My soon-to-be-fiance (the stone's currently getting mounted in the setting) has no problem w/ my having guns or shooting.... she's accompanied me to a couple matches, I've gotten her to shoot a couple times, etc. But she's content w/ it being -my- thing, and I don't want to push her.
However, when I'm visiting her (she lives in a free-state, and I'm in MD), I often am carrying (legally of course), esp since it's a fairly lengthy trip and we all know free-ways are statistically some of the worse places in the country. Well a couple times we've gotten ready to go out for a walk, the mall, or whatever, and I've slipped the gun on.... and she gets sunddenly uncomfortable and I get the "sighs" and comments like "it's just the mall!"
and FINALLY, to the question.........
Can I get some feedback from the ladies on my long-term thoughts on approaching this issue??
First, when we are wed, and she's around all the time, she's going to see a pistol on my hip several times a week as I practice for matches (holster presentations, reloads, dry-fire, etc). When on the phone she often hears my dry firing while talking. I'm hoping this eventually translates into comfort with my having a pistol, hidden, when out of the house. IE something she's "used" to.
Secondly, she's not totally blind to the dangers of the world. She recently had a dream where her and I are confronted and I'm packing, I tell her to run, and when she's running she hears two shots and wakes up terrified. I want to, over time, impress how terrified she would have been had she heard shots and I was NOT armed.... 100% chance the rounds were AT me, not FROM.
3rd. She lives in small town America (litterally like 2000 people). Yet when we've been on walks there have been a couple times when she's jumped at dogs barking or starting at us, or heard firecrackers and jumped, etc. I hope to impress on her how bad things happen anytime, even on quite Sunday walks, and bad can mean dog as much as thug.
4th. I hope to discuss news events with her. I've already done this to some extent. News story in August showing 2 guys robbing bank wearing heavy winter coats to hide guns. I discuss with her if it's August and you see those losers in big coats, LEAVE. Make an excuse to the teller to go out to the car for 5 min. I plan to discuss with her how every "breaking" news story begins with "Nothing like this has ever happened here," or "it's such a nice neighborhood," etc.
I don't plan to be nagging, or always saying "see... I told you" when the news is on, etc. And I don't want to come off as paranoid, but I want her to be comfortable within the first couple of years and it not be a big deal... just like putting on the watch.
Anyone here gone through similar circumstances? Any advice on my thoughts on approaching it?
Let me discourage you from rubbing her nose in safety issues. You take your duty to protect seriously. If she is already skiddish, because you make her think there is a boogie man around every bush, then she'll be even worse off.
When I do have a gun in the car or something, it makes me hypersensitive and stressed out. I know, it should calm me down, and if I were in southside San Antonio and broke down on the highway, I'd be extremely happy to be armed. But with one around, I'm constantly reminded of danger, also, I'm a "daydreamer" by nature, a gun is a serious responsibility. It's a lot of work to pull my head out of the clouds nonstop with a gun around or on my hip. I have to be on my guard and it's tiring. This is not in my nature, but it is in my husband's and probably most men's. In otherwords, what comes natural for you can cause an inordinate amount of stress for someone else.
About your carrying... I'd say just do it when you feel so inclined. It is your responsibility; however, don't freak her out all the time either by telling her stories about violence. Just tell her that you want to be prepared to defend your family and that you are constantly on alert anyway so it isn't an extra burden for you. What woman won't find that endearing?
Her dream is definitely telling you something about her fears. Perhaps, she thinks that worrying about danger will draw it to you. Sort of like this... "Worrying is praying for something bad to happen."
First of all, I am two noids!! It is no longer a slam to me when people tell me that. Hey, I love the fact that my husband will do anything to protect his family, and I have his back also. But I feel very strongly that women need to take SOME responsibility for their own safety. If you can chain a good man around your waist to take care of you, then your safety isn't AS much of an issue. Back in the real world though, there may be a situation that YOU (man/woman whom ever) find yourself in that calls on you to defend yourself. I can hear it in my head, "It's just the mall." Yeah and we all know NOTHING bad could happen in the mall, grocery store, etc.
I hate to come off harsh but this subject really pisses me off. I'm generalizing terribly but only because I have known WAY to many people that ALLOW themselves to be victimized, and it's hard enough to stay safe when you do everything right!
I agree with not forcing her or however it was worded. If she's like what you described above, then the thug will probably rip it out of her hand and brain her with it anyway. And about the dream, I had those all the time when I was young and didn't feel I was safe in my area.
Now that I'm trying not to rant like a fool, I think JUST relying on a weapon is not always the best idea either. Taking one of the many types of martial arts (in conjunction with a weapon you have practiced with) or a self defense class, can be a great way to build confidence (Power)! IF she doesn't feel like a victim anymore, then maybe she can stop acting like one.
I don't think I have answered your ? but I really don't know how you get through to some people. Maybe I can take her on a tour of where I grew up, she'll be on the next list for a CCW. Sorry I wasn't more help.
ETA: That shit about your sister DblFeed seems to be a common idea with the women I know outside of this forum. Sad.
[quoteAnd I don't want to come off as paranoid]
It may be called paranoid when nothing happens, but it is called prepared when something does.
BTW, if you live in MD, do you mind letting the rest of us MDers in on the secret, legal way to carry concealed in "The not-so-free State"?
Thanks, everyone, for the discussion so far.
First, colesteele, I carry when travelling/visiting her... outside of MD. Though I'm considering applying to MD, I keep hearing of more people getting permits w/ less and less restrictions. I have my fingers crossed for BE's 2nd term.
You've offered some interesting insight and perspectives I would not have thought of.
Addressing your first paragraph: I don't feel I do "rub her nose in it." We haven't talked about anything related in many weeks. In fact, sometimes it's not even talking directly w/ her, but her being around myself/friends as we talk about news events and how vulnerable we are here in MD since we can't CCW (we had two murders this year within blocks, "and it's such a nice quiet neightborhood.").
For your second paragraph, that I can definately understand... being stressed out or hypersensitive. Most people new to CCW are that way. This is why I talked about her becoming "used" to seeing me with a firearm. That way, when it's concealed and I'm acting as if it's not there, it really won't be a big deal. Hopefully she'll forget about it w/in 5-min of leaving the house.
Your perspective on the dream is interesting. First, she's super "level headed" and I can't see her rationalizing that worrying=causing. What I left out (for briefness' sake) was in her dream, her father was also there and armed when the bad guy came. Her father does not CCW but does own firearms. The manly-man in me was hoping the dream was a "passing of the protectorate" or something... Thanks again for the different perspective for me to chew on.
Oh, and when you said "About your carrying... I'd say just do it..." That's my plan, and she realizes that. I like your suggestion on how to tell her though. Thanks! ;)
DoubleFeed... I often agree w/ your sister that you need hope, and no matter what we do it may not be enough. Sometimes in life you're just blindsided. But I like to have the chance to alter the outcome. At least that's how I usually justify CCW.
GreenAmmo_223.... Yea, I'm paranoid. I don't take it a a slam. I said I don't want to come off that way though... like daydreamer said, make her even more skiddish by always rambling about the man in the bushes. As for thugs ripping guns out of her hands... we're not there yet, I'm starting w/ her being comfortable with ME having a gun. Her getting her own CCW is a long ways down the road.
txcowgirl (I like that name!)... I'm not trying to get her to CCW, just be more comfortable w/ me doing it. I maybe didn't make that clear, especially in the title. On the idea of the gun show, I was a little bummed when she came to an IDPA match w/ me... there's usually a couple women shooters, but none the time she came.
OK man, don't want to make anyone scared about a man in the bushes. Hope he is as understanding about not scaring you/her or worse. I should have looked and seen you are in MD, enough said!
My husband has raised the issue of my taking responsibility for the security of myself, and now my son. I don't "poo-poo" his concern, but I don't carry a pistol everywhere I go either. With a toddler to be, that can be dangerous in its own right. I'm not excusing myself from the responsibility. I do carry a knife and rocks with me when I go for walks. I generally stay away from places that are private, dark, etc. I have two handguns at different locations in my home also. I don't consider myself a shirker. When I go hiking with my friend along the border, I carry openly or not.
I respect your taking on the responsibility of carrying regularly. I don't say "habitually"... that seems unsafe. I feel like if I carried I'd always have to have this thing niggling in my mind, "Be careful. It it still there? Where is everyone else in relation to it?", Etc.
(edited to add:)
About the dream, ah the murky world of dream interpretation. You may be very right.. Are you measuring up?
The dream concerns me the most. If this is something that plagues her mind so much that she carries it with her into sleep and dream state this could be a permanent problem.
I carry everywhere except in the punk places that put up a 'sign' (it's a concession that the Texas legislator made with the bed wetters - I can explain it if necessary) in which instances I lock the gun with a cable under the front seat (SUV -> no trunk). My GF is fine with it - sometimes she rolls her eyes if we are just going to the grocery store or when I delay us because I have to lock it under the seat. She does hate it when I sight them sporadically in the apartment - I try to explain to her that it is important to be able to do it quickly because an asailant isn't going to sit still while I calmly breath and line the perfect shot.
The thing that has put my GF most at ease is the prevailing gun culture of Texas in general and the fact that I've been raised around them and never shot anyone deliberately or accidentally. She is so tired of my explaining to her how the US and Texas owes it's independence to guns. At the end of it all guns are merely tools - very dangerous tools, but tools nonetheless. This post started out seeming like it would help, but now it seems like it hinders.