Okay, that is it. Timothy, Rebecca, come here this instant! I've simply had it with you two. I thought I heard a .357 Magnum round discharge, and sure enough, what do I find when I open the end-table drawer but your father's still-smoking Desert Eagle. Just look at it! The nickel plating is scratched up, and what's this on the trigger—peanut butter? Dear Lord, I suppose you thought you could just put it back and no one would ever notice?

This is precisely why we can't have any nice guns around here.

Listen, you can cry all you want about how it was an accident, but that isn't getting either of you off the hook. Timothy, you're old enough to know when a firearm's safety mechanism has been disengaged, and Rebecca, maybe if you set a better example for your little brother once in a while, he'd know that he shouldn't be horsing around with the most expensive semiautomatic handgun in the house.

I swear, you kids will be the death of me.

I don't care who started shooting first! I don't want to hear it. You're both in big trouble. You just wait until we're back from getting Timothy patched up and your father hears about this. My heavens, this is worse than the time you two bent the firing pin on my good Glock 19 because you wanted to see if it could shoot .30-caliber rounds.

Why do you do this? Is there something wrong with the guns you already have? They're functional and plenty accurate, but you're always leaving them outside or strewn across your playroom—honestly, it's like one goes off every time I try to walk through that pigsty—never mind how hard your father works to keep this family supplied with ammo.

Is it wrong that he and I want to have a few nice pistols in our home besides those same junky old double-action revolvers we've had since college?

And don't get me started on that crossbow you kids begged us for last Christmas! Sure, you spent the morning out in the yard shooting bolts straight up into the air, but it's been collecting dust in the nursery ever since. Well, you're both grounded until further notice. No new rifles, shotguns, butterfly knives, blow darts, throwing stars, morning stars, brass knuckles, no nothing. Not so much as a canister of pepper spray.

Timmy, I see that smirk on your face, and you can wipe it off right now. This is no joke.

You see, Paw-paw told me last week he wants to give you kids the Ingram MAC-10 from his arsenal. He knows how much you love that gun, so imagine how disappointed he'll be when I tell him I don't think his grandchildren are mature enough to handle a blowback-operated submachine pistol just yet. It's going to break his heart.

Yes, Rebecca, I know your birthday's coming up, but until things change around here, there's going to be a lot less gunfire in this house. And Timothy, I know you're faint from blood loss, but try to pay attention. This is important.

I'm at my wit's end here. Every time one of you loses a finger, you swear it will be the last, but then next thing I know you're out wasting a whole box of hollow-point. Not only are we running out of junkie veterinarians who don't ask questions, but between bloodstains, growth spurts, and bullet holes, we can barely afford to keep you two in new clothes.

Your father and I, we try so hard to raise you right. We just want you to have the weaponry we never had when we were growing up. Believe it or not, those nice guns, we're trying to keep them nice for you. One day the Desert Eagle, the Smith & Wesson Model 29, the Soviet-era Kalashnikov, the dueling pistols, the mother-of-pearl-inlay Colt .45—they'll all be yours Rebecca and…Timothy? Timothy, what did I just say?

That's it, no fishing trip for you this weekend. Nope. It's off. I'm calling your father right now and telling him not to bother picking up that cache of dynamite on his way home.