Grocery store trips are no fun. It takes a long time and I normally have a two-year-old and a four-year-old running around getting into things and asking for candy. And blurting things out that are innocent enough, but could cause some concern. Take, for example, my trip on Tuesday last week . . .
As I was perusing the lettuce, trying to decide which two looked the best, my four-year-old daughter thought she’d take that moment to say rather loudly, “Mommy, your gun is showing.”
Of course I checked. It wasn’t. My .40-caliber XD was just a slight lump under my shirt (as always). Immediately, about eight heads in the produce section snapped my way. I calmy kneeled down and grabbed my little sweet pea in a hug and whispered to her “Sweetie? We don’t talk about mommy’s gun in public. Ok?” She said “OK Mommy. I just didn’t want anyone to know you had a gun. It’s a secret right?”
She did try to whisper this time. Yet again, heads turned my way. A few watched and a few quickly left my vicinity. I told my daughter we could talk at home.
As I stood to collect my lettuce, I tried not to watch the other shoppers. All I needed was one hoplophobe to call 911 on me to ruin my day. Fortunately, in this rural area, not many were around anymore – except for a gentleman that nodded at me and patted his right hip. Copy that.
Once home, after putting away my groceries, I sat next to my child and calmly instructed that we don’t mention mommy’s gun. She shouldn’t talk about it at school. She shouldn’t talk about it with her friends. It’s a secret. She said, “But Mommy, why is it a secret?”
I explained that I have to hide it because we live in California, where it’s illegal to have a gun where someone can see it. The questions keep coming. I felt like I was on trial. “But why do you put it outside your shirt at home?”
I tried to explain. I can wear it in plain view while on our property, or on the property of someone else who approves, because that’s my right as an American. I can’t show my gun in the store where others can see I because . . . some people are scared of guns.
“But why would they be so scared, mommy? You always have your gun and it’s not scary to me and brother.”
Uh . . .
If you can’t explain a law meant to protect children to a child, maybe it shouldn’t be a law. But the good news is I’m not raising a hoplophobe. And it made my day when she said, “You’re a good mommy because you have a gun.” I smiled and said, “You and your brother are the main reasons I take my gun with me all the time.” That seemed to satisfy her. And me. But not California.