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I have anti-gun relatives, mostly on my mother’s side of the family. In their defense, they also loathe my Jeep. Some think that my brother (what with his one-ton diesel truck) and I are demonic. Apparently, two siblings can be the sole causes of global warming because of their cars and guns…or something. I have in-laws that are anti-gun as well but . . .

they usually just avoid my pro-gun Facebook posts while managing to remain my friend. Anyway, I’m planning a trip to Colorado for the holidays. It will include my usual interface with my anti-gun relatives, and a review of a kydex holster for TTAG. Get this: the holster is an outside-the-waistband pancake holster.

Open carry is perfectly legal in Colorado, thank goodness. I don’t have my non-resident permit as of yet, although those plans are in the works. Nonetheless, I need to carry and after a few of my relatives responses to my writing job here at TTAG, I am wondering if I should unintentionally offend them by carrying during Christmas dinner.

After all, they really hated two of my recent articles, Why Gun Sales Skyrocket After A Shooting and Being Fat Is More Likely To Kill You Than A GunNot to mention TTAG posted pumpkin carving images. To say they were offended would be like saying that ISIS is intolerant.

What the hell. Not only will I be driving my evil environment-damaging Jeep, I’ll be bringing a loaded (!) gun with me – and my recent AR build to show my father. I’m looking forward to my [immediate] family’s tradition of destroying clays with shotguns. I can’t wait to watch my father help my daughter shoot her BB gun. And Christmas dinner will be at my parents’ home. My father, my brother, and my husband will be carrying – although they can all conceal.

I didn’t know some of my relatives were so easily offended by the thought of freedom until I started being a vocal gun rights activist – well, more so than I already was anyway. Even if my gun isn’t a learning experience for them, it was – and is – for me. That’s the important thing, yes?

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  1. People can learn and change. 12 years ago my mother in law was staunchly anti-gun, Last Saturday she told me her and my father in law were taking a firearm introduction class a the local Sheriff’s office.

    • Ditto what mike said…. Ive been going around in circles with my dad and step mom for over a decade now. Last month my dad said he wanted an “AR15” (I know, california and all, but we have work arounds) and my step mom just stays quiet. This is huge because my step mom used to say that she would (literally) rather die than defend herself with a gun….. So people do change sometimes for the better… Betterish.

      • Same here. My mom was anti gun until two feral dogs attacked the livestock. That weekend I brought over a Savage .22 and taught her how to shoot it.

      • I suggest you go all Liberal on them and go into a hissy rant over how you hate the sun and the terrible toll it is exerting on the poor on earth that live below sea level or just above sea level areas on the earth and how you loath heat and the over abundance of plant life that we’ll all soon have to deal with .
        DAMN THAT SUN !

        • Offer them some common ground a TOTAL ban of…

          Dihydrogen monoxide:
          is also known as hydroxyl acid, and is the major component of acid rain.
          contributes to the “greenhouse effect”.
          may cause severe burns.
          contributes to the erosion of our natural landscape.
          accelerates corrosion and rusting of many metals.
          may cause electrical failures and decreased effectiveness of automobile brakes.
          has been found in excised tumors of terminal cancer patients.
          Despite the danger, dihydrogen monoxide is often used:
          as an industrial solvent and coolant.
          in nuclear power plants.
          in the production of styrofoam.
          as a fire retardant.
          in many forms of cruel animal research.
          in the distribution of pesticides. Even after washing, produce remains contaminated by this chemical.
          as an additive in certain “junk-foods” and other food products.

          Being in so many evil things it should be banned, just like they think firearms and evil 1 ton diesel duallys should be banned. But you may want to point out their Prius may have some of it in it and they should remove it before they drive it again.

    • You might add this: When one of them comes out with an anti-gun rant, look them in the eye and say, very sincerely, “You know, once the train has left the station you can’t tell which way it went by looking at the tracks.”

      It is totally meaningless but sounds very profound (much like the usual liberal rant), and will deflect the conversation completely. Repeat as needed. Try it – it is really fun.

  2. She’s gonna have trouble getting that non-resident permit in Colorado, seeing as such a thing doesn’t exist.

    CO only allows concealed carry for residents of states with reciprocity or CO residents.

    • Correct, had to look that up, wasn’t sure. We don’t issue non-res permits, nor accept non-res permits.

      • The good news is we do accept a fair number of states’ resident permits. The bad news is California isn’t one of them. But IIRC Sara moved to Wyoming anyway.

  3. I am wondering if I should unintentionally offend them by carrying during Christmas dinner.

    If you don’t carry, baby Jesus will be offended and Santa will only bring you coal and sticks…maybe not even sticks…twigs.

    Clearly you have been warned.

  4. I get why you’d have to OC in public, but why can’t you conceal at your parent’s home (if you wanted to)? It’s presumably private property, isn’t it?

    • On the other hand, why shouldn’t she open carry in her parents’ home, since they’re obviously ok with it. Open carry is more comfortable and allows for a larger, more powerful sidearm.

      It boggles my mind that some people feel the need to bend to the irrational sensibilities of invited guests. If they don’t like it, they can leave anytime.

      • people who are invited guests can leave their sensibilities at the door, along with the muddy shoes. Those who cannot are free to not come or be offended and be quiet. They are guests after all.

      • I absolutely agree. I only mentioned that because the way she phrased it (“My father, my brother, and my husband will be carrying – although they can all conceal.”) made it sound like she was saying that she was prohibited from concealing her gun at dinner, which wouldn’t be the case if they’re in a private home.

  5. Regardless of what one thinks of the degree of threat posed by terrorists on our soil, it has turned a lot of people I know from fence-sitters/anti into pro-gun people, members of my family included. My parents live in Jersey and they were shocked to find out the depth of the Garden State’s contempt for the 2A. It’s making them speed up their plans to get out, that’s for sure.

  6. As I’m sure you’re aware, just avoid Denver city proper or Boulder. Other than that have fun! Hopefully some of our snow will have melted by then. I have started carrying myself since I last saw my parents and they will be in town for the holidays, so I’m almost in the same boat.

    • Supposed to snow again today (Thurs). We shall see. Driveway melted pretty good today, and was surprised to find that Golden (CO) and Scottsdale (AZ) were almost exactly the same temperature (34 degrees) in late morning.

      In any case, yes, by all means, avoid Denver and Boulder. In Boulder, it is apparently illegal to even look cross eyed at bicyclists. And, Denver was where the cops would arrest you for brandishing if they could see the butt of your gun, and otherwise, for failure to have a concealed carry permit, if they could not, and you couldn’t get a concealed carry permit unless you were a good friend of the mayor or the sheriff (who was appointed by the mayor, and issued the permits). Some of this was eliminated when CO enacted “shall issue” legislation, along with state wide gun law uniformity – except that Denver, being a home rule city/county, managed to exempt itself from much of the latter. It helps to have the state Supreme Court in your city/county.

    • Actually it’s only Denver County that was grandfathered in from the state’s preemptive law. Open and concealed carry in Boulder is legal. There is a city ordinance against carrying in the city parks but it has never been tested in the courts and would lose. Of course a lot of Boulderites would have a hissy fit if they saw a gun but that’s their problem.

      • what’s up with boulder? heard it is supposed to be some sort of hippie haven, but is that true? was boulder weird before pot was legal?

    • I can remember when it wasn’t – back in the 1950s and maybe early 1960s, when you would still see the occasional well dressed gentleman in a nice suit, boots, conservative cowboy hat, and occasional handgun.

  7. I love my family. But there’s a reason I keep at least 2 states between them and me. Especially at the holidays.

    My kids, myself and my grandkids live in CA. That’s all the family I need.

    Now on to your xmas dinner problem. Will there be booze at the gathering? Booze greatly increases the likely hood that one of your anti relates will go full retard. Xmas dinner 911 and domestic beef is never a good thing.

  8. You can pick your friends…I got a brother who moved back to America just so he could vote for Obama(from Europe). One of my grown sons calls me a “gun nut”(I didn’t raise him). I get having awful relatives. And I don’t kowtow to any of them as far as guns(I’m way too old for that). Good luck behind enemy lines…

  9. My relationship with the Anti Gun crowd took a turn for the worse after a conversation with a co-worker. It was shortly after it became apparent that there were a great many people in Connecticut who were not going to comply with the new laws requiring registration of banned guns and normal capacity magazines, (anything over ten rounds).

    He is a really serious leftist who thinks Hillery is a little to right. I pointed out that to enforce this law the police would eventually have to go door to door and take the items by force and there would be blood involved. He said if that’s what it takes then those people deserve what they get.

    These people are perfectly willing to use violence against us to enforce their vision of utopia. It’s not really true when they claim to be against guns and violence. They are really only against these things when they aren’t being used to support their agenda. A lot of those nice anti gun people don’t just disagree with you. They are perfectly ok sending you to jail or worse for not going along with their program. Nothing personal ya know.

    • “He said if that’s what it takes then those people deserve what they get.”

      What about the police that have to kick-in the doors? What, does he not think the police won’t end up taking casualties too? I guess in his mind, it’s the police’s job to die for his ideals. Seems like he actually wants bloodshed.

      • “I guess in his mind, it’s the police’s job to die for his ideals. ”

        That seems to be pretty much correct based on comments I’ve seen posted at huffpo, slate, and certain other wrenched hives of scum and villainy.

        • I’m always amazed/horrified at how the “compassionate” left is perfectly okay treating people as statistics, labor pool, cattle, resources to be used/exploited. It’s the most inhuman world view in recent history. No wonder all those other utopia in Russia, Germany, Cambodia, Turkey, China … etc… had no problems at all killing off tens of millions of people.

        • Five,

          You’re correct. Their view is extremely inhuman, because they don’t see or care about people as humans. They only think of the collective, society, with a self righteous feeling that they are more “civilized” for it. Disgusting pure utilitarianism. We’ve seen it before in fascist and communist societies.

    • They are talking about locking up anyone who denies the “settled science” of climate change, so sending their brownshirts to kill us gun owners is not a stretch. Only problem is, who among them is willing to come and take our guns? There aren’t enough of them that are willing to take a bullet for their cause.

      • I saw a bumper sticker recently – “I’m willing to die for my gun rights, what are you willing to do to take them?”

    • Clay,

      I would just tell your co-worker, “You are advocating for government agents to imprison or execute people — peaceable people who wish you no harm — for the ‘crime’ of being ‘different’. Tell me how that isn’t an existential threat to our nation?”

      You can try another approach as well. Ask your co-worker, “Four men and a woman are stranded on an island. How intense do the men’s lust for sexual gratification have to be before the woman must give up her right to chastity?”

      • When you spell out for them exactly what they just said to you, you get labeled as being the crazy one.

        “I don’t want to kill any gun owners, we just want to take their assault weapons off of the streets”
        “But, isn’t that what you just suggested? That police seek out those who choose not to comply, and kill those who resist?”
        “Well… If they choose not to follow the law then they’re dangerous criminals, and that’s what we do with dangerous criminals.”
        “What if half of the population disagrees with the new law. You’re going to kill them if they resist? Isn’t that close to becoming a bona fide civil war?”
        “I didn’t say anything about a civil war. You’re crazy, I hope you don’t own any guns. You sound dangerous”

    • You might ask your co-worker if he would agree with (1) going door to door in black neighborhoods to take guns by force from the Bloods and Crips and (2) the NYCPD’s stop and frisk policy.

  10. Almost all of my relatives are dead, which spares me the chore of disowning the ones who might have been anti-gun.

    Interestingly, speaking recently to the first Mrs. Ralph, who is seriously ill, I learned that she loved to shoot when she was a young camper. I never knew that, and we never went shooting together when we were married many long years ago.

  11. We will be spending the Holidays with our dogs…and our guns. We gave up on liberal relatives a few years ago. No regrets. A wise old gentleman once told me he had 2 rules in life:
    1. Never complain
    2. Never explain

    The End

    • He may have gotten that expression from Benjamin Disraeli. Also, Henry Ford II adopted it as his own personal motto.

  12. Cant always pick your family. My sister in law fits that description. Friends at least you have some choices.

  13. I’ve noticed that Tipton often portrays “anti-gun” people as citizens with chips on their shoulder about gun rights, which is ironic because the chip on her shoulder being pro-gun is just as big. It’s a shame that her family are so judgemental about her politics, but she’s just as judgemental right back at them. I don’t know, if you’re a guest in someone’s home and they are uncomfortable with you carrying a gun, then you ought to not be an asshole and obey their wishes.

    • And I live in Colorado, work for the city and county, and have a CCW. And I’m probably the most liberal person who visits this site.

    • What I gather from her post is that everyone will be guests in her parents’ home, and her parents are fine with her carrying. It’s the other guests who may have a problem with that.

    • Erik,

      “… if you’re a guest in someone’s home and they are uncomfortable with you carrying a gun, then you ought to not be an asshole and obey their wishes.”

      If you are having a guest in your home, and they are uncomfortable being unarmed and at the mercy of violent attackers, then you ought to not be an asshole and demand that they disarm.

      Why do some people think that other people owe them anything? How can anyone ask anything of anyone beyond being polite and cheerful? And notice that I said, “ask”, and not “demand” to be polite and cheerful.

    • She is a guest at her parents’ house. The hosts, her immediate family, are fine with her carrying and in fact will be carrying themselves.

      It is some other guests who have a problem with her carrying and who should probably be more respectful when invited to a family with different views.

  14. “Friends come and go,but a good enemy can last a lifetime”.Damn! I don’t remember having to ponder that. That is a serious fact. Thanks a lot Hagar the Horrible.

  15. I finally had enough of a relative’s relentless snide remarks and comments about my pro-gun stance one year and lit into them like a doberman into a steak. I dropped fbombs and got right into their face and essentially told them that I had had enough of their comments on my life choices. I told them that just because we’re family that didn’t give them free license to criticize or be rude. I also pointed out that if they continued to be an a-hole they could count me out of the next get together, which included my kids. I said they were welcome to have a different opinion but they were not welcome to abuse me with it. it happened at the dinner table and the whole family froze. you could have heard a mouse shit. After that, I sat down, resumed eating and nothing else was said. it’s been 6 years and they’ve never mentioned it again.

    • Sounds like your rant was long overdue. Good for you. Sometimes polite people take way too much stuff before striking back at bullies and those that hide behind the ,”family ” thing.

      • Gun bullies like that (and I mean the actual gun bullies, as in the ‘Demanding Moms’ variety) are a lot like obnoxious children.

        They will push and push until they’re slapped down (so to speak).

        It sounds like he expertly taught them just how far they can push him around.

  16. Jeeps and trucks are not evil, the fuel consumption actually does something. SUVs are, doing nothing a wagon/estate cannot yet using the same amount of fuel, thus money, as a true offroad does.

    • I got a 4runner. But it’s confused. It’s 4wd and thinks it’s an suv. But it has a 4cylinder. So it gets great milage. For a 4wd suv.

      • Well, if you think the extra fuel cost caused by the extra curb weight and low ballistic coefficient is worth what the car does for you then rock on… And btw an SUV can definitely be 4WD. Offroad capabilities are much more than just 4WD, though

        • Bullshit. I can’t haul my boat with my Outback. The Suburban that the missus drives, which she drives because her commute is 12 total miles daily vs. the 60 that I do, sure as hell can. Beyond that, ever try to fit a family of six into a wagon…?

        • @TS
          Your outback can’t haul a boat? How come?
          And no, never have I tried to fit more than 5 people into 5 seatbelts. For 6 probably you need a 3-row. We just drive 2 cars.
          What’s with the Subaru fascination?

        • JL, the 4runner is a compromise. During the week I haul grandkids in it like a station wagon. On weekends I go feral and hunt with it. Which means leaving the paved roads behind. Hence, 4wd.

        • I’d rather not put my family in a tiny car in world of big trucks and semis on the roads. I’ll stick to my full sized trucks and SUVs. Sure, it costs more to run, I just think of it as insurance in the event of an accident.

        • I’m going to guess his boat and trailer are heavy. The Suburban has three times the towing capacity that the Outback has.

        • As mentioned already, do the words “towing capacity” mean anything to you? Two tons of steel and aluminum greatly exceed the towing capacity of an Outback – by about four times. If you think you could safely do so, be my guest. Let me grab my camera first…

          So, you drive two cars instead…let’s think about that argument for a second… My 2012 Suburban gets between 17-21 mpg depending on the conditions of weather and the road. The Outback gets between 25-30 mpg, again depending on conditions. Simple math tells me, especially when one considers oil changes and wear on tires, that the Suburban is the more efficient option or, at minimum, is consuming the same resources to travel the same distance. Throw in the need to carry gear of all types and the Suburban wins hands down.

          Fascination with Subarus? It’s my third one. The first one went to 275k miles on the odometer before I traded it in on the second, which is now at 200k and counting with my daughter driving it as a hand-me-down (hopefully for another 100K miles). They just work, they are efficient, and about the best damn car I’ve ever driven in snow.

        • Can’t tow enough, it’s a chassis strength and engine horsepower problem. Can’t fit enough people, it’s a seating capacity problem. Neither has anything to do with the sedan vs wagon vs SUV vs MPV vs offroad problem. For now probably a Suburban is your best bet, since you need the sturdiness, power and the size of it. But it doesn’t mean the SUV form factor and design philosophy is doing you any good. What you’re doing now is perfectly doable by an MPV with the same characteristics, yet with lighter weight and better aerodynamics. But i don’t know of a mature design like that though. Before you say your Suburban can go truly offroad, I’ll get my camera. / We drive two cars when grandparents come to visit. Usually I just drive my sedan since we have only 2 kids.

    • Do the words “towing capacity” mean anything to you? Two tons of aluminum and steel is a bit much to safely haul behind an Outback. I might even suggest that the type of judgement you’re passing on SUV owners is the same type being passed on others, but I digress…

      • …and apparently the “edit” function still isn’t quite all that! Not that I’m picking on Leghorn, as a technology manager I still applaud him for running the tech behind the scenes here AND having a full time job to boot!

        • Since you seemed to make it so?

          Though we would probably both agree it’s funny that we are arguing about cars here. This isn’t Jalopnik, for cripes sake…

  17. If you need to carry a weapon/gun, you need to carry a gun; location is irrelevant. Have been struck before by Sara’s notion that sometimes, some places, she doesn’t carry because….whatever. If one can pick and choose when a firearm will absolutely not be needed, then the firearm is pointless.

    Yes, there are federal and state buildings that must be entered without a firearm, and going there is scary because on those visits I cannot have a firearm found on me, or in my car. One avoidance technique is to park somewhere beyond the gun-free zone, lock the guns in the car, conduct business and hurry back to the car. Another technique is to take someone with me who will drop-off/pick-up beyond the gun-free zone. And sometimes I am just stuck leaving the equalizer at home. But I never abide by wishes of friends and relatives who hate guns. If they find-out while in their home, I will simply leave; same as with retail establishments who declare “gun-free”. On the other hand, there are a few relatives for whom I can find no legitimate reason to visit, and some businesses I gladly do not spend money with.

    But if you need to carry, you need to carry; period.

  18. Peace be with you Sara; and happy holidays to all who love peace but also realise that intellect alone is a poor defence, as proven so many times in history.

  19. I think the gun subject has already been covered by preceding comments. Please remind your relatives that your Jeep (from what I have cleaned from past snippets of pics) has clean, fuel efficient computer-controlled fuel injection and a climate friendly catalytic converter. And your brother’s diesel burns government mandated ultra low sulfur fuel and likely pollutes less than a Prius. While you are at it, you might as well ask where all that nasty toxic waste from depleted Prius batteries goes.

  20. Haha.. My mom and dad used to be rabidly anti-gun until my mom got kidnapped. That’s one crisis that didn’t go to waste however harrowing. But that one did teach them. Now they’re more tolerant.

  21. Always enjoy pictures like that of the Maroon Bells. One of the better known scenic locations in CO. Haven’t been there for most of a decade – actually since around the time of the Kobe Bryant trial in Eagle. Had to deal with a speeding ticket (Eagle country runs to the top of Vail pass, and was almost home in Summit when I got popped). Total zoo at the courthouse there, with all the press trucks, etc. Nice fall drive, a bit early though for the aspens in Summit and Eagle counties, so I came back through Aspen and then over Independence Pass. Stopped by the view for the Maroon Bell, and could actually get in there, by car, since the summer crowds were gone by then.

    Of course, my photos that day weren’t anywhere near professional. A couple of local photographers (Grant Collier and John Fielder) have books out with side by side before/after photographs of the 19th Century and present, taken from the same locations, maybe 140 years apart. Collier’s before photos were taken by his great-great grandfather, Joseph, and Fielder’s by W.H. Jackson. Both show this location side by side. What I really like though are the 4 season photographs of this scene. One of the more well known scenes in CO, which is why last I knew, you had to take a bus into the lake from which you can take these photos during the busy, summer, season.

  22. I guess I’m pretty lucky. Most of my immediate family that I always visit the Holidays are either pro-2a themselves or at least tolerate my firearm.

  23. Is it worth the trouble?
    Sometimes it is better to swallow you pride than to make a statement and start a tiff at a family gathering.

    Don’t cut ties because they don’t understand.

    Don’t wear the gun to dinner. If the conversation comes up, talk about it.
    If not, let it lay.

  24. I made contact with my cousins for the first time in four decades a few months ago. Everything was going along fine until I mentioned the rifle match I won in 2002. I received an email a few days later from my cousin Karen asking me not to contact her anymore. In it she explained that her and her husband have been working on ” gun safety” issues for years, and we simply don’t have anything in common. She also criticized my support of the Wounded Warriors Project, calling it a ” militarized attitude”. I say good riddance to her, I don’t need the BS.

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