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5 Ways to Help Your Friends and Family Get Over their Firearm Phobia

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A revolver laid on the ground in a fieldFears are something that every person has. Some people are afraid of spiders, others fear heights, and so on. However, there are people who are afraid of firearms, and many would say rightly so, but if they are your friends or family members who you wish to protect, you can do something to help them.

Although it seems simple, it can be tough seeing someone crawl into a dark corner when you’re cleaning your unloaded gun. If you try to reassure them that everything is fine, the chances are that they won’t listen and will come with a reason for their fear.

Still, it can be important to help them so they are not affected by these anxieties. The debate of gun control will always rage in the US but many people see them as essential self-defense. If you are one who holds this view, here are some suggestions that could aid you to eliminate your loved ones’ fear of guns.

  1. Make Them Face Their Fear

Whereas this may sound really cliché, facing fears makes it easier to overcome them. If someone keeps hiding from the things they are afraid of, the fear will only deepen. Therefore, they should face it somehow, and you can help.

Tell them to come to your house or visit them yourself and bring a gun with you. Make sure it’s unloaded, so they don’t panic. Put it on the couch/bed, and don’t touch it. Let your friend do that and let them explore the gun. If they are afraid that it could fire at any moment, reassure them that the gun is unloaded.

Make your friend get comfortable with handling a gun. It may take a while, but it can dissolve even a small part of their fear. Tell them to pick it up and play with aiming it when it’s unloaded, or just let them explore it and explain what every part of it does.

  1. Let Them Shoot

After they are done hyperventilating in the presence of a gun, teach them how to shoot. It may be difficult until they get used to it, but they will learn a lot of things that will help them on the road to beating their fear.

For instance, they will learn how difficult it can be to aim and hit a target, how hard it can be to pull the trigger, and many others. The latter one can demonstrate that it’s not like in the action movies they see on TV – it’s actually harder to fire a gun by accident.

Be there to help them and show them how it should be done. If they have someone they trust next to them, they will find it safer.

  1. Take Baby Steps

You don’t necessarily have to hand them a loaded gun from the start and let them use it. Baby steps are the way to go, which is why it would be a better option to help them work their aim at first with a laser grip. If they do this, it will be easier to learn how to aim and get ready to try a real gun.

In addition, firing the arm when it’s unloaded is easier as there is no loud bang or the stress that the bullets will end where they shouldn’t. This will make them less anxious and will build mental toughness.

  1. Give Them Low Caliber Guns

Even an experienced shooter can have a difficult time handling recoil, so don’t expect someone who’s afraid of them to handle them like professionals. They won’t be able to shoot accurately, which is why you should let them try a low caliber gun.

These guns have soft recoil and are easier to handle, as they have less weight and the design is also helpful in softening the recoil. Therefore, let them start small, and once they are not afraid anymore and are able to handle the gun, you can move to larger ones.

  1. Help Them Overcome Sound Fear

Some of the people who are afraid of guns are actually fearing the moment the sound comes out. That is not to be blamed, because the sound is very strong and scary for people who are usually not into this kind of stuff. Still, there are ways to protect their ears from the strong sound, such as using earplugs. If possible, they can wear electronic earmuffs, as these filter out the loud sound while still letting them hear what you are saying.

  1. Teach them about Gun Culture

Tell your friend or family member that gun culture shouldn’t bring them down when it comes to their style of shooting. Moreover, let them know that the stereotypical gun culture is not existent everywhere, even though it’s all over media and social platforms.

Also, they should know that there are many ranges that accept shooters of all levels, so they shouldn’t feel intimidated by more experienced shooters. In addition, there are many environments that accept beginners because it helps them advance their second amendment rights. Some ranges can also offer them classes that will make them feel more comfortable and less scared when it comes to handling firearms.

They will be able to defend themselves when needed, and thus get rid of their fear of holding a gun in their hand.

  1. Give them a Tested, Modern Firearm

Some newbies are afraid of the fact that the gun may fire when dropped, and that can put a lot of pressure on someone who is not familiar with the domain. However, when it comes to modern firearms, technology is very advanced, thus guns come with firing pin safeties and other safety measures. These prevent a gun from firing when dropped.

So, when trying to make your friend overcome firearm phobia, give them a tested one, and if they eventually succeed, they should buy one like that too.

Final Thoughts

Guns can be dangerous, so it’s no surprise that some people are afraid of them. The fear of shooting guns is normal when a person is new to firearms or to a specific gun. Still, it’s nothing that can’t be solved without some knowledge and training. After reading this article, it may be easier to help someone close to you overcome their fear of guns.


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