Elizabeth (greyautumnrain) wrote,

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So, recently some male friends of mine have been commenting about how they plan to terrorize young men who may attempt to date their daughters in about 15 years. First it was Tom Nugent in his blog, and then it was baronet at the the housewarming party this past Sunday. This has me musing on the whole issue.

I think people perhaps overestimate the effect of a father's shotgun on a young man's plans to date his daughter. My father has owned a shotgun (not to mention several rifles, plus other stuff) since before I hit puberty. Its certainly true that I didn't date until I went away to college. On the other hand, I think my non-dating before college has much more to do with my general nerdlyness and the lack of male nerds of sufficient qualilty in my high school. My sister is a pretty good example of how having a shotgun-owning father does not prevent young women from dating. Margaret is almost four years younger than I am, and she started dating before I did. I'd also say that some of her boyfriends were of dubious quality. My parents certainly worried more about her choice of boyfriends than they did about mine.

There is a difference between Margaret and me that does have something to do with guns, though. I learned to shoot and she didn't. I was much more interested in weapons than she was, and Dad ended up taking me to the rifle range when I was in junior high and high school. By then I already had plenty of nerdly frustration to work out by blowing holes in paper targets, and it was a good bonding experience with my Dad. It was also really cool that my Dad was the only guy at the rifle range who brought his daughter along, though there were a fair number of guys there with their sons. I don't know if this has had any impact on the men in my life, but I suppose at the very least my parents know that if I were to ever end up with an abusive man in my life I could purchase a gun and blow his brains out.

So, my friends with little baby girls, forget those plans you have of cleaning a shotgun when you little girl brings over her first boyfriend. For true peace of mind you want to buy her a .22 caliber rifle and start taking her to the range when she's twelve. (Don't forget the gun safety lessons.)
Tags: the world according to elizabeth

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