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BOTD 5-21-17 " Seth Shoots Pool" An 18Smacked Production

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David M. Katz

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Marshall
Seth Shoots Pool
An 18Smacked Production


Seth, your 14 year-old son, came home about thirty minutes late. You might have been willing to forgive that, but when you asked where he had been, there was hesitation until he finally admitted that he had been over at the Johnson's house. Their son is Seth's age, and the two have known each other for about six years now. Mr. Johnson is an avid gun enthusiast, and does not own a gun safe. You have no issue with his interests, but for safety purposes, Seth is not permitted to be in their house unless there are adults present. Seth told you that he, Joe Johnson, and two other boys were in the house playing pool on their pool table- they were all having fun and forgot about the time, so that is why he was late coming home. You asked Seth if there were any adults present, and he hung his head to look at the ground, and quietly said "no." With that, you sent him to his room, telling him you would be back "in a bit" to talk to him.

For serious issues, you use a hairbrush or a ping pong paddle on Seth's bare bottom but you do ground him. There are times when you even have added on grounding to a spanking. It has now been about six weeks since he was last punished, and that was for bad attitude.


Seth - 14
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What will you decide to do now?


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db105

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Trailboss
Not living in a country where this is an issue I'm not sure what not having a gun safe entails. I assume they keep the guns locked but less securely than in a safe?

Anyway, right now I'm not going to study the question of whether the restriction of not visiting when there're no adults is necessary. The fact is that it's our family rule and Seth willingly broke it. He'll get paddled. I'll reserve the additional grounding in case this happens again.

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Jack

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Admin
Seth obviously knows he broke the rule, so I'm going to ask him why and what he thinks is going to happen.

As a father, I need to go talk to Mr. Johnson and make sure what he does to keep the guns safe. My real feeling is, why do I think it would be safe with these adults there, when they don't follow gun safety rules.

Judging by the scenario, I just really can't see this sliding, but I do want to have a long talk with him about why we have the rule and why he violated it.


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StevieWeeks

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Trailboss
Seth is grounded for two weeks... he must know that I'm reluctant to allow him to hang around with gun crazies in the first place and that I'm not happy about it at all... he was given specific instructions which he chose to disobey and must face the consequences.

I don't think it'll do much good to speak to Mr. Johnson since my experience with gun crazies like him is that they are not at all rational...

Stevie.

Kat

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Editor Extraordinaire
I agree that we don't need to get into a question of about gun safety. This is black-and-white that Seth broke a rule. While I sympathize with him about the inconvenience of being restricted from his friend's house unless adults are present, the rule exists for a reason. I may give him the choice of a grounding instead of the paddling, but I have to follow through on the promise of punishment.

Kat

ivor

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Marshall
I'll go with Kat.

Seth does appear to have put himself behind the eight ball.

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MemoryMan

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Sherrif
A black and white case of rule breaking?  Yes, but Seth confessed in a situation where a lie would be unlikely to have been found out and this gives him a credit.

There are things I don't know.  I know that Mr. Johnson doesn't have a gun safe but does he store them out of sight?  Does he have some irresponsible adult friends who'd invalidate the rule anyway?  Does he have a safe for the ammunition?  Is Joe properly briefed on gun safety?  I'm wondering I being a bit paranoid about the rule?

There will be no brush in my hand when I go up to ralk to Seth but we will have an in depth discussion about my concerns and the reasons for the rule.  Depending on Seth's responses it may be time to relax the rule.

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Kat

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Editor Extraordinaire
MemoryMan wrote:A black and white case of rule breaking?  Yes, but Seth confessed in a situation where a lie would be unlikely to have been found out and this gives him a credit.

He was thirty minutes late and only admitted where he was with reluctance. I credit him with not adding a lie to his direct disobedience, but honesty about wrongdoing doesn't alter the fact of the wrongdoing.

MemoryMan wrote:There are things I don't know.  I know that Mr. Johnson doesn't have a gun safe but does he store them out of sight?  Does he have some irresponsible adult friends who'd invalidate the rule anyway?  Does he have a safe for the ammunition?  Is Joe properly briefed on gun safety?  I'm wondering I being a bit paranoid about the rule?

What you do know is the scenario tells you clearly that the guns are not secured in a gun safe and the parent made the rule on that basis. Closing every loophole in the scenarios will mean they start to rival Russian novels in length. I can't see any reason to second guess the parent or hint that the rule is unreasonable. I didn't want to get into a debate about guns, but in the US every year, there are multiple stories about teenagers and younger kids who die of gunshot wounds because parents thought it would be all right not to secure their weapons. Teenagers don't always exercise good judgement because of actual brain differences between adults and adolescents.

Kat

MemoryMan

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Sherrif
Kat wrote:
MemoryMan wrote:A black and white case of rule breaking?  Yes, but Seth confessed in a situation where a lie would be unlikely to have been found out and this gives him a credit.

He was thirty minutes late and only admitted where he was with reluctance. I credit him with not adding a lie to his direct disobedience, but honesty about wrongdoing doesn't alter the fact of the wrongdoing.

MemoryMan wrote:There are things I don't know.  I know that Mr. Johnson doesn't have a gun safe but does he store them out of sight?  Does he have some irresponsible adult friends who'd invalidate the rule anyway?  Does he have a safe for the ammunition?  Is Joe properly briefed on gun safety?  I'm wondering I being a bit paranoid about the rule?

What you do know is the scenario tells you clearly that the guns are not secured in a gun safe and the parent made the rule on that basis. Closing every loophole in the scenarios will mean they start to rival Russian novels in length. I can't see any reason to second guess the parent or hint that the rule is unreasonable. I didn't want to get into a debate about guns, but in the US every year, there are multiple stories about teenagers and younger kids who die of gunshot wounds because parents thought it would be all right not to secure their weapons. Teenagers don't always exercise good judgement because of actual brain differences between adults and adolescents.

Kat


I do not "do" zero tolerance.

An unsecured gun can be stolen, and later used with evil intent.  The key 'need to know' question for me as a parent is whether the ammunition is safely locked away: because for "spur of the moment" use such as teenage larking around, without ammo a gun downgrades to a club.

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Kat

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Editor Extraordinaire
MemoryMan wrote:I do not "do" zero tolerance.

An unsecured gun can be stolen, and later used with evil intent.  The key 'need to know' question for me as a parent is whether the ammunition is safely locked away: because for "spur of the moment" use such as teenage larking around, without ammo a gun downgrades to a club.

This has nothing to do with zero tolerance. It's a straightforward case of enforcing a reasonable rule.  The scenario itself does not provide any mitigating or exceptional circumstances. Seth broke the rule because he wanted to break it. He didn't negotiate for the rule to be relaxed or offer any of the justifications that you suggest might exist. If the ammunition is locked away, one of the other kids might decide to bring some from his home. Someone might have failed to unload the weapon. Plenty of people die because they think they are handling an unloaded gun.

Disagree with the rule outright if you like, but the scenario as the writer presents it gives a clear reason for why the rule exists. You're stretching for hypothetical reasons to attack the rule. If you're cool with a 14-year-old being in a house with unsecured firearms with no adult supervision, then it's a bad rule.

Kat

Jack

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Admin
I hesitate to lock threads, because there is often good conversation happening. However, without being around the people involved to hear how they're talking, I can only judge by how it seems to me.

I hate when someone sends me nasty feedback, then doesn't include an e-mail address, because it feels like they're just saying 'I'm right and screw you.' That's why I hate locking a thread after making the last comment on it.

I am going to say that I agree with Kat that this is not a case of zero tolerance. Zero tolerance is saying you'll spank a kid if he's late, then spanking him when he comes in 30 seconds after curfew. Zero tolerance is having a rule against guns at school, then punishing a kid for eating his poptart into the shape of a gun and saying bang. This is not like those cases. This is a case where the parent in question (you in this scenario) have made a rule, and your son chose to disobey it. It's not zero tolerance - it's a simple yes or no question - did he break the rule? As another example (at least in my mind), if Seth went over there and went inside, then found out there were no adults around, and you still spanked him, THAT would be zero tolerance.

Anyway, I'm locking this thread for now. If someone else wants to comment, reach out to me by PM, let me know what you think, and I'll be happy to reconsider at that time.


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Jack

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Admin
It has been requested that I unlock the thread by someone who missed their chance to post in it. Upon reflection and discussion, I have decided to do that.

Let me ask that we all remember a few things, though.

First of all, you are the father in these scenarios (99% of the time). If you don't want to answer one of them, you don't have to. However, please remember that these take work by the people who create them and the people who post them. We have some people who will no longer create them, because they got tired of people picking holes in them. This is just supposed to be a fun little game, and no one wants to right Kat's 'Russian novel' to make sure there are no plot holes.

So, let's have fun doing these. If you want to discuss someone else's response, that's great. Let's just remember that this is a friendly forum, and that we all want to have a good time. Since we can't hear your tone when you're typing, please try to be polite an friendly, even when disagreeing with someone.

Thanks,

Jack

PS - If I'm reading more into this than there really was, please excuse me, but also remember that these are good general points for us all to always keep in mind.


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18Smacked

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Cowboy
Thanks Jack. My purpose in this BOTD was just to create a situation that would attract a kid to want to be at a particular place, but be prohibited by his parents' from being there for legitimate reasons. (That is, not merely arbitrary reasons.)

And, honestly- any BOTD I write is just a "thinking exercise" meant to create a little fun here, and hopefully, get folks to consider something they may not have previously thought about or maybe not in the way I offered the situation. I was not, in any way, wanting to push any sort of idea or agenda. If folks like having to think about something in a unique perspective, then I did succeed in what I hoped to accomplish.

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MemoryMan

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Sherrif
MemoryMan wrote:A black and white case of rule breaking?  Yes, but Seth confessed in a situation where a lie would be unlikely to have been found out and this gives him a credit.

There are things I don't know.  I know that Mr. Johnson doesn't have a gun safe but does he store them out of sight?  Does he have some irresponsible adult friends who'd invalidate the rule anyway?  Does he have a safe for the ammunition?  Is Joe properly briefed on gun safety?  I'm wondering I being a bit paranoid about the rule?

There will be no brush in my hand when I go up to ralk to Seth but we will have an in depth discussion about my concerns and the reasons for the rule.  Depending on Seth's responses it may be time to relax the rule.


18S --- I was not picking holes in your scenario although it seems I was responding in blissful ignorance of the amount of feeling and controversy gun crime appears to generate in the US.


I responded to the situation that although Seth had disobeyed me he had mitigated his offence by confessing and this gave me the opportunity to explore the reasons behind my ban with him and perhaps gain more detail of the actual level of security in the Johnson household, (after all Joe LIVES there) and whether or not it was a reasonable ban.

In short, getting Seth on board with a full understanding of the situation is preferable to setting arbitrary rules.

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squarecutter

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Sherrif
Seth needs to understand why I am unhappy about teens being unsupervised in a house with a gun that is presumably easily accessed by the boys and he was also late home. Mr Johnson may indeed be breaking the law on this. There a number of well doumented tragedies involving kids and guns. Seth knew the rule and while he may not like it he chose to break it We will go over my reasons again and he WILL be paddled for this .

Jack

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Admin
MemoryMan wrote:

18S --- I was not picking holes in your scenario although it seems I was responding in blissful ignorance of the amount of feeling and controversy gun crime appears to generate in the US.


I responded to the situation that although Seth had disobeyed me he had mitigated his offence by confessing and this gave me the opportunity to explore the reasons behind my ban with him and perhaps gain more detail of the actual level of security in the Johnson household, (after all Joe LIVES there) and whether or not it was a reasonable ban.

In short, getting Seth on board with a full understanding of the situation is preferable to setting arbitrary rules.

I can see your point, MM, but I also see a couple of problems with it. In order to make your answer work, you have to assume that you didn't do those things in the first place. You're also assuming that setting a rule that keeps him away from unsupervised guns is 'arbitrary', which is something that I find personally offensive, since I would make the same rule, and possibly not allow him there at all, depending on further information.


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MemoryMan

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Sherrif
Jack wrote:
MemoryMan wrote:

18S --- I was not picking holes in your scenario although it seems I was responding in blissful ignorance of the amount of feeling and controversy gun crime appears to generate in the US.


I responded to the situation that although Seth had disobeyed me he had mitigated his offence by confessing and this gave me the opportunity to explore the reasons behind my ban with him and perhaps gain more detail of the actual level of security in the Johnson household, (after all Joe LIVES there) and whether or not it was a reasonable ban.

In short, getting Seth on board with a full understanding of the situation is preferable to setting arbitrary rules.

I can see your point, MM, but I also see a couple of problems with it.  In order to make your answer work, you have to assume that you didn't do those things in the first place.  You're also assuming that setting a rule that keeps him away from unsupervised guns is 'arbitrary', which is something that I find personally offensive, since I would make the same rule, and possibly not allow him there at all, depending on further information.

I recall reading a quip somewhere about "two nations divided by a common language."  

I looked up arbitrary in the MW dictionary and came across words like "whim."  I was using the more usual transatlantic connotations centred around "judgemental"  and must apologise if I've offended you.

I'm curious about what constitutes a "gun safe" over there.  I am envisaging a suitably proportioned safe; an armoured immovable cabinet accessible only to its owner and the most sophisticated of safe crackers.

Regarding the scenario I simply only know that there is no gun safe, what I have never troubled to find out is what other security measures (e.g. a locked cupboard) if any, are in place.  Therefore I have imposed the ban as a safety measure.  What I also don't know is whether Seth has been successfully flouting it over the past six years.  What I do judge now, is that with Seth becoming a teenager that whatever risks there were have markedly increased.

Seth's confession has given me the opportunity, now that Seth is of a reasoning age,  to discuss the risks with him in depth to make sure Seth fully understands them and on the basis of what facts I discover, and Seth's attitude, judge whether to rescind or maintain the ban.  

If the latter I would hope that with a proper appreciation of the risks involved Seth would have the commonsense and maturity (not to take the risk of accident - or of being caught) to observe it even though there would likely be occasions when loss of street cred may occur.

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Kat

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Editor Extraordinaire
An inexpensive gun safe won't defeat a sophisticated safe cracker or explosives, but it will keep ordinary people from having access to the firearms kept in them. A cheap one costs a couple hundred dollars, but prices can range into the thousands.

To me, when the scenario states the guns are not kept in a gun safe, the author is implying they are not secured in any suitable way. To most people, a locked cupboard would be good enough, as long as the key to it were not accessible to kids. The scenario specifies the dad has no problem with Mr. Johnson being a gun enthusiast, which makes me rule out of the possibility of his rule being overreaction.

Kat

Pi Beta

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RIP 9 Jan 47 - 17 June 17
Keeping guns in an insecure environment would be illegal here. I should have notified the police when first I heard about this but since my strictures appear to have been disregarded I'm ringing them now and firmly expect to see about three squad cars of armed officers arrive at the Johnson household within the hour to confiscate the guns, charge Mr. J for not having a gun licence and probably turn the place upside down checking that any ammunition isn't missed.

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