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Advice on anti-gun loved ones

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by vanbeast, Jun 24, 2003.

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  1. vanbeast

    vanbeast Member

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    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.
     
  2. chetrogers

    chetrogers Member

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    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
     
  3. vanbeast

    vanbeast Member

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    I think this must just be an Oregon thing. Yeah, I'm from here too :)
     
  4. goalie

    goalie Member

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    Vanbeast,

    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???
     
  5. vanbeast

    vanbeast Member

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    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...
     
  6. HankB

    HankB Member

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    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.
     
  7. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    Vanbeast:

    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.
     
  8. fish2xs

    fish2xs Member

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    RED FLAG! RED FLAG! RED FLAG!!!

    >> 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....
     
  9. Baba Louie

    Baba Louie Member

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    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.

    Adios
     
  10. Waitone

    Waitone Member

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    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.
     
  11. DonP

    DonP Member

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    Welcome

    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.
     
  12. bogie

    bogie Member

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    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 www.a-human-right.com.
     
  13. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    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.
     
  14. themic

    themic Member

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    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.
     
  15. Sam Adams

    Sam Adams Member

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    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
     
  16. BerettaNut92

    BerettaNut92 Member

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    I know about as much about women as I do the Fibonacci sequence, but just wanted to say welcome to THR.
     
  17. Mastrogiacomo

    Mastrogiacomo Member

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    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
     
  18. Mastrogiacomo

    Mastrogiacomo Member

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    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?
     
  19. bogie

    bogie Member

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    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...
     
  20. jdkelly

    jdkelly Member

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    What is she really telling you?

    Vanbeast,

    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,

    jdkelly
     
  21. wingnutx

    wingnutx Member

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    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.
     
  22. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Member

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    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.

    Pilgrim
     
  23. grenadier

    grenadier Member

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    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. :)
     
  24. Penforhire

    Penforhire Member

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    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.
     
  25. roscoe

    roscoe Member

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    Another lefty here. Good to see more. I highly recommend your friend read :

    http://www.theamericanenterprise.org/taeso99b.htm

    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.
     
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