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Ladies Forum A place for our female Calgunners to discuss, share and interact without the 'excess attention' sometimes found in online forums.

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  #1  
Old 10-25-2012, 2:25 PM
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Default How to convince my mom that guns aren't scary

So, a bit of background: my mom is pretty scared of guns. She isn't a rabid anti or anything, she doesn't think they're "evil," she just feels nervous when they're around. For example, I brought my guns over to her house after a trip to the range so I could clean them before dinner, and she took one nervous look at the black box and told me to clean them out back (she doesn't like having them in the house!). She knows I'm responsible/safe with them, but she has no experience with guns... it's like she thinks they're just going to "go off" on their own and hurt someone. My parents divorced when I was young and shooting was something I did with my dad and his side of the family, so she has almost no exposure.

My goal is to get her to understand that guns aren't scary, but are a practical and necessary tool for citizens to protect themselves. There has been a vehicle break-in, and a vehicle stolen from her property in the last year. Her house has been burglarized 2 times in the 20 years she's lived there, and thank God she was at work, but I would feel much better about her being home alone if she knew how to safely operate a shotgun/handgun and had one readily available.

I've been planting little seeds, like "asking for her legal opinion" (she's an attorney) about http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castle_Rock_v._Gonzales and several other cases showing the police don't have the obligation to protect citizens. I'm hoping some of you moms and daughters can give me an idea what route to take here... part of me thinks I need to just get her into the car and take her to the range, to get that initial "fear of the unknown" thing out of the way. Another part of me thinks I need to sit down and have a long talk with her before doing so.

I'm working against years of FUD spread in the media here... how do all the lovely ladies of Calguns think I should proceed? I don't want to "jump the gun." <---sorry for that, couldn't resist
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  #2  
Old 10-25-2012, 2:34 PM
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Treat her the way she treats you.


OMG MOM TAKE THOSE BACK INTO THE KITCHEN THEY SCARE ME!

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Old 10-25-2012, 2:49 PM
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If you do convince her to get a gun for protection please take her shooting regularly. I think it's pretty well known that weapons can be used against their owners if they don't have experience or the confidence to use them.

The best way I think to make someone feel comfortable around guns is education. NRA basic handgun safety class. Then familiarization with a firearm and then a range trip.

That's just my opinion on what I will do with my sister in law so she wi eventually let me teach the kids about guns.
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Old 10-25-2012, 2:52 PM
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^^ yep
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  #5  
Old 10-25-2012, 2:53 PM
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Let her read a few months worth of stories in the Rifleman magazine...
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Old 10-25-2012, 2:56 PM
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There is a video on youtube where a guy gets his mom to go shooting and she LOVES it!
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Old 10-25-2012, 3:00 PM
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Sometimes it takes a reality check to realize the need for a way to defend yourself.

My mom was the same way. She's 76 and never been around them, held them or shot them. She even freaked when I brought my first shotgun home that I purchased when I turned 18 (this was 15 years ago).

I had been offering to buy my mother a revolver for quite some time. She's widowed and lives alone. Her idea of defense is keeping her cell phone in the bedroom which she locks at night (that a child could easily open) and call the cops if someone broke in.

Just this year over labor day when I was back home I volunteered to buy her a revolver to keep in her home (she's widowed and lives alone) and she wouldn't hear it.

About 3 weeks after returning from my trip home, an old friend of hers from decades ago was murdered in her home. Same type setup, white, widowed, middle-class older woman living alone in a reasonably nice area mostly occupied by retired older people. No fancy jewlery, cars, money, etc. Some guy broke in during one quiet afternoon and strangled her with a phone cord then took her rings off her fingers and left. They did catch the bad guy btw.

My mother was rather shook up about this since this woman was basically a mirror copy of her and now she's more open to letting me buy her a gun. And of course, I've taken my trip home for the year so it won't happen for a while (she won't buy one by herself so I need to go with her).

Since your mom is a lawyer, I would assume she's aware of the harsh reality of crime. I'd keep planting those seeds.
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  #8  
Old 10-25-2012, 3:11 PM
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The best way possible to help is to get her to take a Women's Handgun Safety course, such as this course for women

http://www.nrahq.org/women/isc/index.asp

or this (local to Sacramento, but courses are available at ranges in your local area)

http://www.cordovashootingcenter.com...***%202010.pdf

You're in the right place to ask. The Women's Forum is a place where women talk to other women about all kinds of things concerning shooting. For some reason, women feel more comfortable when the classes are all 'girls'.

I started shooting with such a class. I went there fearful of guns, not sure I could even pick the dang thing up. And I was pretty sure it would knock me on my butt if I shot it.
False ideas, all of them. And now I'm a shooting addict.

If your mom never shoots another round after the class, she'll feel better knowing how to keep safe. I promise. And they're not expensive at all.

But don't go with her. Really. Maybe she'd like to go with a girlfriend or two and make a day of it.

And finally, if she finds she wants her own gun, do NOT pick one for her. There's tons of good advice here on how a woman should buy a gun, in the Women's Forum. And you can PM me if you want a link or two.

Here's a link to one of the best "woman to woman" sites there are. Just get her to read it, she'll feel better.
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• Do only safe sex. Never have sex with someone crazier than you are.
• Don't marry or move in together before you're both at least 25.
• Don't have children until you're married five years or at least age 30.
• Put 10% of your salary into savings every month no matter how broke you are.
• Don't ever screw around with the IRS.
• Keep a handgun on your bedside table.
• Don't smart-mouth judges, or cops who stop you on the road.

Last edited by BonnieB; 10-25-2012 at 3:15 PM..
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  #9  
Old 10-25-2012, 3:15 PM
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welcome to the Ladies Forum!
we always appeciate a guy wanting to know our opinion.

so, we know your goal.
the question is "what is her goal?"
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"Her hands, her comfort, her confidence, her choice.", Mr K re buying a gun for a woman.

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Old 10-25-2012, 3:24 PM
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A good foundation, taught by an instructor(not self-taught or son-taught, no offense) is a good way to start. I always think that instructor taught is the best way to go and honestly, and this is just me mind you, if my son brought guns to my house and I did not like guns and he knew it, I would take it as a sign of disrespect. Again, that is JUST ME. I've met a lot of "my boyfriend/husband/friend taught me" and a lot of them have not a clue as to how to rack the slide, chamber a round, clear a misfeed etc. They were told "Point and shoot" There is a lot more to it than that and a good instructor makes a world of difference.

As to how to get her to that point? I don't rightly know because honestly, I came to the realization that I needed to learn to shoot on my own even though my husband had encouraged me for years. I am one of those that take my sweet time to decide to do something and I can't be coerced, cajoled or conned in to doing something until I am damn good and ready.

I wanted to add that it is a lot of media perception that guns "Just go off!" because that is how I always hear it described on the news. "A child took a gun to school and IT WENT OFF" Holy Tebow on a Cracker! Guns require an action that makes them "go off" Movies are terrible for it too. Take the poor example of True Lies when Jamie Lee Curtis drops the Uzi down the stairs and it continues to fire and shoot all the bad guys while rolling down the stairs. Ugh, kills me every time.

A more recent example that my 14yr old son pointed out was in The Avengers. There is a scene towards the end where they are all getting ready for the big showdown and Black Widow slams a mag in to her handgun but doesn't rack the slide and Riley said "Ok, she's gonna pull that trigger on nothing." LOL Smart kid.

Last edited by Bugguts; 10-25-2012 at 3:29 PM..
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  #11  
Old 10-25-2012, 5:19 PM
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Thanks for the link to the women's handgun safety course, I think that's a great idea. One of my mom's good friends seems like the type that would be interested in taking such a course, so I'm going to contact her and try to get her to bring up the idea next time they go out together.

I've talked to my mom several times about bringing my guns over, and she's told me it's fine with her. She trusts me with them, and I think deep down she knows her fears are not entirely logical, but that alone isn't enough to get her over the hump.

If it comes down to it, I know not to pick a gun for her. I would tell her to ask the teacher of the handgun course to help her figure out what fits her hands (and her needs) best.

Thanks for the suggestions, I'm hoping if I can get one or two of her friends interested, she would be more open to taking a class.
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Old 10-25-2012, 6:15 PM
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I think you've made the right decision. Guns are largely scary in themselves as an unknown. Once understood they can be a source of comfort.

Remember the saying: "God made man, but Samuel Colt made them equal"? I take comfort in knowing they make me equal to a man in several very important ways.

That said, I encourage you to focus on the fun aspects of shooting. Once I personally saw this, I realized that the purpose of practice shooting was not much different from my karate class. Both are fun, skill-based exercises that might lend a hand should I one day be attacked.
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Old 10-25-2012, 7:08 PM
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the holidays are coming: buy her a gift certificate to a womens' gun course.
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"Her hands, her comfort, her confidence, her choice.", Mr K re buying a gun for a woman.

Gun Control:
"The theory that a woman found dead in an alley, raped and strangled with her own pantyhose, is somehow morally superior to a woman explaining to police how her attacker got that fatal bullet wound."-- as seen on a t-shirt
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Old 10-25-2012, 7:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by movie zombie View Post
the holidays are coming: buy her a gift certificate to a womens' gun course.
Great idea! She can't say no if it's a Christmas present!

@357MagGirl: If you enjoy martial arts, I recommend looking for a good Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu gym nearby. I did jiu-jitsu for a few years in college, and we had a lot of experienced girls that would come to class and WHOOP guys that were much bigger and stronger than they were. IMO grappling arts are more effective for self defense than striking arts because most violent encounters involve someone grabbing, wrestling, or throwing the victim around, not standing upright and going at it like boxers. Grappling uses leverage more effectively, so it "evens the playing field" against stronger opponents. BJJ is also known for training closer to 100% effort than other arts, which makes it a little closer to the real thing.

If only I could get my mom to start doing martial arts too! (ain't gonna happen)

Thanks for all your input everyone.
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Old 10-26-2012, 2:39 PM
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I would say start in the home where she feels comfortable. Sit her down and just show her how the gun functions the safety and let her handle it. Unloaded of course. Dont talk gun talk just basic how does it feel, how do you feel, etc.. People are naturally afraid of things they are unfamiliar with Just like I was before I finally got the courage to go to the range with someone I really trust.
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Old 10-31-2012, 4:42 PM
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I think education is the key. I suppose I had fear the first time I ever shot a gun, which was when I was a child. But with education I learned to overcome the fear. The same as motorcycles, and parachutes.
I still have apprehension when I get out my gun, or get on my motorcycle for a ride. I think that's what keeps me safe.
I think eduction transforms the fear into a healthy apprehension, which keeps you safe.
dc
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Old 10-31-2012, 7:20 PM
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About 5 years ago, in the middle of the night, we heard someone on our front porch and someone else in our back yard. We had just returned the day before from Vegas, and my husband's hunting rifles and shotguns and our one 9mm were all still locked up in the safe. While he was on the phone with the police, I was frantically trying to find the combination. The bad guys went away - there were several houses in the neighborhood under renovation or construction, and there were a lot of construction tool containers around, they were likely just looking for opportunities. But this all scared me enough that I decided I needed to know how to handle the pistol at least.

Guns didn't really scare me; I had qualified with the pistol a few times during a stint in the reserves. Bbut I was far from comfortable around them, and I doubt I would have had any success with our 9mm if my husband had been hurt or otherwise unable to defend me, and I really wasn't safe handling it. So within the next week, we started going to the range. Turns out I started to enjoy it. One thing led to another, and we now have more than a dozen semis and revolvers, have taken numerous training classes, and shoot IDPA on a regular basis. And this all started when I was in my late 40s, so it's never too late.

OK, so a lot of this isn't really applicable, but the important thing to stress to her is that the gun is more dangerous to her if she DOESN'T know how to safely handle it. Another post had it absolutely right that it's mostly the fear of the unknown. A women's handgun safety class is a terrific start to get her more comfortable in a low-stress environment. Then if she wants to move up, check into NRA's Women on Target program, or classes for women. Men get too competitive sometimes, and being around other women shooting removes the pressure.

I know that I feel much safer now when my husband is away, because my gun is on the nightstand, with the phone, a flashlight, and a spare loaded mag, and I have a basic plan in case bad things happen.

Don't give up on her - baby steps, and stress the importance of knowing how to handle it safely.
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Old 11-02-2012, 10:44 AM
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My mother in law is 79 years old and never been on a plane due to the fear of flying. Two days ago she went on her first flight. she was boarded early and the Captain and co pilot showed her the flight deck and talked to her. Upon her arrival home she called and said how she wants to fly to Hawaii to visit her other daughter!
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