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Florida (courtesy The Truth About Guns)

I was savoring a Liga Privada No. 9 when my 12-year-old texted from the hotel hair salon. “I’m done.” I instructed her to wait in the room or walk five blocks to the cigar store. “No way,” she texted. “I’ll get lost or kidnapped.” That got me thinking . . . have I poisoned my daughter’s childhood with visions of violence? Or was her road-going reticence a sensible reaction to potential danger? Gun control advocates love to paint gun owners as paranoid people who can’t enjoy life. I reckon we’re situationally aware folks who cherish life because we know it’s fragile. We raise our kids to anticipate danger – without making it the central issue of their lives. But then I would say that. What say you?

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  1. My daughters are being raised to know s**t happens and evil is out there. That is not paranoia. BTW – maybe your daughter didn’t feel like walking 5 blks

    • This. I was raised knowing that there’s a lot of crap that happens in the world and to always keep my gaurd up. I don’t consider it paranoia, I consider it situational awareness. Because of my upbringing I am always mindful of my surroundings.

    • I’m with Dirk, she wanted a ride in Dad’s Benz.

      On the upside, RF, she’ll train her future boyfriends the same way…


  2. I raise my kid to be aware of her surroundings, not to trust people on the street, to be ready to deal with any issue that may arise, and most of all I raise her so she’ll be a self supporting functioning adult and not 25 years old living in my basement complaining about social inequality.

  3. Looks like the kid has a pretty well defined maximum personal risk tolerance. That’s not fear. It’s looking before you leap and accepting that choices have consequences. Deciding that there’s no need to engage in a behaviour that entails more risk than she’s comfy with isn’t a sign of cowardice on her part of indoctrination into a thought pattern of “they’re coming to get me”. It’s exactly the opposite. I betcha if you were stuck there and she’d have to wait outside the closed business until you could get there that she’d elect to make the 5 blocks walk.

    Cowards stay on the X when they need to get off of it. Idiots leave the X when there’s no justification for doing so. Thinking people weigh the need to get off the X with the risks of doing so and choose their next step or non-step appropriately.

    • I would like to think that I’m too wise to have kids, but in reality I won’t do it because I’m selfish.

      …maybe being able to recognize that is a sign of wisdom, I’m not sure!

      • True wisdom is understanding how much you do not know, and how much of what other people think they know is simply not true.

  4. I would imagine that, given your hint of being on vacation in an unfamiliar city (getting hair done in a hotel salon), your daughter was simply reflecting the reality of Hollywood and having seen all three “Taken” films. I would think that rather than being paranoid, your daughter was simply being prudent. A lot of stuff can happen in 5 blocks. Have you ever wandered even a few blocks away from a popular tourist area like Bourbon Street in New Orleans? Or Downtown San Francisco? I have. Not anyplace you want to be in without being armed.

    • Bourbon Street is a tourist pit, and unless you wander more than a few blocks away, you will never experience Noo Awlins. As long as you are careful. And the French Quarter cemetery (the oldest in the state) is a blast at 2 in the morning when one is really blasted.

  5. Given the contemporary environment in which she operates (schools, peers—not you, necessarily) I think she probably did the best she could. So much about modern life operates to disempower kids, especially girls, that she carries a lot of anxiety baggage around at age 12. That’s were being a strong father figure come in.

    • Modern life “disempowers girls”? Are you joking? Everywhere you look is “girl power”, etc. If anything, modern life is against men. Oh, you looked at a woman? You must want to rape her. Really, you seem seriously out of touch.

      • “Empowerment”, the way you describe it, has to do with being a loud and angry victim, and making every good person weaker while ignoring the fact that there are real bad people. Empowerment, in its genuine form, means not having to suffer being a victim, while at the same time excepting that bad people exist in the world…… The two ways of existing are mutually exclusive but it seems you’ve muddied the two in your head if you feel the poster is “out of touch”.

      • “. . .If anything, modern life is against men. . .”

        In a general sense, I think you have a point. But what I was talking about was a 12 year old girl being afraid of walking down the street. Today’s children live in an environment where they are taught to expect to be constantly supervised and protected. Not surprisingly many kids believe that they **need** to be supervised and protected where, in previous generations, they were comfortable with a lot more personal autonomy. I think this has a definite effect on their self-confidence.

        The best antidote for this is for strong parents to work hard at teaching their kids to do things—going to the gun range is a good example—that allow kids to feel the kind of empowerment they aren’t getting in school or from their peers. Self-empowered kids who are confident in their ability to take care of themselves are an endangered population in modern America. Today’s 20 somethings are the biggest collection of wusses I’ve ever seen. Look at ’em the wrong way and they pee their pants and demand “safe zones”. Scheech.

  6. Prudence: noun
    Careful good judgement that allows someone to avoid danger or risks.

    I would say she chose wisely.

  7. It’s always a bright sunny peaceful day / peaceful night, until it ain’t.

    That notion [too] can expanded to any scale. Your (D)head neighbors playing gov’t will ensure that there’s an America around for you to walk around oblivious in, until they don’t. Keep your guns until the end of America, and raise your kids accordingly.

  8. We elect not to raise victims in our household.
    We emphasize situational awareness, avoidance of confrontation, risk analysis and then if at all necessary, violence of action.
    Then we bake cookies! And have waterballoon fights and family game nights.
    I have five well adjusted patriots from 25 yrs old down to a 7 yr old who just earned her yellow belt in Chinto Ryu karate.
    Poet Warriors.
    Carry on.

  9. I grew up in the 80s and 90s. I remember all of the stranger danger stuff in school as well as home. There were a lot of programs that preached watching out for bad situation. It wasn’t just gun owners, even though a large portion of my family were gun owners. I would say I am more aware of my surroundings now than when I was younger, but it doesn’t mean I didn’t pay attention to what is going on around me from a young age.

  10. I have no children, but I also don’t live or have a great distain for PC anything.
    My belief is most children in the last 20 – 30 years have been brought up to err on the side of caution.
    In this day everything is on the internet immediately.
    Its given most a sad look at our world as it appears today.
    My childhood consisted of be home for dinner. Period.
    Id say short of the internet. Percentagewise its probably a safer world for kids then when I was a child.
    Crime is lower, but paranoia isn’t. The same percentagewise of creeps are out there today as when I was a child.
    You just know more about them and it today.

  11. No, paranoid parents raise paranoid kids.

    Letting your children off the leash lets them develop self confidence and the ability to handle situations on their own (like getting “unlost”).

    Stranger abductions are exceedingly rare and certainly no more prevalent now than they were forty to fifty years ago when I and my cohort were widely-ranging “free range kids.”

    That said, in retrospect I think we kept our kids on too short of a leash much of the time. It’s hard not to when we are bombarded by an incessant stream of bad news from (then) cable news and (now) the Internet.

    • I agree. I also think you’ve been reading Lenore Skenazy in Reason magazine.

      From a previous comment: “simply reflecting the reality of Hollywood and having seen all three “Taken” films.” Excuse me. There is no reality in Hollywood, especially the enjoyable, but totally fictional “Taken” movies. Kidnapping by strangers is extremely rare. When I was a kid, I wouldn’t have a second thought about walking five blocks alone. These days, a neighbor sees a kid walking home from school and calls the cops who get CPS involved. A parent gets in trouble because she let her kid play unsupervised in their front yard. Both are true stories. Kids today are going to have a tough time in the real work world where there are no “participation” awards.

  12. Well what’s worse? Having a little that’s a bit paranoid or one that’s dead when they blindly walk into a dangerous situation? When you boil down all the BS that’s the choice you have to make here.

  13. Answer? No. The vast majority of kids these days are brought up to be paranoid. Parents now are charged with child abuse for letting their kids play unattended in the park across the street from their house. I was told to be home for dinner when the street lights came on. Teachers now won’t allow a child to be picked up from school without a photo ID and secret password signed in triplicate. The thought of ever letting your kids actually walk 5-6 blocks home from school every day is also child abuse. All kids are now taught to view any adult males as potential kidnappers/child molesters.

    The joy of being a kid is gradually and inexorably being sucked out of life.

  14. My kids wore seat belts when it wasn’t fashionable. They don’t fear auto accidents. ?

    In fact people who don’t consider the possibilities tend to be the most paranoid. Know what they are afraid of? Being afraid. So they avoid the whole thing.

  15. Prudence is NOT paranoia RF. No daughters-I have 4 sons. So I don’t know except I have 3 granddaughters who live far away. This isn’t the leave it to beaver world I grew up in the 50’s and 60’s. This is a world where a low-life scum lured a 9 year old to shoot him in the head as gang revenge against his baby daddy…and I don’t think karate would help…protect your little girl.

    • FWW…karate is like anything else, a foundation of confidence, ethics, laser sharp focus.
      My 7 yr old drew blood on the sensai while sparring. She is all girl but also able to wrist lock you down to the ground with exceptional control.And she is looking at a sig 522 to start her collection.All with pig tails too!

      • I guarantee your kid can’t wrist lock me-but it’s great you teach self-confidence and all. Something about doing hammer curls with 100lb dumbbells… Just don’t make your kid over confident…plenty of very large guys who prey on little girls.

        • I hear you lima charlie.
          Its a balance of humble and confidence that we as parents walk on brother.
          Got to give kids all the tools they can fit in their tool box.
          We always spar full contact.
          Nothing gained from easy.

  16. I find that often arguments such as this lack context. For example, if I tell my daughter she shouldn’t wear revealing clothing and go out for a night on the town by herself, many liberals would say I am victim blaming. What they fail to see is the context. My daughter is not yet a victim, so what I am doing is providing data for the risk vs. reward matrix. By all means, go out, but take friends and dress appropriately. Live, but take precautions.

    I remember reading about the nail polish being developed that changes color if it comes in contact with the rape drug. Feminists complained it was victim blaming! No, it provides a tool for those who wish to not become victims. Telling someone after they are a victim they should have used it, or not punishing the criminal because it was not used would be victim blaming. While some people do go to that extreme, that is not the majority.

    Its just like firearms. They are tool for those who do not want to be a defenseless victim. A lot of the liberal mindset do not understand that concept at all. So they brand it paranoid.

  17. Only the paranoid survive. A lot of so-called “enjoyment” that sacrifices safety is either stupid or unnecessary. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes. Err on the side of caution and stay paranoid. Life is simpler that way as it rids me of stupid people and stupid places. Make some money. Buy armored cars. Install ballistic protection around the house. Go get some highend entertainment. Avoid the hood and the neon lights. Problem solved.

  18. She’s twelve and wouldn’t walk five blocks? I don’t know that I’d necessarily call it paranoia, but it’s definitely a sad state of affairs. Brings to mind the parents who were arrested for letting their kids walk a block to play in the park by themselves. As a society, we’re doing our kids absolutely no favors by treating them like delicate teacups.

    When I was that age, in the mid-’80s, my unescorted walking range was measured in miles, not blocks. If I called my Dad for a five-block ride, I’d better have a broken leg when he showed up.

  19. How reasonable this is depends entirely on where she was at at the time.

    It’s better to be prepared, but you hit the nail on the head. It shouldn’t be the central issue of your life.

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