In the post below this, Robb makes a good point:
However, don’t give up on someone who might not like the idea [of concealed carry] at first. Those are the people we should be targeting, not running away from because they find guns icky.
I agree, but I also feel like there are three different levels of “finding guns icky” and whatever level the person is at should determine your next step. Back to our hypothetical situation, your date has accidentally discovered your carry gun, you’ve explained it, now it’s reaction time. We’re not going to discuss positive reactions here, but rather only the levels of negative reaction. If she says “Oh, what are you carrying, I have a 1911 in a CTAC” then you should just propose on the spot. Just sayin’.
Anyway, on to the negative reactions.
- Mild shock and curiosity: this usually comes with more questions, such as “why are you carrying a gun, is that safe, are you trained, etc etc”. While not the time to launch in to your prepared speech on the glory of the 2nd Amendment and the wisdom of our Founding Fathers, this type of negative reaction really isn’t that bad. You can be an ambassador for the shooting sports in this situation and help break down whatever media-induced negative stereotype your date has of gun owners. What you do, don’t go all “SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED”.
- Moderate shock and distaste: This manifests itself as “I don’t like guns very much” or “I never had guns”. The person is likely fearful of firearms due to lack of experience, but doesn’t necessarily think you’re a whacko. Tread cautiously. A person like this will have a lot more mental barriers before they get to “curious”, and pushing the issue too hard will drive them in to the third and final tier, which is
- Outright revulsion and emotional reaction: “I hate guns, I can’t believe you’d carry a dangerous weapon around like that, what are you some kind of murder crazy psycho?” This person likely cannot be reasoned with; and nothing you will say in that moment will change their mind. All you can do is courteously and politely extricate yourself from the situation, and go about your business.
The guiding star when dealing with any of these three people is to be polite, respectful, and courteous. Don’t preach, don’t sermonize, don’t lecture, and don’t refer to yourself as a “sheepdog”. Now that I think about it, don’t use the word “sheeple” either. Ever. In any circumstances, but especially in this type of situation. Be polite, be articulate, and if you’re not making any headway simply disengage.