This last week she dropped my kids off at my house after her summer visitation time was up. I just happened to be cleaning the belt fed Russian RPD on my kitchen table when she arrived (big grin). Aaanywho my ex sticks around for awhile, chatting with my wife about the kids, then hits me with one of those off-the-wall / never-expect-to-hear-the-words-come-out-of-her-mouth questions. "I've been thinking of getting a handgun to keep in my house for protection, what kind do you think I should get?" After a minute or two, I pick my jaw up off the floor. She was ADAMANTLY anti-gun last I checked - 10 years ago she even took me to court to try to get the judge to order I can't keep firearms and ammo in the house with my kids (and WON, no less - I was placed on a restraining order that I could not keep BOTH guns AND ammunition in the house at any given time; only one or the other.. that's a different subject altogether though). Anyway, sensing something was up, I asked her "you ever shot a gun before?" She said she'd shot her fathers handgun once. I talked to her for a few minutes, and determined she knew absolutely nothing about guns, whatsoever, and an idea forms in my head. So I holler at my son (Trent Jr.) "Junior! Go get me a box of 9mm out of the basement." Going to teach this woman to shoot, right now. We go out on my back deck. I walk her through the golden rules. How to operate the handgun. How to hold the handgun. How to load it, unload it, and check it for safety. (Demonstration gun is a Taurus PT-92, btw). Put the magazine next to the handgun on the deck rail, walk her through loading it, chambering a round, and firing it. She was SHAKING after the first shot, but keeping the muzzle in a safe direction, so I ask, "you want to do it again?" "No, that's enough for now. Wow, those are LOUD." (We didn't grab ear protection first - by design - if she plans on using it for home defense she needs the whole experience, including noise). I take the handgun from her and empty the remaining 16 rounds in to the tin can out in the yard. We go back inside. She asks "So how much does one of those cost?" We talk about different guns, and I tell her "you're not going to buy one until you're trained, though, right?" (I can't accept the idea of her buying a gun and not learning how to properly use it, not with my kids in the house.) We spent a lot of time talking about the legality behind self defense; Wisconsin (where she lives) is a "allow retreat/must retreat" state, from what I could determine. We agree to range trips once a month on visitation weekends, when she comes down, until she's comfortable enough to handle them on her own. This, my friends, was no small victory!