We all start sometime, and with different challenges.


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Rasputin747
May 6, 2007, 03:48 PM
At one point we were all new to the gun realm. With some people it could have been as children, and others as adults. I turned 18 in March, and I am eager to start buying my own firearms. However, due to society in general, I would be frowned upon for doing so. I know I am young, and all the things that come with being it. However, I know my safety rules and laws involving guns within my State. But, since I am 18, I would be a "violent teenager," or "hazard to society," to even think about buying my own guns.

My father and uncles have been great to me and my father has bought me the guns I've wanted, with my own money. My father and uncles know that I am a responsible person, and would take great care of the firearms I have and those who would handle them. Safety is the top priority with any firearm. If it is not safe, or if you do not have the proper safety rules and equipment, there will not be any shooting with me. My uncle tought me all his safety techniques he learned while his service with the police.

I think with newer generations of gun owners, there will be a bigger challenge ahead. I am seeing it now. I can't talk about my interest in firearms, or people will associate me as being a "crazy gun nut," which I think is a negative stereotype. A vast majority of the gun community is concerned with safety as the top priority, and does not wantonly shoot their guns at anything that moves. Also, people will think I am a violent person for owning firearms and will be paranoid about me. One day they might understand the need for firearms.

There are also challenges within the gun community. Being relatively new myself, I don't know much about the technical stuff. I mean, I can clean any gun, and I know a lot about bolt action rifles, having taken apart my M44 for proper cleaning. However, some people in the gun community will think that I am stupid for not knowing some things, and shrug me off. I want to learn all I can, and that is counter productive for the gun community to treat those interested like that. I understand that we must be hard on people when we do safety training, and rightly so. People MUST know the rules of gun safety.

What challenges did you all face when getting in with the gun community? What challenges are you facing now in the community?

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Chad
May 6, 2007, 04:27 PM
You have made me smile, my friend.

Knowing that there are young people out there with the attitude you display in your post goes a long way to make the struggle worthwhile.

Pick your conversations, and your battles, one at a time.
You already understand the concept of people wearing blinders.
Use your understanding and your knowledge, as well as your obvious maturity, to whittle down the opinions of others, most of who you will discover not to be anti, but merely uninformed and afraid.
But just a bit at a time.

As for those who ridicule or look down on folks new to firearms, don't waste your time or effort with them.
They may or may not be beyond redemption, but they are certainly worthless.

The important challenges are political and cultural, and they range from each individual to national elections.

Welcome to the arena.

koja48
May 6, 2007, 04:39 PM
Welcome. I couldn't say it better than Chad has. Be safe always & enjoy the pastime. Take time to teach others & and ALWAYS be a shining example of responsible gun ownership/use. As for challenges when I was your age, let's see . . . I'm 60 now, grew-up in the Montana Rockies . . . so the greatest challenge was earning enough money to afford ammunition. Back in those days, I had a .22 rifle, used Dad's shotgun, and had a $19.95 Argentine Mauser for big game (and I still have all of them, retired though they are). Thanks for the post; made me smile . . .

Tim Currie
May 6, 2007, 05:36 PM
I think the attitude you have and the way you feel about it makes a big difference in the way other people respond to the fact that you have guns or are into shooting.

You see, if you assume everyone is going to freak out about it or think you're a "gun nut" or look down on you etc. then you are going to be unsure/nervous/unconfident in speaking about it or discussing it. You see what I mean, you kinda get what you project.

Now I understand how you are feeling because I went through it also. I bought my first gun at 21, I had to get into guns and learn about them myself, I had NO exposure to it growing up. Most of my immediate family doesn't "get it" since they don't have any guns. However, now that my attitude has changed and I'm more confident and I act like it is normal they are starting to come around. Last time my Dad was at my house he checked out all my guns for the first time. My Mom is coming around to the idea of having a gun at her house since she's out in the hills, and the fact that my sisters new boyfriend has guns and we now bring it up at the dinner table helps too, since he and I are on the same page. It makes it more "normal" to my Mom and the sisters.

So turn the tables is what I'm getting at. Act as if everyone has or should have guns. "What, you don't own a gun?!? :confused: " should be your attitdue (maybe not what you actually say...). The more you act as if it is totally normal (it is really....why should it be the other way?), the more you act non-chalant about it, the more confident you are about it when talking with other people - the more normal it will be with them as a result.

So don't make a big deal of it, don't worry about it, don't allow yourself to feel weird or unconfident about it. Do the exact opposite and people will respond (most of the time) accordingly ......either way.

Tim

10 Ring Tao
May 6, 2007, 05:44 PM
Not too long ago I was in a similar state. New, wanting to learn, but confused at the old guys with mustaches and pot bellies that just seemed to discount my interest in continuing their hobby. If anyone, I thought they would want to accept and mentor a clean cut, educated kid.

There are teachers out there, but your best bet is to just read everything you can online. My knowledge base would be a fraction of what it is, if it weren't for the internet.

Arrange shooting meetups in your area, and try to get those with pieces you want or don't have to come so you can try them out.

Get your CCW as soon as you can. It lends a lot of credibility to someone, especially someone young.

You see, if you assume everyone is going to freak out about it or think you're a "gun nut" or look down on you etc. then you are going to be unsure/nervous/unconfident in speaking about it or discussing it. You see what I mean, you kinda get what you project.


This is also important. Talk about shooting like you would any other hobby. Nonchalant, no big deal. Be ready with polite but firm rebuttals and facts if you are faced with the typical anti talking points.

AntiqueCollector
May 6, 2007, 05:47 PM
Who cares what others think, do as I did and jump right into it, might make it so your older leftist brother thinks you're a nut (well, that's what happened to me anyways) but so what, it wears off when they realize you're not going to go on some crazed shooting rampage. I know one woman who thinks even firing a gun, even if it's at a paper target or a tin can, is an "act of violence", and no amount of reason will change people like that. They'll have to experience something themselves to change them and open their eyes up. So don't worry about what those types think of you.

Oh yeah, I'm basicly, self-taught in everything about guns (along with most other things too FWIW), don't let a lack of a teacher worry you, just need commonsense and the right attitude.

Rasputin747
May 6, 2007, 08:24 PM
Who cares what others think, do as I did and jump right into it.

That's pretty much what I'm doing. I don't care what other people think, but since I am still in High School (only three weeks left and I'll be a graduate), people will think I have some kind of problem. My age is also a factor. Like I said before, I know I'm young and most of the stuff that comes with it. But, I do know my firearms safety rules, and proud of it.

kirkcdl
May 6, 2007, 09:05 PM
Indiana's a pretty gun-friendly state,find a local range,(or 2),and join them.Then show up as often as you can.You'll probably be very surprised at who in your community is a member and a shooter.It's also a great way to find yourself a good mentor...I wouldn't be surprised if one or more of your local ranges already have a youth program in place.Perhaps you could become a younger persons mentor yourself?You'll never know until you try,and that will only help you be more confident regarding your hobby...Good luck...

Rasputin747
May 6, 2007, 09:15 PM
I use the range at the State park by here. It's only a 15 minute drive. The Rangemaster is a nice guy, and gave me pistol shooting tips when I went out with my Walther P-38 for the first time. But I only go about once every two weeks. Even though I'm 18, my dad prefers to go with me. So I could ask the Rangemaster to give me some tips and stuff. He used to be in the Marines, and was trained for Bio-chemical attacks and all that. He's a nice guy.

heron
May 6, 2007, 10:44 PM
As you're already familiar with the safety aspect and show a lot of concientiousness about it, you're already far ahead of a lot of shooters. Absorb all you can and enjoy the sport.
You may counter the critics by telling them that shooting isn't necessarily aggressive or warlike; target shooting is an exercise in skiill, concentration, and discipline, and has this in common with such other sports as golf or bowling.

sierrabravo45
May 6, 2007, 10:59 PM
Rasputin747,

I was in your place a mere 6 years ago. When I turned 18 I bought my first Rifle, when I was 21 I bought my first handgun.

My learning didn't start there though. My father and his friends taught me a lot about guns. My dad bought me subscriptions to guns & ammo and other hunting magazines. My fathers friends gave me all there old back issues of Shotguns news Guntest etc. I read and stored all the info I could. I still read and store. ( it helped also that I competed since I was 10 also) The online forums help out a ton, but I read back issues of magazines that I can pickup at gun shows for nickels on the dollar, and I learn a great deal of information. I started working at a gun store when I was about 22. I had a lot of old guys come in and not want to talk to the "young guy" about guns because he didn't know anything, or so they thought. When the other employees starting referring customers to me for knowledge I think it changed there opinions a bit.

One of the best experiences I had was when I was 21. I had enough money to buy a Browning XT Over and Under. I went into a major retailer and a few of the guys wouldn't give me the time of day. The assistant manager finally helped me out. I asked to see the Browning XT, I shouldered it and he stood there with a kind of smirk on his face. I told him I would buy it and the smirk turned into shock. Bought a nice case for it to. It just happened that I knew the Manager of the store and I did comment on the service. After that I seemed to get better service.

Getting into the game is sometimes tough. Being taking literally is sometimes the toughest thing. I still LISTEN and prefer to here what someone has to say before correcting or agreeing. I DON'T have many years under my belt and still like to absorb every piece of gun knowledge that is out there. Listening and learning is sometimes your best bet for the first few years.


Happy Belated B-Day, and good luck in buying and learning.

Titan6
May 6, 2007, 11:00 PM
Out here where kids pck up a gun around the age of say 7 you are a little behind.

Since you live in a different culture you have to let people know you are serious and not just fooling around. Building trust in the gun community can take time wether you are 19 or 59. Let people know why you are learning and what you want to know. Good people come around... but maybe not in one day or even a month... Be patient (hard at the age as I recall)...

B yond
May 6, 2007, 11:05 PM
The biggest problem you'll likely encounter as a young shooter is not judgement by your family and friends, but by politicians and anti-gun nuts. Yes, I said nuts.

These are the people who've given your family and friends the idea that guns are only used for violence. You see, most people who don't like guns and are afraid of them have little or no experience with them. All they know is what the politicians and Antis have told them, and what they've seen in the media.

Next time someone is giving you grief for making use of your second amendment rights (RIGHTS, not privileges), just shrug it off, or offer to take them shooting and show them what it's really about.

As long as you use your weapons responsibly, you've done nothing wrong, and the people who would call you a gun nut, are the people who've been misled into believing that the rights this country was built on, and the tools that helped build it, no longer have a place in out society.

Free speech, freedom of religion, and the right to bear arms. If we lose the last one, how much longer will we have the other two?

Stay safe.

Rasputin747
May 7, 2007, 03:58 PM
What I've tended to notice about the anti-gun people around me is that they cannot accept facts or logical thinking. I asked one of them this "If your house was broken into and the man had a weapon, would you grab the gun or the phone?" His response was "That would never happen to me. I've been alive 37 years and have never been robbed." I have no words to describe the stupidity of that statement. He also said the 2nd amendment was for the National Guard. Since we did we need an amendment to tell us the government could own guns? I thought that was an inherent power of any government, but maybe I was wrong.

But, some people my age are actually embracing me. I have a few people who want to get into guns, and want to actually own their own. They ask what they should get, etc. It is good to help spread the word on gun ownership and the real meaning of the 2nd amendment RIGHTS. We need more younger people getting more active in the gun community.

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