When Jennifer was growing up, guns were verboten in her household. At my home, guns were just there. My parents have never been avid shooters of any sort, but they had a few guns – mostly that had been passed down the family line. Early in our marriage finances completely prohibited gun ownership, but I told Jennifer that I wanted to eventually buy a gun. (Heh. A gun. Nobody ever buys just one.)
When it was a fiscally reasonable step to make, I had no idea that she would enjoy shooting so much. I was surprised but pleased. I know a lot of couples where one of them likes guns and the other does not. Conversely, I’ve heard from a few people online that had a first date at a gun range. I honestly don’t know why it should shock me that she enjoyed it from day one. We tend to have our hobbies in common.
Sure, there have been things that break the trend. She did the whole scrap-booking thing for a little while. I tried to start a car shop until I realized that there was no money in it. But, by and large we’ve gone on our crazy adventures together. For several years, we kept koi and even entered them in local shows, winning multiple awards. One thing the koi people said about us is that we knew how to pick them out small and grow them pretty. We have painted together and collected music together. Even when we were just dating, Jennifer would wrench on my abominable car with me.
The guys whose wives shoot with them get it. The guys whose wives don’t care a thing about guns are jealous. And, rightly so. The fellowship of the gun is a powerful bonding experience. Sure, when you run the machine in the zone, there is you, your target, and the gun connecting you. Everything else dulls and fades out as though time is slowing down all around the little tunnel that the shot is going to follow. But, to have your best friend and lover there to cheer your greatest shots and offer a “you’ll do better next time” for the botched ones – there is little else that compares except of course, being on the other end of that interchange.
Of course, in a damaged relationship, shooting is not going to be a cure. Don’t be ashamed to seek counseling or some other outside help. I would actually not recommend volatile couples to introduce deadly weapons into the relationship. Stay safe and take care of each other. Communication is key to a happy marriage, and Jennifer and I have always focused on it. By all means, communicate. Communicate between boxes of ammo or loaded magazines whenever possible.