I’m bringing this topic to the experts. My wife doesn’t appreciate firearms or the rights here in the USA to keep and bear arms. She was born in Yugoslavia, about 45 kilometers from Melania. Naturalized citizen, a wonderful person and much smarter than I am. We went to the local outdoor range, once. I tried walking her through the safety procedures and phew… My neighbor took over and she actually enjoyed herself. I trained quite a few people in my lifetime including military personnel, the Boy Scouts and my own kids. How can I positively encourage my wife to try again?
Encourage her but find a good instructor to train her. That’s what I did with my wife so she doesn’t feel any pressure from me.
Find her a Well Armed Woman class or any other all female class. She might feel more at ease with more women around to encourage her. Not saying she’s not with you, but it might help her become more comfortable.
@Jeff-A1… I keep fingers crossed…
I’m in the same situation. I do not bother myself to encourage my wife anymore.
She doesn’t even want to go to the Range
We, People from Europe think differently about firearms…
@Jerzy Glad you get it. My naturalized Romanian neighbors get it. Their Italian relatives get it. Good folk. My wife shows interest when another lady does. Depending on the state of affairs in VA next month I can encourage a couple of the women to take a basic self-defense course. I was hoping to get a woman’s perspective without setting off any alarms. There are some awesome ladies here and I was looking for a woman’s insight. I don’t want to push my bride. She doesn’t respond well when I broach the subject. The knuckle-dragger.
I think you answered your own question Jeff…have another person train her. Once she feels confident in her abilities, she will go with you.
I think a combination of @Derek and @Tennessee advice works best. See if your local range has a ladies only night. Or a class for women led by an instructor who has had good experience with training women. Learning in an environment with other women may make her feel more comfortable.
Sometimes a range can be uninviting, and your wife may feel that. Be there for her, offer support and encouragement, but also know that she might not ever feel completely comfortable with guns.
It took years for my wife. I taught her the basics, the 4 rules of basic gun safety, stance, grip, sight picture, and trigger. But then I stepped back and left her to learn as she wanted and when she wanted to learn more. We found her a women’s group and an instructor that taught fundamentals, and basic CC, her a couple of her friends started going to range when it was ladies only.
She didn’t get her concealed carry permit until a year ago. So it took some time for her.
I agree. It is better to have someone else train them.
This is the magic right here. We usually do NOT do well when our hubby/boyfriend is trying to teach us. It’s not you. Well, ok, it IS you, collectively, but not you personally. There’s too much relationship dynamic for the most part.
But really, the big issue is women learn this differently than men. Its the same material, but we bring different brains and very different feelings to the topic. The men in our lives mean the very best for us, but mostly they’re not professional teachers, and they’re not ideal for new women shooters.
Keeping in mind that not all women are the same, but in general here are some things you can do:
Find her an all female class. The Well Armed Woman, A Girl And A Gun, Women On Target… any of those that are happening local to you are a good thing.
Find her a female instructor. Later, after she’s more comfortable she’ll learn from men as well as she does from women, but start her with a woman.
Make sure she goes with a friend - buy her and a girlfriend of hers a class. Don’t send her alone, we do this best with a buddy.
If you ARE going to try to do this yourself, here’s some things to pay close attention to:
Make sure anywhere she goes with you is NICE. Clean bathrooms, places to sit with shade covers, no having to pee in the woods, a place where you can wash up after. Snacks and drinks, or bring them yourself. YOU may not care about these details (I don’t either, actually) but most women do. And then take her someplace nice for dinner after.
STOP when she’s done. You may want to shoot everything in the safe but she doesn’t. If YOU take her to the range, it should be 100% about what SHE wants to do, and when she’s done, she’s done. And so are you. You can go shoot your entire arsenal another day.
Don’t go big, go small. Start with a .22 and STAY there until she asks to move up. Start at 3-5’ and STAY there until she asks to move it back. YOU want to see progress… SHE wants to feel in control of the situation and confident in her skills before she moves to the next thing. Those are very different goals and they result in very different timing and focus.
Goal #1 is She Has Fun. Safety of course, but if she’s safe and stressed, or safe and frustrated, or safe and scared, she’s not going to want to go again. Safe and FUN is the goal. It’s not about you having fun, go to the range another day and have your own fun. If you’re taking her, it’s her day and her having fun is your job.
If you’re doing all that, chances are good she’ll want to go again. But still, start her in a group of women, with a buddy, if you can.
Here’s another thread that has a lot of useful insight as to getting women into shooting, and how we’re different:
@Zee I appreciate what you ladies are doing for the community.
I have family members who know that I have guns, and, a license to carry. We’ve been to the range together. They know that they could make firearms part of their life, but they don’t. One of them has their own pistol but never uses it.
For me, I think if they wanted to pursue it, they’d do it. That’s my humble view of my particular situation.
@Stephen_M_Bassett Sounds like a greater understanding at work here. Folks are free agents, at least in a spiritual sense. A true God given gift. My children own firearms, know how to use them, but don’t carry. Their choice and I’m OK with it. My wife chooses not to become involved with firearms for whatever reason and I need to accept it…
Disclaimer - This is a joke. Whenever i need to encourage my wife, I usually bait a path to where I need her to go! You just have to have the right bait!
My wife was a total city girl who had never been around a gun before.
I bought a Glock 44 so that she could get the feel of a full sized gun and not have the sound and the kick of a larger caliber. I also got her a Glock 43X just in case she would get used to the 44 go bigger.
I finally convinced her to go to a range. She was extremely nervous and very tentative to try shooting.
Finally I got her set up. The proper stance. The proper hand positions and after some positive feedback she pulled the trigger on the Glock 44.
She went through about 5 magazines. She then looked at me and I am ready for the 43.
She then spent the next two hours on the 43.
When we left she was so excited and how shocked at how different the reality of shooting was compared to what she thought it would be.
Tomorrow we are going back to the range. Her idea. I think she is hooked now.
@Timothy94 Just amazing how that happens. Welcome to the community Timothy and Wife. We are glad to have you both here. Stay safe, Bruce and Nancy.
Learning at her own pace, what ever it is. Without any judgement. And not from her husband. And not necessarily from another woman.
@Martha2 Welcome to the community. We have more Women joining every day. Stay safe, Bruce and Nancy.
I agree with having someone else train her. Not a gun related story but illustrative. My wife is an excellent pianist. I have always had a passing, if not enthusiastic desire to learn. I asked her to teach me and she agreed. Before a half an hour had passed, she gave up in frustration! She said I asked too many dumb questions, like why do some stems go up and others down. With my knowledge, it made sense. But with her experience and skill, it was something she no longer considered. She couldn’t teach me because we were too close. I hired a teacher and learned a little as well as eliminated some stress in an important relationship.