Dad is horrified to learn there's a gun in the house
Dear Amy: This week I discovered that my intelligent, hard-working, responsible 24-year-old daughter (who lives with me) is a gun owner! And it's not a normal gun either -- it is a 40 caliber semi-automatic, and she has hollow point bullets to go with it.
Amy, this is the kind of weapon a criminal would possess! She says it is for emergencies. There have only been two home invasions in our neighborhood in the last 11 years.
I've given her three choices: She can either give her weapon to me, sell it, or move out in three weeks.
I love my daughter and would be so sad for her to move into a place that she would hardly be able to afford, but now I have to lock my bedroom door at night because I don't know what she's going to do.
Now she says that I don't trust her, and is barely speaking to me. How can I convince her to stop endangering us?
-- Dumbfounded Father
Dear Dumbfounded: According to my research, possessing hollow point bullets is illegal in 11 states; is it legal in your state to own this sort of exploding ammunition?
In a report published in 2015, researchers at the University of Chicago found that 31 percent of households reported having a firearm in 2014, down from about 48 percent in 1980.
According to this study, there are more guns, but concentrated in fewer households. Why must your household be one of them?
Where did your daughter get this weapon and ammunition? Has she received any safety training or certification? (Accidental gun death is a substantial risk of owning a gun.) Is she perhaps engaged in another activity outside of your household that exposes her to increased risks and makes her believe she needs to have a weapon?
I have news for you: A locked bedroom door is no match for this weaponry; as I write this, just five days ago a father in South Carolina tragically shot and killed his own 23-year-old daughter through a closed door -- when he mistook her for an intruder.
I agree with your ultimatum; I also weep that there is yet another (likely unsafe) gun owner in this country.
Dear Amy: My older brother committed suicide about two years ago.
He was not married and did not have children. He struggled with alcohol addiction for most of his adult life. We were unsuccessful in helping him to kick his addiction.
I still see my brother's profile whenever I use Facebook, and it is incredibly painful for me. I get notifications and reminders, see his photos and wall posts, and get reminded to wish him a happy birthday or to contact him.
I want to have his profile gone forever, but my younger sister wants to "memorialize" his page, so we can still see it.
I don't want to see it again, ever, as it's just a painful reminder to me of our failure to help him, and that he's no longer here.
-- Grieving Sibling
Dear Grieving: I vote for memorializing your brother's page. Instructions on how to do this are readily available through the Facebook "Help" section (search key word "deceased"). The process is somewhat involved and requires proof of death, and a request sent to Facebook.
A "memorial" page will be a way for your brother's friends and family members (including you, if you ever chose) to remember him, view photos, and continue to feel connected, but you would not receive further birthday reminders or recommendations regarding his page. Obviously, these are very difficult and painful points of contact for you, and anyone can understand why you would be upset by these reminders, which for you are painful.
Being a survivor of a family member's death by suicide conveys a unique and terrible sort of grief. But, please, I hope you won't let your brother's death (and your painful associations and memories of his struggles) completely erase his presence from your life.
Dear Amy: I loved your answer to "Disgusted," who did not want to attend his great-nephew's bar mitzvah.
While his strong feelings are very meaningful to him, his desire to control his family's thinking and behavior around this has a fundamentalist feel to it (i.e., We must get on the same page and not have divergent thinking). I hope he can reflect on that.
-- Seattle Deb
Dear Deb: I appreciate your sentiment, but disagree, to some extent. Divergent thinking is a good thing, as long as we lead from a place of respect.
(You can contact Amy Dickinson via email: email@example.com. Readers may send postal mail to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or "like" her on Facebook.)