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How Do You Fix Fear?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by neoknight88, Jan 13, 2011.

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  1. neoknight88

    neoknight88 Member

    Dec 14, 2010
    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?
  2. DKeener

    DKeener Member

    Jan 9, 2008
    Move out. Find a new girlfriend. Nothing good can come of this. I suspect there may be other areas of disagreement.
  3. SuperNaut

    SuperNaut Member

    Jun 19, 2006
    SLC, Utah
    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.
  4. RS14

    RS14 Member

    Sep 14, 2009
    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.
  5. Gouranga

    Gouranga Member

    Jan 30, 2010
    Gaston County, NC
    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.
  6. gearhead

    gearhead Member

    Feb 2, 2010
    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.
  7. Savage Shooter

    Savage Shooter Member

    Jan 3, 2008
    :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.
  8. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

    Nov 5, 2007
    Rural, far beyond the beltway, Northern Virginia,
    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.
  9. mbogo

    mbogo Member

    Aug 11, 2010
    Las Vegas, NV
    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.

  10. kingpin008

    kingpin008 Member

    Jun 6, 2006
    Howard County, Merry Land
    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.
  11. NMGonzo

    NMGonzo Member

    Sep 10, 2009
    Albuquerque & Santa Fe
    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.
  12. milq

    milq Member

    Nov 6, 2010
    So. IL
    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.
  13. feedthehogs

    feedthehogs Member

    Jan 8, 2003
    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.
  14. DFW1911

    DFW1911 Member

    Sep 21, 2006
    Hill Country, TX
    +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.

  15. rondog

    rondog Member

    Jun 29, 2007
    Lots of fish in the sea, throw that one back in.
  16. wishin

    wishin Member

    Nov 20, 2009
    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.
  17. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

    Mar 18, 2009
    Central Arkansas
    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.
  18. SharpsDressedMan

    SharpsDressedMan member

    Feb 18, 2007
    NE Ohio
    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.
  19. PowerJoker6.0

    PowerJoker6.0 Member

    Nov 30, 2010
    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!
  20. philpost

    philpost Member

    Dec 20, 2009
    Ft. Myers, FL
    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:
  21. harrygunner

    harrygunner Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    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.
  22. Shadow 7D

    Shadow 7D Member

    Nov 30, 2008
    Frozen North
    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.
  23. mjackson

    mjackson Member

    Mar 31, 2010
    central california
    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
  24. Hendiadys

    Hendiadys Member

    Jan 1, 2011
    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.
  25. J-Bar

    J-Bar Member

    Nov 24, 2010
    Springfield, MO
    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.
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