Not so long ago, my lovely wife and I happened to have a Sunday off together. It was a fall day, raining and just kind of “blah” out. While surfing the internet looking for something to do locally, I stumbled on an ad for a gun show about 15 minutes away from where we lived at the time.
So, I threw it out there… “Wanna go?” I asked. Now, my wife grew up in the suburbs and though her childhood wasn’t “sheltered”, she simply was not around firearms growing up and did not understand them, much less show any interest in them.
A little more prodding…. “Come on; let’s get out of the house for a bit. It will be something different for a change!” She conceded and we piled in the car and made the trek. We arrived at the crowded lot and found a spot, the entire walk in I heard “I can’t believe I’m here!” over and over.
I paid our entry and we started meandering through the crowd. Looking through the endless wares the vendors had on display. As information, I grew up around firearms, I have had safety engrained into my head, respect and proper use of the tool, and firearms are NOT toys. The pistols I owned at the time were not conducive to giving proper instruction to a beginner.
So, as often happens in a crowd, we ended up split apart by a short distance. I turned to check on her and just happened to see that “look” in her eyes as she was staring into a display case. I have seen that look before, under different circumstances, in other environments, and generally that look ends up in a little bit of cash spent and a big smile on the wifey’s face. You know what they say “Happy wife – Happy life”. So I inched my way back to her location, I gazed over her shoulder for a bit, looking through the display of pistols and I could not, for the life of me, figure out exactly what the hell she was so fixated on!
“Which one?” I asked.
She ignored me.
“Whatcha lookin at?” I prodded.
She finally answered… “Nothing!”
So, I pestered a bit and she finally told me she liked a pistol that was in the case. 10 minutes more of talking in circles and I get it out of her. There it was, in all of its glory! A hot pink Sig Mosquito .22LR pistol.
Anyone who knows my wife, including ME, would think I was lying about this. My wife?? Pink?? No way!! Absolutely not!!! She detests pink! Hates pink with a passion! Then… a whole different factor…. Her with a gun??? Absolutely NOT!!! So here we are…. A PINK PISTOL!!! Who would have EVER thought???
But, she had that look that a wife gets, the look that any “in tune” husband knows. So I asked the vendor, and was given a very reasonable price (Nobody wanted it because it was pink!). It felt like when you go to the dog pound and that one dog that nobody wants keeps coming back to you and in the end, you take that dog home. So I thought about it, and knowing Sig makes a high quality product, knowing that a .22LR full size pistol would be a piece of cake to use to teach someone who never fired a gun before, and knowing that hitting the bull’s eye at 50 yards makes no difference if the pistol is black, green, pink, blue, or purple, I bought it.
There was no “power of suggestion” no “pushing” no “arm twisting” and no argument. She did ask me a few times why I bought it, and what we were going to do with it. I really didn’t give her any clear answer, but as we walked through the rest of the show, I paid careful attention to the things she found visually appealing. By the ½ way point, she was asking questions. Good solid questions, real questions, showing an active interest. BINGO!!! WE’RE IN!!!!!
¾ of the way through the show she was asking when we could go shoot. Wow! Why didn’t I drag her to a gun show sooner?? Still aimlessly wandering, she was now asking to hold different makes and models of pistols, seeing how they felt in her hand. One thing was constant though this entire time, not one of them was simply plain black. She ogled 2-tone, bronze, polished, nickel, titanium, camouflage, and a multitude of colors from the palette. We even managed to find a couple hundred rounds of .22LR ammunition (this was during the .22 ammo crisis).
After the show, on our drive home, she was very chatty and inquisitive. I was patient, answering all of her questions, explaining as much as I could while driving. When we arrived at home, she sat with me at the kitchen table. We went over all the basics, clearing, function, clearing, safety, clearing, safe direction, clearing, aiming, clearing, breathing. I had her practice all of this as we talked about it. She was smiling, she was interested!
I pulled out some of my pistols, we went over differences, similarities, general range rules and courtesies, above all else safety and ensuring they were “clear”. She asked more questions, some repeat questions from earlier, apologizing for asking again. Late into the evening we were still talking and going over “dos and don’ts”.
The following week we found a brand new indoor range about 10 miles from the house. We loaded up the stuff and headed that way. We went over everything in the car on the way, she was visibly nervous but not backing out. We got there early, we had the lanes to ourselves! Bonus!!! The range was clean, the air was filtered and well ventilated, the range employees were friendly and professional. Everything was shaping for a good day. I loaded the magazines. I sent a target out about 25 feet and shot the first 10 rounds, explaining as I shot each round a little grip technique, breathing, aiming, trigger squeeze, etc. She listened carefully and when it was her turn, she forgot it all. It was ok! It was her first time. I put the target at about 7 feet. I helped her, aiming, trigger squeeze, drop the empty magazine, ensure it was clear, set it down, bring the target in, checked her shots. Talked about it. People filtering in now, she is more nervous, calm her down, stay patient, boost her confidence. She is doing just fine.
She ended up going through about 300 rounds that day. She left smiling, smelling like sulfur and gun powder. She had fun! I didn’t shoot much, I helped, I watched, I listened. In the car, a whole new barrage of questions, many I could answer, some I could not. We talked and talked – calibers, barrel length, Glock, Sig, Colt, Smith & Wesson, HK, grip, stance, laser sights, on and on. Then she asked it…. THE question!!! “When can we go again?”
So we started going regularly, shooting, browsing gun shops, attending gun shows, looking at magazines together, and one day she gets “goo goo eyed” at another pistol… Another Sig…. A bigger caliber… Oh yeah!!
That is how is started…. The initiation of an addiction….
The “HERS” side of the gun safe has just as many occupants as the “HIS” side!
This has now become our family fun, our stress relief, and our relaxation. She shoots well, accurate, still yearning for more knowledge; she even has a couple all black pistols now.
Sometimes life has a few sweet surprises!