I have a similar question. My girlfriend is afraid of guns. Doesn't like thinking about them or looking at them. She fired one once but doesn't remember it very well and was fine then.
Her dad has a couple including a rifle, shotgun, and Glock .40 but they are all in a safe disassembled and nobody else knows the combination. She has never seen her dad's. She's never been in an incident where they were used in a negative way, as far as I'm concerned.
She does have anxiety that I believe to be the result of a house fire that she was somewhat responsible for when she was about 13 and has not dealt with since.
Anyways, as I'm turning 18 soon I will be getting a gun and will be keeping it in my car sometimes (this is the closest thing I can legally get to CC for some years and I accept I will have to take responsibility for some risks). I've told her of this and as much as she dislikes it she doesn't want it to be in the car without an idea of how to safely handle it. I agree with this.
Anyways, the question is trying to figure out how to make this happen. It will be a CZ 75 of some sort so I could probably get the Kadet .22lr conversion that would help. However, she does have fairly strong anxiety. She went with us to a gun show once and had a bad time because all of the guns around intimidated her and made her scared. When we showed her a couple of our rifles (straight from the store, never loaded, safeties on and muzzles in a safe direction) she declined to touch them and got tense until they were taken out of the room.
She also has a fear of explosive noises. The house fire was caused by her flipping the water heater too fast, causing a spark which ignited some gasoline her dad just spilled in the garage. The first thing that happened was the car exploding. Since then even fireworks scare her. I am afraid it will be a challenge even getting her to the shooting bay, as she's described to me in the past hearing a shooting range from a half mile away and said it made her nervous and she doesn't understand how anyone can be OK with or enjoy that.
It's not about self defense, I disagree with anyone carrying a gun who's not 100% willing to use it and accept the responsibility. It's about learning to safely and somewhat comfortably handle a gun, clear it, and possibly even fire it if need be, but really just to hopefully become slightly more comfortable knowing how it works. Even if I start with the .22 the goal will be eventually to fire 9mm ammo.
What do you guys suggest? I'm definitely not an armchair or range commando of any sort and I don't have an intimidating presence. I don't know if she'd be more comfortable learning from me or an instructor.