Want to keep guns in the home but you have a spouse opposed to it? The standard advice:
It’s easier to say, “Honey, I’m sorry,” than it is to say, “Honey, may I?”
I am not going to issue that advice, but if you try it – let me know in the comments how that turned out!
by Derrick James, SHTF blog founder
Convincing someone with anti-gun views to allow guns in the home is not easy, but it can be done. Guns, when properly stored and handled, can be an asset to personal security and a potential life-saver when SHTF. Gun owners already know this. You probably already know this. However, you may live with someone who is vehemently opposed to having firearms in the house. If you need to convince a loved one to allow guns in the home – this post is for you.
More Women than Men are Opposed to Guns
Both men and women own guns, and gun ownership by women has been growing by leaps and bounds. Still, the majority of gun owners (and buyers) are overwhelmingly men. Further, more women than men, even among gun-owners, are in support of governmental restrictions on gun ownership. Odds are then, that the person you need to convince to allow guns in the house is a woman rather than a man.
For this reason, this post is written as though you are a man trying to convince a woman to allow you to keep guns in the home. That said, it is fully recognizable – in fact, likely – that some women will be reading this in hopes of convincing a man. The approaches outlined here apply the same, regardless of sex.
5 Steps to Convincing a Spouse to Allow Guns in the Home
So, how can you convince your wife/girlfriend to allow guns in the home? Let me explain in five simple steps.
1 – Consider Where She is Coming From
Odds are high that anyone opposed to guns being in the home have either negative experiences with guns or, more commonly, no experience whatsoever. In the latter case, they are likely coming from a place of only seeing guns in television shows, in movies, or mentioned in the news. Anyone that watches today’s media knows these are not the best sources from which to build opinions, but the reality is opinions are formed here.
Knowing this going into your conversation will help you better frame your argument. You can draw distinctions between myth and reality, between movies and real life. Pulling out an AR-15 (AR-15 kits sold here) and laying waste to countless enemies makes for an exciting action scene in a prepper movie. Responsible gun ownership in the real world is the norm – without question, but in the movies, it is boring. That is why it is rarely seen in movies or news. Help her understand these differences.
2 – Do Your Statistical Research
“My daddy always had a gun in the house and his daddy before him. And I’ll be gosh-darned if my old lady is gonna to tell me I can’t keep guns in the house” is not the way to convince anyone, especially your wife, that keeping guns are a good idea. So before you even broach the subject, do some research about guns and safety. Use logic and reason to quell emotion.
Legitimate Reasons for Worry
In the United States, guns cause approximately 31,000 deaths each year. More than half of all suicide deaths are gun-related. More than 66 percent of homicides in the U.S. were committed with a gun. Around 46 percent of men and 74 percent of women murdered in their own homes died from being shot.
So, maybe your old lady has something to be concerned about. Guns do kill thousands of people every year. The higher rate of domestic shootings for women is troubling. This is what your wife is looking at. Is it any wonder she is leery about having a gun in the house?
The next step in convincing your spouse to allow you to keep your guns is to find out why the death rates are so high.
Reasons for the Statistics
Owning a gun and drinking alcohol or using drugs increases the likelihood that someone in your home will be injured or killed with a gun. Not surprisingly, guns that are stored unlocked and loaded are more likely to be used in a homicide or suicide than those that are stored in a gun safe.
Some deaths in the home were also a result of mishandling. Providing safety training to all members of the family can reduce the chances of accidental death. If you have children or grandchildren in the home, keep your guns in an area that is inaccessible to them. It is mighty tempting for a child to “show off” a gun to his friends thereby increasing the risk of injury or death. It happened to me as a kid, my friend brought his dad’s hunting rifle out when they were away, waving it all over the place. Scary!
3 – Address Those Statistics
Now we have some useful information for conversation. If your home is alcohol and drug-free, you reduce the threat of accidental or intentional homicide. This is a major point to make. Many of the problems stemming from domestic gun violence are coming from homes with histories of domestic violence. I am assuming this is not your home.
Your spouse will likely acknowledge this point, and then potentially use the “accidental discharge” argument or “curious kids.” The counter to these arguments is two-fold:
- One – Offer assurances of gun security. Promise that you will keep both guns and ammunition locked and secured in different locations. Brownells sells many locking gun storage cases and safes that go well beyond the typical trigger lock that comes standard with most firearms. If a full safe is unrealistic (for size, cost, or weight), Amazon sells simple locking safes designed for handguns and less-costly, smaller biometric rifle safes.
- Two – Suggest proper training. Proper gun training is not only an option, it is recommended. Offer to take a class with your wife (and any others in the house) to learn the basics of proper gun handling and safety.
Again, resistance to guns in the home most often comes from people who have little to no experience with firearms. Training and education on safety lays the groundwork for more experience and more familiarity.
4 – Explain Your Reasoning
If your rationale for having a gun is not well articulated, you run the risk of having a wandering message that will leave your spouse wondering what the real reason is, which could be – in her mind – a desire to polish your man card. If this is what she suspects, it’s unlikely that your old lady will agree to it. Why should she? The risks to her life and the life of her children are too great to cater to your ego.
Be honest about your reasoning. If you believe having a gun in the home will enable you to better protect your loved ones, then share that information. She is just as concerned about her family as you are. A gun can provide a measure of protection in worst-case scenarios.
Providing food for your family in the event of economic collapse is another valid reason to own a gun that your significant other might be just fine with. Obviously, in this case, you’ll want a hunting rifle rather than a handgun, but the same safety precautions apply. Further, a hunting rifle may be more palatable to her than a handgun.
Alternatively, if you just want to have guns because you want to start a new hobby – that’s a fine reason as well. (BTW: Shooting isn’t a hobby. It’s a post-apocalyptic life skill.) Guns are fun to shoot. Many families have made shooting a part of their life, whether it is full-on deer hunting or simple target practice. That’s a good thing, so point it out.
5 – Start Small
At this point, hopefully you are making some headway. If you are, the next step is starting small. Telling her that you want to buy an AR-15 will be met with recoil (no pun intended). You will have better luck at convincing her to let you buy a modern air rifle to start. Today’s air rifles are way more powerful than most people realize and they are a blast (no pun intended) to shoot. If you have kids in the house, it’s also a great way to get them started in shooting. Alternatively, a .22 rifle (squirrel gun) is another great option.
The point here, is if you are laying the groundwork for a gun – and then more guns – starting small is key. Get over the first hurdle. Having a .22 rifle or air rifle is a benefit regardless of what future firearms you might want. No one gun will meet all needs, and building an inventory of survival guns is a wise thing to do.
Note: If you are at this “beginner” stage, consider the books written by Steve Markwith (also a SHTF blog contributor). He has written numerous buyer guides that will not only be informative, but save you money in the long run.
Consider Home Security Alternatives
If your home is not drug or alcohol-free, you have overly curious children, or live with suicidal family members, you may want to consider some alternatives to owning a gun for self-protection. Even if you do decide to keep a gun, having a back-up method of defense is a good idea. Following are some options to consider.
Fixed-blade knives make deadly weapons. Safety precautions should be taken with these as well. Do not leave them in areas where young children can reach them. Learn how to use them effectively and keep them in good condition.
An expandable baton is another very effective defense. It has the advantage of being compact for easy storage. Low-cost pepper spray can incapacitate any would-be intruder. It doesn’t require any strength to wield and is very portable. Stun guns are also low-cost and can provide an effective defense.
Investing in a dog or home security system is another option. They aren’t full-proof, but their presence will deter criminals looking for an easy mark.
Your significant other may become convinced if you play your cards carefully. If you propose gun ownership along with some of the other defensive strategies mentioned above, you may be able to convince her that she is safer armed than not. Involve her in the process.
Who knows, maybe she will take up shooting and put your marksmanship to shame! Then she will be the one asking questions like, “Honey, can I get this shirt?”
What’s your advice to others in this situation? What challenges, if any, have you faced? Let us know in the comments section.