(Strip Number 6706, Original Publication Date, 2 August 1987)
Panel 1: We find ourselves watching Mike get the drop on Brian and squirt him with a water pistol.
Panel 2: Brian's response is to chase Mike and yell "You're dead meat, man!!" while brandishing his example of the finest plastic Hasbro can arm kids with.
Panel 3: We zoom out to find that John and Elly are watching Mike and Brian act like maniacs; right now, Mike delights in telling Brian that he missed him by inches.
Panel 4: Since Elly isn't dealing well with having to remember her dad's war time years, Commander Bring-Down morosely points out to John that she hates toy guns because they're as ugly to her as the real guns that kept her from being enslaved by the fucking Nazis are.
Panel 5: John's response is try to convince Elly that water pistols have been part of children's lives since the invention of plastic.
Panel 6: He goes on to preach the gospel of them being harmless fun (so long as you're a white kid) and a million laughs and so on and so forth.
Panel 7: Elly really doesn't want to be told that it's a toy and not a weapon and it shows. As she tries to avoid being told that not everything is the fucking Apocalypse, we see Mike about to emerge from the bushes.
Panel 8: Suddenly, Mike spritzes John with his squirt gun; given John's angered expression, this falls nicely into the category of "lethal mistakes."
Panel 9: John's response to the collapse of his illusion of immunity from what everyone but him has to suffer through is to chase a frightened Mike down and scream "GIVE ME THAT F*****G GUN!!!" at the child he's about to beat like a red-headed mule.
Summary: This, I should think, is why Mike is more terrified of John than he is of Elly. He can't predict what either parent will do but John's imbecile rages leave more of an impression.