Why the interest in guns?


July 25, 2005, 11:53 PM
Hi all, I've been a lurker for months and months, and enjoy reading your threads here, and thought maybe I can contribute some.

So, getting back on subject, I have a family member who is a psychologist. She knows of my interest in guns and love of shooting and asked 'why do you like guns so much?'. It wasn't supposed to be a disturbing question, but I really couldn't think of one reason. I guess I like the challenge shooting offers and the concentration it requires. I've always been a history buff, and really like the 'lineage,' if you will, of many firearms. Then I guess I like having the power to not be a victim.

So how 'bout you guys? Does anybody have a really good reason for their love of firearms?

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July 26, 2005, 12:04 AM
I like guns
Because they are fun.
Because they give me power to defend myself and resist attack.
Because I can.

July 26, 2005, 12:06 AM
Because guns are cool.

Duh. ;)

rust collector
July 26, 2005, 12:11 AM
Tools have always fascinated me, especially ones that wonderfully crafted or simple and efficient. Some guns are as useful as a pair of pliers, others are rich canvases displaying artistry that no longer exists. Some are quirky, others elegant in their engineering. Then of course there is the historical/cultural aspect--I sure wish my Enfield or Dad's old Fox Sterlingworth could talk.

Guns say a lot about us, if we will listen.

July 26, 2005, 12:12 AM
Guns are a useful and entertaining tool.
Oddly, society is profoundly skittish and ignorant of them - making it difficult to pick up the subject without a very deliberate effort. If you want to know anything reasonable about the subject, you must take it on seriously to wade thru the fear and misinformation.

For me, it was the intense anti-gun movement, threatening a plain Constitutional right, that spurred me to take on the subject from a legal/rights angle. About the same time, a friend suggested I fire his 30-06 ... and I knew what my next hobby would be.

Funny how interested people can be in something when someone else threatens to prevent access thereto.

July 26, 2005, 12:17 AM
Because I can.

July 26, 2005, 12:17 AM
Because this is a free country so why not? What does your psychologist family member enjoy? Why don't you ask her why she enjoys it?

Many people try and make a negative inference to the fact that some may enjoy firearms. This may not be the case with your family member, and I'm not trying to be sexist, but that sort of question is not so uncommon when it's from a female that is out of touch with said hobby. Unfortunately, and to our detriment sometimes people donít realize this because we have become such a politically correct society.

July 26, 2005, 12:21 AM
I've always been attracted to shiny stuff. Stuff that goes BOOOM seem to get my attention too.

July 26, 2005, 12:21 AM
They're sweet, and because I can. And, annoying almost every leftist/liberal anti I come across just by existing is enjoyable :evil: . That, and it's in my blood--my great-grandpa was a crack-shot, my dad enjoys it, I enjoy it. Great stuff.

July 26, 2005, 12:27 AM
She was not trying to undermine my interest, or question my intentions, she was just genuinely curious. She has done some shooting, but has no passion for it. My family has always been a hunting family, and guns were tools (we're a little bit country ;) ) Part of being a psychologist/scientist is an interest in what interests other people. I think somtimes we as gun enthusiasts tend to take offense at anything that we think may possibly threatening/questioning our interests.

Oh, and 'because I can,' hardly seems like a reason for an interest. To me, anyway.

July 26, 2005, 12:45 AM
Tell her the thought of killing someone really makes you excited. Tell her about these visions you have of standing over a dead body. Then go :neener:

July 26, 2005, 12:49 AM
Oh, and 'because I can,' hardly seems like a reason for an interest.

don't knock it.

seriously, a lot of us grew up with guns, in a time when things were a lot different. i'm only 34, but when i was growing up, guns weren't a problem anywhere except ghettos. they were just there.

now, we're losing freedoms left and right, and society has changed so much for so many reasons. when i was in kindergarden, living in sacramento, i would walk to school and back almsot a mile each way, every day, no problems. today, in a crime-free small-town, TN, i won't even let my 7 yr old daughter play in the front yard without me being around watching. things have just CHANGED.

to me, nowhere is that change more evident and tangible than gun ownership. so, my obsession with guns is really just how i hold on to the way things used to be.

and oh by the way, they are fun, and cool, and there are plenty of challenging sports and competitions, and practical for self defense.

and one more important reason... mall ninjas notwithstanding, the people i've met in the gun culture are uniquely interesting. above average character, color and competence.

Snake Eyes
July 26, 2005, 12:53 AM
I have a family member who is a psychologist. She knows of my interest in guns and love of shooting and asked 'why do you like guns so much?'.

Tell her it's because you have a small penis.

:what: :neener:

July 26, 2005, 12:56 AM
For some of the above reasons. And, a subtle difference for me. It's not so much the guns as the shooting. Not a hunter, but can understand those who love it.

In my medical field, I deal with death in the course of my job on a daily basis...and before this I was a paramedic.

Because of the inherent seriousness and danger involved in using guns, target shooting or plinking offers me an incredible mental vacation. When I'm shooting, I'm thinking of absolutely nothing else...and that's the beauty of it. My mind isn't on the job or the bills, or the deadlines... It's fun, it's loud, anyone can improve if they practice enough, you can compete against yourself, or with others, and they guys I shoot with are a good bunch.

That's a lot of benefit from a "hobby."

Snake Eyes
July 26, 2005, 12:57 AM
the people i've met in the gun culture are uniquely interesting. above average character, color and competence.

I'm sooooo glad the post above this one was directly below that comment!

BTW--I am in no way implying anything about any persons anatomy, nor insinuating anything that might upset Art's Grammaw.

I just thought the comment might twist up the head shrinker.

July 26, 2005, 12:59 AM
The mechanics of firearms is fascinating.
Ballistics alone is fascinating.
History. Remember wwII? My mosin was there.
Realizing you have the power to take a life, and that being a good thing because you are one of the "good guys". "Bad" guys hate this.
The satisfation of incrementally improving my shooting skills.
If required, the ability to feed myself/others.
The satisfation of making improvments to my guns.
The joy of spending a day outdoors, as opposed to the couch.
The smile I get when I hit my target every time.
The satisfation of my buddies asking "when are we gonna go shooting again?"
Excercising a right that few people on earth have.
It makes girly men squirm. (There are alot of those around here)
Meeting good people at the range.
I feel relaxed when im done.
Being able to talk to you guys about them, and life in general.
They are FUN!

p.s- Len, you Paramedics are an awesome and studly bunch!

Guy B. Meredith
July 26, 2005, 12:59 AM
Recreation, meditation, history, challenge, love of skillful designs and craftsmanship.

July 26, 2005, 01:37 AM
Guns, girls, and cars. They go fast and make lots of noise :D

I have a thing for tinkering, so mechanical/electrical devices intrigue me. I will sometimes disassemble my firearms, study the parts, and reassemble with it. I'll look at the parts and appreciate the engineering that went into such a device. Before firearms, I was into high voltage and pulsed power as a hobby. Blowing stuff up and making noise without chemicals :) As a child, I was the kid that dad yelled at because I took apart his powerdrill and lost all the parts trying to make it work with the case off. Eventually he wised up and kept me busy with erector sets or whatnot. In the future, I'd like to be adding mechanical watches and automobiles to my tinkering list but I don't have the money or facilities for that currently.

That's just the tinkering aspect. I find shooting lets me concentrate and forget the hustle and bustle of daily life. It lets you release stress too and work on focus and improving your techniques. When you're shooting for seriousness, you'll start monitoring every little nuance from your breathing to how stuff or limber your muscles are.

After shooting, I always feel tired...I don't know why but it's always a pleasant drowsiness afterwards. I go home, clean then, and take a nap.

July 26, 2005, 02:23 AM
"I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for it's swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend"

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

July 26, 2005, 02:26 AM
Tell her, unlike guns, women talk back... :D

July 26, 2005, 02:28 AM
and one more important reason... mall ninjas notwithstanding, the people i've met in the gun culture are uniquely interesting. above average character, color and competence.

MasterPiece Arms.com
July 26, 2005, 02:56 AM
I've gotten that EXACT question from women before. I know you think she was just being genuinely curious, but there is obvious arrogance in that question, which is actually not a question at all (because there is no answer to it and she knows it). If she's a halfway decent psychologist then she should know how arrogant that wording is. If a patient of hers pulled that move, she'd probably be on them like white on rice to either break it up into a REAL question or come clean about the hostility.

When women don't like something, they mask that (in their minds, their hostility is thus not visible) by pretending to ask a question that actually has no answer. I think you noticed this because you said It wasn't supposed to be a disturbing question, but I really couldn't think of one reason. Clearly you sensed that this was a dead end fake question. What did you end up telling her?

Calling her a "scientist" for asking this is kinda nauseating. A true scientist would have asked true "find out" questions, that actually have answers. A true scientist would have first established a relative benchmark from which to gauge how much you like something, before asking for your personal motivations to be condensed into a single sentence.

It's good to talk about this, because all of us have, or will have some woman ask this exact non-question at one time or another, probably with the same wording. I have found it very helpful that when someone asks a personal non question like "why do you like guns so much," the best skill to have is to be able to recognize a NON QUESTION when you hear one. Once you recognize that you are being handed a non question, you can find a response that is minimally confrontational. The smartest way to do this is to partially change the subject and ask something like "When was the last time you fired a gun?" To tell you the truth, I would've asked this psychologist/scientist point blank "why do you ask?" If she was actually looking for information and understanding, she should have no problem clarifying her true motives.

If I sound low on patience, it's because 100% of the time I've been asked the "why do you like guns so much" question by people carrying a concealed uterus, it has turned out that they were just taking a swipe at me and were never interested in my point of view in the slightest. I don't exaggerate in saying that either. I USED to try and be nicey nice and anser that non question, and when I have, it has always been followed by proof of what I've already mentioned. I would absolutely love to hear a recording of the tone and inflection in her voice when she asked you this. I'll bet her voice didn't exactly sound like she was doing a clinical study.

July 26, 2005, 03:07 AM
I've gotten that EXACT question from women before.

The rebuttal is "why do you need all those shoes and jewelry." :D

At least I can explain away firearms as a useful skill that can keep food on my table, and keep myself alive if need be. I have two pairs of shoes. One for casual and one for workin' and I don't own a single piece of jewelry unless it has an hour and minute hand on it. Questions like those tend to be more passive-aggressive than direct hostility. In general, I don't see direct hostility as a usual choice of women in gender interactions. It's pretty darn sly.

I don't really view psychology as a hard science. It seems more like a hit-and-miss run-with-the-ball thing. Look at all the psychology majors. Most of them aren't even psychologists.

We brought this gal once to the shooting range. She eventually caved in and reluctantly went along, asking the usual "what's the point?" "why own guns?"...the gamute of passive aggressive statements which all pointed to "I don't wanna" .

You can tell what the indoctrination of "evil guns" does to a person when you plant a big, black rifle in a new shooter's hands. After the paranoid, timid phase, she pulled the trigger... firing it, which shattered all those misconceptions absorbed through her environment over the years. We had to drag her off the range when it was time to pack up. She was asking if she could find more stuff to shoot and bring her own targets.

She found out we made another trip once when it was convenient without her and she was furious :D

July 26, 2005, 03:25 AM

As my 80 year old aunt would say - It gives me a sense of security .

That's not a bad reason all by itself . Behond that, I think the reasons vary a bit with each person with of course a bunch of overlap.

Target shooting for example can give one something to enjoy by creating a challenge. Much like bowling might do for some.

The same goes for shooting games like trap, skeet, sporting clays, 3 gun , etc. Cowboy shoots and muzzle loader shoots give people a reason to re-visit the past and play a role. Very intertaining and challenging to boot.

The mechanics can be fasinating , and tuning the mechanics to peak performance gives some a senese of accomplishment and a relaxing hobby.

Most shooting sports give people the same satisfaction as other sports, like gulfing, fishing, bowling, archery, as they creat a test of skill and sense of accomplishment when improvement is made. The concentration needed is a relief from other stresses as one focuses on doing it right.

The sense of security & ability to be able to defend yourself and family is a noteworthy reason. Nobody else is responsible for your personal safety and protection against criminal acts.

Firearms have always inspired the artistic side of many, and the engraving, fine wood, or other fancy features can indeed come together to have artistic appeal.

And the list goes on, and on.

July 26, 2005, 04:50 AM
"Most men are just boys with a bald spot and a mortgage". Boys like to throw rocks. Just think of shooting as throwing rocks really fast. Plus they make a big noise too. We boys (and some girls) like that. What the heck, it's just pure fun.

July 26, 2005, 06:54 AM
Your reasons for liking firearms are exactly my reasons. Freedom to own firearms are one of the things that make America such a good country. The elitism of liberals who think that ordinary citizens should not own such things is a risk to our greatness.

July 26, 2005, 08:08 AM

Someone asked me the same question a while back on the Common Ground Common Sense forum, of which I am a member (formerly the John Kerry forum). Here is the answer I gave then, which you have my permission to share with your family member if you wish:

To me, it's a competence thing.

Here's some random thoughts, in no particular order.

Proficiency with firearms is a martial art just like Isshinryu Karate or Tae Kwan Do or Kenpo or Tai Chi, and can gives a sense of accomplishment and competence just like any other human discipline. The Japanese concept of bushido applies just as much to the gun culture as to other martial arts cultures. FWIW, I have some moderate experience in the Asian martial arts culture (I was a student of Isshinryu for a year), and there are a lot of similarities between the gun culture and the traditional martial arts culture, and just as with empty-hand martial arts, proficiency in self-defense is a symbiotic benefit that is a worthwhile purpose in its own right. You may find this article interesting:

Guns and Martial Arts (from www.a-human-right.com) (http://www.a-human-right.com/RKBA/martial.htm)

Just as with the other martial arts, a lot of gun enthusiasts view training and skill development as an end in itself. A Zen thing, if you will. (BTW, to shoot well you must view shooting in a very Zen-like way; breath control, minimization of muscle tremors, concentration, sharp focus on the front sight, smoothness...) A lot of the shooters I know also have a thing for archery, which is pretty much the same thing. And my wife is into SCA fencing...

Some people pride themself on how well they can smack a small white ball with a stick on a golf course. Others pride themselves on how accurately they can shoot a firearm.

Also, I am a certifiable physics geek (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=108395), and there are very few inexpensive hobbies that are more physics-intensive than rifle shooting. (Aviation is more physics-intensive, but it's not inexpensive...) Many shooters are mechanically inclined, and I'll bet the percentage of photographers among shooters is higher than in the population at large. My younger sister is a shooter and she also happens to be a professional engineer (she double-majored in Engineering and Mathematics at NC State).

Gun owners also tend to lean individualist rather than collectivist, and have a high view of individual rights. If you hang around the High Road (http://www.thehighroad.org) much, you'll find nearly as much disdain for free-speech restrictions and 4th-amendment violations as for the latest gun-grab attempt, and you'll find a lot of sympathy with the ACLU except for their dyslexic view of the Second Amendment (in our opinion, though I know you would probably disagree). Note that individualist does NOT mean conservative; Big Brother communitarian conservatives are as antithetical to the individualist/libertarian mindset as any Big Brother communitarian liberals...

So I suppose it's also a freedom thing. The guns in my gun safe are a tangible reminder that my wife and I are free people. We don't own those at the dispensation of some elite individual; we can own them because we are free people. That's probably a cultural thing and I wouldn't expect you to feel the same way, but the freedom issue runs very, very deeply with most gun enthusiasts.

You might also find the following book about gun enthusiasts interesting, written by anthropologist Abigail A. Kohn:

Shooters: Myths and Realities of America's Gun Cultures (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0195150511/104-1131320-8331947?v=glance)

El Tejon
July 26, 2005, 08:21 AM
Because they are the best way to fight.

July 26, 2005, 08:29 AM
Guns are analog.

July 26, 2005, 08:31 AM
Funny, I was more or less asked this question the other day. I think I can trace my interest back to the day my grandfather and father were shooting cans and such with a pair of .22's. Grandfather caled me over, helped me hold the Marlin .22, while I aimed and pulled the trigger. I hit a can on my first shot. I was six.

About the same time, according to my mother, I became enamoured of cowboy and police shows (The Lone Ranger, Adam 12, SWAT, etc.), and my toy selection usually included guns (Johnny West, G.I. Joe, Action Jackson, cap guns, etc.). As I got older, I started playing sports, but the other interests were there. Of course, this was back in the days when a child could play with a toy gun without someone sending him to a psychologist.

Got involved in Boy Scouts, and spent time at camp every summer, where I would spend large amounts of my camp funds on .22 ammo. I still remember when the camp stopped charging $ .25 for 10 shots, and started giving away ammo that was donated by someone. I earned my Rifle and Shotgun Merit Badge that year. At the same time, I met some people through Scouts who were military involved, sparking that interest. This led to me going into the Army, via West Point, where the interest in guns continued unabated.

Fast forward to law school, where I associated with other ex-military and more conservative thinkers. We discovered that we were all shooters, and started shooting together. Took an internship with the Justice Department (easy credits, no exam), and saw that prosecuting was fun, and offered more shooting opportunities. And here I am.

I guess that I am a product of my environment, and my interest grew out of that. The fact that I have been good at it made it more enjoyable, and increased the interest.

July 26, 2005, 08:36 AM
This pretty much sums it up for me:

Metal and Wood (http://www.thefiringline.com/Misc/library/Metal_and_Wood.html)

July 26, 2005, 08:41 AM
I like guns for several reasons. Guns are precision machines or tools that do not require computer chips, gasoline, or electricity to operate. I find this kind of refreshing nowadays. I also enjoy the outdoor aspect of it. I am more of a music, computers, and books type of guy. Shooting forces me to get out and “enjoy the day.” I also really like reloading, load development, and just working with reloading tools. This would be pointless if I did not have a means to consume the fruits of my labor. I could go on and on, but I think I have hit a few of my main points.

July 26, 2005, 08:46 AM
1. handheld 8 to >64oz devices
2. finely machined to tolerances generally less than .001"
3. capable of withstanding internal pressures in excess of 30,000PSI
4. ....repeatedly
5. while launching a 30 to 300 grain projectile well over the speed of sound
6. and capable of directing that projectile's line of flight by spin of many thousands of RPM
7. within a general angle of 1/300 (that translates out to 1MOA for the rest of you)
8. while ensuring personal freedom and safety
9. and pissing off the people who think I shouldn't be relied on for either.

Brett Bellmore
July 26, 2005, 08:47 AM
Political philosphy. "All that is necessary for evil to triumph, is for good men to do nothing." I think of myself as a good man, and mean to be able to do something.

Plus, it annoys my Senators. :evil:

July 26, 2005, 09:02 AM
If someone's going to die, it's not going to be me (or my family).

Plus it's just fun! :neener:

July 26, 2005, 09:07 AM
I've gotten that EXACT question from women before. I know you think she was just being genuinely curious, but there is obvious arrogance in that question, which is actually not a question at all (because there is no answer to it and she knows it).


Why do you like the color red? Why do you like burritos? How come you like monopoly but hate checkers?

There is no answer. People are different. It is just personal preference as to why you like oen thing over another. Oh sure, there can be subtle reasons for some of these things but basically it just boils down to an emotion that you are trying to quantify. Like the old thing about trying to tell a blind person what the color blue is.

July 26, 2005, 09:47 AM
I'm the kinda guy that likes to see the results of his work NOW. Not 10 minutes from now, not a week or a year from now but NOW!

With guns the feedback is almost instant. Pull the trigger and within a few mili-seconds you know the results of your work.

Then again the world isn't the same as it was in the 50's when I was a boy. It's not the same as it was in the 60's when I was a teenager or the 70's when I was married or even the 80's when I was raising my family.

I never used to worry about locking my car or my house. I never used to worry about walking to my car in a mall parking lot or whether or not I might get blown up in a bus or shot by some madman at work.

Over the years my guns have primarily been for recreation but in the last 10 years or so have taken on the added responsibility of being necessary tools used to provide security.

July 26, 2005, 09:54 AM
The little voices in my head told me to like them and clean them and rub them and shoot them and call them "George".


July 26, 2005, 09:57 AM
Many are claiming that the question Why do you like guns so much? is a non-question to which there is no answer.

I call BS on that one.

One of the things that seperates adults from children is that adults understand themselves, they know why they do what they do and why they like or dislike the various things in their lives.

When a child does something and an adult asks why, a most common reply from the child is I don't know. And guess what - in many cases they really don't know - especially when they're still in the single digit age range.

There's something just - well - disturbing about an adult so out of touch with himself that he cannot articulate the reasons why he likes or dislikes something. It's even more disturbing when that something is firearms.

July 26, 2005, 10:04 AM
Because having survived cancer taught me how valuable my life is, and my gun helps protect my life.

Because living in a "low-rent" part of town taught me that the police cannot protect you all the time. I don't have to call 911 for my gun.

Because I love living in a country of liberty won by men with guns.

Because shooting is one of the things my wife and I enjoy doing together.

Mainly, though, because I'm a man, and we men love things that go BOOM!

July 26, 2005, 10:09 AM
Well, there most definitely is an answer to why. Interest in guns is a 'perfect storm' of a variety of instinctive interests which men have, and women too, though to a lesser extent.

A. Obviously, the most compelling reasons revolve around the impartation of POWER to the user/owner/weider, or put another way, as an *equailizer* of power, and could be broken down into these categories:

1. Defense against a tyrannical government or invading force - given history, it's quite a comfort to know their is a seriously-armed populace out there. To me, this is the most compelling reason for gun ownerhsip.
2. Closely related, Defense against criminals / violent aggressors / dangerous animals, for obvious reasons - especially to the weaker among us (elderly, crippled/disabled, women, etc.). To me, this is the second most important reason for gun ownership & interest.
3. Some people (criminals) wrongfully use them to intimidate/control others to get what they want (cooperation from a spouse/SO, money in a robbery, etc.)

B. The second general reason involves their use as a tool, and goodness knows how men love tools:

1. Hunting - guns represent an endless variety of tool configurations, to accomplish the task of taking game of endless varieties under various conditions.
2. The curiosity & interest many of us having in how a complex tool operates - and the satisfaction of the solid construction of a tool that is designed to last for decades and generations to come. Simply a love of tools/engineering/physics come into play here, as well as a feeling satisfaction that your money went to something that will retain its value and hold up for generations, quite unlike something like a computer, which will be worth a mere fraction of what you gave for it 6 months later, and quite unlike what most women like to blow their money on - worthless crap like jewelry, makeup, knick-knacks, beanie babies or whatever. I guess buying quality tools is a way for us to feel like we're being financially responsible in a twisted & rationalizing sort of way, and perhaps even be a little self-righteous about it vis a vis our women SOs. This is true for all tools, not just guns. Also, the idea of something lasting means something we can pass down to our kids/heirs when we die, which is probably a subconscious psychological way of adding to an attempt at immortality, which I believe is a deep psychological drive all of us have whether we realize it or not. This is why we love things that will last longer than we will - we like the idea of our kids telling their kids "your grandpa gave this to me".
3. The sheer fun of the various shooting sports as a hobby - the challenge & intrigue of being able to get teen weeny little groups at long ranges, or beat your competition - the competitive spirit - no more or less than any other sport in theory, but when you combine a gun sport WITH the other reasons for owning guns, a synergy is created greater than the sum of the parts which makes getting little groups or knocking down steel plates in a hurry more fun that it *should be* otherwise. And as someone said, the instant feedback is gratifying too, as compared with other things we do in our life or other team sports. This gratification is similar to ANY OTHER sport which is an individual sport rather than a team sport, such as boxing, tennis, wrestling, etc. - you have only you to blame if you fail, and you know that if you work to improve yourself, you WILL improve your game for sure, and thus your time invested in practice is directly rewarded, unlike team sports where no matter how good you play, the other yahoos on your team can bring you down if they haven't practiced enough and/or don't put forth enough effort.

C. The third general category revolves around their historical interest - use in wars past, etc. This is not a factor if one is not a history buff to any degree, but many many people are interested in history, and guns are an integral part of war, and wars represent the turning points in history, and the manifestation of conflict among people that recorded history may not reflect accurately up until the war actually breaks.

D. Almost forgot - men instinctively, as a macho thing, like things which are *LOUD* and can *DESTROY THINGS* - this is the kid in us, and a very primal instinct I think. Boys/men like anything BIG and LOUD, especially trucks, airplanes and such. Guns are not big, but they are loud. The part about destroying stuff is pretty inexplicable - it's just fun to blow up gallon milk jugs of water for some unkown reason, but certainly its related to a little chemical called testosterone. Obviously, there's quite a bit of overlap here, and not a clean separation into my categories, because the urge to HUNT, talking about guns as tools above, is in turn caused by the same primal instincts, carried down from our time as cavemen/hunters, when we had to do that to survive.

July 26, 2005, 11:07 AM
I've been fasinated with them since the age of 5. I really can't say why though. Just something I always liked.

July 26, 2005, 11:16 AM
guns are remarkable mechanical contrivances,
guns are efficient weapons.

July 26, 2005, 11:41 AM
I have a lack of trust in any male that does not
show some intrigue in firearms.

At the same time, I have trouble articulating EXACTLY
why I like guns.

Although I do find some agreement with virtually
everyone that has posted thus far on this thread.

Has she ever read Freud's comment about
people that are afraid of weapons?

MasterPiece Arms.com
July 26, 2005, 12:32 PM
Oh bro-ther,

Many are claiming that the question Why do you like guns so much? is a non-question to which there is no answer.

I call BS on that one.

One of the things that seperates adults from children is that adults understand themselves, they know why they do what they do and why they like or dislike the various things in their lives.

When a child does something and an adult asks why, a most common reply from the child is I don't know. And guess what - in many cases they really don't know - especially when they're still in the single digit age range.

There's something just - well - disturbing about an adult so out of touch with himself that he cannot articulate the reasons why he likes or dislikes something. It's even more disturbing when that something is firearms.

There's always one in every group discussion who wants to sound profound by playing the ultra ultra LITERAL card.

Yea, no kidding genius, of course it's possible to LITERALLY answer the question (last time I checked, by definition, EVERY question has an answer if one chooses to provide one), but that wasn't/isn't the point. Hey "Werewolf," before you imply that others are "childish" in their arguments, you might want to listen to the nearest 7 year old so as to notice how they are limited by their literal interpretation of every statement they hear.

THE POINT of saying that the question "why do you like guns so much" has no answer, is that in ADULT context, the question was loaded with passive agressiveness, and thus not an actual question. For example "werewolf," if I ask you how you missed the point by a country mile, I'm not actually asking a literal question. Yes, the question does has a LITERAL answer, but only if one is too naive to see the motive behind the "question."

No one ever claimed they didn't know or "cannot articulate the reasons why he likes or dislikes something." Most of this thread is loaded with people articulating their reasons just fine. Pay closer attention before you tell people they are "out of touch with themselves" or that they "don't know why they do things." I bet everyone here knows exactly why they like guns. Give us a break werewolf.

July 26, 2005, 12:36 PM
Why is irrelevant. I have the freedom to do so, it isn't hurting anyone else, so it should be of no concern to anyone else.

Why do people go window shopping? Why do people build huge jeeps and go mudding? Why do people sew their own clothes? Why do people build their own computers and play video games?

Because they can, and they like doing so.

July 26, 2005, 02:07 PM
I love guns because they are not just tools to me. They are symbols of many things, they are symbols of america and freedom, and justice to me. More so rifles then shotguns or pistols but all guns mean the same thing to me. They mean strength, they mean life, they mean freedom. When I hold my rifle, I know that I am free and no other man may take that away from me.

Also there is much history in guns. They have been in existance for over 500 years. They have changed the world more than almost any other invention. To me, guns aren't tool's....they're a way of life.

July 26, 2005, 02:34 PM
Devices that launch projectiles at high rates of speed with loud noises...

What's not cool about that? :)

July 26, 2005, 02:47 PM
"... My mind isn't on the job or the bills, or the deadlines... It's fun, it's loud, anyone ... "

I work in disaster recovery, and as you can probably imagine, it can be a somewhat high pressure job.

Shooting is a Zen thing for me.

July 26, 2005, 02:49 PM
It isn't a non-question at all. :rolleyes:

Why do you like anything? For each thing you like there is a reason or reasons. They may be subconscious or hard to verbalize but they're there.

It, to me, is the height of arrogance to presume to know the motivation of someone's questions or actions. You may sometimes be able to guess or deduce from context, but in this case you don't have the information to make a contextual presumption. Which makes your response seem a bit aggressively negative and confrontational.

It is a subjective question, but I happen to like to know why people do what they do and think what they think. Motivation and intent are what make people who they are.

July 26, 2005, 02:52 PM
Thanks Werewolf, I'm glad you picked up on that. I can assure everyone that in this case it was not a 'passive aggressive' question...it was a genuine interest as I've said before. This family member has given firearms and ammunition as gifts...not something one would do if one dissapproved of the activity. Do you not wonder about why people enjoy things? I cannot fathom women's interest in shopping and shoes...but asking why doesn't mean that I'm ridiculing their interest.

Anyhow, enough of that. It was just something that I'd never thought about, but it seems many of us share the same reasons.

I think 'Because guns are analog' is my favorite reason so far. :D

July 26, 2005, 02:57 PM
Why do I like guns? Well, I can't afford a tank so guns are the next best thing :neener:

July 26, 2005, 02:58 PM
My girlfriend asked me the same question. I said that I like guns because they are a constant reminder of the sacrifices made by men and women before me that allow me to be petty and selfish and for all intents and purposes free. Plus they are fun and make for a great stress reliever. I think she got the point :cool:

July 26, 2005, 03:10 PM
And us monkeys seem hardwired to like to control explosions. Fireworks, demo charges and guns. I think it goes back to shaking our fists at the sky during thunderstorms.

After all, when we hold a gun we feel like G-d feels when He holds a gun. :D

July 26, 2005, 03:20 PM
Tell her the family dog requires it of you, what does the dog demand of her for admission to the great everlasting?

July 26, 2005, 03:24 PM
I guess if all the men in my family had been into clothes and shoes and makeup I would have turned out differently.

John...who is really, really tired of folks who DEMAND an explanation and won't take "figure it out yourself" for an answer. :cool:

July 26, 2005, 03:33 PM
Sounds like a lot of people are saying What they like about guns instead of why they like them. There is a difference.

Gordon Fink
July 26, 2005, 03:38 PM
Male hominids evolved to use weapons for hunting, defense, and war. Is it any wonder that modern men enjoy firearms? Female hominids evolved to gather food, supplies, and other wealth. Is it any wonder that modern women enjoy shopping?

Personally, Iíve always been fascinated by weaponry (knives, swords, firearms, battleships, etc.). I own and train with firearms for this reason and because I recognize that the world can never be completely safe. I love my wife and daughter too much not to do so.

~G. Fink

July 26, 2005, 05:16 PM
Why the interest in Guns?...

Because the awareness of my role in self-preservation has increased with age and experience.

July 26, 2005, 05:24 PM
I think i remember on an old post people were talking about why a lot of air plane pilots owned guns, for instance a higher percentage of airplane pilots owned guns compared to the percentage of school teachers who own guns.

they mentioned that carrying a gun CCW is a lot of times about control. Airplane pilots are also all about control.

perhaps people own guns to make them more in control?

July 26, 2005, 05:50 PM
Old Sam Colt said it best, "Be not afraid of any man, no matter what his size, when danger threaten call on me and I will equalize!"

Standing Wolf
July 26, 2005, 06:25 PM
Any idiot can point and click. Shooting a pistol well takes a basic amount of raw skill, plus lots of concentration, hard work, and plain old-fashioned practice. I've been at it three decades and longer now. I figure I shoot a bit better than average.

July 26, 2005, 07:11 PM
damn trolls..................

July 27, 2005, 12:14 PM
Pretty well spoken for a guy named GunGoBoom! :neener:
Seriously good reply.

Dave Dembinski
July 27, 2005, 12:53 PM
Why do I like guns? They light up and make noise!

Come to think of it, there's not a lot of things that wouldn't be better if they did that.

July 27, 2005, 12:59 PM
"they mentioned that carrying a gun CCW is a lot of times about control. Airplane pilots are also all about control."

Funny you should mention that.....I'm a pilot. Looks like I'm a **** control freak after all. ;)

Vitamin G
July 27, 2005, 01:31 PM
Why I like guns : Answers to a psychologist

1) Didn't Freud say that fear of weapons is a sure sign of sexual immaturity? By the way, I love my guns, and what are you doing next weekend? <wink wink>

2) "A good psychologist would never ask a "why" question. They'd ask something nonthreatening like "What is it about guns that you find so appealing?" or "If you had to pick out certain qualities about guns that you find enjoyable, what might they be?"

3) "Mom didn't hug me enough"

4) "You aren't sounding very validating or unconditionally accepting of me right now".

P.S. I'm a therapist.

Dave R
July 27, 2005, 03:55 PM
A lot of the replies so far express what I enjoy about guns. I'll add one more. To mis-quote Jeff Cooper--"show me a good marksman and I'll show you a good man. The essence of marksmanship is self disclipline. That is also the essence of being a good man."

I enjoy shooting as an exercise in self-disclipline.

July 27, 2005, 06:08 PM
EVERYONE likes guns. Just look at the movies that are the most popular. They all involve guns, fighting, etc. These movies are liked by both men and women. EVERYONE likes guns. The questions really is: Why does'nt so and so like guns? Why are they so different from normal?

July 27, 2005, 06:36 PM
Best response to the question is an invitation to the range to show them why.

"I can't really put it into words, why don't you come to the range with me and find out for yourself."

If they decline, then you have the opportunity to turn the discussion against them and focus on why they DON'T like guns ... which gives you the opportunity to educate them (assuming they actually want to learn)

July 27, 2005, 07:18 PM
It was because of my childhood, and I blame my mother and father....

July 27, 2005, 07:20 PM

Great idea.

If you should have to think about your "why's", so should they.... :D

July 27, 2005, 07:34 PM
Because they have a practical use. I enjoy existing and plan to go on doing so for as long as possible. Firearms can provide food, though we currently have other means of acquiring it, and protection.

Because I enjoy mechanics. It's interesting to figure out how a gun works, especially if you do it without any help. Because I enjoy fiddling with things.

They look nice. At least, most do.

History. There is a great deal of history in firearms, especially in the C&R rifles. It is hard to find a closer connection to WWII than a CMP Garand or a Russian capture Kar98K.

Because they are easy to use but hard to master. There is a great deal of work, physical and mental, in using a firearm effectively. It isn't easy holding a ten pound rifle steady, regulating your breathing, carefully squeezing a trigger, and concentrating on your front sight at the same time. I enjoy a challenge.

Because shooting guns is social. You shoot the bull, talk around, try out each other's stuff, etc.

Because there are those that would prevent me from doing so. When I find out that some people wanted to take away my ability to own firearms, I was angry. I didn't have any and I hadn't exactly thought about the need for one. But damnit, if I want to do something without hurting anyone else I should durn well be able to.

Because it's just plain fun. :D

July 27, 2005, 07:53 PM
Why I like guns;

Actually I like marksmanship and the art of shooting. I like the discipline, the focus and the fine tuning of a skill.

I like the people that share my interests. They are generally good upright people who are generous in sharing their knowledge and time to help others perfect their skills. They are pleasent people to be around and know how to disagree without being disagreable.

I like the bonding time with my sons. I like shooting with the older son because it's healthy competition and I like taking my younger son who has ADHD, to the range and watching him focus and concentrate on making every shot count. I like to see the pride on a twelve year olds face when the adult next to him moves to another lane because my boy is shooting a .45 and making him look bad.

I like the idea that if need be, I can do more to defend my family than call 911 and pray. I like that most members of my family can defend themselves if need be against any size aggressor.

It's not just the gun, it's a whole lifestyle that I find appealing.

July 27, 2005, 07:55 PM
I've tried to analogize it to golf- even if you're competing, the real competition is against yourself to improve your skills- it doesn't matter what or how the other guy is doing.

FWIW, I'm finding that I like archery as much if not more than shooting- as I reach middle age I am less attracted by the loud noise and inherent messiness of shooting.

July 27, 2005, 07:59 PM
I find that firearms are the perfect blend of art, history, physics and biology all wraped up in a package I can use for hunting or sport that takes a lifetime to master. What more could you want?

Even after I'm an old man, I will still be able to work firearms and use them. It would take a very serious injury to keep me from firearms. Even the loss of two legs and an arm wouldn't do it. Can't say that about golf. Nor can golf balls move at twice the speed of sound.

Mongo the Mutterer
July 27, 2005, 08:05 PM
Because I'm damn good with a knife...

And I'm old and fat and not so fast.

But I can put 10 rounds in a 3" circle at 15 yards in 3 seconds ...

Oh and I have a pecker the size of two government 1911 slides laid end to end... :eek:

(the 10 round stuff and the knife stuff are true...)

July 27, 2005, 08:29 PM
Who needs a reason to have a hobby or a reason to pick one hobby over another?

July 27, 2005, 08:46 PM
After I turned about 4, I found that hammers lacked an ability for fascination.

July 27, 2005, 09:13 PM
A good gun is a piece of history, events that shaped the world, compressed into a small chunk of metal and wood. My M1 Garand was born in May 1943, I don't know where it served, but it saw hard enough combat use that it had to be rebuilt--probably several times. My Mosin-Nagant was born in 1940, and given the rifle shortage in Russia at the time, there can be little doubt it played some small role in repelling the Germat Wehrmacht. I have a Russian M1910 Maxim kit. The Maxim was the first true machine gun, and the story of Hiram Maxim's career on its own is fascinating. I can barely imagine what its career might have been. Did it repel Ludendorff's infantry charges in WWI? Did it serve in the Winter War? Kharkov? Kursk? And just how did it end up here anyway? Perhaps it was given to a Soviet client state, or even captured in battle.

The Yugoslavian AKs being sold today were used by Serb paramilitaries. It is entirely possible that my Yugo AKs were not only used in combat, but in war crimes. That's a much darker history than the justified wars I spoke of above, but that doesn't mean it should be shunned or ignored. It's a puzzle piece from a history book just like the others, and it would be unrealistic to include only guns from justified wars in my collection.

I could go on and on for a dozen pages or more, but I'm going to have to stop here. I hope you can get your psychologist to come around, I've made converts from some of the unlikeliest of corners.

July 27, 2005, 11:35 PM
There was a statement that I made a long time ago that did not strike me as particularly enlightening. It was only after I found someone else quoting it that I thought, Wow! , I must have said something interesting.

This quote defines the reason I own firearms and practice with them.

"I am sorry that some live in a fantasy world where guns are not
appropriate. I only hope that your fantasy is not ripped to shreds
when someone you love is killed and all you can do is offer the
assailent another target." - dzimmerm, on kuro5hin"

That pretty much says it all. Guns offer the opportunity to defend oneself and one's family members.

There are loads of other reasons I like guns but those reasons were not enough to make me go out and get one.

I can pick apart a car's mechanisms to appease my love of machinery

I can practice a perfect weld using an oxy-acetylene torch to exercise my zen concentration.

I can go to harbor freight and drool over tools for all kinds of uses to satisfy the tool user hunger in me.

I can read and BS on message boards to get my fix of humanity and like minded individuals.

But the car will not stop the burgler, nor the welding equipment the rapist, nor the hand tools the murderer.

Only my resolve and a handgun can give me the chance of stopping those miscreants.


Too Many Choices!?
July 28, 2005, 02:25 AM
Because it is my birth right as an American Citizen.
Becasue I am a man created by nature, and men protect. To protect, a man needs a weapon...
Because becoming proficient with arms requires control of your abilities.
Because with said control of your abilities you do reach a ,"Zen-like state".
Because of my love of life.
Because history repeats itself, take a look at the track record :scrutiny: :what: !

July 28, 2005, 06:50 AM
I really like shotguns, hitting a dove on opening day is my actual hunting high point of the year. Guns facinate me, striking a part of my soul that really gets the serotin dumping. They affect me in the same way an addict is "hooked" on crack. It is a brain function that must be soothed, or else I get grouchy and think about running over cats. dzimmerm~ Please never refer to harbor freight concerning tools- I really have a facination with tools made in the 1st half of the 1900's, and the quality is tremendous- something harbor freight can't even offer...... :p

July 29, 2005, 06:30 AM
The nature of that question is insulting, and a non-question as MasterPiece points out. "Why do you like such and such . . . so much?" Define so much. In fact, why should one to defend an interest in the face of such hosility at all? Any answer certainly isn't to be appreciated.

I've not yet met a person working in the mental health field who wasn't mentally stable themselves. I'm convinced they went to school to learn about themselves and try to unravel their own problems. After attempting to figure out what ails them, they find themselves at the end of the journey, realize they must make a living, and use the degree they earned in the process to do it.

July 29, 2005, 07:09 AM
So, BullfrogKen -

So let me get this straight -

Here we have a person who is familiar with guns and has shot guns, but just isn't very interested in using/playing with/training with them. And this person sounds like they're comfortable with guns and gun owners.

So if this person (who doesn't enjoy shooting all that much) asks a relative what it is they enjoy so much about it, it's a hostile question?

Wow. And here I was thinking that she may simply be curious because she didn't understand the attraction. I obvioiusly have to learn to be a LOT more suspicious of peoples motives.

July 29, 2005, 11:23 AM
Tell her its because you have a very small penis

July 29, 2005, 11:26 AM
Janitor, its a question loaded with a value judgement. Coming from a person who on a daily basis converses with people to discover things such as what motivates us, I doubt it was a slip of the tongue.

Phrasing a question, "What is it you find interesting about guns?", or "What about guns do you find attracts you to them?" contains no value statement with it.

"Why do you like guns so much?" has a value judgement attached. "So much" conveys the attraction is very strong, suggests maybe a little too strong, and instantly puts one on the defensive. The person asked such a question must find reasons to support why he likes something "so much".

A lay person might not realize that he or she is communicating a judgement asking a question that way. But, I'd expect better from a psychologist.

Taurus 66
July 29, 2005, 11:40 AM
BAE, psychologists are simply out to confuse everyone ... you know, "Repress your love for guns." or, "You're a man, so why aren't you wearing a dress?" - Upitty side a down a stuff and innidy side out! Have you ever noticed there is no clear definition of the word "normal", that is until you ask a psycho?

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