5 Methods to Conquer Your Fears and Overcome Gun Anxiety By:

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If you have never shot a firearm before, it can be easy to view them as intimidating and dangerous weapons. However, they are actually well-loved for being engaging, exciting, and, more importantly, safe to use. As natural as it is to feel nervous around firearms, you should never let your fear of them hold you back from experiencing the joy of shooting. Luckily for many new shooters, gun anxiety is easily curable. Here are five simple ways you can do so.

1. Overcome Gun Anxiety by Asking Questions

Most people will tell you that the best method of overcoming your fears is to face them head-on. Unfortunately, as true as this statement is, it is not very realistic. Getting over fear takes a lot of courage. I find that one of the easiest ways to face your fears is to learn about them beforehand.

Knowledge is power, and curiosity is your best friend. Asking questions is the best way to better understand these tools and help change your perspective on them. Based on my personal experience, individuals in the firearm community are more than happy to answer any questions you have.

All types of questions are welcome—no matter how silly you may feel asking them. 

2. Learn the Fundamentals

Shooting is a skill that takes time and practice to master and can only be achieved by practicing the fundamentals. The fundamentals of marksmanship include stance, sight alignment, grip, trigger control, breathing, and following through. Each of these factors is crucial in your ability to shoot well. Correspondingly, the better you shoot, the better you feel about shooting.

I find that when I am familiar with something, I am less likely to be fearful of it. Preparation is the best way to fight anxiety, and simply researching what to expect when shooting will help diminish your fears.

3. Take a Firearm Safety Class

The firearm community is always evolving and expanding, which can make it overwhelming to determine where to start. To simplify it on your end, I recommend starting with the basics.

As I mentioned earlier, asking questions and researching the fundamentals of marksmanship are great steps to conquer your firearm fears. However, the best place to truly start is at the firing range.

The firing range is full of professionals who have seen it all, done it all, and know what they are doing. These professionals will point you in the right direction to where you can learn the basics of marksmanship. This includes taking safety classes.

Safety classes are designed to teach you the ins and outs of firearms and how to operate them safely. Knowing how to be safe around firearms helps limit any anxiety you may feel.

No matter the reason, any questions, comments, or concerns you may have, a safety class will answer them for you. 

4. Keep Your Gun Clean

Cleaning your firearm is a major aspect of gun ownership that will ensure your firearm is operating and performing to the best of its ability. Some people may view this task as mundane. However, I find that, specifically for beginner shooters, this simple act of polishing and wiping residue from a firearm is an eye-opening experience.

The first time I cleaned a pistol, I assumed the task would be boring. But instead, I found the process to be soothing, relaxing, and enjoyable. It was as if a switch had flipped in my brain, and I was finally able to recognize that firearms were made to be tools that can serve several purposes.

They can be used for hunting, to protect you, or for sport. It is important to remember that words have power. Likewise, the words you use to describe objects can make or break how fearful you are of them. The day I changed how I refer to firearms is the day I dropped my fearful mentality toward them.

5. Surround Yourself with Experience

Social media is a prominent staple in each of our lives that can be used to overcome our fears. Plenty of pages, groups, and accounts are dedicated to posting about firearms and helping individuals learn about them. These social media resources are a fantastic way to observe, ask questions, and make new friends in the firearm community.

You never want to shelter yourself from your fears but, instead, embrace them in all aspects of your life. You would be surprised how quickly you will become more familiar with firearms by seeing them plastered all over your social media feed.

Closing Remarks

Overcoming your fears is by no means an easy task. It takes courage, strength, and lots of determination to look your fear in the eye and take back control. Many people in the firearm community find it perfectly understandable for newbies to see firearms as intimidating. But we encourage you to see these tools as fun, engaging, and adrenaline-pumping to shoot.

A fear of firearms boils down to how familiar you are with them. Once you put the time, energy, and research into understanding these tools, you will then be able to say goodbye to your gun anxiety. And let me tell you, it is 100% worth it.

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