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conflicted 04-12-2011 01:00 AM

need advice on potentially asking Dad to remove guns from home
Hello-I would genuinely appreciate any advice you may give me. I am a female, 40 years old who grew up with handguns in the house. I used to reload bullets for my Dad and we would go to the range together for fun. I have very fond memories of these times with my Dad. My Dad always had/has as many as 12 handguns in the house with several of them loaded. He taught my sister and I proper gun handling and could trust us to give them the respect they deserved. We NEVER felt worried having guns in the house. Sadly, that has all changed.

My Dad is only late 60's but has suffered some severe health issues that make him foggy and confused at times. He is also on a lot of medication both anxiety and sleeping medicine that further compromises his clarity at times. My 6 month old daughter and I live with he and my Mom. I also have an 8 year old nephew who has Autism and some mental health issues who is facinated by guns in a way that makes all of us uncomfortable. He has dark thoughts and can be mentally unstable. Not the kind of kid you trust with guns. Long before my Dad's health issues ,we asked him to either lock all his guns up or get rid of them for fear that my nephew would have access to them. He ignores us. This coupled with the fact that my Dad is not the man he used to be, make me, my Mom and my sister very uncomfortable with him having loaded guns.

We don't know what to do though, as he LOVES his guns and would be very upset. If we make him get rid of them. We keep asking ourselves if we are overeacting, but remind each other that we have NEVER in the past 30 years ever felt worried, uncomfortable, etc with his guns. Now we do. He keeps a few loaded guns around for personal safety (although we live in a pretty safe area) and also carries guns with him when he is out and about, although he doesn't have a conceal to carry license. In fact, he decided a few weeks ago that he was going to take a conceal to carry class and got asked to leave, as he was overmedicated and was spilling his bullets and god knows what else. We couldn't really get a straight answer from him.

Please offer any advice or words of wisdom as we are really struggling with what to do.

doctherock 04-12-2011 01:18 AM

No easy answer here as you live under his roof. As for your son that is another issue all together. Not to sound assanine but I was thrown a beating or two and learned the pain involved with doing something wrong. It worked for me. My son has some issues and i just safety the loaded guns. He has learned through negative stimulus not to do dumb stuff and it works. Sorry about your dads health and mind. That will be a hard road taking his guns. You may meet with violent outbursts just for suggesting removing his guns.

JonM 04-12-2011 01:19 AM

personally i would snek em out of the house a few at a time and have a smith remove the firing pins. then he can have his guns and he cant hurt himself or anyone else.

dunerunner 04-12-2011 01:25 AM

And then if someone breaks into your house with a gun your Dad can confront them with a gun that doesn't work!!

Great Idea!

Erin, you have to talk with him. Have his Doctor talk with him. You have to make sure the guns are secured. You have to instill into your children and nephew the damage guns are capable of.

Doc hit it on the head when he said there are no easy answers to your problem. Next, try getting him to stop driving!

Almost forgot....Welcome to the FTF!!

IGETEVEN 04-12-2011 01:31 AM

Welcome to the forum conflicted. It sounds like you have a very complexing and a potentially serious safety accident waiting to happen. Three things come immediately to mind...gun safe, medical evaluation and possibly an attorney for legal advice.

Is your father a veteran by chance?

Jesse17 04-12-2011 01:38 AM

I personally don't like giving someone advice about how to take away a part of a person that is obviously so important to them. Especially when we're only hearing your side of the story. You do live under his roof and as such HIS RULES. If you don't feel safe leave.

If your father is a threat to himself or others then that is truly a sad situation, and my heart goes out to him, and to your family for having to watch him loose something that is part of who he is. On the other hand, unless he is getting dementia and pointing guns at people, how is his loaded guns any more dangerous than they ever were?

Honestly, there should be a law against getting old. The saddest thing I've ever seen is was watching my father (my hero) loose abilities and self worth/self respect. Hard working proud men deserve more than that. They deserve us to bend over back wards to do EVERYTHING in our power to help them maintain their normal life for as long as they can!

Jo da Plumbr 04-12-2011 01:41 AM

You might try to sell him on the idea of a safe. At least locked up your son would not have access.

The idea also comes to mind that if the local police caught him carrying without a permit He would likely lose the right to own guns. Of course that would be a very dirty trick to pull... which is probably why it came to my mind.

Good luck.

conflicted 04-12-2011 01:46 AM

Thanks everyone. Some points of clarification. We deeply love my Dad and want to help him maintain as much dignity as possible, or else I wouldn't be posting here. The "his house/his rules" thing really doesn't apply here. My Mom was always the primary breadwinner and I live here to Help them. I have a great job and help them with their bills. My Mom is really the decision maker in this instance and she helped me write the post and is concerned about safety. As far as him not being any more dangerous than he has ever been, I guess my fear is that he would awaken at night to a noise and go investigate (as he often does) with his gun and instead of an intruder it's one of us..or god forbid my daughter when she is old enough to walk. He is unclear at times about his surroundings esp in the middle of the night, and I worry more about an accident than him intentionally doing anything. He is not a veteran. We have talked about a gun safe, but if he won't keep his guns in there and continues to bring them out how will this help? I agree, watching your parents get older is heart wrenching. And yes, driving is the next topic of conversation and that will be equally as hard.
Thanks again,

dunerunner 04-12-2011 01:58 AM

The family priest, a close family friend (that he trusts), again; his Doctor can help. His Doctor in particular can help with the meds and in getting them balanced so that he can at least discuss the issue somewhat clear headed.

I feel for you, but only dumb luck will yield any valuable advise here, we all flunked our medical exams.

I wish you and your family the best in dealing with this issue, my thoughts and prayers are with you.

556plinker 04-12-2011 02:31 AM

That's a sad situation to see a loved one deteriorate before your eyes. THe safety issue must be addressed regardless of his feelings. A cheaper model safe should be an immediate consideration. If security is an issue for your family I would suggest getting an instant access safe for you being that you are comfortable with a firearm should you need to protect your family. Compare his feelings against the potential trauma of burying a loved one and make your decision.

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