“Before we start quoting the Second Amendment,” washingtonpost.com mommy blogger Allison Barrett Carter warns, “I am not writing an ‘anti-gun’ article. Friends and family are completely free to (legally) get their guns, take the appropriate class, and carry their guns with them, at least until such time as the country collectively decides to change any laws.” How generous. “Just don’t carry the gun into my home,” she adds. Fair enough. But what really flicks Ms. Carter’s Bic . . .
After a lot of digging into this and asking the bright legal minds I have access to about this issue, what I have realized is that the burden is on me to actively ask visitors not to bring guns into my home, not on a visitor having to ask permission to bring a gun onto my property where my children are. This seems backward.
“Want to come over for some Goldfish crackers and crafts? Please, no guns,” I have to ask.
“Come celebrate my son’s 4th Birthday! No presents, please. And no guns, please.” But the visitor does not have to ask, “Is it okay if I bring the licensed gun in my purse into your house?” Legal or not, trained or not, at what point does the carrier of the weapon have to secure my approval before bringing it in?
Since we haven’t collectively addressed this topic, things are admittedly murky. But it seems the law does a great job of protecting Americans who want to have a concealed weapon; it doesn’t seem as concerned with my right to enforce my home as a gun-free zone. It seems as though a permit trumps my decision about my private, personal property where my kids play.
It seems that Ms. Carter couldn’t be bothered to call a lawyer to clarify her legal position. Simply put, she has the right to ban people from her private residence for whatever reason she wants. Oh wait. She does know this. Ms. Carter simply “forgets” this fact to feed her need to be appalled. Until the last paragraph.
As more Americans get their concealed carry permits, the best way I can find to navigate this issue is to ask anyone before entering our house if they have a gun on them. If they refuse to leave it in their car, I can refuse them entry. It won’t make me friends and playdates will now be incredibly more awkward to set up, but at least my home can stay gun-free for my kids. It is a big, ugly conversation that seems worth risking.
If Ms. Carter wants to ban someone from carrying in her home, she should have that conversation. Only I wonder why she thinks it will be big and ugly.