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Old March 14, 2009, 11:58 AM   #1
rantingredneck
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Why I carry at home, and why I wish my wife would........

I was talking with one of my employees this week who is a volunteer firefighter. His Assistant Chief's wife was home alone earlier in the week when a man wearing a mask and gloves broke into their back door. She managed to get her hands on a baseball bat and beat him badly enough that he ran away. This was Tuesday or Wednesday I believe.

Fast forward to Friday. The same fellow (to believe otherwise is stretching the odds) came back and again gained entry to the house while she was home alone. She was stabbed twice in the abdomen. Last I heard yesterday she was in stable condition. No major organ damage. No word on whether there was any further assault beyond the stab wounds.

Speculation among the officers responding was that the first attack was an attempted sexual assault and the second was revenge for the beating she gave him the first go round.

Both of these attacks happened in broad daylight. Friday's was at around 9-9:30 am. This happened in rural Orange Co. NC. Not a high crime area to be sure.

These incidents obviously have me wondering what else I can do to "harden the target" at my house. My wife had surgery a couple weeks ago and will be out of work and home alone during the day for another two weeks. Beyond that there are the odd days where she's off and I'm not, though we try to coordinate our vacation days. 2-3 times a year I'm away on business over night for 1-2 nights at a stretch. She often takes the kids and stays with her parents when I'm away though.

Currently....

Deadbolts......check (and they stay locked during the day too, if I'm not home)
Monitored Alarm............check (yes my wife keeps it armed during the day if she's home and I'm not)
Exterior lights.....check (high output flourescents at opposite corners of the house and by both doors, dusk til dawn sensors/always on at night. Motionactivated flood at corner by driveway. LED Solar powered landscape lighting scattered about the property that minimizes dark spots in shrubbery/trees, etc.)

What else am I missing structurally?

We don't presently have a dog. Lost both of ours a couple years ago to old age. Haven't been quite ready to take on the responsibility of a puppy lately.


Beyond the prevention measures, my wife knows how to use the various firearms in the house (except for the AR-15 which we've not really worked on yet). She does not carry a handgun either in the home or while out. She has no interest in getting her own carry permit, but is very glad that I have mine and carry regularly. My problem with this, though is that I cannot always be there.

When I'm away I keep a Mossberg 500 with tube full of managed recoil 00 buckshot and unchambered outside of the safe for her use if necessary. It's kept in the closet, with one of those child proof doorknob covers keeping the door closed and the little ones away from it. Beyond that, there's the slide release and safety to manipulate to make it ready to go boom. It's enough of a safety layer that I'm comfortable with it now with where my kids are, may not be the case in the next few years. Beyond that we're doing the obvious safety training with the kids.

Any advice on how to get my wife to come around on the carry issue? Pax, I'd like your input here in particular, please?
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Old March 14, 2009, 02:17 PM   #2
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Rantingredneck,

I share your concerns. My thoughts are as follows:

Deadbolts......Excellent

Monitored Alarm….Good but have heard response time can be somewhat problematic. Do you have signs stating your home is alarmed and I would make sure it includes an exterior siren.

Exterior lights….understood to be a pretty effective deterrent if a burglar is looking at one house over another.

Dog….best alarm / deterrent, preferable a loud guard dog. Gives you time to take action, call 911, hold up till help arrives. I concur on the puppy issue, plus it does nothing in the immediate. I would suggest contacting one of the breed specific rescue groups. You can get a grown dog that someone had to give up. As to breed, I’d leave that to experts, I have a 125 pound lab, he can be aggressive but best thing is he raises heck if anyone comes near the house. We have actually never heard our door bell in 6 years.

Mossberg 500…..I’d suggest a safe or at least an easy access lock box for the shells. Kids are resourceful and if and when you have a sitter I’d be real nervous of a loaded gun secured with only the kid door knob. Might be some liability issues as well, although I am not an expert on that.

Also, neighbors are an excellent resource, if they are close enough, get to know them, a nosey / watchful neighbor is priceless.

In the end, sounds like the Mrs. is comfortable with firearms, the dog might give you the peace of mind you seek.

Hope my amateur ramblings are of some help.
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Old March 14, 2009, 02:24 PM   #3
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if and when you have a sitter I’d be real nervous of a loaded gun secured with only the kid door knob
No worries there. We don't do sitters. My mother in law lives 3 miles away and sister in law lives 1.5 miles away. We need childcare we have drop-in options ready at hand.

Thanks for your suggestions, though. Will look into breed specific rescue groups.
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Old March 14, 2009, 02:33 PM   #4
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We don't presently have a dog. Lost both of ours a couple years ago to old age. Haven't been quite ready to take on the responsibility of a puppy lately.
You don't have to go with a puppy, although I have always preferred that route personally. Many shelters are overflooded with dogs due in part with the economic "downturn" and people moving out of houses and into apartments with strict rules or high deposits on pets. Odd are you could find a very family friendly, already house trained dog that would act as a deterrent, alarm and possibly even a defender. Crate training is very easy for juvenile though adult dogs. I couldn't imagine what it would be like without a dog or two around even though I doubt they would attack. They would definitely alert.
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Old March 14, 2009, 03:01 PM   #5
chris in va
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Deadbolts......check (and they stay locked during the day too, if I'm not home
Deadbolts are surprisingly flimsy. The weak point is the door frame, easily kicked in. You may want to reinforce that area and get a door brace bar.

This should give her decent time to get to the shotgun or whatever she feels comfortable using for SD.

You may want to enlighten her to the police response times. Point out a similar 911 time (usually at least 5 minutes), sit down and have her count out the minutes until the 'cops' show up. It's a real eye opener.
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Old March 14, 2009, 03:14 PM   #6
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You may want to reinforce that area
Yep, did that when I installed 'em. It'll take a bit of effort to gain entry for sure.

We live out in the country so it's Sheriff's Dept response times. Which of course is dependent on where the closest deputy is when the call goes out. 13 miles outside of town.

There is a substation in a neighboring community about 5 miles away though.

She has no illusions about response times, she's just stubborn about the carry thing (among other things ).
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Old March 14, 2009, 03:19 PM   #7
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Deadbolts......check (and they stay locked during the day too, if I'm not home)
As mentioned, the weakness here is the frame. Reinforce the frame and use at least 3" screws to drive into the 2 x 4 behind the molding. Mount a second deadbolt high up, maybe at head level. It's harder to kick a deadbolt that high up.

Quote:
Monitored Alarm............check (yes my wife keeps it armed during the day if she's home and I'm not)
WITH 2-3 keypads and panic buttons on all of them. You can also get a personal panic button worn around the neck. We have CPI, and their response to an accidental opening violation is about 5-10 seconds. The whole house microphone/speaker allows them to communicate with the homeowner wherever they are, and to listen in on what's going down.
Quote:
Exterior lights.....
The more, the better. You need a couple of switches in easily accessible spots that don't endanger your wife. A switch beside the back door does no good. A switch at the top of the stairs is great. Cut back the shrubbery around the doors. Yea, makes the house look a little sparse, but it gets rid of the "close to an entrance" hiding places.

A tape recording of a savage dog barking will work - once.

Put that shotgun out in the open, too high for the kids to reach and chamber a round. Put the safety on. When under attack, seconds count, and you don't want your wife fiddling with child-proof doorknobs and racking a round.

Try to get her to wear an empty holster for a few days. Once she sees how comfortable a GOOD rig can be, she might come around to toting one full time.
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Old March 14, 2009, 03:27 PM   #8
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I have convinced my wife to carry the car key fob, she can set off the car alarm in the event of any problems. Guaranteed to have the neighbors at their windows.
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Old March 14, 2009, 03:28 PM   #9
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Get a rescue dog!!!!! My best friend was found at the Austin German Shepherd Rescue. A big loud dog is always intimidating for a BG. I know this from experience. Months ago I was working on my Jeep in the garage with the door open. The dog is always by my side. I went in for 2 minutes to get a drink and when the dog and I came back there was a guy in the garage checking out my tools. Boy if you could have seen his eyes when he saw the dog come out the door after me. That is engrained in my head. I will never forget it. I grabbed the dog and told him I would let him go if he moved. He backed out slowly and took of down the street. This was the reason for my first gun purchase and for me getting my CHL. Turns out that same guy tried the same thing in the next neighborhood a week later but pulled a gun on a guy and his neighbor who both had CHLs. Well it was a bb gun and he damn near got killed. His name was Christopher Montemayor and he was charged only with making a terroristic threat. I wish I wouldve let my dog tear him up!! A GSD is your best friend and the most loyal you will ever have. Also great with kids!!!!
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Old March 14, 2009, 03:29 PM   #10
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Making your house less desirable as your neighbors is a big factor.

You have a good start, make sure that shurbs etc., around the first floor are low a prevent hiding.

Signage is effective and cheap - criminals hate dogs. Buy a beware of dog sign even without one and a bullet decorated target near the entry doors cuts down on solicitors too

Cheap simple door wedges (with alarms for under $20/pair at Sportsmansguide.com) are cheap and very effect delays and can be brought along when traveling.

A good can of wasp/hornet spray has good range and is very effective.

Now getting your wife to shoot and carry is a whole seperate and unique challenge that often requires a direct threat to motivate most. People that call it paranoid to be prepared for violence probably wear seat belts and have a first aid kit and fire extinguisher -same logic, but harder to sell. Start all new shooters with a 22lr and they won't be so adverse.

Long guns as a primary is generally not logical in a typical household because it is rarely in arms reach and is difficult to manuver for most, and recoil is often an issue with a SG.

Last edited by ckd; March 14, 2009 at 03:35 PM.
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Old March 14, 2009, 03:31 PM   #11
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Yeah, I hate shrubbery. We completely did away with the boxwoods around the house a few years ago. They were planted when the house was built. I never liked 'em. A pain to maintain them and surprisingly hard to kill. Resorted to ripping them out of the ground with my Dodge 4x4 and a tow strap. I'm sure the neighbors got it on video and filed it under "you might be a redneck if" .

We do have rosebushes planted under the windows, but they are not of the size that you could hide behind. Just big enough to aggravate the hell out of someone trying to crawl in the windows. Our windows are also double pane with metal bars between the panes. You'd actually have to raise the window to get in through it, not just break through. Good window locks and wireless contact sensors for the alarm system.

Quote:
and chamber a round.
I am a firm opponent of storing chambered shotguns inside the home for 1 simple reason. Shotgun safeties (Mossberg, Remington, doesn't matter) do not render them drop safe. It only blocks the trigger, not the hammer or sear. Combine that with "up high" and it's setting up for a potential tragedy. As it is chambering a round quickly is a software issue that we've worked on. She's more comfortable with the Mossberg setup which is why it stays out when I'm not here. I like Remington's myself, but I've used both enough that they are second nature.

The door knob spinner deals are fairly easy for us as well. We have them on the exterior doors to keep our son from exiting without supervision.
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Old March 14, 2009, 05:52 PM   #12
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have a sitdown/talk with her on a serious level..and tell her that by carrying a handgun on her while home, itll be the best for your children's safety as well as hers. Also, show her more crimes happening in the area..as some type of proof that everything is not always safe as most assume.
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Old March 14, 2009, 06:02 PM   #13
Brian Pfleuger
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Do you have the signs up indicating that you have an alarm system?
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Old March 14, 2009, 06:03 PM   #14
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Yep.

Signs by the walk leading from driveway to front door. Sign on front door. Sign on back door. Sign on front livingroom and back livingroom windows.
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Old March 14, 2009, 06:14 PM   #15
rantingredneck
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Quote:
and recoil is often an issue with a SG.
Let me be clear. My wife is comfortable and competent with a shotgun. She has fired Mossberg 500's and 835's (mine and her dad's) quite a bit over the years. She has even fired 3 1/2" magnum 00 buckshot without complaint.

That being said I keep managed recoil rounds in the gun for faster followup and better patterning. The gun liking that particular load has as much to do with the choice as recoil management.

She was raised around rifles and shotguns as her dad is a lifelong hunter. Never had a handgun growing up in the house though (for that matter neither did I, got my first one when I was 21 and in college). Her comfort level is with the shotgun.

Though I would prefer she carry a handgun both at home and while out, it just ain't happening yet. We've had the talks, she knows the statistics. Repeating it repeatedly hasn't changed anything. The closest she came was a couple years ago a friend of hers was going to take the concealed carry course and the two of them were talking about doing it together. They procrastinated. Her friend took another job in another city and they've drifted apart. Seems like a missed opportunity.
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Old March 14, 2009, 06:19 PM   #16
Brian Pfleuger
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Have you considered those door bars that wedge under the handle down to the floor? Easy to use and add just that much more deterrent. Are your doors steel?
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Old March 14, 2009, 06:29 PM   #17
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Have you considered those door bars that wedge under the handle down to the floor?
I've considered them but that's about as far as I've gotten with that. May take another look at them as I've seen several people recommend them here.
Any particular model anyone's using on those?

Quote:
Are your doors steel?
Front door is steel, back door is steel, but with a window going almost the entire length. It is double pane glass with metal bars between though (same as the windows). The deadbolts on both front and back doors are keyed on both sides. Breaking out the glass doesn't get you access to the house unless you breakthrough the bars and both panes and come all the way through. Gonna hurt and gonna be noisy/time consuming. We also have a full lenght blind on that door so to the person coming in it's a big mystery what they'll find on the inside. Might be a Mossberg 500 .
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Old March 14, 2009, 07:00 PM   #18
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Mul-T-Lock Deadbolts

Someone may have mentioned it already and I missed it...

As for dead-bolts... Great! A crappy deadbolt is better than no deadbolt.

However, if you want the toughest deadbolt in the world....

THIS is what you need!

http://www.mul-t-lockusa.com/productlist.asp?catid=22



On the bolt itself there are ball bearings... Once the bolt is fully extended and goes into the strike, the ball bearings stick out on either side and the bolt becomes connected to the strike.







My father and I are Mul-T-Lock dealers and we have sold TONS of these deadbolts... They are the toughest deadbolts we have ever encountered.

We have a customer that owns a local car wash that had us install one of these deadbolts on the room that holds the change machine.

Before this deadbolt had been installed, the coin room had been broken into.








Between the frame, the door and the lock itself my dad counted about 30 strikes.

Since the above pictures, another break-in has been attempted without success.

NOTE: This lock is still fully functional.
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Old March 14, 2009, 07:22 PM   #19
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I wouldn't chance an unlocked gun in a closet with ammo in it with children around.Never under estamate the intelligence of a child.My oldest son just turned ten and some of my firearms have a lot of tention to rack the slide and just for an experiment I had Him try to rack one of them unloaded of course and he racked it as well as my self and he is a skinny little thing.Another experiment was to have Him try to load the mag with 9mm with out showing Him,it took him about 15 seconds to figure it out and he was loading the mag.He even counted the holes on the mag and told me close to what it holds in the mag,he was off by one or two rounds.

I would serious have a sitdown with her and stress the safety of the children and how much safer it would be for her as well with something of immediate access to her.Even a nice pocket piece would better then running to the closet for a shoot gun that takes time to get and bring to a pointable position.just my 02 anyways.
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Old March 14, 2009, 10:17 PM   #20
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It's enough of a safety layer that I'm comfortable with it now with where my kids are, may not be the case in the next few years. Beyond that we're doing the obvious safety training with the kids
This is where we are and I'm comfortable with it FOR NOW. Constantly reevaluating, but I'm comfortable with the various layers of safety I have built into this particular system.


Quote:
We've had the talks, she knows the statistics. Repeating it repeatedly hasn't changed anything.
This is still true and apparently bears repeating..........

Again, the last thing my wife needs from me is a lecture on this. I'm hoping Pax will weigh in on this (or some of our other female members). Valued perspective that I feel I need on this.
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Old March 14, 2009, 10:20 PM   #21
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I also ran out to Lowe's a few minutes ago and picked up two of these:

http://www.google.com/products?sourc...num=4&ct=title

Seem to be sturdy units and simple to use.
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Old March 14, 2009, 10:26 PM   #22
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it sounds like no amount of talking will convince her that it would be best for her to arm herself with a handgun. she knows the possibilities and still refuses. nothing you can do about it. i hear this story alot over time and have come to the conclusion that most women would rather be raped and beaten then defend themselves. i can't understand it, but that seems to be the case.
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Old March 14, 2009, 11:08 PM   #23
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RR ~

Why won't she? What's she say when you ask her about it?

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Old March 14, 2009, 11:26 PM   #24
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She never really gives me an answer. Often it's just a roll of the eyes or "I don't want to talk about this". I don't push, because she doesn't respond well to pushing.

She has told me (years ago) that she didn't like handguns. She hasn't directly said that in near 10 years though. Since then, she has shot with me at the range, not alot, not enough by my standards, but she has made an effort. Handguns, shotguns, and rimfire rifles. It takes a lot to get her to go and she doesn't go often. She knows how the various firearms here function (Ruger P-series autos and revolvers when it comes to handguns). We've worked on malfunction drills with the autos, but when it comes to handguns, she's more comfortable with the point and click nature of revolvers. That does not translate into her being comfortable enough to have a revolver on her or accessible when I'm away. The shotgun she's comfortable with.

I actually made the mistake of buying her a handgun about 5 years ago. She never took the class/got her permit or even carried it in her car. It stayed locked up in the safe until we sold it about 2 years ago.

Basically I'd like her to be more interested but I don't know how to get here there. I don't worry so much about her not knowing what to do, it's more of a worry about her being caught in a situation either at home or while out with nothing readily at hand.

As another measure, I'm considering adding a quick access safe to the mix and putting a GP100 loaded with .38+P's in it.
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Old March 15, 2009, 12:26 PM   #25
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Okay. Then I'll give you my pretty-much-standard advice.

1) Stop lobbying. She's an adult & can make her own choices. Just because they aren't the choices you or I would make doesn't mean she doesn't have the right to make those choices for herself. It's frustrating, it's scary, it might even be heartbreaking ... but it is what it is. She's a grownup and she gets to choose how, when and whether she wants to protect herself.

2) Quit preaching about self defense. Ask questions instead. (Again, don't lobby! Questions get asked only when the subject comes up naturally, such as when talking about your co-worker as you're telling her about your day.) Ask stuff like, "... what would you do?" and "... what do you think?" and "... how would you respond if?" And then shut up. Don't ever, ever, ever answer those questions yourself unless and until she asks you; if she does ask you, say something vague and change the subject. Ask the questions, listen to her answers, move on. Don't provide the answers, because the goal here isn't about answers. The goal is simply to get the questions into her mind. If you answer those questions, she'll struggle against your answers instead of struggling with the questions. Ask the questions, move on. Don't preach, don't give the answers, don't argue.

3) When you invite her to the range, and she agrees to go, make it fun. Don't talk about self defense while you're at the range. Talk about how much fun it is. Shoot bull's eye targets. Or (depending on your wife's sense of humor) invading zombie targets. Or reactives like Necco wafers or Saltine crackers or jugs of water. Whatever seems most fun to you and to her. Don't let it be grim or negative. The goal is to get her as much practice as you possibly can, since she apparently doesn't mind shooting but has an aversion to self-defense talk. Better to let her learn in a fun playing-a-game atmosphere rather than preventing her from learning because she doesn't want to deal with self-defense topics.

Also, in terms of making it fun, if you can find another couple who are willing to visit the range with you, that's your best bet for an enthusiastic happy response from her. There really is something magic about getting other women to shoot alongside you, when you're new and otherwise reluctant. (Nobody ever outgrows peer pressure. )

4) Continue to do what you do. Carry! Don't let her choices affect yours. Don't hide it, either. There will probably come a time when she is grateful you are there & prepared (not necessarily because something happened, but because something could have happened, or just because she realizes she feels "safe" with you). But it's quite likely that she won't be able to admit it aloud even if she feels like that. So don't get discouraged and don't hide what you do from her. Just matter-of-factly do it.

5) Since she does know how to shoot, do have a gun accessible at home for her. Make sure she knows where it is and how to get it, and then shut up about it. Don't expect her to use it, though. Again, she's an adult & gets to make her own choices, and you really really really really want to avoid pushing her (when someone pushes, the natural human inclination is to dig your heels in). So make it available but otherwise keep mum about it. Respect her right to make her own choices.

If she ever, even once, expresses concern about how safe you are with a firearm, ask her if she'd be willing to take a safety class with you, and follow through if the answer is lukewarm or better. Emphasize that you enjoy her company and it would be something fun you could do together. Meeting other couples and other women at the range really does help. If you play your cards right here, she'll think the class was her own idea, and be charmed that you took her concerns so seriously -- a win all the way around...

Hope some of that helps. Meanwhile of course, beef up security around your house, lights & locks etc. Be sure everyone in your home knows that the locks need to be used even during the day, not to answer the door without looking through the peephole, and so on. None of the passive security measures really help much if they're not used.

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