Sunday, August 14, 2011

Etiquette Question--Is it polite to carry a concealed firearm when you are a guest?

Dear Ms. Manners,

My wife and I had some dinner guests over last night and the discussion turned toward the crime in a nearby big city, in particular the flash mobs beating up people. The male guest announced that he had a pistol on his person.

We do not live anywhere near the big city and are in a low crime area. Footpads and highway robbers are a thing of the far distant past in this area (if they ever existed). I might have wanted to pound this person to a pulp for having brought a firearm into our house, but we posed no threat otherwise to this person.

Besides, since this was a dinner party, we could have poisoned them. In that case, will this person bring a food taster in future visits?

Even worse, the gun toting guest his gun by pulling it out. The gun toting guest had his finger on the trigger as he pulled the gun out of the holster. This scared my wife who thought she would be treated to a negligent discharge ricocheting off the marble countertop.

Is this acceptable behaviour?

Ms.Manner's response:


Dear Reader,

In ancient times, concealed weapons were carried by sneaks and assassins. In short, people who were not to be trusted. Unfortunately, there is a growing trend for people to carry concealed firearms without proper training. This is a sad commentary on modern society.

The fact that the guest unholstered his weapon with his finger on the trigger demonstrates that he is one of the great unwashed who really SHOULD NOT be carrying a firearm, either concealed or openly.

You should feel offended that your guest did not feel safe enough to visit you without a weapon. The fact that he came armed to your house demonstrates a very sick mindset. That is that deep down he is distrustful of you and your husband. Perhaps rightly so of your husband, but your husband was correct to be indignant at this behaviour.

Likewise, the fact that footpads and highway robbers are non-existent in your area shows that your guest is deeply fearful person: perhaps pathologically so. He was unlikely to encounter these types of miscreants on the way to your house which means his need was purely psychological. Even if footpads and highway robbers were active in your area,the fact that he entered armed into your house sends a seriously disturbing message about his deep down feelings toward you and your husband.

If anything,you may wish to either arm yourselves,or just not bother inviting this person to your house in future. The fact that he feels the need for a deadly weapon in your presence shows that he is probably not someone you should truly consider a friend.

In future, tell them to check the weapon at the door or just not come over if they value your friendship.

32 comments:

  1. Gentle Reader:

    While I cannot refute Ms. Manners on the subject of "Lock'n'Load Dining", I can offer that, at least on the North Shore of Massachusetts*, one would not be caught dead attending any formal event with a stainless steel or pink Glock. Some of us still have standards.


    * Where, it is said, "The Cabots talk only to Lodges and the Lodges talk only to GOD.".

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  2. First off, why would anyone of decent breeding and education have a gunloon as a friend?

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  3. Because footpads and brigands care not as to your antecedents nor your erudition.

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  4. "My husband might have wanted to pound this person to a pulp..."

    Geez, you gun banners are violent!

    Why wouldn't you calmly explain how the 2nd Amendment doesn't really mean individuals can bear arms, or lay down some bullet proof "gun = evil" statistics to make this guest realize the error of his ways so he'd surrender his pistol at the nearest police station? Not that that's worked at all in the past, oh, 30 years. But what's a dinner party for but engaging conversation?

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  5. Anonymous at 7:57; Well said old man, jolly good!! One can well understand that Jade must not get invited out much, the poor dear. I mean really, adhering the that old notion of inbreeding,; how passe, how sixteenth century? And need I mention how those with such remarkably fine upbringings, attending all of the right schools, memberships in all of the right clubs, et cetera, et cetera, ad nauseum and yet they appear to not know which end of a screwdriver to hold let alone what in the devil it's used for. It's so very sad really, don't you agree? How tedious and plain their lives must be?

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  6. The gunloon community seems to be oblivious to the fact that they are intruding upon the space of another with a weapon, which in and of itself is an aggressive act.

    To assume that such an act would be tolerate demonstrate their lack of consideration for other.

    Such a person would not be persuaded of the error of their ways no matter how well based such an argument would be.

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  7. A better way to put it for the clueless, is that they are intruding upon someone's property with a weapon and assuming that the property owner tolerates that behaviour.

    I believe part of gun owning etiquette is to ASK permission before coming onto someone's property with a firearm.

    Both anonymous posters show that they did not comprehend this post.

    Anon1 said:
    Because footpads and brigands care not as to your antecedents nor your erudition.

    Which showed he didn't understand this from the post:

    Footpads and highway robbers are a thing of the far distant past in this area (if they ever existed).

    Anon2 demonstrates that gunowners don't give a fuck about the rights of others.

    As I said, in the previous comment, no matter how well based the argument.

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  8. Is there some sort of right to not be near guns? And how far is "near"? And if the argument is that each of us has a right is to feel "safe", what about varying interpretations of risk and danger?

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  9. My home is a gun-free zone. We have not had one single mass shooting so far nor have we had any stupid gun owners drop their gun while dining.

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  10. "Is there some sort of right to not be near guns?

    Think, "Castle doctrine", one of teh gunzloonz favoritest laws.

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  11. yes, Tom, there is a right of a property owner to bar people carrying guns from their property. Democommie is somewhat correct, but it is THE PROPERTY OWNER'S RIGHT TO BAR FIREARMS FROM HIS PROPERTY if "a man's home is his castle".

    The Bill of Rights only protects you against government actions, not private ones.

    You don't have "a right to keep and bear arms" on private property without permission of the owner.

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  12. I received my first etiquette book for my 7th birthday. This possible eventuality was not covered directly, but it is certainly NOT ever acceptable to behave in a manner that is objectionable to one's hosts. Weapons were in the past a ceremonial affair, and very highly regulated in terms of who, what and when were acceptable.

    Your guest was uncouth, and clearly does not know how to behave.

    The only exception to this that I can think of is some sort of shooting invitation, where a firearm of some kind is a requirement for the activity. And even then, one only brings them indoors by invitation.

    Was your guest brought up in a barn by any chance?

    I'm guessing any of the gunloonz advocating this practice wouldn't know a fish fork from their salad fork. While not something I use daily, I at least appreciate that I will be more comfortable in social settings where there is some sort of protocol than people like your guest.

    I'd suggest not inviting these people back to your home.

    They are insulting you with their behavior. Mob activity, riots, etc. are no excuse for someone who lives at a distance from any such activity to act in this manner.

    It is as rude as bringing your own food, for just yourselves to eat, to someone else's home. If you are not there to enjoy their hospitality as guests - why attend at all?

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  13. "We have not had one single mass shooting so far nor have we had any stupid gun owners drop their gun while dining."

    Just like at my house.

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  14. FatWhiteMan said...
    "We have not had one single mass shooting so far nor have we had any stupid gun owners drop their gun while dining."

    Just like at my house."

    It would be as rude of your guests FWM, to insist that you remove all firearms from your home before they arrive as it is to arrive at someone's home with a weapon without permission. It is a fundamental disrespect for the home owner to follow their conscience in what rules they follow under their own roof.

    You rather miss the point.

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  15. No, DogGone, you missed the point. I was not responding to the etiquette of being armed in an anti's house. I comparing my home to MikeB's gun free zone home comment. Which is kind of why I included the part I was responding too in the comment. You know, like with this comment, I am responding to your comment and not to the etiquette of being armed in an anti's house.

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  16. FWM, Would you carry in the home of someone who doesn't suspect you're armed? Would you ask their permission first? Would you decline the invitation?

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  17. MikeB, it depends on the situation.
    If I were invited to a dinner party and I did not know the host's opinion on the matter, I probably would leave it in the vehicle for the evening.

    If I were spontaneously invited into a home while I happen to be carrying, I would not bring it up at all and would just continue to carry concealed. After all, either they know I have the gun and don't mind or it is concealed and they don't know.

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  18. FWM, as have some of the other commenters have missed that one does not need to be against firearms to be offended by someone bringing a firearm into the house without permission.

    In fact, I find it rather amusing that a group of people who will use deadly force to protect their homes against intruders would have a problem with this question.

    Bringing a concealed weapon into someone's house without their knowledge or permission is an offensive act.

    How do I know what this person's intention is?

    Likewise, I have the right to keep an armed person off my property unless they have my permission.

    It's rude to assume that someone will accept your firearms into their home.

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  19. Laci and others - is it up to the invited guest to ask if bringing a firearm or other concealed weapon is acceptable or should the host state their preference in the invitation?

    Also, is it just guns or any type of concealed weapon? For instance, if a lady carries mace with her in her purse, should she ask if it is ok to bring that into a house? A curious child could easily reach into her purse and acidentally spray it on themselves or someone else. What about a stun gun? Should those also be included?

    Do private property owners have the right to request law enforcement officers to not carry weapons on their property?

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  20. I appreciate the thoughtful answers, but I'm still wondering if there is a right to feel safe ("gunowners don't give a fuck about the rights of others"). I agree that you can ask anyone to leave your property, but the line of argument here seems to be that you're asking the person to leave because he's brandishing a firearm, and that makes you feel unsafe.

    But let's say he leaves, and goes across the street to his house where he has a rifle that could send a bullet through several layers of drywall and plywood and injure or kill you in your home in, say, an accidental discharge. Do you still feel unsafe? And how would you exercise your right to feel safe in this case?

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  21. "Bringing a concealed weapon into someone's house without their knowledge or permission is an offensive act."

    Offensive to some maybe but not to others.

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  22. You can tell by what he doesAugust 15, 2011 at 9:33 PM

    How do I know what this person's intention is?

    Likewise, I have the right to keep an armed person off my property unless they have my permission.

    It's rude to assume that someone will accept your firearms into their home.


    The world is not "The Minority Report"

    ... that's the rub, you don't but for their actions if MR concealed carrier pulls out the gun and plugs you in the brain-case he has bad intent, if he never tells you that he is carrying and nothing happens, then oh well, he must be a good guy.

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  23. And if someone does not want you bringing a gun onto their property, then that is their perogative--live with it.

    If they don't invite you back and tell you that was the reason--live with it.

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  24. "And if someone does not want you bringing a gun onto their property, then that is their perogative--live with it.

    If they don't invite you back and tell you that was the reason--live with it."


    Agreed.

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  25. So it sounds like a number of commenters here would treat the thing about being rude to a host the same way they'd treat a bad law--iow, they'd simply ignore it. That way if something unexpected occurs they can plead ignorance--not of the statute or the intent of their host but of the need to be polite in an armed society.

    I think a simple metal detector that is hooked up to a relay that will send 13Kv through the metal framed chair the guest is sitting ond would probably be a reasonable way to ensure that folks 'fess up if they're packin'.

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  26. Although FWM's description of how he'd act, depending on the sutuation, sounds good, I think I'm leaning towards Laci on this one. It's rude and aggressive to carry a gun into a home where it's not appreciated. Etiquette would require the gun owner to find out before entering.

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  27. It is doubly rude if you get there with a gun and only after pulling it out - with your finger on the trigger - then find that your host objects. The objection is to the gun at all, but even more so to the irresponsible manner in which it was presented by someone who knows the difference between safe gun handling and unsafe waving around.

    Hosts still have that perogative. This guy violated that perogative.

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  28. Even gun loons know better than to do what this guest did:

    From the Gun Digest Book of Handgunnery, by Massad Ayoob,
    http://books.google.com/books?id=wiiUeexIMLIC&pg=PA178&lpg=PA178&dq=Judith+Martin,+Miss+Manners,+firearms&source=bl&ots=rwrb7sJabl&sig=1t5-yKpTAh5Dq9dQVkRqvE705Ys&hl=en&ei=yiRKTvXNNqXksQLzxfyvCA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CCEQ6AEwATgK#v=onepage&q&f=false

    "Dear Miss Manners:
    My job requires me to carry a gun. Recently at a party, I sat down awkwardly on a couch and my gun fell to the floor in plain sight. Everyone stared and I was quite shaken. It was most embarrassing. What does one do in such a situation?
    (signed Armed and Confused)
    The firearm etiquette book then goes on to state that one should apologize, assure the other guests there was no danger, and LEAVE.

    While this is not the same thing as optional carrying a gun to a social event, it does suggest fairly clearly that whipping out a firearm, or accidental display of a firearm, is UNWELCOMED socially.

    Even among gun fans.

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  29. August 15, 2011 9:07 PM
    FatWhiteMan said... [in response to this]
    "Bringing a concealed weapon into someone's house without their knowledge or permission is an offensive act."

    Offensive to some maybe but not to others.

    It may not be offensive to FWM for a guest to come to his table and fart loudly and continuously either; or to tell sexually or racially offensive jokes; or to spill food and wine or become obnoxiously intoxicated. Or to engage in a food fight, or swear repeatedly and offensively; any number of other activities might be inoffensive or less offensive to FWM than they are to other people.

    That doesn't make them polite, courteous, or right (only, perhaps right wing nut).

    However, it is clearly social custom that bringing an uninvited firearm as an additional uinvited 'plus one' is NOT socially acceptable, and impolite in the wider world of polite society.

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  30. A guest of guests(the nephew of honored, repeated guests in our home for several years) was over for Thanksgiving dinner. The 20 year old is a law enforcement 'aficionado' who desires to enter the police academy.
    During dinner and in a nonthreatening but unnecessary fashion, he pulled a tactical folding knife which was quickly returned to his pocket. I don't recall if he cut something with the knife, trimmed a hangnail at the table or field dressed a pecan.
    After dinner, several of the younger guests adjourned to another location at which the nephew displayed his handgun, for which he has a concealed carry permit.

    I advised our friends that the nephew would not be welcome in our home in the future, whether he had the firearm on his person while in my home or not. I feel bad not for excluding the 20 year old from civil discourse that may originate in our home, but for preemptively advising friends and guests that their relative is unwelcome. As our invitation never specifically included the young man, I don't feel I've behaved as rudely as this incident might otherwise be interpreted.

    But no guns, no weapons in our home. Thanksgiving or not.

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  31. Thanks Kelly, I think you have the right reaction to this incident. But, are you sure he has a concealed carry permit? I thought 20-years-old was too young for such a thing.

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