Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Teenage Boys and Guns

Last night one of my sons (15 years old) mentioned casually that over the weekend, he "held" a gun at a friend's house. It wasn't loaded, he said - and they put it back on the "top shelf of the hall closet" where apparently, its kept in case of an emergency. I imagine an "emergency" would mean a robbery or attempted break-in. Which makes me wonder about it not being loaded.

Naturally, I was really upset, in fact you could say I went ballistic. Why? Because over the years ever since my kids were small, one thing I've explicitly told them that if they were ever at a friend or acquaintance's home and the friend showed them a real gun, or even just talked about it, that they were to call me immediately and I would come and get them. That's how dangerous I think loaded guns are, around children or teenagers.

I grounded him for the upcoming weekend. Well, not the whole weekend since its Easter, but at least one night of it - because I felt it was too important, and because he didn't listen to me or do what I've always told all my kids to do in the event they came in proximity with a gun. He needs to get it through his head.

My dilemma isn't about that - its about telling the parents of my son's friend what happened. Even though nothing "happened" per se, - it was a situation ripe for tragedy if ever there were one.

My son is alternately furious with me for "overreacting", swearing he'll never tell me anything again, pleading with me, he's really upset that I'm going to talk to them at all. I told him if I didn't call them, I'd never allow him to be at their house again - ever.

I guess I am overreacting to a degree, but I think I'm totally justified, and I think I have to call the parents.


Posted by topazz.
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