DEAR HARRIETTE: In the aftermath of the many mass shootings that have happened lately, I found out that my mother's new husband owns a gun. This never came up in the time before they were married. My mother knew about the gun and didn't tell me or my sister. Now that I know a deadly weapon is in their house, I refuse to stay over there. I feel uncomfortable and will not support a concealed weapon in the house.
My mother is saddened by my refusal to spend more time in the home. I haven't spoken to her husband about it because I doubt he'll change his ways just because of my protests. Is there any way to compromise in this gun debacle, or should I keep on standing my ground? -- No More Guns, Cincinnati
DEAR NO MORE GUNS: As one who is pro-commonsense gun control, I can tell you that I am also not afraid when people have weapons in their homes. Indeed, I grew up in a home with several guns. They were locked away in spaces that my sisters and I could not reach. While my parents did not advertise that they had them, they admitted it when we figured it out.
My recommendation is for you to speak directly to your mother's husband about your concerns. Ask him to show you his gun(s). Learn about how he stores them and what safety measures he has in place to ensure that no one gets hurt. Ask him if he is licensed to carry a gun.
Tell your stepfather that you are extremely uncomfortable about being in a home with a gun, which is why you have avoided coming over. Ask him what he can do to make you feel more comfortable. You have to be a little flexible. It is his home, and he probably will not get rid of his gun(s), but perhaps he will store any weapon more securely.