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  #1  
Old 05-30-2012, 7:08 PM
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Default Dealing with a Gun-Unfriendly Spouse

I recognize this is totally the reverse of the problem that a lot of couples have, but my (female - we're a same-gender couple) spouse has been watching my excitement/interest in guns with mounting discomfort. I'm planning to go watch an IDPA match next month, have two more range dates with friends planned, and am reading and learning as much as I possibly can. As I've learned more, and talked some about it, she's become vocal in her opposition to having guns in the house.

Part of this fear I understand - we have a teenage daughter with some mental health issues, and it's likely Very Unwise to have a gun in the house until she moves out next year. But some of what she's said makes me wonder if I'll have to choose between my spouse and a gun. I've been trying to (gently) encourage her to come with me to the range sometime, with a mostly lukewarm response so far.

A big part of her concern, I think, is her view that owning a gun is primarily about wanting to kill people. For me, that's not it at all - part of it is the fun of shooting, and part of it is that I've been the victim of a violent crime before (was sexually assaulted at knifepoint) and have a very strong investment in not being a victim again. To me, having a gun for home defense is like having smoke alarms or homeowner's insurance - most people never need it, but when you do, you'll be awfully sorry if you don't have it.

I'm reading Kathy Jackson's "Cornered Cat" book, and I really resonated with her comment to the effect that "the bad guy's already chosen that someone's going to die, and the gun just enables you to choose that it won't be you." But so far, my spouse has been vocal in her opposition, and I know if I push too hard she'll give me an "it's me or a gun" ultimatum, which isn't going to be nice for anybody.

So, any suggestions on how to help her with this? What helped you to bridge that psychological barrier? Advice and/or moral support are welcome. :-)
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Old 05-30-2012, 7:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tlcwrites View Post
I recognize this is totally the reverse of the problem that a lot of couples have, but my (female - we're a same-gender couple) spouse has been watching my excitement/interest in guns with mounting discomfort. I'm planning to go watch an IDPA match next month, have two more range dates with friends planned, and am reading and learning as much as I possibly can. As I've learned more, and talked some about it, she's become vocal in her opposition to having guns in the house.

Part of this fear I understand - we have a teenage daughter with some mental health issues, and it's likely Very Unwise to have a gun in the house until she moves out next year. But some of what she's said makes me wonder if I'll have to choose between my spouse and a gun. I've been trying to (gently) encourage her to come with me to the range sometime, with a mostly lukewarm response so far.

A big part of her concern, I think, is her view that owning a gun is primarily about wanting to kill people. For me, that's not it at all - part of it is the fun of shooting, and part of it is that I've been the victim of a violent crime before (was sexually assaulted at knifepoint) and have a very strong investment in not being a victim again. To me, having a gun for home defense is like having smoke alarms or homeowner's insurance - most people never need it, but when you do, you'll be awfully sorry if you don't have it.

I'm reading Kathy Jackson's "Cornered Cat" book, and I really resonated with her comment to the effect that "the bad guy's already chosen that someone's going to die, and the gun just enables you to choose that it won't be you." But so far, my spouse has been vocal in her opposition, and I know if I push too hard she'll give me an "it's me or a gun" ultimatum, which isn't going to be nice for anybody.

So, any suggestions on how to help her with this? What helped you to bridge that psychological barrier? Advice and/or moral support are welcome. :-)
Fighting the emotional brainwashing of "guns are bad" is difficult. If she won't go to a range, won't go watch an IDPA match, won't do anything to even gain any remote interest, it's an uphill climb. Your daughter is a point of concern, but people have guns in homes all the time under security and it's not an issue. I'd recommend coming to an understanding that the gun(s) will always be under lock and key (preferrable in a securely affixed safe) unless under your direct supervision and control. You might also schedule a surprise handgun shooting lesson from a reputable range that you BOTH attend, and she understands that you have safety in mind as well. If she can't abide by that, you ARE an adult capable of making your own decisons. She can only suggest what you can or can't do.


BTW, my gf went from "I'm not so sure I like guns" to having an FNP 9mm in her nightstand right after her first private shooting lesson. Now she wants a $2000Les Baer .45 too.
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Old 05-30-2012, 7:45 PM
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Tammy first of all welcome to Calguns !

Maybe impress upon your spouse the two of you will be shooting at paper targets. It's a skill thing,.....like shooting baskets, swinging a bat at a ball or bowling etc.

Several years ago I was packing up to go shooting, wife comes out and asks can I go also. I told her a course you can. you've been invited before. She had a great time (I think) by her reactions.

Since then she's done The Women on Target that the NRA sponsors, a very low key experience. She did that, and quite well I might add.

She never approved of my guns nor disapproved of them since we've been married. I think she's coming around! I think it's something that takes time.

Best of luck in your situation.
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Old 05-30-2012, 8:19 PM
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Don't know if this would help or not, Movie Zombie suggested this another thread, getting a Women & Guns subscription and leaving it around the home will get her reading and learning more about the sport. http://www.womenshooters.com

Last edited by Beaker650; 05-30-2012 at 8:26 PM..
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Old 05-30-2012, 8:24 PM
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I don't know if you saw this thread, but it might be helpful: http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/s...d.php?t=533838
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Old 05-30-2012, 8:36 PM
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hi, Tammy!

i think your 3rd paragraph would be a good way to start.
acknowledge what you believe her belief is.
acknowledge that you understand her fears.
but do tell her how you never want to be a victim again and you hope you're never in that position again but if so you want to be prepared. emphasis on knowing you can protect your daughter should anyone try to hurt her in your home. acknowledge safety concerns and that the firearm will be locked and properly stored.
more important is to let her know how much fun it is to shoot targets. ask if she would go with you a couple of times before the two of you discuss it again. go on youtube and find videos [or whatever they're called now] of women SAFELY AND SANELY participating in target shooting.
the Women & Guns subscription is a good idea. leave Cornered Cat out for her to find with bookmarks in places you'd like her to read. don't ask her questions but wait to see if she asks you questions.

my husband is not into guns. at all. however, he doesn't interfer with my interest. in fact, he sometimes tells me he thinks it time i go to the range! i find it relaxing. i enjoy the outdoor range and the concentration on the target. its meditative.

perhaps if she met other women who shoot? oddly, we were winetasting in santa cruz last weekend and one of the servers mentioned having a pistol and i think she was surprised when jumped on the topic and ran with it.

anyway, i wish you luck. whether you have a gun or not should not be a deal breaker given your 3rd paragraph. take it slow and easy. don't force the issue. but do continue exploring your interest. thought: could her disapproval stem from a perception that you are meeting new people and perhaps moving away from her?

ok, we women sometimes over think things.....
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Old 05-30-2012, 8:49 PM
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....trade up.....

.
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Old 05-30-2012, 10:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LdyApxr;8672381.....I don't think putting out girls & guns mags is gonna help. It's just me but that would feel like pushing and pushing gets people nowhere. If she is going to come around, she is gonna come around in her own time. I hope she does [B
but just as you respect that she does not like guns, she should respect your right to have them. It's a give and take no matter what the couple makeup is[/B].

lots to think about in this post as well, especially the bolded part: you can lead a horse to water but you can't force it to drink.....

ultimately, she has the right to not participate in gun sports but she does not have the right to prohibit you from doing so. relationships are all about compromise. "my way or the highway" can be a lonely road.....but one worth traveling if the differences are so great that compromise is impossible. but i get the feeling that Tammy really wants to work this out. where there is a will there is a way, Tammy. perhaps backing off for a while on getting her involved might get her to wondering what she's missing.....?
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Old 05-30-2012, 10:16 PM
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Get to know other shooters who aren't scary, take her shooting with them. .22lrs and reactive targets are magic.
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Old 05-30-2012, 10:35 PM
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Why would having Women & Guns mag around feel like pushing? Tammy would be buying it for herself to read and her significant other would pick it up if she would be curious.
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Old 05-31-2012, 7:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LdyApxr View Post
I say this only because I am stubborn woman and I will be the first to admit it. If Bill's idea of persuasion was leaving out gun mags, reading material, etc. I would be more irritated than intrigued.
I'm the same way. I'd feel as if I was being circumvented or manipulated.

Honestly, I think the only chance you have of changing her mind is to get her hands on a gun and have fun. But, even that has to be done delicately. If you push too hard, she'll go along and resent it the entire way. I know that DH wouldn't accept a "no" from me until I've at least tried it. So, you could ask nicely that she at least try it and then if she still doesn't like it, you'll not address it again.

You could do a friends outing at a range. Or maybe attend the NRA Women on Target class together. Actually, that would be a great idea because even if she decides she doesn't like guns......she'll still know how to handle one safely if the need arises.
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Old 05-31-2012, 7:57 AM
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I hate to be the voice of cynecism, but I would leave the topic alone if you intend on spending time with your girlfriend in the future. Unfortunately, a range visit is not 100% effective in convincing an anti-RKBA person to change their viewpoint. My Bronx-raised ex liked it the first time I took her shooting with my .22LR, but she still mandated that I not carry in her presence.On further explanation she said she understood why I carried, and was impressed with the fact that I wasn't some unsafe moron, but she fundamentally disliked firearms. That's one reason of many why she went "down the road", so to speak.

While I understand the desperate motivation to impart the true nature of personal security and firearms to your closest people, the sad truth is that you cannot impose enlightenment on someone. Your spouse has to WANT to learn more about guns, and like it or not they have a right to their political perspective as much as we do for our own. Whether its factually correct or not is beside the point.

Doubtlessly, your girlfriend is talking to her pals now trying to figure out how to get YOU to abandon an unhealthy obsession with firearms. Either some sort of cease-fire will need to become of this, or the relationship will need to be reconsidered.
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Old 05-31-2012, 8:03 AM
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in re-reading the original post, i do not sense that Tammy is looking to get her SO into guns as much as she is trying to get her SO to accept her own interest in firearms. SilverTauron's post above, especially the 2nd and last paragraphs resonate with my re-reading of Tammy's post.

Tammy are you there? is any of this helping you? anything more to add?
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Old 05-31-2012, 8:11 AM
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A side point worth mentioning...obviously I don't know you, your spouse, or your situation, but the few friends I have with that "a gun is a machine designed for one purpose: to KILL" fixation have usually been at least partially influenced by bad gun owner stereotypes: white, straight, fundamentalist rednecked bigots with freudian issues and an obsession with power/violence, etc.
If that is or may be true for your spouse, you might want to consider connecting with a group like the pink pistols or other LGBTQ shooters. At the worst, you meet new people. At the best, it may expand her viewpoint and help her accept your interest, even if she doesn't become a shooter overnight.


One last comment: do you know what her view of guns is rooted in experientially? My wife originally hated guns (literally could not be in the same room as a gun), but it was the flip side of your sexual assault experience; because of her SA experiences, being around someone who (in her mind) had the power of life and death over her would give her panic attacks. She slowly grew to where she fully trusted *me* around her with a gun and was able to relax, then she got more comfortable with *her* having a gun, and eventually she got to the point where she's comfortable period. Now she mop the floor with my a** with handguns, wants her own Saiga 12, and loves my ARs. YMMV, obviously, but worth a shot (no pun intended )

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Old 05-31-2012, 8:14 AM
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Originally Posted by movie zombie View Post
in re-reading the original post, i do not sense that Tammy is looking to get her SO into guns as much as she is trying to get her SO to accept her own interest in firearms.
That's pretty much what I got out of it too.
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Old 05-31-2012, 9:11 AM
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If you are "married" or have a "civil union" that included traditional vows, then honoring those vows is of utmost importance. There should be no person, hobby, vocation, or addiction allowed to come between you and your spouse.

Until the problem child is out of house, bringing guns into the house is not a good idea. Consider going to ranges where you can rent a gun when you have the desire to shoot.

As for your spouse, see if you can get her to come with you to an event so she can see what it is all about and meet some of the other people. Generally, the shooting sports crowd is pretty friendly and welcoming, so make sure you check the club/range/event out to make sure before bringing her along. This is important since some locations/events seem to be jerk magnets. Once she sees that the crowd is nice and having a lot of fun, she might lighten up and even want to take a few shots. Make sure those first shots are with an appropriate firearm...IMHO, something in 22 LR is a great place to start.

Next, have a date-day and take a firearm safety class together, then head out to a nice dinner afterward.

Small steps...that's the key.
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Old 05-31-2012, 9:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tlcwrites View Post
I recognize this is totally the reverse of the problem that a lot of couples have, but my (female - we're a same-gender couple) spouse has been watching my excitement/interest in guns with mounting discomfort. I'm planning to go watch an IDPA match next month, have two more range dates with friends planned, and am reading and learning as much as I possibly can. As I've learned more, and talked some about it, she's become vocal in her opposition to having guns in the house.

Part of this fear I understand - we have a teenage daughter with some mental health issues, and it's likely Very Unwise to have a gun in the house until she moves out next year. But some of what she's said makes me wonder if I'll have to choose between my spouse and a gun. I've been trying to (gently) encourage her to come with me to the range sometime, with a mostly lukewarm response so far.

A big part of her concern, I think, is her view that owning a gun is primarily about wanting to kill people. For me, that's not it at all - part of it is the fun of shooting, and part of it is that I've been the victim of a violent crime before (was sexually assaulted at knifepoint) and have a very strong investment in not being a victim again. To me, having a gun for home defense is like having smoke alarms or homeowner's insurance - most people never need it, but when you do, you'll be awfully sorry if you don't have it.

I'm reading Kathy Jackson's "Cornered Cat" book, and I really resonated with her comment to the effect that "the bad guy's already chosen that someone's going to die, and the gun just enables you to choose that it won't be you." But so far, my spouse has been vocal in her opposition, and I know if I push too hard she'll give me an "it's me or a gun" ultimatum, which isn't going to be nice for anybody.

So, any suggestions on how to help her with this? What helped you to bridge that psychological barrier? Advice and/or moral support are welcome. :-)

that should have been enough, buy a safe and/or carry the gun on you at all time at home if you're worried about your daughter.
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Old 05-31-2012, 9:24 AM
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My ex was not happy about my interest in shooting, and, in fact, had me keep my firearms at my parents' house (400 miles away) until we bought a house where I could install a proper gun safe (yes, and bolted to the floor). After that, she just kept her distance, but she did observe how I educated myself, took classes to better my shooting skills, practiced regularly, and even did safety tutorials at our house for friends who were new to shooting before we went to the range. This went on for more than two years, during which time she always declined to go shooting herself (hey, I always asked). Finally, some time later, after I let her know I was going to the range on a weekend to sight in a new scope, she invited herself along to be my spotter, and ended up shooting my AR-15 target rifle. And she did pretty well. She's extremely competitive, and I think that aspect, combined with her feeling that I was safe and sane, made it a positive experience. She has not gone to the range with me since, but she also better understands me and my interests. So I hope you're patient with your spouse -- pushing does not help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeepergeo View Post
Until the problem child is out of house, bringing guns into the house is not a good idea. Consider going to ranges where you can rent a gun when you have the desire to shoot.
Totally agree.
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Old 05-31-2012, 9:33 AM
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Thank you, all, for the suggestions and feedback. To respond to a few specific things from the thread:

Quote:
Originally Posted by movie zombie View Post
ultimately, she has the right to not participate in gun sports but she does not have the right to prohibit you from doing so.
This is the main thing for me, and it's the place where I'm really struggling. She tends to be very stubborn about wanting things her way, and tends to dig in her heels at times when she's uncomfortable with something. I'm worried that if I say, in effect, "I'm willing to discuss how to have guns in our home safely, but I'm not willing to give you the power to veto my having them", she's apt to say something like "well, I don't want to live in a house with guns, and if you have one, I'm leaving." This would be a complicated threat for her to follow through on in practice, given that we have a house/business/child together, but...like I said, she can be stubborn. :-)

So, I guess part of what I have to decide in the next year is, if she elects to take the "my way or the highway" stance on this issue, whether I'm willing to take the highway. :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by movie zombie View Post
in re-reading the original post, i do not sense that Tammy is looking to get her SO into guns as much as she is trying to get her SO to accept her own interest in firearms.
Yes. This. Exactly. Though I'd love it if my spouse came with me to the range, loved it, and we bought ourselves hers-and-hers Glocks for the holidays, I have nothing invested in her becoming excited about guns. If she was willing to say "I don't want to have anything to do with your guns, but if you keep them locked up in a gun safe and don't spend my money on them, it's not my business", that would totally be an acceptable outcome in my world.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeepergeo View Post
If you are "married" or have a "civil union" that included traditional vows, then honoring those vows is of utmost importance. There should be no person, hobby, vocation, or addiction allowed to come between you and your spouse.
This is true for me, but only up to a point, and the "up to" point deals with other issues of lack of mutuality that are outside the scope of my question. Suffice it only to say that my path may ultimately end up being "the highway" for other reasons, but I'd prefer that my interest in guns not be the deciding factor if i can help it. And, I know that my stance toward my spouse's hobbies/interests/vocations/etc. is always "let's figure out how to make it work for both of us", so I guess part of what's going on for me is frustration and disappointment about the lack of parity I'm seeing in this part of our relationship.

Thank you again, everyone, for your input. I'm appreciating the food for thought I now have to ponder, and the range of perspectives here.

Oh, one more thing - I have no idea where my spouse's dislike of guns comes from (especially since I know she's shot a .22 rifle at least once in the past and describes it as a benign experience). My suspicion is that "guns are evil killing machines", "I don't want you to have hobbies that take you around other people and away from me", and "I want veto power over the things you do, but don't want you to have veto power over the things I do" are all components of the answer. But I honestly don't know.
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Old 05-31-2012, 9:36 AM
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Originally Posted by GettoPhilosopher View Post
at least partially influenced by bad gun owner stereotypes: white, straight, fundamentalist rednecked bigots with freudian issues and an obsession with power/violence, etc.
That is one of the best lines that I've read here. And correct. People are surprised when I tell them that I enjoy going to the range and destroying paper targets. I don't fit their stereotype.
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Old 05-31-2012, 9:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tlcwrites View Post
Oh, one more thing - I have no idea where my spouse's dislike of guns comes from (especially since I know she's shot a .22 rifle at least once in the past and describes it as a benign experience).
Popular culture (movies, TV, music, literature) of the last 30-40 years has been largely anti-gun, which has a lot to do with the brainwashing of many of the otherwise sane people we love.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GettoPhilosopher View Post
...the few friends I have with that "a gun is a machine designed for one purpose: to KILL" fixation have usually been at least partially influenced by bad gun owner stereotypes: white, straight, fundamentalist rednecked bigots with freudian issues and an obsession with power/violence, etc.
Exactly the stereotype that is presented by most popular culture, with a few exceptions. Like this guy:



And this guy:

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Old 05-31-2012, 10:01 AM
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WELCOME!

First, since you agree that your daughter should not have access to firearms, get a safe and don't keep one out for self defense. A safe is always a good investment anyways.

As far as you partner goes, get her out trap shooting. The immediate response from dusting her first bird will excite her and make her want to do it again. You're not that far from me. So, if you can talk her into it, we can probably meet up and I'll provide the shotguns AND AMMO for both of you to shoot a couple rounds or so. Or, better yet, we can meet at Angeles and use their throwers which are closer than a regulation trap range so, they are easier to hit. I'm far from a shotgun instructor but, I promise to have both of you smiling and breaking clays before you're done. This should help her realize that firearms are not evil and there are other uses for them besides killing things.
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Old 05-31-2012, 10:38 AM
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Tammy, thanks for the 2nd post. it does sound like there are other issues at play that you are dealing with and "control" is a big one. have you tried counseling?

Pink Pistols was an excellent suggestion.

i wish you luck with this one. you've got lots of feedback here and lots to ponder. i hope a compromise can be made and push does not come to shove.....but if it does i believe that "guns" are only symptomatic of other issues and not "the issue" itself. please keep us posted, especially if you have a break through. and you can always send a PM to any of us.
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Old 05-31-2012, 11:52 AM
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LdyApxr, my gf's great awakening was some guy trying to get in the house while her sister fumbled with a 38 and the calls to the police might as well have been made to the credit card complaint line.
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Old 05-31-2012, 1:15 PM
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I fully wish you luck. I dont have the uphill battle that I have with my current girlfriend, but I have had the "guns are only meant to kill" mentality in relationships before. It is tough. But a gradual exposure to the type of people, safety rules, and general understanding will help. Unfortunately you do not have a gun already, so that is a tough place to start from.

The offer to take you shooting is a wonderful thing, and a huge reason why the California gun community is great.

I would think that telling her this is an important thing to you, and that in its self is warranted of her support. Maybe buying the gun and having a friend or relative to store it for you is an idea to get her started?

Just recently my somewhat anti girlfriend wanted to go shooting. I don't have anything for her to shoot, but I recently bought a .22 for her to use, and signed her up for hunters safety class. She understands it is important to me, and will support me. She at least is willing to give it a college try.

The idea I am trying to push across in my ramblings, is that it will need to be a gentle and slow process. its tough to change a stubborn persons mind overnight. I would strongly recommend the pink pistols, as it is group she can relate to, and feel a bit more comfortable in. The less in-common she has with a gun owner, the easier it is to disassociate with it and put them off in her mind.
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Old 05-31-2012, 1:45 PM
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20minutes goes by... TWENTY MINUTES of listening to this man try to get through my door, the cops show up and he runs.
That was one of our considerations too. I work from home and our house is laid out so that you can't see the front door from the street. If someone tried to kick in the door, no one in our neighborhood would be able to see it.

Plus....we live about 1.5 miles from the Sherriff's station. That station covers Santee, Lakeside, part of El Cajon and part of Ramona. Based on where they are in their shifts and whether something big is going on the response times can vary greatly.
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Old 05-31-2012, 2:39 PM
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I recognize this is totally the reverse of the problem that a lot of couples have, but my (female - we're a same-gender couple) spouse has been watching my excitement/interest in guns with mounting discomfort. I'm planning to go watch an IDPA match next month, have two more range dates with friends planned, and am reading and learning as much as I possibly can. As I've learned more, and talked some about it, she's become vocal in her opposition to having guns in the house.

Part of this fear I understand - we have a teenage daughter with some mental health issues, and it's likely Very Unwise to have a gun in the house until she moves out next year. But some of what she's said makes me wonder if I'll have to choose between my spouse and a gun. I've been trying to (gently) encourage her to come with me to the range sometime, with a mostly lukewarm response so far.

A big part of her concern, I think, is her view that owning a gun is primarily about wanting to kill people. For me, that's not it at all - part of it is the fun of shooting, and part of it is that I've been the victim of a violent crime before (was sexually assaulted at knifepoint) and have a very strong investment in not being a victim again. To me, having a gun for home defense is like having smoke alarms or homeowner's insurance - most people never need it, but when you do, you'll be awfully sorry if you don't have it.

I'm reading Kathy Jackson's "Cornered Cat" book, and I really resonated with her comment to the effect that "the bad guy's already chosen that someone's going to die, and the gun just enables you to choose that it won't be you." But so far, my spouse has been vocal in her opposition, and I know if I push too hard she'll give me an "it's me or a gun" ultimatum, which isn't going to be nice for anybody.

So, any suggestions on how to help her with this? What helped you to bridge that psychological barrier? Advice and/or moral support are welcome. :-)
This is my first time pocking my head in the Ladies forum and happy to see more realistic and down to earth subjects. I typically play on the handguns or off-topic lounges and the subjects were starting to get out-right silly. Ok, I’ve explained…

By the way, great thread. Generally, when it comes to guns, I’m finding that people either hate them or love them. And with the so called “haters”, it typically stems from the thought that they kill people. Along those same line; they are evil, they are dangerous, and they cause people to go postal, and so on and so on. With your new found passion for guns, there are two extreme sides that will likely clash; hence, love and hate. Going by experience, all the influence with guns will only back fire. All the invitations to the ranges, shows, meets, and so on, just fueled my girlfriend’s agitation. So my suggestion to that; seize all the influence. Similar to you, we have kids in the house and her main concern was safety. So the quick solution to that was to buy a nice secure safe. I do hope that she will come around and consider a range visit, but like a few post indicated, it will happen in due time… Good luck.
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Old 05-31-2012, 4:55 PM
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So, any suggestions on how to help her with this? What helped you to bridge that psychological barrier? Advice and/or moral support are welcome. :-)
Well, we have been married for 34 years. And I came into the marriage with 11 years of competition shooting under my belt. I love my wife, but this is my hobby, and I shoot a match almost every weekend. But, that doesn't mean we do any of that together, she is a musician with her own business, she has her gigs, and I have my matches. Now sometimes she will accompany me to the big matches, usually a 3 Gun Nationals in Las Vegas, and sometimes I will tag along for a music gig at a big resort hotel, but shooting and music gigs are pretty much mutually exclusive. I understand her passion, and she understands my hobby. Marriage does not have to be equal, it never is, but it has to be understanding and accepting. You have a special needs child, so be responsible and get a gun safe. You explain to your spouse that shooting is very important to you, for the reasons you stated, and hopefully, she will understand and accept your position. You can't convert anyone to be a gun person, anymore than you can convert anyone to ride a motorcycle, it's either in your blood, or not. So try to make up the time you take shooting for an equal interest that you both share. Good luck.

PS: I know people that have put shooting over their marriage, and it cost them their marriage. Are they better off now? I don't know, but I would choose a spouse over a gun.
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Old 06-06-2012, 12:47 PM
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Well, we have been married for 34 years. And I came into the marriage with 11 years of competition shooting under my belt. I love my wife, but this is my hobby, and I shoot a match almost every weekend. But, that doesn't mean we do any of that together, she is a musician with her own business, she has her gigs, and I have my matches. Now sometimes she will accompany me to the big matches, usually a 3 Gun Nationals in Las Vegas, and sometimes I will tag along for a music gig at a big resort hotel, but shooting and music gigs are pretty much mutually exclusive. I understand her passion, and she understands my hobby. Marriage does not have to be equal, it never is, but it has to be understanding and accepting. You have a special needs child, so be responsible and get a gun safe. You explain to your spouse that shooting is very important to you, for the reasons you stated, and hopefully, she will understand and accept your position. You can't convert anyone to be a gun person, anymore than you can convert anyone to ride a motorcycle, it's either in your blood, or not. So try to make up the time you take shooting for an equal interest that you both share. Good luck.

PS: I know people that have put shooting over their marriage, and it cost them their marriage. Are they better off now? I don't know, but I would choose a spouse over a gun.
+1 on this.

For me it is surfing. I have been surfing 8 years and go 4 days a week. Before we got married I told my wife how important surfing is to me. I told her when the waves are pumping I will not be waking up next to her in the morning cause I would have already ready left to surf around 5. My amazing wife understands and pushes me to go. She knows how it makes me feel and how important it is.

I would not pick surfing over my wife...but I would have to question my wife if she ever where to make me choose. Marriage is about working together. My wife does not surf and she understands that i might die doing this ( which for some people would be reason enough to stop me) but she knows that living without is worse then death for me. So she understands.

I think if you approach her and ask her to just understand you and she loves you, then she will. She does not have to be involved with guns or shoot any. If its about this power over crap...then guns are the least of your worrys. Being married to someone like that is hard and i hope that she will be willing to meet you half way in life, or things will get really hard really fast.
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Old 06-06-2012, 3:21 PM
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Introduce her to the Pink Pistols. Great organization. Changed a lot of minds about guns and offers support for gay and lesbian gun owners. Might help her to know that there is a large gay and lesbian organization that supports the second amedment. People tend to see guns as a "conservative" issue and gay rights as a "liberal" issue. For a lot of people it is hard to accept that somebody can be a be gay, and even a liberal and still embrace the idea that the second amedment is as much about protecting them as it is about protecting conservative red-necks like myself. Given some of the infamous acts of violence commited against gays and lesbians (Matthew Shepard comes to mind) embracing the second amendment can be a pretty easy sell. Once people get over the idea that their politics do not need to be all or nothing and start to see how the second amendment can positively affect their life then they are sold. Of course, the fact that shooting is fun and one heck of an adrenaline rush helps too.

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Old 06-06-2012, 3:39 PM
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Exactly the stereotype that is presented by most popular culture, with a few exceptions. Like this guy:

And this guy:
Is it bad that I look like those two guys combined? Kidding. ;-)
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Old 06-06-2012, 4:23 PM
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Originally Posted by tlcwrites View Post
I recognize this is totally the reverse of the problem that a lot of couples have, but my (female - we're a same-gender couple) spouse has been watching my excitement/interest in guns with mounting discomfort. I'm planning to go watch an IDPA match next month, have two more range dates with friends planned, and am reading and learning as much as I possibly can. As I've learned more, and talked some about it, she's become vocal in her opposition to having guns in the house.

Part of this fear I understand - we have a teenage daughter with some mental health issues, and it's likely Very Unwise to have a gun in the house until she moves out next year. But some of what she's said makes me wonder if I'll have to choose between my spouse and a gun. I've been trying to (gently) encourage her to come with me to the range sometime, with a mostly lukewarm response so far.

A big part of her concern, I think, is her view that owning a gun is primarily about wanting to kill people. For me, that's not it at all - part of it is the fun of shooting, and part of it is that I've been the victim of a violent crime before (was sexually assaulted at knifepoint) and have a very strong investment in not being a victim again. To me, having a gun for home defense is like having smoke alarms or homeowner's insurance - most people never need it, but when you do, you'll be awfully sorry if you don't have it.

I'm reading Kathy Jackson's "Cornered Cat" book, and I really resonated with her comment to the effect that "the bad guy's already chosen that someone's going to die, and the gun just enables you to choose that it won't be you." But so far, my spouse has been vocal in her opposition, and I know if I push too hard she'll give me an "it's me or a gun" ultimatum, which isn't going to be nice for anybody.

So, any suggestions on how to help her with this? What helped you to bridge that psychological barrier? Advice and/or moral support are welcome. :-)
Tammy, I didn't have time to read the entire post, If you have anyone under 18 in the house, All your guns MUST be locked at all times. So why is your significant other worried? If you want to keep one loaded, just in case... Buy a pistol safe that has a finger operated combo on top. Like this one. http://www.cabelas.com/product/Shoot...3Bcat104369580 I've seen them cheaper at gun shops though. 75 bucks at Sportsman supply in Campbell.
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Old 06-06-2012, 6:58 PM
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Thank you again, all, for your feedback. Much to think about here - and yes, there are other issues, and we're working through those with a family therapist. I hope that the resolution of those issues, one way or the other, will help this situation. I do have a lot of clarity that I'm not willing to say "I'll give up my ability to control my own safety for the sake of feeding your dislike of guns", but apart from that absolute, we shall see what happens.

Had a glimmer of hope today that gentle persistence might be the key here. I was talking about something I wanted to buy, and my spouse said something to the effect of "are you sure you don't want to save that money for your gun?" and I about fell over. She still doesn't sound happy about the prospect, but small steps, right?

Even better news, a good friend today told me that he's willing to let me use his Gold Cup 1911 when I want to, so long as I buy the ammo...and he'll even let me shoot it for IDPA when I get good enough (and brave enough) to try that. Now to figure out how to save up enough money to buy my gun AND enough money to shoot more than once every other month in the meantime. :-) Choices, choices...

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Old 06-06-2012, 8:25 PM
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Oh, one more thing - I have no idea where my spouse's dislike of guns comes from (especially since I know she's shot a .22 rifle at least once in the past and describes it as a benign experience). My suspicion is that "guns are evil killing machines", "I don't want you to have hobbies that take you around other people and away from me", and "I want veto power over the things you do, but don't want you to have veto power over the things I do" are all components of the answer. But I honestly don't know.
This just screams at me. And not in a good way. It's very ... controlling/abusive/yuck.

I'm glad you are in counseling and are working to resolve whatever is going on. I really hope it's going well.

Quote:
Had a glimmer of hope today that gentle persistence might be the key here. I was talking about something I wanted to buy, and my spouse said something to the effect of "are you sure you don't want to save that money for your gun?" and I about fell over. She still doesn't sound happy about the prospect, but small steps, right?
This is really good. And I wouldn't even mention it. At all. Just let it be. lol Continue to talk about things as you normally would. Continue to research gun safes, and include her on the specifics - how big, fire protection, where it could go in the house, what kind of combo you prefer, etc. Normalizing it, without acting crazy, may be what's needed. It might not make a difference overnight, but it can only help.

Also, ask her specifically what her issue is with guns, where it originated from, and why she believes the way she does about them. Bring it up in counseling, as it is obviously an important issue. It may not be the deciding factor, but it's important. If her issues come from an event, then it can be dealt with. If they come from a basic "all guns are bad", there might not be much give.

Good luck.
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Old 06-06-2012, 8:33 PM
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good news, indeed, Tammy. small steps in the right direction are better than no steps.

personally, i'd let her bring up the gun issue in counseling....i like the "continue to talk about things......include her in on specifics, normalizing w/o acting crazy....as described by MoneyGrrl.

but i'd not mention the gun issue in counseling....unless its already happened AND/OR you know the counselor isn't going to foam at the mouth that there might be a gun in the home at some point. i'd let your wife do that if it continues to be HER issue.

again, sounds like she's acknowledging your move towards gunownership.
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Old 06-06-2012, 9:56 PM
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oh, LdyApxr, i'm usually the sarcastic one and i entirely missed it! i think i was riding the positive vibe wave via MonkeyGrrl's post. sigh. i'm losing my edge. yeah, i could certainly hear "attitude" with that.....but some battles are better fought be ignoring attitude.
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Old 06-07-2012, 6:41 AM
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oh, geez, that's funny!
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Old 06-07-2012, 10:37 AM
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First, whoever said marriage comes before hobby is so far off base. Your right to safety trumps all else. My first marriage ended in an "its me or the gun ultimatum" because rather than being afraid in my own home from a violent stalker I wanted to feel like I had agency. No woman should be a victim and having a spouse force you into a position that compromises your right to be safe means the person didn't really care about you at all.

That said, I think the full push or dragging her to events might get more heels dug in. I agree being with the Pink Pistols or other LGBT gun group may help. It might be best to get her to take a course AWAY from you. I have seen a lot of women who are anti-gun dig in because they felt that everything their spouse said was manufactured to get their own way, but as soon as they took a class with other women who were in the same boat they often opened up a bit.

I would also suggest considering a Front Sight visit. Make it into a happy Vegas trip (Front Sight is an hour away) and get her into a free gun afternoon of shooting. I think they do a fabulous job of helping the violently opposed to guns crowd convert. I would bet if you called ahead and explained your dilemma that they would have an intervention team assembled to help.

While I understand you don't want her to share your hobby per se you just want her to accept yours, I think demystifying the gun is the only way to help her over come.

I do go back to my opening point. If your spouse does not want you to feel safe, you should ponder the foundation of the relationship. If she wants you to feel safe and is just being ... uneducated then go slow.

As to IDPA, bring your gun, ammo and the accessories. Don't watch just jump in. In my experience the people there are AWESOME. They always have a newbie group and always happy to help.
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Old 06-07-2012, 11:57 AM
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Get a new one!
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Old 06-07-2012, 2:17 PM
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My Buddy had the same problem with his very closed minded stubborn and controlling Anti gun partner and he was given the very clear ultimatum when they moved in together on the very first week to get rid of all the things that can kill people ( meaning his pistol and rifle left to him by his late father ) .

Later that evening when his partner goes to play in his softball league he says so did you get rid of the stuff he politely says yes I did - then his partner asks have you seen my baseball bat he says well it can kill people so I got rid of it like you asked me too . His partner sighs and says I don't have time for this and goes to the kitchen to make a sandwich and is all where are all the knifes which my Buddy responds same place as the baseball bat his partner who by this time is quite upset is all fine I'll pick up something on the way and tries to leave in a huff but has to ask where are the car keys ( they share a car he rides a bike to work ) my Buddy says same place as the knifes all the booze in the house and that pack of hidden stress cigarettes your looking for right about now they have all been directly or indirectly proven to kill people . At that point he clearly and calmly stated just because it could kill doesn't mean it will kill a gun is a tool its silly and close minded to think it doesn't have its use and or place and purpose in the world just like everything else it is naive at best to think or pretend they aren't needed at all he actually hoped his would never be needed for their intended purpose - but if worst came to worse they would be able to defend their lives that he wasn't willing to bet their lives on a baseball bat as much as he would count on it to cut his sandwich you use the right tool for the job plain and simple as that he would meet him halfway and keep them out of sight out of mind ( like he did his stress cigarettes lol ) but he needed him to respect his right to do so but he needed to know why he felt that way to be able to fully understand it and not step on his toes - his partner broke down and explained his favorite uncle had killed himself when he was just a child because he wasn't accepted when he came out / was outed and he had promised / vowed to never touch a gun he had known his partners uncle had taken his life but not the specific details like he had found him or he used a gun to do so now he understood why he had said chip on his shoulder to say the least and backed way off .

I'm not saying this is the best way to deal with your problem just that it opened the door for them to talk about it and get to the root of the problem he got a small safe for the pistol ( his side of the closet of course his partner wasn't loosing his half of the closet space lol ) and left his rifle at his Mothers as his way of meeting him halfway life and love is about compromising and communication - hinting by leaving magazines around the house or making shooting dates without finding out the root cause of your partners fear or problem with firearms may blow up in your face and make matters worse not better since it sounds like shes kind of warming up to the idea . At the same time you not feeling 100% safe in your own home at least needs to be addressed also so talking about it may be the only way to deal with it and find the happy medium your looking for just try to give it time and patience and a whole lot of understanding treat her like you'd like to be treated act like you like her to act don't beat it to death ether but try asking her what you can do to make her more comfortable since this will make you much more comfortable and improve your quality of life having this little piece of mind like a life insurance policy you hope you don't need but makes you feel better knowing you have it - that your not trying to use scare tactics don't but you don't want to wait for someone to kick down your door by that time it will be too late not only for you both but more than likely your teenage daughter also you don't want her to have to deal with what you did . Good luck I'm rooting for you

Side note now both my buddies have matching target 22's go shooting every other weekend and he even has his Uncles name engraved on his gun the power was taken away his uncles demons are no longer his and has his just as stubborn and pig headed partner and himself to thank
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Last edited by HatersLOVEme : ); 06-07-2012 at 2:24 PM..
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