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Let me start by saying that I love my wife more than anything. And I'm also honest with her. I don't hide anything at all. Even Christmas presents. But that's another story...

Her little brother does his school online and she goes over a few times a week to make sure he's doing what he's supposed to be doing and help him with his studies. He's 13 and a huge fan of guns and knives and hatchets. Anything battle or weapons-related. When he's not doing school work (which only occupies 6 hours a day or less) he's on his PS3 playing Call of Duty or Battlefield 3. My wife, on the other hand, hates guns and doesn't want anything to do with them. She doesn't even like them being in the house, but she loves me and knows it's my hobby and she tolerates it.

Anyway, I sold an O/U shotgun to my mom and dad recently and she said, "Are you going to buy another gun with the money?" I said, "Not sure yet, but probably." That was the whole conversation. A week or two later, I brought home a Mini 14 and put it in the gun cabinet. I didn't say anything about it, but not out of lack of honesty. I figured she knew that I'd bring something home to replace the O/U at some point and she doesn't care to discuss the gun thing.

Well... The other day at work, I get this text message, "Did you get a new gun?" Immediately followed by, "A semi-automatic assault rifle?" I said, "Nope, I got a ranch rifle, says so right on the gun. Nothing 'assault' about it."

That led to a phone call. Uh oh... Apparently, my 13-year-old shooting buddy and brother-in-law, decided to tell my wife (and he knows she HATES guns, especially the "black rifles") that I had picked up an assault rifle. His stupid little 13-year-old brain sees a Mini 14 as an assault rifle. A family friend let him shoot a Savage .270 Deer Rifle and referred to it as a "sniper rifle" which it is not. He's in fantasy land.

So... I think I'm going to have a little talk with him about using certain terms to describe guns. Especially when dealing with non-gun people. I'd like him to know that guns are a delicate subject in my house and that the government was not completely on our side either and that he should be more delicate with his terminology. For instance, the .270 Savage was a hunting rifle, not a "sniper rifle" and the Mini 14 is just a rifle, not an "assault rifle." He referred to my BX-25 for the 10/22 as a "cool, hi-capacity banana clip." I think he's living in video game land, although he's very safe with firearms and I'm teaching him a lot about firearm safety when we shoot (that's my primary concern with him is safety).

Am I out of line here? Help me out guys. He's my shooting buddy, but he blows things way out of proportion. Is this a phase or something I should address? I don't have kids of my own, but I'm 15 years his senior and he looks up to me. I like him a lot and don't want to flub things up.

Any parents out there that would care to chime in? Or other big brothers? Or just general advice from uncles, cousins and relatives?
 

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Jaded James
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I would definitely have a sit down with him but make it more of a casual conversation. I have a 15 year old son that gets a little carried away sometimes and I can remember doing the same thing. Just try not to make it sound like you're angry or upset with him.

Also I would try to steer him away from the video games for a while just to get a reality check. I know all too well how hard that can be though.My son loves to play World Of Warcraft.

He does his school online so does that mean he is home schooled?
 

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As he's your buddy and looks up to you kind of like an older brother, I would use that relationship to coach and guide his thinking about firearms.

At 13 he's full of enthusiasm, but really he's still a "little kid". Those video games create a lot of wrong ideas about firearms. He's old enough to understand the differences between a semi-auto rifle and an assault weapon.
 

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Yup, be gentle, but firm. If he's half as crazy about guns as you say, he'll want to be using terms and words that are accurate as well as acceptable in the shooting community. Once he learns that calling a mini an assault rifle and a 270 Savage a sniper rifle is going to get him in hot water with real shooters, he'll shape up. At that age, being accepted is very important.
 

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Matt
The boy needs to understand (and respect) the privacy of communications between you and your wife. I don't encourage throwing a pissy-fit, but I would be sure he understands that you were not pleased by his jumping in to "One Up" you in the gun-I D " game.

Again, that doesn't mean a screaming Raging Fit..But in your talk about guns and your 'collection' etc, I think he needs to be impressed at the need for security and safety...sort of a take-off on the "Loose Lips, Sink Ships"---we don't talk about those things in public--- This is a real need for privacy--- You get my drift.

I had my 15 yr old grandson here for a year. He tended to run off at the mouth about guns to his school friends...and would want to display some of my guns when his friends came over to the house. I finally caught on to what was happening and toned him down some. The sharing the display ended...and just shooting some 22's took over. It worked to divert the focus of the kid's 'bragging.'
 

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Old timers saying "Little kids should be seen not heard!" Way I raised mine..the wy mine raise theirs.. My wife and I have no problems concerning guns..I taught her to shoot..She also hated guns until I bought her her own 38spl Snub.. She now goes to the range with me every trip..Yup got me a shooting buddy too..

wPm
 

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Phase or not, you should still have that chat with him. The public already has an irrational fear of firearms and only a proper education of our Sport/Hobby and it's nomenclature/terminology will help dispel those fears.
 

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You are doing right by talking and training him safety, He is your wifes brother and might just be pushing her buttons, who knows. But I think you are on the right track. I am going through some of the same thing with my 15 year old nephew right now because his Dad is a 40 year old self proclaimed know it all. Good Luck be safe.
 

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Thank you guys so, so much! This is exactly why I love this forum. I get sensible, useful advice from fellow gun owners that also have the shooting sports in mind. I will definitely have a talk with him. I have no interest in yelling at him or losing his respect and admiration, but I think perhaps some casual information for him would do some good.

He wants a gun of his own, but I'm concerned for him because what I think he needs is a .22 rifle for his first gun (I started with an air rifle 20 years ago). But when I asked him what he'd like to start with, he said that he either wants a tactical shotgun (useless for a 13-year-old), a "sniper rifle" (his terminology in quotes) or an "AK in 7.62". All of which I find both useless and way overkill for a first gun.

I think you guys are right, though. I need to get him out of those video games and off of YouTube and into the real world. I don't want to play the "you're not old enough for a [big caliber gun]" card, but I think I might have to.

He has expressed some interest in the military, although he doesn't get out of the house much and I suggested that he stop this online homeschool crap (even though it would eliminate my wife's job) and go to high school next year and enroll in ROTC. He could join the rifle team and get some great experience with other kids interested in the military lifestyle as well as gain some respect for the military by actually being a part of it (I was never in the military, but I hold an incredible amount of respect for our armed forces and the men and women that fight for our freedom every day).

I appreciate all of the feedback and advice. I'll let you guys know how it goes.

Also, if any mods read through this, I accidentally put it in the "Maintenance" section. Feel free to throw it in "Gun Stories" which is where it should have gone. Sorry about that!
 

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Thank you guys so, so much! This is exactly why I love this forum. I get sensible, useful advice from fellow gun owners that also have the shooting sports in mind. I will definitely have a talk with him. I have no interest in yelling at him or losing his respect and admiration, but I think perhaps some casual information for him would do some good.

He wants a gun of his own, but I'm concerned for him because what I think he needs is a .22 rifle for his first gun (I started with an air rifle 20 years ago). But when I asked him what he'd like to start with, he said that he either wants a tactical shotgun (useless for a 13-year-old), a "sniper rifle" (his terminology in quotes) or an "AK in 7.62". All of which I find both useless and way overkill for a first gun.

I think you guys are right, though. I need to get him out of those video games and off of YouTube and into the real world. I don't want to play the "you're not old enough for a [big caliber gun]" card, but I think I might have to.

He has expressed some interest in the military, although he doesn't get out of the house much and I suggested that he stop this online homeschool crap (even though it would eliminate my wife's job) and go to high school next year and enroll in ROTC. He could join the rifle team and get some great experience with other kids interested in the military lifestyle as well as gain some respect for the military by actually being a part of it (I was never in the military, but I hold an incredible amount of respect for our armed forces and the men and women that fight for our freedom every day).

I appreciate all of the feedback and advice. I'll let you guys know how it goes.

Also, if any mods read through this, I accidentally put it in the "Maintenance" section. Feel free to throw it in "Gun Stories" which is where it should have gone. Sorry about that!
the adolescent mind is a strange, strange thing. don't expect one chat to take care of it (although hopefully it will). i see kids (daily) do the exact thing they've been told not to do because it will harm them in some way. also, there's something about the way you described his gun "wants" list, along with the fantasy world of gaming, that makes me think he might not have REALLY internalized the lethality of firearms. i think you're on the right track, and others here have posted good advice, too. again, possibly not a one-time conversation, though. adolescents are just so impulsive.
 

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the adolescent mind is a strange, strange thing. don't expect one chat to take care of it (although hopefully it will). i see kids (daily) do the exact thing they've been told not to do because it will harm them in some way. also, there's something about the way you described his gun "wants" list, along with the fantasy world of gaming, that makes me think he might not have REALLY internalized the lethality of firearms. i think you're on the right track, and others here have posted good advice, too. again, possibly not a one-time conversation, though. adolescents are just so impulsive.
I completely agree. I just don't want him to lose sight of the lethality (good word, by the way) of firearms, nor do I want him to be afraid of them. I want him to understand and respect them so that when he does get his own he will be able to successfully and safely manipulate, shoot and maintain it.

I was never raised to fear guns, but I was raised to respect them. When I was about 7, I found a gun in the bushes at our apartment complex. I carried it to my mom, finger off the trigger, just as my dad always taught me to (only put your finger on there when you're ready to shoot and carry it with the muzzle to the ground or in a safe direction). We turned it in to the police and I remember them thanking me for being so smart and responsible and turning it in to them.

I wasn't afraid of the gun because I knew what to do with it. I want him to be the same.

You guys are the salt of the earth!
 

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I completely agree. I just don't want him to lose sight of the lethality (good word, by the way) of firearms, nor do I want him to be afraid of them. I want him to understand and respect them so that when he does get his own he will be able to successfully and safely manipulate, shoot and maintain it.

I was never raised to fear guns, but I was raised to respect them. When I was about 7, I found a gun in the bushes at our apartment complex. I carried it to my mom, finger off the trigger, just as my dad always taught me to (only put your finger on there when you're ready to shoot and carry it with the muzzle to the ground or in a safe direction). We turned it in to the police and I remember them thanking me for being so smart and responsible and turning it in to them.

I wasn't afraid of the gun because I knew what to do with it. I want him to be the same.

You guys are the salt of the earth!
i did grow up somewhat afraid of actual guns. the only one we had in the house (besides my daisy, which only somewhat counts) was a little snub nose revolver my mom kept in her nightstand for protection, but i don't think the thing was ever fired, and i know she never took it anywhere to practice with it. anyway, all that by way of saying, i WAS fairly scared of guns as a kid, and YET, i wanted one really badly. my dad gave me the daisy red ryder for christmas when i was around 8 or 9 or 10, maybe. somewhere in that age range, and i loved it! LOVED IT! like i quite possibly spent more hours lying on the ground in our backyard shooting with it than i did with my friends. LOVED IT!! but it also made me want a 'real' gun more. at that age, i was probably much like your brother-in-law, i desperately wanted a gun, and something that made a big boom. all my friends did, too. and we talked about it, as boys that age will. thing is, whether we came from gun-owning or hunting families or not, the very fact of being that age made us detached from the dangerous realities of life, not just with guns but everything. you're in a perfect role to mentor him into the cautious, safe enthusiasm for the sport(s). even now as an adult, i've described my tinge of nervousness/heightened awareness taking a new gun out to my friends who got me into the whole thing, and they've basically said, "yeah, you don't want to lose that. that tinge is healthy. it keeps you safe." i think maybe your brother in law needs to have.. maybe not fear, but almost. it's an awesome responsibility we've all taken up, and bringing him into the fold you can instill that in him. is he in boy scouts by any chance?
 

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I married late (44) and one of the things I had to re-remember is just how kids don't know any better and desperately need adults to guide and educate them.

I've also realized that their young mind accepts *whatever* they see or hear as their role model or culture REGARDLESS OF THE SOURCE. This included video games and TV/movies. Subconciously they can't tell the difference between reality and TV, games, etc. I believe this is how they accept violence so easily - they see it all around them and just adapt.

Anyway, I'd surely have a reality check conversation with him and remember - he doesn't know any better. That's where your value comes into play. You matter more than you may think.
 

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i should add that my father, who did grow up shooting a 22 of his own from the time he was about 10 or 11, not only instructed me in the safe and proper use of my little bb gun, but also made me sit down and read the entire manual before i was allowed to go out and setup a target. even at that level, the emphasis was on safety, safety, safety, and "this is a serious thing. you're going to follow the rules or you're not going to do it."
 

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I married late (44) and one of the things I had to re-remember is just how kids don't know any better and desperately need adults to guide and educate them.

I've also realized that their young mind accepts *whatever* they see or hear as their role model or culture REGARDLESS OF THE SOURCE. This included video games and TV/movies. Subconciously they can't tell the difference between reality and TV, games, etc. I believe this is how they accept violence so easily - they see it all around them and just adapt.

Anyway, I'd surely have a reality check conversation with him and remember - he doesn't know any better. That's where your value comes into play. You matter more than you may think.
absolutely!! spot on!! the funny thing seems to be that many parents of our generation don't 'get' or understand how the things they say or don't say influence a child's behavior. very often a direct cause/effect relationship. the positive thing is, whether they know it or not, they crave that guidance. they need that nurturing and sometimes to hit those walls. i try to imagine sometimes how scary it must be for many of my students who's parents haven't established strong rules and boundaries. it must honestly be frightening to not know where to draw the line or stop because nobody's told you.
 

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Yup! Kids/humans want to belong. If the good guys don't provide something to belong to (Scouts, church, etc) then the bad guys will (gangs, terrorists, etc).

Human nature to me. Use it for good or let the bad guys have it.
 

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I think a good way to approach the subject is to encourage him to learn the history of firearms. Get him books dedicated to the development and history of firearms (not the internet, which is garbage in - garbage out) so he will be able to tell the difference between a true assault rifle such as an M16, and a semi auto sporting rifle such as the many black rifles on the civilian market today...that it's all in the function. Teach him about the great inventors and developers of modern firearms such as John.M. Browning, Gene Stoner, Mikhail Kalashnikov and John.C. Garand. Armed with a passion and knowledge of the history of these firearm designs, he will be able to help dispel the myths and labels put on these firearms by the anti gun elements in the media and Government. These video games are produced by the very media elements in society that would love to disarm the public. What better way to do that than to get our children into a fantasy world of murder and mayhem glorified by the blatant and reckless misuse of firearms on a computer screen. We are their best teachers...not the clowns that produce these video games IMHO....
 

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Thanks again guys. The last thing I want is for him to be disheartened about the sport. I want him to embrace the sport and the history of it. I want him to know how to use a firearm safely and to respect them. I think he'll be easy to talk to. He's a good kid and he really looks up to my wife and me. Our approval means a lot to him. His biological father (not my wife's father, he is her step-brother) is not around and when he is around, he sort of leaves a lot to be desired so I think my influence could be really important to him.

He's not currently in boy scouts or anything like that, but he's been building his own survival pack with a lot of cool stuff. I take him to gun shows with me so he can see lots of different guns and see some of the historical stuff they have on display. He likes to see the actual guns that he sees in the books he reads.

I think getting him some books on gun history would be really cool. Christmas is coming up so maybe I'll put together a little box of goodies for him with some books and electronic muffs or something. I like the kid an awful lot and want him to be happy and safe so I think this is a really important time in his life for me to take him shooting as much as possible and teach him what I know.

Now if I could just convince him to get a .22 rifle (I even promised to "Tac" it out for him :D).
 

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Thanks again guys. The last thing I want is for him to be disheartened about the sport. I want him to embrace the sport and the history of it. I want him to know how to use a firearm safely and to respect them. I think he'll be easy to talk to. He's a good kid and he really looks up to my wife and me. Our approval means a lot to him. His biological father (not my wife's father, he is her step-brother) is not around and when he is around, he sort of leaves a lot to be desired so I think my influence could be really important to him.

He's not currently in boy scouts or anything like that, but he's been building his own survival pack with a lot of cool stuff. I take him to gun shows with me so he can see lots of different guns and see some of the historical stuff they have on display. He likes to see the actual guns that he sees in the books he reads.

I think getting him some books on gun history would be really cool. Christmas is coming up so maybe I'll put together a little box of goodies for him with some books and electronic muffs or something. I like the kid an awful lot and want him to be happy and safe so I think this is a really important time in his life for me to take him shooting as much as possible and teach him what I know.

Now if I could just convince him to get a .22 rifle (I even promised to "Tac" it out for him :D).
maybe one way to open the 22 door is to let him know how versatile and modifiable the 22 is, and suggest 'tac-ing' it out together. quality time, plus (i know for me at least) you can work on a gun, clean a gun, etc. and not even be shooting but still feel literally like you have your hands in the game. also, maybe suggest that as cheap as 22s and 22 ammo are, you can shoot a WHOLE lot more. would he rather shoot once every month or two, or once every week or two? rhetorical question!
 

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MATT-
Funny you should mention the HS ROTC... Last year when we had the grandson living with us for his 9th grade school year, he was a video-game freak too. He had a bit of a problem (in my Humble Opinion) sorting out reality and fantasy between the video games and real life situations.

examples. he played the Grand Prix racing games...building his own fantasy fleet of Ferrari's BMW's Corvettes etc and tearing up the various race course with the screen action. He was sure his first car would be one of the 'jet-set' racers and would settle for no less. He is not in touch with the economic reality of car ownership at all. When we had him move our vehicles (on our property) he was determined to push the limits of performance and again had no concept of how long it took to stop a car in the driveway . It was always..flat-out go, or stomp the brakes to stop...no moderation. I would not take the responsibility for getting him into the H S driver ed class, as there was no way we would have added him to the drivers list on our insurance. AND he could not grasp why this was a big deal for us.

Now go to guns. He plays the combat shooting action games.. Blood splatter everywhere and bodies piled all over the gasme screen. When I introduced him to a 22 bolt action for his first shooting session he lasted about 10 minutes before wanting to return to the 'Real Action' of the game screen.

His parents were both in the military for years of his childhood, and he had the desire to do the same....until one week into the first semester he failed an inspection, and did not respond kindly to the reprimand he was giveen. He has no desire to take orders or advice from anyone...so the military may be a last choice for this kid.

He is not stupid, but is willing to float along in the fantasy world where things will "just happen" as opposed to working for anything worth while. I was very disappointed in the kids performance overall, and did not follow-up on more in depth shooting sessions for him.

My advice is, watch your B-I-L, support him where he merits , but be prepared to back-off when he heads down the path of fantasy over reality...And DO NOT Buy the kid any firearm, until he is mature enough to deal with the realities of that action.

Hang in there
AL
 
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