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aw, shoot!

I met this woman a few months ago—she’s smart; the sex is great; she’s really nice; she and my mom get along really well; she even volunteers for the SPCA. I want to move in with her. Here’s the problem: She has a handgun at home, and I won’t live in a house with one. What are the moral boundaries here? Is this one of those issues I should (ahem) stick to my guns about?

—Her Aim Is True

The Roller Girl says: You won’t live in a house with a handgun in it? That seems an odd sticking point. (What about rifles? Shotguns? Carbines?) Are you afraid of hurting someone with it, or being hurt by it, or do guns just make you that nervous? It wouldn’t at all be unreasonable to confess that you’ve a firearms hang-up and request that she get a gun safe or some measure along those lines. Guns are powerful tools and can certainly be dangerous in the wrong hands or the wrong situation, especially if they are stored improperly.

If it’s that you object to firearms as a concept, ask yourself if you’re comfortable living in a house protected by handguns. Guess what? You live in one now. What keeps you safe? The police. What do they carry?

I’m just saying, there’s your moral boundary. There are ways of negotiating gun safety, which is certainly a valid concern, but as far as moral boundaries? We all have to make compromises to our ideal philosophies somewhere, in the interests of being a rational human living in the real world and having relationships with other rational humans who have different beliefs and perspectives than we do. You’re kind of picking an arbitrary sticking point here, and if everything else with the relationship is fantastic, it’s pretty sad to chuck it all over something like this. Despite what the talk shows tell you, people who disagree over today’s pet political issues are still allowed to love one another.

The Gay Perspective: A member of the household is almost three times as likely to be the victim of a homicide in a house where there is a gun, compared to a gun-free home. For every time a gun is used in a home to kill someone in self defense, a gun will be used in 1.3 unintentional deaths, 4.6 criminal homicides, and 37 suicides.

Why does this woman own a handgun? Is she willing to re-evaluate this now that she will not be living alone? Are there other self-protection measures the two of you can take? I do not have enough information about her motivation and your objections.

You actually represent the American demographic, which is split 50-50 for and against making handgun possession illegal, except for law enforcement officers. The two of you need to talk—about this, and probably about so much else.

The Practical Cogitator says: I’m confused. You like this smart, sexy, volunteering woman and you want to live with her? But she has a handgun? And you don’t want to live with the gun? Is that it? Now, you’ve had sex with her, and it was great, but where was it? The sex, I mean. Was it at her house? Will you have a soiree in the handgun house? Will you have breakfast in the handgun house? Will you attend a party at the handgun house? Or are all the trysts at your house? Where exactly do you draw the line?

I know what my line is. I have a small child, and when I drop my child off for a play date at a new friend’s house, I ask: Will you be home the whole time? Will there be any outings? Do you have any guns here?

I actually have a battery of questions I like to ask. I know if they tell me there is a gun in the house, I will promptly remove my crying, yet still living, child and relocate the play date to my own home. Safety first. Too many accidents result from guns.

It seems to me as though you need to come up with some questions, too—for your, your girl’s, and everyone’s safety.

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