How Do You Fix Fear?


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neoknight88
January 13, 2011, 05:35 PM
My girlfriend is afraid of guns to the extent that she didn't like me having my dad's M1903A3 in our bedroom for two weeks, and let me know about it the whole time.

I have an AK, specifically a WASR-10, which I keep in a separate room that doubles as my office. I want to get a pistol, probably a Glock or Walther, and a bolt action of my own. She, of course, is freaked out by this. She doesn't even want to talk about guns, much less contemplate the idea of me having three in our apartment.

From what I have been able to tell, her fear derives from all the bad press that guns get. After all, the media tries to hush up any story in which the good guy defends his home and life against the bad guys, but when the bad guys shoot up a gun free zone (a fact that the media also likes to skip), then you hear about it for a week or two.

Does anybody have any suggestions for possible ways to get her to see what's going on, and alleviate her fear?

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DKeener
January 13, 2011, 06:00 PM
Move out. Find a new girlfriend. Nothing good can come of this. I suspect there may be other areas of disagreement.

SuperNaut
January 13, 2011, 06:03 PM
It takes years of education, setting a good example, not making a big deal out of their reaction, and not making a big deal about your guns.

It took 15+ years to tun my wife around.

RS14
January 13, 2011, 06:07 PM
Borrow or buy a .22 rifle and teach her to shoot. Place particular emphasis on how seriously we take safety, and safe and responsible handling, i.e. the four rules.

It would be best if you can do so at a quiet outdoor range, so you're less likely to encounter stupid people and set things back.

Gouranga
January 13, 2011, 06:07 PM
My wife had the same fears. I would give you guys a single chance for the long haul. see if you can convince her to go to the range and actually shoot them.

My wife will never love guns, and I am alright with that. She however does not fear them. She knows how to use them.

If you and your girls are close, discuss it with her, tell her, you don't ever need her to even like guns but she fears them and fear of an inanimate object is not healthy. I would suggest taking her to a range with a 22 pistol and/or rifle, and showing her what it is all about, explain the mechanics, explain to her what you like, why they are not magical devices that spit death on a whim.

If you guys are gonna last the long haul, you need to be able to discuss things like this. Perhaps if you can calmly explain that concept she will be more receptive and see you are trying to work with her and find a compromise, not strong arm her into something.

If she won't talk to you about it, won't discuss it, etc then your choice will be your hobby or her. Sooner or later that is what it comes down to.

gearhead
January 13, 2011, 06:07 PM
The only thing that will overcome fear is familiarity and knowledge. The person has to be willing to be open to gaining that familiarity and knowledge, however.

Savage Shooter
January 13, 2011, 06:07 PM
Move out. Find a new girlfriend. Nothing good can come of this. I suspect there may be other areas of disagreement.
:D ;) thats a good option but if ya like her try this

Find out what she doesn't like about them try to correct it. Then explain that a gun is nothing more than a piece of steel and will do nothing without a person making it.

GBExpat
January 13, 2011, 06:08 PM
Talk her into going shooting with something "mild", like a .22RF rifle ... o'course you would have to take her to someplace like a friend's farm since a range, unless guaranteed empty, would be out of the question.

mbogo
January 13, 2011, 06:09 PM
Unless you are willing to spend a lot of time getting her acclimated to guns because she is The One, dump her and find someone more rational.

Who knows what else she will try to control you over in the future.

mbogo

kingpin008
January 13, 2011, 06:13 PM
Move out. Find a new girlfriend. Nothing good can come of this. I suspect there may be other areas of disagreement.

Nonsense. If you love her and she loves you, only a fool would take this advice. Relationships are about give and take, patience, and understanding. Only an idiot would run away that quickly.

I'm with SuperNaut on this one - set a good example, and don't push the issue, but let her know that you're always willing to discuss it with her should she want to. Let her know that you understand that it concerns her, and that you want her to be as comfortable with them as she can be. If they're not secured already, offer to buy a safe. Let her know that you're always willing to take her to the range with you, or just show her how they work.

In short, be understanding, but make sure she knows that it's important to you, and that you're willing to do whatever it takes for her to become comfortable with them. In time, she'll come around. If not, well, you've got decisions to make. But running away now is idiotic, IMHO.

NMGonzo
January 13, 2011, 06:14 PM
Borrow or buy a .22 rifle and teach her to shoot. Place particular emphasis on how seriously we take safety, and safe and responsible hand ing, i.e. the four rules.

It would be best if you can do so at a quiet outdoor range, so you're less likely to encounter stupid people and set things back.
That is how I fixed my liberal vegetarian girlfriend.

But it was a MKIII ... first try she could hit anything she needed to hit up to 100 yards.

milq
January 13, 2011, 06:15 PM
I'm horrible at such discussions as I tend to get exasperated easily....

Perhaps point her toward www.corneredcat.com and let her read about guns from a woman's point of view. The author has an excellent site and you will likely find things of interest there too. I have sent several friends to that site and all have said they found good info there.

I've found that a 3rd party often helps (in this case, the website I linked) as we can sometimes be more critical when talking with/training with those we care about. I tried a few years ago to help a friend learn to shoot and I intimidated her without realizing it, luckily there was a skilled woman on the range who offered to help and it really calmed her. She also got her CCW just a few weeks later, thanks to that same woman talking with her about shooting and self defense.

feedthehogs
January 13, 2011, 06:16 PM
Have her read the following books:

More guns, less crime..John Lott

The best defense... Robert Waters

Nation of Cowards... Jeff Synder

The Great New Orleans Gun Grab...Gordon Hutchinson and Todd Masson

Also show her the monthly self defense page in the NRA magazine.

DFW1911
January 13, 2011, 06:30 PM
The only thing that will overcome fear is familiarity and knowledge. The person has to be willing to be open to gaining that familiarity and knowledge, however.

+1. It's also important to ascertain what her fear is based on: news reports, political viewpoint, movies, etc. If you can determine that, you'll be able to identify if you're really dealing with fear OR if you're dealing with resistance based on some ideology.

There is no such thing as an "irrational" fear to the person experiencing it. To many of us being afraid of firearms seems outrageous, though we, too, may have fears that others do not.

The way to overcome fear is to face it and gain knowledge; all to often our fears are based on false or misleading information. As such, maybe show her some videos of people responsibly using firearms, especially females. I *think* there is a website "cornered cat" that is designed specifically for women and firearms.

I also like the idea of a .22 and an outdoor range. I would not suggest a "flood" technique wherein you take her to an indoor range and, inevitably, some guy next to you is shooting a magnum of some sort.

Be patient. Remember that knowledge takes long enough to acquire without fear, so it's going to take a bit longer for her if she has to overcome her fear while learning. Don't get frustrated. Be supportive and understanding.

Good luck! I hope this helps.

DFW1911

rondog
January 13, 2011, 06:45 PM
Lots of fish in the sea, throw that one back in.

wishin
January 13, 2011, 06:56 PM
Do all you can to educate her. It's sometimes more effective coming from a third party, so enlist a friend or relative to work on her as well. Everything you can find in writing on the pros of gun ownership adds credence to your case. And finally, if she's beyond convincing, seriously consider if she's the one to raise your children right. If you're lucky. it won't make any difference.

Arkansas Paul
January 13, 2011, 07:30 PM
That's why I found me a country girl! Mine would feel wierd if she were actually standing in a room and couldn't see something gun related at any given time.

WOW! I didn't know there were any Texas gals like that.

SharpsDressedMan
January 13, 2011, 07:47 PM
Conduct this experiment. Obtain an unloaded gun (show her it is unloaded, up to five times in a row, if necessary). Then, place it on the kitchen table, pointing to the side (not at either of you, but not directly away, either). Then sit with her and watch the gun for about an hour or two. For a rational person, this should dispel the fear that an unloaded gun is capable of hurting anyone on its own. Then, on another night, load the gun, and repeat the procedure, to dispel the fear that a LOADED gun can go off by itself, or hurt anyone by itself. If your girlfriend still experiences unrational fear of a firearm, then see if you can get her psycological help, and be supportive until the treatment is effective, or, just replace the girlfriend with a more rational one.

PowerJoker6.0
January 13, 2011, 08:01 PM
ugh i feel so bad for you man... my girlfriend took to it like flame to gasoline. i think she asks me to shoot more than i ask her. she had never shot a gun before i met her. i started her off with a 10/22, and that same day she was shooting my ak and ar. last week she got her pistol permit, scored a 100 on the test. if i were in your shoes i would talk her into going to shoot with you, even if its just to watch at first, and if she wants let her try with a 22 or something. good luck!

philpost
January 13, 2011, 08:19 PM
My wife got us introductory lessons at a range for our anniversary when we moved to Florida, so shooting is something we've always done together. Like others here, I would suggest gradual exposure and de-sensitization. Also, 3rd parties are a good idea too - if there are any female instructors or classes in your area that might be a good way to go. My range has a ladies night, and that can also make it more female-friendly. Of course, if we lived in sit-com world, you could leave it out and loaded, exit the apartment, change into a ski-mask, and then break in to show her how useful guns can be. Then, after being gut-shot, you could tenderly snuggle while waiting for the paramedics. I don't recommend that last one, though. :rolleyes:

harrygunner
January 13, 2011, 08:26 PM
One way is to openly discuss whether the fear is warning her about a real threat or is simply useless baggage that needs to be discarded.

Perhaps ask what she is afraid might happen, then determine if that could happen.

You could show her how guns don't shoot by themselves and how the safety rules we live by prevent accidents.

Hope it works out for you.

Shadow 7D
January 13, 2011, 08:29 PM
Take her shooting, explain that you would like her to take a gun safety class and learn about guns, as you will have guns in the home for the term of your natural life...

and she is going to bitch about 'what about when we have kids'
and you show her cornered Cat's website.

If she isn't open to learning and tolerating, sorry, but enjoy the sex, cause that's all it's worth, she isn't open to you and what you believe.

mjackson
January 13, 2011, 08:32 PM
Find yourself a shooting buddy who's wife/girlfriend likes shooting, (we are talking about Texas). The input of a new friend who is female and enjoys firearms will do way more to make her a convert than any amount of books or logic from you. Once the ice starts to break take her shooting with a .22 rifle using cheap Dum Dum suckers as your targets. Just stick em in the ground and watch them turn into little clouds of sugar dust. This strategy has two benefits: 1. They are really fun reactive targets, and 2. she'll appreciate your aversion to candy should you ever talk of having kids.:D

Hendiadys
January 13, 2011, 08:34 PM
What do you see in her anyway?

You might try an historical firearm approach and start her out with some traditional muzzleloader experience with low dose loads.

It sure riled me when tonight on NBC news they were going over the "teachable moment" that the Tucson tragedy has presented. A group discussion was filmed in a NYC school discussion about why the incident happened where it's easy to get "gunnnnzz"...and not in the pinnacle of everything wonderful there in NYC where the law controls "da gunnnnzzz...."

Fear instilled, mission accomplished.

J-Bar
January 13, 2011, 08:41 PM
I met my wife on a blind date.

I learned that her father and brother hunted and fished. She was used to guns and fishing rods being propped up by the door in the living room. I proposed in 5 weeks. We have been married over 40 years.

You got to figure out what's important to you. Love is not enough sometimes.

Good luck.

brandon_mcg
January 13, 2011, 08:45 PM
my wife grew up with guns; however, she did not want one nor did she want for me to have one on the nightstand. let her shoot a .22 a few times and she was ready to go shopping for her ccw. now i have a nightstand gun, a hd shotgun in the corner, and she has a pistol on her nightstand.

x_wrench
January 13, 2011, 08:58 PM
you really only have two choices. you can slowly introduce her to guns, in a positive manner, and let her experience them. which will hopefully change her mind. if you can not, you will never be able to have a firearm at all once children appear on the scene. if she gives you a lot of greif about her handling and or learning to shoot, tell her how important they are to you. if she absoloutly refuses, you will have to cut her loose. or loose your right to keep and bear arms.

aryfrosty
January 13, 2011, 09:06 PM
Please don't think I am aiming this at your girlfriend. I am Not!
In the area of rabid dislike of firearms I can think of but one suggestion.
" Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig."

Gouranga
January 13, 2011, 09:16 PM
Please don't think I am aiming this at your girlfriend. I am Not!
In the area of rabid dislike of firearms I can think of but one suggestion.
" Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig."

I think that depends on a lot on the fear or political dislike. My wife HATED guns. Not for political reasons but fear of them based on growing up in an "anti" culture. Slow and careful exposure helped that. It required patience on my part to not force it on her but to be open and teach her as she was willing to hear it. Took a while but eventually, she tried it out.

Now a veracious political hatred of them, you are not going to "cure"

XxWINxX94
January 13, 2011, 09:26 PM
Heres a random idea that could work.

Take one of your guns apart, literally in as many pieces as you can get it in and still put it back together. Then have all the parts & pieces laying out on a table. Have your girl come in and take a look, if she still gets scared, then you might be out of luck, however if she doesn't, you should talk to her about it. Tell her that all it is is metal pieces that have no capability of causing any harm. Then you could make it almost seem like a puzzle, and while your putting it back together, explain to her what each part does. The goal with this is to make it an unfrightening learning expirience. Then when she becomes less afraid, take her to the range and start having her shoot your smallest caliber.

I think if you had her read some literature on guns in general, and how they are useful/save lives, she might also give in a little easier.

Random idea, but hey, it could work.

frankenstein406
January 13, 2011, 09:44 PM
1 get a gun safe! She will fell safer. now put it next to all her shoes or in the closet so she gets use to it.

2 take her "shopping" at a expensive gun store that has "pretty" guns. You need something shiny or unique to catch her interest. Get her use to going to places like that.

3 leave webpages about guns or gun store websites open. Act like you forgot.

Ask her to help, it will take time but she doesn't have to like or fear them just respect them.

TrakHack
January 13, 2011, 09:53 PM
From what I have been able to tell, her fear derives from all the bad press that guns get.

Do you really think she is afraid of guns, or is it that she just really doesn't like guns? Two different things that can manifest themselves in a similar manner.

One of my sisters is afraid of guns. Her husband hunts, they split time between the north woods of Minnesota and the mountains of Montana, she rationally knows the purpose guns serves and knows how to shoot but she is afraid of guns. She also has general anxiety issues about other things, and I honestly think her fear of guns is not about guns at all but about something else. One of my nieces seems to have inherited/learned this general predisposition towards being anxious about things. The other niece is out hunting and fishing with her dad.

I'm female and I don't fear a lot, but there are some things that I just don't like. I can usually tell you why I don't like something, but that doesn't mean it will be terribly rational. Is it possible your girlfriend just really doesn't like guns and doesn't want to get into a losing argument with you?

One piece about overcoming fear is the person has to *want* to overcome that fear. If she doesn't want to overcome the fear you can't make it happen. If you see the relationship going somewhere and if her fear of guns is going to be a deal breaker, see if she might be open to talking to a psychologist about it. If she is committed to the success of the relationship she should be open to this.

TrakHack
January 13, 2011, 10:00 PM
1 get a gun safe! She will fell safer. now put it next to all her shoes or in the closet so she gets use to it.

Oh dear, please DON'T do this. If someone put something in my closet I was genuinely afraid of I would be extremely upset and if/when I calmed down I would be extremely annoyed. If the person who did this was my boyfriend I would be really, really unhappy.

Shadow 7D
January 14, 2011, 05:00 AM
If he bought you a pretty gun to put in it, would it make you feel better?

x_wrench
January 14, 2011, 07:28 AM
[QUOTE][1 get a gun safe! She will fell safer/QUOTE]

purchasing a gun safe may pacify her initially, but if she is still completely against guns when children come into the picture, it is going to get REAL UGLY. her "protect her young at all cost" mode will kick in, and she will viciously will attack your guns. possibley to the point of divorce. then, you will have wished that you had not let things get this far. some things (and people) can not be mixed together without disasterous results. in my opinion, if you can not convert her, you might as well break it off and find a girl that you can live with. the reason marrige is supposed to last til death do us part is because it is so stinking painfull to divorce.

cambeul41
January 14, 2011, 09:13 AM
TrakHack is right
One piece about overcoming fear is the person has to *want* to overcome that fear. If she doesn't want to overcome the fear you can't make it happen.

My wife was afraid of guns and people with them, but she understood that her fear was not based on real world knowledge. She could also see the logic that being unarmed may make one feel safer, but did not make one safer in fact. She chose to be able to defend herself -- and me. She chose to overcome her fear. She decided that we were both going to earn our CCW/CPLs.

She chose her own first gun. She forced herself to practice until she was comfortable to the point that she now considers shooting to be a Zen-like form of meditation.

My contribution to the solution was not pushing, not giving her anything to fight other than her own fears.

ForumSurfer
January 14, 2011, 09:25 AM
The best cure in my experience has always been a one on one range outing.

She doesn't even want to talk about...

For a relationship to work, you need to be able to discuss anything...guns included along with everything else out there in the world.

Harley Quinn
January 14, 2011, 09:34 AM
If it is not firearms it will be something else down the road, control issue, is a problem, and uncommon fear is another...Good luck...

No one here can help you with this imho, good counseling is what married folks do, to save a relationship... Sometimes it works, most of the time it does not, in todays world of fast relationships and faster cars:(

Sport45
January 14, 2011, 10:30 AM
Educate her. If that doesn't work, you have a choice to make. What's more important?

Only you can answer that.

jbrown50
January 14, 2011, 10:52 AM
She doesn't even want to talk about guns, much less contemplate the idea of me having three in our apartment.

Unfortunately, this is a tough hurdle to get over. You can't force her to do what she absolutely does not want to do.

My wife has always shown a willingness to hear my viewpoint regarding firearms. It was more of a political hurdle with her although she had a modicrum of exposure to firearms via her grandparents who raised her. It was, and still is, the anti-gun politics of her female relatives and friends that affect her the most.

My wife has taken a training class at my urging and has her own personal handgun that she shoots very well with. She has a very competitive nature and always tries to outdo me at the range, and.... I proudly encourage it.

TrakHack
January 14, 2011, 01:52 PM
If he bought you a pretty gun to put in it, would it make you feel better?

Only if it was expensive enough so I could turn around and sell it to get something I really wanted, like maybe a new place to live.

And Cambeul41 is right:
My contribution to the solution was not pushing, not giving her anything to fight other than her own fears.

I've been thinking more about this and what I would do if someone tried to "help" me overcome a fear or dislike that I didn't want to overcome or wasn't ready to. That not-so-helpful "help" and the lack of respect it demonstrates would quickly become the real issue. I've been feisty all morning just thinking about it.

Before I had a purpose for owning a gun myself I didn't understand why people needed handguns. I wasn't scared of handguns, but I was very leery of why people felt the need to own them. I'm fairly open-minded in general, but one of the best things I have done is spent time on these boards reading posts from rational, sane, logical, and very intelligent people who own and carry guns (ok, not all posts fit this description, but I ignore those that don't). Probably more than anything else, reading and participating in the conversations here has enlightened me to a completely different understanding of guns and gun ownership in general.

cambeul41
January 14, 2011, 02:36 PM
I've been thinking more about this and what I would do if someone tried to "help" me overcome a fear or dislike that I didn't want to overcome or wasn't ready to. That not-so-helpful "help" and the lack of respect it demonstrates would quickly become the real issue. I've been feisty all morning just thinking about it.

Exactly. One of the things that we often resent about anti-gunners is their tendency to presume that they are superior and their attempts to bend us to their ways. Their lack of respect for us, our beliefs, and our reasoning is infuriating. Most of us do not care that they choose to be unarmed. We do care that they want to control us. It goes both ways. When I see such subject lines as "How do I make my GF/wife/mother . . . ?" the term "male chauvinism" springs to mind. "How do I help . . .?" might work better if the help is wanted.

Hendiadys
January 14, 2011, 02:38 PM
I feel so blessed in this respect.

My significant other, is more prone to either be buying a new piece or urging me to.

I, on the other hand, am more prone to seek out supplies and accoutrements to support what we already have. But we are a good team and balance each other out.

GunChick
January 14, 2011, 03:21 PM
Offer to take her to the range with a .22 or even better, find a female friend to take her.

Teach safety and practice it! Even if she doesn't want to shoot, teach her gun safety. They're in your house, she needs to know. Once again, practice it yourself! Show her you treat guns with respect and follow your own safety rules.

Ask her about what bothers her and listen to it. Look at what you can do to compromise. But honestly, if she won't talk to you about this, it doesn't look good for other things. Start working on communication now!

SharpsDressedMan
January 14, 2011, 03:35 PM
I predict the OP's girlfreind will not come around, and as stated by several posters, the OP will be faced with decideing if he enjoys his firearms freedom or the company of the woman more.

Patriotme
January 14, 2011, 07:54 PM
I really wish you luck in changing her mind. If she is so irrational that she won't even discuss the topic with you then I don't see much hope. If you can't communicate then you cannot debate, educate or persuade.
That's the end of either your relationship or your guns.
Usually when people have an irrational fear they recognize that it's irrational and unhealthy. They realize that if it's a big enough deal they need to work to change the fear and overcome. Unfortunately your girlfriend's fear is validated by most of the media, politicians, political groups and tens of millions of sheeple. She has a lot of enablers.
I don't know your girlfriend. Let's pretend that she is in fact otherwise a keeper and worth the effort.
This is what I would do. I would recognize that she probably is not going to enjoy guns as a sport or leisure activity. You mentioned that she won't even discuss firearms with you so don't try to talk about guns. Talk ab

FROGO207
January 14, 2011, 11:38 PM
I have been involved with several females over the years. The ones that wanted me to do certain things that I felt uncomfortable with and no room for compromise were soon on their own so to speak. If you can not agree and or tolerate the others views or possessions nothing good will come of this. Always it has come down to an ultimatum. "It is me or ------." I personally will choose the unknown over someone that will try to control me or my actions instead of make us stronger as a couple. I see it as not loosing anything valuable, loss of availability of firearms however would be loosing something valuable IMHO.
A tough decision at best and I wish you luck but I have found that there are at least three others waiting in the wings that are more than willing to accept me as I am as opposed to staying where I am no longer welcome.

Arkansas Paul
January 15, 2011, 12:03 AM
You got to figure out what's important to you. Love is not enough sometimes.


That right there is the truth if I've ever heard it.
It strikes me as funny that a lot of people will scream about their rights if the government passes any gun legislation (and rightly so), but then they will turn right around and let a potential mate dictate whether or not they can own a gun. Same thing, just a different person pushing it on you. The latter is actually worse in my opinion, because it's not forced on you, you walked into it with both eyes open.
I know the OP has firearms, this is not really directed at him. It's just a trend I see a lot.

Just my 0.02.

KingMedicine
January 15, 2011, 12:14 AM
People are afraid of what they dont understand. I have many friends who are seriously confused and scared of guns. i slowly let them feel them, see how they handled until they wanted to go out and shoot a .22. Now a few of them own a .22 and see the joys in it. It just comes back to education and knowledge of the subject. Nothing to push, nothing to scoff at.

And some people just dont like guns. Its an opinion. Thats fine too.

Tom Fury
January 15, 2011, 08:48 AM
I haven't heard anyone else utter it yet, so I'll stick my neck out:

At the risk of offending you (apologies in advance), the question must be asked;

Is it the idea of YOU with a gun that makes her afraid?

Does she know you well enough to trust you with this aspect of her life/relationship? That will only come with time.

Demanding that a partner "accept us as we are" is just immature; if shes' a true partner, you can't demand that.

Are you showing her lapses in character in other areas that make this one right out of the question? Judgement? Temper? Conduct unbecoming?

We all know people with guns who make us nervous; are you one?

Assuming its' a serious relationship; realize that most fear is irrational, or doesn't survive a foray into the rational; but fear is real nonetheless and must be treated with respect, not contempt; a part of the irrational aspect is that it can present as being about one thing when its' about something else; is this about something else and guns are only the issue that has caused it to surface?

People will trust you with a gun primarily because they've learned to trust YOU first; then accepting living with your guns is easy...

Good luck
Cheers, TF; Married to a .45 and a woman who can drill your eyes out with a .22.

22-rimfire
January 15, 2011, 02:26 PM
If you want to invest the time and effort. Take it slow and educate her when she seems receptive to the idea. It might well take a life changing event to truly nudge her toward knowing how to handle firearms somewhat and that is a shame.

It is very difficult to teach old dogs new tricks.

neoknight88
January 16, 2011, 02:28 PM
Is it the idea of YOU with a gun that makes her afraid?

I'm surprised it took this long for someone to ask. No, it's not the idea of me owning a gun that upsets her. :D

I've been thinking more about this and what I would do if someone tried to "help" me overcome a fear or dislike that I didn't want to overcome or wasn't ready to. That not-so-helpful "help" and the lack of respect it demonstrates would quickly become the real issue. I've been feisty all morning just thinking about it.

Maybe I've been phrasing things wrong. What I want to take away from this thread is a method to open communication on the topic without upsetting her, or sounding like a jackass.

She and I had a discussion based on a response to my original post, specifically this one.

Do you really think she is afraid of guns, or is it that she just really doesn't like guns? Two different things that can manifest themselves in a similar manner.

I asked her that particular question, and her response surprised me. I can't quote her exactly, but the general gist of it was that she's not so much afraid of the gun, or as she put it, "the mechanism" (I do remember her saying that), and she isn't afraid of me owning a gun, but that there are people who are unsafe around firearms and own them. I think her words were, "I'm more afraid of idiots who own guns and are a danger to others because of it." But don't quote me on that because I'm 100% positive that those were her exact words.

I just had a thought. Would it be a bad idea to ask her to post her thoughts on gun ownership on this thread? She knows I posted this thread, and if it were her words instead of mine, it would better express what she feels, and not what I might interpret from what she said. Anybody have any objections to that idea? If so, why?

DC Plumber
January 16, 2011, 02:37 PM
It would be nice to think you can "change her", but would you want her "changing" you? One of my buddies married a nice looking wealthy liberal. Lasted 9 months. She wouldn't even let his gun club buddies come over.

Hate to say it, but it's time to choose which is more important. Your guns or your girl. I believe in compromise and sharing, but give up my guns, never.

Patriot1/3
January 16, 2011, 02:45 PM
Sir my response is to educate not intemmidate but,talk to her and help her to understand. Her fear of a weapon is going to make herself vunerable in society. Weapons have made us free people and has settled many wars known and unknown. She hasn't been scared by criminals or thugs yet. Maybe you can get threw to her before that happens. Good luck.

Neverwinter
January 16, 2011, 03:30 PM
I'm surprised it took this long for someone to ask. No, it's not the idea of me owning a gun that upsets her. :D



Maybe I've been phrasing things wrong. What I want to take away from this thread is a method to open communication on the topic without upsetting her, or sounding like a jackass.

She and I had a discussion based on a response to my original post, specifically this one.



I asked her that particular question, and her response surprised me. I can't quote her exactly, but the general gist of it was that she's not so much afraid of the gun, or as she put it, "the mechanism" (I do remember her saying that), and she isn't afraid of me owning a gun, but that there are people who are unsafe around firearms and own them. I think her words were, "I'm more afraid of idiots who own guns and are a danger to others because of it." But don't quote me on that because I'm 100% positive that those were her exact words.

I just had a thought. Would it be a bad idea to ask her to post her thoughts on gun ownership on this thread? She knows I posted this thread, and if it were her words instead of mine, it would better express what she feels, and not what I might interpret from what she said. Anybody have any objections to that idea? If so, why?
If she intends to post to and read the thread, I hope she has thick skin.
I would also suggest reminding her of the self-selecting nature of this thread.

TrakHack
January 16, 2011, 05:09 PM
I can't quote her exactly, but the general gist of it was that she's not so much afraid of the gun, or as she put it, "the mechanism" (I do remember her saying that), and she isn't afraid of me owning a gun, but that there are people who are unsafe around firearms and own them. I think her words were, "I'm more afraid of idiots who own guns and are a danger to others because of it." But don't quote me on that because I'm 100% positive that those were her exact words.

Oh, this is good news. Very good news. This is almost the exact attitude I had before I had a life-altering incident (terrible horse trailering accident) which demonstrated why it would be a good idea I had a gun.

So, your mission is to demonstrate that there are lots of intelligent, level-headed people who make the informed decision to own and carry guns. You want to find normal people who happen to also be responsible gun owners. Maybe do a few searches here and find threads where the "why do you carry a gun" topic is discussed, or threads where the are particularly civil and intelligent conversations taking place. I think it's already been mentioned here, but I also really liked www.corneredcat.com. The focus is self-defense, but it's full of practical knowledge and realistic things. There are a few posters here who always have very rational, level-headed posts, too. Sam1911 comes to mind immediately for me.

I just had a thought. Would it be a bad idea to ask her to post her thoughts on gun ownership on this thread? She knows I posted this thread, and if it were her words instead of mine, it would better express what she feels, and not what I might interpret from what she said. Anybody have any objections to that idea? If so, why?

I like where you are going here, but I would not do that on this thread. Some of the comments here are very black-and-white ways to see relationship things, and the fact that you two are able to talk about this means you're further along the road of wanting to understand why the other person thinks something.

Harley Quinn
January 16, 2011, 05:12 PM
I don't think you should have her come here and post...The issue is she does not like guns...What if it was about sex and did not like that:what:

See where I am going with it, sometimes folks just have to go their own ways:)

InkEd
January 16, 2011, 06:30 PM
Tell her you are terrified of anykind of knife or scissors. More people have been killed over the history of mankind with stabbing items than guns. Then hope she realizes the stupidity of it.

W.E.G.
January 16, 2011, 06:36 PM
Move out. Find a new girlfriend. Nothing good can come of this. I suspect there may be other areas of disagreement.

This.

RandomPerson
January 16, 2011, 10:40 PM
How do you fix fear? Fear remover. It is sold in most sporting goods stores near the pistol cleaning kits.

therewolf
January 17, 2011, 12:00 AM
You make it sound as as though she feels you are an "idiot" (sorry, this is paraphrased) "who can't be trusted with a gun."?

If this is her attitude, the handwriting is on the wall. Because she has serious lack of respect issues towards YOU, OP, which are also going to crop up in other aspects of your life, eventually.

My girlfriend was adamant. Under NO circumstances bring ANY gun in the house,etc.

After a little conversation, it turned out when she was younger, some "manly"
male relatives of hers took her shooting with a double barrel shotgun,
3" magnum slugs, and she had a predictably poor first shooting experience.

I took her to the range. She fired my 22LR Henry, and a 22LR pistol. While she
handled both well, she fell in love with the Henry. Can't wait to go back to the range. Had a complete turnaround.

The point of my GF story(true, BTW) is, by chance, did your GF have a bad
shooting experience foisted upon her by some "manly" schmucks, possibly?

TrakHack
January 17, 2011, 12:35 AM
You make it sound as as though she feels you are an "idiot" (sorry, this is paraphrased) "who can't be trusted with a gun."?

If this is her attitude, the handwriting is on the wall. Because she has serious lack of respect issues towards YOU, OP, which are also going to crop up in other aspects of your life, eventually.

I get the feeling she thinks it's "everyone else" who is an idiot, not her boyfriend. And maybe because I came from a similar state of mind, I can't blame her. There ARE a lot of idiots out there, and some of them happen to own guns, and most of the bad news you hear about guns involves one of those idiots. She needs to hear about all the normal people who responsibly own guns, too.

I don't know, a lot of people posting here seem to be upset that she's questioning guns at all. Give her a little credit for being smart enough to differentiate what it is that bothers her and and consider the possibility if she's smart enough to be able to do that she is smart enough to learn that not every gun owner is a headline-making idiot.

OP, maybe I'm just in an optimistic mood, but this could actually be a really good turning point in your relationship that could strengthen it further. In the event that after learning about all the normal people who own and shoot guns she becomes interested in them herself and wants one, I would highly recommend buying her a ring first and a gun next.

therewolf
January 17, 2011, 12:44 AM
Hey, OP, TrakHack may be right, I ain't the date doctor.

I can't help agreeing with those who feel if you get her to
the range for some fun target shooting,(for HER) you'll
go a long ways toward solving the problem.

ArthurDent
January 17, 2011, 02:02 AM
neoknight88 (the OP), I do feel your pain!

My GF is absolutely terrified of all guns. Over the year that we've been dating, I slowly and gently broached the subject, and in a very non-confrontational way showed her that I was a good guy, and I had some guns, and that having them didn't make me a bad guy nor a homicidal maniac. As far as I can tell, she trusts me absolutely, as she should. She realizes that I'm kind and totally non-violent.

However, even a trip to the range where she mustered her courage and shot some 22s didn't convert her to being pro-gun. As she has put it, she started out in favor of banning and confiscation, but now she is somewhat neutral on the subject, and that is as far as she is likely to ever come.

However, I've become convinced that this one of many topics where our opinions operate well beneath rational thought. Reactions are emotional, run very, very deep, and are not likely to change, ever. Here's an example:

The other day when she was upset with me she brought up the fact that I had been leaving some airsoft guns laying around my house. She was in tears as she told me this. Keep in mind, I'm not a reloading/gunsmithing fanatic. I keep everything locked up, and I have LOTS of other stuff lying around the house... books, music instruments, 'puter stuff, books, papers, and ummm... books. She singled out the toy guns, and was freaking out about them.

(My GF and I are on the rocks right now, but not for these reasons, nor for her politics which are incompatible with mine. Those who are more wise than me about relationships have all advised me to not base relationship decisions on her politics and opinions about guns. I've tried VERY hard to take their advice. Even so, we still have lots of other issues to work through. Dam*, relationships are difficult!)

My point to you, neoknight88, is that your GF is likely to never change her emotional reactions. You can reason all that you want, but her gut reactions probably won't change.

The thing you have to decide (as so many other members have stated) is: Can you live with her if she never changes? Do you love her enough to put up with this aspect of her, and can you come to some mutual agreement to agree to disagree and have peace?

May you make wise decisions. Best of luck to you!

VPLthrneck
January 17, 2011, 02:27 AM
she isn't afraid of me owning a gun, but that there are people who are unsafe around firearms and own them.

Find the nearest NRA certified Home Firearm Safety course and enroll both her and yourself in it. This hopefully shows her that you take gun safety seriously enough to want to get the best learning available, past the level of what most of us were told as youngsters. Also this might show her that more people take the time to not be "the idiots" that the news loves to highlight.

And for those that will question why I suggest a NRA certified course: it's because I've sen what some of the other "gun safety" classes offer, and my brother taught me more about gun safety when I was 10 and he was 13.

therewolf
January 17, 2011, 03:01 PM
I also have to agree with those who predict the possibility

of issues later in the relationship related to firearms.

How will she handle her children being exposed to typical(by which I mean

Safe,Legal, Law-abiding,Family-oriented) American gun culture? You may

want to hash out this question now, it would be a shame if your future

sons grew up restricted from guns by an overprotective mother.

The way divorces go these days, she could probably get a judge to ban you

from having firearms around even during your custody periods. Which

could mean you wouldn't even be able to buy your son a BB gun or take them

to the range or hunting till they were 18, or maybe even 21...:uhoh:

Gouranga
January 17, 2011, 03:17 PM
her answer to me sounds reasonable and similar to my and my wifes thought patterns a while ago.

There is and will always be some folks with firearms who are irresponsible. Just as there are folks who drive (a lot of them) who have absolutely no business behind the wheel. In all the time i have had and been around firearms I have run into 1 person who I would say needed to be far away from any firearm and/or pointy object. In the same time I could not tell you how many people I have seen driving who should not have been.

For her, i would also argue that her reason is exactly why should should know how to use them. There are bad folks out there. I would never wish this on someone but she may run into 1, does she want to be hiding in a corner begging him/her not to shoot or to at least have a fighting chance?

Now I would not tell you to dump her. I think this is an awesome opportunity for you guys to tackle a serious issue. In 10+ years of marriage and 7 years of dating before that, me and my wife have had a few issues to work through.

So sit down with her again, and ask her, long term, we have kids, you will still have guns, you are going to have them (assuming it is that important to you), how do you and her reconcile that? 2 things can happen, this can cause an issue that may eventually split you up or you can build skills on working together in a relationship that will make a long term life with her possible.

If you can work out a compromise, then also chat with how to go about easing her fears, what can YOU do to help her. Range trip? Better security (safe, etc) for when the guns are in the house? For me and my wife fear was overcome through familiarization (i.e. information), and time.

KBintheSLC
January 17, 2011, 03:28 PM
If my wife was a hard-line anti, it could have never worked out between us. Either I would resent her for restricting one of my favorite hobbies and most beloved rights. Or she would have resented me for bringing "dangerous assault weapons" into her life. Unfortunately, differing beliefs about gun rights may be just the tip of the iceberg. You may have totally differing fundamental values and ideals which cannot be worked out.

Luckily my wife was open minded, and once I exposed her to shooting, she took to it quite well. Education is the key to quelling the fear of guns. I have never met a person with a lot of experience in firearms who was still afraid of them.

rugerman
January 17, 2011, 03:46 PM
Years ago a friend of mine's wife had a similar fear, her dad had hunted and owened guns as did her husband but she was scared to death of them. I got together with her dad and husband and dared her to give it a try (she was sort of athelitic and very competitive). So went to a little range that didn't have anyone there and first we let her watch us shoot clays then I broke out a frisbee and had her learn to hit straight away shots then I got more and more angle until she was shooting crossing shots then I had threw some clays and finally we used the machine and she was a natural. First day out and she was out shooting her dad and husband. Then we went to the pistol range and I started her out with a 22 and before we left she was shooting my 44mag and having a ball. Her husband looked at me and said "You've created a monster". From then on she was always the first one in the truck when we went shooting. A lot of times its just that they are scared of the unknown or they believed the crap on tv about how bad guns are. Once they see how much fun it is its a easy sell.

Arkansas Paul
January 17, 2011, 06:19 PM
Education is the key to quelling the fear of guns.


Very true.
In fact, I believe that education is the key to quelling most any fear.

danprkr
January 17, 2011, 07:33 PM
You might try to find a female firearms instructor to work with her/you on the issue if you can get her to talk with one for you. Failing that a competent 3rd party. For some reason women who think their man is an idiot will listen to a complete stranger.

Also show her a couple of episodes of "I Survived" where there's a home invasion. There's even a couple of episodes where the survival hinged on the good guy shooting the bad guy. Just a thought.

And of course the NRA's Armed Citizen now available online here (http://www.nraila.org/armedcitizen/).

Either way good luck.

neoknight88
January 19, 2011, 01:48 PM
I talked with her about taking a gun safety course, pointing out that even if she doesn't ever think she'll handle one, it's better to know gun safety and not need it, than need it and not have it. She got all pissy and quite adamantly said that all she needed to know was "Never touch the gun." It went downhill from there. I pointed out the fact that as she lives in a house with a gun, she should know proper gun safety. I didn't push the matter any further except to say that choosing ignorance over knowledge is not ignorance, but stupidity.

Harley Quinn
January 19, 2011, 02:12 PM
For the OP:)
Book, Deep Survival...

http://www.suite101.com/content/book-review-deep-survival-by-laurence-gonzales-a190458

Some have the ability to take risks, others don't...To your GF it is a risk she is not willing to be involved in...

The book is a good one for all to read IMHO...

Regards

TrakHack
January 19, 2011, 03:07 PM
So, if I understand correctly, you told her what she needs to do despite it being something she doesn't want to do, reminded her that where you live is clearly "your" house (otherwise the topic of guns in the house at all would be open for discussion, right?), and indirectly called her stupid? Really?

Sigh.

pitsmile
January 19, 2011, 03:18 PM
My mom has always had the same issue and has never liked guns (or knives, or pitbulls) with no valid reasoning, she just listed to the news. I found it important to educate her on responsible ownership vs. the media and illegal ownership. She will never 'like' guns but I think she understands my interest, which was my only wish.

Luckily, my girlfriend (probably future wife) likes guns and can handle a 12 gauge ;).

deacon8
January 19, 2011, 04:49 PM
Look, I am not trying to be rude at all here, but come on. One day, when guns haven't been a topic all day, set a hammer on the floor and ask her is she is scared of it. Most likely she will laugh and ask "why" in a confused manner. Then inform her, very bluntly, that being scared of a gun in the corner is the same, and equally stupid, as being scared of a hammer lying there. That mentality would be a big "no-go" for me. In fact, that way of thinking is worse than merely not liking guns.:banghead:

Either she has no common sense, OR she is trying to me dramatic and overly sensitive.:barf: By doing this, and if you pander to her "needs," she ultimately gains control. Women are great at this sort of thing. She doesn't like something based on nonsensical thinking, makes a big deal out of it repeatedly, therefore you remove gun. What's next? Next it will be your testosterone and ultimately your manhood.:uhoh:

Ok, ok. All I'm saying is--explain to her how and why tools don't harm people by themselves.

Onward Allusion
January 19, 2011, 06:04 PM
neoknight88 (http://www.thehighroad.org/member.php?u=137069)
How Do You Fix Fear?
My girlfriend is afraid of guns to the extent that she didn't like me having my dad's M1903A3 in our bedroom for two weeks, and let me know about it the whole time.
<SNIP>
Does anybody have any suggestions for possible ways to get her to see what's going on, and alleviate her fear?


YOU don't fix her fear. Just like YOU are not going to be able to change her. Your GF will have to do it herself.

Ask yourself the question - How invested are you in the relationship? I may be a bit jaded, but unless your GF is "neutral" on guns, you will have a hard time convincing her either way.

pioneer461
January 19, 2011, 06:26 PM
Take her shooting. Better yet, find a woman who is a shooter and have her ask your girlfriend to join her. Let her start with a .22 at close range so she will be able to get instant, positive feedback. It is no fun if you can't hit the target. If she enjoys herself, I would advise that you not try to teach her the fundamentals, but hire a professional instructor with you not there. There will be less pressure and performance anxiety.

Fear and ignorance can only be fixed by education. Once she realizes that everything she has been told about guns is wrong, perhaps she will come around. Who knows, perhaps she will actually enjoy herself and come over from the dark side, into the light. One of the things my wife and I enjoy doing together, is shooting. :cool:

TrakHack
January 19, 2011, 07:08 PM
This is not difficult. She doesn't want to shoot. She doesn't want to learn about guns. She doesn't want to take a basic handgun safety class as she has evidently been educated to not touch the gun. None of these things qualify her as being overly dramatic or lacking in common sense. She has to live with guns, she doesn't have to like them.

To the OP, see if you can reach a compromise about where and how the guns are kept in the house or agree to disagree on the issue (and think about potential future issues, like teaching kiddos about shooting, spending money on guns, social activities where guns may be present, etc.). It's okay to love your guns as much as (or more than) you love your girlfriend, but she needs to know where she stands.

youngda9
January 19, 2011, 09:25 PM
If she's irrational about firearms, an inanemate(sp?) object, then she will be irrational about other things in life. You will find yourself fighting this battle over and over. So unless she is way out of your league, move on.

Others will disagree and tell you to spend your time converting them. Others will say it is just the culture or environment that she grew up in...that just means she can't think and form objective opinions on her own. Those are traits a person has, they apply to all things in life. They believe a certain thing and cannot explain why they do...it is just so.

neoknight88
January 19, 2011, 09:50 PM
So, if I understand correctly, you told her what she needs to do despite it being something she doesn't want to do, reminded her that where you live is clearly "your" house (otherwise the topic of guns in the house at all would be open for discussion, right?), and indirectly called her stupid? Really?

Sigh.

No. I asked her to consider the possibility of going to a firearm safety course, and she went, pardon the term, ballistic. She threw a damn hissy fit.

As for it being my house, its actually my apartment as I'm paying the rent for the sonofabitch just so that we could continue living together. When I got a new job a few months back, I could have moved out on my own, and rented a place not even 3 miles from my work. But she wants to be around me for some reason I can't fathom, and because of that, I now pay an extra $130 a month just to have her around (and that's just the $130 from the extra rent for the place I'm renting now compared to the cost if I was by myself). That doesn't count the fact that I have to drive around 60 miles a day to get to and from work, or the extra maintenance my car requires because of the extra travel.

And as for "indirectly" calling her stupid, I would actually say that my phrasing (which is the same as I posted), is pretty direct.

youngda9
January 19, 2011, 10:08 PM
^^ Sounds like she knows just how to get her way. Step back, assess the situation, and make your move (was there a pun there).

TrakHack
January 19, 2011, 10:17 PM
And as for "indirectly" calling her stupid, I would actually say that my phrasing (which is the same as I posted), is pretty direct.

Wow. I was trying to give you the benefit of the doubt, but thanks for correcting my interpretation.

Cut ties and move on. Find a place to live close to work so you can spend more time with your guns. I'm not being sarcastic here, I pretty much did the same three years ago for a similar reason and have not regretted my choice.

WifeofBleys
January 19, 2011, 10:18 PM
I was afraid for a long time, too. But, as has been stated by other posters, set a good example, be understanding, talk to her about why she is afraid...don't make a big deal about her fear and at the same time, don't make a big deal of the fact that you may see her fears as unfounded. They are, after all, her fears. In the end, what "cured" me was not shooting my husband's .40 caliber P99 the very first time I fired a weapon. After that, I think I was even more afraid. What has cured me of my fear is that my husband bought me a .22 magnum revolver. I shot it for the first time about 2 weeks ago and I am hooked! I cannot wait to go out shooting again! I was a bit hesitant at first, I will admit...but I hit the target (an old, empty freon tank) on my first shot!!! I was so excited that I jumped around and danced. (I know, not the best idea, but I was just so darn happy!!!!!) Also, my husband has taught me about how to handle a weapon (he scolded me for the little dance I did....). So, all this being said, be patient with her. I was terrified of guns, I despised them....Now, I cannot wait to get back out to the cinder pit!! Maybe she will come around, too.

AKPastor
January 20, 2011, 01:16 AM
I feel for you. Lots of good (and some bad) advice. I can't add a lot, but maybe some hope. My wife was pretty afraid thanks to a father that took her shooting as a young girl and letting her hurt herself and generally creating a fear in her thinking it would protect her from his guns.

Anyway, she was always fearful about mine, but willing to allow it with not too much fuss. That all disappeared the day a bloodied drunk guy tried to force himself into our house and a gun helped convince him that he had business elsewhere (followed by a call to the police so they could pick him up.)

After experiencing real fear and knowing that the cops were far away and her husband was willing and able to defend her and our kids - she came right around. She knows how to shoot now and even practices, but she'll never love it. But I am confident that if I was absent and a BG came by, she can and will drop him.

VPLthrneck
January 20, 2011, 02:06 AM
its actually my apartment as I'm paying the rent for the sonofabitch just so that we could continue living together

she went, pardon the term, ballistic. She threw a damn hissy fit.

Is she contributing to the rent? If not tell her goodbye and think of the $$$$ you'd be saving on rent and all the headaches you'll save yourself.

Also, if she's going to fly off the handle on the suggestion that she attend a safety course, then what else will set her off later down the road? I'm not seeing any compromise on her side with this issue so before things get to far (i.e.: children or buying a house together) I'd be saying goodbye and right quick about it to.

youngda9
January 20, 2011, 11:39 AM
^^ Yes, he is being used and abused(taken advantage of $, and controlled) and doesn't even realize it.

Put her stuff on the porch and change the locks.

RimfireChris
January 20, 2011, 12:11 PM
For the OP-Move on partner, if she flew into a full blown hissy fit, as you put it, it seems like as not that the issue is never gonna be open for discussion. Given the other pressures in the relationship, distance from the job, rent and all, I'm firmly with TrakHack. It doesn't seem like this is even about guns as much as control. Good luck to ya.

xXxplosive
January 20, 2011, 12:30 PM
Although my wife was never opposed to firearms in the house, it only took one night to convince her...

Years ago.....3:00AM, Summer, Windows Open, she wakes me after hearing 2 men outside our bedroom window in the bushes discussing breaking into our house.

She dialed 911 while I sat vigil between our entrance ways in the dark with my Mossberg maxed out with 00 .......

You could almost say she was "Scared Straight".........now she has a range membership also.

neoknight88
January 21, 2011, 12:23 AM
After posting my response to this thread yesterday, I consulted with my dad, who knows me probably better than I know myself. He asked me a few questions that had merit and pertained to the topic at hand. After asking me how it might seem to my girlfriend, I came to realize that while I'm not "holding a gun to her head" about learning gun safety, I have been pushing on the topic of guns when she doesn't want to hear about it, or have anything to do with it. My dad pointed out that while yes, it is a rational point that since she lives in an apartment with guns, she should know gun safety, he also pointed out that fear/dislike is not rational. And then he went on to point out that she is willing to give me the space to own a gun myself, rather than being irrational to the point of trying to force me to sell my AK.

I posted what I did yesterday because I was out of sorts, and angry that I can't get her to think logically about guns. I've been irritated that we have different viewpoints on the topic of guns, since all of my gun owning friends have moved off, and the only person that I see and converse with on a daily basis is her. I think that she is willing to give me my space and let it be, even though she doesn't like the idea of a gun in the house. I have chosen not to pursue the course of trying to convince her of taking a gun safety class at the moment, and let the subject drop. I thank all of you for your support and suggestions, and hope that one day I will be posting that she went to the range and enjoyed it immensely. But until that day, I will let her have her space, and she will let me have mine.

Girodin
January 21, 2011, 01:24 AM
Education is in my experience the best way to fix fear. People are often afraid of things they do not understand. Conversely as people better understand things they tend to be less afraid, they still may not like them but that is different in kind from fear.

Potential issues however, are 1) someone may be so afraid that it acts as a serious impediment to education and 2) if someone doesn't want to be open to learning about something it is pretty difficult to make them

I dated a girl who was seriously terrified the first time I had a gun out in my hand with her in the room. She was freaking out. She however was open to and willing to learn more about them. We talked about gun safety a few times with no weapons in the room. She learned the 4 rules and the logic behind each of them and how difficult it would be to have a gun accident if one obeyed those rules. Later with a gun I had thouroughly demonstrated to be unloaded she began learning how it function and how to manipulate it. She then learned with snap caps how to load and clear it. She then learned how to aim and shoot. Lastly she learned how to clear malfunctions (there probably would have been more but we broke up lol). She went from hyperventilating at the sight of a gun to be reasonably competent.

She was open to it and I didn't push it and tried to make learning enjoyable and didn't really push it at times she didn't want to hear it.

I'd have a hard time getting along with someone that was not accepting of guns in that I own multiple and am typically carrying one. That said I think you are right that there is a difference between accepting and has to love it as much as you do.

Best of luck.

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