Roommates, guns and you

This is a discussion on Roommates, guns and you within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Not sure if this is the right place for this story/question, but here goes. I recently graduated from college and moved from the campus dorms ...

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Thread: Roommates, guns and you

  1. #1
    Member Array HNLtrades's Avatar
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    Roommates, guns and you

    Not sure if this is the right place for this story/question, but here goes.

    I recently graduated from college and moved from the campus dorms to an apartment that I'm sharing with a roommate. While in the process of moving, I purchased my first handgun, which I had planned to do for years, but was unable to until recently because I lived on a college campus (weapon-free/violent criminal empowerment zone).

    The issue is that I haven't told my roommate that I own firearms. AFAIK, he hasn't figured it out yet, as they are either [A] concealed on my person (home carry, I haven't gone for my concealed handgun license yet) or [B] unloaded, locked up, and well-hidden. However, he's seen a few packages come in the mail for me with not-so-discreet return address labels (I'm looking at you, Crossbreed Holsters). I've managed to casually pass them off as sturdy belts (absolutely true) and tool sheaths (a semantics game, but technically true), but I wouldn't take that at face value if he were telling me the same thing. I have an order of ammo coming in next week, and that's going to be a bit harder to explain away.

    I've "tested the waters" on his beliefs about guns for defensive use, with less-than-favorable results. He recounted a story of his aunt and uncle buying a handgun for home defense. One night the uncle awoke to the sound of breaking glass. He looked over and saw his wife was not in bed beside him. He loaded the handgun and crept toward the kitchen, where the sounds of breaking glass seemed to be coming from. When the uncle reached the kitchen, he raised the handgun, flipped on the light, and (in my roommate's words) nearly shot his wife to death. The aunt had woken up, gone to the kitchen for a glass of water, dropped the glass, and was in the process of cleaning it up when the uncle came in, gun leveled. The next day, they sold the handgun.

    I had to resist the urge to criticize from my comfy armchair and tell him that [A] it sounded like his aunt and uncle never availed themselves of personal defense training or self-education, [B] they should have kept a powerful flashlight next to the gun to positively identify potential intruders BEFORE taking them at gunpoint, and [C] guns are inherently only as dangerous as the people holding them, if their behavior reflects ignorance, negligence, and/or malicious intent. Instead, I thanked him for sharing his story, suggested that defensive firearms are akin to fire extinguishers in that they are both pieces of life-saving equipment that are often only as effective as their user's knowledge and experience (occasionally, people get lucky), and told him that I asked because several of my family members are law enforcement officers.

    All of that to say, should I tell him that I own (and plan to routinely carry) firearms? I know that I probably should have had "the gun talk" before I bought the thing, or ideally before I even moved in, but hindsight is 20/20. I'm torn between the Fight Club approach of never telling anyone you're carrying and trying to be a positive ambassador of responsible gun ownership, which might earn me a shooting partner and backup. On the other hand, if "the gun talk" goes sour or he somehow finds out by himself, I don't want to be screwed out of my living accommodations.

    Any ideas?

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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array joker1's Avatar
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    Try to get him to the range and demonstrate how deadly guns are not by themselves, consequently show him how deadly they can be to targets. Do you have a secure way to store the gun where you live? I would tell him, get it out there. Don't be prancing around and doing stupid stuff with your gun, reminding him how safe it is will be a constant battle or maybe he'll come around. Better to be upfront than to have him find a gun rag mixed in with your secret stash and be outted that way.
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    Distinguished Member Array ericb327's Avatar
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    Tell him so its not a surprise. People need to adjust their attitudes when their are firearms around.
    For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill. (Sun Tzu) The Art of War

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    Senior Member Array BkCo1's Avatar
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    I would not tell him that you are going to be carrying. Concealed is concealed. I would not let him know you own a firearm. Get a safe and keep it locked up when not under your control. I had a room mate that liked to go through my stuff. Didn't go well. Do a search an check for people that outed themselves.
    ironmike86 likes this.
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    Who's house/apartment is it?
    In both names?
    If the place is in YOUR name, simple solution...
    If not, your room is YOUR room, and no one should have free access to it. As stated above, lock it up when not concealed on your person.
    I doubt that a roommate will never know about your firearm, better start enlightening him about the need for SD.
    smolck likes this.
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    Member Array pfries's Avatar
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    and ps buy your ammo at a local store in the future, if you choose to introduce your rommie to "guns' do it slow and steady.
    Eagleks likes this.
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    If the other guy is just a casual roommate, that is -- it works for the two of you economically
    but otherwise you aren't really friends, it isn't any of his business. Concealed is concealed. What is in
    your room is none of his biz., and trying to change the mind of someone who is really not all that
    invested in the "relationship" is a waste of time.

    If the guy is someone you do stuff with, go fishing with, hang out with, work with, and KNOW WELL,
    then maybe it is worth the effort to take him to the range and see how it goes.

    My biggest worry with a roomy who is not a real pal and not a close relative is that you might completely
    misread his character and then get a bad surprise when he gains access to your guns. A gun safe
    is your friend; as is on-body carry.

    Folks are hard to read on these issues. I'm married 40 years. The first few years it never crossed my
    mind that Mrs H would be the least bit receptive to the idea of guns in the house. So, though I grew up around
    guns, I never suggested having any. One day to my complete surprise she said, "you need to get a gun for
    the house." I asked, "Uh, what for." She said, "pappa always had one." And so as quickly as I could manage
    it I took myself to the gun store and bought a Ruger Security Six in .357. There was no need for something small
    back then as concealed carry was prohibited and licenses were not issued.

    The point, you just never know what his real reaction and real feeling will be until you broach them thoroughly
    and thoughtfully, but don't do that with a casual roomy whose character you might not be 110% certain of.

    Being retired I have the misfortune of sometimes catching glimpses of tv reality show "courtrooms."
    Roommates do the weirdest stuff sometimes. So be careful.
    If the Union is once severed, the line of separation will grow wider and wider, and the controversies which are now debated and settled in the halls of legislation will then be tried in fields of battle and determined by the sword.
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    Ex Member Array barstoolguru's Avatar
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    did someone mention guns, they scare me

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    You might start the conversation off with getting him a copy of Massad Ayoob's book "The Truth About Self Protection".

    Here:Armor of New Hampshire: Author: Massad Ayoob - Books

    It explains the importance of the subject without leaning hard on the weapon aspect. It goes into many different aspects of the need of self protection in your home and in the public. Covers home security (doors, windows ect). Dogs as a level of home defense. Also gives some great insight into the mind of the criminal. If he sees what a need there is...it may be easy to make him understand that your need for self protection is legit and reasonable.

    It does come down to one thing. It is your life....your room...your gun. If he is such a loose cannon that your ownership of a weapon is that alarming to him...he may be the wrong roommate for you. This is like a woman for a man (or man for a woman) that is so scared of the weapon it clouds their judgement. You might really care for them...but can you live with it??
    ericb327, archer51 and oakchas like this.
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  11. #10
    Distinguished Member Array ericb327's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spirit51 View Post
    You might start the conversation off with getting him a copy of Massad Ayoob's book "The Truth About Self Protection".

    Here:Armor of New Hampshire: Author: Massad Ayoob - Books

    It explains the importance of the subject without leaning hard on the weapon aspect. It goes into many different aspects of the need of self protection in your home and in the public. Covers home security (doors, windows ect). Dogs as a level of home defense. Also gives some great insight into the mind of the criminal. If he sees what a need there is...it may be easy to make him understand that your need for self protection is legit and reasonable.

    It does come down to one thing. It is your life....your room...your gun. If he is such a loose cannon that your ownership of a weapon is that alarming to him...he may be the wrong roommate for you. This is like a woman for a man (or man for a woman) that is so scared of the weapon it clouds their judgement. You might really care for them...but can you live with it??
    Great advice.
    For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill. (Sun Tzu) The Art of War

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    Member Array thephanatik's Avatar
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    I just graduated college in Milwaukee, so I was in a similar boat. My first two years I lived in the dorms so I couldn't bring my guns, but my third year of college it wasn't an issue. I bought my first pistol on my 21st birthday and a gun cabinet to store my guns in. My roommate drove me to the gun store and helped me pick it out. Guns are his hobby too, so it worked out well. He graduated that year, so I had to find new roommate for my senior year.

    One of my friends was looking for a 6th roommate for a 6 bedroom house. I just asked him to make sure everyone was okay with guns and it wasn't a problem. Most of them were pretty much indifferent about guns. About half of them are still in the house for another year and the person that took my room is scarily like me. His political views, demeanor and even his carry gun are the same as mine.

    I personally don't have a problem telling the people I'm going to be living with that I carry. I only met one person that was actually against guns while I was at school and he was the type that "just didn't like the idea of guns" and "didn't want anyone to have one". After knowing me for a few months, he was perfectly okay with me carrying.
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    VIP Member Array oakchas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spirit51 View Post
    You might start the conversation off with getting him a copy of Massad Ayoob's book "The Truth About Self Protection".

    Here:Armor of New Hampshire: Author: Massad Ayoob - Books

    It explains the importance of the subject without leaning hard on the weapon aspect. It goes into many different aspects of the need of self protection in your home and in the public. Covers home security (doors, windows ect). Dogs as a level of home defense. Also gives some great insight into the mind of the criminal. If he sees what a need there is...it may be easy to make him understand that your need for self protection is legit and reasonable.

    It does come down to one thing. It is your life....your room...your gun. If he is such a loose cannon that your ownership of a weapon is that alarming to him...he may be the wrong roommate for you. This is like a woman for a man (or man for a woman) that is so scared of the weapon it clouds their judgement. You might really care for them...but can you live with it??
    I hadn't heard of this book by Mas... and your link is the only place I could find it... thanks... I may try interlibrary loan first... but if it's anything like Mas' other works, it'll prolly be on my bookshelf permanently.. Thanks again.
    It could be worse.
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    VIP Member Array NC Bullseye's Avatar
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    Or you could be subtle and just tell him that it would be in his best interests that he NOT break any glasses at night while you're sleeping.
    INccwchris likes this.

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    Senior Member Array tubadude's Avatar
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    I never asked permission since we all have an equal stake in the place. They know I have several firearms, but they don't know exactly how many, or exactly where I keep them. They also know that my room is 100% off limits.

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