How to Make Your Spouse Like Guns

How to Make Your Spouse Like Guns
How to Make Your Spouse Like Guns
How to Make Your Spouse Like Guns
How to Make Your Spouse Like Guns

I often have people tell me that their spouse won’t allow them to buy a gun or have a gun in the house. And it’s not always wives causing the problems either. I recently had two women talk to me to see how they could convince their husbands to allow them to have a gun.

When I’m asked this question I’m often reminded of one fellow’s response that I read on a gun website. His answer was, “You royally screwed up the mate selection process.”  If you happen to fall into this category, not all hope is lost because I’m going to tell you the best way I’ve found to help anti-gun spouses see the light.

First off, I don’t think it’s a good idea to sign them up for any training courses. I know that sounds strange coming from a person who makes his living teaching gun training, but it can be very dangerous to do so. If you’ve been around gun training for any time at all, you obviously know there are all types of trainers out there – the good, the bad and the ugly.

For instance, I remember when my wife Amanda first started getting into guns, I convinced her to go to a class with me. The fellow who ran the class was former military and forgot he was teaching civilians and not other military personnel.

In other words, he yelled, barked and thought it was a good idea to act like a drill Sergeant. He completely didn’t understand who he was teaching and I saw Amanda and others in the class getting intimidated by him. When we left I knew she was going to tell me she hated the class (which she did) and that she would never take training from that guy again.

Luckily for me, Amanda wasn’t anti-gun and knew that all trainers weren’t like him.

So, instead of taking your spouse to a training course where the instructor could scare them and make them forever hate guns, what I want you to do instead, is to take them to the shooting range. I want the two of you to plan a shooting range date. Go to a place where you can rent guns and just take turns between the two of you trying out different handguns.

I’ve found that taking someone to the range is one of the most effective ways to show people that shooting guns can be fun and they’re actually not that bad after all. And once you take your spouse to the range there’s a good chance they’ll want to do it again and want to learn more.

That’s when you sign them up for a concealed carry class or an intro to handguns class, but choose your instructor wisely and make sure they’re a “people person.” But let’s say you do everything above and your spouse still hates guns.

Well, in all seriousness, I would tell them that you’re getting a gun and that it will be stored safely in a gun vault and that they don’t ever have to use it. I realize that marriage is give and take and you have to choose your battles.  But in my opinion, protecting my family is something that is non-negotiable. After all, how could anyone really think to themselves: “Yes, dear. Let’s not have a gun. Let’s have you get raped, while I’m forced to watch, because we had no way to protect ourselves.”

Not in my household.

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Jason Hanson is a former CIA Officer and author of The Covert Guide to Concealed Carry. He is also the creator of the Ultimate Concealed Carry Experience, which allows you to take your concealed carry training without leaving home. For full details about this training, please visit Concealed Carry Academy. You can also follow him on Google+ and Twitter.
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Another reason to take a little time to get to know your partner/spouse better. Sister in Law hooked up with a guy that freaked when he found out she had guns, so she had to bring them to our house……until the day he showed up with one all proud of himself. A little pro training, a little practice and he turned out to be a good hand with firearms once he got shut of all the cobwebs he had accumulated about them.


Damn, I knew it would happen sooner or later.   Jason you finally said something I have to disagree with LOL!   I was loving this article until the very end where you said to tell your spouse the gun will be locked up in a vault.   WRONG!   A locked up firearm is worthless to either of you.  Why have it then?   Locking it up will NOT cure a spouses fear.   Just as NOT getting back on the horse will result in continued fear of the horse.    I can understand it being secured away from young children and that’s the law in many places now.

However, a firearm should never otherwise be treated as a museum piece.  It should be viewed as a working tool that needs to be accessible and at the ready at all times.   At least those are my thoughts after nearly 30 years of law enforcement (now retired).   Criminals don’t allow you to call a time out while you go to your vault to unlock it all and come back to announce you’re now ready.   Otherwise, I love your articles and I’m sure I will again.   Thanks for your contributions Jason!


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Dyann Callahan

Hello, I am your average chick who just happens to own guns. I dont hunt, dont competive shoot, nothing extreme just pleasure and defense. I keep one on my computer desh as I write, as if someone breaks through my door- there wont be time to run back, unlock a safe, load a gun, etc. The comment saying that guns are a tool is very right.

Ron Smith

I strap (staple gun) a holster UNDER my desk – this way I don’t have to worry about moving it when guests visit for fear of my house looking like a gang hideout or drug bust (minus the drugs and cash).  Just a simple cloth nylon type holster with the little snap button that keeps it from falling out.

Dan Ess

Hopefully in the event you ever need to grab it in a hurry, the holster doesn’t rip off with the weapon. Certainly the concept is very good, there are a lot of similar type products on the market now; including powerful magnets to hold a firearm or other weapon under a desk/counter, etc.. I’m thinking maybe some wood screws with a washer around might make it more secure. Tape over the screw heads to protect the piece from scratches. Of course, one could also fashion something out of strong fabric and even have velcro closure at the front edge for a reasonably low cost.I’ve been contemplating doing something similar to what you mentioned; still liking the magnet idea (anti scratch coated) myself.


I was a wife who did not like guns, did not want to shoot them, and did not want them in my house.  My husband gently coaxed me to go shooting with him and I discovered it was a lot more fun when we had targets that made noise (old saw blades, metal targets, old computers, etc.) or exploded (cans of old or mismatched paint, plastic bottles filled with liquid, or exploding targets).  The sound and the visual made it more exciting and let me know that I had hit my target.  I also started with a .22 caliber.  I think starting with anything larger and having more recoil would have scared me off.  Now, not only do I enjoy shooting, but we even own a gun store!

Eric D.

I’ve been trying to get my wife to shoot at our backyard range with me for a long time. She absolutely refuses. Even after she was awaken out of bed by our dogs, who were barking at a burglar who was taking a break on our livingroom sofa! I guess he needed a break from hauling all the tools he had just stolen from our garage. The garage and house were both locked. He broke a window in the garage to get in, and pryed open our french doors with a breaking bar to get in the house. When she confronted him in her night gown, he jumped up and said, “time for me to go”! and he fled out the doors. I was getting repairs done to one of our vehicles that morning. The burglar, “our neighbor down the road” was just waiting for me/us to leave that morning, so he could do his thing. He didn’t realize that my wife was still home.

It could have ended differently, and she knows it. She gets teary-eyed when talking to LE, and the court. It scared her afterwards more I think, then when it actually happened. Oh, the burglar got caught, and is in jail awaiting trial, but I still can’t get her to learn safe firearm instruction from me.

I’ve tried to tell her that the life she saves might be mine someday? That didn’t work either. And leaves me wondering what she would do to save me, if anything? But that’s another story topic I guess?


 Okay, woman who owns guns here,…… IF she won’t do anything to save herself, I think you already know that she won’t/can’t do anything to save you.  Better arm yourself dude.  I can’t believe that after already walking in on a burglar sitting in her own home on her own couch, she doesn’t see that she needs to learn how to protect herself.  She got a “Get Out of Dead Free” Card and is still unable to come to grips with the idea of self protection.  She should see that locks and callling the Police won’t help if you have a baddie already in your house.  Is she looking for you to drag yourself everywhere she wants to go, or stay home with her 24/7?  How practical is that for you and to what extent are you willing to go before you tell her she needs to step up to the plate and learn to defend herself and her family? 


I got to the end of the story and had the same reaction as Cobra.  What a load of dung!!  Lock it in a vault?  “Say Mr. Intruder, can you hold off a sec while I get to my vault, fiddle with the combo, and grab my gun”?  Get real.  Tell you spouse you’re getting a gun and will kill any bastard that tries to break in and kill my family.  If they don’t eventually come around, get a new spouse!

rev. dave

 Mistake #1 is marrying a coward who won’t take responsibility for his or her safety.  Mistake #1 is thinking he has any ability at all to “allow” her to have a gun.  How about “I’m getting a gun for my own protection honey.  So strap on your jock and get used to it, or come along and you get one too.”?


You can’t make your spouse like guns any more than you can make your spouse like liver. You can encourage them, try to educate them on the issues, and teach skills to the extent they are willing to learn, but you can’t “make” them like something. Ultimately, they decide what they like. Anyone who doesn’t realize this should not be married.

If it is a big deal to you that your spouse “likes guns”, then try getting to know your significant other BEFORE you get married, amazing how that helps.

Dan Ess

Had a girlfriend that sounds similar to some of these replies. She initially said she’d go and learn and even mentioned I should go and shoot clays. As time went on she became more and more against firearms. She never went to learn and used to make comments about my packing carry conceal. Her comment was: “if you were a police officer I could understand you carrying a weapon”. Gee, talk about a genius . . . . I guess she doesn’t believe in the right to bear arms and self defense. Weapons in a safe are safe, so too are the criminals who would violate your life and home. One should be in immediate reach or on your person and Safe from those not trained to use it. It is possible and the best way to protect yourself and those you love.


I have to disagree with your comparison of liver to a gun. The dislike for liver is more than likely a physical dislike for the taste. The dislike for a gun is more a mental/emotional dislike due probably to inexperience and lack of education of the gun and how it works. Education and experience, as well noted in most of these replies, can turn a person that doesn’t like guns; but nothing will change the taste of liver. My wife was afraid of guns until I bought her a .380 and took her to the range. The first time she fired it, it startled her to the point of throwing the gun down on the table. Now, she mentions wanting to go to the range more than I do. She also took my 9mm from me, but it gave me the opportunity to purchase a new gun! Her sister, on the other hand, is anti-gun and I explained to her that it was more of lack of education and experience that she was afraid of, than the gun itself. My wife’s mother too, has become a gun person… just by watching her daughter at the range and learning more about that mystical item known as a gun.

Chris Ullmeyer

Actually I would add to have her/his range trip with someone other than the spouse which will usually negate any harsh pointers. Sometimes they need to see it can be fun but not from there spouse’s viewpoint.

Samuel Hobbs

i had no guns when i got married and had no real intention fo ownign firearms.  my wife was not obliged to go along with my change of heart once we had kids.  a good husband ought to be able to explain and convince rather than demand and order.  my wife’s a smart, smart lady and i find it incredibly sexy that she has a mind of her own.  think about it, you can’t force someone to do anything, and good luck trying.

my first firearm was a shotgun for hunting.  it hasn’t put any meat on the table, but i proved to my wife that i could walk around with a loaded gun and not shoot myself of anyone else i was hunting with.  later i bought a p95 for home protection.  i prepped her for weeks recounting news items about home invasions, rapes, and murders.  when i decided to get a CPL, i talked about the class for quite a while.  i found a friend to take the class with me.  it was a group thing, not a lone wolf thing.  i bought a springfield xd9 subcompact and i was off to the races.  really, i used the tactic of incrementalism.

the absolute best advice i can give is that you have to find money outside of the normal family budget to buy your guns and ammo.  i am selling a record collection in pieces and hustle in other ways.  i’ve never asked my wife to do without so that i can play rambo.   this has limited a great deal of resistance.

as of now, i carry every waking moment.  she doesn’t even know that i’m armed unless she hugs me a certain way.  she knows that my only intent is to protect the family.  whether she admits it or not, that’s gotta make her feel a bit more secure.

gentlemen, guns are like sex.  for most ladies it’s scary at first, but once she stops feeling shameful about it, she’ll be just fine.  along that same metaphor, you need to flirt a bit first.  if you push too hard, you’ll miss out on the good stuff.

Matt Schlueter

This is a nice article, when it comes to those significant others totally against firearms, handled correctly even they can be persuaded to at least let you keep them in the house. As far as forcing the issue, I think this would be situational a lot would be dependent on the dynamics of the relationship. Along with the anit-gun significant others reasoning for not wanting guns in their lives. Home security encompasses multiple areas, and a firearm would be only one part of it. I would suggest concentrating on the areas being less offensive to the significant other when addressing personal and home security. The hope being over time they might become interested in shooting.


PLease I would like to share a story and my wife said I could if she could put in a comment after words…..I met my wife in 02 she new that I was a hunter and  enjoyed the outdoors.She was very how — shall I say nieve, raised stricked Baptist,(she is now 60 and I am 52)well in a few weeks I talked her into a picnic way out by a  secluded river, I had brought my .45,there are some 4 legged dog types in this area.Well my wife’s eyes about popped out of her head.I thought well the picnic was over.So I explained why I had my pistol with us and after lunch she asked if she could hold it,(the pistol)after fully unloading and locking the slide open I handed it to her.She said she never saw a pistol much else held one.Anyway in 03 I was in my local gun shop and they had a Ruger Mark 2 thinking of my wife I bought it and she got it on Valetintes Day.Showed her the basic ins and outs put one round in the clip and set it, allowed  the wife to pull the slide,the pop can was 5 feet away.Well the can went flying the wife went gittey,she swung around and I was looking down a long black hole.Thank GOD and my smarts for one round.She now saves all of the milk tops and very few go home without a hole in it.She is now goining to Woman On Target and has signed up for basic courses(I am not an instructor,husbands can only do so much) now that we are the 49th state to have CCW. Moral,if one thing don’t work try something else.

Greetings — my husband just submitted a comment about my “early not so good gun practices”.
But I will admit, safety and personal defense is very important and no one needs to be afraid of firearms, when used properly.  There are many people afraid of  CCW, but I now strongly believe in this right.  Taking a course and learning can maybe save your life or the life of a loved one, a gun is not always bad like the movies portray.  Learning to shoot a gun might not have been on my “bucket list”, and it is a gift I never thot I would receive but  hopefully I will only use it for target practice.


I am a female, and I sell guns.  I see the women come into the store with their husbands, and I can tell that they are only there because it beats sitting out in the car.  When the guy asks to see a gun, I hand it to him and then ask her if she is a shooter.  She usually says, “No”.  She’s not into guns, it’s his thing and all that.  I ask her if she is afraid, and most of them will be honest and tell me yes.  I tell them I was once where they are right now.  I had a bad experience when I was a kid and never wanted anything to do with handguns until I met my husband.  He showed me some things, but I was never thrilled with any of it.  One day there was this couple we know who are instructors.  They were teaching a woman’s basic handgun class.  He asked me if I was interested….and I sort of was.  I asked a couple of my girlfriends if they would be interested and it turned in to a girls afternoon out.  And it turned out to be really fun!  We learned all the basics and we got to shoot.  Lunch was provided and we got to talk to other gals who thought they were afraid.   What it boils down to is this. Most girls are afraid, but if someone (other than a significant other) who is patient and caring teaches them that this is just a tool….just like anything hubby has hanging out in the garage….and teaches them how to use it, it can be fun.   I provide these ladies with information about women’s classes in the area.  I tell them to come back and tell me if it wasn’t everything that I said it was.  What returns back to me is a woman with a big smile on her face with a load of new confidence, and she now wants her own gun, and she knows exactly what she wants and how to use it.   I love helping to create “monsters”.  lol!    I know personally that my life was changed when I began shooting.  I now own 5 of my own firearms, includind a .44 mag Desert Eagle.  I have a CCW, shoot USPSA, I am part of my church’s security team and I take defense classes every chance I get.  I’m looking to become an NRA instructor as well. 


Front Sight Firearms Training Institute . . . that’s all you gotta do.  Been there numerous times around many women AND men of all ages who’d never been around guns at all.  After four days and through a rigid, non-military-type training, all were doing quite well and had difference attitudes.  Best way . . . I did!


Well i have 3 gun safes  because i have 2 grandkids  but i can open any of them and so can the Wife and Daughter    oh  and they hit the target even upside down on an inversion table     ok   i should not watch top shot……

Chris Leaver

Jason – great article.  I am in this exact position with my wife right now so appreciate the advice.

I am going to suggest that perhaps RubyRider and Cobra are misunderstanding what you meant by locking the gun in a vault.  Bedside or under the bed vaults with passcodes or finger printer readers can provide near instant access to a handgun.  It would be foolish to have a handgun under the pillow or on the nightstand when one has a spouse who has fears.  That’s not making our spouse’s concerns as priority.

And regarding the comment from RubyRider about getting a new spouse – nice morals you have there.  A spouse isn’t a disposable commodity.  *roll eyes*


Hello Chris!   I do appreciate your thoughts but I just wanted to say I’m pretty good at reading comprehension and understood perfectly well what Jason means by a vault.   I’m pretty confident RubyRider understood it as well.   I think we all did.   I have a vault myself but I still keep a handgun at the ready, so both are quite doable.   

The point you’re making is a valid one in that “some” vaults are faster access than others.   Very true.   However, a vault is still a vault and the point a lot of us are making is a handgun is only effective if it’s with you when the red flag goes up and the red flag NEVER waits for you to go to a certain room, enter pass codes or retrieve fingerprint code authorization (as fast as that may be).   When a life is on the line, it’s on the line now.  

Finally, I’ll let RubyRider address the divorce comment that you made with him, but I do want to say that unfortunately in this country marriages are among the most disposable commodities we have.   My ex-wife thought so at least LOL!    I do agree with you that Jason should not leave his wife over this issue.   He’s a great guy and I’m sure she’s a great gal as well.   Good chatting with you Chris! 

Judy Rudek

I was one of those people who didn’t like guns – born and raised in California.  We had an old .22 rifle, and I’d never even held it.

Now, I carry every day, have my CHP, and am an NRA Instructor.  Talk about a 180!

One of the classes I’ve developed is what I call a ‘familiarization’ class.  I go over the safety rules, and let the students handle real firearms.  It’s a good ice-breaker class for someone who doesn’t particularly ‘like’ guns, but is at least a little open-minded about them.  It’s a great opener for someone whose spouse has a firearm in the home – I tell people I’m a firm believer that if the gun is in the house, you at least need to know how to move it from point A to point B safely, even if you aren’t going to use it.

Most of my ‘familiarization’ class students end up taking a basic pistol class later, so it must be working.


Good article. I have one thing to add. The first trip to a firing range can be a very overwhelming and intimidating experience. There is a lot going on to confuse or distract the new shooter. I find that an hour or so of practice at home will greatly improve their experience. Now, that doesn’t mean you start cracking off rounds in your back yard. What it DOES mean is, cover all safety rules, let them know what to expect, talk about proper technique ( sight picture, grip, trigger press, etc.), and do some dry-fire practice all before you leave the house. This way, the new shooter isn’t trying to process all that new information while the guy in the lane next to you is blasting away with his “hand cannon”. While you are there, be patient, supportive, and don’t play any macho games with the novice. I see that all the time. Some macho doucebag that doesn’t know the first thing about shooting is being a dick to his girl and making her feel stupid for not knowing something that he is screwing up anyway. If you don’t own a handgun, the air soft guns work as a great trading aid. For that matter, you could use a squirt gun or anything that you can grip and squeeze. The key to getting somebody to enjoy something they are afraid of, is to take the fear factor out of it. Breakdown the moves, show them that THEY are in control of the tool, and it will only do what you make it do. If you can drive a car, you can handle a firearm. You just have to be taught correctly.


I guess i’m lucky,,, or doomed…. My wife has asked me to take her to the range, so she can get familiar with the Glock. I’ll keep her in front of me at all times… 47 years married and counting.


I was a “gun hating wife”…Couldn’t stand them, wouldn’t even let them in my house..My hubby has always been a gun guy. I guess he knew I would come around. One day he came to me and said he would like to buy a gun. I had a fit!. He said he would buy black powder and it would be safe the kids couldn’t load it…Soooo I said Okay…Not really happy but OK. So for about a year he had only black powder and I got use to that. Then one day he said he wanted to buy a .45…I again about had a stroke, but in the end I gave in. He had always tried to get me to shoot, I just wouldn’t. One day he just packed me in the car and took me to the range. He handed me a cheap .380 he had bought just for this and said shoot it. I fought him for a while and pointed it down range closed my eyes(I know,I know) and pulled the trigger, and guess what I was still ALIVE….lol….Long story short, it can take a while for someone to come around. He was kind and understanding and guess who is the gun nut now!…I have 10 guns to his 6. We are at the range every weekend and have a blast together….It took years for me to come around, I bet he’s wishing he had left me home that day……


I never realized teaching your spouse to like guns was a
problem. My wife had never fired a gun before we were married 42 years ago. The
first time I took her shooting was with a rifle and she liked it, the second
time I brought along a couple of handguns and she was hooked. Her favorite is
the .357, which she will shoot until the ammunition is gone.  I have to substitute the 22’s until she gets
enough, (which is around 200 rounds).  I
took the first carry permit class offered in our state, when my renewal came
due she wanted to take the class.


Here is my advice based on my positive experiences:

Have her taught by a female instructor who better understands how women think and what motivates them to learn.

Better yet, send them to an all-women shooting camp like “Babes w/ Bullets.”  I sent my wife to a 3-day BWB camp in Tucson last year (told her she could take an extra day at the spa as an incentive) and within hours of her arrival, she called to tell me she had met some great people, made new friends and was having a great time…and they hadn’t even been to the range yet!  The camp is sponsored by S&W and they use M&P 9mm pistols (but are free to bring their own gun).  The instructors are some of the best female shooters alive…Kay Miculek, Lisa Munson, Athena Lee, and others.  The final day includes an informal competition to wrap things up.  My wife called me before she left to sign me up for another camp.  She goes to Michigan next week for another BWB camp and is excited to learn more and meet more people.  Starting in Sept, they’re going to offer “combo camps” (pistol/AR-15) camps and next year, they hope to offer 3-gun camps too.

I’m a Front Sight member and will take her with me someday, but until she asks me to go, I’m fine if we go on separate shooting vacations.


Whether or not you like guns or want them in your house is a preference, and there isn’t a right or wrong preference here. Women who don’t want them in the home are not stupid or weak or people who are not worth marrying. It’s a valid preference. Some communities are so safe you can literally leave your house unlocked every day, and if you bought a top notch security system that would scare away a large portion of the few home invaders who would show up, you could literally live in these communities for 40 years and only have a 1/200 shot of being a victim of a violent crime (I’m talking about if you live in a community that has literally never seen a single murder in 50 years). Let’s say that’s the kind of area you live in – you are really going to look your wife in the eye and tell her she has to make accommodations for something that is repugnant to her, all because of something that could happen with a 1/200 shot?? How many other horrible things could happen to us with much HIGHER probabilities, but we don’t rearrange our lives to prepare for them if in our minds, the odds are low enough and we would find the necessary accommodations to be repugnant?? Now, people who *like* guns don’t care how low the odds of a violent assault are….. there is no cost to them to having guns in the home (because they *like* having the guns), so why not just be prepared for the 1/200 shot of a violent home invader? What can it hurt, right?? People who don’t like guns, however, are totally justified in saying that it isn’t worth it to them to have to deal with something they find repugnant, all over a 1/200 shot of something bad happening. And that’s a valid preference. It doesn’t make her stupid or weak. There are tons of things in our lives we don’t rearrange our lives in repugnant ways to be prepared for, that actually have a much higher likelihood of happening!! The odds of being killed in a car crash, if you live in a super safe community, are so much higher than being the victim of a violent assault from a random stranger, it’s not even funny.

So as a man truly committed to protecting the lives of your family, is it just your right to forbid your wife to drive? Probably not, because she’d find that too repugnant (and so would you), so you have decided driving is somehow worth the (much higher) risk to her life. The point is, we all have to go through life weighing the risks of certain things happening against how repugnant the preventative techniques are to us. THe only reason you think it’s obvious guns should be in the home (for protection) is because you *like* them, so the preventative techniques come at no cost to you!! If it is a cost to her, that’s a valid preference you have to respect. Wives who hate guns have simply decided it’s not worth it to them to have to deal with something they find repugnant to prevent something that is very unlikely to happen. And like it or not, that’s a valid preference. You don’t call a woman weak or stupid or say she is refusing to take responsibility for protecting herself just because she keeps insisting on getting into a car every day (even though the odds of being killed that way are much higher). You say she is just living her life having to make choices – weighing whether a certain lifestyle is worth maintaining, given the size of the risk. We all do that every day. If she hates guns enough that having them in the home isn’t worth it to her, all to prepare for the remote possibility of being killed by a violent intruder (which in all likelihood will never happen), that’s a valid preference! If as a man, you weren’t ok with marrying someone who felt that way, you should have found that out before you got married and worked things out before you got married. I find the last part of the article offensive – that you just get to announce the guns are coming in the house, no matter what she feels, because you simply get to protect your family. Then why are you letting her get in a car every day, if you are so committed to ensuring your family lives, at any cost? For her, having them around carries an emotional cost, and you can’t make someone like something or be insensitive to that. It might not to you, but it does to her. The issue is much more nuanced and complicated than the last paragraph presents, and just discarding someone’s discomfort or preferences because yours must be “right” or all that matters is not what marriage is about.


I have to say if I were single and met someone who was not negotiable on firearms, the word coming out of my old stubborn self’s mouth would be “Next!”…

Joe Duane

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To make a long story short, my wife and I have been married for 13 years and we know one another for 15 years. Up until recently it never occurred to me to be a gun owner. My wife grew up in a household that had shotguns and other firearms that weren’t secured and sitting in the wide open with the ammo not too far away from it. She always felt unsafe in that situation because if there was an intruder, things would go south in a moment’s notice. She never liked having any firearms around her at all throughout her life because of those memories. 
I on the other hand am an ex-military, prior service veteran of the U. S. Army of 8 years of service. I went to Desert Storm/ Shield in the Persian Gulf in 1990. I am also a native New Yorker, that didn’t grow up in a household that had any kind of firearms (believe that or not). I have only qualified on the M-16A1 while I was in and never had to use a weapon at all aside from qualifying. 
6 months ago, my wife went through a scare. She was on her way home and pulling into her parking spot behind our place of residence. Before she was able to shut off her car and unlock the doors, an unidentified male walked up and tried to open the car door as she was sitting there in her car. She panicked and froze. She thought about calling me but I was working late that night, so I wasn’t home. Thankfully, my son was home and she tried calling him to come out. He came out and I guess that when he stepped into the door frame his shadow filled the door and apparently startled the perp and he ran off without a hitch. 
When I got home, she told me the story and I told her that I wanted to get guns for us to conceal carry for situations like that. We didn’t say much about it after that and then not far after that I placed a hand gun on layaway at my local gun shop. I had a feeling that she felt uneasy about getting a gun so I didn’t tell her in the hopes I would be able to get mine and then convince her to get hers after getting one for myself. Finances took a turn and my layaway was going to be in trouble because time was running out to take out the gun from layaway. I told my wife that I’m going to need the remainder of the funds to get the gun out of layaway, she lost it and told me all this and how she felt growing up with weapons in her household for which I had no idea in all the years that we were married (which is within reason). Besides the fact that I was funneling funds behind her back to get a gun behind her back. I totally understand how and why she may feel the way she does. I told her that I had a buddy that offered to show me about gun safety and promised to take me under his wing. He is a retired deputy sheriff and a certified firearm instructor.  
My question after that long explanation is, how could I help my wife change her mind about handgun safety and help relieve her fear of firearms given the fact of her past? Any advice would help. I hope there is someone out there in a similar situation and hopefully found a way to remedy their experience.