How To Get Your Wife Comfortable With CCW
Concealed carry weapons sometimes pose disagreements between genders arguing about gun ownership and the gun control debate.
At times, CCW owners may even face marital problems because of their intention to have an everyday carry gun.
The facts are prominent. There is a demographic divide between genders in gun ownership.
According to a 2013 Pew Research Center survey, men are more than three times more likely to personally own a gun than women are, and 45 percent of men live in a gun-owning household as opposed to 30 percent of women.
In that same study, 37 percent of adults reported having a gun in their household, and 24 percent of adults personally owned a gun.
Approximately 74 percent of gun owners were men, as opposed to 26 percent being women.
Although, the number of women in shooting sports tends to show a rapid increase from 2001 to 2013, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade association for the American firearm industry.
In 2015, the NSSF distributed an infographic that marked an 85 percent increase in women hunters from 2001 to 2013, from 1.8 million to 3.3 million, and a 60 percent increase in women target shooters, from 3.3 million to 5.4 million.
More statistics later, but bottom line: you’re here because your wife or girlfriend is uncomfortable with firearms and concealed carry weapons, and you want to educate her and help her understand that these are constitutionally protected self-defense tools to be utilized to protect your household and loved ones, and additionally in your hands they’re not weapons of senseless, cold-blooded killing or domestic abuse.
Changing someone’s mind about a moral standpoint, however, will not happen overnight and this is not going to be a subject that can be obstinately charged through and solved in a single conversation.
According to a report published by the American Psychological Association, moral judgment is the result of snap-judgments (intuitions) first and later strategic reasoning. Someone isn’t going to initially step down from their perceived moral high ground when you’re attempting to flood them with what they believe is unethical conduct.
A common conception is that having a concealed carry weapon is like owning a fire extinguisher. Houses aren’t equipped with fire extinguishers because the owner is looking for fire. It is a precautionary tool stowed away safely until needed to protect the owner.
Unfortunately, she might consider you a precautionary tool as well, figuratively speaking, when you’re trying to persuade her that a firearm is not just a means of murder.
We get it. There’s a disagreement about firearms in your household. Let’s consider a few topics together, so you can rationally have a conversation with her when firearms come to the forefront of conversation. However, this isn’t an end all guide to solving this domestic dispute, and it may be a matter that simply doesn’t reach a conclusion.
For the sake of simplicity in this one article, this is focused on the disagreement between a man and woman about owning firearms, especially concerning concealed carry weapons. As heteronormative as that may seem, this conflict could occur within any household’s background and it’s similarly likely that men are against the issue as well.
The Gun Control Debate Exasperates the Matter at Hand
Cosmopolitan hasn’t done much to add rational conversation about the gun control debate. Not to say all women read Cosmopolitan, but media outlets have historically taken sides and used loaded language to drive a point home in one direction or the other about gun ownership.
To be fully transparent, though honestly it shouldn’t be necessary to mention, this blog vehemently supports gun rights, and its viewpoint will be just as subjective as many other outlets.
However, the point is this: media outlets can spread politically driven ideology on both sides of the aisle, and Cosmopolitan’s Singled Out campaign in conjunction with Everytown is an example of politically charged language used to twist issues and drive fear in consumers.
Perhaps speak with your significant other about bias she’s seen in the media, whether on the left or right, and outline what you consider to be false, but at least have some sort of argument for why you carry a weapon.
I’m not going to start wailing about the “sheeple,” and how Cosmo’s readers need to wake up and start seeing things our way, but I will say that pointing out the flaws in some issue coverage will help bring an objective viewpoint to the matter so you can bring forth honest discussion about how you feel about the matter.
Again, there’s no formula to get a significant other to support a moral or political viewpoint. All you can do is describe and demonstrate your viewpoint, which advocates safe, responsible, legal, appropriate ownership and utilization of firearms.
Consider these one-sided discussions about gun ownership. Cosmopolitan sat down couples and had them “discuss” gun control. However, what resulted is subjective editing to make the men in the video sound quieter and less knowledgeable about the guns they own and why they own them.
The video builds up gun-owning men as these meek, timid, invalid children unable to justify why they carry what one of the women calls “death machines.”
The entire three minutes is one digital example of the straw man fallacy, or building up a false representation of an opponent in a debate in order to delegitimize their actual position.
Though Cosmopolitan is attempting to ultimately bring awareness to a serious discussion about domestic violence and the need to curb it, they do so by passively attacking the other side of the gun control debate.
If anything, take note about every aspect of the discussion between these couples and prepare an actual conversation with your significant other that provides substance and reason to your viewpoint, while considering everything they have to say.
If anything, take all the invalid and valid elements from this video and another Cosmo video about “gunsplainers” and “mansplainers,” and learn from them. Don’t patronizingly explain elements about the subject at hand just because you think gender plays a role in the matter.
Have honest dialogue about concealed carry weapons and firearms in the household and attempt to deflate political components to the matter at hand. Additionally, dispel all the inaccuracies of gun-owning stereotypes.
A Conversation About Safe Gun Ownership Can Be Misdirected By Multiple Issues
The gun control debate will only complicate talking about gun ownership, no matter how you carry, when trying to convince a significant other that firearms themselves are not the issue, the user of the firearms is the issue.
An old English teacher back in high school taught me something valuable. In bold, red ink on the final page of my ten-page essay the words “KEEP IT SIMPLE, STUPID,” were written in all capitals. I tried to over analyze what I was attempting to say in the paper.
Don’t complicate a conversation and don’t tell her she should believe something just because you do.
You’re not stupid and neither is she, but simplify the conversation — not by patronizing her or talking down to her as if she doesn’t know anything about the matter, but by moving away from the red herring arguments that deviate from the intention of the conversation itself. Those conversations end up with one party being angry at the other, and once anger is a part of the equation a conversation derails.
Mark Goulston, a business psychiatrist and CEO adviser, points out a few good ways to listen to people in a conversation.
He outlines that “when people are upset, it matters less what you tell them than what you enable them to tell you. After they get their feelings off their chest, that’s when they can then have a constructive conversation with you. And not before.”
He said there are three questions to ask when trying to hear the other person.
- What are you most frustrated about?
- What are you most angry about?
- What are you really worried about
Another writing tip my high school English teacher taught me that may be useful for you: don’t tell people something, show people.
Don’t tell her that she’s been exposed to stereotypes and false analogies of gun ownership. Point out the inaccurate information.
“I Get It. Talk With Her, Not To Her. What Do I Say About Gun Safety and CCW?”
There isn’t an end-all statement that will magically solve the debate about gun safety and whether or not concealed carry weapons will be the best option to ensure the safety of her, yourself and your children, if you have them.
If there was a completely objective, universally accepted solution to handling, owning and using guns, separate from politics and personal opinion, there wouldn’t be continual debate about gun control measures. At Defend and Carry, we advocate Second Amendment rights, concealed and open carry, safe firearm handling, responsible gun use and the right to protect loved ones.
The issue is multi-faceted and she may have been exposed to the elements of the debate that drive fear and misunderstanding into the matter of gun ownership.
Consider pursuing these avenues.
Gun safety: Tell her to rely on a weapon only when it’s needed and to continually train and hone the ability to correctly and adequately use it. Consider reciting that Jeff Cooper’s four rules will ensure firearm safety — consider all guns are always loaded, never let the muzzle cover anything you are not prepared to destroy, keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target and be sure of your target and what is beyond it.
Guns are intended to be weapons, but they can be owned and trained with safely until the time comes when there’s no other option but to utilize them against a home invader or attacker with all possible legal and physical repercussions in mind. Another option is to attend NRA training courses with her to learn together from a licensed professional in an established organization. There are also NRA programs specifically for women. If a significant other is not comfortable around firearms, perhaps education about gun safety — and that you, the gun owner, understands gun safety — is the answer.
Shooting ranges: Going out to practice with your gun at a safe location? Invite her along to have her see that a weapon can be handled by a safe and sane shooter. Maybe it’ll be a learning opportunity for her if she hasn’t been exposed to firearms in the past.
A bonding experience over something you enjoy may be a great way for her to see how passionate you are about not only your concealed or open carry weapon, but also about the practice and exhilaration of shooting targets simply for sport if nothing else. Exposure is a great way for her to understand and become more comfortable with CCW.
CCW benefits: According to John R. Lott, Jr., author of More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws, for each consecutive year a concealed handgun law is in effect, the murder rate declines by three percent, rape by two percent and robberies by approximately two percent, based on data from all U.S. counties from 1977 to 1994.
Furthermore, according to Lott, there is a negative relationship between the numbers of law-abiding citizens with licenses to carry and those aforementioned crime rates — partially because victims who have guns are in a much better position to protect themselves. A concealed carry weapon is stowed away without being shown, and therefore the public isn’t alarmed when a firearms owner is out in the world carrying a weapon in case something goes wrong and not to brusquely walk into danger or unnecessarily cause harm. There are multiple other benefits to CCW, and instead of rehashing them, we would love to see what you think in the comments below.
Gun safes: “What about when that firearm isn’t on your body?” she may ask. Weapons are stored safely within a locked container only the owner has access to. It’s simple. Own a gun safe and use it not just to put her mind at ease, but because it’s the smart thing to do. This is just an extension of the gun responsibility you already practice.
Legality: Always follow the law concerning what type of carry is and isn’t legal to what extent and with standards your state law has put into effect. Expressing the law and how it’s been impacted and how it impacts the average citizen is a solid way to assuage her.
Too long, didn’t read version of this post: legitimately listen to your loved one’s concerns and then speak with them, not to them, in an educational way about gun safety, ccw benefits, gun safes, the legality of the issue, training courses and understand that one conversation isn’t always going to magically make them immediately comfortable with firearms, especially when they have ethical, moral, legal, personal or societal concerns with guns.
Extensive gun control and fear of guns may seem unreasonable, but understanding the opposition and then objectively (well, to the best of your ability) explaining the inaccuracies and ineffectivity of their viewpoint and then expressing your own with secure, backed up data is a key of debating a difficult subject.
About The Author
Jake Smith (@notjakesmith) is a copywriter in his final year of studying public relations and apparel at the University of Idaho.