I’m about to start negotiating with my eldest brother for permission to attend his family’s Thanksgiving dinner. Last year, I was excommunicated from the only family tradition my father ever cherished. I don’t remember the exact reason for the disinvite, but I recall expressing my displeasure at one of my bro’s condescending remarks with a simple, clearly spoken, heartfelt, long overdue FU. At a large family gathering. Thinking about it, I reckon this post may not do much to kickstart those negotiations. Anyway, my octogenarian Mom had some advice . . .

“Don’t discuss your guns,” she said. “No one’s interested in your guns.”

This on the very day TTAG crested 800k unique viewers per month for the first time. Still, I tried to STFU. I really did. What would be the point of arguing the point?

“Well then tell him not to discuss his liberal politics,” I replied, uselessly.

Hmmm. Maybe I should hold off making that call. Meanwhile, share with the group. How does your family and extended family feel about your gun thing?

77 Responses to Question of the Day: Does Your Family Shun Guns?

  1. Ill let the reader decide-but the answer’s yes.

    Lets go down the list.

    My family lives in Chicago?Check
    My family is a minority which votes Democrat?Check
    My mom thinks Obama is a second coming for American prosperity?Check
    Do I receive the occasional mailed Obama trinket from said mom?Check.
    Do I discuss guns around my extended family? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA….there’s a reason I moved to a pro-carry state 900 miles away from them.

    • 1. NO family in Sh_tcago
      2. My family is conservative
      3. My family does NOT get obanana literature
      4. My family talks openly about firearms
      5. My wife and I have a son and daughter in the military
      6. Both have served in Iraq
      7. My daughter pinpointed RACIST TERM DELETED for destruction
      8. My grand-daughter knows how to SHOOT, she is 10

  2. Only have an uncle who’s really into guns and hunting. My dad and the rest of my family aren’t gun people, but they are good people, and entirely fine with talking about guns and me owning and shooting.

  3. My family all knows. They originally thought I was some young guy who just liked guns but didn’t like to hunt. 3.5 years ago I got started in the firearms industry. A few months ago I started working for a major company. They no longer think it’s a phase, they know it’s something I’m passionate and knowledgeable about and they support it.

    I think the fact that firearms are your profession should placate them. No one tells cousin Bob to stop talking about his IT accomplishments because it’s offensive. Your profession is a big part of your life, and frankly you should be proud of your achievements.

    While I would not go out of your way to discuss stuff intentionally to make other uncomfortable (and you have to admit us gun guys have that gene in us), I would not stay quiet about what I do for a living.

  4. Robert,guns are tools I use every day, no point in complaining about one of the constants in my life.
    Listen to your mom,you don’t want any regrets if and when she passes.I also have an ignorant brother ,buy your’s a one way ticket to Thailand and he’ll bother you as much as mine bothers me.Thank you for your good work.Be Safe.

  5. My dad was not too happy at first but I have converted him. He is no looking at chl classes and guns for himself.
    My extended family on the other hand learned that I have guns and now want to go shooting a lot. It’s great.

  6. My mom isn’t anti-gun, but she’s wary of them and anyone with “too many” of them (i.e me) and doesn’t really talk about them much or enjoy me talking about them. On the other hand, I convinced my dad to buy his first gun about 6 months ago and we haven’t had a conversation since that hasn’t turned to guns, ammunition, or the Second Amendment.

    The rest of my family? They live too far away for me to care.

  7. When my extended family gets together all the guys go outside to check out what the other guy is carrying. Guns are not only acceptable, they are nearly required if you want to be involved in conversation.

  8. They tolerate it. My oldest nephew is working a security gig while he goes through the application process for his local PD. He is into guns according to my sister. The rest of the family tolerates the topic.

    I am the introverted black sheep of the family. Retired from the US Navy. Completely areligious, single and only make obligatory calls to the parental units.

  9. My older brother’s wife doesn’t like me carrying in her house, so I secure my carry piece somewhere high during my occasional visits. Baby steps: this is an improvement from keeping it locked in my car. She’s coming around a little, more so (I think) since I started carrying a Ruger revolver, which is somehow less scary than a Sig autopistol.

    The rest of my family has an attitude of amused tolerance–yet another strange thing that I’m into, like leather working, computer games, and the Nasty Guard. There’s enough curiosity that several want to actually go shooting with me, but no one has actually made a date to do so. Only my little brother (prior Active Army combat arms, now a Guard chaplain) has recent experience with firearms.

  10. I guess I am lucky in the fact that my family, my fiancee’s family and my fiancée all are pro gun and very patriotic. Her dad is a Vietnam Vet, my dad is a Korean War Vet(and was a POW), and I served in the Army as an 11Bravo from 1981-1996, in various “Fun Locales”!!!
    We discuss guns, politics,the constitution and various other things about our country and the government.
    We don’t always agree but we all respect each others opinions whether we agreed or not!!!

  11. Robert, I don’t know about your past/ present family life but remember family is family and anything else is second we are on this earth for a short time don’t loose that precious time on petty squabbles I have disagreed with my brothers in the past but it always came to a close after we rationally sat down and talked it out..hope this helps

  12. At first my family was quite against it. I remember when I was 18 (not that long ago) proudly walking into my parent’s house with my very own scattergun, to my mother’s horror. Nowadays, my mother is a little curious and my father thinks I still have no idea what I’m doing and that I’m a total danger to myself and others. As far as the politics go, my parents are hardcore “Republicans”… whatever that means. Not that I’m a “Democrat” or anything. I’ve put on my big boy pants and actually started studying REAL politics. As far as my family knows I’m a gun carrying communist Nazi socialist with “old world views”.

  13. My parents are cool with it. They’re glad I’ve developed a hobby that gets me off the sofa. Otherwise I’d climb into a book and never leave the house. Thanksgiving should be interesting in that we’re all invited to my sister’s place and while she’s not anti-gun, she’s developed into a raging liberal. I want to be a positive force in my nieces’ and nephew’s lives, but I won’t back down from a spirited discussion if she starts spouting claptrap over the candied yams. Ah, family.

    On another subject, Robert is there any way to convince you to move to the South? I spent several years in RI as part of my job responsibilities and quite frankly I couldn’t get out of there quick enough once the word came down from my corporate overlords. Most of my memories involve snow, rain, flooded basement, high taxes, bad roads, unions run amok, and general stagnation. Granted it could be beautiful certain times of year, the men were handsome, and the restaurants on Federal Hill were unbelievably good but it just wasn’t enough for this Southern girl.

    We like guns here, the women are beautiful, and it’s an easy flight to TF Green to see your family. Give it some thought, okay?

    • Most of my memories involve snow, rain, flooded basement, high taxes, bad roads, unions run amok, and general stagnation.

      As someone who lived in RI for over a decade, I can honestly state that you just listed some of the state’s better features.

  14. Most of them wondered how I grew up to like guns, being outside, driving a truck, and living outside of town, but they visit and get a taste, and are turning around. Taking them to the range certainly helps (just like with most people). Not shunned by anyone, but I definitely got some strange looks.

  15. MY family has a mix of true gun lovers and people that see guns as a necessary tool. The only real non gun people are my two sisters and since they’re both past 50 and have never voted their opinions are just that, opinions.

    Once you’ve removed yourself from the process, as they have, you can spout off all day long and it’s just gasbagging.

  16. The problem in my family isn’t getting them to talk about guns. It’s getting them to talk about something else!

  17. I have to say I can’t really even comprehend this post. While there are a few liberal outliers in my family, most of them are pro gun (and clearly politically misguided as well). I can’t even fathom a family discussion where guns and their virtues don’t come up at least once, let alone having to avoid the topic entirely.

    When I made the move from California to Montana I avoided discussing guns at work, because in CA you might as well be discussing how much you like beating puppies. In MT however, I quickly realized even the most liberal of places is populated by people who hunt and shoot and carry concealed.

    • CA gun conversations are lots of fun. A met a Red Cross volunteer / disaster prepper who ogled disaster kits I her spare time. She even gave disaster kit presentations.

      When I mentioned having a knife, Taser, or gun to protect her supplies and loved ones, she was totally unreceptive. She wanted to believe in the tendency of people to be good, even in the midst of dire situation. She lived in nice neighborhoods, away from CA’s many riots and lootings. She still thinks she is well – prepared to survive a disaster until the police or firefighters “save” her.

  18. Both my parents had gone skeet once in their lives before I was born. For them, guns were meh no big deal. When I wanted to buy one, my parents were a bit worried as neither had major exposure growing up. But as they saw just how much I knew about them as well as gun safety, they were convinced and let me do it. One turned into four thanks to grandpa. Four turned into 8 within two years. Now my family is so used to seeing me cleaning and repairing them they don’t even bat an eyelash.

  19. The family accepts that my husband has guns as he is former military, and that somehow makes it okay. They don’t know about my guns, or even that I learned to shoot. Except my children since they live with us. They were surprised at first, given my stern warnings over the years about the dangers of firearms, but now that they’re adults they understand. Two of the four have been to the range, and the other two are interested in going.

    I don’t plan to ever tell my brothers because 1) we’re not that close, 2) we rarely see each other, and 3) they’re all raging liberals. So in any family discussion the topics of guns, politics and religion are studiously avoided.

    Robert, if the family doesn’t want you with them you can always travel to the great-weather-but-lousy-politics state of CA and observe Thanksgiving with us.

  20. The Chicago suburbs of Skokie and Morton Grove that I grew up in (and most of my relatives lived there too) were a strange mix of being socially conservative and politically progressive. They were also the first places in the USA to ban handguns (in 1978 or so).

    My sister in NYC is married to an Orthodox Jewish Rabbi (punch!) and they are not gun owners. In my own family and among the relatives, growing up, I was the only one that ever expressed interest and not disgust in guns. I guess the earlier generation did not learn lessons from living through historical events such as the Great Depression and Holocaust. I assume that most of my relatives are the same now in their attitudes. Most of my relatives today do not ever want speak to each other. Political Correctness and Feminism destroying one family after another.

    • Jews that are vehemently opposed to private firearms ownership. ..

      The irony is so thick you can cut it with a knife.

      darwinism anybody?

  21. My sister and my niece (her daughter) are gun haters. My sister’s hypocrisy comes in the form of forbidding anyone to carry in her home, but her husband keeps a gun under the mattress. She is comfortable in her ignorance, so there is nothing I can say or do that will change her mind. My mom doesn’t mind them, but doesn’t want to see them. She gets it when it comes to carrying for self defense. Dad is pro-second amendment with some restrictions (he sees absolutely no need to carry in church, even though it’s legal in TN, and even though I’ve tried my best to explain to him that church is no safer than anyplace else).

    My brother, however, has the exact same views as me when it comes to RKBA.

  22. Hahahaha…. Uh, no.

    My (maternal) grandfather taught me how to shoot when I was a kid, like he did with my mom when she was little. My dad also used to be a cop, so we always had guns around the house.

    Funny that Thanksgiving is so awkward for so many people – my extended family always gathers at the grandparents’ house on Thanksgiving (yep, same set of grandparents that includes my first shooting coach), and for as long as I can remember, most of the family has gone shooting together before sitting down for Thanksgiving dinner. There are plenty of things that make for awkward family drama, but guns are not among them.

    I’m sorry for those of you who can’t say that, though.

  23. All three of us siblings have carry permits. My brother lives in Alaska, carries an SP101 .357 on his hip inside and outside the house. My sister has a carry permit – her packing gun is an S&W .32H&R mag for her more urban wildlife. I am a “charmingly eccentric firearms enthusiast”, and my carry gun depends on where I will be spending the day. Our parents are on board, and agree that “it’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.”

    Some of the in-laws (from Chicago, of course) tend to wet their knickers if they know you are carrying. That’s their problem, not ours. The only times we see them are at weddings or funerals, so who cares?

  24. My direct family is cool with guns. I’m the only sibling of 4 kids that have any guns but they all know if they visit, it’s open invite to the range. Talked my dad in to getting a few. Have talked-down some liberal inlaws, so now they at least don’t fear guns.

    If guns come up in a family discussion, I usually emphasize safety first, family protection, target shooting, then general destruction, exploding targets, tracers, face-to-face transactions, how easy it is to buy guns online, C&R guns shipped to your door, gun crime statistics, etc.

  25. Most of my family were somewhat ambivalent concerning firearms until three in my immediate family were murdered in a home invasion. Now, not so much.

  26. My family is perfectly fine with my gun ownership and carry, but there’s really little reason for us to talk about it. It’s just a gun.

    Maybe you’re new to guns or feel some urgent need to prove something or convert others, but I think it’s best to treat it like it’s a seat belt. Just strap it on and forget about it.

    If someone has a question about it, give a soft answer with a smile and move on to another subject.

  27. Most of my family are from Centeral PA so there is no fear of Guns there. Since I am fairly new to handgun there hasn’t been a family event yet to know for sure. The one suprise has been a my wife see seems to be unconfitible with the topic although both her parents shot and she has been around them for years. Not negitive as in don’t do it but quickly changes the topic and gives me the look you married guys know what I am talking about.

    Thanks
    Robert

  28. Started shooting birds and wabbits 53 years ago. Never wanted to shoot people, but my LE job required that a few times. I could have gone my entire life without that…but Fu&k them…don’t pull a gun on a cop…or anyone else whose not a wussy.
    U.S. Army service by grandfather, father, and me, my son in the desert of death fighting the RACISM DELETED….my daughter has a CHL and carries either a Taurus .38 or a Sig .40…

    so no…don’t have much of a gun problem here.

  29. My family’s a mixed bag. I grew up in NJ, so obviously guns were rather foreign to me. My father was always a die-hard conservative, yet I recently discovered is against carry. My mother is a bit more…impressionable by mass media and such, but I’ve won her over to at least thinking about guns in a good way.

    I have an aunt who’s cuckoo-crazy far left and is against guns and worships leftist statism, but is still a nice person. It’s hard to hate her, but I try my best.

    I dunno, I get “family” and all that, but I’d never compromise my views or put up with stupid/oppressive talk, no matter who was saying it.

  30. No problem here. I carry every day. My wife carries every day. Both of my sons and my daughter all carry. Most everybody on my side of the family is pretty OK with it. My wife’s side of the family not so much although they accept it and it is no big deal. I don’t have any relatives that I can think of that have ever said you can’t come over if you are carrying.

    I’m a financial planner by profession and I go to all of my appointments armed. I’ve never had a client object.

  31. My family is just like the rest of the U.S. when it comes my gun thing: some like it, some are indifferent, and some don’t like it.

    One event did surprise me. My wife and I both have concealed carry licenses and carry pretty much all the time. We went to her aunt’s home for Christmas dinner and celebration. Of course my wife and I both carried concealed to her home just like we would to any other family member or friend. We had a nice visit and returned home. Then my wife noticed that her aunt had called before our trip and left a voice mail. In her voice mail my wife’s aunt asked us to leave our handguns at home. And she never mentioned it at the event. Well we didn’t know any better and I guess the old adage “out of sight, out of mind” applied. The really crazy part is neither my wife nor I have ever told her that we have firearms, that we have licenses, or that we frequently carry. And I know she never saw us “printing”. I guess word gets around.

    Keep in mind that my wife and I are very sane, rational, stable, responsible, mild mannered people — and all of our family and friends know that. That means any family or friends who oppose the fact that my wife and I armed obviously have psychological or character problems. I am not going to change my lifestyle to accommodate someone in that state of mind.

    Here’s the frosting on the cake. That one aunt is the only family member who ever told us to leave our handguns at home. That aunt is also the only family member who has “disagreements” with many other family members.

  32. I commonly shoot with my brother, father, mother, sister in law, and my 3 daughters. Now my wife’s family….pinko-commies.

  33. Mixed bag. My parents and grandparents were terrified of guns (in that “You’ll shoot your eye out, kid” way) despite military service. My father-in-law was an ex-LEO and loved a good .357. I converted my bro-in-law and he bought himself a cool old Mauser and a decent 1911, but we lost touch, and years later on his 3rd marriage one of the malfunctioning teens he inherited somehow got hold of the pistol and selfishly applied it to his troubles. I haven’t broached the subject with him yet.

    As for my own, my kids originally gave me slightly-disturbed-but-interested “Daddy, why do you have guns?” (It reminded me of a scene from “Leon the Professional”, though it shouldn’t have been too much of a shock since daddy also had knives, swords, bows and other fun stuff I’d been sharing with them.) Once they were big enough to handle them (they had been shooting air pistols), we did safety and familiarity education and headed out to the range, and they were immediately hooked, and quickly moved from .22 to 9mm and .45 (and would love my Desert Eagle more if it wasn’t so darn heavy–but my daughter pumping .44s center-of-mass gets a lot of respect from the range masters). Thankfully, I somehow have two serious and responsible teens.

  34. Not a problem for my family. Depending on the weather, we’ll go out back and target practice after Thanksgiving/Christmas dinner.

  35. I grew up with a bird hunting father, so shotguns were really common at home despite living outside Seattle. However, my father hated handguns and swore they were evil. Now that I’m grown and carry, I think his opinion has softened a little bit. I even took him shooting at the range a few months back at his request and he really liked it. Now, he’s asking when I’ll be finished building my AR-15. I never really had the discussion but just explained that I enjoy shooting and it’s turned him a bit. He’s my only family that I associate with by choice so I don’t know about the others but they are from California.

  36. My family can’t get away from talking guns, hunting and politics. Half the family has served in one branch or the other of the military, the other half are staunch supporters of the 2nd amendment and have worked for the state. But thanksgiving is one of those great days for the family. Two grandfathers, 3 uncles, my father, 7 cousins, friends and anyone else who wants to go all pile up and duck hunt that morning. Then sit around the rest of the day, cook what we killed, eat some fresh pig, and be damn thankful that we all were born in this great nation and located in the deep south (Louisisana).

  37. My family and guns? Cue the crickets chirping. I’m the only shooter. I was raised in a non-gun family and have an extended family now that I’m sure follows all the stereotypes: all the females have an irrational fear and loathing of guns, the guys are more tolerant but basically not interested. One interesting example is a male family member that constantly plays military and shoot’em up video games, but is not interested in going to the range with me.

    My only remaining hope is my grandson, whom I plan to introduce to the joys of shooting and flying (no, not at the same time), and hope one or more of them takes hold.

  38. Unfortunately my family is not pro-gun either, so I keep myself tightly-lipped about firearms when I’m around them. They know I’m an avid shooter, but I keep my business to myself when it comes to guns.

    Better that way to keep the peace…

  39. It took me awhile to figure this out but once I did my life got sooo much better. Your born with your family you did not pick them it was lifes lotto. If you like and get along with them great. If they are douche bags find people you like and spend time with them. Life is too short to kiss shitty asses to make mom happy.

  40. My Dad used to have quite a gun collection but he eventually sold all his guns and is now living in Arizona gun-less , he is married to an uber-lib who loves Obama and sees no need for self protection. My Mom is another obamabot who blames everything on Bush, my sister had the obama HOPE logo on her facebook page… My youngest brother owns guns he is about the only one I can speak with about guns and for that matter politics… On my wife’s side they are emigrants from Italy, my wife is very pro-gun and is in the process of getting here permit, my S-I-L is cool she has shot and understands the gun as a tool. My M-I-L is scared to death of guns she is 80+ yo and was a youngster in Italy when the Germans occupied her town. My B-I-L is a typical southern Italian socialist … sees no use for guns and believes that they all should be banned… So, I have to pick and choose who I talk with about guns at least for a meaningful conversation…. the good news is that my daughter and husband are pro-gun and their son WILL BE GUN Proficient…

  41. My mother in law acted like she was going to call CPS for taking my 9 year old daughter to a gun show. Everyone else is a gun owner, so it makes for interesting conversation at times.

  42. My deceased father was a pheasant hunter, my deceased father-in-law loved to take his two daughters to watch him shoot his shotgun (straight up in the air!) every Thanksgiving.
    Present day family – my wife shoots a Glock 19, my daughter personally has an AR chambered for 9mm, and my son has been talking about getting a Taurus Judge Public Defender (now that his son has turned 20). We don’t talk firearms much at the T-giving, or Xmas, table. My wife says that’s for a different time.
    My in-laws in WI are definitely democrats (very pro-Obama even), but my nephew in that clan is a Sig P226 carrying IRS agent, and he and I correspond about guns occasionally. We all get along pretty well (as long as I don’t mention Paul Ryan or Scott Walker… LOL).

    • Ahhh, but I forgot to mention my in-laws in OH…. top notch skeet shooters with a private range on their property, premo choice of weapons to borrow, and do their own reloads. My kind of folk. Wonder what they’re doing for Thanksgiving this year.

  43. Robert, best of luck with whatever you decide. I believe that anti-gun people hate gun owners more than they do guns. I have found no common ground with them .

    I try to avoid politics at family gatherings. and if that fails I excuse myself and take the family and go.

  44. My dad is a gun guy, mom is neutral and sister is a bleeding heart anti-gun liberal who voted for Obama and plans to again. I don’t let that stop me when the discussion turns to guns, but her arguments against them are circular and you just can’t argue with a liberal. Once their point has been disproved, they will just resort to shouting you down.

  45. My dad doesn’t know I have guns and I have 5 in his house. I don’t think he would be happy, especially cause I’m an expensive college student.

  46. My wife’s parents are militant leftist atheists. Couple years ago, few weeks after the whole Hutaree incident, they saw some pictures of their daughter shooting guns.

    The daughter they talk down to because she is now a practicing Christian of course and had to bring up in a dead serious matter that some how I’m a Christian terrorist or something. Great thing is the comment proved me right, they had no business at our wedding because they couldn’t shut their damn mouth, they were told they weren’t allowed to come and she hasn’t talked to them since.

    My dad has a few guns, but isn’t a major proponent, but finds the people who hate them or feel sketchy around them total idiots. My mom is the same, only I’ve never seen her shoot a gun.

    My family though loves the spoils of my hunts, always asking me during hunting season if I got any sort of game meat they could have.

    My wife loves skeet shooting and to tell you the truth I love it more than any other type of shooting too.

  47. Wow, that’s cold. I don’t have much of an issue with the guns issue, since I was raised around them, but there are clear differences of opinion elsewhere in my family. I’m an absolutist on gun rights but fairly liberal on other points, contrary to most in my family (which, among other things, makes voting a challenge at times). Anyway, when things come up we nod and smile and muddle through. That’s just what it’s all about. A family that demands conformity over love is missing the point. My kids all could grow up to hold political/religious views that are 100% divergent from mine, but they’d still be welcome to the table at Thanksgiving. No conditions. Sorry you have to deal with that, bro.

  48. My wife and in laws are from Central PA. On our last trip there we went to shoot skeet and target including breaking in a new AR that my father in law just bought because my son wanted to shoot one. Guns are just part of their culture. My rents on the other hand are hard core liberal Mass Democrats. They blindly vote for Obama even though though his re-distribution of wealth starts with rich old white people like them. They are anti gun & anti hunting and never allowed me to have any gun in the house. I learned to shoot, fish, canoe, hunt & camp with a black sheep uncle who lived in VT. They used to make light of my weekend outings with my uncle like we were a couple of fools who played in the woods. Unc was a combat vet/ hippy and as close to a modern mountain man as you can get. I spent more meaningful time together with him than with my Dad. RIP Unc. My parents hate when i point out their hypocritical relationship with guns . Some examples….when I was about 20 my parents had a ground hog invasion (probably because I was away from college for a couple of years) that resulted in their sizable garden & perennial beds being destroyed. They were more than happy to allow me to eradicate the problem with my Remington 22 pump that wasnt allowed in the house. Since then I have taken care of coyotes that terrorize their cats on request. It is called “taking care of” vs killing and they never admit the hypocrisy. My mother can’t stand that I carry and resents that I have supported my boys interest in archery, guns & hunting. She gets her shots in about “heroes” that kill Bambi and guns being a sure sign of evil and I let them go. Out of respect for her my carry is secured in the car when we visit. My old man just stays out of it.
    At family gatherings we do not discuss politics, hunting or guns unless they need something taken care of. Whenever my sons or I do this they make a potint of not being around. Otherwise things do not go well.

  49. My family is pretty good, my old man wasn’t a big fan of black rifles, but somewhere along the way I’ve changed his mind and he’s now looking for an AR-10 style rifle. My brother is the only ‘interesting’ person in the family with regards to guns. He owns several, has a CHL, does carry on occasion, but he mercilessly ridicules anyone else who owns, carries, or is otherwise pro-gun. Granted, guns aren’t the only thing he does this with, which of course makes him a fairly unpopular person in the family :-).

    Everyone else seems to fall somewhere between ambivalent and pro-gun, all just rather dispassionately so.

  50. Wow, some of the comments on here… so sad and disheartening. I would hope that for each of us, despite our enthusiasm for firearms, can at least sit down and enjoy a decent meal with their family. I can respect the passion that folks here have, but is it too much to ask to set it aside to spend just one night with your family?

    I grew up in an interesting home. Both of my parents were conservative Christians, but came from non-Christian families… converting was not popular initially with the grandparents. Mom and Dad were Reagan Republicans too… despite the fact that one of my grandfathers detested Nixon so much that the family was almost moved to Canada. Dad, having been in ROTC, gone to school in Texas, enjoyed fishing/hunting, and having a close-call (robbery at his work) was definitely all about firearms… he even carried to his work (pastor at local church here in Seattle). My mother never grew up with firearms and disliked them despite the fact that her father was an Army veteran. After my father passed away when I was in the 5th grade, she gave most of my Dad’s firearms away to friends / relatives. It’s only been in the past 3 years or so I’ve been trying to re-acquire them, even though my interest in them never went away – I was lucky enough to be able to go target shooting with uncles / friends.

    (Maybe I should write article for TTAG in the future about my adventures in tracking down my dad’s old guns… hrmmm)

    Anyways, there’s a range of political beliefs in my extended family… most of the younger cousins like me tend be more socially liberal/libertarian than our older parents. We have lots of family who are former military, and even an auntie who’s currently serving in the border patrol (tough lady). We have discussions back in forth about everything from Obama’s current presidency to gay rights to gun rights to even *gasp* religion… but in the end, we all love each other and treat each other with respect despite our differences, because in the end, we’re all family. In fact, the past few years, we’ve all been closer than ever because of a combination of several untimely deaths (heart attacks, cancer) and birth of the next generation… with my kids, our family will have been in America for already 5 generations.

    I wonder how much of the “FAMILY FIRST” attitude is just cultural (my family primarily Chinese American… but several non-Chinese people have married “in” to the family). Blood is always blood, and your family is always your family. Sitting together and sharing a meal is probably the most sacred and special thing we do together, Thanksgiving or not.

    Hope you can set aside your differences with your family, Robert, and be with them for the holiday. Life is too short.

  51. Robert, you are welcome to join me and my family at Thanksgiving. I grew up in the rural northwest corner of NJ back in the early 1960’s. I can remember eating pheasant for the Thanksgiving meal that had been shot earlier that very morning by one of my great uncles. My mom taught me how to shoot (dad was off with his second wife). I don’t recall there ever being an anti-gun member of my family, just about everyone hunted, or at least used to hunt until NJ got so crowded that hunting really isn’t possible now except for the extremely over crowded state game lands. My dad shoots trap, has handguns and rifles. My brother and his wife are getting into the cowboy shooting sports. My sister and her husband are both new members of IDPA and both have carry permits to several states. My wife is comfortable with guns, but a few of her family are not so much. We don’t see them often enough for there to be any problems, and when we do see them, the topics discussed tend to be family oriented, and not politics. I left NJ over 25 years ago, and live in PA. I can’t guarantee that I can take you someplace to shoot on Thanksgiving, but I can guarantee you some mighty good eating.

  52. I don’t get it. I mean, my mom doesn’t like guns so I just…don’t bring them up. We almost never discuss politics because Mom’s a leftist, dad’s to the right of Nixon, I’m a libertarian, and my brother is apolitical. I mean, it has to be a kind of general truce but can’t ya’ll agree to not talk politics for a frigging evening? All of ya’ll?

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