We have new neighbors, and they are super nice. I was so excited to meet them and their adorable little girl, who is six, and was extra excited Lincoln would have a nice kid to play with right next door. We don’t live in a neighborhood so this was a special thing for us.
I wasn’t so excited while taking a tour of their house to see they owned guns. Being COMPLETELY ignorant of all things guns, I did what most ignorant people do and immediately thought the worst. I let 20/20 programs and news reports about some kid or kids who were looking/playing with their parents’ guns and…you know...freak me out. (Please don't tell me I'm "what's wrong with America." I admitted ignorance, and I'm asking for guidance here.)
I’m not proud of my internal freak out which I was lucky only produced an obvious “oooooh you have guns” verbal response, but I couldn’t help it. What was I going to do about this? What was appropriate? What could I do to educate myself to handle this properly?
What I should have done was ask more questions, but all I could think of to do was basically threaten to take away every toy Lincoln loves if he ever went over there without Adam or I and the same threat went for if he ever went in their basement where the six or so shot guns/riffle thingies (see, I know nothing) were in a glass cabinet. He didn’t see the cabinet when we were over, and I didn’t tell him there were guns there. The kid loves playing with his Nerf and water guns, and I could only imagine mentioning there were guns over there would spark his interest no matter how dangerous we’d tell him real guns were.
I can probably assume the cabinet is locked. I can probably assume their daughter doesn’t know where the key is. I can probably assume they’re not loaded. I don’t like to assume. I need to know. If I knew more, I think I’d be more comfortable.
What should I do? How should I approach the subject with Linc and the neighbors? I had hoped Linc could go over there and safely play and was even hoping to take them up on their offer of free babysitting once in a while. Is it wrong to ask them questions and let them know I'm concerned? Also, this reminds me I have to talk to Linc in general about guns and what to do if he sees one. How have you approached this subject?