Q. My husband’s brother has hunting rifles in his attic, and it worries me to have my child around firearms. Do I talk to him about it?
A. There’s no need for you to be delicate or squeamish. Folks who are uncomfortable with guns tend to be uncomfortable talking about them as well. But gun owners are usually perfectly happy to chat about their gear. Your brother-in-law bought his guns, hunts with them, and is likely proud to own them. He also doesn’t want your child (or his own!) to be at risk, and therefore he should be perfectly willing to talk about what he’s done to make his equipment inaccessible to children, something the National Rifle Association, which supports gun ownership, encourages on its website and in its brochures.
The key to having the conversation without an argument is to avoid being judgmental. Don’t draw him into a debate about the Second Amendment or your anti-gun philosophy. Stick to the issue at hand: how he’s gone about securing the weapons and ammo. You’ll likely feel better just knowing what precautions he’s taken.
And if his safety measures seem inadequate, express your concerns to him and to your sister-in-law — mom to mom. If he won’t listen, the two of you can do your own research on ways to childproof his collection, and then help him do so — for your child’s sake and your sanity.