How to convince the wife?


July 14, 2009, 04:14 PM
Hi all,

New member but I've been lurking for some time now. I've come to the decision over this past year or so that my EDC system has a gap in defensive and survival capability because I'm not carrying a firearm. I've done research and I think I've decided on a Glock 30SF as my first conceal weapon of choice. I'm taking my time about it. I want to get my conceal license here in WA state, then make the purchase, then attend a class or two, etc.

Here's my last hurdle. My wife of 3 years is from Australia. As you know, there is little incidence of personal gun ownership there unless you work on a farm or something. She is deathly afraid of guns. She thinks Americans are silly for owning things like AK-47s and such at home. I've got an 8 year old son who lives with us part time and she and I are trying to have more kids. I haven't even brought up the idea of getting a gun and having it in our house yet. She's very supportive of all the other gear I carry on a daily basis for survival although she does sometimes feel I'm being a bit paranoid for carrying multiple knives, a firesteel, water tablets and such just in case of an urban disaster like a MAJOR earthquake or something under my business suit. She does "get it" though and sometimes points out new gear for me when she's browsing magazines.

This is not a decision I intend to just make without her. I won't do it unless I can bring her along with me. Surely some of you must have dealt with the same sort of scenario with your spouse when you decided to purchase your first gun? My feeling is in order to convince her it's going to take some coaxing with good solid logic. Any tips or suggestions on what to say to help sway her thinking?

Thanks for any help you can provide!



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July 14, 2009, 04:23 PM
Works wonders :evil:

July 14, 2009, 04:26 PM
ha! thx.

July 14, 2009, 04:28 PM
You think I'm kidding???
How do you think my wife looked past the Saiga 12, or XD 45 I got in the recent months :)
Happy wife! Happy husband! She get's blink blink, I get bang bang (yes, pun intended and not intended at the same time :D)

July 14, 2009, 04:29 PM
If you've been lurking here for a while you know that we've had numerous threads on this topic and that every possible bit of advice from the grossly misogynistic to the mature and reasonable have been given. To that end I suggest performing a search using the term "wife" and "first gun" or "anti". Keep in mind that you know your spouse and relationship better than any bunch of random strangers on the internet ever will so distilling the advice of those strangers becomes your responsibility.

Take a look at all the arguments for the mildly anti and consider what best fits the person you're trying to persuade. If it happens that she accepts that being prepared involves having equipment and skills you both pray you'll never need you have the advantage of being able to point out that this is another such piece of equipment like the escape ladder and first aid kit. Things you better know have, know how to use, and practice using so that in the unlikely event that an emergency occurs you won't freeze up and fail to respond appropriately. Point out that America and Australia are different and that what works in Australia in this regard isn't going to work in the US where home invasions and car jackings do occur.

As to your choice of handguns, if you're not an experienced shooter I suggest you find what fits your hand first instead of statistics or articles. A poor fit for the new shooter is the one thing that can't be overcome easily. You can find what fits and then spend the money to get the reliability and accuracy that you want.

July 14, 2009, 04:38 PM
hso, i get the message :(

ragr, on a serious note... reality check helped my wife get used to the idea of deadly force at home. try to, GENTLY, point out the news you see and hear every day to her. DO NOT frighten her into wanting a gun. but point out the good and the bad, aka news stories with negative ending for the victim (gunless victim) as well as positive ones (successful defense scenarios of ordinary citizens). this should help with one: and the major news media outlets will help with the other.

July 14, 2009, 04:39 PM
I always recommend a Ruger MK II or a Buckmark for the first handgun. You can train with it and trade it in if you chose to move to a centerfire round later. I have my first Ruger Standard my dad went in halves with me on my 11th B-day. But if you are going to just have one make sure it fits, and practice a lot!
To help make wife happy find out what new appliance she wants or sofa and that way you both come out ahead.

July 14, 2009, 05:27 PM
You have to aim for the heart, NOT the head...

O.K. she is from Aussie land where the "queen" is "king." And the king said "no guns" many, many years ago. Back then practically all white European Aussies were convicts anyway. Ghee I wonder why "no guns..."

If she is going to accept the "rights of an Englishman" (woman too) then she needs to understand the accepting of responsibility beyond "tool of the king" that the founding fathers of USA accepted for each of us and we bear responsibility for maintaining... Yes, 4th of July... Movie "Yankee Doodle Dandy" etc.

As suggested, as if there is no crime "down under," you point gently to the fact that in USA we have the option (and responsibility) to act proactively and protect ourselves... with best tools available which starts with "guns." Might discuss the selling of guns to the public by the government, now almost over... regrettably... Springfields, 1911s. etc. Slowly. Gently. Luck.

Just One Shot
July 15, 2009, 08:59 AM
Have her read these....

July 15, 2009, 09:27 AM
multiple knives, a firesteel, water tablets and such
You carry these on a daily basis? You must have big pockets.
I carry a folding knife and a swiss army knife. I think the other things are a good idea, but I keep supplies like that in my truck and in a bag at home that I can pick up quickly. Keeping those things on me would be a little weird (except lighters. I keep those on me during fireseason because I'm a wildland firefighter).

As to your choice of handguns, if you're not an experienced shooter I suggest you find what fits your hand first instead of statistics or articles. A poor fit for the new shooter is the one thing that can't be overcome easily. You can find what fits and then spend the money to get the reliability and accuracy that you want.
That's very good advice. Many people don't like Glocks. You should try to get together with friends who have different guns or try to rent some. Maybe even some THR users will be willing to let you get some range time with their guns. Pay for the ammo you use and some extra for them as a return of the favor.

A 22 wouldn't be a bad choice to start off with just to get yourself acquainted with how guns operate and to get some good practice. It will also allow you to introduce her to guns in the future (if you have a gun then she at least needs to know how to handle one safely. She doesn't have to know how to shoot it if she doesn't want to).

If you want to skip the 22 then you should think of getting a 9mm. They are easy to shoot and are fine choices for self defense.
A compact 45 is usually difficult for a new shooter to learn to shoot well.

As far as the wife...

BEFORE you approach her, think about how you're going to store the gun. She will be concerned for your son's and future kids' safety.
Get a safe or lock box to keep it in (a Gunvault is nice and easy to access).

Come up with a plan/standard operating procedure on how you'll keep it.
For instance, I carry a gun when I'm out of the house. In the house I keep it in two places, either on the table in front of me or next to my bed. If people/kids come over then it's either on me or in the safe.
My wife knows where I keep my carry gun and that makes her feel safe. She's gun friendly anyway, but that adds an extra level of confidence.
If you already have a plan to safely handle/store guns around kids then it'll make it a little bit easier for her to digest.

Then, gently tell her you've been thinking of buying a gun for your safety, her safety, and your kid(s) safety because the safety of your loved ones is your top priority.
If she gets bent out of shape then back off of the issue, let her cool down, then after some time bring it up again.

Good luck.

Sav .250
July 15, 2009, 09:38 AM
Some of us a very lucky in that our wives have no problem with us owning a weapon. Yours is a quandary I can only sympathize with but have no answer for.

July 15, 2009, 09:43 AM
Okay you got some good advise already. So let me just say how it works here at my place and I'm not making it up. I don't recommend this way unless you know exactly what your getting into.

For me It's easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission. Yip you heard it right. I chose to throw out the traditional marital bliss and deal with "she who must be obeyed" a little differently in this area. Once opon a time I did ask even attempted to converse about my hobby and realized she didn't give a rip about my desire to have a firarm collection go shooting or hunt bambi. To her 1 or 2 guns was enough (more than she was raised with) and hunting game would make all the children cry. Needless to say firearms have been following me home ever since and she won't eat game. I force a change and we agree to disagree on this subject. Marrage still works fine and she gets what she wants too sometimes by employing this same method on me, can't get pissed, have to respect her for understanding how to deal with stubborn people - even when they are your spouse.

Just remember you have a wonderful wife, you married her for a reason. Some will see this as out and out disrespectful to her but I see it the other way. A man should provide for and protect the things (and people) he loves.

July 15, 2009, 10:15 AM
Following a few simple steps, one can turn a gun-fearing immigrant into a pistol packing, full-blooded American.

My wife is formerly Japanese and a former hoplophobe. Try the procedure that I used with her:

First, choose the right wife: logical, reasonable, etc.

Second, live near and work in a place like Detroit which has, at times, a worse murder rate than Iraq.

Third, leave CCW class flyers lying around the house.

Forth, wait till she suggests that you get licensed and carry – and volunteers to go to the class with you “for togetherness sake.”

Fifth, save her from a club attack (which in our case took place when she still did not want to carry)

Sixth, let her company send her on business to Tennessee where some good old mountain boys (engineers, but still good old mountain boys) can take her to their club and let her try everything they have that goes bang.

Seventh, let her choose her own favorite gun.

Eighth, buy lots of ammunition. You are going to need it.

July 15, 2009, 10:18 AM
You do not want to invest a lot only to find out she really does hate guns. I say take her to a range that rents guns and let her try it out. Start with a .22, 9mm, or 38special and pick a heavy gun. Most first time shooters (men and women) do not enjoy recoil or the noise. Make sure you have good hearing protection. If you are not familiar with using a gun go to the range by yourself and rent a gun to become familiar with it so you are not learning on the fly when you are with her. Most people come around after shooting realizing it is nothing like the movies and is harder than it looks. Better yet you both could take a NRA pistol course together.
If she approves reassure her that you will buy a safe (I suggest getting the safe prior to getting the gun as a good gesture) and that you are serious about gun safety.

July 15, 2009, 10:21 AM
thinks Americans are silly for owning things like AK-47s and such at home

I wonder what she thinks about us then.. ;)

July 15, 2009, 10:27 AM
i can relate to the OP and having a wife from a non gun friendly counrty.

my wife is german and we met and married over there. She knew that I had hunted and had a few guns back in the states and when I finally got orders to go back stateside she said no guns in the house.

I politely told her that the guns were there before her and they would be there after her if that is what it took. I also mentioned the fact of the safety classes I took and that I was still certified to be an instructor and went over all the proper gun handling and storage. She told me we had to get a safe to lock them in and so I said OK (did the happy dance becasue she wanted to get the biggest, safest, safe out there).

once we got back stateside and i got my guns shipped down she about passed out when I pulled in the driveway after picking up my guns and the entire bed of truck was stuffed with gun cases and the passenger side of the cab was full of pistols :what: (most single soldiers blew their money on cars and booze, me i just stuck with guns and booze :D ).

took a lot of arguing , but after I took her shooting a few times (break them in on small rimfire and then work up to small centerfire and small pistol) and made her attend a women only shooting course, she finally got a clue and agreed to having guns in the house. Then i pulled out my reising full auto and a few of my cans and introduced her to the wonderful world of class 3. She loved the reising on full auto and was amazed at just how quiet some of the rimfire cans were and was astounded when I slid a can on my 338 lapua mag and the sound was cut in half. I have had to thin my herd down a lot to fit into one safe (had over 70 guns at one time), but i still have my toys and she still is married to me. In fact she has layed claim to my italian beretta 92FS and calls it hers, i just smile and nod and think to my self what a wonderful world. :evil:

July 15, 2009, 10:31 AM
I politely told her that the guns were there before her and they would be there after her if that is what it took

love that approach ;)

July 15, 2009, 10:33 AM
yeah was a bold move and could have gone either way.

like rolling the dice in vegas.

July 15, 2009, 10:34 AM
Take a drive though the "Bad part of town" and have your car break down. Then walk to the nearest 7-11 and wait for the towtruck. She will learn fast that this isnt Australia anymore and will want to pack heat also. Then start taking her to the range and have her shoot a .22 hitting the bullseye everytime. She gets confident and enjoys doing something well and wants to try more. Success brings its own motivation.

July 15, 2009, 10:41 AM
19 posts and NOBODY has posted a Cornered Cat link?

We're slipping folks.

Read this ...

Oh, and welcome to THR ragr! :D

July 15, 2009, 11:12 AM
If you're looking at strictly self defense, maybe you're looking at it wrong.

You can pick up a used .22 auto (I'm thinking Ruger here) for between 250.00 and 300.00 (maybe less). Or a .22 revolver for a little more. Then try to get her to shoot it.

One thing that struck my wife (who was definitely NOT pro-gun) when she began shooting.

It's FUN.

If you try to start out with a .45 (especially a GLOCK...evil, evil) you're probably doing too much too soon.

I would definitely get a small safe to keep whatever buy. That will ease a lot of anxiety.

July 15, 2009, 11:17 AM
Tell your wife you want a gun. Tell her why you want a gun. Tell her about the classes that you will take in order to be safe with a gun (She should take them, also). If she loves you, I would think that she would support you with your decision

July 15, 2009, 11:25 AM
This thread makes sense to me also as I have been in the same boat. My first wife was ex military so I could have any kind of weapon made or think of making my self. My daughter was also encouraged to learn to shoot and go hunting with me also.

From then on it went down hill. My newer GF was from jolly old England and disliked guns and would eat no meat except chicken and a bit of hamburger and would not touch red meat to cook it. So hunting sort of went the way of the dodo bird.

My position now is just as bad as I have many many guns locked up never to see the light of day unless the coons decide to get worse than they have been and then I can see my 10-22 coming out of the cupboard. It's pretty hard on me because I have boxes and cases of ammo and reloading supplies and hunting gizmos stored away. She might let me hunt turkeys someday as she would eat on of them but that takes 3 courses to get the permit to hunt here in Quebec.

So any of you guys who can do what you please and also can discuss problems with the missus are pretty lucky. Some of us have to just read the forums and dream about the past and watch John Wayne movies.

July 15, 2009, 11:42 AM
I think for the most part everyone has been through this with their wife or girlfriend. I agree with iiranger in that you DO NOT convince women with arguments.

Supposing that it was me, I would tell her that I am going to get a gun and am thinking about a CHL permit. I would say that when you get the gun you insist on her being able to MAKE SAFE the weapon. That means LOAD and UNLOAD it so that it isn't a danger to her through ignorance. After a bit of time, she will feel more comfortable with the gun. Then without pressuring her see if she would like to go shoot and possible take the CHL course with you. Not because she wants a permit, but because they will TRAIN you how to use the weapon. Girls are big on the idea of "training" and the certification process.

Of course she is going to resist, but honestly, YOU ARE WHO YOU ARE and you will only grow to resent your spouse if she puts you in a position where you cannot pursue those things that interest you because she "puts her foot down". This isn't buying new drapes.

July 15, 2009, 11:55 AM
Get her interested in shooting as a hobby. Thats what i did with my wife. Now she wants to go shooting, and she says I look "hot" when looking at guns at a gun show. Before I met her she would not touch anything gross, fish, insects, etc. Now she wants to fish, after catching her first with me, hunt, and shoot

July 15, 2009, 12:30 PM

Simply look in her eyes and tell her shooting is one of your joys and you want to share that enjoyment with her. If she doesn't melt, check her pulse.


July 15, 2009, 12:42 PM
You just put on the pants (men wear the pants in the family) and tell her that you want a gun for home protection and that is that......

BTW, I have been happily married for 30 years with that mentality.

July 15, 2009, 12:45 PM
Just start buying, keep buying, stand strong, keep buying more, hold fast, keep buying and buying... and eventually she'll give up.:evil:

July 15, 2009, 01:17 PM
I think most of these people are joking with ya as to how to handle it, "the wife" jokes come easy.

Truth is, its your job to protect her and your home. You gotta be able to do that somehow. And a gun is a pretty good way.

But somehow you gotta both gotta come to agreement or else there will be trouble and it wont be worth it in the end.

July 15, 2009, 01:57 PM
Take her to the range with you.... Rent her a small cal. handgun and let her shoot at a target that is not human form....(round, bullseye,etc.).....Talk her through each step of firng the weapon and convince her that it is not all western shoot out....... Tell her that her safety is the first and only reason you want to be prepaired for any unforseen emergency......Like Otis said --- Try a Little Tenderness :)

July 15, 2009, 02:07 PM
Make clever analogies to other objects. Cars are more dangerous than guns casually. You're often just one twist of the wrist when driving, away from taking out yourself, everyone in your vehicle and everyone in someone elses vehicle in the opposite lane. Somehow this doesn't freak her out. Kitchen knives are deadly and sharp, and demand respect. But it's not a big deal. Why should pistols be any different?

July 15, 2009, 04:02 PM
I found it's easiest just to buy the wife new guns , right now I'm trying to figure out if she needs a 1911 gov in 38 super or if to build her a cco in 38 super , her last birthday present was roses and ammo for her U22

July 15, 2009, 04:31 PM
My one ex-girlfriend had never even held a gun before she dated me. A couple years later, she brings her Walther along when we go shooting (we're still friends).
Have you straight up brought the idea up to your wife?
To my point of view, there isn't any point tapdancing around the whole thing. Just tell her what you want to do and find out where her head is. Then worry about the next step.

July 15, 2009, 04:36 PM
Back around the time of the dinasaurs, when I got married, I hated guns. I told my husband that under no circumstances would I allow a gun in the house. We got married... and a year he joined the police dept.

Ok, so he HAS to have a gun in the house, and I have to deal with it because it's his job. So he explains to me where it will be, and how it will be safely stored, and all I have to do is not open the container. Eventually I got used to knowing there was a gun "in there" and it didn't bother me. It was safely stored so I felt comfortable simply ignoring it for 30+ years.

Maybe you can tell your wife where it is, how you'll store it safely, and all she has to do is not open the safe.

July 15, 2009, 05:23 PM
I don't know if it will matter, but . . .
Australia had a hunting and shooting tradition for generations.

Their heritage was the original English right-to-arms, and it worked for them for years. The ownership and use of guns was an accepted part of the culture

Their government, using a false pretext, did what governments do when the opportunity presents itself: it disarmed the population en masse.

Historically the Australian tradition is one of toughness and pioneering spirit.

She has an opportunity to reclaim part of her heritage that is effectively denied to those she's left "back home."

Now, it's common enough for people to be frightened of things that make loud noises and are "dangerous" -- especially when they've been told all their lives that "these are dangerous" and schooled in the belief that "nobody should have them."

In my experience, you won't be able to rush her into accepting or liking firearms. Her acceptance of firearms will come in her own time, not yours.

Also in my experience, you will have better luck starting with small calibers and with guns that are easy and fun to shoot.

My wife was reluctant. She didn't mind that I got a .22 rifle for target practice. She didn't mind that I taught the kids (teenagers) how to shoot. She didn't want one of her own, and had no interest in shooting.

That changed when a mob marched past our front door.

I bought her a 9mm pistol of her own (at her request), but I had her begin practicing with a (Ruger MkII) .22 pistol first. She got halfway through the second or third magazine on the Ruger, stopped, looked at me, and said, "I want one EXACTLY like this one." It was easy for her to shoot, there was nearly no recoil, she was able to hit what she aimed at. It was, in a word, FUN.

I will offer a second to the Cornered Cat link ( Kathy Jackson is a member here (pax) and a moderator at The Firing Line ( and, best of all, she's in your general area: she lives in Washington.

She can speak to pretty much all of your concerns. Oh, she's also a firearms instructor, which is useful in and of itself.

I wish you success in this endeavor.

July 15, 2009, 11:58 PM
My wife of 49 yrs and I live in one of those little Hoosier bergs that are delineated by four roads, one mile apart each. Literally only 4 ways in or out, one gas station, two bars, one 4-way stop light. Wifey and her sister would walk in the cool of the day, 4 miles around the town. Then they noticed a car following them, and told the local marshal, who heightened their fears by saying it was not the first or second time he'd heard about that car. Wife had me buy a Lady Smith .38Spl for her, and she bought her own brassiere-rig for carry. 'Nuff said.

July 16, 2009, 04:12 AM
I am not about to get married, but I date different girls from time to time. I run into the problem of "girl who hates guns" regularly, but not all the time. It is so refreshing when I meet a girl who finds out about my guns and responds with "so what?" :)

The current girl I'm dating is not accepting of guns; she does know I have several. When I talk about getting a new gun, or even a small new pocket knife, her response clearly depicts irritation. I open carry regularly, and she does not like it - she has asked me to stop. I need to get her to the range and give her more time with the understanding that my greatest goal is safety for her, myself, and those around us. I still need more time with her. This is my plan, and I'd be happy to hear thoughts from others...

She knows that I carry for defense of her, myself, and those I love. I need to make it very clear to her that I only carry a gun because it is THE BEST form of self defense. Also, "the best" form of self defense requires having training, proper mindset, quick access, and the best accessories available (ammo, holster, etc.). "The best" access in some circumstances might mean open carrying. Like most men, I am the typical protector. I do not date women who are large, muscled, and have a warrior mentality. It should be made clear to the women I date that, regarding defense, I am better mentally prepared (AT LEAST because I am a man and most attackers are men), I am more physically prepared (since I will be stronger than the women I date), and I willingly take on the role of protecting them. Therefore, I need to request that they allow me the tools/accessories/methods that I think are best suited to my goal of protecting them.

If an attack never happens (and we all hope that is the case), she might always think that you are kinda silly and weird for carrying a gun. However, I am hoping that she also thinks that I am sweet and truly caring, and just doing my best to be the type of guy that I am. She might just understand that, while she may be able to change things about you, she will never be able to take away your built-in need to protect her.

Someone always tries to twist my words, so I'm putting this in here. I am NOT saying that woman cannot protect themselves and I would NEVER say that. I will say that when a person (whether a woman or not) does not want guns around and I do, it is likely that I have the better chance to defend myself and them.

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