Why did you decide to own a gun?


June 20, 2003, 01:57 PM
The recurring "why guns" question got me thinking. Here's my train of thought.

Guns are controversial.

Therefore, for most people, the choice to be armed is conscious (as opposed to "My Dad had a gun and everybody in my 'hood, too, so I kinda grew up a gun person.").

Now, why did YOU make that choice?

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El Tejon
June 20, 2003, 01:59 PM
I did not choose; the decision was made for me.

I seek knowledge as to the handling of firearms as I understood very early that possession is not competence and the usual 4E reasons.:)

June 20, 2003, 02:01 PM
I did not choose; the decision was made for me.
If one may ask, by whom?

June 20, 2003, 02:03 PM
Coz its my right ;)

June 20, 2003, 02:04 PM
I grew up with a family member who gave me access to many very very nice firearms including full auto. Love to shoot just for fun.

I also believe everybody should own at least a .22 pistol or rifle just like they should have a first aid kit, fire extinquisher, knife, jumper cables etc. You will probably never have to but who knows you might have to pop a squirrel or something for food one day.

It is the Boy Scout in me. Be prepared. I like having firearms for defense of my home. I sleep better. I also happen to get an immense amount of entertainment from them.

June 20, 2003, 02:05 PM
I used to like listening to my dad's war stories.

Then I moved to solider of fortune magazine.

From there I discovered gun magazines.

I then started buying guns for target shooting and home defense.

When I turned 18 I began collecting old military rifles.

Being armed was a gradual decision based more on a love of

firearms as objects of metal and wood than the power they give.

Now that I have a family of my own, me being armed is important to the safety of my wife, children and the property we have worked hard to attain.

June 20, 2003, 02:06 PM
Because I enjoy shooting, and trading them. Also, it's part of my job, since I carry one at work, and have several in the car.
The more, the merrier!:p

June 20, 2003, 02:08 PM
Although I shot a rifle in Boy Scouts and my dad took me bird hunting with him, I didn't do anything with a handgun until I was about 26. I was living in a house near my parents that was across the street from a bar and doing some private detective work for my best friend. He brought it up that my baseball bat was ineffective and took me to buy a handgun. Funny how guns are like tattoos, when you get one, you want more, so that started me on an endless cycle of buying, selling and trading.

June 20, 2003, 02:09 PM
After my first child was born, the knowlege that his protection was my responsibility was the final impetus in the decision to purchase my first firearm.

June 20, 2003, 02:21 PM
Initially, I needed a new hobby.

June 20, 2003, 02:21 PM
I Grew up with them around, and enjoyed shooting them... SO, when it came time to part ways with my father (move outta his house, and into my own, NOT disown one-another) i needed a few of my own, simce he thought he wanted ta keep most of his... (I still got a couple of the old mans guns at my place!)

it was only natural that I would own them, given my upbringing...

4v50 Gary
June 20, 2003, 02:29 PM
Photos of soldiers wielding Broomhandle Mausers made me, as a child, want one.

BTW, instead of going to my Jr. High graduation, my uncle took us to a gunstore (and why not, they gave me the diploma the day before so why go to a ceremony?). While he didn't buy any of us any guns, it was the first of many trips to that gun store.

Childhood memories, aren't they wonderful? :)

June 20, 2003, 02:35 PM
I also grew up with firearms. Hunting and target shooting. I started acquiring firearms for hunting purposes, once I was out on my own. Then I caught "the bug" and the rest is history. I was very relieved to find some friends with firearm interests when I moved into the city.

June 20, 2003, 02:35 PM
It's all Cslingers fault :D

Seriously, growing up my dad didn't have guns around. My grandfathers did. I'd remember being in my grandads living room and he'd break out the cool stuff. ( I now have some of the cool stuff :D ) He'd fire blanks, show us how to clean them. He taught me to shoot on a pellet gun. etc. etc.

Once I left home to finish school I never realy thought about guns. Then I started working and met Cslinger and Sheslinger. He bought a Ruger P97 and I liked it but thought it was a bit much in the recoil dept. So I bought a P95, MKII (everyone needs a.22) Glock 27, Kimber ProCarry HD, and the latest the Beneli Nova (and I have done the 3 1/2 " mag- Not recoil shy no more)

I love to shoot now. It is a great stress releiver for me. Having the peice of mind and security in knowing I have other options when "push comes to shove" (heaven forbid I should need to excercise that right) Is icing on the cake.

June 20, 2003, 02:39 PM
I have carried something that goes bang, since I was 14. Why? Because I wanted to.

My family has been around guns and weapons as far back as the 1100's. Guess you could say its a family tradition.

June 20, 2003, 02:55 PM
I started by reading about the RKBA and TheFiringLine. One day I decided that I would learn how to hunt. Since I figured I'd need a rifle, I got my CHL since it exempted you from the background check (I don't think it does anymore). Since I figured I'd be out in the woods with a bunch of wild animals, I thought it'd be nice to have a handgun to protect myself (and it'd be nice to have at home too). So I bought one.

Come fall, I went hunting with a borrowed rifle and got a deer.

I just bought another pistol and will soon be getting a 22 rifle from my grandfather.

I still don't have that hunting rifle...


lee n. field
June 20, 2003, 03:16 PM
I bought my first because of personal security concerns. We lived in a less than great neighborhood (slummy trailer park).

I bought what I could afford, a Charter Arms AR-7. Not sure what I would have done with it if anything needed doing, but that's where I started.

Call the authorities? Sure, and we did. But long and bitter experience of being the geeky kid getting the s*** beat out me in high school left me with a gut feeling that authorities really can't be counted on.

June 20, 2003, 03:21 PM
I have old photos from the late '40s of me at three playing with a toy pistol. I got a Daisy Red Ryder at 5 and my first .22 at seven for my birthday. I get surprised every time I realize that not everybody grew up with the things as a normal part of life.
And in all those years not one of my guns has hurt anybody. (Well, I did bounce a bb off a surplus helment liner nearly into my eye once!) In fact the only time I killed anybody was with Uncle Sam's long range toys in Viet Nam waters (and then as part of a team) .

Mike Irwin
June 20, 2003, 03:22 PM
I grew up around guns.

What I find to be interesting, though, is that my Father did NOT grow up around guns. Grandma didn't like them, and Grandpa was pretty ambivilent.

I need to ask him how he got interested.

June 20, 2003, 03:26 PM
Because I have a Right to own them. Same reason I vote, if I don't exercise my rights, they'll atrophy.

June 20, 2003, 03:51 PM
When I opened a mostly-cash business in a remote area. My partner and I were dead certain we would eventually be robbed. So... my dad gave me a Series 70 and it stayed cocked & locked under the counter. Never did have to use it.

Hmmm, that's the exact same time my partner and I started hanging out at the range and he bought a Sig, 226 if I recall (I was jealous).

June 20, 2003, 03:54 PM
I got picked on in high school. Then my Sophomore year I started taking martial arts lessons and in my Junior year I joined the track team. That put an end to the harrassment, but set me on a path of self-defense training that led, naturally, to firearms. Getting a CCW at age 21 seemed like the most natural progession of five years of martial arts.

Unfortunately, I let my unarmed combat skills atrophy as I focused on my marksmanship. I still get to the dojo every now and then, but more often I'm at the range.

June 20, 2003, 03:59 PM
I didn't grow up around guns. Grew up in a major metropolitan area, and my dad wasn't a shooter -- his outdoor activity has always been sailing. I shot a couple of .22s in grade school, but didn't really develop an interest until my junior year in college when I joined the rifle team (indoor, small bore), sort of as a lark. I did pretty well, tieing the individual record one night (the same night the team captain broke it), helping to push the team record way up there.

After college, interest sort of went dormant as I pursued grad school, early career, and marriage.

Ah, but that last one! I married the eldest daughter of an outdoorsman with no sons. He and she conspired to give me my first firearm -- a Mossberg 500 combo. It's been downhill ever since! Wasn't long before I bought my first rifle ... then wanted a handgun to hunt in areas of NY where rifles are not allowed. The process of getting my pistol permit got me reading big time into 2nd Amendment writings ...

... and lo and behold, I'm now an avid shooter. I've become a certified Hunter Safety Instructor, and like nothing better than taking a bunch of kids afield to learn safety, and then marksmanship. My own kids will be able to say "I grew up with guns, and shot with my dad as early as I can remember."

I'm a shooter, rather than a collector. Everything I have gets shot, or I don't keep it. I've taken courses at LFI, InSights, and Storm Mountain, and am looking to take more. When time permits, I plan to get pursue NRA Instructor certification.

So why did I choose? Early on (college), to see what I could do. Later, to build a relationship with my father-in-law (we still hunt together every year). And now, because it is my civic duty!

June 20, 2003, 04:02 PM
Because the ammo wouldn't work without one:D

Seriously, I had firearms around all my life but made the decision while in the service to get involved in target shooting and it went from there.

June 20, 2003, 04:10 PM
Like a few others here, I grew up at a time (and in a place) when gun ownership was NORMAL and EXPECTED. I can't remember not being around them. I had lever action toy rifles, toy revolvers, grenades, a johnny seven- multi function assault rifle, etc. Moved up to Daisy BB guns, then Crossman pellet guns, then my first real shotgun (16 gauge Revelation). When I was 13-16 years old, I didn't think twice about riding my bike over to a friend's place with a .22 rifle across the handlebars and a pistol with ammo in a paper bag. Cops didn't worry much about it then either. About 30 years later...here I am.

June 20, 2003, 04:10 PM
It started out as a hobby with my dad and now has turned into an obsession. (according to my wife)

June 20, 2003, 04:15 PM
The dream ... a horse, a gun, and a knife - the mountains in front of you and civilization behind you ...

How could I NOT have a gun? My first one was a muzzleloader.

Still don't have the horse ....

June 20, 2003, 04:30 PM
It all started with Lone Ranger Reruns and a Colt Peacemaker cap gun, which led to a Red Ryder BB Gun. I almost shot my eye out!:D

Crossman pump air rifle>Ruger 10/22>Mossberg shotgun>Father's M1 Carbine and Garand mil-surps>Remington 700 .243 deer rifle>Navy's M-14s, Remmy 870 & 1911s>Beretta 92FS as my first "adult purchase.

Seems predestined to me.

Nathaniel Firethorn
June 20, 2003, 04:32 PM
11 Sep 2001

- pdmoderator

June 20, 2003, 04:53 PM
Even though Los Angeles and ********** have their reputations, nothing to me was as profound as was "coming West." Something in the Utah and West Colorado landscapes just spoke to me, and I began to understand the mindset of the individualist.

Reading the works of L. Neil Smith and Vin Suprynowicz were huge factors as well. In fact, I learned how to shoot by reading Smith's The Mitzvah. I eventually got training, but I took these steps largely on my own.

June 20, 2003, 05:15 PM
I decided to own guns, for many reasons. The top two; self defense (cause sometimes all the martial arts I learned just aren't enough), and self discipline.

June 20, 2003, 05:20 PM
I was fortunate enough to grow up with firearms. Received my first .22 bolt gun in grade school and had accumulated about a dozen firearms before graduating high school. Once I had a source of income, I made my first "wish list," a list that has never stopped growing.

June 20, 2003, 05:37 PM
I purchased a scanner....After the intial shock of learning just how much was going on around me, I started considering it an option. When I heard a call go out for a woman who was alone in her home with two men breaking in, and the responding officer replied that he was at least 15 minutes away, the decision was made to purchase a handgun for myself/girlfriend.

When the dispatcher called back less than 10 minutes later in desperation to get the ETA from the officer because she heard screams and now held a dead telephone line with no follow-on answer, it was decided that I'd start shopping the next day.

June 20, 2003, 06:03 PM
1. I grew up in family that hunted and always kept guns (I don't hunt, but will certainly enjoy the meat!)

2. In 1990, my roommate was overcome by clinical depression and her wacko therapist convinced my roommate that her whole family probably belonged to a Satanic cult (I am not making this up!) and might come for us one night. I bought a Ruger SP101 .357 magnum and practiced with it.

3. September 11, 2001.

4. Carjackings

5. Road ragers

And BTW, I'm female. My current carry gun is a Glock 30 with Heinie Straight-8 night sights and I've had a grip reduction done on it. Love that gun! Also have a Glock 22C, and the Ruger, two rifles and a 12-gauge.

June 20, 2003, 06:13 PM
Though I didn't grow up around guns, I've always been fascinated by them. Dunno if it's genetic or what, but it's just been there as long as I remember. I got really interested in the genuine article when I was in 5th grade, from gun magazines. Much reading, staring at photos, and a short time later, I was spending a lot of time badgering my parents to let me get a firearm (quite a bit of work). Eventually I succeeded, parents figuring my interest would die off after some time with a real one. It's only grown. :D

The reason I wanted the first one was purely for fun. I believed in the RKBA, and self-defense of course. But it was just to have a good time at the range. The list now concentrates more on future needs, such as a CCW.

June 20, 2003, 06:21 PM
It wasn't really a conscious choice. It hasn't really ever occured to me to not have a gun. I would feel strange if there weren't at least a few around the house.
As per the anti-gunners warnings, I was "indoctrinated by the NRA to become a killer" :rolleyes: at age 5.
Thank God.:D

June 20, 2003, 06:31 PM
I can remember my dad having a revolver. When there were noises and my mom thought someone might be trying to get in, he would tell us kids so get behind him and he would take care of everything. I thought my dad and that revolver were the answer to any problem.

After I got older I didn't think anything about it until my husband had to travel on business. I didn't want to stay at home alone. He said I will teach you to shoot. We went to a gun store and rented a .45. I shot that .45 1911 and loved it. We joined the gun club so we could shoot on a regular basis. Then we got invoved in matches. We both love to shoot. We went on to Rifles and Shotguns. So you might say it was for fun, but, we both take self defense serious. We took classes in all the firearms we use.

Mrs. Toro

1 Samuel 18: 15,16
Wherefore when Saul saw that he behaved himself very wisely, he was afraid of him. But all Israel and Judah loved David, because he went out and came in before them.

June 20, 2003, 06:42 PM
her wacko therapist convinced my roommate that her whole family probably belonged to a Satanic cult (I am not making this up!) and might come for us one night

That sounds about typical to me :fire:

Baba Louie
June 20, 2003, 06:53 PM
Grew up with them.

Got my first rifle at 10, single action at 11. Real hunting at 12.

Had a .22 and a 20 ga all through college in Kansas (the Pheasants and cottontails were fine).

Moved to present location after school and started making money. Others spent their money on wine, women and song... Me?... the collection.

I've always had them, I always will. As will my son and daughter.

I blame my father and uncles.


June 20, 2003, 06:58 PM
Studying martial arts in high school, I realized that even my Grand Master (a 7th dan) was helpless against a 12ga at 25 ft, and he told me I was right when I asked him!

Many years later, I discovered that he'd survived The Battle of the Bulge, and Korea - but he'd never talk about firearms. . .

Pappy John
June 20, 2003, 07:05 PM
My father was an avid hunter, so I grew up in a household with guns and most of my childhood friends homes were much the same way. In fact it came as a bit strange to me when I moved away from home and found out that there were large amounts of people who had no knowledge about weapons and whose ideas about the forest ecosystem came from watching "Bambi" a few times.

When I first lived on my own I only had one shotgun and one rifle to take with me, but I soon got the handgun bug and started to shoot PPC competition regularly. I don't compete at present, except for novelty shoots at my local club, but I shoot for fun often enough that I'm pretty sure that I could hold my own. Mostly fun, but with a purpose.

Gordy Wesen
June 20, 2003, 07:17 PM
I enjoyed shooting as a sport but took up arms when my wife and I had "peeper" into our living room. Being in an armed 7-11 robbery cemented my resolve.

June 20, 2003, 07:56 PM
I've been 'pro-gun' all my life, in that I've understood the meaning and reasoning behind the 2nd amendment. However I had little/no opportunity to for most of my life to actually go shoot. My parents aren't antis, but they don't own any firearms so the opportunity really wasn't there.

What made me actually go out and buy my first gun was when I was arguing with the resident guns-are-bad liberal on another board. He accused me of having all sorts of bad intentions for being a gun owner. He didn't believe me when I replied I wasn't a gunowner, then told me I was uninformed because I had no firsthand knowledge of what I was talking about. I pointed out that neither did he, and his replies from there sort of went downhill. :D

However, he did have a point, and I ended up buying my first gun a couple months later. Now, 2.5 years later, I have a gun safe that's rapidly approaching capacity. If the aforementioned liberal knew, he'd probably freak. :evil:

June 20, 2003, 08:21 PM
I grew up on a farm, everyone in the family had guns. My first was a Winchester .22 bolt action rifle, my Dad gave it to me when I turned 8, I still have it today. :D

Speaking of that gun, My oldest son and I are going to the range in the morning and that is one of the guns we are taking... :D

June 20, 2003, 08:42 PM
Hard to pinpoint. I've grown up around guns and always felt comfortable with them.

June 20, 2003, 08:55 PM
given the political climate of the last couple of years, i thought it might be a good idea to ressurect my ablity to put the bullets where i want them to go...

and possess the means to do so.

before that it was just so i could teach the kids how to shoot clay birds


kentucky bucky
June 20, 2003, 09:01 PM
I was born with them and I'm going to die with them. How do you like them apples Chucky Schumer?

Guy B. Meredith
June 20, 2003, 09:09 PM
I grew up where toy guns were part of life and with mechanical things. Real guns didn't seem strange or new and it was just natural to appreciate quality engineering that went into the real thing.

The idea of marksmanship skills has always been another interest.

Bolt action rifles were the first love after my cap gun revolvers. I still remember the gorgeous toy revolver that had lead slug/brass case ammunition that carried the round caps. I now have the bolt action .22 cal Remington 514 that was my first gun and would love a bull barreled, peep sight equipped version.

Should be to no one's surprise, though, that my real interest right now it revolvers. Just gotta love 'em.

June 20, 2003, 09:48 PM
I grew up with cap guns, BBguns, plastic rifles. I went deer hunting with my Dad, shot clay pigeons with the Boy Scouts.

Then I went off to a liberal college and got brainwashed. I was neutral to slightly anti-gun for many years, then came 9/11........

That shocked me awake, and I became aware of my desire to not be "food" for the predators. Now I have a CCW pistol with me at all times, and my home is well armed against intrusion.

Dave R
June 20, 2003, 09:50 PM
My Dad taught me to shoot. I enjoyed it.

When I got married, my new bride asked m what I wanted for my birthday. I told her I wanted a .22. She bought me one. I enjoyed it.

Bought a shotgun for defense. Found out it was more fun on clay birds.

One day, when fishing in the backwoods, I ran into a couple of unsavory types who gave me a bit of hassle. Nothing happened, but during the encounter, it occurred to me that, if they wanted to harm me, there was nothing I could do to stop them. I didn't like that feeling, so got a CCW permit. Found out how much I enjoy handgun shooting.

Got another firearm here and there. Kept enjoying them.

June 20, 2003, 10:08 PM
I grew up with them throughout my childhood. Had a Red Ryder and a Crossman 1911 BB gun throughout childhood also. It just kinda progressed since then into an "obsession" as some friends say. Oh, and I have a right to own them.

June 20, 2003, 10:25 PM
Grew up hunting with my dad. I enjoyed being out in the woods, but wasn't much into the shooting. And killing things didn't make me happy at all.

I was always pro-2nd Amendment, but for various reasons, didn't own a gun after I got married.

When my husband and I had kids, I got a lot more safety conscious than I'd ever been before (fire extinguishers and smoke alarms, locking the back door, that kind of thing).

When we moved out of the city into an area where a fast police response would be 30 minutes or more, we discussed getting a shotgun for the house. My husband was working late nights, and it seemed like a good idea for me to be able to protect our home and family, but I wasn't sure I could live with killing someone. I was sure I could kill someone, if need be, but I wasn't sure I could live with it afterward (an important distinction).

So even though I really thought I ought to have a gun, I kept putting it off and putting it off. Besides, a shotgun seemed too dangerous and too slow. If it were kept loaded and accessible, who's to say the kids wouldn't get it? My kids got into everything. And if it weren't loaded or accessible, what would be the point?

One afternoon I was pulling into our driveway after picking up our teenage babysitter when I got rear ended. When I got out of the van to check on the driver who rear ended me, he came at me shouting obscenities with his fists swinging. The babysitter got the kids into the house, locked the front door, and called 911. My husband's buddy heard the ruckus out front, and came barrelling out of our garage to settle the guy down. And what did I do? I stood there, dumbfounded. I didn't run away. I didn't get back in the van and lock the door. I didn't say anything, do anything, think anything. I just stood there, with my mouth open, while the folks around me took care of me.

I never want to do that again.

Shortly after that, my husband's buddy offered to take me down and help me buy a handgun, and then teach me to shoot. I took him up on it.

That was three years ago. Since then, I've bought a few more guns and taken a half-dozen shooting classes. It's a lot of fun, I've met some really great people, and I'm determined to learn how to shoot well even if I have to spend the rest of my life learning it.


If I won't protect myself, what right do I have to expect another person to risk his or her life for mine? -- Sunni Maravillosa

June 20, 2003, 10:27 PM
After living in Cali for a while and getting upset at some of the bond packages they passed, I finally got around to reading PC 12020. TPTB decreed that I couldn't have -- among other things -- cane swords, pen knives, or shruiken. But they would let me have a variety of firearms, and I felt compelled to take advantage of what was clearly an oversight on their part.

June 20, 2003, 10:38 PM
Why did you decide to own a gun?
Strictly for home defense/protection.

Didn't grow up around guns, just made a conscious decision at about age 25 that I needed to own and know how to handle them safely.

Gordy Wesen
June 20, 2003, 10:51 PM
pax is a girl!
but your experience is like everyone else. the old saying that a conservative is a liberal who's been mugged is true. everybody has been caught flatfooted but we refuse the darwin award by doing something about it. cool.
i did have a recovered memory while reading this thread from about 10 years old when i had a beautiful 1911 replica. i'd play with it and cherish it. one day it disappeared and i spent many hours looking, moving, digging and asking if it had been seen. all to no avail. as time went on i realized my Mother had taken it for she was anti gun.
i think the trauma of the search had life long ramifications with resultant tendancy to gun ownership...particularly 1911's.:)

June 21, 2003, 12:15 AM
My dad owned them so I grew up around them.

I also lived in NJ and could not wait till I was 21 to get a Firearms ID card just so I can be a statistic of gun owners in NJ.

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