Following on our earlier post about guns in the home, here’s a different take on the issue.
How do I ask possible host families about whether they have weapons in their home?
When I replied this au pair’s email, I mentioned to her that she’s the first au pair ever to bring this question up! (And after 6 years of this blog, it’s hard to find a situation that’s completely new.)
Why is it that au pairs haven’t raised this question before?
Is it a function of cultural differences?
With all the gun-related death news in the USA these past 12 months alone, you’d think the issue would be on au pairs’ minds.
But then again, we never think that an accidental, hand gun- related death will happen to anyone we know.
Weapon-Free Au Pair writes:
I plan on going to the USA to work as an Au Pair and have one question and would love to hear the opinion of host families about this issue.
I’ve just started thinking what is really important to me in a host family and what is not so important.
<However, there is one issue which is really important to me. I don’t think I want to live in a family that owns one or several weapons.
Also, I have been hearing of accidents where kids accidentally shot their brother / or father. I know these horrible accidents are exceptional cases and I am also sure that 99,9% of all weapon owners safely lock their weapons away but I would not feel comfortable living with a family that owns weapons.
Well, I have been wondering if it is possible to discuss this topic during interviews with families, if so when?
I worry that I would not make a good impression on families if I asked them if they have weapons and that it might decrease my chances to find a family – even if the family I am asking does not have a weapon and is pro gun control.
Do you think it is appropriate to ask such a question or would you be offended if an applicant asked such a question – no matter if you have a weapon or not –?
I really don’t want to start a conflict on aupairmom about weapon laws in the USA. My concern is much more personal — Guns are not something that I can feel comfortable with, even if the family is super, super safe with them.
How can I ask this question, and when, without turning families off?