact that Johnny's parents are good people and that if they do have a gun in their house, it is properly locked up and out of the way.
But the question...it still nags me in the back of mind...you know?
So Internet people, what would you do? Do you ask your children's friend's parents if they have a gun? OR do you let it go?
This is not a question about the right to own a gun, but more of a question is it a right to ask someone if they own a gun?
* Please note that since I have publicly stated that I do not have a gun and in case you are some creepy criminal who now realizes you can try and invade and rob my home...I may not be able to shoot you dead for breaking in my house, but I sure as hell would wrestle you and force my (generic non narcotic) prescription pills down your throat and then I would tie your neck up on the pull string to my(not a name brand or worht anything) blinds as I slug back about 8 shots of ( regular run of of the mill cheap stuff) tequila and get in my car (which is a KIA and not worth stealing) and run your ass over.