By: Eric Cotter, Field Editor – MASF Member
Originally Published in MASF Quarterly Online Magazine Fall 2015 issue
For most the idea of being with someone that has such a different view on firearms in general is absurd or even 100% off limits for some. With most topics there will always be disagreements on various subjects from religion to money, guns to coffee, and pizza to bacon. Sticking with your guns on a topic is what makes us individuals and free thinking beings, but what if it someone you love dearly and their opposing views on such a die-hard subject as the right to bear arms? With everything in life there will be compromise, but where do we draw the line? This goes back to being an individual and you personally deciding on where the line in the sand is with your beliefs.
Before I go much further I guess I should start by stating that have been through this very situation. I lived with this for many years and let me tell you, it’s not easy at all. Arguments would range from why I needed to actually train with a firearm to why a box of steel cased 9mm had to be $11/box and why I needed more than one box at a time. Basically, everything was a potential argument waiting to happen so choosing your fights become a rather crucial detail.
I was married at the age of 21 and wasn’t the avid 2A guy I am today, so it wasn’t like I mentioned above for my entire marriage. As we got older and our views on certain things changed it became apparent that my spouse and I didn’t really agree on some rather important issues. I didn’t need a rifle, the police have them and that’s good enough…..right? There is nothing that I can’t handle with my Remington 870 and my Glock 19, so why on earth would I need more? Why would I need to actually carry a gun after I took the CCW course? Why do you need more than 100 rounds of ammunition? You aren’t a soldier Eric, you don’t need this or that. I can go on but I think that I’ve laid the foundation of what I was dealing with and maybe some of you are dealing with at this moment. How do you deal with these issues and keep your relationship in tact? It takes compromise and a LOT of patience. My advice is based off my own trial and error in wanting to continue in being with my wife, so this will really only apply to those that want to still be in a relationship such as mine.
Having gone through all of that, here’s MY advice on how to continue in a relationship with someone that might not fully agree with your stance on guns. Since money seems to be where most relationship issues originate that’s a great place to start. These situations will obviously vary from couple to couple. And so it begins…
If you are wanting to purchase anything firearms related always remember that the other person doesn’t see the value in an item the way that you do. Your $15 box of ammo is their shoes on sale, so in their mind your ammo is a waste because it could be gone in seconds unlike their shoes which they say will be worn for years….but then stay in the box and eventually get thrown away. Using the “It’s such a good deal I couldn’t afford not to buy it” ploy doesn’t work in any case with guns, trust me.
Do your best to explain exactly why you are buying what you are buying and the purpose to you that it has. Even though it sucks, explaining your purchases gives you credibility and also helps with communication…which I hear is important. Everything you buy should have a legitimate purpose in their eyes, so this isn’t really a hard one to follow once you get the hang of it. That goes both ways too. Your significant other’s purchases, for whatever they are getting, should serve a purpose and remind them of that kindly when they start to give you crap because you are buying targets to train with…..giant 3D zombie ones that bleed.
The mother of all argument starters is the purchase of a new gun for whatever reason it may be needed for. Personally, I like all of my guns to have a purpose. I don’t want a safe full of trophies to brag to my buddies about even though I can’t use 5 of them properly. “You shouldn’t fear the man that has trained with 10,000 guns once, you fear the man that has trained with one gun 10,000 times bro” -Gandhi. Be proficient with what you have before you try and add another weapon to your arsenal just for kicks and giggles, seems legit. Find your balance between “want” and “need” and work within those parameters. To some this may sound like being a doormat to someone, but if you want to keep a strong relationship you may have to give up the idea of buying your dream Barrett M107 .50 to blow squirrels off of your baby blue birdfeeders for a month or forever. Be sure and talk about why you need certain things without making it seem like you are talking down to them.
Me talking guns to my wife was like her trying to explain the differences between Boho Chic fashion and Grunge design. Smile and nod, smile and nod. Keeping that in mind, you showing interest in their purchases for something they have passion for may just help you out in the long run with your purchases of a new boomstick when that time comes. Who’s ready for some politics of the whole situation?
In my situation this was the make or break point. Politics is a one of the main issues that that makes up the four corners of your relationship’s foundation. In my mind the four main issues are as follows in the fancy list I have supplied below:
• Religious belief
• Financial goals and views
• Political stance
Sorry, I don’t know anyone that wants to start a new race of super viking ninja warriors with an ugly person….that’s a fact. Anyways, politics are a touchy subject with those that are staunch supporters of the 2nd Amendment since it’s kind of our rights and stuff like that. This is where that line in the sand I mentioned before really comes in to play. The time that it hit the hardest in my life was when James Yeager made the famous YouTube video stating that he would take the first shot if it came down to him vs whomever came to take his guns. I mean, we all feel that strongly about our RIGHT to bear arms, right? This started a rather heated argument because I said that I would be willing to die defending my right to bear arms if it came down to the government wanting to seize weapons from citizens. That lead to me being called an idiot and then a small war broke out. After that something major like that happens you tend to do some more soul searching into whether you believe what you do believe or whether or not it was a relationship ender. My belief was that I have the right to own an “assault rifle” and my significant other’s view was that the cops have them and I don’t need one since I have a tactical Remington 870 megashottyblaster.
At this point compromise isn’t as easy to swallow as only buying 100 rounds of ammo instead of the 500 you really wanted. This is something our forefathers and military have died giving and protecting or freedom, right and duty to defend ourselves. Rather a huge deal in my eyes, especially when you realize that our rights are written on paper with the blood of men and women in our military. Now that the severity of this subject is clear, what do you do in this case? Do your best not to lash out and call out to your sweetheart that they are literally dumber than a box of rocks that don’t like to eat pizza by the truckload. If you do do that, their defenses will go up and most times may never come down since they will immediately feel like you are belittling them for their views on a subject. Try and reverse the situation and use that to figure out a way to explain to them the rights that we have as free Americans. Trying
to force someone to fall in love with you doesn’t work. Trust me, if it did Brad Pitt wouldn’t be with my Angelina right now. I still love you Angie, come back to me.
This whole situation will vary from couple to couple, so will the results. I pray that over time you can continue in your relationship and slowly guide your other half to seeing the light when it comes to your right to bear arms. The other issues I mentioned above are mostly money driven issues since the value that they see in your purchases are little to zilch. It’s not about what the actual value of something is, it’s about what others believe the value of said object is. Since the issue of politics is an explosive one it will either explode in your face and leave your relationship in tatters or the fuse will slowly burn down to the time when it will explode. Hopefully, you can defuse it before it blows your world apart and leave you in the fetal position crying in a shower in a cheap hotel yelling “Why God, why me?”.
I hope that my ramblings have helped someone out there and given them some insight into a tough situation. What happened to my marriage you ask? Well, not long after all of that went down we decided to separate for other reasons. Live and learn and I hope none of you have to go through a separation because of these issues. Live and learn, that’s the only way to not suck at life.
Stay safe, Eric Cotter
Just a regular dude trying to leave his mark on the world.