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Dear Annie: I’m a newly-single guy, who’s gone from neutral on the issue of gun ownership to a place where I now believe every responsible citizen should know how to use – and own – some kind of firearm for the purpose of self defense. But when I bring this up to the women I’m dating, I get some negative reactions. Many of them are pro gun-control, and tell me I’m nuts for having a gun in the house. What should I do?

– Serious about Self Defense

Dear Serious:

Stick to your guns! But you might want to be a wee bit more politic in how you broach the subject. For instance, you might want to wait a bit until you’ve gone out a couple of times before bringing it up. Sounding them out on their opinions first is another good idea, and if you couch it in terms of “I want to be able to protect my family” and “I’ve gotten training, and I practice regulalry” (you DO, don’t you?). That should help. But if they remain steadfastly anti-gun, you should perhaps think about finding someone a little more like-minded.

– Annie

Dear Annie: How many guns are too many? I’ve got a tactical shotgun, and one setup for hunting, a revolver, and a pistol. I want to get a level-action rifle, and a smaller pistol so I can conceal carry. My girlfriend thinks I’m nuts. Help!

– Pistol Pete

Dear Pete:

Sound’s like you’ve come down with a case of Firearms Acquisition Syndrome, also known as “F.A.S.” When it strikes, F.A.S. is incurable. But the condition can be managed, usually by a lack of discretionary income. My advice would be to set up a budget for your purchases – maybe a separate savings account that becomes your “gun fund” – that way you can save for the weapons you want without neglecting your girlfriend’s basic bias for bling. You want to balance your fawning over firearms with your fawning over her. Remember, a girl’s got needs!

– Annie

Dear Annie: After we married, my wife decided to learn to shoot and get her concealed carry license. I tagged along and got interested myself. But she’s a better shot than I am, and it’s really starting to get to me! What can I do?

– Confused in Colorado

Dear Confused: Anything you can do, she can do better, huh? I love it! There is a solution, though . . . get to the range, silly! More practice will make you a better shot. Shootin’s not the cheap fun it used to be, though. Have you thought about buying a .22 pistol? .22 ammo is dirt cheap, meaning you can shoot all day for a Hamilton or so. Reps are more important than caliber, big boy, so git yer gun and git to the range!

– Annie

Dear Annie:

My boyfriend seems to feel threatened what I do for my own protection. I have a conceal carry permit, I go to the range weekly, and I’m taking a weekly course in Philippino-style self defense. He’s nervous around my gun, and is always worried that I’m gonna go postal on him or something. I really care about him, but all this up-tight talk is a real turn-off. What can I do?

– Sleeveless in Seattle

Dear Sleeveless:

Hmmm. Most guys are far too macho (or pretend to be) to admit that they’re nervous around guns. We have a name for those that admit to a case of the yips around firearms. We call them “Liberals” or “Progressives.” If that’s the case here, you’re outta luck – there’s no known cure. But if he’s not a Kool-Aid drinker at the HuffPo or Daily Koz, you might try taking him to the range and to your self-defense class so he can see what’s what.

Education is the best defense against ignorance, and it sounds like your sweetie is just ignorant of what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. One more thing…the first time you take him to the range, if you’re shooting silhouette targets, do yourself a favor and stick to aiming at the center-mass heart area. Guys are soooooooo sensitive when they see gals going for the gonads. All the best…

– Annie

Dear Annie:

I’ve been searching the world over for a girl that gets guns like I do. And I think I’ve finally found her. It’s you! Are you available? What do you look like? Inquiring minds wanna know!

– Lovelorn Larry

Dear Lovelorn:

Chill. First of all, You can’t get a gal with a gun. Even me. There’s more to romance than Rugers, and more to seduction than Sig Sauers. You need to take a step (or ten) back and think about your priorities. Obviously, a girl that shoots is important, but personality, compatibility and looks should be higher up on your list of priorities. You need to know someone before you fall in love with them. There’s no business like KNOW business, when it comes to girls – or guns. I’m flattered, but I prefer to keep my personal life and professional life separate. Toodles…

– Annie

Dear Annie:

You’re a girl. What do you think is the perfect gun for conceal carry for women?

– Just Curious

Dear Curious:

Thanks for noticing! I think the best gun depends on the situation. Typically, the ‘best’ gun is the one you have in your hand, when trouble comes. But if you want to know which gun to buy, that’s a little trickier. I believe any woman can learn to handle any gun – all this nonsense about “I’m a girl and I can’t handle big guns” is just that – nonsense. However, many women I’ve met just aren’t interested in carrying around a cannon…they want something small and lightweight, that won’t require carrying a big handbag – or taking a course in weightlifting.

My general recommendation would be either a small semi-auto in .380 or 9mm, or a small-frame revolver chambered in .38 special. Frankly, if you’re willing to practice on a regular basis (no less than once per month) the semi-auto’s a better deal – you’ll get a larger capacity weapon with less recoil.

But if you want a gun that requires no more thought than “where’s the trigger” and is truly “point and shoot,” get a revolver. Oh, and you might want to get a purse specially made for conceal carry – fishing around in your bag for your gun is not what you want to be doing when some bozo assaults you in a parking garage.

– Annie

Annie Oakley is the nom de blog of TTAG’s resident advice columnist, offering personal advice to lovelorn gun owners the world over. The opinions expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect those of this publication. But should.

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  1. Some more advise for Confused in CO: Air pistols. You can pick up a non CO2 pump pistol for around $50 and 500 pellets for about $5. That's cheap shooting right there. Take the proper safety precautions and you can set up a nice shooting range at home.

  2. Dear Annie – Why do so many handguns feature the same ugly shade of Pepto Bismol Pink? I get that women are supposed to like color, but why that color? And who says women don't like metals? I've specified kitchen and bathroom fixtures in bright brass, chrome, bronze, brushed nickel, pewter, white, black, … but never pink.


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