- This topic has 77 replies, 14 voices, and was last updated 5 years, 7 months ago by MMR.
My husband Tim and I have been married for 6 years. Our relationship is pretty rock solid. I have known him for the majority of my life. We have a 1.5 year old little boy and are happy. We are both in our mid 30s
My Tim grew up with a healthy appreciation of guns. He had family he would visit that lived on a farm and would go shooting with his cousins (think cans and bottles, not animals, not hunting). I grew up with guns not being anywhere in my life at all. Honestly, I don’t even remember the conversation of guns ever existing until I was an adult in my mid 20s. Tim has gone to the range a few times with friends or my brother in the 10+ years we have been together. I have even gone with him twice. Tim has never expressed interest in owning a gun, just using them recreationally in a safe and controlled arena.
That is until recently.
Over the last year the conversation of him getting his license to carry and then possibly owning a gun has come up more and more often, most recently last night. We are on two different sides of this issue. While I am not opposed to gun ownership in theory, I do not want one in my home. Maybe I am naïve but I don’t live in fear that I will be at the local mall and someone will start shooting. Tim does. Tim says he doesn’t ever want to be caught in a position that he is in need of defending himself or his family and he is unable to.
I understand his position.
He understands mine.
He still wants one, I still don’t. We are at an impasse.
I feel like we can’t be the only couple who have gone through this. Suggestions on how to work through this?K4February 27, 2018 at 10:44 am #740973
This will probably be hard for you to stomach but as long as Tim is responsible I think you need to let it go. You can have your caveats: you must take a class, you must have a gun safe, he has to have continual education and stay hip on regulations. As long as he is doing everything he can to make sure things are as safe as possible than I really dont see what the big deal is.JuliecatharineFebruary 27, 2018 at 11:00 am #740977
If your husband wants to be able to defend himself and the family sign him up for martial arts training. Maybe if he feels more capable physically he’ll back off on the gun thing. Beyond that the only compromise I can see is no conceal carry and allowing one gun in the home with rigorously enforced safety precautions. You could also talk to him about ‘mean world syndrome’. It’s essentially when people believe that the world is more dangerous than it actually is because of how news coverage makes uncommon events seem much more common than they are.
I think you need to educate yourself on the arguments against Tim’s arguments. For example, if it’s true that an armed citizen could stop a mass shooting, how come that never happens? Under stress, highly trained officers of the law only hit targets accurately 18% of the time. Joe Schmoe with a gun is not going to be able to take out a shooter under crazy circumstances.
Guns kill 1300 kids per year in the US. 82% of those are boys. And almost 6,000 kids are in the ER each year for gun-related injuries. If Tim feels he needs ready access to a loaded gun, that means the gun is probably going to be easy for your son to access at some point. If it were always locked and stored properly and only used for target practice, the risk goes down. But if Tim is talking about keeping it ready at all times in case “something happens,” personally that would not be acceptable to me. I couldn’t be around that or put my hypothetical kids under that much risk. Even if he thinks he’s hidden the gun, kids are smart. A study showed that 39% of parents wrongly believed their kids didn’t know where their guns were kept. 22% wrongly believed their kids hadn’t played with the guns. Most kids will play with a gun if they find one.
Again, I personally would draw the line and say no way. His having a loaded gun around puts you and your kid(s) I’m significantly greater danger than you are now. Tim is demonstrably wrong to think you’ll be safer if he has a gun. I honestly would make it my hill to die on.
I’ll start by saying that I’m a gun owner…
But I also believe that if you don’t want a gun in your home you should put your foot down on this. Statistics show that gun ownership is a liability not a benefit– you’re more likely to be shot if you have one.
Having a gun won’t make you suicidal, but attempting suicide with a gun you’re more likely to be successful. Having a gun won’t make your husband a wife-beater, but using a gun in a domestic violence incident makes it more likely to be fatal. The statistics are clearly on your side here.
Ask him if he insists on choosing his comfort over yours, even with the knowledge that his comfort in this case is a sham.
Nope, sorry. No. It’s a not work roundable thing. It’s a non negotiable thing. Guns aren’t safe. Even in a safe. Toddlers/kids are not safe in a house with guns, because even if mostly kept in a gun safe, what about that once or twice he’s tired/in a hurry & not paying attention? Did he really lock it away? Did kid notice the code or where the key for was put? I know they’re owners who are responsible & fine, but if you don’t feel safe about then this isn’t something to compromise on. Why own a machine that only has one use…to harm & kill? Also your house insurance goes up. Why? Because insurance companies know that statistically the likelihood of an accident goes up. That accident is to you & your family, not to intruders.
Safest place in house is a gun safe, but not easily accessible if in danger. If in wearable hostler then someone intent on getting it (as they have motivation), then they can grab it or wrestling with you husband for it( not telling who will come out of that well…) It isn’t psychologically easy for a normal person to fire someone on purpose- fight or flight or stop will
kick in – not telling which will happen ( kids playing don’t realise the dangers or impact so somehow easier for them). Most likely is that he’ll freeze or miss ( firing at tin cans or a range aren’t much in the way of prep & luckily unless in the army he’s not going practice on real people), in which case you’re giving more time for the other person to get the gun & harm you all.
I read countless stories of ‘responsible gun owners” who come home to an empty homes because their kid shot their sister/brother/father etc. Or in the midst of an argument over garden tools etc, one of neighbors goes inside to get their gun. A minute of anger & then add a gun= death.
Personally, much as I might love partner I would leave if he got a gun( luckily this isn’t a possibility where I live but for hunting). Especially if I had kids( they are curious, naughty & just want to copy what they see on TV or what daddy does- nope!). I would need to to protect my children. As the gun is the most likely thing to harm them. Get a better locks, CCTV etc in house, but not a gun. Get martial arts training even. Or couple counseling as to why he suddenly needs to protect you’ll. Still no gun.
Let it go?
Studies show that having a gun in the home exponentially increases the risk of harm or death to your family. Especially for women and children. That’s inviting danger into your home.
I get scared on occasion, and I have had a recent gun tragedy in my life but my fear of ‘bad men’ doesn’t overcome my fear that an accident could happen in my home.
I think the self defense course is a great idea. If he can’t meet you at your wishes for peace and safety in your home, I’d suggest couples counseling. This is not a sweep it under the rug argument, in my opinion.golfer.galFebruary 27, 2018 at 11:14 am #740988
I am a bleeding heart, universal healthcare supporting, Sanders loving liberal. I also grew up in a home without guns, and I strongly support stricter gun laws. My first adult experience with guns was not good-I had an abusive partner who would use them to threaten suicide to manipulate and terrify me. And I have guns in my home.
My husband is a hunter and enjoys shooting recreationally at the range. He also enjoys antique guns as a hobby. He concealed carries. Do I prefer this? Definitely not. I don’t want guns in my home. But he is a responsible and law abiding citizen, and it is his right. That is who he is. We have a large safe that is literally impossible to move that is locked at all times. We also have a smaller safe in his nightstand that only his fingerprint can open. Guns are never, ever left out. And they do not come into my car, ever. He has taken many, many safety and technique classes over the years. I myself am considering taking an introductory gun class.
Controlling another person’s behavior is not the answer. If this is something you are so firmly against that you cannot accept it, then it’s fair to make that clear and the two of you can decide if you just aren’t a good match anymore and it’s time to separate, or that it’s something he is willing to let go to keep his marriage. But i think the better course is to put common sense stipulations on it: you both take a gun safety course and a private lesson or 2 at a range with the gun he buys, it stays locked in a safe as all times, ammo is stored in a separate locked safe, etc.
I grew up with guns too, my father actually manages a shooting range in his retirement and spent decades as a sharpshooter and shooting coach in the US Army. He is also a licensed gun dealer. That doesn’t change my feelings. I value my kids lives over a weapon. Not many scared men who need a gun to feel safe actually store them safely. Not many civilians can even hit a target in a scenario with moving targets, in a heated exchange, in a small space like their home.
It’s unquestionably more dangerous to have a gun in your home.
I don’t think the answer is to tell her to compromise. No one needs to compromise their safety in order for one person to feel ‘safe.’
It’s his right to own a gun, but it’s your right to decide that’s not acceptable.VathenaFebruary 27, 2018 at 11:42 am #740990
I am also anti-gun. I don’t want one in my house, with my child, ever. My dad had guns when I was growing up (my parents were divorced). I know there are safe-ish ways to keep them, as Golfergal outlined above. You have to decide what you can live with. One consideration for me would be the paranoia factor. You write that he wants to do concealed carry: “Tim says he doesn’t ever want to be caught in a position that he is in need of defending himself or his family and he is unable to.” I think the deal-breaker for me might be if I felt that he was tipping into paranoia. While I think we are ALL justifiably paranoid about gun violence right now, the idea of someone who was previously pretty reasonable escalating from occasional target shooting to “I must have a gun at all times to feel safe” would be very concerning to me. Every week you hear a story about a child who found a family gun in a purse or car and shot themselves or a family member. Having a gun does not make you MORE safe, it makes you LESS safe.