Laid Off - How do I justify shooting?


March 14, 2003, 03:07 PM
I was laid off yesterday after 9 years at the same company - a once thriving organization drug down in the wake of the Enron scandal. (I make no apologies for the management - they made some major mistakes to put the company in the position it's in.)

I now have a lot of time on my hands. Money is not going to be a problem for about 3-4 months due to a decent severance package - but I have a wife and three kids depending on me.

Shooting relaxes and calms me - but how do I justify spending money on ammo when we may need the cash down the road?

Please, help me sooth my troubled mind - or at least come up with a decent rationalization!

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March 14, 2003, 03:14 PM
When I was struggling I just stopped eating out, bought less junk food canceled my cable TV, cell phone, caller ID and all the other less than necessary luxuries.

Oh yeah and stopped buying beer.

I just shot .22's and .38 special reloads for a while.

March 14, 2003, 03:14 PM
You can't justify it. Your kids are more important than you being relaxed by taking a trip to the range.

Steve Smith
March 14, 2003, 03:14 PM
umm...don't shoot, then you don't have to justify irresponcibility?

March 14, 2003, 03:14 PM
Sorry bout your circumstances. Hopefully they will improve soon.

Hay, you already answered your own question-it soothes and calms you. Nobody can worry or fret when concentrating on sight picture and trying to remain calm in the face of all the noise and recoil of the shot.

Spend it shooting-OR give a LOT more to a shrink!

Best wishes!

March 14, 2003, 03:15 PM
Don't just sit there. Find a job right now and save that money. Can't find a job you think you want? Work at a temporary gig. Don't know where you live or what you qualifications are but to me, no job should be beneath you. You may not get the $$$ you expect/want/deserve but a paycheck is a paycheck. Use any spare time looking for a real job. Work weekends at the temp job to free up a couple of days in the week for interviews. As for shooting, moderation is key. Spending will now fall into one of two categories: needs and wants. Good luck.


March 14, 2003, 03:16 PM
You have to go shoot, but shoot cheap. If you watch the sales, .22LR is frequently under $0.02 a round i.e 500 round bricks for $7 works out to $0.014 a shot.

March 14, 2003, 03:21 PM
Been there and still doing that.

Sorry to hear you get to take the hit for someone else's decision, etc. That's the way America is. In today's economic environment people responsible for bad decisions, corruption and so forth are typically not the ones who pay the price.


While you're out looking for a job in a chronic recession during a period of impending war, you will fight your greatest battle in your head. Shoting is a magnificant way of breaking the cycle of tension, self-blame, humiliation, and anger.

I've cut back on everything but shooting. I've shifted from pricey ammo such as .45 to the more affordable .22LR. I try to shoot 2 times per week.

I'm still optimistic about finding a job. Good news is I am a much better pistol shooter than I was before laying off. My advice is give up on something else. Your head is more important than cash in the pocket.

Old Fuff
March 14, 2003, 03:23 PM
Sorry about you're problems, I've been there too. What you do depends a bit on what kind of guns you usually shoot. Maybe this will help.

1. Do a lot of dry-firing (center-fire guns only) it's an important part of a complete training/practice program.

2. Stick to .22 R.F. if you can. An air-powered pellet gun may be even better cost-wise if you have access to one.

3. If possible use handloaded ammunition to keep the cost down. Aren't set up to load? Maybe a helpful buddy is. Ask around.

4. When and if you do go out to shoot cut out ammunition-eating rapid fire drills and stick to developing your marksmanship skills. Fifty rounds of careful shooting only costs 1/3 of firing 150 rounds.

March 14, 2003, 03:26 PM
Sorry to hear of your lay-off. I feel that having this hobby(obsession)keeps me happy. If I thought I wouldn't be able to go to the range for a long while, well:banghead:

I'm not saying spend the rent money on ammo, but, ration it, go shooting and be really "up" for job interviews. Just my two pennies.

Good luck!

March 14, 2003, 03:27 PM
Mitch and Steve - I'm more than well aware of my responsibilities! :D :( :D My question has some serious intent, but was more meant as a way to vent a little anxiety through some "graveyard" humor. Don't worry - my family are certainly my first and foremost concern.

I will stick with already-purchased ammo and components - sunk costs, don't ya know.

This is really a new position for me - I haven't been unemployed for more than two weeks for the last 20 years, and this is the first time I have not had a job since my marriage 11 years ago. So please, be gentle with me! ;)

March 14, 2003, 03:28 PM
TarpleyG & foghornl said it all. Switch to .22lr or pellet gun to decrease economic impact on the family - they come first. Get any reasonable job for your own peace of mind. Like it or not we define ourselves and self worth by the work we do. Whatever you find may develop into a career. Job change is one of the most stressful events in life (per the "experts"). We have all been thru it and it is survivable. Even without the money issues, people need to keep busy and keep up their work habits. Best to you Whitebear, a few months of cushion will get you into another job. Start looking now and maybe that severance package will end up a bonus to enjoy while working your new gig.

March 14, 2003, 03:32 PM
I just spent several months unemployed myself. I didn't shoot one round the whole time. It sucked, but that's the breaks.

I'm looking to make up for lost time now a big way :)

- Gabe

March 14, 2003, 03:35 PM
I will stick with already-purchased ammo and components - sunk costs, don't ya know.

One of the benefits of stockpiling ammuntion in the good times.

As others said, be disciplined in your shooting. Use the trips to the range to talk to people. You just might run into someone who knows someone who knows someone who can offer you a job.


March 14, 2003, 03:41 PM
It's ok whitebear. If I were in your shoes, I'm sure I would cut costs somewhere to have some cash for the range.

March 14, 2003, 03:46 PM
I now have a lot of time on my hands. Money is not going to be a problem for about 3-4 months due to a decent severance package - but I have a wife and three kids depending on me. So, you've got time to solve your income problem before the 3-4 months are up. Your job is getting another suitable job, and every interim job you take stretches the deadline.

Work the problem....

Good luck! :D

March 14, 2003, 03:55 PM
I have already been working on several things - a business plan for a niche business which doesn't exist (yet) in Tulsa, an updated resume, contact lists, networking plan, all that survival stuff ya gotta do when you're 46, and not so pretty any more...:D

I really think I am still in shock - I'll probably get slapped by reality in about a week.

Please keep the suggestions coming!

March 14, 2003, 03:57 PM
Yeah shoot .22's. As someone who was unemployed for many, many months I can tell you its all I could shoot. Im sure you will find work soon. It can be hard to stay positive, believe me here.
Also if you have a friend who reloads, and you trust his work, you can get ammo real cheap that way too :)
Good Luck :)

March 14, 2003, 04:11 PM
Time to switch to .22LR. Spare the indoor range and shoot outside, if possible.

March 14, 2003, 04:13 PM
You are not eligible for unemployment benefits?

Latest news out is that the average job search is seven months. That is average remember.

I do not know what your profession is, but if you are in IT or are an engineer, the following article ought to frost your gonads. From today's Washington Times, commentary article by economist Paul Craig Roberts.

March 14, 2003, 04:24 PM
Shoot 22lr, find yourself a job.


March 14, 2003, 04:35 PM
Whitebear , I can feel for you guy , As I have been here (unemployed ) twice in the last year and last time it was six months , (so far this time 2 months plus unable to recieve comp ) shooting is my relaxation also , I reload so the stock piles of powder and slugs are slowly dwindling , I have looked into the part time gig also but no one wants a 36 year old teenager , as the cost of gasoline goes up and money depletes I have cut out al luxury items , and the computer is not one sine this is how I look for jobs . just limit how much you are going to shoot , I know it is hard to do but , you have to do it . remember stay away from fast foods, magizines ( reading or hi cap type :D ) as they are the biggest culpret of money usage . and plan everything try to do errands while out on interviews or pounding the streets . I wish you luck in finding work, I hope I get back to work before they start foreclosing on my house .

March 14, 2003, 04:36 PM
Get out and get some sort of job, don't sit back on your little pile of cash. I did that a little over a year ago and it was a mistake. It is going to take a long time to put that money back together. I only took 3 months off and it hurts to this day when I want to spend some cash and it just isn't there. If I had made even just $1800 a month I would be a lot better off right now.

Shoot some 22lr, a hundred or so, spread out the time and ammo. I did some shotgun shooting with shells I had loaded and hoarded when I was off and it DOES help.

Jesse H
March 14, 2003, 04:38 PM
Saw the thread title of your post and thought you went postal after getting laid off. :p

Just shoot .22, that's what I do.

March 14, 2003, 04:42 PM
WAIT!! You lost your job AND you own guns!!!

Obviously you need to practice shooting so that you can rob people:banghead:


Sorry too many antis today.

March 14, 2003, 04:43 PM
Spend more time here where it's free, shoot less often & when you do go to the range, shoot your least expensive calibers. In the mean time, good luck finding a new job!

March 14, 2003, 05:59 PM
My sympathies, whitebear. I've been under-employed for a couple years now, and certainly know how it feels.

Try looking for areas to cut costs. We needed a new/newer vehicle a few months ago when my truck all but died. I checked on cigarette prices on the internet and found a place that sells them for less than half what we were paying around here. (Yeah, I know: quitting is next). That step alone saves us almost $200 a month.

We also shopped our home and highway insurance, and wound up saving $50 a month right there.

Do you own a home and, if so, what's your mortgage rate? We just refinanced at 4.875% and our other outstanding debt into the refinance. That saves us about $150 per month (and we'll be able to pay off the house sooner).

My wife's been buying clothing at Goodwill for years, and now I've gotten into it as well. $7.95 for a nice sportcoat is a price you can't beat.

We've all but stopped going out for dinner, opting instead to make fancy meals at home on Saturday nights. The dishes are better than in the restaurants, cost less, and there's more involvement for Deb and I.

As far as shooting goes, nothing beats reloading. It costs me $6 to work up 100 .45 ACP rounds, and they shoot much better than factory.

Good luck to you!

March 14, 2003, 06:50 PM
A better question these days might be: How do I justify driving?

At $1.77/gallon, I'm driving a whole lot less.

March 14, 2003, 07:18 PM
Work, what's that?

Still looking myself while I go to school.
Put myself up for adoption, no takers yet.
Just managing , going to school, still looking.

I shoot, I assist with some CCW instructors with students. It helps to relieve stress, and gets me out of myself by helping others.

Plus, CRSam always says " one never knows the where or when of their next encounter..."

March 14, 2003, 08:25 PM
If I was in your position, I would sell all my guns and take care of the family. Don't know about you, but for me, family comes before guns. :rolleyes:

March 14, 2003, 08:38 PM
I don't think you would find one person on THR that would put their gun collection before their family.

I hope you were just making a sarcastic statement.

If you had read what the original poster had written you would
have noticed that he is not on skid row just yet.

Many of us have had to make sacrifices in our hobbies, entertainment and vices with the recent downturn in the economy.

Isn't it a bit premature to sell all of your guns, possibly at a loss the moment your life has a hiccup?

I have gone from buying a gun a month in 99, 00 and 01 to One per year in 2002 and most definately 2003.

I'm sure others in this forum have beeen making similar sacrifices
without being admonished about taking care of our families.

March 14, 2003, 08:57 PM
Part of being a responsible father and husband is to be responsible. If you need to cut out the range time then so be it. Your family comes first, second, and third.

Start cutting costs yesterday. No McDonald's or ordering pizza. You can always make a meal cheaper than you can order one.

Find a job, any job. Remember your family. The best time to look for a job is when you have one.

Spend your new found time playing with the kids and taking care of the wife.

Good luck.

March 14, 2003, 09:01 PM
Sorry to hear about your unemployment Whitebear. I was laid off last May in the D/FW area and couldn't find anything there so I moved to AZ. I'm coming to an end of a 5 month contract with nothing in sight.

I used to shoot twice a week around 500 rounds. Figure about $60 a week. Now I'm down to once every other month around 100 rounds. I got a box of 20 gauge for Christmas and shoot a couple of rounds of skeet every other month. The cheapest shooting I can do is with my 8mm Mauser since I have a rifle and 3000 rounds that I bought from Century before I got laid off or my SKS with 2000 rounds. So from $60 a week down to $5 a month.

It's incredibly tough but I'm thinking that if I stay in the Phoenix area, I'll see about joining the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Volunteer Posse and see if I can get some training for free. I guess I could find someplace out in the desert to shoot for free. I'll have to look into that.

March 14, 2003, 09:21 PM
Armed Robbery.... It will allow you to make money and fire your guns. ;) :evil:

March 14, 2003, 10:08 PM
You justify shooting by doing it to put food on the table.

March 14, 2003, 10:33 PM
If I was in your position, I would sell all my guns and take care of the family. Although my family will always come before my guns, BUT I will take a second job before I do that again.:banghead: The toys I have sold over the years just depresses me to this day for having sold them.

As long as I am physically able, NEVER AGAIN!

I tried to buy back the Ruger single six just the other day.

He said NO WAY.:(

March 14, 2003, 10:51 PM
Delta does the phrase "incoming has right of way say something ???":D

March 14, 2003, 11:08 PM
Plan your work, work your plan. You've gotten a bunch of good advice on economizing where you can, so try to budget your time in terms of job seeking, family time (this is an opportunity to spend quality time), take care of biz around the house (do stuff you'd normally pay others to do- it's productive, thrifty, and gives a sense of accomplishment), and treat yourself to one trip/month to the range and shoot the cheap stuff. Get Zenful, meditate on each shot.

Hit it a few licks every day, things WILL work out. Best of luck to you, and Godspeed.

March 14, 2003, 11:20 PM
I've been in your position too many times in the past 16 years I've been married, and being in the investment business (what with the stock market like it is right now), I can't say I feel like it couldn't happen again. :uhoh:

I'd reiterate some of the things that have already been suggested: shoot .22's, get a job-any job (I've worked some real stinkers, but what the heck?), stay focused on getting employed, and don't sell your guns-at least not until the decision is feeding the family. I've sold a few and always regretted it, realizing I did it as a knee jerk reaction, and partially out of guilt.

A couple of other points: tell everyone you know about your situation. It's hard to do at first, but if you don't, you'll never know who may be in a position to pass along a great lead, but wasn't aware of your situation.

Figure how many months it will reasonably take you to get a new job-then double it. This is a mother of a tough economy and will really take some work on your part.

BTW, since I don't believe the question was asked, what exactly are you qualified to do, and what are you looking for? Had to ask-there may be someone reading this who has a hot lead for you. ;) Good luck, geegee

March 14, 2003, 11:31 PM
Lost your job? But how? I thought I was the only one who got laid off...;)

I like Monkeyleg's term: underemployed. That's me, getting enough work to pay bills, but not enough to buy guns.

I bought, uhh...16, maybe 17 guns in 2001. Lots of ammo, too. Upgraded my car. I had a fine job, and I don't have a family, so I was still saving, too.

Comes the end of 2001, laid off. Crap. Scraping for odd jobs and side work to pay bills. Savings dwindle. Guns bought in 2002: ZERO. Ammo purchased: minimal. A couple of boxes, here and there, of particular stuff.

Cutback shooting by half, at least. That was all I did. It was pretty easy to rationalize continuing to shoot, however. All I had to pay for was range fees. All the ammo was free.

Because I had some 3 or 4-hundred pounds of ammo accumulated. I used to prowl ALL of the gunshows within convenient driving distance regularly. That was one of the ways my "gun hobby" manifested itself. I didn't always buy guns, but I never failed to buy ammo. That's a pretty easy thing to do when your collection runs to 43 different calibers. It was a rare gunshow that I didn't wind up trudging around, sweating, toting 60-odd pounds of whatever was a good deal, or I thought I might be running low on.

My friends always complained about how expensive going shooting was, as they bought their ammo right before, or at the range. Shooting was always cheap for me, because I had the ammo already. It's gunshows that cost. :D

I still have over half the stockpile, and I haven't bought ammo in months. And I've managed to take two big groups of people to the range with a double-handful of guns and turn them loose. Gotta keep making new shooters.

But I'm out of .308. And .270. And .38 Special. Running low on a bunch of other things. My strategic reserve is dwindlinjg, and I shall be forced to consider alternative energy sources before the fossil fuel...

Oops, sorry, wrong stuff. I make silly joke in the face of depressing reality. ;)

I want a real job. I need to buy a new (To me.) gun. And re-stock. How'm I supposed to shoot terrorists? :(

March 15, 2003, 01:19 AM
shoot 22 its fun and cheap. I make ok cash and I shoot 22 all the time.

My jobs going south to. Dont feel bad


Double Naught Spy
March 15, 2003, 01:26 AM
No job and how do you justify shooting? If your shooting is defense practice related, then I submit that your life and those of your family are no less valuable and still deserve you being able to provide proper protection. Should you need to defend you and your family, wouldn't it be better for y'all if you were still up to speed and accuracy?

One way that you can help mitigate the money situation and still practice is to make every range session as beneficial as possible to your state of readiness. In this manner, you should be able to rectify those issues by shooting a limited number of rounds, say one box of 50 per visit. If you shot 50 rounds per week to keep up your skills, you would be much better shooting a few each week rather than shooting all 200 in a once-a-month shooting practice.

So, with the limited amount of ammo to use each time, you need to focus on those aspects you believe are most critical to your situation. That would likely cancel out doing some types of shooting such rapid fire until empty playing, trying to learn homeboy shooting styles, etc.

March 15, 2003, 01:36 AM
yo! Whitebear! I'm disabled out of the Army and then disabled - retired out of civil service. Despite what y'all heard, being disabled out of civil service is anything but cushy - hey my first wife divorced me at the same time, and the following year my income was the same as the taxes I had paid the year before. So you got laid off? Hey you've still got your wife and kids so you're farther ahead of the game than you knew, right?

preparedness is the key, right? so you're maintaining your shooting skills in the event of civil unrest, locally or otherwise. how's that?

March 15, 2003, 02:47 PM
wish you well and a new employment opportunity soon; be encouraged with every sunrise.

March 15, 2003, 02:52 PM
You cant justify it...let this be an incentive to get moving again

Good luck to you!

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