Armory, Self Defense, And EDC > Firearms Advice For Beginners

Scared of guns... Alternatives?

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Robinelli:

--- Quote from: Cedar on September 17, 2012, 06:39:51 PM ---When my ex-husband was stalking me , restraining orders didn't work and I did not have a gun, I kept a cigarette lighter and a can of cheap hairspray next to me when I was sleeping.

... a gun is probably safer.

Cedar

--- End quote ---
That's terrifying. I'm sorry you had to go through that. Before I got my stun gun I kept wasp spray by the bed. I have heard it is more effective than mace.

Mr. Bill:

--- Quote from: Robinelli on September 17, 2012, 04:36:46 PM ---Well I guess I might as well post the reason for my aversion. ...

--- End quote ---

Robinelli, it makes me happy that you felt comfortable enough to post this.  We've got a good group of people here, and I don't think anyone will give you grief about your fears.

[moderator]
Or else.
[/moderator]

;D

I'm not a "gun person".  I never fired anything until I was about 30, and although I didn't have any particular phobia it still scared the crap out of me.  Same with every new firearm I've fired since then.

If you choose to try firearms, start small and simple.  I started with a 12-ga shotgun.  Ouch.  NOT the best choice for a newbie.  A .22 revolver would have been better.  It's mechanically simple, it's very easy to check whether it's loaded or unloaded, and it's easy to become completely familiar with how it works, even before you fire your first shot.  Also you can get .22 ammo with no gunpowder -- it just has the primer, which is enough to fire the bullet at approximately pellet-gun force.  It makes a non-terrifying CRACK sound, rather than a BANG, the recoil is microscopic, and it's--- well, I won't say safe, but if an accident did occur, the slow small bullet has a pretty low chance of causing serious injury.

If you don't want to go for firearms yet (or ever), that's cool.  I'm not sure what to suggest for alternate weapons, and having small children around does complicate things.  You might want to browse through our non-firearms weaponry boards to see what ideas other members have suggested.

jpbearit:
First you need to decide, as my wife said to me when I told her about your issue: Are you more afraid of guns or are you more afraid of not having a gun? Do you really want to get over this and, perhaps more importantly, do you really feel you have to. 

Try reasoning it out.  Maybe list the reasons you think you need a gun against the reason you fear them.

Try to measuring your fear of guns against the things you fear that a gun could help protect you from.

You might find that you can conquer your fear of guns easier because you will realize it is a thing you can control in your hands.  However there are many things and people you can’t have any control over but a gun would be a tool you can use to help protect you from those.

Then make a plan. Start small… baby steps. Go buy a BB/pellet gun. These are more than a toy, but less than a gun and it is where almost everyone starts their gun journey as a child.  Take it out in the backyard and just shoot it. They are cheap and easy to use.  But treat it as a real gun as much as you are able. Do this every day for a few months. Get used to the feeling of holding it and shooting it.

Then go get a .22 rifle. Sign up for your nearest Appleseed rifleman training course.  They will give you all the information you need to safely handle a real firearm. On top of that, you will learn the skills needed to use it effectively. 

You might just stop there, but I doubt it.  I’ll bet that you’ll go on to learn to enjoy this activity. When done responsively and safely, shooting is a fun and challenging hobby that appeals to so many people for so many different reasons.  I’ll also lay odds that you will discover that the incidents that led to your fear of guns were cause by a lack of experience and a lack of training, those kind of stupid accidents are almost always attributable to the lack of knowledge.

But because you will go after your knowledge of guns with a firm grasp of the dangers, those dangers will soon have no more effect on you than the danger present every time you get in your car. They are real and you keep them firmly in the back of your mind, but you take precautions to mitigate those dangers.
Hope this helps.

Robinelli:

--- Quote from: jpbearit on September 17, 2012, 09:15:05 PM ---But because you will go after your knowledge of guns with a firm grasp of the dangers, those dangers will soon have no more effect on you than the danger present every time you get in your car. They are real and you keep them firmly in the back of your mind, but you take precautions to mitigate those dangers.
Hope this helps.

--- End quote ---

Wow. What a good analogy! I always think of driving as the most dangerous thing most people do in their lifetimes and they do it every day. A car is essentially a 2 ton missile and we go around dodging people all day who are driving those missiles while texting on their phones and face booking. Yet I do still drive on the road. Hm. Very good analogy!!

markl32:

Get some training.  Mind set (knowledge) is the best weapon.  Knowledge will give you confidence. 

Once you have confidence with your firearm you will then begin to realize you are empowered.  Not only has your knowledge empowered you to never make the same firearm safety mistakes that those close you have made in the past, but you have also level the playing field against violent men. 

The irony is women, who benefit the most from having a firearm, are typicality scared to pick up that equalizing tool, out of fear of the tool (the gun), leaving themselves vulnerable to the real threat (violent criminals). 

If you simply can not bring your self to learn about guns then stick with the knife.  Get some training there too.  Knifes can be damn effective.  If you go "sewing machine" on an attacker they are going to have a bad day.  The mace is mildly effective.  The stun gun is junk and completely ineffective in stopping an attack. 

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