Kids, Sleepovers….guns?

It starts like this….

A friend of mine and I were discussing sleepovers last week. See, both of us have little girls that are five, going on sleepover age. Both of us are on the verge of paranoid and overprotective, and we were trying to decide what age is best to start allowing them (if ever, omg) to happen, what questions to ask your child to make sure their ready, and what questions are appropriate to ask the parents. As the conversation progressed, she admitted that one of her biggest fears is that other parents will be gun owners, when they’re strictly against them in their household.

So the questions arose:

How do you ask other parents if they have guns in their home?
How can you be assured that they’re the responsible type, and not the crazyass type?
Can you request to see a permit, or a gun safe…or a demonstration (
no no no not really)?

Here’s where it got fun…

I responded, telling her that I was raised around guns from a fairly young age. We learned how to clean them, shoot them safely, leave them unloaded unless they were ready to use, use the safety, carry them right, the laws around them. Some of my fondest memories involve my daddy and his guns (that sounds insane, right?), the smell of the gun oil and his pipe while he cleaned and walked me through caring for them. I’ve since been in trap clubs, been hunting, and shoot them for fun. We don’t currently have them in our home, but I’ve been trying to convince the guy for a while to have at least one, not to shoot a person necessarily, but to feel protected, and you know, to shoot an animal should it break its back or leg…

And it was at this point in the conversation that she shrieked, “YOU’RE THE TYPE TO SHOOT AN ANIMAL?! *falls over in chair*.

I guess so. I mean, that’s the way I was raised. Better a bullet than a $1,000 vet bill + hours of suffering for the critter. Then again, maybe the vet is more painless for both parties. Hmmmmm.

My girls aren’t around guns at this point. But I admittedly, am so comfortable around them that it never even dawned on me to ask other parents what their thoughts were on the issue.

So the questions remain:

How do you ask other parents if they have guns in their home?
How can you be assured that they’re the responsible type, and not the crazyass type?
Can you request to see a permit, or a gun safe…or a demonstration (no no no not really)?

What age do you start sleepovers?
What questions are you afraid to ask, but more afraid to leave left unsaid?

How do you feel about guns in your house? Around your kids?


PS- no joke, Miranda Lambert’s “Gun Powder & Lead” randomly came on my Pandora just now. It’s the little things.


7 thoughts on “Kids, Sleepovers….guns?

  1. At first I thought you were talking about toy guns because that’s what I noticed some parents aren’t into here, but then I realised you meant real guns! That just wouldn’t cross our mind here in Australia – it’s not normal for everyone to have a gun. I can imagine, then, the sleepover question must be way heavier to consider for you. Good luck!

  2. Since I have lots of time to myself on the road I really thought about this. First off I don’t think they should start sleep overs till there 8 or so. A few reasons for this is they will have had more time to developed friend ships and as parents you can get to know the friends too. Also if your lucky enough you might have been able to meet the parents a few times. Todays world is so different then way back when (to long ago) I think this also allows your children the chance to develope the sense of good people and bad people. Last but not least the only sleep overs before 8 or so should be with relatives or good friends with the same age kiddos.
    as far as guns go like you I was raised around them and learned the respect of them. Sadly I didn’t do this with my boys. I feel guns have there time and place in our lives there for as long as children are taught the right and wrongs good and bads of guns then there shouldn’t be a problem with them and like you if and when needed animals must be put down that is part of life on a farm. In our house im the gun toter even if it is just a .22.
    I don’t envy you parents of today. Life is soooooo much more complicated and you all have so many more worries.
    Thank goodness im just a step granny.

  3. I feel like you two belong on Slacker and Steve πŸ˜‰ I mean, it would probably even make the show if you tried even! #justsayin Afternoon entertainment! And call me when it happens! haha

  4. Uh….really???? SO I think I’d rather NOT ASK about the gun situation because inevitably I will end up in the hot seat…also by the time the kids are going to sleepovers (I’m going with 6 here) with “strangers” or kids from school who’s parents I don’t already know, they already know to get the hell away from someone who doesn’t know how to use a gun and what it looks like when someone DOES know how to use a gun etc… If they are sleeping over and they see a red flag situation (gun in coat rack instead of closet/safe) for instance or something like that they call me. Seriously since we have guns in the house and by the time they are six they will know what to do and not to do with a gun and that if someone is doing a “not to do” with a gun they call mommy because that person’s house is NOT SAFE!!! Maybe I’m in dreamland here with just an infant to worry about but I was raised around guns and knew that if I was at someone’s house and they weren’t treating guns, any kind, toy or just a paint gun or BB gun, with respect I left the area or the house because I knew what wasn’t safe and I sure as hell wanted safety. That is when my friend would end up staying at my house. I don’t want my kid to miss out on slumber parties at our house because I will shoot my ailing animal, or the neighbor’s rabid dog etc… or dinner….

    I think gun safety starts at home and if you educate your kids well enough about guns and whatnot they’re safer than if the subject never comes up till they want to sleep over at the farm kids’ house. Luckily my kids will go to school with other kids who are stuck out here in BFE so likely they’ll all be able to stay at our place regardless of our feelings on guns.

    That said, just so all you folks know…guns safe and locked away or unloaded with shells etc…up in the closet for use against rogue dog or for use on a suffering animal etc… Guns that are used for hunting stay put away till they need sighted in and sent off on their expedition. When guns are handled, before being shot we break them down, before handling to break them down we know how to check and unload one safely and before shooting we know the safety must be on, no fingers on the trigger till we are up to the line at where we are shooting from and then, safety off, aim and fire…empty clip, drop it, safety on… NEXT So… FYI I don’t think we register firearms so…

  5. I think we started letting Savannah do sleep overs when she was 8 or so and at that time Erie was still small and I knew the parents. I’m sorry to scare you more but there’s more than just guns to worry about. So many times when Savannah was little if there was a new friend and I didn’t know the parents that friend would spend the night here and often the parents would just drop off without doing a question and interview session with us! Needless to say Savannah never went to that persons’ house to spend the night.
    But you are here to raise and protect those precious girls not make friends. I don’t think any of those questions are out of bounds, offensive or whatever. And if they are you don’t want those girls spending any major time with them. A parent should respond with something like “Oh thank you for asking I was going to ask the same thing”
    You’ve raised unbelievably sweet and smart girls and talking to them about listening to their gut, if it hasn’t all ready should maybe be next. And maybe just play dates for now…no sleep overs until their older. Unless it’s to their favorite Auntie Amber’s house! πŸ™‚

  6. I was against all guns. My kids were never going tonally with them until Allyson was 3 and got a water gun in a gift bag at a party. I told her to give it back and she said, “but, what is it?”. Then I realized I was going to get her killed by not teaching about guns. So I ran out, but a bunch of toy guns and taught safety to them. I always made friend’s with parents at school and when we had “play dates”, I was there too. I don’t think I ever just dropped them off for a play date when they were 4 & 5. I couldn’t stay, neither did they. Even now, at 8 & 9, they don’t even get dropped off at bday parties. I stay. Even at 4, she was at a party and I was the only parent who stayed—I was floored. I do and have asked if people have guns, even though I stay. Don’t find it as much in Vegas as I did in Denver. Everytime I asked, people either said no or would say yes but explain how they stored them. Never had someone take offense a boy asked Blake over to play a couple years ago, I’d gone over a few times but let him go on his own this time. They had a pool and he wasnt a strong swimmer but loved water. So I told the mom that blake shouldn’t play outside if the pool gate wasn’t locked because he would go in and he wasn’t a strong swimmer. She was very open to it and assured me they keep it locked. Most of us want the same things out of life for our kids so most parents understand the questions and would ask the same. If they are offended, chances are, you don’t want your kid there. At 8 & 9, we have done a handful of sleepovers and only 3 have been successful. I always get a midnight call so we just steer away from them. At this age still, they only go to houses of my friends. Theres nothing wrong with being protective. It’s our job.

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