> TEOTWAWKI Blog: Advice: How to get your spouse to warm up to firearms



Advice: How to get your spouse to warm up to firearms

For whatever reason, many, many people are scared of firearms. It's a gut reaction - they're bad! They're scary! They're going to automagically go off and kill everyone in a 50 mile radius!

It's not an issue if it's some random acquaintance, coworker or even a friend--who cares what they think? But when it's your spouse, it can be a big deal.

Now some people, no matter what you do, are beyond help. If your spouse is one of those people, then I'm sorry. You can go out and buy firearms, despite their disapproval and deal with whatever comes of it. Or you can get some non-lethal weapons and something stabby like the Cold Steel Assegai spear.

If you think there's some chance of hope, here's some advice from a guy who has been through it. My wife was uncomfortable with and generally scared of handguns when we got married. And, when we got married, I did not own any firearms, so I didn't get to walk into the marriage with any in tow. My first gun - a 10/22 - was about a month or so into our marriage, brought more than a little anger and wrath my way. The wifey has gradually warmed up to guns to the point that a firearms purchase is no longer a fight. She even asked if I wanted one for my birthday a few months ago. I had her post up some of her thoughts a while back, right here. Since that time, I'd say she's warmed up more.

Alright, onto the advice. Click below to get there!

  • Take them shooting. If you don't own any firearms yet, go with a responsible friend who has guns. If you don't have responsible gun owning friends, a range that offers rentals can help. Go to a nice, clean range, not some poorly lit dump of a place - the "feel" of the place is important. Creepy is not good. Make sure you have all of the needed safety gear. Explain firearms safety on the way there, and then when you get to the range and the range officer seems competent and sane, have them explain firearms safety. Then, start with a .22lr - you shoot first, show them how it works and then help them get started. Be patient. And only move beyond the .22lr if they want to - forcing a 12 gauge of .44 magnum on a new shooter is a bad idea.
  • Enroll in basic firearms classes. With them, if possible, but you take the course even if they won't. You're building up familiarity, knowledge and credentials with firearms. The NRA offers a bunch.
  • Buy a safe, either before you buy a firearm or at the same time. Mothers, especially, are concerned about kids getting their hands on guns. If you're looking at handguns, I can recommend this safe from Fort Knox.
  • Save for it. Guns are expensive, and can be a good sized chunk out of a month's budget. "We can't afford it!" is an easy argument. Work over time, get a work bonus, sell off old junk, and do other extra things to save up money beyond your normal income.
  • Start small. A .22 rifle is about as un-scary as you can get, ammo is plentiful and affordable and it's also an excellent starting gun, trainer and survival arm. Much easier to swing than a handgun or evil black rifle. 
  • Explain why. Protecting your family is a noble and compelling thing that most will understand.
  • Be patient. It will probably be a gradual process. And don't pester them.
In general, people are scared of firearms because they don't know about them and they don't have any experience with them. They've only seen stuff on TV.  If you can inform them, give them some positive experiences, and act in a patient, safe and responsible way, it will do a lot to ease their concerns. They may not become a gun fanatic over night, but you should be able to earn understanding and acceptance for why you want to have firearms in your home.
If all else fails, though, here's one final piece of advice: It is indeed easier to ask for forgiveness than it is to ask for permission. For the record, you didn't read that here.