Need Help: Trying to convince the GF to Carry

This is a discussion on Need Help: Trying to convince the GF to Carry within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Originally Posted by tinkerinWstuff Get yourself a little 10/22 and go plinkin for fun. Quit talking to her about handguns and carrying. The more you ...

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Thread: Need Help: Trying to convince the GF to Carry

  1. #16
    Member Array cl00bie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tinkerinWstuff View Post
    Get yourself a little 10/22 and go plinkin for fun. Quit talking to her about handguns and carrying. The more you push, the more she'll push back. You can shoot a little ruger 10/22 all day long without getting sore or gun shy.
    That's what I did. And I bought a bolt buffer for the 10/22 and installed it to make it a little easier on the almost negligible recoil.

    My wife is getting her pistol permit (I mentioned if something happened to me, she'd have to turn in the guns to the Sheriff for disposal if there was nobody with a permit to put them on). Once she does, I'll introduce her to the .357 mag revolver loaded with light .38 spc loads.

    Then move on to the LCP, and finally the Mossberg camper special with the security barrel and tac light.

    Quote Originally Posted by tinkerinWstuff View Post
    Let her interest come around slowly. When she sees how fun it is to target shoot a .22, she'll start asking to go to the range for dates and trying other guns.
    She may not like it or have any interest. Be ready for that too.
    -Tony

    "Those who beat their guns into plowshares will plow for those who didn't." -- Thomas Jefferson

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  3. #17
    JD
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    As previously posted

    Quote Originally Posted by pgrass101 View Post


    Biggest advice I can give you is let her pick her gun and then pay for her to take a class instead of trying to teach her yourself.

    After her class then go to the range together and let her show you what she learned. This really helped with me and my wife


    Ditto. It's very hard to "teach" your spouse anything.

    I tried it, and then had to give up, it just wasn't working.

    This ought to be a good read for the OP, it's a post of mine from another thread, but it should have some relevant info regarding this thread:

    Quote Originally Posted by JD View Post
    Well "We" meaning "I" had it pretty darn easy, Lima has been a shooter since before we ever met, mainly with rifles, she was OK with it, but didn't enjoy it as much as she does now (her words).

    When we got married, I had a few long guns and two handguns, and to be honest, I don't think she even looked at them for the first 6 months to a year we were married.

    We had looked at guns for her prior to me buying her first gun, so I had a basis of what she liked, but we didn't talk about it a lot.

    Just before our wedding, I think the day before I picked up a Bersa .380 which she had mentioned that she liked, and I gave it to her as a wedding gift.

    She was still 20 at the time, so carry wasn't an issue, but I wanted her to have "her" gun for times when I was on the road to at least have something that was hers to keep next to the bed (no kids)

    You can actually read about this on her website in her blog, she was very receptive of this as she did see the point of having a gun around the house.

    As she was getting closer to the big 21, I mentioned that I would like her to get her PA license to carry firearms, as I was going out of town more and more for work related trips, she agreed and didn't make a fuss, and in fact was insistent on getting more training. My only concearn was that she choose another gun in a caliber larger than the .380 that she had at the time. We sat and talked at long lengths about what she liked didn’t like and what she wanted and she chose her Kimber Ultra Carry in .40S&W.

    She's "evolved" quite a lot since then, she is all ways willing to learn and seek knowledge and putting lots of effort into her skill development.

    I really don't have any advice on how to persuade someone to carry who doesn't want to, because Lima wasn't like that.

    However, what I can do is explain my side of "The Lima Saga" as it sometimes seems.

    First off, I never made it about me, there was no "I WANT YOU TO CARRY..." it was "I'd like you to carry..." It was never really about what I wanted, but what I would prefer. If she had said no, I would have quit the frontal approach and gone for more subtle methods and not made a big issue of it.

    The biggest thing that made this whole thing easy is that we communicated through every step of it all, if she had doubts, or misgivings we talked about it in depth.

    “My wife has a very nice Sig P226 (so nice I often want to borrow it), but she is reluctant to take it out of the house, unless she is on a road trip to south Florida to visit me if I am down there for an extended period of time.

    In a situation like the above quote, you have to ask WHY it’s a pretty important thing, when you do find out what “why” is, don’t be condescending and tell her she’s irrational….TRUST ME. Take her thoughts into consideration and discuss it intelligently.

    Second, I don't like people that go out to buy guns for their wives with no clue on what they (the wife) may like, they just go out and buy whatever they think their wives will like. About the only thing that gets considered is grip and is it super small.

    Honestly I don't get it, yes guns are tools, but they are personal tools and should be picked out by the person who is going to shoot it and carry it. We spent days and days looking at different guns, discussing caliber, looking at carry options, laws, a lot of talks regarding mind set and scenarios . Now at the time I had a limited arsenal, and didn't have the bankroll to go out and rent a bunch of guns and pay for range time for her to try out a bunch of guns. But I was receptive to her wants and needs in her firearm, I'd taken her to enough gun shops to know what she liked and didn't like, the Bersa was one that she liked (one of the few)

    Don't buy your wife something just because someone says "my wife loves "X" by all means solicit opinions, but make it a "bonding experience" let your wife look at the suggestions, then hit a gun show and let her handle the suggestions.

    That's the third thing, make it fun, and do it together, let her know that this isn't some excuse for you to go out and play with more guns.

    Again this goes back to it's about her likes and wants not your's.

    BE SUPPORTIVE.

    If she does want a little .32 to start with, that's fine don't berate her choices. As the saying goes it's better to have .32 in a pocket than a Sig 220 in the dresser. She'll need to like the gun if she's going to carry it.

    If she wants to carry in the purse at first, BE SUPPORTIVE, again better to have the .32 in the purse than at home.

    As time goes by she may decide to get something bigger, and may decide to change carry methods.

    BE SUPPORTIVE

    **Note, to any ladies, I'm presenting this as husband’s perspective simply because this is based on my perspective and experiences.

    Now here’s the big problem, you have to realize and be man enough to admit, that while you may have tons of knowledge, you may not be the best one to teach and instruct your spouse on the finer points of shooting / concealed carry.

    We did have some issues with this, I was used to teaching Marine Infantrymen how to use communications gear, and on occasion teach them how to shoot the M16 better on the range…..
    TEACHING MARINES AND TEACHING LIMA WERE TOTALLY DIFFERENT!!!!!

    While you can tell a Marine to “suck it up” “deal with it” “do what I say or I’ll stomp a mud-hole in your chest…."

    Not a good approach with your spouse

    I got her through the basics, but after a bit, I was starting to do more harm than good and it was making it more awkward on the range, that’s when I started looking into outside training.

    Now as I realized that there would be some questions I could not answer and lots of things that I could not teach her (for my own lack of teaching skill, and for spousal stubbornness) I wanted to increase my knowledge in order to steer her right and started looking for information, guess where that led me? HERE. After a while, I got sick and tired of her always asking me everything, I wanted her to start looking up information on her own and finding her own resources, and answers. Guess where she ended up? HERE.

    I guess the biggest things in trying to get your spouse into shooting / carrying are:


    1) It’s not about you; you know that, she doesn’t.

    2) You can’t pressure them; it makes it far from enjoyable for them.

    3) Make it something that you can learn from together, Lima and I just came back from a training class we took together, how cool is that for a bonding experience?
    1200 rounds, ear muffs, guns and range attire. What could make a better “date”

    4) You have to be supportive if and when she starts shooting; I’ve seen some guys make fun of their spouses for not shooting well. Guess what guys, if you do that, your just going to **** off your wife and she’s not going to want to shoot anything but you. This leads to #5, can you guess what it is?

    5) BE SUPPORTIVE. In general, women like to have someone to stand beside them.

    6) In all things, be supportive, know the difference between constructive criticism and criticism. (*NOTE: The whole men are from Mars, women are from Venus thing comes into play, you have to communicate effectively in woman speak when dishing out constructive criticism, otherwise your just an to her. (see above portion on intelligent discussion)

    7) Have fun, at first when I was carrying around Lima, I pretty much acted like I had a stick up my rear, you can still carry, have a good time, while remaining alert and watchful, if you come across as a tightwad while carrying, guess what? Your wife thinks the same might happen to her and she might not want to act like a tightwad.

    I think that covers it for the fundamentals. Now I’m not saying we (gun guys) are all like this, but you have to admit, when you look at the majority, you can see it, and it’s always the guys who will do the complete opposite of this post that are always complaining that their spouse wants nothing to do with guns.

    Well that’s about it for now, it’s late and unlike Lima I don’t usually write long posts, my brain is fried and my fingers are cramping….
    And

    I think if you push to hard, she may "give in" for lack of a better term only to make you happy, not because SHE wants to get her own gun.

    Slow and steady wins the race, while she's dropping hints, just having a gun isn't enough, she needs the will to use such a tool, if she lacks the will, or doesn't fully grasp what it means to have a gun for self defense, she may be better off with OC spray. Work on her mindset first.

    Also, don't discount the autos. When it does come time for her to get her own gun, let her choose, find a shop with range that has rental guns and let her try as many as possible. While a lot of women love J-K frame revolvers, they don't fit everybody. Choosing a firearm is a very personal thing. Everyones likes and dislikes are are different.

    While your .40 may be to sharp in the recoil dept. (I don't like .40s for this reason) there's no reason to exclude 9mm and .45 autos from the list. My itty-bitty wife favors the .45ACP. in a 4" all steel 1911.

    You may find some of these links helpful.

    Member PAX's website: Cornered Cat

    And my wife's (Limatunes) Website

  4. #18
    Member Array jfrommbg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DopdBrd View Post
    Ok, well I have been dating this girl for a LONG time and do plan on marrying her some day. For now, she lives 4 hours away (school and a job). I do plan on moving up there with here within the next few months, but we will not live together. This is due mostly to the parents who believe we should not live together until married, which is totally understandable.

    She just moved into an apartment by herself after having a conflict with her old roomate. It's not a bad place but I was there last weekend and there are some shady looking people living in the complex.

    Now she is NOT into guns whatsoever. Which is the total opposite to me. I DO NOT plan on just giving her a gun and just letting her go. I want to slowly introduce her to guns and gun safety like I was when I was a kid. My dad raised me right and I handled and "dry fired" a gun for probably a year before he gave me live rounds.

    I have my CCL and would LIKE her to have one too but I would like to get her started on guns first. I want to start her off with basics, loading and unloading, clearing the chamber, safety's, basic handling, and etc. All without live rounds of course. Then I would like to start her off with my .22 just so she can get the hang of it then move up slowly to larger calibers. Probably nothing larger than a 9mm though.

    I just ordered a Ruger LCP that should be here on Tuesday or Wednesday and it will be mine for now but after she does get comfortable with guns and HOPEFULLY gets her CCL I would like to give that to her.

    I just feel that I would rather be an armed citizen than an unarmed victim, and I would like to loved ones to be the same way. It's just that the world today is too crazy and anyone would kidnap, rape, and kill you just because of a thought passing through there mind. ESPECIALLY since she is an attractive girl living by herself in a college town without me living a short distance away.

    Do any of you have any tips or hints as far as training and getting her used to guns goes???
    Well I have had a similar situation. Been with the same woman for almost eight years. Moved in together almost 3 years ago. She never liked guns. I have kept them locked up in gun cases and kept the pistol in a drawer for all this time. I recently got my LTCF and I am actually looking to buy a ruger LCP. I never ever forced her to hold one never asked her to go to the range. Well just so happens we were on our way to the supermarket and I had her stop at the local indoor range as I wanted to pick up some info on their hours and any safety courses. I haven't been shooting in years and want to take a saftey course and go target shooting again. Out of the blue she states she would go to the course with me and go to the range as well. Blew me away. Her rationale was, "You go looking for antiques with me and do stuff your not interested in so I should take an interest in the things you want to do." She is still timid about it and scared of handling a gun but I think the safety course and me not pressuring her helped. She is not an anti gunner but they just make her nervous since she never handled one. Not sure about your situation but I would suggest gently educating her on the subject. i.e. guns don't kill people, people kill people. Having a respect for the guns and handling them safely make them no more dangerous than anything else like cars, etc. So my plan is to get us into a safety course and then go to the range after that. The range is out of town and close to a church we want to start attending. So my plan is hitting a breakfast place, going to church and then to the range since they are are in the same vicinity. She likes a good Sunday breakfast and wants to start attending church regulary so I have the incentive there to get her to the range afterward. Nothing wrong with a little incentive or bribery. :) Grub, God and Guns. Somehow that sounds strange but it works logistically. Anyway, Good Luck with her. I hope it works out for you two.

  5. #19
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    My husband (JD) already posted a pretty lengthy post in here so I'll try to make this brief (I know, I know, those of you who are long time DC members are already giggling and going for the coffee)...

    I think your plan is a good one. Starting her out small, educating her, working on safety, training her or getting her good training, etc. and while that's all well and good that doesn't help her in her current situation.

    Naive is something we all have to deal with at some point or another and a couple weeks ago JD and I were talking about self defense vs justice vs punishment, mindset and defensive thinking and he got a funny, kind of sad, smile on his face and said, "Sometimes I feel kind of bad about your 'progression.' I mean, it's a good thing that you are so aware, but it's sad that you have to think that way at all. It makes me proud but it also makes me sad."

    Naive is curable and is something that should be worked on ENTIRELY separately from gun handling. She can be an EXPERT with a firearm and still be COMPLETELY naive of her surroundings and her potential need for one and therefore never carry it or even put it in a prime location for use as a home defense tool.

    On the contrary, she could never touch a gun for the rest of her life and as long as she still has the right mindset and attitude toward self defense she could be more effective with some OC spray or a baseball bat than another woman with 100 guns!

    In grade school you learn Science and English. They are entirely different subjects with different teachers, different learning techniques and build entirely different parts of your basic knowledge. When in grade school you may have NO CLUE why you have to learn both, but suddenly, when you are in college and you find yourself writing a paper (English) on the tilt of the world on its axis and how it effects the seasons (Science) you see how seamlessly the two come together.

    It's the same with a survival mindset and guns.

    The survival mindset and the craft of handing a firearm are two totally separate subjects. They collide for those who choose to use the craft they have learned in a situation that requires a survival mindset.

    Work on them both but don't try to make them one subject. They aren't and they never will be.

    The mindset has to be there before she'll ever be able or willing to use a firearm in defense and therefore carry one as a defensive tool.

    The first step is awareness. She needs to be aware that there are threats out there and one day they may just come after her. Some suggest reading her newspaper stories or watching movies with her of abductions and rapes and home invasions and so on. I'm not saying it's a bad idea because it can work for some, but I'll be honest in saying it would have never worked for me.

    As you said, she's one who thinks that it could never happen to her or in her area and so on. We all know that's not true, but it's hard to get someone who doesn't see that to come to the light (as it were).

    Like I said, sometimes watching the videos and all that does work. Sometimes it doesn't and I have a theory as to why.

    Having a girlfriend (or anyone) watch a video or read an article about some guy she doesn't know, in a place she's never been, is way too impersonal. She may feel bad for the guy but it still doesn't touch her on a personal level. In the back of her head she's saying, "Well, that was him and there. It wouldn't/couldn't happen to me and here."

    For some, it needs to be personal.

    I've given this example before and I'll give it again.

    A while ago I was out to dinner with two girl friends and the subject of carrying a gun came up (as they know I carry). The question came up of "do you REALLY think you need it here? I mean, really?"

    I pointed to a guy in a booth two tables away and said, "See that guy? What would you do if he got up right now with a knife and started screaming that he was going to kill you? Look how close he is. What are your options? What would you do?"

    They both looked at the guy less than 12 feet away from them and both of their faces got very serious. It was personal because we weren't talking about some guy in a distant city who got attacked by someone they didn't know. We were talking about THEM sitting in a booth across from someone they could see and hear and, if they wanted to, touch. It was close, it was personal.

    After that night one of them has at least started carrying pepper spray and has expressed interest in carrying and the other has admitted that she sees why someone would carry a gun for defensive purposes.

    The second step, I believe, is preparation. Okay, someone may be aware that there are threats and they are close, but what can they do about them? A lot of people don't even know what they don't know. Locking the door, carrying pepper spray, keeping our heads up and remaining vigilant, all no-brainer stuff for those of us who've been doing it for awhile but to someone who is just starting out it's all new and fascinating. Walk her through it gently and with encouragement. Ask her questions, get her thinking...

    To use an analogy from a previous post...

    I believe it takes patience and tender probing to get people thinking the way that they should.

    It can be VERY frustrating to see and hear the kinds of comments that people say about shooting for the leg because they don't want to kill anyone, or about bringing a knife to a knife fight to be "fair."

    We (the general population here) see that as ridiculous because we have already considered those situations and see them in an entire different light than others do.

    They still see the world as being a fair place. They go about their lives under the rule of "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" and believe that as long as they don't hurt anyone and are friendly and kind, no one will ever hurt them in return. When they think of confrontations (which they hardly ever do) they think of being able to discuss their way out of things and being fair. They think about confrontations like they think about fighting with a spouse or a dear friend. They would never pull cheap shots and they would try to be reasonable.

    These are good rules to apply in a CIVIL world, but there is a big wide world out there that is furthest from civil and takes advantage of just how fair you are trying to be.

    The trick is showing other people our angle.

    Before they can start to truly grasp why it is we arm ourselves the way we do, they have to stand in our shoes and see what we see. Until they do, they will continue to walk around, unaware and unprepared.

    It's kind of like a man in a watch-tower over a court of people.

    The man in the watch tower sees the storm clouds and gets his rain coat on early. The people in the court look up and all they see is clear skies. They think the guy in the watch tower is paranoid. Then the man in the watch tower invites the people in the court up to the tower. Those who go up and see the storm clouds go, "Wow. Yeah, we need to get ready."

    Few get ready, and the rest of the people in the court learn the truth only when its pouring on their heads.

    Our goal should not be to make people uncomfortable, but to invite them up to the watch tower (so to speak), and show them what we see.

    A man in the watch tower who's been doing it for awhile has more experience reading the clouds. He can pick up on things that someone else may not. Even if he invites someone up, they may not entirely understand what they are seeing and he has to explain.

    This is what you can do by pointing out potential situations and asking her opinion.

    She may see the danger but not know how to respond or how to prepare against that danger.

    To use the weather analogy again, she doesn't understand if what you are seeing is sprinkles, a heavy rain or a hurricane.

    Ask her to interpret the situation in her own mind and tell you what she thinks the level of danger is and therefor the level of response. She may look at the clouds and say looks like rain. You can then point out how it looks like a hurricane. She may still not see exactly what you are seeing, but she can go away with a better understanding.

    It takes time and many trips up into the tower before someone can pinpoint exactly what situation calls for what kind of response. It takes experience. Experience that she doesn't have yet. Instead of her finding that experience through trial and error, I'd rather she had a gentle guide to point out some trouble spots and how they can be avoided.

    After she starts better understanding preparing for and against certain situations it may be a very natural step fer her to choose carrying a gun for herself.

    For instance, I carried a gun for a long time before I every carried a knife in accompaniment. One day, after a force-on-force drill with my husband where he successfully disarmed me I got to thinking about the prudence of a good defensive fixed-bladed knife because I knew I wouldn't be able to get a folder out in time.

    One day I came home with a Ka-Bar TDI. I showed it to my husband and he said, "I was waiting for you to get a good fixed blade. I didn't want to suggest it to you because I wanted to see if you would discover your need for one all on your own without my prodding you. I'm proud of you. It shows me that you're thinking of these things and progressing on your own."

    I, of course, felt very good for the praise.

    Get her thinking on her own and she just might surprise you with what she comes up with. Of course she may come up with some darned foolish stuff every now and then and you may have to tell her why her idea may not be the best one but at least you can praise her for thinking and being proactive and try to develop that.

    Start working on her mindset. It will help her more than a firearms craft EVER will.


  6. #20
    Distinguished Member Array tinkerinWstuff's Avatar
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    Wow Lima, well said!

    I think a lot of us can take something from that.
    "Run for your life from the man who tells you that money is evil. That sentence is the leper's bell of an approaching looter. So long as men live together on earth and need means to deal with one another-their only substitute, if they abandon money, is the muzzle of a gun."

    Who is John Galt?

  7. #21
    JRG
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    Thanks for keeping it brief Lima.....LOL
    Jim - Danville, IN

  8. #22
    AMH
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    Excellent advice so far

    Or you can do what I did.

    I came home from work early one day, unbeknownst to my wife, and found the front door not only unlocked, but actually wide open. I snuck in the house very quietly and found her on the toilet. When she stood up I jumped out and “tackled her”. She was so frightened she actually screamed and started punching me. I ignored her punches and held her down. I informed her that if I really was a bad guy she would be done for.

    She was so angry she wouldn’t talk to me for hours. But I proved my point. Since then she keeps a firearm close by and all the doors stay tightly locked!
    Join the NRA!
    The Second Amendment has nothing to do with hunting. It is about keeping the government in check. This requires that the citizenry is well armed and at all times has immediate access to arms.

  9. #23
    Distinguished Member Array tinkerinWstuff's Avatar
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    Lucky guy. You got stones. Could have been a quick way to divorce court. Think that falls under the catagory of tough love!
    "Run for your life from the man who tells you that money is evil. That sentence is the leper's bell of an approaching looter. So long as men live together on earth and need means to deal with one another-their only substitute, if they abandon money, is the muzzle of a gun."

    Who is John Galt?

  10. #24
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    Yeah, I don't know if I were to go THAT far to prove a point!!!! LOL

    But, lima has a VERY good point, and even though I have spend almost all morning reading that post when I had the spare time (LOL) she made some VERY good points.

    Thanks to all of you for the input!

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