How To Tell If Your Prospective Date Loves Guns

When to bring up guns during courtship?

I know this is probably a burning question for many of you, so let me share my take:

How about never!

I never conceived of dating a gun owner.  Then I moved to Michigan.

California is the land of kale chips and Instagramming yoga poses. We brunch, we drink bottomless mimosas on outdoor patios that are open year-round and we talk about where to get the best whole, local, organic, grain-free, gluten-free, paleo, vegan, macrobiotic, sustainable, foraged, cage-free edamame.

We are #ultraspiritual.

Nobody owns a gun. I was once part of a company outing that took us to a shooting range. Half the employees refused to attend. I’m not against guns, but the experience of firing a gun made me truly respect the power of that device and I don’t want them in my home or near me.

Michiganders are different.


As far as I can tell, there's only one similarity between the granola vegans and the camouflage wielding gun owners: they both really want you to know about their lifestyle.

Trolling through OkCupid, I’ve read a number of profiles that reference a passion for hunting and “heading to the gun range to unwind and shoot pictures of Obama.”

I have a funny feeling, just a little tickle, that we’re probably not going to get along. I’ve included a number of caveats to filter out potential gun lovers.

Please do not message me if:

  • You are a Trump supporter
  • You have profile pictures showing off your dead animal trophy
  • You wear an excessive (read: ANY) amount of camouflage and you’re not in active military service
  • You own a gun, you want to own a gun, or you think a gun show would be a great first date

I thought I was clear. But the first thing any guy will tell you is: “We don’t read the profiles!”

I met Jeremy on Tinder. I love dogs and so did he. He had two Oreo colored standard poodles. I’ve gotta give props to a guy that would own one of the more “frou-frou” breeds. It felt manly and sexy, like he was really owning it. We began swapping dog photos back and forth. He was a semi-professional photographer, so his dogs looked like AKC Grand Champions in each photo. In one, they sat regally under a willow tree, the light perfectly hitting the canopy, creating a chartreuse aura around them, while the branches dangled down to adorn them in a velveteen robe.

Meanwhile, pictures of my labradoodle Violet, involve her trying to lick, sniff or eat my phone. Almost every photo features a giant blurry brown snout obscuring any actual evidence of a dog. Either that, or she's in perpetual motion, running into or away from the camera, like a canine bigfoot.

I was impressed by his skill and thought that maybe I could convince Jeremy to go on a doggy date with me and take some better photos of Violet.

I was about to propose the idea, when my phone dinged and this appeared on the screen:



Yes, that is an illustration of the actual photo he sent me. I had it commissioned.

Where do we even begin? There’s so much wrong with this - guns, dog abuse, racist undertones, gang violence. I could go on.

Maybe he has a peculiar sense of humor and felt comfortable sharing it with me. But it’s just one of those things you probably don’t share before meeting someone and sussing them out. Like your crushing debt, your devotion to the Church of Scientology, how much you hate your ex-wife and your raging herpes outbreak. Too soon.

I didn’t respond, but Jeremy didn’t take the hint. After a few days he messaged me to check in.

“So Jeremy, I couldn’t really figure out if this was your sense of humor or some kind of veiled threat.”

His response:

“A little bit of both.”

Did anyone hear that? Or is that siren just going off in my head? I was imagining the sound of a police scanner and the 911 responder saying:

"They’re at it again, folks. This time the dog is wielding the gun. His owner teaches him the strangest tricks."

I amended my profile:

No dogs holding guns!

DatingLauren Wilde