For those with a ball & chain...

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Hi all, recent green member and young person who likes to exercise the good ol' second amendment. I have a bit of a random question here. My girlfriend is a little, shall we say, gun-shy. She doesn't have anything against me having one (except that it takes away from her buy-me-stuff-budget [banghead]). At this point, I've only been able to get her to even hold a pistol once, and she was none too happy about it. I would like for her to be comfortable around guns, and maybe in the future to own and enjoy one (or three) of her own.

SO, my question is, have any of you had a similar experience with a significant other not liking your primal need to shoot things? Any suggestions to help a brother out? I know I'm probably in for the long haul here, and I'm not expecting a night-and-day difference, but at this point I think anything will help out.

Thanks!
 
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Exposure and education. Start with something small. Even hitting cans with a pellet gun can get her started. Just make it fun and safe
 

Cap

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Keep in mind shooting is an activity that she may not enjoy. As long as she isn't against gun ownership, I don't think you have much to worry about.

She should be comfortable with how to use a gun, but she may have no interest in shooting for fun.
 
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Do you know why she is gun shy? Is she afraid of causing harm or harm being caused her by accident? Or is it lack of information based on current events and media spin?

My wife began dead-set against, having watched her brother kill himself with a .22 rifle. She was willing to attend basic safety training courses with me, without pressure to hold or carry. She was relieved to learn there were basic safety rules and gained confidence I was following them. In another course a very good instructor helped her shoot for the first time and helped her see how good at it she was. A few more personal defense courses and she realized that no matter how much she learned about self defense she would never be equal to a large male attacker. A simunitions course taught her how valuable a firearm can be in the home and how rock-solid her judgments are. Now she has an LTC. While she doesn't carry daily, she is leaning that way. She takes great pleasure as she beats the crap out of me when we go to the range and shoot pistol or shotgun.

Find out the root cause. Don't force it, but give her opportunities to learn and experience in small doses.
 
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leave her alone about it, let her decide her own level of involvement (if any), and if she decides to be involved, be patient and allow her to experience this at her own pace.

be warned she may not be interested at all just like you may not be interested in sipping sangria and gossiping about boys. yeah, opposite activities can be like that.
 
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No advice, but interested in hearing what others say. Same situation here. Her dad and I took her shooting a few years ago (G19 and AR15) and she was actually pretty damn good, but not really interested in going again. I think she was just afraid by the actual firing (noise + recoil + responsibility of being in control of something that can be lethal if misused). I just want to get her to be comfortable enough to use the G17 in the night stand if I'm not home. Ideally, I'd love for her to embrace CCW but I don't think that's going to happen. I'm going to try and get her out to the range with just a 22LR pistol when it warms up a bit. That removes a lot of the "scariness" and provides an easy platform to learn fundamentals and hopefully have some fun.

I will say though, definitely don't force the issue. It's just like any other hobby -- she may just not enjoy it. Going to the range for her might be like you going shoe shopping. It's not for everyone, haha.
 
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Go about it in a way she can relate to. Talk about it. Tell her why you think it's fun. Why you think it's important etc. After a while she'll form a positive outlook on shooting. In a word, sell it.
 
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If she's at all interested in learning. Get her to go to one of GOAL's Women On Target events. Very educational and all of the women have a great time. I helped out at one of their events last Summer and it was nothing but smiles all around. At the start, most if not all of the women had never really handled a firearm before.
 

ToddDubya

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A while back a friend of mine was curious but very gun shy. I spent some time showing her how everything worked so that she understood it wasn't some machine that could randomly just start spraying bullets everywhere. I showed her how rounds cycled through and that they could only be in two places: the magazine and the chamber. As a newb I remember feeling a lot better knowing how they worked. We went over the four safety rules and I made sure she knew I was not going to be handing her a gun and walking away.

At the range, we reviewed quickly then got started with one round at a time, then a couple rounds, then full mags. I shot first so she could see what to expect for recoil and noise. Stick with .22 at first. Getting over her fears with a .45 won't work.
 
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My girl is similar. I've spent months talking with her about everything 2A. She's not against guns, just apprehensive about shooting one. I talk to her about types of guns and ammo, reloading, MA gun laws and licensing, fact vs. fiction when it comes to what you see on the news...everything. She's interested in the topics and asks good questions, I can tell she's really into learning about it. I've taught her all the safety rules and she can recite them. She says when it's nicer out she'll go to the range with me, but I can tell she's still very nervous about it, I've even taken her on a quick tour of the club to hopefully ease her mind. No one was shooting and we just drove through to check the place out.

She's expressed significant interest in trying out archery and had an absolute blast knocking over cans with a blow gun...so I'm planning to take her to shoot a bow sometime, and maybe I'll bring a pellet gun to try out too.

I think the biggest thing to remember is not to push the issue. Make sure she's comfortable with it and she'll enjoy it. If you force it, she may do it just to appease you, but she won't be comfortable. Take your time and don't force it.
 
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Tell her another girl you know from high school ran into you and one thing led to another and you are going to take her to the range to shoot. Jealousy works wonders.
 
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leave her alone about it, let her decide her own level of involvement (if any), and if she decides to be involved, be patient and allow her to experience this at her own pace.

be warned she may not be interested at all just like you may not be interested in sipping sangria and gossiping about boys. yeah, opposite activities can be like that.

+1 best advise on here, believe it or not everybody does not love guns as much as you. I am willing to bet you have an aversion to housework, now how would you feel if she pushed that on you. Not that I am one to give relationship advise but its ok to have different interests.......and it's healthy to do your own thing at times....If she wants to share your passion let her come to you on her own, don't push it or face the consequences of possibly irreparably damaging your relationship.
 

PaulR

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Start with a airsoft gun in the garage plinking tin cans. My wife aint the greatest lover of guns at all either, not beating down the door for me to take her to the range, but one night we were in the garage plinking cans and she was was like "I like this, this is fun", yea I got a chubby watching her shoot.
 
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i wouldnt force it, as stated above. i wasnt into guns at all a few years ago, and when my bf got into them i was still kinda "ehhhh" about them.
i ended up talking to a few females who were gun owners, it helped a lot. once i got my LTC and got my first gun, i talked to the girls i worked with who were gun-shy but not antis. i gave them mini gun safety classes (mini classes, not mini guns... as fun as that would be) and they all warmed up to them enough..
if you want to try to have a female gun enthusiast talk to her, there are a bunch of us on here that would probably be willing to help. i work at a gun shop and i get a lot of ladies in talking to me about the idea of owning a firearm and i've swayed many from "never" to "maybe" and beyond. sometimes it's just a matter of approaching it the right way for her.

my mom never wanted a gun, but she loves that i carry when we go out shopping together, and now she is trying to get her own LTC.. so it really just depends.
 
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I addressed this issue day 1 with my wife. Unfortunately you live North of Boston, but Fall River Rod and Gun has a ladies night on the second Tuesday of each month, hosted by Daria Bruno. It is 100% women even where they have female instructors and they start them small on 22's and work them up to .45's I believe. Here's Daria's website: http://www.lockstockanddaria.com/ possible there is something similar going on in you neck of the woods to this.
 

bdb

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I agree with others, don't force it. My wife has never been a big fan of them ever since the day we met but back then all I had was deer rifles and shotguns. To her handguns were another level of evil and the black scary rifles were in the "no one needs them" category. She can't understand why I carry but doesn't give me grief about it. Surprisingly she didn't give me any grief when I caught the AR bug. She has also never seen the inside of the safe which is a good thing!

I have had her out shooting a .22 and she was OK with it but she really has no interest in it. I occasionally bring up the topic but in general she would rather not talk about it. She accepts it, but doesn't understand my "hobby" at all. I know that will likely never change but trying to change her doesn't seem likely to end well either. You will just have to play it out and see what happens.
 

Stryker

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It takes time - I've slowly been working on my wife these past three years or so and she is ready to get to the range this spring which I am really excited about. Just have spent time talking about it, showing her my love for the sport and making it intriguing enough for her to want to check it out
 

slap shot

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Wife has no interest, and I don't help her sew dog beds.

Why do so many of menfolk here need wifey or gf to love guns like they do? It almost seems to be a bragging point at times.

Would I prefer it if she also liked shooting? Sure, but as long as she's cool with me and the kids enjoying them, that's all i need.
 

bdb

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Why do so many of menfolk here need wifey or gf to love guns like they do? It almost seems to be a bragging point at times.

Far fewer questions when you want to spend money and her guns could be shot be me so the inventory instantly goes up [smile]
 

buketduder

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There was only so much i could say...I paid for a class for my Girl..she went..she loved it..got her Permit in CT...has not gotten her one here in North Dakota...I am actually surprised the number of people who car carry here without a permit....
 
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Whatever you do - do not hand her a .45 on her first range trip and tell her 'try this babe you'll like it'. Start with .22 and work up if, and only if, she is comfortable with it. Follow the 4 safety rules and all will be good.
 
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My wife, then g/f was strictly anti gun (drilled into her by her mom). After slowly teaching her that guns aren't bad by them selves ect, I introduced her to shooting with the easiest to fire gun I had. My mg42 on lafette mount. She didn't have to hold it ect. Just squeeze lever for fun (semiautomatic of course) . Then she was hooked, and even took a liking to my m1 carbine for rifle shooting .


Prob won't change everyone, but always a chance given proper way to go about it.
 

TargetedFiring

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My girlfriend wasn't really opposed to shooting...she was mostly meh about it...though I took her to the range one day and she really enjoyed plinking! Something about the ping sound is just very enjoyable [laugh]. She also liked trying to shoot the cans and etc...which was equally gratifying. That made her more interested in learning, especially since it was something I enjoyed, so she wanted to bond over it...quite the win. She started with a 10/22, so not intimidating at all.
 

kalash

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My girlfriend just doesn't care about guns. She doesn't love the fact that I have them and she is very uncomfortable with having them in the house (we don't live together yet) but most of the times when I mention that I'm going to the range she asks to come with me. She seems to enjoy shooting. We'll see what happens.
 

Come and take

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Exposure and education. Start with something small. Even hitting cans with a pellet gun can get her started. Just make it fun and safe
This. My wife was totally against guns. I took her to a safety course and she did a 180.

The instructor was awesome and she got to shoot live fire. Wife loves guns now and goes to the range with me.
 

cbrxx

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I do think good to start any new shooter with a .22. My girl was probably somewhat against guns but she wanted to try. After taking her to the car shoot last fall, she can't wait to get out some more. She shot my .22 pistol and the AR. Her son saw the pictures and commented "I wasn't even allowed to have toy guns as a child"

Anyway, got her signed up for the Women on Target class at Monument Beach next month. They actually have a few openings still and just signed up a girlfriend of hers.
Weren't many options when I started looking , but now a whole bunch more just opened up for the season, check out the NRA and GOAL websites. FYI there are more listed on NRA than GOAL.
 
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