Daddy Dearest

Raising kids can be murder

Another Father's Day has come and gone, and if you're a dad like me, this year, the day was bittersweet. Bittersweet because of the national plague of violence that so often involves children and guns. Any father hearing about such tragic events instantly wonders about his own kids. You wonder about safety. You wonder about being helpless. You ask yourself, "What can I do?"

Plenty. I'm here to tell you that not only are your concerns well-founded, but there are also many things you can do—right in your own home—to prepare and protect yourself for that day when your children come to shoot you with a gun.

No guns around the house. It would be difficult to overstate what a tragic mistake this would be. The thought of not being heavily armed in a house full of children is chilling. Your kids, if they attend public school or know someone who does, have guns. It's critical that you not only match their firepower but also display the kind of overwhelming armed superiority capable of inhibiting your loved ones from employing their first-strike capabilities. Your house should be bursting with guns—guns in sock drawers, guns as mantelpiece arrangements, guns spilling out of spice racks and under tissue cozies. "But if I have guns everywhere, won't my kids be able to get my guns?" That's why you must customize each gun so that only you know its particular character: a slight bend in the sight, for instance. Most important: child safety locks. Never use these. You're going to need to use these guns at a moment's notice; the last thing you're going to want to do is think. Create a safe home environment. A home should be a haven, a place where you feel safe, surrounded by the things that make you feel most at ease: bulletproof ottomans, night-vision shaving mirrors and Teflon-coated throwing stars. These alone, of course, do not make for a safe home. A bulletproof vest is essential, but you'll also need bulletproof pants, bulletproof pajamas, bulletproof socks, bulletproof underwear (I recommend boxers). And with summer here, it's also a good idea to have plenty of SPF 30 sun block. Set an example. Kids often complain that their parents don't back up their words with actions. Show your kids that you walk the walk. Demonstrate for them your ability to shoot with exceptional accuracy. Make sure they know that you can shoot while rolling on the ground and with either hand. Make a point of demonstrating that you can shoot while driving a speeding minivan or holding the TV remote control. Most important, make sure they know you can shoot while eating ice cream and watching TV. This will require hours of practice on your part, but if you weren't willing to put in the extra effort, why did you have kids in the first place? Never eat ice cream while watching TV. This goes without saying. Try a little kindness. Very little. There is no quicker road to destruction than to show kids vulnerability. Like hyenas, children have an innate talent for sensing and exploiting weakness. Ever been sick in bed? Did your kids rally to your aid? Or did they just whine about pancakes? Thought so. You must exude strength and command. Dress in military garb—epaulets are a nice touch. Address them formally in a deep voice, electronically altered if at all possible. Demand they address you as El Magnifico or Der Terrorheizen. Compose a totalitarian-sounding theme song to accompany your comings and goings. Annex the Sudetenland. Talk to your kids. Guns or no guns, this is just good parenting. It's important for you to communicate with your children, and what you want to communicate to them is that you are insane. It's important for children to think their parents are nuts, capable of going off half-cocked at any moment for no good reason. This provides a child with boundaries, and frankly, it's a hoot to watch.

"Hey, kids, want to get some ice cream?"

"Yeah!"

"And then I'll hunt you down like the dogs you are."

"What?"

"Nothing. Who wants Jamoca Almond Fudge?"

Your kids will learn not to trust, which is another way of saying you will never be taken for granted. Teach them that they are never safe. For instance, at Christmas, you might think about telling your kids there is no Santa Claus and then getting one of your friends to come over dressed as jolly St. Nick. When your kids say, "See, Dad, there is, too, a Santa. You're such an idiot," you should take out a gun and shoot your friend (just wing him—this is why you put in the extra hours at the range). Your kids will be confused and then terrified. In lieu of respect, this is as good as it gets. (It's a good idea to keep your friend in the dark about the last part of the plan, especially those friends who don't have kids. Single people have no idea what it takes to be a parent these days.)

Get them involved in child acting/modeling. This is more of a pre-emptive strike. Not only will this play upon your kids' enormous vanity, but it will also distract them while earning you a lot of money. It keeps you safe while sending them down a road of reckless self-absorption and likely self-destruction. A win-win situation.

Never spank your children. Not only will this piss them off and provide Leslie Abramson with a defense, but worst of all, it also means that while you have them over your lap, they can reach down into your ankle holster, grab your gun, and get two or three shots off. True, they probably won't be able to get a clear shot at your head from that position, but they will probably disable you enough so that you won't be able to get the gun out of your other ankle holster. Then all that's left for you is to beg for mercy, which means you're dead because, as any parent knows, kids these days just don't listen.

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