Dear 100 Hour Board,
I've always wondered about this. Would most girls be offended if they found out the guy who took them on a date was legally concealed carrying the whole time? Like if she hugged him weird at the end of the date and felt the gun. I know every girl is different, but what would be the general consensus?
I think it would depend on where they were from. Coming from an area where just carrying a gun on you at all times is never done, it would probably freak me out a bit that my date had a gun on him the entire time and I didn't even know. In fact, honestly, it kind of freaks me out to know that there are probably random people at Walmart or whatever who have a gun on them and I don't know about it. It's just not a mindset I understand. To me, feeling the need to have a gun on you at all times is something that fits better with living in a war-torn country or being part of the mafia or something.
I understand that if you're raised with a different attitude towards guns, you're likely to feel differently about it, and I'm not accusing everyone who consistently carries a gun of being a crazy person or anything. It's just that I really, really don't have any frame of reference for that practice, and it feels a little extreme from my point of view.
Actually, I know a girl who dated a guy for six months before she realized that he was literally always concealed carrying, even on campus, where that's not allowed. It definitely freaked her out. But there is a significant difference between dating someone for six months and not knowing versus going on a single date.
Here's the thing about dating, though, from a girl's point of view: it's a calculated risk. 99% of BYU guys are nice, normal guys, but frankly, the vast majority of assaults, sexual or otherwise, are committed by someone who's known to the victim. And there's no real way to know that you're not agreeing with a date with the one percent. And I'm definitely not saying that girls go on every first date with a sense of paranoia or anything, because it's probably not even something she's consciously thought about or worried about specifically in regard to you. But in retrospect, if I realized I'd gone on a first date with a guy I only casually knew from class or from my ward or anything, and I realized he'd had a gun on him the whole time, I'd probably have at least a part of me that was thinking, "I went on a date with a near stranger and he had a gun the entire time I am so lucky that he was a nice normal guy because wow there would have been nothing I could have done if he wasn't because he had a freaking gun." I wouldn't want to come home from a first date feeling like I'd dodged a bullet. No pun intended.
So my advice, if concealed carrying is important to you to do on a regular basis? Leave the gun at home for the first date. If you feel the need for some sort of protection on you at all times, buy a can of pepper spray or something. I know it's not the same, but it's better than nothing and a lot more unobtrusive/less inherently threatening. While you're chatting on the date, casually bring up guns and see how she feels about them. If she's generally pro-gun-ownership, bring up concealed carry and see how she feels about that. If you can tell she's not very pro-gun, change the subject, and evaluate whether this is likely to be a compatibility issue. People have strong feelings on guns, and honestly, I think it's a subject that can be a dealbreaker for some people. If she seems neutral towards guns or is pro-gun, then I would find an opportunity before the second date to mention that you like to carry a gun with you consistently, and see how she reacts to that.