My eldest daughter’s first boyfriend was a deeply sarcastic, majorly morose teen. His mother and step-father left him to his own devices. Specifically, an X-Box. Call of Duty was his calling. Sports, not so much. The thought that boyfriend 1.0 was a danger to my daughter occurred to me on a regular basis. I had rules for contact: adult present at any house, check in when changing location, etc. Even so, I realized that D1′s safety was largely down to her. I won’t say I gave her pepper spray, but I will say that we had a few discussions about situational awareness and survival strategies. As for him, well, he knew I had a gun . . .
God knows what the gun grabbers will make of that one. No wait. Easy call. The ”Daddy with a shotgun protecting his daughter’s honor” meme plays straight into their preconceived idea of gun owners as knuckle-dragging bullies. Thugs who rely on brute force rather than education, rational debate and cool-headed persuasion. (Like they do.)
Yes, well, let me clear about my firearms ownership relative to my daughter’s relationship with BFthankGodnotF. At no time did I threaten the young man with ballistic ventilation. I didn’t have “the speech” with him or greet the couple upon their return with a Benelli M2 casually cradled in my arms and a squinty-eyed look.
Truth be told, I didn’t have to.
D1′s B1 knew I was armed. My profession was no secret. If he’d been blind he would have missed the Glock on my hip. As he wasn’t, he didn’t. So no words needed to be spoken. Any notion B1 may have had that severe actions against my first born might have severe consequences was [almost] entirely of his own creation.
Really. I was as friendly as father can be to a boy dating his daughter of which he (the father) doesn’t approve, realizing that outright opposition is the least best option for ensuring the fastest possible dissolution of a regrettable relationship.
B1 eventually bombed. D1 moved on. But the concept of a “shotgun speech” from father to potential impregnator remains eternal. Here’s a comment on the subject from SpiderJohn in ’04 (h/t to Oleg Volk):
I had a few fathers try this “scare the lust clean out of ya” tactic, and for the most part it worked. The problem is that their daughters resented them for it, and worked hard to punish everyone in the situation by making bad decisions. I remember rather vividly walking out of a house with a young lady after one of these displays of “property rights” (“she is “MINE” not “yours”, get that mixed up and you will die” speech). The young lady asked if I had received “THE SPEECH”. I told her I had. She told me to ignore it. I did not.
My then future father in law treated me with respect from day one, and although I can’t say for sure, I think it had an effect. The respect he showed me, earned my respect for him. I did my best to treat his daughter with respect then, and I still do (I have to, she is a better shot than I am). I had a lot of growing up to do when we first met, but he never reminded me of it.
His daughter, my wife, displayed a great ability to take care of herself from the time we first met. It was one of many things I found, and still find attractive about her. He did his job well, and although he has long since passed away, I still respect him for raising a daughter that can think for herself.
How Walton voice-over narrator is that? Despite the paean to firearms-related protective paternalism, SpiderJohn had second thoughts about the gun threat thing re: his own projeny.
My daughter is 10. Some days are diamonds, and some days are stones. I love her with all my heart. She is a valued part of my life. I owe it to her to treat her with respect. To behave in any kind of threating manner with a young man planning to take her out is to openly question her decision making skills. I will not intimidate a young man with a firearm or a threat. If I truly have reservations regarding the date in question, the answer will be NO right then and there. The young man will be sent on his way, and then we will have a discussion regarding my concerns.
Sure, ’cause no means no with a teen. A non-fact that SpiderJohn’s probably learned by now. Anyway, point taken.
The oft-expressed adage that an armed society is a polite society doesn’t simply mean you tip your hat when you’re passing a neighbor walking down Main Street. Neighborliness is a pact with a punch. You play nice I play nice. You mess with me and mine I’ll mess with you and yours. Or, if you prefer, good fences make good neighbors but firearms make them great.
You may recognize the underlying dynamic as Mutually Assured Destruction. It’s the same principle that removed the threat of world war (think nuclear bombs). On the micro-level, MAD allows armed Americans to get on with things other than constantly checking their six. Or keeping their daughters under lock and key.
I can hear the antis now, their voices dripping with condescension and disgust. “What kind of sick person thinks they have to threaten a child (they always call teenagers children) with a gun? What kind of father doesn’t respect his own daughter’s freedom and dignity?”
Antis can’t go beyond freedom and dignity. They refuse to understand/accept the idea that the threat of violence prevents violence. Not education. Not welfare. Not “social justice.” The threat of violence. You know; like the police that come running when you dial 911.
Only the antis don’t have to dial 911 (until they do). So they never see the cops exerting their force (except on TV). So they never appreciate the fact that their safety and liberty are created by force. In the same way that gunless homeowners who live in gun-loving states don’t know that their neighbors’ firearms are responsible for the low burglary rate.
For some reason, I feel obliged to point out that I don’t want to shoot anyone, ever. That I believe in the rule of law. That I’m not a vigilante; I don’t want to take the law into my own hands. But I also know the value of deterrence. And use it.
Why wouldn’t I?
I love my daughters. I protect my daughters. I protect my daughters with a gun. It is my right to do so. I consider it my duty to do so. I don’t mind other people—including young men who want to do what young men do—knowing it. In fact, I’m glad they do. What’s wrong with that?