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Preface:

Two Sundays ago just after the Virginia Tech shooting I went with my wife and the kids to visit my father inlaw.
We've been doing this for nearly 2 yrs. now as pretty much every sunday we go, eat food, he and I have beer or drink a bottle of wine, and we all read & share our sunday papers, he preferring the NY Times and I being a fan of the Washington Post since age 7.
It should and could have been a regular average day but it wasn't and I fear the relationship with my father inlaw has changed.
Roughly 20 minutes into our visit he mentions the VA Tech shooting and says that he'd like to get my opinion toward that matter. I knew where this was going to go, it was going to be about guns. So I did as I often do to close friends and family when I don't want to discuss something, I flatly ignored him and did not respond. Normally people take the hint and let it drop. He didn't. Five minutes later he says the same thing again only now this time directly to my face while last time I was not facing him so it was easier to play off.
Now I think to myself okay he knows I ignored him the first time and he's making a game of this. So I decided to flat out ignore him again...this time too his face. I just did not respond to his question and responded by commenting on how nice the weather was for the season. Normally people would get the point and drop it.
He did not.

Now let it be known I was trying to be diplomatic and respectful.
I IRL follow a strict and somewhat old school code of personal conduct. As such one of my rules is to never disgrace or insult a man in his home, in front of his wife, or in front of his children. I do not do this even if it means I myself must take a beating. As well I try to be respectful of other peoples position, intelligence, and recognize their social place as well. My father inlaw is a very good friend of mine, we have a relationship entirely atypical of the average inlaw. I respect him as a person and a man even as we disagree on many fundamental things and I know he was not up to my own standards as a parent with either my wife and her sister nor with his other kids from a previous marriage. He's an okay grandparent but as a parent he was selfish and IMHO and that of my wife did some seriously wrong things. I have never to this day stated as much to anyone not even my wife before right now. Another rule of mine is to not speak ill of another persons parents even if they might be the worst. That falls under the old school 'Yo Momma' rule...you just never ever go there unless you just have nothing else to come back with _and_ you are ready to have your nose bloodied and eye(s) blackened.
I honestly cannot recall ever speaking ill of my father inlaw.

So back to that Sunday I'm now feeling uncomfortable. I wish he would get a freaking clue and just drop it. Use his human relation senses and detect that the subject is an item I do not wish to discuss. Maybe come back at me some other time when it's just he and I and the possibility for loss of face is less great. No such luck. Roughly 10 minutes later he asked me a third time.
Now he's pressed me and though I do not have to play a hand, his actions and position has put me in a corner where I pretty much have to engage his request as otherwise I'd be breaking another rule of mine which is being rude to a silverback in his own home. That rule is higher up in importance than the prior. This crap is hard. I make the decision to respond and engage him...

Know that my father in law is a life long pacifist. As well he is from and lives amongst people who well are total pussies. When I say pussies I mean that in the clinical term as in a person who is soft like marshmallow. He's a physically large man probably twice my size and weight but I know from past experience he's got the intestinal fortitude of a an 8 yr. old girl. My wife and her sister refers to their dad as being a big goof. If my kids ever thought that of me I'd be crushed. :(
So as per my usual I pick my words carefully and respond that the problem is not guns or having enough gun control, which I admitted I am to some degree okay with. The problem in this case and that of the Univ. of Washington situation and the CNN office killing and that of many others prior is with mental illness and a lack of proper support toward persons with mental health issues. That was the truth toward my feelings on the subject...and I thought he'd buy it considering every one of his four brothers are all nut bags and he's been through the process of committing persons etc.
To my surprise he responds that it's not mental health but guns thats at fault. He says that we need to get rid of all guns and that nobody in America really needs to own or carry guns on their person.

WTF?!1

Do know that it's a known amongst my inlaws that I own guns, have for a long time owned guns, do currently carry guns for CCW purposes, and hell I met my wife 14 yrs. ago while carrying. That in itself was a huge controversy kept secret for years between my wife and I. That I actually brought a gun into his house. For the record I then had no other option at all. Today I never ever carry into his home. I always disarm myself and lock my gear away in a case that I keep in my cars if ever I plan to stop by. Again I'm just following my own personal code of conduct to not disrespect my father inlaw. It's inconveinient but I do it out of respect. As well it was my mother inlaw, who is not my wifes mom, that acted as a reference for me toward my MA LTC. I generally do not talk about or discuss guns and such with them because I know they are antis although it has come up a couple of times toward my mother inlaws daughters and brother asking to go to the range with me. I invited both my inlaws as well but they each had horror stories about crap happening to them earlier so I dropped it and never brought the subject up with them again.

Back to that Sunday, dude is in my face telling me in so many words that he thinks gun owners and persons who carry are a danger to society and are uncivilized. He then goes on to say that those poor kids were killed and injured because VA law makes it too easy to buy a gun and that the laws nationwide should be changed to ban anyone but police and military from owning or purchasing a firearm.
Fuck...now I'm at odds. He has insulted me to my face, disrespected me in front of my wife (my kids are too young to understand whats going on), and I'm in his house and in front of his kid. My mom long ago told me two wrongs don't make a right. For a millisecond I debated it and thought to myself, he's making a run at me. If I fold then I loose face even as I'd conform to my own rules. If I take a stand he will loose face because I know I'm much more educated on this subject than he is. As well An ever higher rule of mine is I will not be punked, period, even if it means I'll have to take a beating or be bloodied. This crap is complicated.
So I decided okay lets dance you mother fucker. Now I'm annoyed.

I replied to him that there are tens of millions of firearm owners in America and that to the extreme majority degree most people never ever in their life hurt anything at all not even paper at a range. I then went on to state that over 50% of firearm incidents per year are a result of suicides which in itself is directly related to mental illness. His face goes white because he knowns I know his brother tried to off himself twice and now I just refereed to him as being crazy, which well he is. Next thing I know my damn wife jumps into the game and takes the side of her dad. She comes in with how guns result in children being killed. My rational side should have expected that jab but still my emotional side was hurt nay pissed at her obstinence. This gave me even more energy and only made me that much more defiant. I've always been one to enjoy a fight and I generally will not backdown even if the odds are against. It's a challenge and I enjoy a challenge.
Next thing I know 30 minutes have gone by and I'm spoutng off factoids shotgun style abotu how CCW reduces crime state by state and that we overall make up roughly 2% of the population overall. I go on to debate that most often whenever stories of shootings come up on the news there is some association to mental health involved, i.e, craziness. Then they together hit me with what I felt was a low blow. They pull the damn race card.
They say that of all people I should be against guns due to the amount of crime and criminal activity and injuries & deaths amongst my own community of Blacks in America.

Now what the fuck is that?!!
God damn it I am sick and fucking tired of white people in specific telling me how I should feel about myself and how I should be of all things more freaking Black...when on any other damn day they'll comment with a back handed compliment of how I'm a credit and/or example for myt race. Mother fucker neither statement is a God damn compliment you freaking moron. You dolt!...
 

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Part II

...Now I'm angry.
Not pissed because I very rarely allow myself to get to that point but I was definitely beyond annoyed.
Next thing I know my father inlaw brings up freaking Barak Obama of all people!
First he talked about how military weapons shouldn't be available to citizens. I reply that pretty much any and all weapons that he can think of have been used by a military from AK47s and the 1911 pistols I carry to shotguns and even hunting rifles that Daniel Shays who he often tells tales of admiration toward used to hunt for food as well as defend himself against the British and Indians too. Next thign I know he tells me Obama is against guns in our community as well and that I should be too because I like Obama am a representation of how modern Black people can overcome and advance.
Mother fucker what?! So does that mean Black people who unlike Obama or I do not speak so well or do not by fortunate chance have physical ability to look less scary to white folk are themselves worthless and useless? What the hell are you saying?! My wife stood there looking like a total idiot along with her daddy. My half Black kids are behind me on the floor playing and I'm standing there feeling hurt and full on angry. I felt like grabbing them bitches up and leaving the spot right then and there. For the first time ever I felt uncomfortable in my father inlaws home. This is the same guy who had supported me during the early years of racist commentary from their supposed friends when I first met my wife and he choose to drop them and support his daughters choice toward a mate.

So we continue and I counter his assertions toward military weapons. I then ask him what exactly is it about what weapons that makes them inherently evil versus the ones that are to his mind okay. I already know he's not going to be able to answer this because he knows zero about guns other than they use a 'bullet' and go boom when you pull a 'trigger'. He replies that the "semi automatic" guns are very dangerous and should be banned. I reply with what are you talking about. Pretty much all firearms are semi-auto aside from revolvers and muzzle loaders. I smell blood and go in further stating that if a person were to actually do a minutes worth of research they would discover that semi-automatic is nothing more than a type of 'action' and that fully automatic weapons have long ago been banned from civilian ownership and that less than 10 instances of crimes have been committed with as much in the US since the days of prohibition. He quiets down and my wife is silent. I continue going back to Obama saying that just because he's Black and gave a nice sounding motivational speech at the DNC and he looks pretty on TV and Oprah likes him and he's endorsed as being a 'nice guy' is no reason for me or anyone to vote for him. I said I have zero against Obama but at the same time I have nothing and no reason to be for him as his platform and positions are largely an unknown. He says many words but they in the end have no meaning. He replies that he likes Obama to which I ask why? Tell me something about Obama's position that excites you and matches your own beliefs. He sputters and says he doesn't have all the facts at hand but he can send me an e-mail. To myself I'm like an e-mail? A damn e-mail! You just stood here to my face pimping this guy and now you can't off the top of your head from recollection tell me why you are behind him? Thats some bullshit!

A few more minutes went by and I decide okay this guy is a clown. My wife has crap as assumptive beliefs in regard to firearms and the people who own them. And now I am feeling extremely uncomfortable.
I go outside and tend to the grill for an unnecessary amount of time and then we ate. We talked no more of the subject matter and that was that.

As I packed up the kids to leave my father inlaw says he'll send me an e-mail with links to the stuff we talked about. I reply yeah that would be great although in my mind I'm like fuck you you pansy ass peacenik cocksucker. I didn't say a damn word to my wife for the rest of the night. I was that mad, and disappointed.

FFWD to last Wednesday my mother and father inlaw along with her daughter (my strep-sister inlaw) stopped by to sit the kids for an hour while we went out for dinner. When I got back as they were leaving my father inlaw says he sent me an e-mail before leaving with links toward the crap we had been discussing. My wife knowing I'm sore about this literally pushed him out the door. I said to him yeah I'll check them out.

The e-mail I got from him was the following...

Hi Henry - a couple of urls related to our discussion Sunday... good to see you!

http://origin.barackobama.com/issues/

http://www.gun-control-network.org/GF01.htm
So thats the setup of what happened.
With that today after having some follow on discussion with my wife about this gun thing I spent two hours writing her an e-mail. I used e-mail rather than verbal conversation because I could provide links to the specific info I had been stating to her prior, which she and her dad could just not believe. Like when I told them the US is not the highest in crime. They were like no way. I said yes way when you compare population density we are pretty low,,,which most anti-gun sites do not consider or factually present. I also had said that dogs are far more dangerous than guns for all people and children too. They were like no way...like I'd just stand there and make crap up because I have nothing better to do than make shit up.
Well I put it all in an e-mail and if there was any confusion on her part I was clear toward the whats and why of my positions toward firearms and carry.

With that the following is a link to an HTML version of that e-mail.
I couldn't post the whole thing here directly because it was some 37K charachters and the limit is 10K. I tried to parse it into multiple page postings but that was just too much damn work as well the message has many links built in that would just not carry over here in a post. So I exported the sent message to an HTML doc and have hosted it via my ancient Yahoo/Geocities service.
The subject as shown is how I sent it to her and I made just one edit swapping out her real name for the as usual moniker of 'Mrs. Janq'....

4 Dead in Kansas City Violence...and additional commentary by me in regard to safety, survival, sanity, statistics and firearms.
http://www.geocities.com/bigjanq/email.html
Next I will be drafting a similar but more toned down response to send to my father inlaw.
Oh and for the record I read every page of the Obama website and I walked away knowing the same amount about his position as I did to start which is nothing. As I told my father inlaw I cannot and will not endorse some guy to be my president just because he's personable and might be fun to have a cook out with. Hell didn't we learn that lesson with Bush?! I cannot in good conciensce endorse muchless support a candidate I know nearly zero about just because he's Black, speaks so well, and Oprah likes him even as I personally am a long time fan and admirer of Oprah.

- Janq

CN: I got into a heated discussion with a pair of text book ivory tower liberals, my father inlaw and wife, toward guns and Obama only to walk away feeling insulted and wondering will there ever be a time when a Black man such as myself can live amongst whites in specific and not be constantly reminded that I'm Black and thus different as though I could some how forget or not know.
 

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Well, I had time now as my one program was churning.

I feel really bad about what happened with you and your family. Just wanted to say that because I am horrible at conveying my thoughts into text.

I can only say I'm proud you didn't cave and kept your relative cool. Stay strong.
 

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DJ9,

Up to now for 14+ yrs. I've been real cool with my father inlaw.
Now I've seen him twice since this event went down and due to my own personality quirks I found it very difficult for me to smile to his face and be like yeah man everythings cool. Everything is not cool, and I'm sore about it.
All I want out of life is to live, let live, be left alone, and for people to treat me as I treat them. I do not act like a dick or asshole to people in life, honest. Then crap like this comes along and I'm like what the hell are they thinking about?!

I'm debating calling him to talk about this or if I should table it and not rock the boat because I gotta live with and near these people.

Anyway my wife this morning sent me a response to my e-mail...

Have read your manifesto, as it reads. My mind is blurry from yet another sleepless night, but I did click on your links and read it all.
I fully understand that bad things happen in this world, state and god forbid [our] nice little town. Perhaps because I am more afraid of being killed, harmed or maimed by cancer or other non gun defendable entity, I am not scared of the crime statistics that you present.
I am sure if I had lost someone to violent crime instead of to cancer, I would feel differently.
As it is, having a gun in my home, on your person does nothing to make me feel safe. I am glad that you feel you have a way to fulfil your manly duties and protect yourself against the crazy and non crazy criminals in this world. As for my enemies, I do what I can to protect myself and my children from them by eating well, exercising and trying to get some fresh air every day. Will it work? who knows. Will you maim, or kill the bad guy should they suddenly surface to harm you? who knows.
I don't hold it against you that you feel the need, and desire to carry firearms. I am sad that we live in a world that alas is not like the little fur family. I am not naive to that fact though. Of course I know that fairy tales don't exist, I am not despite what you think living in a bubble.
But, at the end of the day, my fairy tale lives on. I have met my prince, married him, bore his children and live in a castle.

By the way, why the hell do we have a dog?
As background my wifes family pretty much all have died from various cancers. Her mom (at age 41), her mom's mom, her mom's mom mom, both grandfathers, one of her fathers brothers, her aunt, and her dad who himself is a double widower due to cancer came up with cancerous polyps last fall that he had successfully excised and treated with chemo. She's very much paranoid about health and cancer. The odds are good that I'llbe a widower in ~ 10 to 15 yrs. as based on her families stats...or she'll live well preserved into her 90s as per her only living grandmother (paternal) and her dad who is nearly 70 but looks and acts like he's 50 as well as his remaining live brothers who are all older than him and look great but are crazy.
She's right though we do as a rule have been and do eat very well & naturally, we do exercise and keep our bodies fit & healthy, and we encourage same for the kids. I personally do not sweat cancer too much though for her or me because there is effectively little I can do about that outside of not smoking. I worry more about high blood pressure and stuff I can control that specifically affects Black people greatly thanks to our own genetics.
Anyway her concerns are not any less than mine toward safety. But the difference is she seems to be completely oblivious in practice to even basic stuff. Like constantly I'm finding our doors open if not unlocked upon she leaving with the kids to go somewhere. More than once someone has walked into one of our entrances because the door was open albeit thus far benign to ask for directions, use of a phone, something to drink, or to simply admire & inquire about the house itself. I generally shoo them away but in a cordial manner.
As well always she leaves the truck parked in the driveway with her purse in plain view sitting on the passenger side seat and the doors unlocked. Now days as standard practice I go out every night after doing the dishes to walk the dog, check the truck and move her purse under the seat, and lock the doors setting the alarm. Her dad is even worst they sleep with their doors unlocked or even open during the summer and have themselves had drunk college students walk in at night to crash on their couch, have had their stuff ripped off, and my mother inlaw woke up one morning to go to work only to find a drunk college kid passed out inside her unlocked car. To this day she still keeps her doors unlocked and that incident happened like 4 yrs. ago.
They all say ehh it's a small town and nothing ever happens here and everyone is nice...you're just a paranoid city boy who has seen too much of the bad things in life. Yeah, okay...

Sigh.

So thats my own battle at home.
On the internets I can with success and relative ease help people better understand about guns and self defense. No I'm not obsessed about it and frankly IRL I don't think much about it as relative to everything else I have going on in my world & mind. If anything it's more a hobby for me this site and such but at the same time I do actively keep track of what is going on in the world and my community at large and part of that includes crime & criminals. They are inescapable from reality, atleast in my own reality. :\

Well she sent me a second e-mail asking for the source of my stats toward dogs because she could not find my info at the CDC. I sent her a link to my post at ConmbatCarry from last November where I had detailed all that info out contrasting it against what the Brady group has to say toward firearms.

"get a load of this Billboard"
http://www.combatcarry.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?p=231646#post231646

Well hopefully for you guys out there reading the information and links provided in my e-mail will help you all with your own wives or other antis you may have discussion with in your personal life. I'll leave that doc up at Yahoo for as long as the service (free) allows so feel free to bookmark it.
As for me I'm going to get back to work as I'm tired of thinking about this crap...

- Janq
 

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Damn Janq, tough situation there. Within my own family there are some gun lovin relatives, and those that plain hate them, and everywhere in between. But it never comes out as a point of contention.

I was trying to think of how I would approach that with say, my girlfriends dad or mom, if they ever brought it up. That would be an awkward conversation to say the least. I'd probably do everything to avoid it in the first place. There are just some times where it wouldn't be worth it to me to get into that debate.

Now the gun thing aside, bringing up race is just plain inappropriate I think. Especially in a debate on something so sensitive - that is an issue that should be avoided all together. He probably meant no harm but like people tend to do, probably spoke without thinking through the implications.

I have a little theory that when you put aside all the historical, social, and "human" influence on race relations in the world's history, you still can never truely erradicate racism. Even people that aren't normally racist or ignorant will always posses some survival mechanism in their brains that keeps them weary of organisms that don't look like them on the most superficial level. Bringing up a subject that raises such strong emotions from the respective sides is bound to cause someone to lower thier guard long enough to say something they don't exactly mean or believe. Not an excuse by any means, but I've seen it happen more than once.

Either way, I'd say you have an opportunity here to just be the bigger man and walk away after saying your piece. If it can be left there, great, go back to fortifying your family ties. If not fine too, just keep it civil for the sake of the kids.

However it pans out, good luck and remember family is one of the most important things in life, even if they aren't perfect.

My $0.02

-Drew
 

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janq -

once again, congrats on your self values and restraint

i can only hope that you are able to successfully pass them on to your children - its not easy!



in that i feel a common bond - personal beliefs of respect and conduct

which at times drives my wifey crazy


now - you are a far better man than i - because i am not sure that i could have showed as much self restraint as you did for as long as you did




i know that you have vested alot of time in this relationship with the inlaws and far more time and emotion with Mrs. Janq

and hopefully you have also prepared for the outcome that no matter what facts and figures you provide, it will fall on deaf ears

after all - someone who is willing to follow a politician with no specific stand or agenda really says something


i feel much empathy for you in this - good luck and keep your head up and wits about you
 

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I've had some heated discussions with my friends/colleagues and some people just won't listen to reason/logic/facts in the face of fear. I've had a colleague of mine tell me she's basically surrendered herself to the fact that if she ever gets attacked she's doomed. I'm essentially not particularly close to many of the people my friends and I hang around with because we differ too much and they aren't able to put those things aside. I hope everything works out well. It's a shame when other people try to force their ideas on you (especially when they can't even back them up) but it happens to all of us. I'm sure you'll find a way to get things to work out and while things may be awkward for a bit it really doesn't seem to be your fault so hopefully it won't get you down.

Good luck

:alien:Petrus
 
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