Advice on anti-gun loved ones


June 24, 2003, 01:50 AM
First, let me tell you about me. I'm a VERY liberal democrat. However, I like guns, I think they are fun to shoot and I enjoy competitive shooting. I am not interested in carrying or keeping a gun for personal protection, but I have no problem with other people doing so.

So... my future girlfriend (I say future because she hasn't moved here yet so we're staying unofficial) is very, very strongly anti-gun. I'm talking "they have no place in society" strong. She "can't understand why anyone would want to practice shooting" and has said that she would leave me over this issue (in certain circumstances).

As I'm sure most of you do, I feel she has some severe misconceptions about firearms in general and sport shooting in particular. She generalizes about "the kind of people who like guns" etc etc. It's driving me crazy, because I'm new to shooting and I'm still incredibly excited and wanting to try everything and so forth.

I'm sure others have dealt with similar situations... can you tell me about your experiences? Thanks.

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June 24, 2003, 01:53 AM
Nice to see another Democrat that is into guns..As for your situation i cant really help..But if she is saying its either her or the guns i say keep the guns..Hey the ammo is cheaper

June 24, 2003, 02:04 AM
Nice to see another Democrat that is into guns...I think this must just be an Oregon thing. Yeah, I'm from here too :)

June 24, 2003, 02:21 AM

Ask your girlfriend why it is ok to make broad, sweeping generalizations about gun owners. Ask her if it also OK to make the same kind of generalizations about other groups of people, say black, asians, whites, people who knit, runners, bikers, etc... Ask her why, if it is the guns and not society, countries like Norway can have very high (higher than the US) per-capita gun ownership rates, yet very low crime. If she still is totally unreceptive to logic, I would seriously recommend thinking about your compatability. Is someone as closed minded as her really going to be open minded about other issues that come up in your relationship?

Oh, and ask her why, if the gun is evil, is it ok for the police to have them???

June 24, 2003, 02:37 AM
To be fair, I don't think she is being completely off-the-wall ridiculous. She has her views for a reason... she lives in the ghetto of LA, in a neighborhood that has an average of 2-3 shootings per week. I think she's just really scared of guns, and doesn't understand that a responsible shooter can exist.

It's going to bear a lot more discussion, I think...

June 24, 2003, 08:36 AM
. . . my future girlfriend . . . is very, very strongly anti-gun . . . Take her shooting and try to convert her.

If this doesn't work, find another girlfriend, because there's a deep divide between your world-view and hers, which bodes ill for a long-term relationship.

Old Fuff
June 24, 2003, 08:54 AM

This is not an uncommon situation. Be aware though that the consequences may be far more serious then just the firearms issue. If your relationship becomes more involved you may find that she decides to reform you (liberal ladies tend to be that way) and tries to force or manipulate you toward her way of thinking. This would be particularly likely if children should come into the picture. In the long run if she didn’t get her way, and being somewhat independent in her outlooks, a split could occur between you unless you were willing to be dominated. I would strongly suggest that this, as well as other issues that might exist between you be worked out before you proceed further in you’re relationship. It could solve a lot of grief later.

June 24, 2003, 09:21 AM
>> First, let me tell you about me. I'm a VERY liberal democrat.

I'll try not to hold that against you... :)

Vanbeast, if it was something other than guns, (ie. golf, red meat, camping/hiking) that you were totally into, and the future Mrs. Vanbeast had the same visceral hatred for that which you enjoyed, what would be your reaction?

If someone gives you an ultimatum, then you best show them the door. My wife is anti. I owned a shotgun before we were married. We feuded when I told her I wanted a pistol. However, she never gave me an ultimatum.

Take her shooting - show her the non-hollywood side of things and if that doesn't work.....

If you stay together this may be a permanent point of contention and resentment....

Baba Louie
June 24, 2003, 09:39 AM
You will never ever convert such a woman and probably shouldn't even try. If you two love each other, and I assume you do, simply lay down your rules, i.e., I like to shoot now and then, I WILL shoot now and then, I always take safety seriously...VERY seriously in that I lock things up when I'm done with my hobby so should you choose to stick around, and I hope you do, know that you'll never ever find a loose cannon or ammunition lying around.

Maybe get into a little competition be it bullseye, IPSC, IDPA, cowboy action or skeet/clay and promote it as a healthy sport.

You could try to get into discussing the self defense issue, protection of persons you love, etc., but it will be to no avail, and if you are a very liberal democrat, as you say, you probably shouldn't even go there because your mind might explode with the internal strife, conflict and paradigm those two polar philosophies present to each other... I mean you've gotta be for gun control of the masses if you are a True, liberal democrat.

This is coming from a man whose parents are yellow dog democrats (it started with JFK back in 60), but my father loves firearms and shooting and has done so all his life; yet even now, my mother abhors them (he's 71, she's 69) and can't wait for me to inherit them to get them outta her house.

How did he do it? He kept his mouth shut with one exception, she wasn't to stop him or even try to convert his silly little childish issue on gun ownership. He does not believe in gun control, he does believe in helping others who need it even if it means taxing everyone else to the max to help those who are less fortunate and haven't made it in the world. (example... No man needs as much money as Bill Gates, its immoral and probably illegal, GWB is a moron, Ronnie Reagan was a doddering old fool, Al Gore and Bill Clinton are the greatest men who ever lived, Hillary should be president, etc.)

But he put his foot down years ago on the gun issue and she accepted it, because she loved him (this year will be their 52nd anniv.).

Plant your feet firmly, tell her politely with resolve, do lock things up (my Dad still sleeps with an unloaded .45 auto under his mattress and the loaded magazine in his sock drawer for home defense... safer that way you know) and continue to be a good man who loves his woman. What else can you do?

Good luck vanbeast. Its an interesting challenge you face. But where there's a will (and love) there's a way.


June 24, 2003, 09:51 AM
If her complete frame of reference is the improper and criminal use of firearms, you have a long, rough row to hoe. I guess ideology has nothing to do with her outlook and has everything to do with living in a free fire zone.

That being the case I don't think any amount of talking will change her mind. But I do think seeing the proper and lawabiding use of firearms will at the least show her the other side.

I suspect emotion will play a greater than normal role in her outlook simply because of where she lives. Logic I don't think will work right out of the box. It may down the road but you have a serious barrier to ovecome first.

Good luck and keep us posted.

June 24, 2003, 10:07 AM
With all the advice you already have from folks, I thought I'd just say welcome to the board.

Although there is a right lean to most of the folks on this board, there is a real diversity of political opinions and attitudes. From the occasional socialist to far right wing types, we're all here.

There is also a fair amount of respect for each other too.

Sadly, other boards both political and firarms related, don't seem to be able to keep the flame wars from consuming every discussion.

As for the girfriend, this is only the first of what will be many areas you two have to resolve with out one person caving in to the other completely, then resenting it for years to come.

Stereotyping is an ugly thing whether it's gun owners, SUV drivers, abortion supporters or protestors, a racial group or by sexual orientation. Start with that point of view and see where the conversation goes.

I've run across a lot of liberal folks, not all, (some in my own family) that can be the most intolerant people I know, all while preaching tolerance (as long as you agree with their point of view).

Good luck and again, welcome!

Don P.

June 24, 2003, 12:12 PM
Guys, this is a case of ignorance vs. stupidity. She doesn't sound stupid, and ignorance can be cured.

She's making assumptions based on information which she has, but she has to realize that it's not _complete_ data.

From her background, she likely assumes that anyone with a gun is either a criminal, or the stereotypical redneck that she's seen on the TV.

Education is the answer. But to do that, she has to agree to have an open mind.

Suggest that she take a look at

Standing Wolf
June 24, 2003, 02:24 PM
I was once involved with a woman who was an anti-Second Amendment bigot and registered Democrat. I couldn't stay involved with someone I didn't respect.

June 24, 2003, 02:36 PM
just another opinion...
she should accept you for who you are, just as you should accept her as who she is. if either of you can't do that, no matter what the issue is, then it can't work out long term. relationships should amplify and support who you are as individuals, not suppress both people into being one individual in two bodies.

Sam Adams
June 24, 2003, 02:36 PM
Welcome to THR. I am glad that a self-professed liberal :barf: (only kidding) ;) has the guts to be pro-gun and to participate on this board. You will find that most of us here tend to be somewhat to the right of our lord and master, Genghis Khan (I'm kidding) on most issues - which is to say that we are very libertarian (small "L") and strict constructionist in orientation. We generally believe in the smallest amount of government consistent with an orderly society, which is to say about 1/10 of its current size on all levels. However, we are almost all open to a friendly discussion of any issue. Some liberals have posted here as anti-gun, and have received some of the most thoughtful and polite responses that I've ever seen on the Internet.

Anyway, enough nonsense - in answer to your problem/inquiry, I've had a pretty good experience.

I'm Jewish, as is my wife. About 90% of the time one would expect an American Jewish male to be anti-gun (as opposed to Israelis, who live in the real world and know that guns are sometimes needed), and about 99% of the time you'd expect a J.A.P. (Jewish American Princess) to be anti-gun. However, my wife is from Mexico, which tends to be a much more socially conservative nation than ours. I lucked out on the gun issue - she had shot a bit as a youngster, and was comfortable with guns being around since an uncle and a cousin carry on a regular basis. However, she was woefully uninformed on the issue. The key was that she was open-minded, and is usually quite logical (for a female - flame suit ON).

I did ask her, BEFORE we got too serious, how she felt about guns. I didn't just come out and say it - it makes a person look like that's all they think about - but waited for a news story involving guns. Had she indicated that she was an anti, I'd have probably dropped her and kept looking. I value my guns as a symbol of my liberty and a tool to keep it - they are more precious to me than any POTENTIAL spouse, since you can't so easily restore your liberty if you lose it (whereas there are many more fish in the sea). Understand this, when it comes to guns and an anti-gun female significant other, men always end up on the losing end. If you have an argument, married or not, and she calls the cops and says that you threatened her, you WILL lose your guns regardless of the merits. Even if she doesn't say that you threatened her or hit her, if the cops show up they WILL ask if there are any weapons in the home - and they WILL take them "for your own good" - and good luck getting them back. If you get married and then are going through a divorce, her attorney WILL ask the judge for a restraining order - and you WILL be waving goodbye to your guns. Violate the restraining order, and lose your right to even TOUCH another gun for life!

This isn't just about the gun issue - it is a test of how open-minded she is to thoughts contrary to her own, and how well she deals with major disagreements with you (and, trust me, you WILL have major disagreements if you get married, and probably before then). If she won't listen to any reason (which is, sadly, typical of anti-gun females on a whole host of issues besides guns), or if she argues like she's possessed, then you don't want to marry her. If she won't listen to reason on this issue, forget about taking your kids shooting and having them be pro-gun. If, OTOH, she can be persuaded to listen to a bunch of facts and then make a reasoned determination (even if only to be neutral on this issue), or if (better yet) she can be persuaded to actually go to a range and do some shooting with you (use a low recoil gun, PLEASE), then she'll be able to handle disagreements reasonably well with you regarding any subject over the course of the next 50 years of your lives.

Be careful - reactions to this issue are a window to a person's soul.

Besides, we don't want the antis to reproduce :D

June 24, 2003, 02:58 PM
I know about as much about women as I do the Fibonacci sequence, but just wanted to say welcome to THR.

June 24, 2003, 03:00 PM
I top you -- I'm a Kennedy country liberal Democrat that occassionally votes Republication...:what: :p I do own guns and plan to own more. I love shooting and have no trouble with folks that love guns but don't have any...;) If she's as anti as I was, she needs to take a gun safety course -- assuming you could convince her -- so some of these myths could be exposed. I think she's so caught up in La La land logic that she doesn't realize guns don't go off on their own and why it's wrong to blame law abiding citizens for what criminals do. Just a thought....:D

June 24, 2003, 03:02 PM
By the way, this is a female shooter here. I suspect that she's probably afraid of what she doesn't understand. I was too. The more she learns, the more the lies will reveal themselves along the way. If however, she's unwilling to compromise -- maybe this isn't a relationship worth pursuing?

June 24, 2003, 03:02 PM
Oh, and I suspect that you're not a "liberal" as the term is commonly used today... Sounds more like many of us here - We're "classic liberals," in the vein of folks like Adams and Jefferson...

June 24, 2003, 03:43 PM

She is trying to make you comply with her wishes by coercion. She is stating that you don't mean as much to her as her political views. She is trying to force you to live under her beliefs, regardless of your beliefs. These are not positive traits! I can’t tell you what to do but I will give you two bits of insight.

1) This is not the last emotion based decision she will make for you.
2) This information is given to you by a male, living alone.

Good Luck My Friend,


June 24, 2003, 03:51 PM
My girlfriend WAS very anti. I've converted her mostly by example. I'm a very safe, responsible person, so eventually her preconcieved notion of what a gun owner is was worn down.

She's still a bit scared of them, but has come to like shooting and is getting more comfortable all the time.

June 24, 2003, 03:59 PM
Years ago the ex-PMS said, "If you don't do this, I'm leaving." I offered to help her pack and showed her the door.

After she calmed down she asked, "Would you have really let me walk out?" I told her that she is here because she wants to be here, just as I am here because I want to be here. Throwing around ultimatums like that can become habit forming and leave both parties very unhappy.

Your friend's statement that she could leave you over guns means her values may take precedence over your enjoyment of a hobby. Finding out which will come out on top could become very painful and expensive to you in a community property state.


June 24, 2003, 05:12 PM
Liberal vs conservative need not be the ultimate determinant, as to whether or not they fear weapons. Also, with persistence, you can sometimes at least win them over to a neutral stance.

My parents came over from Korea back in the 60's, and have been staunchly conservative, but also strongly anti-weapon of any type.

I would get in big trouble for making those throwing stars out of paper (heck, I could actually make ones that flew straighter than my classmates could), and would get chewed out on a regular basis. Then, one day, after watching "Enter the Dragon" for the first time, I found an old broom stick, and used some of my dad's tools to construct me a pair of nunchaku out of a couple of foot long pieces of broom stick and a cord. After the parents saw me trying out my nunchakus, they quickly confiscated them, and destroyed them.

Later on, I took a slab of wood, and carved a crude looking sword out of it, using a coping saw and some chisels. That lasted for maybe 2 days, before one of my siblings ratted me out.

Anyways, I started taking martial arts classes (they reluctantly allowed me to take unarmed combat), and after a year, began weapons training. At that point, my parents went up to Sensei, and asked if I could be exempted from weapons training, and she kindly, but firmly, told them that she doesn't tell them how to raise me, so that they shouldn't be telling her how to run her class. I honestly think that was the turning point in this entire argument.

After that (thanks Sensei Phillips!) event, the folks allowed me to keep a bo staff, a jo staff, nunchaku, and a pair of sai. As time passed, I added a cheap mail-order sword to my collection, and at that point, they grumbled, asking why I needed a sword, but eventually relented, after I had asked them how many people have I used these weapons on.

Fast forward to the 90's, and I'm in graduate school, having moved out of my parents' house, and living on my own, paying for everything on my own as well. I did scrape up enough money to buy a Ruger P89 pistol, and later, a Remington 870 shotgun. When the parents visited me after that, they saw the shotgun and the pistol, and let out a disappointed sigh, asking why I needed a gun. After I pointed out to them the lack of people that were killed by my martial arts weapons, they reluctantly agreed, that since I was no longer living in their house, that I was free to set my own rules.

These days, when I visit the folks, they now simply never bring up the topic anymore. :)

June 24, 2003, 06:15 PM
My gal is a liberal, even a social worker by profession. When I met her she was strongly anti-gun. She always knew I owned guns, "honey, I'm off to the skeet range" etc.. So one day I convinced her to take a basic pistol safety class. It made sense to her if for no other reason then I keep guns in and around the house (all secured) and she wanted to know more about how they operated.

I knew better than to try and train her myself. So we found a local class where she got a full lecture, video, and shot various handguns.

She got into the whole punching-holes-in-paper thing and now we go to the range together. She's not really ready to participate in active home defense but at least she won't shoot herself now. And she's still not sure about the NRA, but at least the bad-mouthing stopped. As a side benefit I was encouraged to buy more guns (she really likes the 686).

Guns are important to me and my life. I've known for over twenty years I would not willingly give them up. I knew if I had children in the house I would have to increase my weapon security (reduce access further). You have to choose for yourself but no woman was going to change this.

June 24, 2003, 07:12 PM
Another lefty here. Good to see more. I highly recommend your friend read :

You could print it out for her, it is only 3 pages. It was written by a liberal history professor at GWU and addresses most issues relating to guns and liberals.

By the way, my wife was strongly anti-gun, but it just took some patient explanation over several months. It helped that she already respected my judgement. Recently I sent her to a 'women's tactical shooting' class given by a good instructor and it made a real difference.

She doesn't love guns, but she appreciates their need, and can now handle one comfortably. I think that the fact that she trusts herself with a pistol has been the biggest thing changing her mind.

June 24, 2003, 07:54 PM
Bogie: Well, actually... I'm a raise-taxes, pro-choice, only-vote-for-democrats-and-democratic-issues type liberal... so... yeah... I will say that I am NOT anti-religion or for cutting defense spending, but almost everyone else who holds my other views are. The only republican I would *ever* vote for is Colin Powell, etc etc etc.

Baba Louie: Gun control... well, I think there are certain firearms that maybe shouldn't be legal... but then again, it's a slippery slope and one I'd rather not tread. Plus, I'm not that familiar with the issue. I believe that existing gun control legislation more or less has its heart in the right place, but is implemented in a severely boneheaded fashion. 10-round magazine? Does that really make a difference?

I used to be opposed to guns. I used to feel like she did, but to a lesser extent. I was ignorant and had never been exposed to the proper, safe, responsible use of guns. I sing a different tune now :)

My emphasis is on competitive shooting. At this point in my life I am not interested in keeping a loaded, ready weapon in my home for self-defense, nor am I interested in concealed-carry. For reasons that I cannot explain, I gain significant satisfaction from poking little holes in pieces of paper from a distance.

None of this is important (to this discussion) though.

I appreciate all of your comments and am interested in hearing any more that might still be out there. Obviously, every situation is different. I don't think she is trying to coerce me or change me or anything like that. I think that she is terrified of guns because she believes that they are used primarily for evil. It will likely be a cold day in hell before I can get her to the range, but I think I'm going to try, slowly but surely, to show her how a responsible, non-violent gun user can be.

I know for sure I'm not going to tell her when I buy my first handgun this summer...

Again, thanks for your comments, suggestions, and support. I'm glad that being known as a liberal isn't going to get me shunned around here... It seems like the folks on gun forums are just plain nicer than most folks on other forums :) Especially ones with emphasis on such politically charged issues.

June 24, 2003, 08:06 PM
Vanbeast I don't know how serious you are with this girl none of us here do. However I can tell you from personal experiance that I woulden't waste my time with a girl who doesn't feel like I do on issues. Sometimes you can change a person but most times You can't the old saying "the leopord can't change it's spots" comes to mind.

That being said in a nutshell if you have to change someone to be with them chances are they're not worth being with. Lifes to short way to short to waste your time on any women theres simply to many to go around. I know these may seem like harsh words but take it from someone who knows. In short keep the guns,find another girl.

June 24, 2003, 08:12 PM
...I don't know how serious you are with this girl none of us here do. However I can tell you from personal experiance that I woulden't waste my time with a girl who doesn't feel like I do on issues. Sometimes you can change a person but most times You can't the old saying "the leopord can't change it's spots" comes to mind.

...In short keep the guns,find another girl.You're right. I'm not even sure about that. I feel pretty strongly that in order to make a relationship work, sacrifices need to be made. I'm more in love with her than I am with guns, and I don't think that my involvement with guns has anything to do with who I am... that is, I don't feel it identifies me. I mountain bike, but I'm not a mountain biker. I shoot, but I'm not a gun nut. I cook, but I'm by no means a chef. It's just a hobby, and one I enjoy.

This is tough. Thanks again for your responses.

June 24, 2003, 08:52 PM
Vanbeast you need to do what makes you feel right and no one can do that but you. That being said I've sen male friends become whipped like a government mule and it started with guns,night out with the guys,the motorcycle, you name it. It almost never stops with one "sacrifice" most women want to see how far they can get with bossing us men around :rolleyes: But OTOH there are men who do this to in all fairness.

Now I'am by no means a sexist male, I don't think men are superrior to women or any of that carp. But I do believe that women as a general rule tend to see how far they can bend a man to THAIR will. I can tell you stories that would make you cringe,they are down right frightening but true which makes them all the more scary. Best of luck whatever you decide vanbeast.

June 24, 2003, 08:54 PM
My sister is VERY anti ... "I don't approve of guns." Well sis, you don't live here anymore....of course her arguements are full of holes -- unlike my targets at the range. :p Wait until she finds out about the shotgun my father wants to buy...:uhoh:

The only thing you can do is show her how responsible you are with your guns. It may be a cold day in Hell before she joins you at the gun club but I suspect she'll live with it.

By the way Grenadier -- I loved the part about Sensei Phillips....
Unlike you though, my parents were very tolerant. I got nunchucks after watching "Enter the Dragon" as a girl -- the foam ones -- and knocked myself out cold. My parents never heard me fall in my room. Over ten years later I told them what happened. I can't believe they actually got mad about it....:what:

Baba Louie
June 24, 2003, 11:56 PM

I apologize for not saying welcome.

Thank you for being here sir. I hope you stay forever and will act (like others) as a good-natured (or not) and intelligent counterpoint to the choir's singing the same song to the same crowd. So again, we welcome you.

Also... about your comments re: gun control... certain... shouldn't be legal.

Hmmmm. Interesting concept. I'm afraid that I've been brainwashed since a very young burro to not be able to fully grasp what you mean by that comment.

Not be legal?

Do you mean the actual ownership by anyone of one of these... certain guns... should be regulated, or flat outlawed? And who would mfg such things and why? Should only a police/military force be able to "own" and use said nefarious objects? And if so, why them? Or should they cease to exist?

If you owned one of these... certain guns... would you do something evil just because you owned it? Would I? Do you not trust yourself? Should I not trust you? Do you know something about yourself that you fear in others? Would it (...said certain gun...) do something bad if you owned it? Could it?

vanbeast... there ARE monsters out there. I do say that evil walks the face of this earth. Some of this evil comes from individuals who only think and act with self-gratification as their goal.

Other, more political monsters, sometimes get together and actually force their opinions and socio-economic beliefs on those who have other ideas, thoughts and beliefs.

I'd like to be able to own any type of tool I can come up with to keep both of them away from me and mine.

But that should be nobodies business but mine.

I am not a criminal. I don't hurt others.

I will protect what is mine and those precious few things that are really worth protecting.

Please don't deny me any form of tool, or stand any roadblocks up in my path.

Promise me that and then we can (together) find jobs for the unemployed (if they're employable and will work) and we'll beg food from grocery stores and restaurant suppliers to help feed the poor, we'll read to kids whose parents won't... and the world will be a little better for our passing thru it.

But I don't understand the concept that my ownership of... certain guns... should not be legal.

Not that I know of any particular type of gun you're (not) describing... it doesn't really matter to me. They all do the same thing to some degree or another, don't they?

They throw rocks.

I learned my lesson about thrown rocks years ago. Sometimes you can and sometimes you can't. Some rocks are big and some rocks are small.


June 25, 2003, 04:18 AM
Baba Louie, you're absolutely right. I think I too have been brainwashed. I guess my attitude is that there are probably certain guns that have no legitimate application outside military and law enforcement... but then, why do I think that shooting for fun is illegitimate? I don't know. My views are evolving rapidly on this topic. It has only been recently that I've been exposed to the safe, respectful, responsible gun owner...

Thanks for the welcome. :)

H Romberg
June 25, 2003, 08:27 AM
Possibly unnecessary reminder: When approaching the issue with the GF, find some common ground first, eg the fact that you both deplore violence. Then illustrate how you can look at the same object and information, and come to different conclusions. Walk her through your reasoning process, and compare where you diverge. Normally it's a matter of some root assumptions that one person holds, and the other doesn't.

That's a good way to diffuse a problem I run into when I try to convert my Democrat family to the (IMHO) more enlightened Libertarian point of view. :D If I first state my conclusions, which are at times vastly different from theirs, they decide that I'm either stupid or mean for disagreeing with them, and shut off the rest of the explanation. By walking them through my reasoning process starting from commonly held assumptions, we at least have an unbroken (hopefully) logical chain to examine, rather than resorting to the simple "he's just a heartless capitalist" explanation.

You've got your work cut out if you plan to live with someone who's opinions differ as much as you describe from yours on an issue this significant. At the very least, examining both of your convictions gives you a good chance to be able to "agree to disagree". At best, you may help her identify some invalid assumptions she may be making. Here are a Couple of the most common ones:

1 Guns are something more than a tool for precisely accelerating small objects. In fact, that is ALL they are capable of doing. This effect can be used (like anything else) for a variety of purposes both good and bad.

2 Guns are dangerous. In fact, guns are completely inanimate. It is BEHAVIOR that is dangerous, since guns can not fire without external input. Violent BEHAVIOR is what has no place in society.

3 All guns are a threat to public safety. This is simply incorrect. Guns in the hands of people who harm others are indeed a threat to public safety (behavior again), but those are a very small portion of the total. The vast mahority of guns are never, and will never be used to harm anyone.

4 Guns can not be trusted to anyone but the police and military. In fact, the police and military are historically the least trustworthy and the most violent sectors of most societies. This is because the power to coerce others without sanction has a highly corruptive influence on those to whom it is given. It may be wise to maintain a physical check on that power should its corruptive influence ever prove to great to control through normal channels.

5 Fewer guns = less gun crime. While this is true in an absolute sense, (0 guns = 0 gun crime), it falls down once we factor in the impossibility of removing all guns from society. There are those who will harm others regardless of weaponry. What guns do is allow any person the option of defending him or herself against attack should it occur. This has an immediate effect of stopping the criminal act in question, and a greater effect of adding to the risks a criminal must live with. In turn, this reduces crime. You have only to look at the crime rates for proof. It becomes painfully clear that places declared "Gun Free" are the most dangerous places in our nation. Why is it that people go on shooting sprees at schools, churches and offices, and no one mugs police officers? Austrailia is learning this lesson as we speak, with violent crime skyrocketing now that the populace has been rendered defenseless. What's more, when gun laws are relaxed to allow peacable people to go armed, crime rates drop.

June 25, 2003, 08:59 AM
My Daughter is 19 and opposed to guns. I won't go as far to call her 'anti' though. I've had guns in the house since the day she was born but she still sees them only as tools for killing.
I think I finally ended the discussion the other day, and this may not apply in your case but it worked for me.

She was on a rant about my handguns when I proposed this scenario:
I'm 50 years old, not in what you'd call the best physical shape but healthy. Only been in a fistfight twice in my life, went 0-1-1. :scrutiny: Now imagine some 6'3" 230lb 20-year-old meth head breaks into our home with the intention of doing some robbing & raping. As the man of the house it's my duty to protect my family and just how am I going to do that? One-on-one wrestling match in the living room or a healthy dose of 45acp or 00 buck? Or we could dial 911. IF we could get to the telephone but even then the intruder could do a lot of damage and be gone before the cops got here.
Fist time she's never had a comeback. :D

June 25, 2003, 09:50 AM

One of the problems with your GF is her exposure and education on guns especially from living in a ghetto in LA. If she is the closed minded type you can throw all the facts and scenarios at her you want and it will have no effect, I've tried to talk reasonably with these types of people to no avail, they are a waste of time. If she is reasonable there is no reason she could not be educated in the not only practical use of firearms (self defense) but in the fun and enjoyable hobby that they provide in target shooting and competition.

Ask her what she would rather have if faced with an intruder in her home intent on rape and murder, a cellphone or a gun.

June 25, 2003, 10:03 AM
Well my state became Shall issue last month. Was talking to one of my roommates (also landlord) late last night (lots of severe weather around here, tornadoes, thunder, etc was hard to sleep).

She is elderly and was in the hospital yesterday. Mentioned the "No guns allowed" signs the hospital has put up. Now I'm not sure if you would call her an anti. But she doesn't like guns at all.

She thought the signs were stupid. Since anyone planing to cause problems would ignore the sign.

I couldn't help smiling. I agreed with her. She still doesn't see the point of carrying a gun for self defense though. She made noise about "they would just take it away from you."

I tried to point out that if someone like me (young male, lift wts regular, etc) attacked her with no weapons at all the only thing that might save her would be a gun.

And sort of like that sign, the only people that would be trying to take the gun away from her would be the ones that would be trying to hurt her in the first place. So how would it make her worse off???

She did realize that "oh they wouldn't see the gun unless I tried to use it". I said yep, and if you go thru the class that is required to get the permit. You will realize that you wouldn't draw the gun unless in fear for your life or grave bodily harm.

She did say "But I saw it on TV [video/DVD]".

My comeback, she is a real wiseacre just like myself ;) , was "Did you know rabbits and deer can talk!?" :what: "I saw it in a movie"

The point was made, but if I hadn't pointed it out???

Most people have never been exposed to critical thinking.

I don't know if I changed her mind at all. But I think she started thinking about some of the points I made. I figure when I can get someone the age of my grandparents to even think about their position on a topic, a position they have probably held at least as long as I have been around, that I have accomplished something.

June 25, 2003, 11:07 AM
I'm a raise-taxes, pro-choice, only-vote-for-democrats-and-democratic-issues type liberal... so... yeah... I will say that I am NOT anti-religion or for cutting defense spending, but almost everyone else who holds my other views are. The only republican I would *ever* vote for is Colin Powell, etc etc etc.


I think that we're paying enough taxes anyway - why do we need to raise 'em? If someone is out of a job, and wants welfare, let 'em dig a hole, then fill it up, or if they are unable to do that, find 'em something they CAN do. But make it such that actually getting a job is preferred.

I vote for who I feel is the best person for the job, and in the event I get to wondering, I basically knee-jerk toward the 2nd amendment side. The current "democratic" policy stance seems to lean too far toward social engineering, a sort of "we know what is good for you" kind of thing... That worries me, especially when the folks who "know" haven't even been out of their major urban area since they were born, except to do an occasional vacation, where they tell the "hicks" how dumb they are...

Pro-choice? As long as tax money isn't funding it, it doesn't matter to me.

I'm not a fan of organized religion - seen too many abuses. The worst thing that ever happened to the republican party was the attempted takeover by the rollers.

We need more defense spending, mostly in terms of decent pay for soldiers. We have guys working/working on million dollar equipment who are basically making minimum wage.

We need to end the "war on drugs," since it has basically become a cash cow for the law enforcement/corrections industry. Legalize it all, tax it moderately.

I don't know if Powell can run - I thought he was born in Jamaica? I'd vote for him, if we could combine him with Norman and Franks...

There are ALL SORTS of people in the gun culture.

Sam Adams
June 25, 2003, 02:54 PM

You said
I guess my attitude is that there are probably certain guns that have no legitimate application outside military and law enforcement... but then, why do I think that shooting for fun is illegitimate?

As I said earlier, I respect your guts for coming to THR. However, with all due respect - you need to become better informed about this issue. At least you are open-minded, so here are a few things to consider:

It ain't about sport! I think that you need to read that short article that Roscoe posted a link to at the bottom of page 1. This is written by a self-professed liberal and makes the point (among others) that a situation in which the state has a monopoly on force has, historically, been a recipe for disaster. How bad is it? 170 million people were murdered by governments in the 20th century. That is:

1,700,000 people per year;
4657 people per day;
194 people per hour; and
3 people per minute.

I would daresay that the number of deaths caused by the illegal use of guns by ordinary (i.e. non-uniformed) criminals, combined with accidental gun-related deaths of all kinds, resulted in far fewer deaths than this in the 20th century - and the 1st 4 years of the 21st haven't changed my mind about this.

What am I saying? In short, the 2nd Amendment was proposed and ratified in order to assure that the American People would have the MEANS with which to revolt against a domestic tyranny, should the restrictions placed on government power in the Constitution fail at some point in the future. You would learn a lot by reading The Federalist Papers #46 written by James Madison (its undoubtedly on the WWW somewhere). Read also the case of U.S. v. Miller (1939), in which the US Supreme Court found not only an individual right to keep and bear arms, but a right specifically attached to weapons "suitable for militia use." This means, IOW, suitable for putting down a rebellion (e.g. the Civil War), repelling a foreign invasion (e.g. the War of 1812) or fighting a 2nd American Revolution. By necessity, full-auto weapons exactly like those carried by the ordinary soldier are explicitly protected by this ruling and the 2nd Amendment (not that the government pays much attention to that, but it is still the law). I would argue that semi-auto versions of the same, as well as bolt-action "sniper" (i.e. deer hunting) rifles would also be so protected; so would shotguns (the "trenchbrooms" of WW1, still used to this very day by the armed forces) and handguns. In short, everything that shoots - or, at a minimum, everything that shoots a round of any caliber ever fired by any military outfit in the world.

Why do you think that the US has never had to contend with a Hitler-like dictator or a genocide like the Nazis perpetrated? Perhaps the existence of large numbers of firearms in the hands of +/-50% of the adult population has something to do with it. How far do you think a dictator or an invader would get while facing 80 million gun owners armed with 1/4 of a billion firearms? But make no mistake - those weapons must be comparable to those used by the military - we couldn't hope to fight a foreign invader or revolt against a tyrannical government if we were armed with single-shot rifles.

Please read my taglines - they are also informative.

Sam Adams
June 25, 2003, 03:24 PM
"Did you know
rabbits and deer can talk!?" "I saw it in a movie"

This shall serve as official notice that I am stealing that line for use against any and all idiots who tell me that they are relying on what they saw in the movies or on TV for their point of view.

June 25, 2003, 04:54 PM
My wife (now known as geeketteWithA9mm) grew up in a crime infested region of Philadelphia, and escaped with her family as a teenager. With her heck raising brother in the house, she learned the equation that

guns = trouble

and more or less uncritically accepted all the anti propaganda.

That is, till she met me ;)

I, and my consistent, responsible example of safe handling and storage wasn't enough. It softened her stance a bit.

Revisiting the history she slept through in college wasn't enough either, but it gave her a framework. (History is a gas if you bring it to animated life!)

What really put her over the top, and the book I recommend for anyone, including yourself is

Armed and Female by Paxton Quigley (

Loooong story short, Paxton worked for the GC acts of 1968, and had the courage to admit she was dead wrong when it didn't work as expected. The last straw for her was visiting her friend in the hospital after surviving a rape. The tech in the book is pretty dated, but the core principles she addresses regarding self defense and women are as fresh today as when it first came out.

Order it now.

June 25, 2003, 05:33 PM

I can't elaborate much on what the others have posted, but I can tell you that success is possible. My own girlfriend came from Manhattan by way of Illinois, and carried a very deep liberal streak. She was absolutely mortified when she learned I was a gun owner, after we had been dating for three or four weeks.

Many, many hard-fought philosophical battles later (along with many pints of beer at our favorite "date bar"), I finally convinced her that guns were at least acceptable. Fast forward two years, and we're attending the NRA show together, where she proudly displays her membership card to get in the door. We shoot the Springfield Armory Action Pistol Challenge together. She bugs me to take her trap shooting every week. She recently got a carry permit (though she's not quite ready to carry), and bought herself a 9mm pistol. And she convinced the owner of her bookstore to have Wayne LaPierre for a signing -- I've got a great picture of them together.

I'm asking her to marry me this weekend. It can happen. Good luck.


June 25, 2003, 05:42 PM
Welcome to THR Vanbeast! I'm a flat-tax, decriminalize drugs, pro choice, close borders, deport illegals kinda voter.

You said-
"I know for sure I'm not going to tell her when I buy my first handgun this summer..."

Stop & think about this statement in a long-term relationship.

Think again.

June 25, 2003, 06:25 PM
"I'm asking her to marry me this weekend. It can happen. Good luck."

Good luck to you CTgunteacher! Sounds like you have a winner there.

My wife was an anti when I met her. She wanted to learn about guns due to the fact that they were in the house. After many discussions she was brought over to the "Dark Side". Now she is an NRA Instructor and helps me train others. Transformation from anti to pro can be done!

(I'm a Republican that leans hard to the libertarian side of things)

June 25, 2003, 07:44 PM
I'm asking her to marry me this weekend. It can happen. Good luck.!!!!!!! Wonderful! That made my day. Best of luck :)

June 25, 2003, 07:45 PM
After many discussions she was brought over to the "Dark Side".
I'd rather think she saw the light and was pulled away from the "Dark Side".

June 25, 2003, 09:25 PM

IMHO, if she doesn't come around quick....cut her loose.

These "power" issues will only grow down the road into something you may not be able to live with. There are plenty of women out there, trust me.;) I'm speaking from way too many years of experience and if she doesn't like your hobbies, or habits now...just wait a few years and you'll have to sell your guns, to finance the divorce. My suggestion is to find a nice Right Wing, gun owning Republican girl and let her work her mojo on you. :D

Good Luck, Sgt

June 26, 2003, 02:29 AM
Welcome to THR, Vanbeast, look forward to hearing your thoughts and logic on different topics in the future. FYI I'm more a Lib/Repub type of guy myself.

Girl friend; be carefull about following your heart, it may not be in the right place. If she can not trust you with guns then she can not trust you. Someone not open to education on important issues is both dangerous to herself and all thoses around her (you). Ignorance can and does kill. There are always, always lots more fish in the sea.

Vanbeast, good luck and keep us posted, there is alot to be learned here.

Dave Markowitz
June 26, 2003, 11:26 AM

Welcome to THR.

I've been shooting as long as I remember. About six and a half years ago I met the woman who I eventually married. She was very anti-gun, having been brought up with all the stereotypical liberal northeastern attitudes most Jewish people are.

I never hid the fact that I was a shooter from her. AAMOF, the first time I picked her up for a date she saw the NRA Life Member sticker on my car. :)

For the first few years we dated she adamantly maintained that she would never allow guns in her house. Nor would she ever allow her children to be exposed to firearms. One night we were out to dinner and talking about the future and I finally got through to her.

I put it this way: Supposed you keep guns out of your house. Fine. But can you guarantee to me that your kids will never be exposed to a gun, e.g., at a friend's house? And since the answer to that is no, wouldn't you feel better knowing that your kid has been trained in how to be safe around guns? She admitted that she'd never considered this possibility. This broke the ice and got her thinking more logically about the issue.

We've been married now for two years and this ain't no gun-free household. :D I still haven't gotten her to the range yet but she's no longer an anti.

June 26, 2003, 11:41 AM
If she is open minded, keep the lines of communication open
My best friend isn't an anti, but more of an agnostic
she doesn't want a gun of her own, but understands it's my thing
she did however get her IL required FOID card

when we were driving back from the gun shop after
getting photos taken, she started talking about what
she would like to try

if she is interested in shooting, anything can happen

and another thought:
isn't it funny how supposed "children movies" affect
the views of folks? had that brought to my attention
a few years back and never thanked him for it.

June 26, 2003, 12:22 PM
In a few weeks, I've got some co-workers who want me to do a gun safety class with 'em - good excuse for a day a the range.

This started when one of 'em was staying in a bed & breakfast, and opened a closet to pull out a towel or something, and a gun fell out. And she had no idea what to do with it.

June 26, 2003, 01:23 PM
I’ve found the miracle of the WWW/Internet, with all the opportunities for research, to be very effective in tripping up anti-gun bigotry. Also, I learned that my left-leaning spouse responds better to questions than arguments. You can’t reason someone out of a position they didn’t reason themselves into – they have to do it on their own. The following actually worked:

Me: Why?
She: There are thousands of reasons…
Me: I’ll settle for one.
She: 13 children a day…if it saves just one…
Me: How old are the children?
She: It doesn’t say.
Me: I’d like to know. Can you check it? I think the CDC has a javascript mortality applet.
She: The numbers aren’t working…

She: Look. The VPC has a report on Texas CHL – those people are shooting up the state.
Me: Looks like anecdotes – report adjusted for multiple counts, acquittals, etc?
She: I’ll check Texas DPS – they’ve got stats posted in .pdf format.
She: The Texas CHL holders are the most law abiding group in the state…

Rinse, lather, repeat.
Rinse, lather, repeat.

Much later…
She: Why do those manipulative so-and-so’s feel the need to distort things so much? Their basic premise is shaping up to be intellectually bankrupt. I HATE being LIED to.
Me: Whaddya mean, you want to join GOA!?

June 26, 2003, 03:02 PM
I think all of you pro-gun Democrats need to move to California for awhile and then tell me you're sitll a Democrat.

June 26, 2003, 03:51 PM
She generalizes about "the kind of people who like guns"That's you she's talkin' about there buddy.

What you have to determine is if this lady has her self-image tied up in philosophies she knows nothing about or not. Lots of 'antis' are as violently, irrationaly anti-whatever as they are due to the fact that their self-image, their sense of self-worth, is directly tied to 'being a certain kind of person' or 'being like a certain kind of person' instead of being who they are: a person.

This is opposed to someone who thinks logically, rationally and incorporates new information into their reality readily and carefully. This later type is the person who eventually becomes wise with age. The former hysterical type will never grow unless they have some sort of major revelation/breakdown at some point.

This is a major consideration when you're deciding to share your life (and eventual, constant growth) with someone.

- Gabe

Bud Wiser
June 27, 2003, 01:00 AM
I can't believe how many folks think this post & its' topic are for real....:p

June 27, 2003, 12:08 PM
I assume the guy is for real, and even if this is all a big joke, the topic is certainly relevant and plenty of people deal or have dealt with this exact same thing around the conversation is still relevant either way.

What is your point, exactly? Do you have some inside info on this thread, or are you just driving through...

- Gabe

June 27, 2003, 01:10 PM
I can't believe how many folks think this post & its' topic are for real....Actually, it is completely for real. With this attitude, I don't know what I'd have to do to convince you, but I'm completely serious.

What is it that you don't believe? A liberal who likes guns? A girl who doesn't? A guy who is worried that his girl doesn't like guns? It all seems pretty believable to me.

I don't like people making light of this.

June 27, 2003, 03:41 PM
I would say every poster on the thread except one treats the subject matter as real.

We here at the THR tend to take posters at face value until enough evidence accumulates to the contrary.

The problem rings true to quite a few THR'ers hence the positive response.

Hang in there!

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