How does one integrate one’s romantic life with one’s participation in the shooting sports? When selecting someone to um… couple with, how important (if at all) is it that they’re OK with firearms? Is their level of interest (or lack thereof) crucial in choosing whom to date and marry? Or is it better to let the whole shooting aspect evolve (or not) as the relationship does? Enquiring minds want to know.

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29 Responses to Question of the Day: Are Firearms a Romantic Litmus Test?

  1. Anti-gun women generally have a host of other problems. Like Freud said, a fear of weapons is unhealthy. For a one night stand the anti-gun gal is fine.

    Any level of commitment requires an openness to firearms, self-defense, and the great outdoors on her part.

  2. If I can’t sleep with one under my pillow then it won’t last. If they refuse training that’s the breaking point. If they like guns then I can foresee keeping them.

    Nothing else is dictated by their reactions to guns that isn’t relevant to weaponry and combat. Not as far as I have seen. Some psychological traits correlate but figuring that out is second to safeguarding my shooting irons.

  3. It’s no different than any other hobby. If the better half doesn’t like it, it’ll be a point of friction. If she doesn’t care either way, it’s probably somewhere between a non-issue and something you can attempt to involve her in. If she owns more of the hobby in question than you already, start ring shopping.

    That said, guns can cause some women to go into complete pants-crapping hysteria mode. Those ones are crazy, and should be avoided anyway.

  4. She either gets it or she doesn’t. If she doesn’t get it, she doesn’t get me. If she does, then maybe there’s a chance. Maybe.

  5. My fiancee is only semi-interested in firearms, but she also doesn’t care about how much time I spend at the range or when I go off on some tangent about a firearm being used incorrectly/unrealistically on TV. So its pretty much a non-issue.

    • It’s a great opportunity to see how much she wants to control your relationship. If she is ok with buying one herself and takes to shooting then she might be a keeper. If she gets all weird and tries to manipulate, pressure, or threaten your relationship because of a gun then dump her and move on. Keep in mind that if children are in the future she may change her viewpoint later on to negative or maybe be more honest about it. You also need to know a girlfriend’s women friends: their real (not bs) values and beliefs. They do now and will in the future influence her in ways you can’t imagine. BTW, if a wife or woman you are living with weirds out and makes a false assault or other related claim against you then say good-bye to your guns. Think it will not happen to you then roll your dice and take your chances.

      Heck, just don’t date any women that you don’t meet at the shooting range and do mention in your personal ad that you want a real woman only who likes to shoot real guns frequently. All others need not apply.

  6. Depends. If she was raised to be anti or was brought up in a rabidly anti state like NJ, yet upon honest discussion proves herself open to new ideas and willing to try her hand at it, then there’s a possibility.

    Basically, what I mean is if she’s anti because she was taught to be, much like some people are religious simply because they were raised to be, not because they truly believe upon close self-examination, then there might be hope. Intelligence might shine through; that’s the real test. But if she’s anti in a Brady Bunch kind of of way that proves her to be irrational, lacking of common sense, a victim, and psychologically imbalanced, then shove her out and drive like the wind.

  7. My girlfriend was raised in Australia and is 15 years younger, so there is a wee bit of an issue. She had zero experience with firearms, and wasn’t too keen on learning. To be fair, I think alot of that is she has a fairly severe degenerative eye condition and has already had one corneal transplant, so she is understandably nervous about anything that could further damage her vision. Plus, it’s hard to shoot if you can’t see very well. She tolerates my hobby with pretty good humour though, although at first she was quite appalled at the number of firearms I own. Once we move and live closer to a decent outdoor range, I’m sure she will be happy to participate, I don’t blame her for hating the local indoor ranges at all, since I hate them too.

  8. My wife was nervous about guns when I married her. When we got married I realized I was old enough to start buying my own guns. I told her we should get a handgun for the house and for me to carry. She was a little reluctant at first. After a bit of explaining and saftey expalanation she was OK with it. 4 years and 4 guns later she makes sure I have my pistol with me when we leave. We have a gun stuff budget and are starting the process of picking her a carry pistol for the future. We watch Top Shot together for two reasons. 1, it is the only TV show we both really enjoy watching together and 2, we watch it and she is more interested in going shooting and wants me to go shoot more. It has been a great transition and evolution for both of us. Its pretty good now.

  9. My wife (then girlfriend) did not like guns. At all. But, it was never really an issue that really caused any friction. We would discuss it periodically and I would use logic and reason to try to enlighten her. All of her opposition was based on emotion, anecdote and lack of exposure to firearms. We moved in together and the only objection was that I had to keep them locked up (which I did anyways). Over the years, however, I have taken her to the range, she has fired my guns and has even expressed the desire to take a CCW class. She made me feel are warm and fuzzy not too long ago when I heard her say to someone, “guns are not evil, people are”. The only mild objection that I get now has to do with how much I spend on range time, ammo and the occasional stray that comes home with me from the gun shop.

  10. I originally met my wife while shooting skeet… There’s never been a problem with firearms in my house! She supports me fully in my firearm/knife endeavors. We even have a biannual family shootout (like a family reunion with guns).

    I couldn’t imagine living with someone who had different ideals and standards.

  11. For me they must at least be OK with me having guns – it’s preferable that they enjoy shooting as well. Thankfully my current girlfriend loves guns and actually is the one encouraging me to buy more every time I try to resist my impulse to by my latest object of desire.

  12. I wouldn’t date a gun grabber, they tend to have all sorts of other unsavory opinions that would make one unsuitable.
    On the other hand, I do not insist my SO shares all of my interests – I would prefer a woman at least interested enough to learn how to use the home defense shotgun (and someone who wants to go hunting with me would be nice)… but as long as there are no arguments about keeping firearms in the house, or around this time of year when it’s time to go up to deer camp, I just don’t see it as being as important as half a dozen other things.

  13. My favorite quote from my current GF, “I’m not anti-gun, I’m anti-YOU having guns!”.

    I’ve made it very clear that I’m not selling my guns and I’m going to continue to carry my guns, and she hasn’t made an issue out of it thus far. She’s uncomfortable around firearms, and I’m hoping to slowly change that attitude.

  14. I’ve mentioned before that my wife is a Cop’s daughter. She grew up in a household with firearms and had been shooting before. Not on the same level as my upbringing but she knew how to hold a pistol and the basic safety requirements. So; it was natural for us to use range time as quality family time.

    In the past, though, I have always tried to take care and never date the anti-gun types. A few times they made it under the radar but they never stuck around long. If it comes down to the woman or the guns… Well, I can cook my own meals.

  15. Years ago the wife asked me to remove the 12 gauge from the bedroom because she felt uncomfortable.
    Gave her a choice.
    Remove the shotgun and if something goes bump in the night she can check it out, shotgun stays and I do the checking.
    I am still the one checking

  16. If she’s into gun control, she’s probably into other kinds of control.

    That said, there are probably lots of guys out there who are relatively happily married to very controlling wives.

  17. My (now ex-wife) started having problems when I started getting active in the civil rights movement; she just didn’t see it as a civil rights issue. I’m not sayin’ that it caused our break-up, but it did keep me from saying ‘yes’ a couple of years later when she wanted to give it another try.
    In between her and the current wife I dated a number of women, and the two who had issues (one had been shot by a former BF but she still blamed the gun) didn’t want a second date with me carrying, so they didn’t get a second date.
    Current wife tolerates my passion and has even promised to bail me out and call my lawyers if/when I get arrested again.

  18. I like guns, I have guns, I will eventually have more guns, I carry guns. If I have kids they will learn safety and to shoot, they will learn that guns are for recreation AND defense. Serious candidates for girlfriend/wife need to be willing to learn to safely operate my guns, period. After that I’m easy to get along with.

    And to tell you the truth, if a girl doesn’t at least carry some kind of pepperspray I’m pretty much uninterested. I’ve bought pepperspray for newish girlfriends before. If they don’t make it a habit to have it with them I dump them. If I’m involved with someone I want to know they take seriously the responsibility to protect their loved ones (which could be me!) and themselves. If they don’t, I’m not involved.

    -D

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