Oh Lord is this a doozy of an article


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coyote_jr
August 7, 2007, 11:55 PM
Can't believe noone has posted this yet. Hard to believe this would get published but then it is a Massachusetts paper. But it does seem to serve as just more anti BS for the sake of anti BS. I want to send the guy an email but I am racking my brain on what to say. I feel bad for him and want to laugh in his face at the same time....here ya are....

http://www.thesunchronicle.com/articles/2007/08/07/columns/columns44.txt

ZUCK: Have gun, will tremble
Sunday, August 5, 2007 10:50 PM EDT
A weekend in Las Vegas! The lights, the casinos, the shows, the glitz, the noise, the - guns?

"This here's the easiest to start with. It's got less kick so it's easier to control."

Into my hand he plops a Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum revolver. It's only the second time in my life I've actually touched a gun (the first being during a Boy Scout trip). My hand droops under the surprising weight of the pistol. He chuckles. What am I doing here?

It's Saturday afternoon, and having lost too much money all too quickly at the poker tables, my buddy and I are seeking refuge from the dry Nevada heat at a gun club a few miles off the Strip. We can't remember whose idea it was, but neither of us thought we'd actually go through with it.

"That's a great little gun there," the other salesguy chimes in. "I'm giving one to my niece for her 21st birthday. She's a fine shot." I'm not sure whether he's boasting or poking fun at me - probably both. Apparently, I'm holding a girl's gun.

"Guns are great to have around," he continues. "Just like seat belts and fire extinguishers - you don't know when you're going to need one, but when there's an intruder in my house I'll be glad to have it." I look around and watch a dozen or so gun-toting, plaid-wearing bearded guys nod in agreement. I decide now's not the time to mention that children can't accidentally kill themselves by playing with seat belts and a fire can't steal your fire extinguisher and use it against you.

Having completed my eight-second firearm tutorial, I don my safety goggles and large red earmuffs and head for the shooting range. Carefully cradling my pistol and a box of 50 .38 Specials to my chest, I ease my way down to lane number six. Every few seconds I violently twitch as another gun is fired; even with ear protection the noise is deafening. I'll be glad to get out of here without soiling my undergarments.

I take my target - a large off-white sheet featuring a potential intruder's head and torso - and clip it to the metal pole above me. A flick of a switch sends it flying backward into space. I load my pistol and take aim, briefly wondering how much it hurts to accidentally shoot oneself in the foot.

I squeeze off shot after shot, jumping at the sound of each one. Some people feel powerful with a pistol in their hand; I feel terror. I reload rapidly, hoping I run out of rounds before I run out of luck and end up with nine fingers.

It's not until I leave that I relax enough to take a look at my target. Though I aimed at my intruder's heart on every shot, most sailed wide, past his right shoulder. When I find an intruder in my house, I'll just throw a fire extinguisher at him.

BILL ZUCK, a former Foxboro resident, is relieved to still have all of his digits. You can reach him at wcz78@yahoo.com.



Bonds just hit 756 as I published

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john1911
August 8, 2007, 12:08 AM
That's what happens when children are raised fearing guns. I believe most of the next generation will actually wet themselves seeing a picture of a gun.

Deer Hunter
August 8, 2007, 12:09 AM
Not exactly high road, but I could easily call him a close-minded panzy.

Shadowangel
August 8, 2007, 12:10 AM
I like how he acts as if an "8 second firearm tutorial" is the norm. Nice that he didn't pay for actual instruction for his first time. I didn't either, but I didn't complain afterwards about being afraid of shooting myself or not hitting my target well.

Bezoar
August 8, 2007, 12:12 AM
Im not getting the point of the article in question. Its kinda funny that he thinks he is stupid enough to shoot himself with the cylinder fully opened. Or that he thinks a 357 is a womans only gun because a salseman syas his neice shoots one well.

Thain
August 8, 2007, 12:30 AM
THAIN: Have Harley, will tremble

A weekend in Las Vegas! The lights, the casinos, the shows, the glitz, the noise, the - motorcycless?

"This here's the easiest to start with. It's got less vroom so it's easier to control."

Into my hand he plops the keys to a Harley-Davidson Sportster and I stradle the seat. It's only the second time in my life I've actually touched a motorcycle (the first being a ride on my Uncle's dirt bike during a camping trip). My hand slips under the suprisign weight of the machine as I try to stand it upright. He chuckles. What am I doing here?

It's Saturday afternoon, and having lost too much money all too quickly at the poker tables, my buddy and I are seeking refuge from the dry Nevada heat at a motorcycle dealership a few miles off the Strip. We can't remember whose idea it was, but neither of us thought we'd actually go through with it.

"That's a great little bike there," the other salesguy chimes in. "I'm giving one to my wife for our tenth anniversary. She's a fine rider." I'm not sure whether he's boasting or poking fun at me - probably both. Apparently, I'm sitting on a girl's bike.

"Bikes are a great to get around," he continues. "Just like sports cars - only with way better milage and lot more fun." I look around and watch a dozen or so helmet-toting, leather-wearing bearded guys nod in agreement. I decide now's not the time to mention that a sports car has seat belts, airbags, and isn't going to eject you a half mile down the road if you get hit...

Having completed my eight-second motorcycle tutorial, I don my safety goggles and large red helmet and head for the open road....

:barf::barf::barf:

Durby
August 8, 2007, 12:39 AM
My girlfriend admitted to being scared of the indoor range in our town. It is not in the best neighborhood, and she did not like the idea of shooting a gun inside. She has been to an outdoor rage though. So I brought her in the other day, to buy some Hogue Grips for a newly acquired revolver, and her first comment was "wow, this place is pretty neat, I'll come shoot here with you sometime" It is amazing how worked up the author got, but a closed mind is hard to reason with.

.cheese.
August 8, 2007, 01:22 AM
I was scared the first time I shot a handgun (I rented a 642). Mainly I was scared it would blow up in my hands when I pulled the trigger.

Oddly 15 guns into my collection later and that hasn't happened. Although KB's do happen, or so I hear.

Rugerman99
August 8, 2007, 01:34 AM
OK so not the high road but it sounds like somebody needs to grow a pair.
My question if he didn't feel safe why didn't he just leave? I'm not saying theirs something wrong with being afraid of a gun but it sounds to me like he was just looking for an opportunity to stereotype gun owners and then bash them. IMHO

Gord
August 8, 2007, 01:39 AM
I have to ask his own question again: why was he there?

He didn't ask, presumably, for any further instruction. He can't stand holding a gun, hearing gunshots or shooting at something vaguely human-shaped.

If you want to "escape from the heat" you go into a diner and order some iced tea. Sounds like somebody was just trolling for material for an anti-gun diatribe. :rolleyes:

Agouti
August 8, 2007, 02:10 AM
"I read your article and was both amused and saddened by it.

I think my impression of being handed a firearm is a bit different from the norm as well. However, instead of being fearful of them, I'd smile like a small child handed a PSP.

And no, the .357 is by no means a woman's cartridge. In fact, I'd consider it one of the manliest cartridges around.

Also, I'd never recommend an indoor range to a beginner, nor a pistol. My first firearm experience was a shotgun, followed by a .22 lr rifle (a small, low-powered rifle, typically used in taking squirrels, rabbits, and the like), in the same day. However, I shoot a .32 ACP pistol, a small thing with rather violent recoil (due to the fact that the pistol itself is rather light). Pistols, as a general rule of thumb, have heavier recoil -due to lighter size, and due to the shorter distance between the front and rear sights, are more prone to be off center if a user flinches.

I'd recommend you try this again, outdoors, with a .22 rifle. Firing at paper is never any fun either (it's just used to see how good of a shot one is) -place clay pigeons out in the field (they shatter and send quite a bit of dust into the air), or put a can out in front of you on the ground, and see how long you can keep it spinning.

Of course, I had the most fun shooting at the end of one school year, several years ago, when my sister brought home a small fort my father and her worked on for a school project. While we've never done this again, we all took turns firing at it with his pellet gun. Of course, video games did not yet have ragdoll physics, or other realistic effects, and shooting small lead pellets at the classic Popsicle stick fort was a real treat. It had several buildings in it, and as we launched the lead pellets at them, the wood splintered fantastically, as though it was being fired upon by miniature artillery shells."


I replied with this.

Gord
August 8, 2007, 04:01 AM
Penned a reply of my own. With any luck, he's open to the concept that not all gun owners are plaid-wrapped, bearded rednecks.

I pointed him towards THR; maybe he'll register and we can have a bit of civil discourse on the matter. Simple ignorance can be cured - to most of us, safety and responsibility matter. :)

mjrodney
August 8, 2007, 04:41 AM
There are folks who will never see the need for a firearm.

And that's ok. It's their choice.

Just as long as their choice has no effect on my choice.

Gord
August 8, 2007, 05:44 AM
I guess that's your prerogative, but I should think that we'd do better to be civil than to give him reason to write us off.

Maybe a good range experience would change his mind a little bit, or at least help with understanding our point of view.

But, yeah, the whole "kill all the blue helmets"/"from my cold dead hands" crap works too.

jeepmor
August 8, 2007, 05:52 AM
Sounds like typical anti journalist blather. Never did he mention that if his finger or foot ended up with a hole in it who would be responsible for said hole.

tydephan
August 8, 2007, 09:13 AM
I wrote him a letter and cc'd it to his editor. I'm not going to post it here, as it was not even a little bit high road.

While your proactive attitude is greatly appreciated, writing things that don't adhere to the "high road" standards do a great injustice to our cause. They only serve as reinforcement to this guy's view of us.

This guy is not a lost hope. He showed some open-mindedness by actually going to shoot. Too bad we don't have a member in his area that is willing to go to the range with him and give him proper instructions.

springmom
August 8, 2007, 09:31 AM
Tydephan is correct. He's not a lost cause. He was a first time shooter (Boy Scout camp doesn't count, sorry) who was given a gun far too strong for a first time shooter and given minimal help with it and sent out to shoot. And you macho men think he should have just grown a pair and had a great time with it????

Had the guy behind the counter had as much between his ears as you guys want the writer to have, um, in his equippage, he would have given the guy some instruction. He would probably have started him on a .22 (you all DO remember that this is the best round for a new shooter, right?) He would have shown him how to shoot. He would have given him double ear protection (check out the poll on this topic elsewhere on GGD...most of us do use double ears when we shoot, especially an indoor range).

But no, he did none of those things, and the guy, who is nervous and who is developing a flinch before he even gets to his shooting station, wants to just get it over with.

Is that what you want a new shooter to experience? Or do you you all just not care, since he apparently wasn't "man enough" to have a grand time the first time with no help, no teaching, no nothing?

This is about as high road as the bottom of my sink drain. Gag me.

Springmom

romma
August 8, 2007, 09:41 AM
I'll be glad to get out of here without soiling my undergarments.


Notice the author doesn't update his statement post haste...

I wonder?? :rolleyes:

springmom
August 8, 2007, 10:09 AM
Even if he did have a bad experience, even if it scared him half to death, what happened to "being a man?" Something scares you, so you whimper and whine about it? Hell, My wife didn't cry this hard the first time I took her shooting!

He's responsible for the next generation of limp-wrist pansies that we're currently fostering.

Spare me the testosterone flood.

He's a WRITER. Writers WRITE. He was relating an experience. What he needs is for somebody to take him out and show him how to do this, and get him started right.

ISTM that if anybody's responsible for turning him away from guns (your last phrase is disgusting) it's the guys that set up a new shooter with too much gun.

BTW, for the record, shooting big bores has nothing to do with the male anatomy. I do just fine with my .44 mag, thanks. It has to do with learning with smaller calibers and working up.

Springmom

Justin
August 8, 2007, 10:26 AM
OK, listen up!

I've already deleted a number of utterly content-free posts from people who obviously get spittle all over their monitors when they type.

The stupidity, name calling, and general moronitude stops right now or the thread gets locked.

Some of you need to learn either a touch of decorum, or when it's better to keep your fingers off the keyboard.


Thanks.

Rey B
August 8, 2007, 10:27 AM
Although the pistol was a .357 magnum he was shooting .38 specials. Yes a .22 would have less recoil but not by much. He used every means at his disposal to paint the people in the gun shop as backwards rednecks and repeatedly indicated how intimidated he was by the whole thing while never once asking for help. If he had posted this screed online he would be dismissed as a troll, but since it made it to a newspaper we should take it more seriously and maybe feel a little sorry for him? Sorry no can do.

alex_trebek
August 8, 2007, 10:32 AM
I am not afraid of responsible private citizens owning and shooting guns. I am not of afraid of any gun that i can think of.

I personally am very alarmed by a person who doesnt know how to handle and firearm, let alone safely shoot it, shooting at a range where bystanders might be harmed. If this man was so afraid of firearms, why did he go to the range in the first place? He clearly didnt bother to really learn a single thing about the subject. He shouldnt of bothered in the first place.

I agree with Rey B. He would/should be considered trolling, and treated with the same regard.

I only respect those that try to help themselves, no one should pay attention to the author.

FullEffect1911
August 8, 2007, 10:43 AM
metaphorically anyway. If we try to change his mind from a calm and civil way we no longer paint ourselves in his mind as backwoods plaid wearing hicks, but as intelligent people just like him (or at least how he perceives himself). If someone came at me half cocked screaming and yelling about how I'm wrong I would immediately just figure that person was wrong, albeit passionate, about what they were saying and not worth even listening to.

It serves our cause better to try and include the non believers rather then shun them. I would rather have a friend and ally rather then another enemy. This really only applies to those who are capable of at least having an open mind on the subject, those who have already made up their mind that guns are evil and should be shot to the sun are beyond repair. This individual having willingly gone to a shooting range is not that far gone.

just my two pennies.

Justin
August 8, 2007, 10:44 AM
Rey B, Where did I ask you to feel sorry for him?

Would you please copy and paste that bit of my post for the rest of us to read?

All I asked for was a thread that didn't look like it was penned by the stereotypes that the original author so blindly indulges in.

strat81
August 8, 2007, 10:46 AM
I'm incredibly afraid of snakes. Hate 'em. Always have, always will. However, I have no intentions of going to the House of Reptiles at the local zoo, jumping in the snake pit, then writing a story about how traumatic it was.

38 Specials are relatively mild. The fear displayed by the this writer was over the top. What are the estimates on guns and gun ownership in the US? Something like 80 million owners and 300 million guns? Obviously it's not as scary as some people make it out to be.

springmom
August 8, 2007, 10:50 AM
I personally am very alarmed by a person who doesnt know how to handle and firearm, let alone safely shoot it, shooting at a range where bystanders might be harmed. If this man was so afraid of firearms, why did he go to the range in the first place? He clearly didnt bother to really learn a single thing about the subject. He shouldnt of bothered in the first place.


Alex:

NONE of us was born knowing about firearms. MANY of us did not have the opportunity to grow up around them. Those who have not done so, frequently have a fear reaction the first time they're at a range. It's LOUD. The concussion waves from multiple big bore guns can be really weird the first time you feel them. So he was afraid. So what? He went. He tried it. That is a good thing.

He didn't bother to learn???? Last time I checked, most of us, learning something new, needed a teacher, a guide, a coach. Something. It would have been better if he'd gone for a lesson for his first time out, but he didn't. And a range that rents guns is going to serve the RKBA cause best if they HELP new shooters, rather than just turning them loose.

A troll is one who comes in and stirs the antpile with a stick and runs off. This is an editorial written by a guy who was nervous about guns and is now really afraid of them. There is a difference.

This guy could have been become a gun nut like the rest of us had he but been given a better experience with it. You just don't turn a new person loose with no help, and with no training.


Although the pistol was a .357 magnum he was shooting .38 specials. Yes a .22 would have less recoil but not by much.

Rey:

Weeeelllll.... there are .38 rounds and then there are .38 rounds. If what he got was some +P stuff instead of wadcutters, that could make a new shooter uncomfortable. I have a 66-3 that I shoot .38's out of regularly, and the +P stuff is quite a lot more noticeable than the milder loads, even in that gun. I grant you, .38's in a .357 might seem like no big deal to us, but then we know how to grip the gun, how to stand, and know what to expect.

A new shooter has none of those advantages. Best to start with a .22 for the first time, and he didn't get to.

Of course, I wouldn't pick an indoor range for a new shooter either....

Point is, the guy is not trolling, he's not a [insert favorite insult here], he was a new shooter that was real nervous and went to a range for the first time anyway. And now he's confirmed in his fears and writing about them.

That is not good for us, guys. It could have been different.

Springmom

tydephan
August 8, 2007, 10:52 AM
Jiminy Cricket people...

The guy went to a range. Obviously something about shooting a gun seemed appealing to him.

He was handed a big revolver instead of a .22.

He was given an extremely brief "shoot that way" speech by the RO.

He wasn't supervised.

No one gave advice.

Is it possible that maybe the RO had a little to do with this whole situation? Maybe it wasn't just the problem of the "close-minded wimpy journalist?"

The first time I went to an indoor range (I brought my own gun), the RO asked me my experience level, gave me a thorough briefing, then stood behind me for a good 20 minutes to answer questions and offer not only safety guidance, but shooting guidance. I think he was able to watch me physically relax and settle into a safe shooting routine. Granted, it wasn't my first time shooting, but it was my first time in an indoor range.

Do you think he would have written his editorial had he had the same RO that I had?

Blackbeard
August 8, 2007, 10:52 AM
My response:

Dear Mr. Zuck,

I’m sure you’ve gotten a lot of hate mail in response to your editorial on the trip to the gun club. We gun owners can be a feisty lot if we perceive that someone wants to take away our rights. I’m sure you can understand how that might upset us. Let me apologize for any personal insults or threats that came your way from my fellow owners. Understand they don’t represent the majority.

I’m disappointed that you didn’t enjoy your first trip to the gun range. I know it can be a frightening thing being handed a powerful tool with no instruction. I’d be soiling myself too if someone strapped me into a hang glider and told me to jump off a cliff. I highly recommend you sign up for the NRA basic handgun safety course. I took the course as my introduction to firearms and it may allay some of your fears. It is a ten hour course over four days – much more than the “8 minute tutorial” that you got at your range. Knowledge dispels fear.

As far as guns being dangerous to have in the house, I believe they are no more dangerous than any number of other things in a typical house (cleaning chemicals, power tools, etc.). Responsible parents childproof their homes against these sorts of dangers and teach their children how to use them when they’re old enough. It is no different with firearms. No one has ever been killed with a locked gun, and never will be.

springmom
August 8, 2007, 10:56 AM
And here's mine:

Hello:

I am really sorry to read that you had such a miserable experience at the shooting range you all went to. I’m a 52 year old mom of four who shoots pistols and revolvers, shotguns and rifles, and I wanted to write and tell you that you had the bad time you did for reasons not at all related to YOU.

Well, mostly not related to you.

Did you tell the guy you were a new shooter? (Childhood doesn’t count unless you did it all the time J) If he knew that, he should have started you with a .22lr pistol or revolver. NO recoil. TINY noise. Tons of fun. Second, what kind of ears were you wearing? “Ears” means hearing protection. Most of us who shoot regularly wear “double ears”…that is, we wear foam plugs inside our ears AND a set of muffs designed for shooting over our ears. If you do that, you’ll have a much easier time. Now, granted, there are guns whose concussion wave you will feel anyway (big bore guns, or very, very fast-moving rounds from smaller guns). But you were talking about noise, and you can deal with noise.

Finally, you should have someone to show you HOW to shoot. Would you go drive a car the first time without someone teaching you? (With or without seat belts, LOL). An experienced shooter could have answered questions, allayed concerns, and shown you how to shoot accurately.

If you’re ever down in the Houston area, please email me. My husband and I would be pleased to take you out and let you shoot our pistols or rifles or whatever you’d like. And I don’t think you’ll end up unhappy at the end of the day.



I hope he tries it again, with someone who can help.

Springmom

Correia
August 8, 2007, 11:20 AM
I'm glad to see letters like the last few posted.

Good work.

And for some of you, grow the hell up. I've shot guns that have a good chance of detaching retinas. :scrutiny: Doesn't make me a "manly man" like the rest of you he-men who were born knowing how to run a .500 S&W in each hand.

A new shooter had a lousy experience because he wasn't taught what to do. That isn't something to glory in. That is a loss for our side. And when that person is a writer with an audience, it is an even greater loss.

Some of the comments Justin edited were downright embarrasing for the gun culture.

It is our job to teach. Not mock people who aren't as cool as us. This ain't high school, this is a culture war. Now act like it.

ArfinGreebly
August 8, 2007, 11:26 AM
Has anyone had a reply from this guy?

You know, it's a shame he went to that range.

There's another range, not all that far from Las Vegas, where they roll out the red carpet for members of the press. Pamper them, actually.

If this fella is likely to make another trip out to Vegas, I can recommend at least two ranges that will yield better results.

I don't know the name of one of them. I'd have to ask the instructor. He's a guy I used to work with.

Walking into a range, cold, and expecting to get any kind of real orientation . . . bit of a crap shoot.

glummer
August 8, 2007, 11:36 AM
I sent him this:

We can't remember whose idea it was, but neither of us thought we'd actually go through with it.
You sound like a 10-year-old running through a cemetery. And it is not very believable that you don’t know how you got there. “Seeking refuge from the heat.” Childish, affected, nonsense.

Apparently, I'm holding a girl's gun.
The .357 was, for decades, the most powerful handgun in the world. It is not a “girl’s gun” – it was originally developed for Highway Patrolmen and hunters. When firing .38 Special target loads, in a full-size revolver however, anyone who is not physically handicapped can shoot it without suffering from the recoil.

… children can't accidentally kill themselves by playing with seat belts …
Of course they can. That’s why child seats were invented. Regular seat belts are dangerous for small children – they can strangle.

… a fire can't steal your fire extinguisher and use it against you …
A criminal is very unlikely to successfully take a gun away from a person who is competent to use it. And by competence, I mean that level equivalent to what is required to drive a car (do you drive?) The “he will take it from you and hurt you with it” argument is absurd propaganda. In reality it is virtually unheard of.

… even with ear protection the noise is deafening.
That should not be the case, with well fitting muffs. Did you have trouble getting the muffs to seat well over the safety glasses? That is a common problem, and the reason many people use ear plugs instead, or in addition.

When I find an intruder in my house, I'll just throw a fire extinguisher at him.
Ironically unfunny, considering your previous remark about fire extinguishers. In the real world, he probably would “use it against you” – either throw it back, or beat you to death with it.

I'll be glad to get out of here without soiling my undergarments.
I violently twitch as another gun is fired
… wondering how much it hurts to accidentally shoot oneself in the foot.
… jumping at the sound of each one.
I feel terror.
… before I run out of luck and end up with nine fingers.
Did you feel the same sort of thing when you learned to drive?
Who is your target audience? Do you think your readers really enjoy such a silly, childish, emphasis on your emotional inadequacies?


(Thain, great transmogrification! Did you send it to him?)

romma
August 8, 2007, 11:49 AM
Um, I have fired .38 special rounds in one of those light scandium framed revolvers by Smith and Wesson, and the recoil was as sharp as any I have felt.

springmom
August 8, 2007, 11:57 AM
Yup. It is. I have a m37 airweight and when I run +P's though it it is NOT pleasant. I do it, not because I have a masochistic tendency (maybe I do, I'm still posting on this thread.... :neener:) but because I frequently carry that J frame and need to keep my skills up with the ammo I'll shoot if I ever really need it.

But that doesn't make it a picnic.

We are PRESUMING he got a full size revolver. Maybe he didn't. Maybe he got +P's in a K frame and didn't know how to hold the thing and so got the full effect of the recoil.

Either way, Correia is right. When we see a first timer go away thinking "I'll never do that again" we have lost. We cannot, in this culture war, AFFORD to lose even one person like this. I hope he tries it again, with someone that will teach him and get him to enjoying this great hobby.

Springmom

damien
August 8, 2007, 12:05 PM
Um, I have fired .38 special rounds in one of those light scandium framed revolvers by Smith and Wesson, and the recoil was as sharp as any I have felt.

Then try a .357 in the same revolver for a whole new level of "recoil was as sharp as any I have felt". :D

DogBonz
August 8, 2007, 12:05 PM
The guy went to a range. Obviously something about shooting a gun seemed appealing to him.

Even if nothing appealed to him, he did go to a range, which is 10 times further then 99% of anti’s will go. Anyone with the slightest bit an open mind could have walked away with a positive (or neutral at worst) experience if they are instructed properly. I bet if this guy was instructed properly and the right steps were taken that at worst he would have left thinking that while shooting was not right for him, that we are not the nut-job, Elmer Fudd Looking hicks that has become the anti’s image of anyone who shoots. If his account is even 50% accurate then the folks who own that range did none of us any favors.

Thoughts:

Always give a new shooter a safety “lecture” and if possible a tutorial on how the gun that they are going to shoot works and functions. This will calm most of their fears about the gun it’s self.

Always start new shooters out with a heavy 22 (Ruger Mk series, 22/45, etc). Not only is recoil lower, but so is the noise and muzzle flash.

Always give a new shooter ear plugs and muffs.

Always let a new shooter stand around and watch and listen for a while before shooting. This allows them to get used to the noise and the concussive effect of shooting indoors.

Big Calhoun
August 8, 2007, 12:12 PM
He was handed a big revolver instead of a .22.

This is what stuck out to me upon reading the article. Just seems like the weapon chosen wasn't the best for a first time run. The range where I shoot at will ask newbies if they've ever fired a gun before and they will suggest a smaller caliber so newbies can get their feet wet.

Thinking of my own situation with the wife, I did not start her out on a .40 or .45 because dryfiring the .40 with snap-caps, she flinched constantly and dang near dropped the pistol. Yet, it was hard to ignore the lil smiles she let loose at her first 'working' time at the range as she let .22s fly.

IMO, the original author experienced 'baptism by fire'....no pun intended.

Blackbeard
August 8, 2007, 12:17 PM
Always always ALWAYS keep it high road when dealing with the press, or anyone else for that matter. Don't talk down to them and don't insult them. Don't try to impress them with a lot of gun jargon. He doesn't know what a .22LR is. For all he knows its one of the calibers used in the VT massacre. They know zip about firearms and ignorance leads to fear. At the risk of sounding like Yoda, fear leads to hate and hate leads to losing our rights.

Empathize and educate, my friends.

fletcher
August 8, 2007, 12:40 PM
I decide now's not the time to mention that children can't accidentally kill themselves by playing with seat belts and a fire can't steal your fire extinguisher and use it against you.

But kids strangle themselves with balloon ribbon, rope, string, and a variety of other things. A criminal won't steal your gun and use it against you if you use it properly.

alex_trebek
August 8, 2007, 12:43 PM
NONE of us was born knowing about firearms. MANY of us did not have the opportunity to grow up around them. Those who have not done so, frequently have a fear reaction the first time they're at a range. It's LOUD. The concussion waves from multiple big bore guns can be really weird the first time you feel them. So he was afraid. So what? He went. He tried it. That is a good thing.

He didn't bother to learn???? Last time I checked, most of us, learning something new, needed a teacher, a guide, a coach. Something. It would have been better if he'd gone for a lesson for his first time out, but he didn't. And a range that rents guns is going to serve the RKBA cause best if they HELP new shooters, rather than just turning them loose.

A troll is one who comes in and stirs the antpile with a stick and runs off. This is an editorial written by a guy who was nervous about guns and is now really afraid of them. There is a difference.

This guy could have been become a gun nut like the rest of us had he but been given a better experience with it. You just don't turn a new person loose with no help, and with no training.


I agree with the no training part. However as an adult it was his responsibility to ask for this help, yes the other people in the shop could of been more accomodating. This story will not help the RKBA cause, because this is an example of someone who dared to touch the dangerous gun and came away even more scared and ridiculed to boot. Also the entire article attempts to paint gun owners as the cliche rednecks (nothing against rednecks at all, just trying to convey the viewpoint of many antis).

The part that scares me about people who are new to firearms is what was illustrated as he described shooting the gun. He mentioned that while he was attempting to aim mid-center he was hitting the shoulder of the silhouette. The fact that he didnt notice this until he exhausted all of his ammuntion, shows that he may not of been paying close attention to what he was shooting. The image that popped in my mind was that of someone shooting with their eyes closed. The idea of someone doing that next to me at a range does indeed worry me, as i imagine it would most people. I know he didnt say he had his eyes closed, just that it was remeniscent of someone who does.

Also if he was violating this safety rule, who knows what else he was violating. I am not claiming that he should of known better, just that ignorance+gun+fear-experience-instruction=dangerous.

I still say he didnt bother to learn. Sometimes you can learn more about observation than you can from someone telling you something. This difference is especially true with me. I know I learn better by watching, and then mimicking. Obviously there were people there shooting because of the sounds he mentioned. This type of quiet observation would easily be assumed to be interest in that particular firearm.

I have taken girlfriends to the range before, only when such an interest was expressed. One in particular fired a .22 rifle twice, set the rifle down with the bolt back pointing down range, and said she had enough. That was all this guy had to do, if he didnt like or was scared.

As for the troll issue, the connection is looser than i made it out to be, you are correct springmom.

springmom
August 8, 2007, 01:04 PM
This story will not help the RKBA cause, because this is an example of someone who dared to touch the dangerous gun and came away even more scared and ridiculed to boot. Also the entire article attempts to paint gun owners as the cliche rednecks (nothing against rednecks at all, just trying to convey the viewpoint of many antis).

Agreed, on both points. Of course, maybe they were cliche rednecks, but that's not the point :D

He mentioned that while he was attempting to aim mid-center he was hitting the shoulder of the silhouette. The fact that he didnt notice this until he exhausted all of his ammuntion, shows that he may not of been paying close attention to what he was shooting.

Interesting point. Sometimes I find it hard to see exactly where I've shot if I'm shooting from 15+ yards too. Wonder how far away he had his target hung? If it was 20 yards or so, in an indoor range, could just be the lighting. Especially if he didn't use those black and green target stick ons that help you see better (which I expect he didn't). Hm.

I still say he didnt bother to learn. Sometimes you can learn more about observation than you can from someone telling you something. This difference is especially true with me. I know I learn better by watching, and then mimicking. Obviously there were people there shooting because of the sounds he mentioned. This type of quiet observation would easily be assumed to be interest in that particular firearm.


He could have approached it a lot smarter, I agree. Sounds like it was a spur of the moment thing, and that's ok. I wish more nonshooters would think of a day at the range as a spur of the moment thing. I just hope that if they do, they get some guidance and help. This may be a lesson to those who run ranges to be proactive with folks who are new, and for those of us who see new folks at the range near us, to volunteer some help and time.

Springmom

hankdatank1362
August 8, 2007, 01:05 PM
Awww shucks......


Hate when I'm wrong. But you guys are starting to make a lot more sense. Esp. Springmom. I don't know... I his irrational fear of guns in no different than my irrational fear of heights. My apologies to everyone if I came off like a club-toting caveman.

I'd recant my first post on the subject, but it has already been deleted. Thanx.

tydephan
August 8, 2007, 01:06 PM
This may be a lesson to those who run ranges to be proactive with folks who are new, and for those of us who see new folks at the range near us, to volunteer some help and time.

And that's it, in a nutshell. Well said.

The dude should have asked for help...but then again, he shouldn't have had to.

Hate when I'm wrong. But you guys are starting to make a lot more sense.
No problem man. We are all here to learn and absorb other's viewpoints. But most importantly, I think most of us are here to learn how to help the cause.

Nolo
August 8, 2007, 01:16 PM
I decided to write the poor guy:
I might ask you why you even went to that range at all. I'm not what you would consider a gunny, not in experience, anyway. I've shot, maybe three different kinds of guns, five at the most, so I'm not that experienced. You shot a gun in Boy Scouts once? I'm a Boy Scout, of 16, and I thought it was curious why they included such activities as Rifle and Shotgun merit badges when they wouldn't include something like Karate or Paintball. I got an answer:
Guns aren't designed to kill people.
It's that simple. Boy Scouts don't have a Hunting Merit Badge (okay, now they do, but it's with cameras, and you "shoot" by taking a picture), they don't have a Paintball Merit Badge, they don't have a Karate Merit Badge, and they don't have a Self-Defence Merit Badge. Why? Are Boy Scouts against killing people? No. They do it because the BSA is responsible, at least in a small part, for the raising of these kids. The experiences that kids have at Boy Scouts will live with them throughout their lives. But they do have shooting. Why? In Boy Scouts, the targets are simple circles. You are not allowed in BS to shoot at a man-shaped target. I once (2002-ish) wanted to shoot at a target with Osama drawn on it. Whey wouldn't let me. So I took one of my good targets and drew Osama on it anyway. I was young and there was alot of that sort of thing going around at the time, being just after 9/11. The point is, the BSA allows shooting because it is a good, fun activity, and it teaches discipline, care, and prudence. I wouldn't be half the man I am today if it weren't for my excellent rangemaster in my Rifle Merit Badge class.
"This here's the easiest to start with. It's got less kick so it's easier to control."
A .357 magnum revolver is easy to control. He loaded it with .38 Special rounds (which are the weakest loads for that weapon, often used by anyone getting accustomed to firearms), so he was being courteous to you. He didn't hand you the biggest .50 AE Desert Eagle that the range had just so that he could laugh at you. The one guy wasn't saying that his niece could shoot it because he wanted to feel like he had a bigger cock than you, he said it because you were obviously scared. You'd only touched a gun once before, and it showed. It always does. I've seen many people go to a range and pick up a weapon with so much trepidation, you'd have thought that they were being asked to wrestle a lion. I'd also like to poitn out that you didn't ask for any other range instruction. They probably didn't want to make you feel any more uncomfortable that you already were. If you'd asked, I know I'd have given it to you, and I'd be shocked if they wouldn't have.
"I decide now's not the time to mention that children can't accidentally kill themselves by playing with seat belts and a fire can't steal your fire extinguisher and use it against you."
That's where you're wrong.
When improperly educated about the correct use of a seatbelt, a child can often strangle his/her self by slipping down and catching his/her neck on the shoulder restraint. Just like accidents with firearms, they both stem from parental neglect and error. Both are preventable, nigh eliminatable, with good parenting.
As for the "stealing a gun and using it against you", honestly, if your family, friends or anyone else were in direct danger and you had a firearm, would you be so... incompetent to let them take that weapon from you? I wouldn't, and I'm not some 300-pound bodyguard. Also, what criminal do you know who is so stupid as to attempt to? Their life is in direct danger, all they really care about is their life, chances escalate if they attempt that sort of stunt, so the only conclusion that I can come up with is that they would back off.
As for the noise level, yep, guns are loud. Very loud. That's why I want my government to make it much, much easier to get suppressors. You know that they take a $200 tax to get right now? That's ridiculous. You want to save your ears? Push for better suppressor legislation.
"Some people feel powerful with a pistol in their hand; I feel terror."
Well, that's your problem, isn't it? A gun is not the One Ring, my friend. It is not a slithering rattlesnake, intent on pumping your heart with venom. It is a carefully shaped piece of metal, wood, plastic, and smokeless powder, designed to push another piece of metal forward at high speed. Nothing more. The intent, the heroism or evil, comes from the person behind it. Do not feel terror, feel whatever you are feeling at the time. I feel enjoyment, because shooting is enjoyable to me.
As for running out of luck before running out of fingers, if you had bothered to ask the rangemaster for further instruction, you might not be so jittery and thus more likely to accidentally shoot yourself or someone else.
Why didn't you hit your target? You jumped. You were scared of the gun, and you can't hit crap if you are scared of your weapon. Guns are effective, but only as effective as the individual behind them, your story proves that admirably.
May you never find yourself in a situation dire, or as a witness to such.
Best wishes,
-Nate
p.s.
Don't mind the "fidelcastro" tag, it's an inside joke, about a jacket of mine.

Some of what I said is put a little funny, but I think it helped make my point.

springmom
August 8, 2007, 01:26 PM
My apologies to everyone if I came off like a club-toting caveman.

And once again, we need an applause smiley. Thank you for that. ;)

Nolo, that was a good letter. Don't be real surprised if Art's Grammaw visits one sentence there in the middle, but the gist of what you had to say was fine.

It'll be interesting to see if he answers any of us.

Springmom

Werewolf
August 8, 2007, 01:29 PM
A new shooter had a lousy experience because he wasn't taught what to do. That isn't something to glory in. That is a loss for our side. And when that person is a writer with an audience, it is an even greater loss.
The issue isn't that the author had a bad experience; the real issue is the tone/slant he chose to use to relate that bad experience.

The guy who wrote that article had an agenda and that agenda was to instill the fear of firearms into the hearts of each and every one of his readers who has never handled or shot a firearm themselves.

Good thing for us that our grandfathers who fought in WWII weren't as afraid of inanimate objects as the article's author.

SaMx
August 8, 2007, 01:35 PM
I really think everyone is to blame.
for all we know the guy was shooting an airweight snubby with +P self defense rounds. He probably picked a small gun because he assumed it would be less powerful.
And for all we know, the guys at the range just assumed he knew what he was doing. He came in and rented a pistol. If he had given any indication that he was new someone probably would have given him something more appropriate, and made sure he knew the four rules.

Still, the guy did write an overly dramatic account of his experience, but hey, he's trying to sell papers, not tell the plain truth.

ServiceSoon
August 8, 2007, 01:47 PM
I was a little skirmish the first few range sessions, as was I a little skirmish the first few times I drove a car on public highways. What is his point?

coyote_jr
August 8, 2007, 01:47 PM
Some of you are getting a little to touchy feely on this one. This guy wrote a very juvenile article, loaded with negative stereotypes, and generally portraying our whole culture as ridiculous. Even the title of his article "Have gun, will tremble" basically translates, especially to his readers (if any) as guns=fear. That's the whole premise of his article and that is not fair to our side. He is scared of firearms and he projects his fear, as most antigun advocates typically do, to equate with the idea of the whole gun culture must be about living in fear.

So before we all run out and fall over ourselves to help him shoot a .22, realize that this guy is a dyed-in-the-wool anti, looking down his nose at us with the rest of the elitist media.

I look around and watch a dozen or so gun-toting, plaid-wearing bearded guys nod in agreement.

Gun toting. Plaid wearing. Bearded guys. As if that's what every single gun owner or person at a gun range looks like. Why didn't he just write, "I look around and watch a dozen or so gentlemen nod in agreement." I'll tell you why not, he is trying to advance the stereotype. "Remember people (these would be his readers) gun owners are big burly men in plaid that don't speak but rather just collectively respond with a nod, much like apes."

I decide now's not the time to mention that children can't accidentally kill themselves by playing with seat belts and a fire can't steal your fire extinguisher and use it against you.

Which translates to: "I am smarter than you. I know more than you. I know that guns are dangerous and you don't. The progressive, elitist, civilized world is leaving you behind but since I'm the lone representative of that group in your store I won't risk my own safety to inform you." This guy is smug and his writing here clearly demonstrates he didn't go into the range looking to be introduced to something new. He came with biases and prejudicies. He reinforces stereotypes and explains his self righteous, holier than thou attitude through well worn false analogies.

When I find an intruder in my house, I'll just throw a fire extinguisher at him.


"Remember readers, I'm no good with a firearm, you won't be either, so don't bother. Remember, guns=fear. Guns do not make you safe. They are loud, the people that own them are neaderthals from a bygone era who don't like you, they won't protect you because you won't hit what you are aiming at, rather you'll more likely hit your own children."

Look at the area this paper serves. It's a MA rag, this guy knew what he was doing, and he is no fence sitter. Spend your time with the neighborhood kids instead. This one is gone.

Correia
August 8, 2007, 02:00 PM
Coyote, you very well may be right. But when Justin has to go through the first page of the thread and delete a bunch of posts that could have been written by a third grader, (most of them referred to panties, chest hair, "growing a pair" or other vauge references to genitals) it isn't exactly a constructive day for our side, if you get what I mean. :rolleyes:

coyote_jr
August 8, 2007, 02:03 PM
Correia, yes it cuts both ways I am sure.

Bazooka Joe71
August 8, 2007, 02:29 PM
Excellent post coyote...The guy does have a point though. I never head to the range without looking like Al Borelin.:rolleyes:

The guy is an anti through and through and nothing will ever change him....He's a sheep forever.






Not exactly high road, but I could easily call him a close-minded panzy.

Dear Hunter,

You said it, not me. :D

h0ss
August 8, 2007, 02:30 PM
I see my original post has been deleted as well. You are all right in the fact that it was not a high road post, and i would like to apologize for the comment i had made, however, it was my opinion, which i am allowed to have, but nonetheless, inappropriate for this board.

BUT, i still do not completely agree with all of those who are sympathizing with him, and i think glummer and coyotejr have explained what i summed up in my inappropriate comment.


Oringinally posted by glummer
I sent him this:

We can't remember whose idea it was, but neither of us thought we'd actually go through with it.
You sound like a 10-year-old running through a cemetery. And it is not very believable that you don’t know how you got there. “Seeking refuge from the heat.” Childish, affected, nonsense.

Apparently, I'm holding a girl's gun.
The .357 was, for decades, the most powerful handgun in the world. It is not a “girl’s gun” – it was originally developed for Highway Patrolmen and hunters. When firing .38 Special target loads, in a full-size revolver however, anyone who is not physically handicapped can shoot it without suffering from the recoil.

… children can't accidentally kill themselves by playing with seat belts …
Of course they can. That’s why child seats were invented. Regular seat belts are dangerous for small children – they can strangle.

… a fire can't steal your fire extinguisher and use it against you …
A criminal is very unlikely to successfully take a gun away from a person who is competent to use it. And by competence, I mean that level equivalent to what is required to drive a car (do you drive?) The “he will take it from you and hurt you with it” argument is absurd propaganda. In reality it is virtually unheard of.

… even with ear protection the noise is deafening.
That should not be the case, with well fitting muffs. Did you have trouble getting the muffs to seat well over the safety glasses? That is a common problem, and the reason many people use ear plugs instead, or in addition.

When I find an intruder in my house, I'll just throw a fire extinguisher at him.
Ironically unfunny, considering your previous remark about fire extinguishers. In the real world, he probably would “use it against you” – either throw it back, or beat you to death with it.

I'll be glad to get out of here without soiling my undergarments.
I violently twitch as another gun is fired
… wondering how much it hurts to accidentally shoot oneself in the foot.
… jumping at the sound of each one.
I feel terror.
… before I run out of luck and end up with nine fingers.
Did you feel the same sort of thing when you learned to drive?
Who is your target audience? Do you think your readers really enjoy such a silly, childish, emphasis on your emotional inadequacies?


I lost the bold accents of glummers post because i just copy/pasted it, but those are all the things about the article that disgusted me.

I firmly believe that the writer was extremely biased before even going to the range, and i do not believe by going to that range, that he had any intention to change his attitude.

BTW, i dont think most of the comments that were deleted were men banging their chests. The first pistol i ever shot was a .45, it was a big kick for a 13 year old, but it did not scare me or turn me off to guns. No i was not raised around guns either. It is only a hobby that ive gotten into (on my own) in the last 4 years as soon as i could purchase a handgun on my own. I believe that if he was truly interested in learning about or being open minded to the gun culture, the article would have been less insulting to gun enthusiests.

Again, please don't take this the wrong way, this is my opinion. Again, i apologize to any that may have been offended by my original post. :)

glummer
August 8, 2007, 02:32 PM
Correia
...(most of them referred to panties, chest hair, "growing a pair" or other vauge references to genitals) ...
I think you & Justin are right about the need-to-delete, but as a slight defense for those who reacted so intemperately, I would point out that the biggest stereotype in the article is not the plaid/beard/gunnies, but the author himself. He is almost a caricature – the sissified, limp-wristed, “girly-mon,” prancing with his “buddy” into that dreadful gun place, giggling to each other in delicious fear. I suspect that image accounts for a lot of the tone of the more low-road remarks.

vis-à-vis
August 8, 2007, 02:33 PM
*comment removed.

tydephan
August 8, 2007, 02:35 PM
What a sissy. lol.

This thread is now officially on life support.

Mr White
August 8, 2007, 02:38 PM
My reply to him:

Dear Mr Zuck,

I just read your column from the Sun Chronicle about your shooting adventure in Vegas. Someone posted it on a gun forum that I frequent, more as humor than anything else, I suppose.

The owner of that gun club was very wrong suggesting that a gun would be good for you to have around, mainly because you would most likely end up becoming a statistic; a statistic that would play very badly for gun owners; a statictic about the number of people who are killed after an intruder takes their gun from them. Without question, you would be better off calling the police, maybe grabbing a baseball bat or a golf club, hoping the guy coming up the stairs doesn't have anything better than that, and cowering in a corner waiting for help to arrive.

Some people aren't equipped, physically or mentally, to take responsibility for their own safety. Some people are better off if their safety is left to the pros. However, some of us don't see things that way. Some of us realize that evil does exist in the world and that the police won't always be there when that evil comes to call. Some of us believe that certain tools can overcome a physical disadvantage. Some of us will actually take the time to learn to use said tools, to train with those tools so that the first wolf through the door doesn't take them and kill us with them, and to prepare our minds for the moment we all hope never comes. Too many people take the view that the mere act of buying a gun will create an invulnerable shield around them, their homes and their families. This is simply not the case and is not a view held by responsible gun owners.

But you, sir, do not seem to be one of them.

If the wolf came to my door, I'd rather have my 10 year old son watching my back than you any day. At least he wouldn't be afraid of the tool in his hand.

*******
******, PA

minnesotashooter
August 8, 2007, 02:38 PM
Well, I think there is an easy target in Foxboro, MA. Hopefully he has a good alarm system and a good dog!!

h0ss
August 8, 2007, 02:40 PM
Careful, vis-a-vis, my first post was deleted for that exact same comment. Might want to edit it (or maybe you dont :)).

buzz_knox
August 8, 2007, 02:41 PM
Everyone is operating under the assumption that this incident really occurred. It's just as likely that the reporter made it up out of whole cloth just to push his agenda and give him something to write about.

glummer
August 8, 2007, 02:46 PM
b_k
... likely that the reporter made it up ...
Could be. Does Vegas serve as a symbol of gun-mania for MA antis?

DogBonz
August 8, 2007, 03:00 PM
BUT, i still do not completely agree with all of those who are sympathizing with him, and i think glummer and coyotejr have explained what i summed up in my inappropriate comment.


I think that most of us who are not calling this guy a pansy, emasculating him, or making fun of him are simply stating that his experience (if true) is what is pretty common at shooting ranges and gun shops. We are pointing out no matter what this guy had in his agenda when he walked in to that range, we had an opportunity to convert or sway someone, and it was not accomplished… Mission Failed. Even if this guy went in there with the attitude of “I need a story to show how bad guns are”, but he was shown all of the safety and functional info, if he was coached, if he was eased into shooting, then he would have nothing to write about… What, is some anti going to write about how comprehensive a safety class was? Or how patient and benevolent the instructors were? NO. and if that was his experience and he wrote that story then he is a lire and a fool.

Short story:

I used to run an informal program in college with 2 of my friends to get folks out to the range to shoot. Being college in the north east, there were a lot of folks who were anti, at least on the surface. I had the chance of taking one girl to the range who was very anti, and although I knew that she would most likely just used this to justify her position that guns are bad, I took her anyway. I was very professional, followed all of the tips that I posted previously, and in the end she said that she still did not want to own a gun, but she did admit that her preconceived notions were wrong. She thanked me for being professional and for assisting her. To my surprise, two weeks later she called me and said that her roommate was now “gun curious” and asked if I could take her shooting. One month after taking her roommate shooting I was helping her (the roommate) pick out a pistol.

So you see, we may not win them all, but by fighting the good fight, and playing by the rules, even when you know that you are *probably* wasting your breath, good things can come out of your actions. You never know who the anti that you don’t convert will talk to.

buzz_knox
August 8, 2007, 03:02 PM
Anyone want to ask him which range it was? That would allow some fact checking to determine if it's true or not.

Doggy Daddy
August 8, 2007, 03:06 PM
FWIW, I can't remember the last time I saw anyone wear plaid here. Least of all in a gun store/shooting range!

ilcylic
August 8, 2007, 03:15 PM
Sometimes I do really wonder if some of the people here are actually plants by the other team, set with the intention of making us look bad. And then I realize that no, we really do just have some guys who are in desperate need of reading the advocacy FAQ (http://www.fsfe.org/en/advocacy/faq).

"Ha ha! This guy stereotyped me as a gun owner, so I'm going to immediately live up to the stereotype! And I, as a blogger, clearly have a much larger audience than he, as a journalist, so there's no possible way this plan of cementing his negative opinion of the gun-culture could backfire!"

So yes. This fellow wrote an article that got published that cast firearms and firearms owners, and the act of going to the firing range and shooting firearms in a negative light. And now you have the choice of writing him off as a "hopeless anti" and dashing off some mouthy, shrill screed, lambasting him and his qualifications as a man, and making yourself feel better in the process--or you can write him a well thought out letter that politely suggests he give it another shot, and giving him suggestions on how the experience might be made less unpleasant for him, and making all of us look better. If he really is a dyed-in-the-wool anti, the worst you've done is waste some time. If he's not, you may well be one more paving stone on his road to becoming a member of the gun culture. And don't we really need more vocal, positive members out there in Massachussetts?

Correia
August 8, 2007, 03:16 PM
vis-à-vis, I'm gonna have to assume that you didn't read the three pages before your post. Because if you had read them, I would just ban you outright for pissing me off. But I'm going to go ahead and assume that you're not being stupid on purpose. 'Cause I'm merciful like that.

Here's the deal guys.

Whether the guy is a wimp in real life, whether he fabricated the whole thing, or whether he did actually have a bad experience through ignorant people at the range, irregardless of any of those facts, THR is not the place for grade school level mockery.

We're better than that.

Don't think that putting your best face forward, and acting like professionals somehow makes you PC, or that you have "sympathy" for an anti. Even if this guy is total anti, and complete lost cause, how is some fence sitter supposed to take this thread?

How is a giant series of posts about the size of your testicles, and how little your sissy girl wives cried when they shot your manly guns supposed to make us all look?

Whether you like it or not, you're all ambassadors of the Gun Culture. THR has more fence sitters and new people on it than other gun boards for a reason.

The days of us tolerating stupid crap that makes us sound EXACTLY like the stereotypes being used against us are done.

Do you think we closed L&P because of juvenile stupidity, for fun? Do you think we closed L&P so that we could just move the stupid posts to a different forum?

Is this article writer a liar, or just plain mentally ill? That's very possible. So instead of bitching and making us look stupid, do something about it. For those of you that wrote a letter, awesome. I don't care if you wrote a letter with the assumption he's an anti who already made up his mind, or if you're assuming he's an honest newbie who is teachable. Either way, bravo for you for taking action.

DogBonz
August 8, 2007, 03:18 PM
Everyone is operating under the assumption that this incident really occurred. It's just as likely that the reporter made it up out of whole cloth just to push his agenda and give him something to write about.

Weather or not it actually did occur, how scary is it that most of us tend to believe it, at least some what?

That is probably because most of us have personally seen similar behavior in regards to new-bees. I’ve seen it, and I am ashamed to say that I have even done it, and had it done to me. Heck, my grand pa dropped his 45 in my hands when I was 12, and although the instructions that he gave me, and that safety rules were strictly enforced, if I had been recoil sensitive I might have grown to not like shooting. Thank goodness that didn’t happen…

tydephan
August 8, 2007, 03:24 PM
Dog

Kudos to you, in your previous post, for your proactivity towards introducing new shooters.

how scary is it that most of us tend to give it believe it, at least some what?

I don't find it scary at all. Unless given a blatant reason for disbelief, I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt, regardless of whether I agree with their point of view.

If we stop believing just because we don't agree with the opinion, we are treading a very slippery slope of self-delusion...

But...even if it was a fallacy, that is no excuse to reaffirm the guy's opinion of us.

Carl N. Brown
August 8, 2007, 03:25 PM
strat81 got it right:
I'm incredibly afraid of snakes. Hate 'em. Always have, always will. However, I have no intentions of going to the House of Reptiles at the local zoo, jumping in the snake pit, then writing a story about how traumatic it was.

The problem is, the author of "Have Gun, Will Tremble" believes that his
fear and loathing of guns, and his condescension toward gun owners,
marks him as a superior being. On one level he is pathetic.

I am snake-o-phobic and I did make a point of going through the
herpatorium at the Knoxville Zoo with the point of trying to overcome
my phobia, not to take a perverse pride in it. Irrational fear blinds
one to making rational judgements; I am afraid the author of that
editorial is proud of his fears.

glummer
August 8, 2007, 03:28 PM
DogBonz
That is probably because most of us have personally seen similar behavior in regards to new-bees.
Do we know that he told them he was a newbie?
Was recoil a problem? He doesn't say so.
The described events are ambiguous enough that I don't think we can tell for sure what the range's behavior was. But we CAN tell what his attitude was. Somehow, I think he would have told us if he had asked for help and not gotten it.

Gord
August 8, 2007, 03:31 PM
I'm glad that Oleg and the mods are stepping up their enforcement of THR's rules to keep it High Road. For a while there, I had stopped visiting the site at all and was afraid I'd have to find a new home - the panoply of ridiculous SHTF/revolution threads, the violent, frothing rants against anybody with a hint of blue in them, and the childish "mine's bigger than yours" personal attacks were just getting to be too much.

Pardon my language - but if I wanted to hear that ****, I'd go to the gun shop.

For a long while THR seemed like the perfect gun forum - full of knowledgeable, friendly, peace-loving people who simply ask that their right to self-preservation not be taken away. I've pointed quite a few people towards THR since I started here, including Bill, the author of this article. Please, let's try to bring this site back to its former standards. There are plenty of other places on the 'Net that one can go to to discuss SHTF fantasies or huddle around keyboards and make thinly-veiled threats against politicos. THR should not be one of them.

This is what I wrote to Mr. Zuck, late last night. I'm not looking for pats on the back, hence why I didn't feel the need to post it sooner - rather I hope that this can be an example to a few of the others in the thread who haven't yet figured out that threatening force of arms comes only after diplomacy has failed.

Mr. Zuck,

Interesting that your first choice of venue for "escaping the heat" was a shooting range, and not a nice little diner for some iced tea (of the Long Island variant or otherwise, being in Vegas and all). A deliberate search for, and criticism of, something you don't personally agree with? Nah, couldn't be...

Your argument with regards to children is valid only if a gun owner chooses to forsake his or her obligation to personal responsibility and stores the gun without a trigger lock, outside of a safe, or away from his or her immediate person (i.e., in a holster) - which is strongly discouraged, if not outright illegal, whether or not children are present in one's household. While common sense is, sadly, not a prerequisite to owning a firearm, the great majority of gun-totin' types possess it in quantity. It is unfortunate that the collective reputation of responsible firearm owners everywhere continues to be blemished by those who, either through ignorance or apathy, do not seek out the proper instruction for handling and care of their firearms.

One of these people could be you - you should not have to "wonder how much it hurts to accidentally shoot oneself in the foot" if proper handling is observed.

The late Colonel Jeff Cooper scribed a set of four simple rules that the responsible gun owner considers law (explanations mine):

1. ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED.
Meaning that any firearm one picks up should be considered "ready to go" and checked, then re-checked, by sight and touch, to verify that they are, in fact, unloaded and safe to handle; the solution to the "cleaning accidents" that pop up every now and then in the news.
2. NEVER AIM A GUN AT ANYTHING YOU ARE UNWILLING TO DESTROY.
Being self-explanatory: any firearm should be pointed in a safe direction, usually at the ground or into the air, such that an accidental firing of the gun would not harm anything or anyone surrounding the handler; though that risk is all but nullified given the next rule,
3. KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOU ARE READY TO FIRE.
Being once again self-explanatory; the most common way to do this is to "index" the, well, index finger along the gun above the trigger and outside the trigger guard - the loop around the trigger - such that stumbling or being startled will not cause one to reflexively pull the trigger.
4. BE SURE OF YOUR TARGET AND WHAT IS BEHIND IT.
One should place one's finger on the trigger and prepare to fire only after ascertaining beyond all doubt the identity of the target, and having full knowledge of what is beyond it, should a bullet fully penetrate the target and keep going - a possibility with any firearm, and a certainty when shooting smiley faces in paper targets.

These rules, or something approximating them, should have been related to you upon your rental of the gun at the range. If they were not, it was most likely assumed that you were familiar with the handling and operation of firearms; had you asked for further instruction and perhaps a few "hands-on" shots (it takes practice, as with anything else, to be consistent in aim - it's not as easy as it seems, especially with a handgun!) I imagine you would have been happily obliged. Any other response would have been a good reason to effect an escape - careless attitudes have no place around guns.

I am sorry that your experience at this Vegas range was a bad one, but should you still be interested in helping defend America against its teeming hordes of paper targets and old tin cans, I hope that you will consider trying again. No group is immune to the occasional jerk, gun owners included - but I hope that in time, you will find that most of "us" are just normal, friendly guys with jobs all over the spectrum, college degrees ranging all the way up to doctorates, and an understanding that the police do not always arrive in time to prevent bad men from taking lives. Take a few trips to the ranges or gun clubs close to you, or try requesting a lesson or two on one of the firearms-centric forums on the Web. I recommend www.thehighroad.org - a civil forum for the promotion and discussion of responsible gun ownership for hobby and personal protection. Discussion between differing points of view is always encouraged - make a post to introduce yourself and I am sure you will receive a friendly welcome from the High Road community.

A few tips for your next (I hope!) outing:

- Double up! Gunfire is loud, takes getting used to, and does cause hearing loss over time; use earplugs under your earmuffs, make sure both fit you well, and consider a set of electronic earmuffs, which muffle louder noise while still allowing one to hear normal speech.

- Start small! Calling a .357 Magnum a "beginner's gun" is sort of like calling a Corvette a "beginner's car" - it most certainly is not! The .22 Long Rifle cartridge, commonly abbreviated .22LR, is a very small cartridge that produces very little noise or recoil, as well as being extremely cheap (about $15 for a "brick" of 500 rounds). Recoil is another thing that takes getting used to - and, eventually, you will find your limit, which has nothing to do with your physical stature. Plenty of men find any given caliber to be "too much," while a petite woman may be able to shoot the same caliber all day long comfortably.

- Rifles first! Handguns are more difficult to aim accurately and consistently because of their light weight, short distance between the front and rear sights, and the fact that one usually fires them unsupported - whereas rifles, by contrast, are usually heavier and more stable, are inherently more accurate due to their longer barrels and longer distance between the front and back sights, and their ability to be fired from a bench or using sandbags or other supports.

- Don't be too proud! Everyone's a beginner at some point, and you shouldn't be expected - or expect yourself - to know what all the buttons and levers on a gun do, or be able to produce one ragged hole on a target with ten shots, any more than you should be expected to be able to reproduce a van Gogh painting with no prior experience. With practice you will be able to punch a hole in a soda can from 300 feet away, or shoot your initials in a paper target, but it takes time - and that's okay.

- Remember the rules! Do your best to memorize Cooper's Four Rules above, and for the first few times you go shooting, make a conscious effort to watch where your finger goes when you handle a gun - it will soon become habit to keep your finger off the trigger and correctly indexed.

- And most of all... have fun! Relax and breathe normally - shooting holes in paper with a gun is just like woodworking with a hammer and chisel - you're enjoying a hobby, facilitated by a tool that isn't a deadly weapon unless your action and intent make it one. It's not going to "go off by itself." You're not going to feel an urge to run off and kill someone. Holding it doesn't make you an anti-government nut, and no one's going to try and make you shoot Bambi. Take a deep breath, relax, and oblige the ten-year-old boy inside of you: producing loud bangs and little puffs of dust can be pretty darn fun. It's as simple - and innocent - as that.

Thank you for reading, sir. I hope I've done my small part to reinforce the reality - that "we" aren't all "like that."


With regards,

Xxxxxx X. Xxxxxx
Cedar City, Utah

coyote_jr
August 8, 2007, 03:44 PM
or you can write him a well thought out letter that politely suggests he give it another shot, and giving him suggestions on how the experience might be made less unpleasant for him, and making all of us look better.

Check the activism forum. If you do write, can you share it with us? maybe it will encourage others to do likewise?

Tac Ninja, can you put that down in Activism please? That is excellent.

Justin
August 8, 2007, 03:53 PM
Coyote_jr, Tu Quoque much?

Nowhere did I defend the author of the article in question, and quite frankly, I find his writing repugnant.

That doesn't mean we should drop to his level.

Gord
August 8, 2007, 03:58 PM
Tac Ninja, can you put that down in Activism please? That is excellent.

Someone like Arfin could have done a much more commendable job than my own contribution, I'm sure. I just figured I'd do my part to try and balance out the "come for my guns so I can kill ya, ya sonofabitch" emails.

Having never actually been into the Activism subforum, I wouldn't be so sure as to the correct way to post - but if you'd like to, feel free to use my email. I don't like tooting my own horn much. :)

ArfinGreebly
August 8, 2007, 04:07 PM
Ain't nuthin' wrong with what you wrote.

Shucks, I doubt I could have done better.

It's an excellent example of even-handedness and informative content.

Well done.

Havegunjoe
August 8, 2007, 04:17 PM
It is too bad that this guy had a bad experience shooting but that is not what bothers me the most. It could have been better handled but I don't think anything would have helped much with him. I have done things I have never done before but I don't think I have quaked, shivered, and twitched as much as this guy. A few weeks ago my step-son let me drive his big farm tractor. I was nervous but not shaking in my boots. The first time I drove a car out on a busy highway as a teenager I was nervous but not terrified for Pete's sake. My 5'2" wife never fired a gun until she met me. She jumped the first few times but after that it was no problem. She doesn't shoot by the way except once in a very long while.

"I squeeze off shot after shot, jumping at the sound of each one. Some people feel powerful with a pistol in their hand; I feel terror." I did not grow up around guns, didn't own one until I was 21 as a matter of fact. But God in Heaven please tell me that this guy is not representative of the men in this country now-a-days. "Every few seconds I violently twitch as another gun is fired; even with ear protection the noise is deafening."

I am not trying to pretend that I am Mr. Brave. If faced with a potential lethal threat I will try to run like a jackrabbit if possible. But this guy redefines manhood in a very bad way.

springmom
August 8, 2007, 04:46 PM
Sigh.

This has nothing to do with manhood. I will agree that it's amazing to all of that anybody, male or female, would be that unnerved. But dang it, it is not a male rite of passage to be able to shoot. Some men hate guns. Some women are dead on shots and like big bore handguns and rifles. Some men love guns. Some women hate 'em. Can we please get past this manly-man thing regarding this poster????

IF the essay is the real deal and the guy really did have exactly the experience he wrote about (please not the capitals on the word IF), then both he and the RO did things badly. He should have asked for help. The RO should have watched him and have given it, asked for or not.

And we on this list should keep our eyes on the issue, which is NOT manliness.

Springmom

Havegunjoe
August 8, 2007, 04:59 PM
Sigh, Springmom I didn't say shooting was a right of passage, but I beg to differ, this guys reactions and actions do have to do with manhood. It is a small sign, at least I hope it is a small sign, of the end of civilization as we know it IMHO. I also said his experience could have been handled better, that is for sure but I really don't think anything would have helped this guy. I also don't care much that he dislikes guns except as one poster put it he has an audience for his dislike. If he had simply said, that's OK, I'll pass on the shooting, thank you very much and gone on his way, no problem from me. Instead from what he wrote I almost expected him to break down crying. That has to do with manhood even if you don't agree.

cavman
August 8, 2007, 05:02 PM
And, as springmom pointed out, unless there is a typo, the Winner of the Rifle at Camp Perry Marine Champ: Carlos Hathcock Trophy is a woman,

Julia Watson GySgt

http://clubs.odcmp.com/cgi-bin/report_eventAward.cgi?matchID=2113&eventID=9&awardID=2

springmom
August 8, 2007, 05:03 PM
So, if he had been a she, would it have had to do with womanhood?

Springmom

tydephan
August 8, 2007, 05:04 PM
The guy has a flair for dramatic writing. Before we judge too terribly much about that:

It is a small sign, at least I hope it is a small sign, of the end of civilization as we know it IMHO.

My point has been, that his flair for the dramatic could have been just as positive as it was negative, had "our" guys actually been helpful toward a new shooter.

Gord
August 8, 2007, 05:35 PM
That has to do with manhood even if you don't agree.

Go ahead then, define manhood for me. Dollars to donuts you'll give me some antiquated cock-and-bull '50s standard of the rugged, hairy-chested mountain man who never cries and fears nothing. I'm afraid of heights and spiders creep me out - should I go ahead and turn in my penis? :rolleyes:

At least the guy was man enough to admit that he's afraid of guns. Perhaps if the ROs had bothered to start him off with proper instruction and something other than a freaking .357 Magnum he would have walked away with a different point of view.

Let's see you get into the cockpit of a jet airplane or a Formula One racer and try driving it around without any further instruction than "press this pedal to go, use this to steer." Think you might be a tad nervous?

You're right, just because you've been shooting for years doesn't mean this guy shouldn't be every bit as comfortable his first time with gunshots going off all around him in a giant echo chamber while he tries to keep hold of a .357.

Werewolf
August 8, 2007, 05:49 PM
Let's see you get into the cockpit of a jet airplane or a Formula One racer and try driving it around without any further instruction than "press this pedal to go, use this to steer." Think you might be a tad nervous?
Nice try...

But by the author's own words he was a bit more than "a tad nervous". He was terrified. Big difference.

And regardless of what some women in modern society may want to believe men and women ARE different. There are standards of manliness that most men understand and most women never will and one of them is men don't quake in their boots and lose their water just because they're doing something unfamiliar - especially if what they're doing isn't inherently dangerous. They suck it up and deal with the situation (and yes if a woman broke down in tears society would forgive her a lot quicker than they'd forgive a man in the same situation). And even though author of the article did exhibit a bit of courage by actually firing the weapon he lost all credibility with me based on the tone and obvious anti-gun agenda of the article he wrote.

Kevin108
August 8, 2007, 05:57 PM
I wonder what other inanimate objects he's terrified of?

Gord
August 8, 2007, 06:01 PM
But by the author's own words he was a bit more than "a tad nervous". He was terrified.

Dunno if you noticed, but he seems to have quite the penchant (as most media do) for dramatics and exaggeration. I somehow doubt that he was literally on the verge of drenching his boxers.

I'd consider someone handling a gun (especially a Magnum) without any instruction to be "inherently dangerous" but I guess Cooper just cooked up all those rules for fun one night after a few too many beers.

I wonder what other inanimate objects he's terrified of?

I wonder what other inanimate objects have been demonized and loaded with negative emotional connotations in the media for the past few decades? The majority of these guys are completely unfamiliar with firearms outside of sensationalist news reports. It's not as if actually getting some trigger time with a .22 under the guidance of someone who knows what they're doing might do a tiny little bit to change their minds about guns all being fully-automatic cop-killer assault weapons. :rolleyes:

springmom
August 8, 2007, 06:23 PM
And regardless of what some women in modern society may want to believe men and women ARE different. There are standards of manliness that most men understand and most women never will and one of them is men don't quake in their boots and lose their water just because they're doing something unfamiliar - especially if what they're doing isn't inherently dangerous.

*Ahem*

I'm sure this isn't a personal slam, as personal slams aren't permitted here on THR. Still, let me point out that I'm a stay at home mom, husband is the breadwinner, we're about as traditional a family as still exists in this country, and I most certainly do understand that men and women are different. It's just that I understand the following as well:

1) fearlessness is not masculine: conquering your fear and going on and doing something anyway is masculine; and

2) conquering your fear and going on and doing something anyway is also a mark of womanhood as well.

You want to be a grownup, you learn to conquer your emotions and do what you have set out to do. Man OR woman.

Springmom

beaucoup ammo
August 8, 2007, 06:32 PM
Always good to see the other side. I'd be at a disadvantage not to. This seems to be a weekly paper and must have a respectable circulation.

Posting it on THR is a service to all of us as the article represents a view alien to our way of thinking. I wouldn't have seen it otherwise!

Being printed shows the piece indicative of what "they" deem worthy enough for publication. That's good because the effort isn't well done and gives me hope for the future.

Count me as one more happy to see The High Road living up to it's name.

Nolo
August 8, 2007, 06:43 PM
I'm going to update my reaction to this post.
I've a few things to say:
A.) I think this guy is stirring up a hornet's nest for fun, but I'm not going to let that blind me.
B.) It appeared to me that, while the range officer did a good enough job, he could have done better, and I think he should have.
C.) For a beginner of any type, a .357 Magnum (when in .38 Spl. and when sufficiently large) is small enough to train on, provided there is close instruction! The range officer should have given that instruction to him, because I think it would have been pretty obvious that the fellow was green.
D.) I think I need to write this guy again, just in case he wasn't looking for trouble...

kungfuhippie
August 8, 2007, 06:45 PM
Let me sum it up.
Our side:
1. He called us names
2. um...um

His side:
1. He was not given any instruction as a virgin shooter
2. He was teased (in his mind)
3. All the people at the range wanted to discuss was shooting intruders
4. He was bothered by the noise and the act of shooting/loading the revolver

So what can we learn from this?
Writing him a letter about how he called us names (flannel wearing bearded...) will accomplish nothing. Lets take this as a learning experience to help educate other virgin shooters. Double up ear protection, start with a small caliber, basically "hold their hand" and explain things, ask questions to verify they feel comfortable. If you don't there will be more people afraid of shooting off their fingers and toes and potentially soiling themselves.

ArfinGreebly
August 8, 2007, 06:51 PM
Nah.

I think it's more about ADULTHOOD.

Somehow the "LOLcats" picture with the caption, "Go cry, emoboy" comes to mind.

When emotion trumps intellect, we've lost adulthood.

There's been a trend for some time to breed the adulthood out of modern man, producing a society of "children" -- immature persons over the age of majority -- who can't think for themselves, and for whom emotion is king.

I have a daughter who's 31 years old. She's an adult. She's had to deal with all manner of things from which many her age are sheltered. She has "taken on the world." She doesn't whine or faint. She's an adult.

I have a daughter who's 19 years old. She's a child. It's all about her. She's a drama queen. There is a very good chance that she won't be an adult for years yet.

The older one (31) has been more mature since she was 15. Go figure.

The guy who wrote the piece under discussion isn't writing as an adult, rather more like a drama-queen adolescent.

Never mind manliness.

It's about adulthood.

Carl N. Brown
August 8, 2007, 06:57 PM
My first introduction to shooting was with my father and
his brother at the old home place. They set up some tin
cans and showed me how to load the .22 rifle, where the safety
was and where the trigger was and to put the sights on the
can before squeezing the trigger. And don't let the gun point
atanything you don't want to shoot. Safety first second, third.

If my introduction to shooting was blasting cardboard pictures
of home intruders with a magnum in a dungeon, I wonder if
I would be a dedicated shooting enthusiast today?

Gord
August 8, 2007, 08:24 PM
If my introduction to shooting was blasting cardboard pictures
of home intruders with a magnum in a dungeon, I wonder if
I would be a dedicated shooting enthusiast today?

You know... that actually makes a lot of sense to me.

I started out on my great-grandfather's knee when I was four or five, with an ancient little Crosman BB gun not even the size of a Cricket, shooting old tin can lids that Grandpa had strung between the apple trees with fishing line. There was no pressure, and every time I'd get frustrated or bored at not being able to hit the lids, Grandpa would pull me close and help me aim, and *clang!* I was having fun again.

Before too long I was making my own clangs just about every time and having more fun than I'd ever had before. Great-Grandma forgave me for all of the apples I killed before she got a chance to turn them into applesauce or preserves, too. :D

From there, I got my first "real" gun from Dad, a Savage 64F .22, and continued to learn firearms safety and plink tin cans in a fun, no-stress, no-pressure family-and-friends environment.

I think that, had I been introduced to the shooting sports by being taken to a big, loud indoor range full of strange people and noises that hurt my ears, and having to shoot a gun too big for me with a bunch of "hot shots" looking on, I wouldn't have any interest in guns or gun culture today.

Thank God I was raised as I was. :)

Autolite
August 8, 2007, 09:32 PM
I can't really fault the article as the author did make some valid points. The first time someone handed me a S&W revolver I was amazed at the weight and feel of the weapon. I could barely hold it in one hand but I suppose that the gun wasn't really balanced for the grip of a six year old. The gentleman also underscores the fact that firearms are more dangerous that either seat belts or fire extinguishers. He's made a good point there. I'm betting that that's the primary reason criminals would shy away from having one pointed in their direction ...

Leif Runenritzer
August 8, 2007, 10:43 PM
I wish i could contact the gun club with this and tell them that every new shooter is an opportunity. :(

karz10
August 9, 2007, 12:30 AM
I wonder if the plaid wearing bearded gentlemen were fabricated. I mean come on, this is (I know what place he's talking about) a large gun store and range just off the strip in Vegas. I doubt there are a ton of plaid wearing bearded redneck locals nearby that would shoot there, my guess is it's not the cheapest place to shoot, or buy things, it's Vegas. I bet any locals would be at a different shop. They obviously play to the strip tourists.

From what I can tell, this place gets all kinds, ESPECIALLY international customers from all over the world, especially Asia. They rent full autos there, if it's the place I'm thinking, so I'm surprised he didn't railroad the culture based on the machine guns on display and for rent over there, and only whined about apparently deafening and traumatizing .38 special loads. At any rate, I don't envision that place as a bubba shop. If anything, you'd probably get a lot of foreigners, fanny packs, hawaiian shirts, rock tshirts, black leather harley types, and hip hop / gangsta types, and middle class/middle aged dudes like me or your neighbor, compared to bubba types, if you were going stereo type at all, I'm just saying.

I'm just not buying that angle of the story, and think it's complete BS. Guess it doesn't matter, but I just don't believe him at all, aside from his experience or views...

Check this place out, I think this is where he went, if he went just off the strip: http://www.thegunstorelasvegas.com/

This is black tactical if anything, it's not a bubba shop. Look at all the links on there check out all their autos and racks and racks of 'black' handguns/rifles, etc. Everyone's wearing black shirts in the video, not plaid.

The map is on the main page, near a lot of casinos.

Check out the JAPAN VIDEO link at the bottom, they shoot a bunch of full autos on it, it's pretty cool.

Karz

springmom
August 9, 2007, 09:44 AM
:what: Oh, I wanna go to Las Vegas now. What a great selection of full-autos.

Of course, if they were going off, I could certainly see why he thought "the noise was deafening". Indoor range? Full auto? Yeah, that makes some sense.

It'll be interesting to see if any of us hear back from him.

Springmom

Carl N. Brown
August 9, 2007, 10:54 AM
From the beginning I was a Fudd-Zumbo-Petzal sports shooter
(well I did have a fascination with military history and wanted
some military guns as collectors items). It took indoctrination by
two city police detectives, county sheriff, corrections officer,
former ONI officer, and others, to convince me that owning a
gun for personal protection could be a good and proper
thing to do. I was really squeamish about keeping a gun
for the the purpose of shooting another human being, even
though I shot squirrels for eating, put down a rabid skunk, and
killed a copperhead near my uncle's barn, and felt good about
that.

DogBonz
August 9, 2007, 11:20 AM
My first introduction to shooting was with my father and
his brother at the old home place.

It seems to me that the majority of folks who shoot and enjoy it start this way. People who are taught to shoot by family or friends that they know and trust, who are responsible and safe shooters, who give them proper instruction and guidance tend to be life long shooters who enjoy our sport. Those people who received no help or instruction, or even worse, bad instruction, or got it from some one who was irresponsible or used “too much gun” to teach will often walk away with quite the opposite feeling from the first group. I do not think that this is just a coincidence.

Now there will be some folks who are gunnies at heart and truly enjoy shooting no matter what. No matter how bad the instruction, or what type of cannon you place in their newbee hands, they will keep coming back for more. My friend is an example of this type. At 24 years of age he had never shot a gun. He had always wanted to, but no one had ever taken him shooting. So I volunteered. After instructing him on safety, range rules, and operation of the pistol (a Ruger 22/45) he started shooting and loved it. He took to it like a duck to water so when he wanted to shoot my USP45, I said sure. He shot that fine as well. Then he wanted to shoot my 357 (a 4” Taurus Tracker). He was shooting 38’s in it when he ran out of ammo. He went into my range bag and matched up the numbers on the gun (375) with the numbers on the box of ammo (357), as I had instructed him, loaded up and got quite the surprise. He had grabbed the box of full house hunting 180 HP’s that I had tried last range session and just left in my bag. He then had a flinch that took 5 or 6 range sessions to remove. I (we) are just lucky that I guy like him likes the booms and recoil, and will keep shooting.

76shuvlinoff
August 9, 2007, 11:25 AM
I stood at a gun shop sales counter in Kalamazoo Michigan a couple months go and watch a non gun owning woman handle a .44 mag and she asked the clerk "Does it kick a lot?" he said "No not really" I should have spoken up but she was there with her boyfriend and I think he was in a drooling daze looking at her with that piece.

irritating

Art Eatman
August 9, 2007, 11:46 AM
Since this thread's been drifting around, I'll chime in. :)

"Mystique". The mystique of cars and guns does something to a fair number of American males. Apparently, there are those guys that in their minds, ownership conveys competency.

I started in driving race cars some fifty years ago, and meddled around with that happiness for almost twenty-five years. I got into the Sports Car Club of America, where you start out in their system with entry into a couple of their "Driving Schools". That's not really a training school as such. It's a deal where you show it's safe to let you out there with other drivers, wheel to wheel. You prove you're not stupid, you're not a rolling road block, nor do you run over other people.

I've heard guys in the pits at their first school, griping about the indignity that THEY should PROVE anything. And then they get lapped in the first few laps of practice, 'cause they talk faster than they drive...

Same with guns. Some guy's at the range with his Loudenboomer, shooting patterns instead of groups. If some mild soul makes any suggestion, the response is often along the lines of, "It's my danged gun, and I know what I'm doing and you leave me alone!" And then this same doofus gives dumbtail advice to any Little Lady who ever asks him a question about guns.

Macho mystique stuff. These are the sort of guy that I describe as when they sit down, their brains get cramped.

Basically, Arfin nailed it. Adulthood has zilch to do with gender. Guns and cars have no gender. They're just artifacts. And Danica Patrick is not exactly some Little Lady you'd walk up to and patronize. When it comes to guns, I suggest not patronizing my wife, either--and she doesn't need my help. :D

Art

benEzra
August 9, 2007, 01:47 PM
And regardless of what some women in modern society may want to believe men and women ARE different. There are standards of manliness that most men understand and most women never will and one of them is men don't quake in their boots and lose their water just because they're doing something unfamiliar - especially if what they're doing isn't inherently dangerous.
Are all those Navy fighter pilots who are uniformly scared poopless when doing their first carrier night landing, just a bunch of sissy wusses, then?

I'd strongly recommend the book Deep Survival, by Laurence Gonzales. He profiles a lot of people who have pulled through and kept their wits under the most extreme situations. If you want to question the masculinity of the guys in there who were SCARED when in unfamiliar situations, read the book and be my guest, but I think it's fair to say that such criticism would be grossly unjustified. It's an excellent read, and very helpful in understanding the fight-or-flight response.

http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/41NKQ3G197L._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-dp-500-arrow,TopRight,45,-64_OU01_AA240_SH20_.jpg
http://www.deepsurvival.com/
http://www.amazon.com/Deep-Survival-Who-Lives-Dies/dp/0393326152/ref=sr_1_1/105-6064950-3495642?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1186681536&sr=1-1

Now, there is a stereotype in American culture that says that men are supposed to pretend not to be scared when they actually are scared, and that to admit being scared when one is doing something unfamiliar that one perceives to be dangerous is somehow "unmanly." I think that pretention is not helpful, and definitely not in any way inherently masculine. IMHO, it takes a bigger man to admit you are afraid of something than to convince yourself you aren't.

The guy in the article thought that shooting was inherently dangerous, based on a lifetime of guns-R-bad propaganda. The fact that he's misinformed doesn't mean his reaction isn't normal, given what he has been taught about guns. Our job is to gently correct those misperceptions, not blast him for his failings, real or perceived.

I've had the privilege of changing a few people's minds on the gun issue, some of whom initially approached the issue with the same misperceptions and bias as this guy. NOT ONE of them was won over by harshly worded criticisms, insults, or personal attacks; every single one that changed their mind, did so as a result of logical, rational persuasion.

Carl N. Brown
August 9, 2007, 03:15 PM
every single one that changed their mind, did so as a result of logical, rational persuasion.
The result of taking the high road, to coin a phrase.

Jerry Morris
August 9, 2007, 03:44 PM
After three pages looking, I skipped over the rest.

Has anyone just realized this is another man with an agenda. His entire article reeks of it.

And he ain't, by necessity, a sheeple. He might be one of the cannibal wolves.


Jerry

Exposure
August 9, 2007, 04:31 PM
Something that a lot of people seem to be missing is the fact that an anti took the time to actually go to the range. Unfortunately it was a very negative experience for him. This was a golden opportunity that got thrown away.

I'm not sure how many of you have shot on an indoor range before. I never had until just a couple of years ago. In fact I made a thread about it.http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=108808 You know why I made the thread? Because it was LOUD, and it was uncomfortable being indoors with 6 other people in a space no wider than my garage while we all discharged firearms. I had shot outside almost my entire life, I had never been in such close proximity to other shooters. I had absolutely no idea the stupendous amount of noise a firearm would generate in an enclosed area. In fact I was uncomfortable as heck being on that range. I later learned to be quite comfortable while shooting indoors by wearing two sets of hearing protection. But I can understand the guy wanting to get off the range. I have thankfully moved back to Maine now and don't have to endure indoor range trips anymore. Read some of the responses in that thread, they are kind of enlightening.

Anyone who never shot a firearm but grew up on a steady diet of Magnum P.I., the A-Team, Red Dawn, etc.. would thinks guns only make a 'POP!" when fired. Now imagine your surprise when your first real firearms experience (sorry his Boy Scouts trip doesn't count) is one where you are getting hammered with other shooters muzzle blasts. Sounds like fun, huh?

Worse yet, whether the gun store staff made fun of him or not he felt they did. That is a guaranteed way to ruin someones good time, insult them after they handed over their hard earned money. I have no idea if they insulted him or not, but his perception was that they did.

And on top of it all he gets vitriol filled tirades via e-mail from gun owners who live up to his exact image of what we, as a whole, try NOT to be.

Think how much differently this could have gone if the store staff had started him on .22 pistol, given him double hearing protection, and gone into the range with him for just 10 minutes of instruction. I think the story would have been quite different.

This was a missed opportunity. I have no idea if the guy has an agenda or not. But the chance to sway his opinion of firearms and the people who own them has sadly been forever tainted by this trip. And as much as we don't like it, his voice is a lot louder than ours as he writes for a newspaper.

By the way, I am pretty sure this didn't happen at The Gun Store. They are ANAL about safety there. They ask lots of questions about previous firearms experience before you get anywhere near the range. In addition, when you rent an MG there they accompany you onto the range and supervise your every action, they obviously don't want any accident, or worse yet, bad press! :rolleyes:

The Lone Haranguer
August 9, 2007, 09:30 PM
If he went to a gun range at all, I'll lay odds it was The Gun Store, on Tropicana about 2 miles east of the Strip. (I lived briefly in Vegas and went there a couple of times. The shop is much less impressive than they make themselves out to be, but they are extremely good at marketing themselves.) It is quite probable that the personnel (who wear uniform shirts that are not plaid) might have said things like that. It would not have mattered. He could have gone to Beverly Hills and still have written the same drivel. At worst, it is a total fabrication, just one step in cleverness above the article a few months ago featuring a revolver that automatically ejected cases. :rolleyes: (Remember that one? It was discussed here.)

Autolite
August 9, 2007, 10:27 PM
Jerry Morris, I don't understand why so many of the posts on this thread are affording the author so much latitude. I thought that it was blatantly obvious that this fellow has an agenda ...

pax
August 10, 2007, 09:24 PM
Re post #104: right on!! That was a really good post.

Guys, if it bugs you when antis tell you that you are "compensating for something" when you buy a gun ...

... if it irritates you when some clueless git says your favorite rifle is a phallic symbol and your handgun is a penis substitute ...

... if you think it's outright stupid and maybe even insane to believe that shooting is the sole province of white, male, middle-aged, rural-southern rednecks ...

Then:

Stop equating firearms prowess with being male!

If you do it, how can you possibly gripe when someone else does it to you? If you believe that owning a gun makes you more of a man, why is it so wrong when the grabbers say exactly the same thing about you?

Well, maybe they're right after all. If you really do believe that your gun and your ability to use that gun really is an extension of your manhood, maybe there's something drastically wrong with the way you think.

THR is about responsible firearms ownership, no matter who you are. It's about a lifestyle of intelligent self-defense, no matter who you are. It's about the right to make your own choices and the responsibility to live with those choices. And it applies to all of us: Male. Female. Black. White. Brown. Gay. Straight. Old. Young.

Firearms ownership and use is a HUMAN right.

pax

envonge
August 12, 2007, 07:33 AM
They should have given him a .500 S&W with some hardcasts. Atleast it would have been entertaining for him.

MP5
August 12, 2007, 09:02 AM
Well, maybe they're right after all. If you really do believe that your gun and your ability to use that gun really is an extension of your manhood, maybe there's something drastically wrong with the way you think.

THR is about responsible firearms ownership, no matter who you are. It's about a lifestyle of intelligent self-defense, no matter who you are. It's about the right to make your own choices and the responsibility to live with those choices. And it applies to all of us: Male. Female. Black. White. Brown. Gay. Straight. Old. Young.

All well and good, but traditionally (and rightfully, imo), part of the measure of a "real" man has been his ability to defend himself and his own--by extension, his ability to fight with deadly weapons. Our society generally frowns on that idea today as backward and barbaric, or as some kind of compensation by insecure males, but men still do have the seemingly in-built need to exhibit prowess and strength in front of others, regardless of what society wants to teach them. And men should be encouraged to be strong and tough and to fight hard and well at the right times--that's part of perfecting the capacity or duty that nature or God gave us. Those are necessary--even noble--virtues. I don't imply that women can't or shouldn't defend themselves, yet I wouldn't be quick to dismiss the many men in this thread who have understandably seen weapons as a natural extension or expression of their masculinity.

Because it was LOUD, and it was uncomfortable being indoors with 6 other people in a space no wider than my garage while we all discharged firearms. I had shot outside almost my entire life, I had never been in such close proximity to other shooters. I had absolutely no idea the stupendous amount of noise a firearm would generate in an enclosed area. In fact I was uncomfortable as heck being on that range.

My only real option is indoor ranges, and I know what you mean. Part of the trick of shooting well for me has been to overcome the natural uncomfortable reaction of starting at ridiculously loud noises and being surrounded by total strangers with deadly weapons. And then the total newbie also has to acclimate himself to the fact that he's igniting a controlled explosion in his hand when he pulls the trigger, plus deal with all the misinformation and stereotypes he's likely absorbed from our culture for decades: guns=death. The article-writer sounds like a man on a (bad) mission, but if it were a real-life situation like that with a newbie who had a genuine interest and not an agenda, I would cut him some slack and help him out.

StuckInMA
August 12, 2007, 09:12 AM
This is who we're dealing with. http://www.xanga.com/billzuck

These are a couple of replies he's posted.

8/7 - Gosh, people love their guns. This column touched off an amusing flurry of online comments on the Sun Chronicle website. I'm tickled to evoke so many comments, even though some were pretty insulting! Note their new online policy starting Sept 1st, in an effort to discourage such insults. Was this due in part to the reaction to my "controversial" column, I wonder??


8-9 - Update: Okay, apparently The Sun Chronicle took down the comments that followed my recent column about guns (see below). But unbeknownst to me, someone posted the column on a conservative news forum here (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1878117/posts). I was clued in thanks to several dozen emails in my inbox from gun enthusiasts from Texas to Nevada who wished to provide their two cents about what I'd said regarding guns. The emails ranged from polite invitations to try visiting a gun range again in hopes of better results, to plenty of nasty insults that were downright laughable. I'm a bit amazed to have touched a nerve with so many people. For some more insults (both nasty and laughable), check out the comments that follow my column on that forum.

Not knocking anyone, but glad there's been an attempt to keep things somewhat civil in this thread. What would we think if the forum he linked to was THR?

Kimber1911_06238
August 12, 2007, 09:37 AM
I really hate articles like that. There is absolutely no purpose to the article whatsoever....oh wait, the purpose is to reinforce the idea that guns are scary, bad, and dangerous.

Jerry Morris
August 12, 2007, 12:26 PM
Because it was LOUD, and it was uncomfortable being indoors with 6 other people in a space no wider than my garage while we all discharged firearms. I had shot outside almost my entire life, I had never been in such close proximity to other shooters. I had absolutely no idea the stupendous amount of noise a firearm would generate in an enclosed area. In fact I was uncomfortable as heck being on that range.

He should try earning a living in some of the shops I have worked in during my adult life. Sometimes,a man has got to do what a man has got to do,,,, just to get by. Unless Welfare Doles appeal to you more than honest work.

Jerry

Jerry Morris
August 12, 2007, 12:36 PM
Once again, this thread is about someone, who is entirely disingenuous. The article writer is a liar in every way. All you need to do is read his article and it is obvious.

2+2=4, it is as easy as that. He labeled himself a liar with all his own contradictions against himself..



Jerry

Gord
August 12, 2007, 02:30 PM
Unless Welfare Doles appeal to you more than honest work.

Wow. Can we say "reaching"? Not sure how this is at all relevant.

The article writer is a liar in every way.

How are you so sure? I would have felt the same way as he did if I were him.

Jerry Morris
August 12, 2007, 05:11 PM
Wow. Can we say "reaching"? Not sure how this is at all relevant.

Nope, not a reach. Sometimes conditions are tough. A gun range is loud, but if you are only paying money and it is terrifying, you leave. Those of us who have had to work under conditions as bad, or worse are not going to put on the kid gloves for those who put on this show.

How are you so sure? I would have felt the same way as he did if I were him.

I went and researched him. I know Sin City. I analyzed his article. I found 2, then another 2 and came up with 4. Have you read any of his other articles? You can butter up facts only so far,then it becomes a lie.

Think about it. Ever been in terror? I have. And I have read about it. Could you, at a time you were so scared you were about to wet your pants, quickly reload 44 rounds into a revolver? Your fine motor skills go to pot. You fumble and miss,maybe even drop things. Had this been the case, i am sure he would have had no problem with telling us.

I doubt he even went to this range in the first place.

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