Do you still believe?


September 20, 2003, 03:06 AM
I was discussing the current state of arms use in america with my roomate when this question came up.
do you believe america is still a nation of riflemen?
I say yes, a great many own firearms and are very proficient in their use. My roomate disagreed, he felt the overwhelming ignorance(citing his own previous lack of knowledge) to the uses of firearms in the general populace was so great that at the best the american rifleman is a breed that is dying out and is going to become extinct within our lifetime. he cited increasing hostility towards firearms ownership and firearms in general. I feel that with the increasing enactment of CCW laws we are turning back on the road to true freedom. What do you think?

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September 20, 2003, 05:05 AM
Good question. ;) I think that we all will "become" great shooters if the call to arms ever came.

How many do our armed forces number? 3 million? Less? And how many would carry out an order to harm Americans and end the constitution?

How about law-enforcement across the country? 600,000? Ok, say 1 million. How many of them would comply?

Now imagine every one of the 80 million+ gun owners in this country, grabbing their gun and walking out of their homes and standing in the streets at the same time. :D Its over. We WIN.

The key is to keep the tradition and right alive. And for us shooters to be around to train the rest. :evil:

September 20, 2003, 08:01 AM
More American’s own guns than pre 9/11 but I do believe that it is way down per capita than what it was a century ago. We must always stay vigilante which is why people who do not contribute to the NRA etc. drive me around the bend! We could be a Democratic President and a few SCOTUS appointments away from becoming that “dying breed!” As for me, I bought 2 shotguns, a semi and a revolver this summer alone! :D

September 20, 2003, 08:32 AM
Regionally? Yes.

Overall, sadly, no.

Kendra Pacelli
September 20, 2003, 09:07 AM
I would have to say yes, only since I started on this board and really getting into range shooting and learning about the many different firearms out there, I have met quite a few permit holders! So, IMO, I definately would have to say yes

4v50 Gary
September 20, 2003, 09:46 AM
Quite frankly, my reseach has left me to believe that we were never a nation of riflemen until much later. We always had riflemen though from our earlier frontier days to the expansion across the plains. Poor marksmanship was one of the causes for the creation of the National Rifle Association after the Civil War.

Speaking of Civil War times, rural folks (especially the Southerners in antebellum South) were very familar with firearms as were the midwesterners. However, the folks in the industrial North less so and a certain portion of it may be attributed to immigrations. There were always exceptions though and many sharp shooters who became Berdan's Sharpshooters were from the New England states. There was even a company of immigrants (Co. A, 75% Swiss, 25% German). In his post war book, Co. A. Capt. Rudolph Aschmann mentions that unlike Switzerland, rifle shooting was not popular in America. He however was settled in New York before enlisting.

So, when did we become a nation of riflemen? I'd say after the NRA was founded and before WW I. Even then, a lot of recruits didn't know how to handle a rifle.

September 20, 2003, 09:54 AM
I'm in my early 30s and have always felt that my generation was the first to grow up in the "guns are evil" atmosphere. Yes, there were some laws passed earlier, but I bet that Vietnam and the change in values of the 1960s was when it really started to go downhill fast....

September 20, 2003, 11:17 AM
As a nation? Np.

But, as already pointed out, regions may still claim "yes."

Baba Louie
September 20, 2003, 11:55 AM
Urban dwellers? Might own them, probably rarely shoot them.
Rural citizens? Probably own AND shoot them.
Hunters? Without a doubt.

I'd opine that we have become a nation of "Handgunners" tho as opposed to "Riflemen" and are more "defensive" oriented than "Offensive" due to our pacific nature, lack of hunting for daily meals and urbanization over the last century.

I could be wrong, but looking at the number of posts in any Firearm related board on "long-guns vs handguns" twould seem to be leaning more one way than the other.


September 20, 2003, 12:27 PM
I do believe that it is way down per capita than what it was a century ago.
Actually, I would guess that there are way more guns per capita now than a century ago.

The problem is that those guns are in the hands of a smaller percentage of the population.

There probably was a time when almost every adult male had one or two guns. But the disposable income back then was much less and the one or two would have been those necessary for survival.

Now, those who are interested can buy dozens of guns. Of course, they would have to sacrifice by buying fewer boats and snowmobiles, and taking fewer Caribean cruises :)

The oldtimers didn't need to spend all night on the internet discussing which of their many rifles to use on the first day of deer season. They just used the (only) one they had.

September 20, 2003, 12:35 PM
The oldtimers didn't need to spend all night on the internet discussing which of their many rifles to use on the first day of deer season. They just used the (only) one they had. Saw a lot of that when growin older (never up) in the 30s and 40s. Some of us were gun nuts and gamers but most were pot hunters.


September 20, 2003, 12:43 PM
We aren't the rifleman we we once were, but look at the competition. Most people from other nations have never touched a gun...


September 20, 2003, 12:56 PM
I don't really see that it matters ...

I heard on the news that if you got one of them evil black Buschmeister rifles, that you can hit targets a mile away without any training or practice - you don't even have to aim it, cause the bullit is self guided.

I gonna go out today and pick up some beer cans along the rode so I kin buy one of those them there rifles.

September 20, 2003, 01:11 PM
50 years ago the sheeple outnumbered the wolves by maybe 10 to 1. Now they outnumber the wolves by 100 to 1 and it's getting worse.

I'm glad I won't be around to see it but within the next 50 or so years I believe that the 2nd Amendment will be repealed, the American people will be disarmed and the sheep won't resist or even care.

The USSA (United Socialist States of America) is in our Grand Children's future.

Baba Louie
September 20, 2003, 03:58 PM

Sure hope you're not right (I'd never say you were wrong mind you) about your vote of gloom. When I see threads like the ones with the young soldiers over in Iraq I feel pretty sure that there will still be a contingent of American Citizens left who know and cherish the ideals stated in the Constitution, however small that group may be.

But, then again, it may be that you are correct. I remember my Dad saying much the same back in '68.

Both my son and daughter were brought up around my way of thinking and I echo the words, thoughts and deeds of my father and my uncles; all having served and believing in the Rights enumerated (and some not specifically enumerated) in the BOR's. Jake and Katie are now 20 and 18 respectively, both have a rifle, shotgun and handgun or two and can kill soda cans and punch pretty small groups on a target whenever they desire (we're still working on the clay pigeon busting). They stand to inherit a pretty fair collection started by my Dad, added to by my own foolish desire to own every firearm and edged implement of destruction I can get my hands on...

My GF's kids also have learned how to shoot responsibly and someday they'll probably own one or two as well.

Spread the Good Word to all of the responsible youth you encounter, they all seem to soak it up like a thirsty sponge.

But the mommies of the world do seem to have taken over the media and the political spectrum thought (herd) process... so you may have a valid point.

Teach your children well. Their father's hell, will slowly go by. CSN&Y


Standing Wolf
September 20, 2003, 06:28 PM
do you believe america is still a nation of riflemen?

No. If a rifleman were just someone who owns a rifle, yes, we're a nation of riflemen on the average, but a.) a rifleman is someone who's proficient with rifles, and b.) my hunch is that the percentage of Americans who are actually proficient with rifles is much lower today than even fifty years ago. The figures for hand guns are probably somewhat higher, since they're more common today.

September 20, 2003, 06:34 PM
Well let me see. There are 258 million people in the U.S. There are four million members of the National Rifle Assoc. Before I retired I would say in an office of 2,000 I was the only one interested in shooting. so 258 into 4 is .015 %. I'd say that is not very many people interested in shooting.
Of course there are lots of people who shoot and don't belong to the NRA.
So, that means the 4 million members are carrying all the others as far as supporting the organization. Not saying I agree with all they do. Just saying that most gunowners don't really care about keeping their guns.

Mrs. Toro

1 Peter 4:19
Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing as unto a faithful creator.

September 20, 2003, 06:51 PM
I don't know that we've ever been a nation of riflemen. Gun users and owners, yes.

I believe there may be more skilled gun users today, per capita, than ever before.

September 20, 2003, 10:01 PM
Why was the NRA founded? Because us Americans couldn't shoot straight. We never have been, and presently aren't a nation of "rifle'mans'". And we ain't gonna be anytime soon. Just because 80million or so own guns, just means 80 million own guns. It doesn't mean anyone can shoot well.

September 20, 2003, 10:39 PM
I would bet cash money, if there would be any way to actually verify it, that there are more real riflemen in Arkansas (population something like 2.3 million) than there are in New York, California, and New Jersey combined.


September 21, 2003, 01:42 AM
I live in Arkansas, and being in the NW part of it I can only hope that hillbilly is correct. Fayettenam wouldnt convince me that AR has a disproportianately high number of riflemen.

[dons flame-retardant suit]

That said™, I am not a "rifleman" in the sense of I am proficient in the use of it. I simply dont have the time to use it well or often. Its a poor excuse, but then the truth so often is.

However, I had planned to go to the range today before I was stricken with some sort of "Gawd I wish I could die so that I could stop feeling so damned miserable" virus or something. *cough, hack, hack, cough* Oops, my lung seems to have fallen out. But its a healthy pink color, so that is reassuring...:uhoh: :scrutiny: :rolleyes:

September 21, 2003, 01:45 AM
Nation of Riflemen ?

Most of the people that actually own rifles can't shoot. I would say that the people that own rifles are in a minority. So, the people that I would consider to be even novice riflemen are few and far between.

September 21, 2003, 01:57 AM

September 21, 2003, 08:12 AM
If people in Arkansas loved guns why would they elect Bill Clinton for Governor. How about the gun hating Gen. Clark? Clinton had to be the worst President for getting rid of guns. He is the one who decided to sue all the gun manufacuers and distributors etc. He came to Ohio and got money from the worst lawyer on the face of the earth for his money chest.

Mrs. Toro.

Psalm 56: 4,5
In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me. Every day they wrest my words: All their thought are against me for evil.

David Scott
September 21, 2003, 10:46 AM
Back in the days when the rifle was a necessary everyday working tool for most folks, we were a nation of riflemen (and riflewomen). That began to change, I believe, in the "roaring '20s", when the first gun-control measures were passed as a way to brng charges against Mafia goons, who could be tagged for carrying weapons even if the Feds couldn't catch them doing anything else. So you can blame Prohibition for gun control, if you like.

As late as WWII and Korea, there were still plenty of riflemen out there -- experienced ones who enlisted and became Army sharpshooters. But when I went into the Army (1973) I heard constant comments from range instructors that not one enlistee in 50 had ever handled a firearm before.

Now we're an nation of marketing experts, which will be the downfall of our society.

4v50 Gary
September 21, 2003, 11:06 AM
Keith mentioned comparison and it got me thinking.

With the exception of Switzerland, against all other nations we appear favorably. However, the Swiss have always led us and during our Civil War when many Americans didn't know how to shoot, every Swiss male was a rifleman. Guess some things don't change.

September 21, 2003, 11:06 AM
do you believe america is still a nation of riflemen? No.

What we are and always have been is a nation of warriors not soldiers.

September 21, 2003, 11:23 AM
Why did Arkansas elect Bill Clinton?

Well, remember, Slick Willy is a master deceiver and liar.

Slick Willy never ever ever mentioned any sort of gun control as his plan while Gov. of a small, rural, Southern state.

His gun control plans only came out after he was elected to the office of President and he didn't have to convince Arkansas voters of anything anymore.

As for riflemen in Arkansas..........Arkansas has lots of military and ex-military guys of all ages. Military snipers in the various services tend to come from rural Souterhn states for obvious reasons.

I teach English at a small public college, and in just one of my classes, I have at least four ex-Marines. And that's just the Marines, not the other military vets. I think all Marines probably count as riflemen.

Besides the military connection, Arkansas has lots of kids as young as 8 who use rifles to take deer. I have four younger brothers, and two of them are riflemen, with the other two knowing their way around firearms well enough to shoot them safely.

Just as an example.....I live in the Ozarks in Crawford County. Yesterday, I had a concealed carry class out on my private range.

The class' gunfire apparently inspired other folks that they should be out shooting on such a fine day, as before we were done, there was the sound of target practice from at least five other shooters ringing from all points of the compass.

Northwest Arkansas, where Mopar Mike, is becoming rapidly urbanize and yuppiefied. But if you look around the riflemen can still be found, even there.


September 21, 2003, 11:36 AM
I think every one can become a rifleman go to fred's M14stocks and click on becoming a rifleman or woman. Iam learning how to be one, even after going thru basic training:o after i learn i will teach my boys:D :D
just got to suck it up and do it:D

September 21, 2003, 01:38 PM
Let me tell a story.

Ten years ago I was on a creaky old Coast Guard Cutter doing "REFTRA" with the navy down in Hawaii.

We had three kids that hung out together and were real shooters - two from Montana and one from Alaska. These guys had "customized" the sights on several of the guns, including the fifty caliber mounted on the bow. They had added a smaller "target" apperture and the front sight was filed down into a point. They may have played with the "trigger" in some fashion as well, I don't know - I don't want to know... They got plenty of practice and they were damned good!

The navy drill was to simply bracket a white rubber ball that was perhaps 3 to 5 feet in diameter, at various ranges - 500 meters, 100 meters, etc. Just bracket the ball - one burst over it, one under it - nothing more.

Well, at 500 meters the shooter let off a single round and "popped" the target ball. The navy Gunners Mates thought this was amusing and just a lucky shot. We dropped another ball and the gunner repeated the feat - popping the ball with a single shot at 500 meters.
They started to get real interested now and dropped another ball, steamed out to 1000 meters range and then made the back-up gunner shoot the ball instead of the original shooter. And this kid did the same thing! He took his time and made some sight adjustments, let off a single round and popped the ball at 1000 meters!
And picture that this is from a moving platform where the shooter had to time things with the swells, and put up with a certain amount of engine vibration...
That was the end of the shooting drills as far as the navy was concerned! The other three or four stations didn't even have to demonstrate their shooting. We got 100% for that portion of the training and were back at the pier by ten in the morning - and off to the beach...

All three of those kids could really shoot, even though one of them didn't get a chance that particular morning. Two of them were just 18 or 19 and another was in his early 20's. They'd grown up around guns and understood the concepts. They thought no more about "customizing" that gubmint fifty than they did about doing the same with their own rifles at home.

So, we still have some rifleman in this country.


4v50 Gary
September 21, 2003, 09:18 PM
Sea snipers. :) That skill is actually useful for cutting lines and aerials on other ships. The Spanish Navy used snipers to do that so a helicopter could land a boarding party on board a North Korean freighter that was Iraq bound (before our little coup there). They intercepted some missiles for us.

September 22, 2003, 04:27 AM
Sadly we are no longer a Nation Of Riflemen.

If there are 80 million of us gun owners out there why do so many anti-gun Horses As.... er, um, I mean politicians keep getting elected and relected?

I think the only thing worse than not knowing how to use a gun is owning a gun and not having the resolve to use it. America is now, by large, a nation of fat, lazy, let-the-other-guy-take-care-of-it people. How else could you explain the facy that ANYONE would ever believe Michael Moore and his ilk? How else can you explain having a president who thinks all guns are bad, oral copulation is not sex and that was to stupid too know how to properly smoke a joint?

So far as America being a Nation Of Riflemen... I doubt if our Founding Fathers would even consider us to be a Nation Of Americans.



As for me I am still hanging in there. In the past 2 years I have personally transformed 3 Sheep into Shepherds.

Mike Irwin
September 22, 2003, 12:49 PM

A nation of gunowners, but hardly a nation of riflemen.

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