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Are you single and dating right now? Have you thought about the right time to talk about the fact that you are a supporter of the Second Amendment and the right to defend yourself, with a firearm if necessary? This can be tricky territory no matter which side of the debate you fall on because firearms can be a hot button issue for sure.
If you’re dating, probably the best time to talk about it is early in the relationship. Be open and honest. Owning firearms does not make you crazy. However, be mature in your discussion. Having all your guns laid out for your date to see might not be a good way to start the conversation. Actually being in the presence of firearms can make some people a little uncomfortable. So starting the conversation without visual aids might be the better way to go. Gauge their reaction when you bring up the subject, but it’s best to know sooner rather than later how they might feel. Typically, you will run into three different types of opinions with regards to firearms: Pro-gun, Anti-gun, and Non-Gun.
If your date is pro-gun, congratulations!! Two pro-gun people in a relationship is the easiest way to start. This does not necessarily mean that all things will be smooth sailing throughout the relationship. There may come a time when you have to discuss the budget when it comes to new firearms purchases, how much ammunition to have on hand and what you both can afford to spend on equipment. But usually, that discussion comes a bit later in the relationship, but know that it IS coming!
If your date someone that is anti-gun or opposed to the private ownership of firearms altogether, you are in for a challenge. That’s not to say that all is completely lost. Those opposed to firearms may have made that decision based on past experience. Perhaps that had a mishap with firearms in the past or maybe the violence portrayed in the news regarding mass shooting has a profound impact on them. It is also possible that they are fearful of that which they don’t understand. If their minds are made up, it might be difficult to even engage in conversation about firearms. It is also possible that once you have indicated your position and the fact that you own guns, the dating relationship might be over. But even if the conversation is going to be difficult, it is far better to engage in open discussion than having someone you’re interested in finding out by running across your firearms accidentally in your home.
However, if you can engage in open and honest conversation about firearms and your date doesn’t get overly emotional or enraged about the fact that you own them, there may be room for change. Fear of firearms is sometimes due to a lack of knowledge about firearms. Offering to introduce them to firearms in a private setting may be a good start. Some people will be less fearful if they understand how a firearm works. Because there are so many stories that tell of someone being hurt because the “firearm just went off,” showing them that this really isn’t possible if you’re being safe and keeping your finger off the trigger is a good first step towards overcoming fear. If they are open to actually shooting a firearm with you, suggest a date at the range. Many ranges have couples night where there will be other couples just like you enjoying an evening of shooting. A better idea may be to go at a time where the range is not so busy. People who have not been around firearms often do better when it’s not quite so loud to begin with.
A person who is non-gun really just doesn’t have much of an opinion about guns at all. They may not have been around them much or they may have shot occasionally. They don’t want to ban guns, but maybe guns just aren’t for them. Once again being open and honest as early as you can in the relationship is the best course of action. Dating a non-gun person provides the best kind of opportunity for education and perhaps bringing that person to understand the pro-gun side of the argument. Perhaps they’ll even decide to become pro-gun too. Date nights at the range are again a good start when dating a non-gunner if they are willing. After they are comfortable shooting and perhaps even deciding they enjoy it, offer to take a class with them.
So after you have confessed your beliefs about the right to private gun ownership and the person you’re dating is still around, continue to be open and honest about everything related to guns. If you carry concealed, it’s a good idea for the person that you are with to know that you are carrying. Knowing that you are carrying is far better than them finding when they try to put their arm around you or hug you. Also, having them see your routine with your firearms helps them to understand that you are responsible and safe firearm owner who takes the right seriously, rather than someone who routinely leaves their loaded firearm sitting on the coffee table at home.
In a worst-case scenario, your honesty might lead to the end of the relationship. But if the person you’re dating feels that strongly about a “no guns” policy when you feel the opposite, there probably wasn’t room for a long term relationship anyway. In a best-case scenario, you learn that you both love guns and have a long and happy relationship that includes much time on the range shooting together. And in between, there is a great opportunity for introducing someone to firearms and perhaps even teaching them a little about shooting.
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There are a few things you may not have thought of that you should be taking to the range, whether you're going to an indoor or outdoor range, or a more isolated location. Even if you're just at the range to watch, it's smart to take these tools and supplies along with you.