While some husbands purchase firearms for their wives and nearly beg them to learn to shoot safely and proficiently, as a chapter leader in The Well Armed Woman, I have discovered that it’s not unusual for the opposite to occur. I have heard many members or visitors ask about what to say to their spouses or how to convince their husbands that they should train with and/or carry a firearm. This can be quite a dividing line within a marriage or within an entire household. Of course, my first thought is to wonder why a spouse would not want his wife to have a firearm for protection. Does he think she is incapable? Unsafe? Unable to pull the trigger, if necessary? Is he wary of guns? Or does he disagree with the idea of having or carrying guns altogether?

One of my fellow TWAW sisters brought this topic up recently on Facebook, and a great conversation blossomed. Some of my fellow chapter leaders chimed in, and while a few joked about finding a new husband, I wanted to share some of the thoughts, answers and suggestions with y’all in case you, yourself, are going through a situation like this or in case you know someone who could use some words of encouragement and support.

  • “My husband is the one who got me into shooting. He thinks he has created a monster now that I own a few [guns] and constantly want to go shooting. He encouraged me in my teaching, so much so that we team teach our classes. He feels better knowing I can protect myself, if need be. Perhaps this other husband is fearful in that she can overpower him, or he is fearful in general about guns.” – Vinni C.
  • “My husband, as should every spouse, expects me to be my own first responder. It means he loves me enough to know that I am willing, able and capable of doing so … That said, I also [take] responsibility for seeking out proper training and practicing regularly. Also, the world is more dangerous for women. The great equalizer improves our odds.” – Kandy H.
  • “Are you going to stay by my side every minute of every day to protect me? Grocery store, doctor visits, taking kids to daycare…” – Linda W.
  • “My husband is so very supportive of everything I do, especially when it comes to firearms. He understands personal protection is my new passion, and I love working with others in training and realizing how to achieve their self-protection. Of course, purchasing firearms and ammo and much more goes along with self-protection. When he accompanies me to a gun shop, he looks at the cases and calls my attention to everything he thinks I should/might be interested in … I AM very fortunate, as there are many women who don’t have the great support I enjoy. My hubby sees this [problem], too, on occasion, and is the first to open a conversation with the hubby in question…” – Connie C.

Clearly, the answer will be different for every situation, so it’s important to understand the underlying issues first. Ask questions to discover the “why.” This will provide insight into how to approach someone’s motivations or reservations. Effective listening and finding common ground can also be helpful, and it may be beneficial if each side is willing and able to concede that the other has a point. Then, together, you can face the issue with facts and reasoning … and, more importantly, with education and responsibility.

As far as I’m concerned, no matter what the issue is, we are all worth protecting, and I would hope that a spouse would understand that and agree with it 100 percent.