Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Family and Children => Topic started by: VltGrantham on November 26, 2012, 10:31:38 AM

Title: Packing at the holiday dinner.
Post by: VltGrantham on November 26, 2012, 10:31:38 AM
I'm prepared for general wackiness when it involves family, but Thanksgiving sorta took us by surprise this year.

A relative of ours, Jack, showed up sporting a side-arm at Thanksgiving dinner this year.  He is not a police officer or in any job that involves him having to carry a weapon.  One of our Uncles asked "is it really necessary to bring that in the house?" and he replied "I have to protect my family."  We do not live in a dangerous area.  They did not have to commute through back-country to get here--they live in the next town over.  To my knowledge no one has been threatening them.  I don't know if he was expecting someone to try and break in and make off with the turkey or what.

What really concerned us is the fact that Jack is an arrogant, loud-mouthed, show-off and I could just see him taking the weapon out and/or playing around with it.  Sure enough, after dinner, as soon as one of the kids showed interest in it, he took it out and began showing it off, talking about how it was loaded, etc.  It was then that DH and I took our leave, cutting our visit very short.

Both DH and I were raised around weapons, to have a healthy respect for their care and use, and to handle one safely.  We own one--but it's securely locked up.  We both have carry permits, but rarely make use of them.  And neither of us have ever taken one to someone's home--excluding my Uncle's hunting cabin, where of course he knew we were bringing it.  Even there, we weren't wearing them at the dinner table!

Since the house wasn't ours, we didn't feel like we could say much, if anything--but Jack's attitude is what is really concerning us both.  If this is going to be a habit of his, we won't be attending any future get togethers because we don't trust in Jack to safely handle the weapon or control himself.  In addition to his other qualities, he's can be a nasty drunk and we are fairly sure he's abusing his wife, if not physically, certainly emotionally.  (We have always told her that if she ever needs anything we would help her all we could, but other than encouraging her, we haven't been able to do much to help her.)  The fact that he now has a weapon, is really concerning to us both--for her and the kids safety, as well as our family when they're around him.

Would it have been o.k. for DH or I to have said something even though the house wasn't ours?  We both felt, afterwards of course, that maybe if one of us had spoken up in addition to what my Uncle said that either they would have left or Jack would have had to return the gun to his car for the duration of the time they were there.  Is it normal for anyone to come to a holiday table wearing a weapon?  Would it be rude if we had taken our leave then?
Title: Re: Packing at the holiday dinner.
Post by: Yvaine on November 26, 2012, 10:39:08 AM
I initially read that as "pecking" at the holiday dinner and was ready to post a "poor thing, maybe s/he just wasn't feeling well that day!" :-[

Jack sounds scary. Him suddenly deciding he needs to "protect his family" at the dinner table makes me wonder about his mental stability, to be honest. That's a normal reason to get a gun, but not a normal reason to openly brandish it, loaded, at dinner! And it doesn't sound like he was careful enough around the kids with it, either. Coupled with the fact that you suspect him as an abuser and he seems like a creep and a half.

I'm not sure if you could have said something once Uncle (albeit grudgingly) allowed the gun, but I don't blame you a bit for leaving, and I wish there was something that could be done for his wife.
Title: Re: Packing at the holiday dinner.
Post by: Sharnita on November 26, 2012, 10:40:45 AM
Well, I know a couple police officers who might wear theirs. SOme people might have permits to carry concealed and I suppoes it is possible I havne't noticed a weapon because they haven't made it obvious. But in general - no, I don't think it is obvious in the circumstances you describe. In dangerous areas it might be different. I am not rabidly anit-gun and I understand people who feel the need to defend themselves but I can understand the fact that this vibe is disturbing. I think I might excuse myslef ASAP and then decline to attend events he will be at.
Title: Re: Packing at the holiday dinner.
Post by: rashea on November 26, 2012, 10:41:48 AM
I don't think the issue was that someone was carrying at the family dinner. I think the issue is that someone who is known to not be responsible was carrying. If he had been responsible about it none of you would likely have known. But, if he's showing it off and showing it to children, that's not a good sign. I don't know that you can say anything when it isn't your house, but you can certainly let people know you are not comfortable with having him carrying while you're around.
Title: Re: Packing at the holiday dinner.
Post by: VltGrantham on November 26, 2012, 10:43:03 AM
Quote
I wish there was something that could be done for his wife.

We do too and if anyone has any advice on that score, I'll be glad to listen.  We both feel helpless about that situation.
Title: Re: Packing at the holiday dinner.
Post by: Hopefull on November 26, 2012, 10:49:55 AM
It would have been a bit odd to me if he had to keep his weapon with him at the dinner table. With the background you provided it seems he may have been trying to seem like a tough guy and wanted people to know it. But that is just what I think.

We have a friend who works in a law enforcement field. He travels to see us from several states away and is required to carry. He has never worn his firearm to our dinner table. There really is no need for him to carry while at our dinner table.

If it is someone elses house you really can't dictate what people do. All you can do is what you did. Leave. But you can tell the one who hosted why you left. Maybe if they plan to host this man again they can make clear that he needs to leave his firearm at his house or in the car. Maybe he wont' come at all if that restriction is placed on him.
Title: Re: Packing at the holiday dinner.
Post by: Yvaine on November 26, 2012, 10:52:09 AM
There really is no need for him to carry while at our dinner table.

I suppose there's the possibility that the turkey might rise as a zombie. Other than that, I got nothin'.
Title: Re: Packing at the holiday dinner.
Post by: Free Range Hippy Chick on November 26, 2012, 10:52:40 AM
OK, I'm British so this is an argument we generally don't get, because our gun laws aren't like yours but... Safety trumps etiquette, right? I wouldn't actually have cared if he had been a police officer - the moment that turned up at the table I would have been heading through the door. Even if somebody had persuaded me to stay, the moment a child was involved in being shown the gun, I would definitely have been lifting my coat, same as you.

As to whether or not you could say anything... I would be inclined to say yes, but what you could say largely escapes me. With hindsight, then yes, if you had agreed with your uncle, perhaps Jack would have backed down or left. If not, I don't think you would have been out of order to say 'I'm sorry, Party-Host, but I'm not comfortable at something that involves firearms at a private family party. We'll see you another time.' I certainly think you wouldn't be out of order now, after the event, to contact Party-Host, express that you were surprised, disturbed, whatever other words come to you, and that in future, if such a thing happens you will, regretfully, take your leave immediately.
Title: Re: Packing at the holiday dinner.
Post by: Judah on November 26, 2012, 10:58:48 AM
Quote
'I'm sorry, Party-Host, but I'm not comfortable at something that involves firearms at a private family party. We'll see you another time.'

I think this is the most you could say.  If the party hosts are fine with Jack carrying in the house, it's not your place to say anything. That doesn't mean you have stay.

The vast majority of my friends and relatives own firearms, and many of them have CCW permits, but if anyone has ever brought one into a home I've never seen it. In my experience, people leave their guns in their car when they go someone else's house. 
Title: Re: Packing at the holiday dinner.
Post by: VltGrantham on November 26, 2012, 11:01:29 AM
Quote
I suppose there's the possibility that the turkey might rise as a zombie.

LOL!  It's funny that you said that though.  DH said he thought Jack had either been watching way too many episodes of "The Walking Dead" or he'd just come from seeing "Red Dawn."

He also said he was tempted to strap a battle axe to his back at the next family gathering.  Maybe it would start a new family tradition.  Grandma could yell at us to take our bows off the table like in "Brave".
Title: Re: Packing at the holiday dinner.
Post by: Deetee on November 26, 2012, 11:02:19 AM
If someone had shown up with a handgun I would have been very uncomfortable. If they started showing it to the kids I (and my family) would have left, especially if loaded.

This is a topic that people have strong opinions so let's not get into whether bringing a loaded handgun to the dinner table is a wrong thing to do or not. However, I think we can agree that because people do have strong opinions, leaving is not an overreaction because safety trumps etiquette can cover (in my my mind) physical safety and mental well being and emotional well being.


 
Title: Re: Packing at the holiday dinner.
Post by: Yvaine on November 26, 2012, 11:03:45 AM
Quote
I suppose there's the possibility that the turkey might rise as a zombie.

LOL!  It's funny that you said that though.  DH said he thought Jack had either been watching way too many episodes of "The Walking Dead" or he'd just come from seeing "Red Dawn."

He also said he was tempted to strap a battle axe to his back at the next family gathering.  Maybe it would start a new family tradition.  Grandma could yell at us to take our bows off the table like in "Brave".

OK, now that would be hilarious.
Title: Re: Packing at the holiday dinner.
Post by: Sharnita on November 26, 2012, 11:06:52 AM
Well the point of a CCW is that you can keep it concealed uness you need it so if somebody felt the need to get it out I would be taken aback.  As far as police officers, They wear theirs holstered so you might see a tiny bit of the butt  and the holster but it is safely stored.  They would have no reason to get it out to show people either.  depending on if they are traveling I could understand carrying it secured and put away in that way as opposed to leaving it in a hotel room or evne in a car unattended for fear somebody could somehow lay hands on the weapon.  But getting out the gun/showing it off would definitely cause me alarm.
Title: Re: Packing at the holiday dinner.
Post by: LeveeWoman on November 26, 2012, 11:12:56 AM
There really is no need for him to carry while at our dinner table.

I suppose there's the possibility that the turkey might rise as a zombie. Other than that, I got nothin'.

Its head already was gone.
Title: Re: Packing at the holiday dinner.
Post by: VltGrantham on November 26, 2012, 11:14:05 AM
If Jack was a police officer, I'd have no issue with it at all.  We have friends that are police officers and I know they're required to carry.  However, to be honest, I have never seen their weapons when they are carrying, unless they're in uniform.  I once saw one's when he bent over to pick something off the floor and his jacket flipped up and you could see the gun in the holster on his back.  That was it.

And if DH had done it, I would have thought it was beyond tasteless-but that's just me.  Unless we really are in danger of zombies breaking in at any moment, under threat of incoming invasion, or someone's being stalked, I see no reason for it.  Still, I could make allowances.

It's Jack's personality and his need to prove his machismo that concerns us the most.  In hindsight, DH and I also felt like if we left, said/did nothing, and somebody was harmed, we'd hate ourselves for not speaking up in the first place.
Title: Re: Packing at the holiday dinner.
Post by: WillyNilly on November 26, 2012, 11:15:29 AM
Ok I'm all for our right to own & bear arms.  But at the dinner table?  Unless one is living in Mad max times, the average American Thanksgiving dinner table is not posing any threats worthy of needing a gun.  Coming armed with great conversation topics, yes, armed with an edible side dish, perhaps, armed with a loaded hand gun, nope, not buying it.

As for his whole showing it the kids - yup I would have left to.  I do believe children are best served by being educated and informed about gun safety, but I also think there are certain limits on that - the very first being "ask you mom/dad if its ok for me to show this to you" and the second being "lets make sure this is unloaded" (the second one at some point, and under certain circumstances can change, but certainly a curious uninformed kid in a living room?  Yeah you unload that thing and leave the safety on even unloaded!)  Just not cool all around.
Title: Re: Packing at the holiday dinner.
Post by: snowdragon on November 26, 2012, 11:23:16 AM
If this were my house, Jack would have been told to leave, If I were a guest, I would be leaving. Even if Jack were a cop.

You don't bring a gun to someone's home with out asking the homeowner - and you certainly don't play show and tell with children with it!
Title: Re: Packing at the holiday dinner.
Post by: cicero on November 26, 2012, 11:26:12 AM
I don't know if this is etiquettely sanctioned or not - But had i seen him taking out the gun and showing it to the kids I would have said something to him. Then I would have left (if he didnt' put it away).

I see this as *someone clearly stepping over a line* and I don't care whose house this is and I don't care if the hosts are OK with this . Just like I would speak up if someone used really bad language in front of young kids.
Title: Re: Packing at the holiday dinner.
Post by: lowspark on November 26, 2012, 12:00:18 PM
Assuming it was all legal and he had a license, etc., he has every right to bring that gun with him. But! you also have every right not to be there if you don't feel comfortable with that, for whatever reason. I think leaving was the right thing to do. I understand your concern for the safety of others if you didn't say anything but certainly you wouldn't just up & walk out the door without a word. I would say something like, "Jack I'm not comfortable with you having that gun in the house so please store it in the car." Then if he wouldn't do it, I'd just let everyone know that I wasn't comfortable with the situation and sorry, but we're leaving.

Because honestly, as concerned as I am about the other people's safety, me and mine come first. So I'd have probably been out of there way before dinner was even served.

Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with people lawfully carrying concealed weapons. But as soon as "concealed" switches to "flaunting", I will remove myself from the situation as quickly and quietly as possible.
Title: Re: Packing at the holiday dinner.
Post by: cheyne on November 26, 2012, 12:05:02 PM
I have 2 pistols loaded and ready in our home (DH and I have CCW permits), 8 shotguns, and 4 rifles (these are used for hunting and kept unloaded).  Neither of us has ever felt the need to carry at a dinner table or into someone else's home.  We have had the pistols in the car, but have never taken them inside a private residence.

The fact that Jack was openly packing could mean he does NOT have a CCW permit (several states have such laws).  The fact that he brought the gun in-in plain sight and loaded is what concerns me.  The fact that he was showing off to anyone (children or not) while the gun was loaded goes beyond concern and into alarm. 

I would not have said much when he came into the home and sat at dinner.  Maybe asked him why he was carrying.  *However, I would have told him to unload the gun before showing it off to the kids (or anyone else) and left if he didn't unload the gun. 

*As veterans and hunters/shooters DH and I have some cred with family members/friends on firearms.  Not saying Jack would've listened to us, but it would be worth a "shot".

Title: Re: Packing at the holiday dinner.
Post by: Girlie on November 26, 2012, 12:27:46 PM
It kind of sounds like Jack got a new toy and was trying to show it off. I could also see a little bit of "Look how awesome and cool and strong and tough I am!" in there, as well.

That being said, I have no problem with people having guns. My mom, my sister, my in laws, my husband - they all have carry licenses, and they use them. That being said, other than a quick discussion about the pros/cons of particular models, none of them have ever felt the need to show off their weapons. Which is why I personally am of the particular mindset that if one needs to brag about toting, one probably shouldn't be.

So, in my family - wearing it during dinner - fine, but odd. Taking it out and showing it off around small, impressionable children, on the other hand, would warrant someone saying something. Safety trumps etiquette, and it's just not safe to show off a loaded gun like that.
Title: Re: Packing at the holiday dinner.
Post by: siamesecat2965 on November 26, 2012, 12:29:50 PM
I would have been quite freaked out if I went to a family dinner, and a relative of mine showed up like Jack. I will admit I am afraid of guns, though. That being said, I have family who both own and carry (one is a federal agent) but I've never ever seen them or him while I'm around them.  And while I know next to nothing about them, I do know that what he did wasn't how you're supposed to act with guns, esp around children. I would have left as well.

This does remind me of a funny story; years ago I went to a Halloween party at a friend of a friend's house. I didn't know her too well yet, and she had 3 other roommates.  So we're in her bedroom, several of us, with the door closed, and her cousin pulls out this gun, and starts talking about buying acid off HS kids etc. I didn't know her cousin, and was like whoa, what is going on here??? Turns out, she's a cop, and had done some undercover buys since she looked convincing enough to be in HS. She was just checking her gun for something.  I have to say I felt MUCH better knowing that...but there also were no kids at the party either.
Title: Re: Packing at the holiday dinner.
Post by: Yvaine on November 26, 2012, 12:37:35 PM
There really is no need for him to carry while at our dinner table.

I suppose there's the possibility that the turkey might rise as a zombie. Other than that, I got nothin'.

Its head already was gone.

 ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Packing at the holiday dinner.
Post by: BarensMom on November 26, 2012, 12:56:30 PM
Displaying a loaded weapon to a small child at the dinner table - rude, reckless and clueless.

Here in CA, one needs a gun license and CCW to tote a gun around the way Jack was doing.  Perhaps if it happens again, a call to the local PD to come out and have a "come to diety" talk with Jack would be in order.
Title: Re: Packing at the holiday dinner.
Post by: BeagleMommy on November 26, 2012, 01:01:53 PM
OP, like you, my DH grew up with firearms.  He and his father were avid hunters and target shooters.  They both know how to handle and store guns safely.  Neither had a CCW permit, however.

When his father's health began to fail we told DH's mother that unless the guns were stored away we would not be bringing DS to visit (he was two at the time and DH's dad would forget to put the handgun away).  My MIL made sure the guns were stowed.  After she passed FIL became very depressed so DH removed ALL the guns from the house.

Long story, short - I would have done exactly what you did and mentioned it to the party host later.  It sounds like Jack was trying to prove his machismo.
Title: Re: Packing at the holiday dinner.
Post by: weeblewobble on November 26, 2012, 01:05:05 PM
My husband is a police officer.  He carries a gun with him every where, even to church.  I have grown comfortable with it because DH is careful, competent and discreet. That said, I don't trust anyone else with a gun.

If Jack was a guest in my home, he would have been asked to leave the gun in his car.  If he refused, he would have been asked to leave.

If I was a guest at this dinner, I probably would have left before dinner was served.  I do not spend time in the company of unstable people with firearms.  Call it a personal policy.

It sounds like Jack is either paranoid and abusive, which is a terrible combination with firearms.  Or he brought the gun for shock value, which is almost worse, because his "showing off" behavior will escalate until he gets the reaction he wants.

This is definitely a case of safety over etiquette.  You don't coddle the gun-waver's feelings.  You get out of the situation as soon as possible.
Title: Re: Packing at the holiday dinner.
Post by: Jules1980 on November 26, 2012, 01:09:31 PM
I'm from a family of hunters, married into a family of hunters and Law Enforcement officers.  Guns are just a part of life for us.  But so is a health dose of respect for them.  Safety is taught first and foremost and you never show off a gun with unloading it first.  Oh, and other than my grandfather putting his hunting rifles away when he came from a hunt on a holiday (at his house), I've never seen anyone carry their weapons into a family celebration.  Its just not done.  If anyone else was packing, they were discreet enough I've never noticed it.

Sounds like Jack had a cool new toy he wanted to show everyone.
Title: Re: Packing at the holiday dinner.
Post by: doodlemor on November 26, 2012, 01:15:18 PM
Displaying a loaded weapon to a small child at the dinner table - rude, reckless and clueless.

Here in CA, one needs a gun license and CCW to tote a gun around the way Jack was doing.  Perhaps if it happens again, a call to the local PD to come out and have a "come to diety" talk with Jack would be in order.

I think that you should call the non-emergency number of the police this week, and let them know about the gun at Jack's house.  It might save an officer's life if they receive a "domestic" call to that address.  This character sounds like a felony waiting to happen.
Title: Re: Packing at the holiday dinner.
Post by: CaptainObvious on November 26, 2012, 01:20:32 PM
Displaying a loaded weapon to a small child at the dinner table - rude, reckless and clueless.

Here in CA, one needs a gun license and CCW to tote a gun around the way Jack was doing.  Perhaps if it happens again, a call to the local PD to come out and have a "come to diety" talk with Jack would be in order.

You don't know that he doesn't have those things.
Title: Re: Packing at the holiday dinner.
Post by: Two Ravens on November 26, 2012, 01:22:28 PM
Here's an old thread with an OP from the opposite side. (19 pages)

http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=21927.0
Title: Re: Packing at the holiday dinner.
Post by: Jules1980 on November 26, 2012, 01:23:31 PM
Displaying a loaded weapon to a small child at the dinner table - rude, reckless and clueless.

Here in CA, one needs a gun license and CCW to tote a gun around the way Jack was doing.  Perhaps if it happens again, a call to the local PD to come out and have a "come to diety" talk with Jack would be in order.

I think that you should call the non-emergency number of the police this week, and let them know about the gun at Jack's house.  It might save an officer's life if they receive a "domestic" call to that address.  This character sounds like a felony waiting to happen.

That's quite a jump.  He was being a blowhard, but there's nothing to indicate that he would shoot at an officer just because he was trying to be the 'cool' kid and show off his new toy.
Title: Re: Packing at the holiday dinner.
Post by: Salvage3 on November 26, 2012, 01:42:25 PM
I, too, have law enforcement friends who carry at all times.  However, if not working, the gun is always covered --think wearing a jacket in warm weather, etc. 

I do think there is an etiquette question here, and my answer would be that you are totally in your rights to explain to any prospective hosts that you will not be present if uncle is going to be carrying.  It's bad enough that he was wearing it openly, but he completely stepped over the line when he started showing it around and discussing it, particularly to childrn.    I don't even think it would have been out of line to have asked the host to require uncle to lock the gun in his care and to have advised that you would be leaving if that did not happen.

I also grew up with guns, but they were treated with respect and not as some toy.
Title: Re: Packing at the holiday dinner.
Post by: Adelaide on November 26, 2012, 01:54:46 PM
When my family gets together for the holidays, almost everyone has a weapon. That's because we're always out in the country and one of our favorite activities is practicing together. When I'm with the family I have throwing knives, a steel-boned fan, and a handgun on me. Several other relatives have shotguns, rifles, and handguns as well.

With that being said, everyone in my family has permits or extensive experience (I don't know of any throwing knife permits :P) and everyone respects weapons. I would feel highly uncomfortable around the person you've just described. Not because he has a weapon, but because he insists on brandishing it and showing off for no reason while it's loaded. To me the issue isn't the gun but his total lack of regard for safety.
Title: Re: Packing at the holiday dinner.
Post by: Mikayla on November 26, 2012, 02:08:45 PM
On the etiquette, but I see a difference between responding to the actions of a guest and speaking directly to that guest, vs telling a hostess how to run her home and her event.

"Jack, put that gun away now or we are leaving".   That's different than telling the host that if she is going to allow loaded guns at the dinner table, you're going to have to leave.

As an aside, I saw a scrolling headline on our local news last week that the biggest cause of holiday injuries is Thanksgiving dinner.   :o  I never went to the site to get the full story, but that did create some amusing visuals.
Title: Re: Packing at the holiday dinner.
Post by: doodlemor on November 26, 2012, 02:13:24 PM
Displaying a loaded weapon to a small child at the dinner table - rude, reckless and clueless.

Here in CA, one needs a gun license and CCW to tote a gun around the way Jack was doing.  Perhaps if it happens again, a call to the local PD to come out and have a "come to diety" talk with Jack would be in order.

I think that you should call the non-emergency number of the police this week, and let them know about the gun at Jack's house.  It might save an officer's life if they receive a "domestic" call to that address.  This character sounds like a felony waiting to happen.

That's quite a jump.  He was being a blowhard, but there's nothing to indicate that he would shoot at an officer just because he was trying to be the 'cool' kid and show off his new toy.

Yes, it is a jump, but we saw something similar happen. 

The OP suspects that Jack is abusive to his wife.  If officers got called to a "domestic" at their house they should know that there is a gun on the premises.
Title: Re: Packing at the holiday dinner.
Post by: Sharnita on November 26, 2012, 02:15:00 PM
As far as injuries from Thanksgiving dinner - burns, cuts, deep fried turkey disasters ...
Title: Re: Packing at the holiday dinner.
Post by: JenJay on November 26, 2012, 02:32:16 PM
I know a number of people who feel strongly about carrying a gun at all times, however, they'd never unholster and show it around. I'm comfortable with guns and enjoy shooting would not be comfortable with anyone handling a gun in the middle of a group.

If he does that at the next family gathering I'd absolutely leave the room and possibly see if I could get the kids to follow me ("Who wants to play a board game?"). I've already experienced nearly being shot by someone who was messing around when they should have known better. I don't care do go through that again.
Title: Re: Packing at the holiday dinner.
Post by: wheeitsme on November 26, 2012, 02:44:36 PM
Bringing a gun into someone's house without prior permission is rude and not okay.

Bringing a loaded handgun to someone's Thanksgiving celebration table is beyond rude, and so far past okay that you couldn't find rude with the Hubble telescope.

Taking off your loaded handgun that you brought into someone else's house  for Thanksgiving without prior permission and showing it off to the children while talking about how it is loaded is reckless, rude, and bordering on disturbing.
Title: Re: Packing at the holiday dinner.
Post by: bopper on November 26, 2012, 02:54:41 PM
I think you did the right thing in not confronting Jack...he does not seem to be someone who you want to get on the bad side of.
I might have privately gone to the host and asked them if they could ask Jack to put the gun in the car, and if they declined then left quietly like you did.  All you can do now is to call the host now say that you apologize for leaving early, but you did not feel comfortable around Jack the way he was showing off the gun.
Title: Re: Packing at the holiday dinner.
Post by: MindsEye on November 26, 2012, 02:55:47 PM
My DH collects antique guns (they are all in working order) and we also own a number of modern handguns and rifles.  We both hunt and are involved in a local target-shooting club.  We also have family members who are active military, retired military, law enforcement officers, and retired law enforcement officers.  We know guns and are comfortable with them. 

That being said, even the family members who are active-duty LEOs would never wear their guns at the Thanksgiving dinner table or during a family gathering.  They might wear their guns to the gathering, but not once they got there. 

I would not be comfortable around Jack.  Frankly he sounds like an accidental shooting waiting to happen.  It also sounds like he doesn't even know the rudiments of gun safety!  He is the kind of person who gives gun owners a bad name!

Title: Re: Packing at the holiday dinner.
Post by: DavidH on November 26, 2012, 03:04:20 PM
I think it's reasonable to say that the gun at the table makes you uncomfortable and would they mind putting it elsewhere during dinner.  The challenge is where; you can't just put it on an end table and I can understand not wanting to leave it in the car, even if it's out of sight and the car is locked.  It does seem unreasonable to expect an attack during dinner where you need to have the gun that ready to hand. 

If one is careful, I don't see a particular reason why you can't show children a gun provided their parents are okay with this, however the key is to follow and teach appropriate gun safety as you do it. 

Leaving because someone is being reckless with a gun is just a good idea in general, rude or polite is not really all that important if you think they may shoot you accidentally (or on purpose).

In any event, I don't see anything wrong with cutting short the visit if you are uncomfortable with him having a gun at the table.  If you have asked nicely for him to put it elsewhere and suggested a reasonable place (meaning that you can't demand they drive home and put it away and then return with it), then I think you can say that it is really making you so uncomfortable that you feel the need to excuse yourself from dinner.
Title: Re: Packing at the holiday dinner.
Post by: O'Dell on November 26, 2012, 03:14:27 PM
Displaying a loaded weapon to a small child at the dinner table - rude, reckless and clueless.

Here in CA, one needs a gun license and CCW to tote a gun around the way Jack was doing.  Perhaps if it happens again, a call to the local PD to come out and have a "come to diety" talk with Jack would be in order.

I think that you should call the non-emergency number of the police this week, and let them know about the gun at Jack's house.  It might save an officer's life if they receive a "domestic" call to that address.  This character sounds like a felony waiting to happen.

This is what I would. It's not going to hurt to call the non-emergency number and ask for some advice. The police can decide for themselves if it's worthy of attention.

Given the vibe and background on Jack, I probably would have done what you did. Although I might also have left right away. I think another guest could have said something *if* they were someone that had a good rapport with him *and* were able to say something privately as tactfully worded advice. Maybe say "I know guns can be fun to show off, but it's making <person that Jack respects> uneasy. We've had our fun looking at it. Can it be put away now?"
Title: Re: Packing at the holiday dinner.
Post by: Jules1980 on November 26, 2012, 03:16:33 PM
Displaying a loaded weapon to a small child at the dinner table - rude, reckless and clueless.

Here in CA, one needs a gun license and CCW to tote a gun around the way Jack was doing.  Perhaps if it happens again, a call to the local PD to come out and have a "come to diety" talk with Jack would be in order.

I think that you should call the non-emergency number of the police this week, and let them know about the gun at Jack's house.  It might save an officer's life if they receive a "domestic" call to that address.  This character sounds like a felony waiting to happen.

That's quite a jump.  He was being a blowhard, but there's nothing to indicate that he would shoot at an officer just because he was trying to be the 'cool' kid and show off his new toy.

Yes, it is a jump, but we saw something similar happen. 

The OP suspects that Jack is abusive to his wife.  If officers got called to a "domestic" at their house they should know that there is a gun on the premises.

They should and they will ask the person who has called and a call weeks, months, even years before an incident happens, if it ever does won't be much help.  If everything is on the up and up with the gun, the call will be dismissed and that will be the end of it.
Title: Re: Packing at the holiday dinner.
Post by: SPuck on November 26, 2012, 03:18:38 PM
If Jack was a police officer, I'd have no issue with it at all.  We have friends that are police officers and I know they're required to carry.  However, to be honest, I have never seen their weapons when they are carrying, unless they're in uniform.  I once saw one's when he bent over to pick something off the floor and his jacket flipped up and you could see the gun in the holster on his back.  That was it.

Since you have friends who are in law enforcement, could you ask them what is the best way to act around a person who insists on bringing a gun into a situation like this? Besides knowing the exact laws of the area they will probably have training in the psychological areas also.