My father and I used to have a ritual. It was on Wednesday nights after dinner. He would talk to me about guns.
He would take me into my parent’s bedroom and he would go into his closet and open his gun safe. My dad had a lot of firearms and he would lay them on the bed and tell me about each of them.
The ritual involved me asking if I could handle the weapon. He would ask me what is the first thing you do when you pick up a gun. And that would be to make sure that the gun was not loaded.
But he would also tell me stories of the weapons about what different weapons are used for. This is common around the country; explaining what the gun, these “tools,” are used for, just as you would any other tool.
Those times made me vividly aware of the danger and deadliness of firearms. And he told me if I ever looked at the guns without him, I would never be able to look at them again.
There is something about sharing, in the presence of your family, something you know can kill and destroy, but learning about the confidence and competence of how to deal with them. I never had to fear being around my father with a deadly weapon.
This continues to happen in hundreds of millions of homes around the country.
As always, please listen to the full audio clip for complete context.