In the comments here, Mike asks the following question:
My wife had a trauma involving firearms also, and has not recovered yet. While working as an ER doc in Baltimore, she assisted on a case where a young man found a revolver in a park, took it home, was playing with it, and shot his younger brother. The gunshot victim got his chest and abdomen opened in the ER to stop bleeding – and died weeks later of overwhelming sepsis. Not something anyone would want to watch. She still won’t handle guns although she accepts that I have an interest in them. Any suggestions as to how to get her past her dislike of firearms?
I don’t have any easy answers to a question like that – for people who have experience the visceral impact of crime, and have personally witnessed the damage that can be caused by negligence and abuse, it is not easy to separate the thing (the gun) from the action.
I would offer the following advice though. Foremost, don’t push her. If she’s not interested in guns, don’t push her to go shooting, or drag her to the gun shop. At the same time, don’t let her blame the gun for what happened. In her particular case, the appropriate person to blame would be the asshole who left a loaded gun out where it could be found by anyone, and also the parents who didn’t teach their children to never play with guns.
Again though, don’t push her. Be gentle, and try to take whatever opportunities to gently reinforce that guns themselves are not evil or good, and posses no inherent will of their own. I would also recommend that your wife get counseling in a professional setting – dealing with the death of a child in a case in which a person is personally involved is not easy.
If you guys have any answers to Mike’s question, please post them in the comments.
My answers are the answers of someone who is not a medical professional; and thusly may be really bad. All I can tell you is how I personally would handle the situation. Honestly, I’d love to hear Dr. Helen‘s opinion on this.