DEAR HARRIETTE: My sister-in-law has decided that she is going to give her children and mine shooting lessons. She thinks that it is wise for everyone to know how to use a gun. She went so far as to say that she thinks every single person should own a gun.
I do not share her beliefs about guns. In part this could be because I grew up and live in the city. She lives in a rural part of the country where most families have guns. They shoot wildlife regularly and even go hunting.
I’m OK with her and her family doing what they like. What I don’t appreciate is her trying to force me to allow my children to get shooting lessons or own a gun. Of course my kids are excited about the idea, which infuriates me. I want to raise my kids my way without my sister-in-law interfering. -- No-Gun Zone, Jersey City, New Jersey
DEAR NO-GUN ZONE: Feel free to draw the line. Make it clear that you do not want your children to be involved with guns. Ask her to honor your request. Have a frank conversation with her about your thoughts as you listen to hers. It is OK for you to disagree on this topic. What has to happen, though, is that she does not cross the line regarding what she exposes your children to. Otherwise, you will not feel comfortable allowing your children to be in her company unsupervised.
Know that it is against federal law for children under 18 to own a handgun, but there is no age limit on the use or ownership of shotguns and rifles. You have to enforce your rules.