Is society pushing guns out?


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servantofinari
March 5, 2009, 06:08 PM
Why do guns seem to be taboo? I was raised around them, my dad bought a .22 LR for me a week before I was born (nice little lever action, some difficulty with ejection but still nice) and I have always been taught that they are tools, well maintained and careful handled they are relatively safe. Knowledge about guns just sticks in my head. I’ve been given such a bad time about this for so long that I have actually started to dislike myself for it. Every where I turn people are throwing a fit about guns and the people I meet at the range (which is in the middle of no where. Understandably the safest place for a range but it does add to the feeling of “Taboo”) Are very impersonal, they show up, shoot, occasionally call for an all clear, then leave. It was refreshing to find someone at the range the other week who was willing to talk about his FN/Styer collection (shocked a few when I was able to tell his handgun was a FN Five-seven USG modal, the trigger guard gave it away.) But am I alone in this? Is the society of today pushing guns out slowly? I know it sounds stupid but I’m just looking for some input.

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Zundfolge
March 5, 2009, 06:14 PM
I'm having the opposite experience. I'm finding a lot more people open to the fact that I own guns.

Couple that with the fact that at no point in history could you get a permit to carry a concealed firearm so easily and in so much of the country.

Gun ownership is going through the roof (as the economy slows to a crawl, gun shops are selling out their inventory).

Even hardcore anti-gun politicians are very quick to tell us they aren't going to take our guns when just a couple decades ago they would gleefully tell us that they would be proud to eliminate the second amendment and round up all our guns.

erict
March 5, 2009, 06:28 PM
I'm with Zundfolge on this one. I actually had a "non gun" guy here at work comment that his local gun store has looked like a church parking lot lately because it is so full of cars.

I do see your point of view though and I think it has alot to do with the way society as a whole is changing. As more and more areas get developed there are less places to shoot and less people hunt for food so instead they purchase more food at the local supermarket.

Alot of people were introduced to firearms in earlier years because they were tools that were necesarry for every day life. I think many people have gotten away from that since our country has become more populated and modernized.

I don't think that people are pushing guns out but I do think alot of people see that they may not necesarrily have as much use for them as previous generations did. There are alot of people that have never shot a gun and they are kind of ignorant to firearms so it is our job to open their minds a bit and introduce them.

I recently took a friend of mine shooting. He grew up in the city and never fired a gun before. He was HOOKED from the first shot and a natural shooter too. His wife is coming with us next week so I'm pretty excited. I think there are alot of people out there that are on the fence due to ignorance about firearms.

servantofinari
March 5, 2009, 06:30 PM
You know whats realy bad... I live in Colorado, and not in Denver.

ByAnyMeans
March 5, 2009, 06:32 PM
I also disagree. I have had many more people open to discussing firearms with me and have guided many new buyers in this newest rush to arm America.
I also see many new positive gun laws in the states and the federal level. While there are many negative news story I think a part of it is sensationalistic journalism and a "gun grabbing" agenda. I don't discount a push for firearm regulations by this new administration I just see a lot of positive occurrences as well aside from them.

alemonkey
March 5, 2009, 06:35 PM
It seems to me that the younger generation is much more pro gun than the baby boomers.

DHJenkins
March 5, 2009, 06:37 PM
It's because most people get their opinions from someone else, and people who aren't raised around guns are taught to fear them. Even people raised around guns can have irrational fears.

Anyway, I wouldn't worry about the range attitude. It's probably just a reaction to the massive influx of new, inexperienced, un-trained folks waving their guns about entirely oblivious of range ettiquette.

As far as range location, I wouldn't read too much into that either - real estate prices go up and a good-sized range would fetch a mighty nice sack of loot in an expanding city.

warnerwh
March 5, 2009, 06:41 PM
Maybe the fact that people are learning more and more to not believe politicians actually care what is good for them. It seems to me also that non gun people have been changing their attitude toward guns. Certainly not enough date to be conclusive though.

feedthehogs
March 5, 2009, 06:46 PM
Took my wife, daughter, grand daughter, SIL out to eat last night.

We spent most of the dinner conversating about guns, ammo and a new concealed carry piece for my daughter since the Glock 19 with a purse, diaper bag and kid is too much.

I'm giving her my pocket KelTec and getting the Glock back.

Only people( I talk semi loud cause I'm half deaf) that frowned over our conversation were some ancient Yankee snow birds across the isle.

But then again their frowns could have been gas pains.

I find more people than ever are discussing guns and more in a positive note. Spent time today discussing with a customer about the ammo shortage.

servantofinari
March 5, 2009, 06:46 PM
I don't think that people are pushing guns out but I do think alot of people see that they may not necesarrily have as much use for them as previous generations did. There are alot of people that have never shot a gun and they are kind of ignorant to firearms so it is our job to open their minds a bit and introduce them. I like his explanation the best, but i like getting others opinions, saves time and pain.

cbrgator
March 5, 2009, 06:50 PM
It seems to me like the movement is in OUR favor. DC Heller confirmed the individual right. More states than ever have enacted CCW laws. Now states are enacting laws to prevent employers from banning employees from keeping guns in their cars. As far as I have seen, there hasn't been too much legislation to the contrary.

CoRoMo
March 5, 2009, 07:03 PM
While things have expanded in the areas of concealed carry and self defense issues, I don't know that we've made much headway on the so-called "assault weapon" fears.

Heller is a victory, but Wyoming's recent attempt to nix several reciprocating states is frustrating. We have an anti gun administration, but things seem to ebb and flow, for and against our cause.
I'm sure it will never end, but my optimism increases with every state sovereignty bill and response to Holder's recent interview (although neither is a victory per se).

To answer your question...
Why do guns seem to be taboo?

If true, I guess it is because we've allowed it to happen.

MovedWest
March 5, 2009, 07:42 PM
I've been wondering this exact same thing myself recently. Granted I live in the liberal Mecca of California, but even elsewhere I see a difference. I asked myself when it began to change and why it began to change.

I personally think the media is largely to blame. No news is good news, but even if it was no one would want to hear it. Look at the poor guy picking up a friend at LAX who got searched back in January who turned out to have 16 guns in the back of his truck. He hadn't broken any laws (except the misdemeanor offense of carrying a loaded gun - two were loaded) but yet the news was heard as far away as Europe and South America. Gang violence is easy to associate with guns because of the nature, but instead of blaming the gangs the media blames the guns. But let's not forget, the cops have guns, too!

Think about the 2004 quake in Indonesia and the following tsunami. Thanks to the media hype you'll never hear about an earthquake without hearing about the associated risk of a tsunami. I recently heard a news report about some people who had done something and the reporter mentioned they had "cold and allergy medication" (which is commonly associated with crystal meth production). And what's the first thing that comes to mind when I say Catholic priest and little boy? It's all programming by the media and gun owners are not the only victims.

Sensational media draws viewers. Viewers sell TV commercials. Ironically, commercials sell things that make news... like cold and allergy medication. Gun phobias are an unfortunate casualty of the media circus.

Just my 2 cents,
-MW

Ed Ames
March 5, 2009, 07:56 PM
The problem comes from an old foggie (born before 1940 maybe?) ethic of not talking about certain things. Doing so was considered half way between bragging and asking for trouble. So they didn't talk about tools, nice stuff they might have, and so on. Including guns. All well and good, except.... when you treat a subject as taboo you not only give them (whoever "they" are) reason to call it dirty, but you take yourself out of the discussion.

Sometimes you've got to take a risk, to expose yourself to risk, in order to be accepted as normal. They didn't take that risk... and now we've got you, in a world where guns are taboo... and it is up to you to do something about it.

What to do? I'll give my testimonial.

I grew up in SoCal. Guns were totally hidden... a gun store that opened near where I grew up had protesters out front because the presence of such a store would corrupt children. Nobody owned guns (well, they did, but if you asked they'd lie), nobody used them, nobody talked about them.

I was 30 before I ever discussed owning guns with anyone outside of immediate family. I once discussed shooting but it was not in the context of owning. The closest I came was that I had a key on my keyring, one of the little keys that came with Ruger pistols and had a Ruger emblem, and once or twice I showed it to someone and asked them what they thought it was. Nobody identified (or acknowledged) the emblem so that was that.

Then one day I realized that I couldn't blame the foggies any more -- now I was the problem. I was doing what they had done, was letting guns stay taboo in my social circle. So I started talking to people. I started conversations. I also started telling friends things like, "I'm going to the range next Saturday at 2PM... if you want to do some shooting just show up and look for me." I didn't push it, but I didn't hide it.

There have been three general outcomes.
1) I have discovered existing shooters who were already part of my social circle but never opened up.
2) I have introduced new people to shooting, in some cases creating new shooters, in others at least demystifying and clearing away misconceptions.
3) I have been the "undeniably sane person" who turns out to be a gun owner and opens the eyes of a few antis. In one case that worked out to my benefit to the tune of a free gun when the anti's gun-owning family member died and they turned to me for disposal advice (they wanted to take it to the police....I gave them a locking case, told them the laws, told them it was worth $$$, and offered to buy it...a day later they said "it should be with someone who will enjoy it" and gave it to me -- it is one of my range regulars).

A few of my coworkers and I were talking the other day and, because I brought up shooting, we are now organizing an office-wide range day in a few weeks. We have about 15 people lined up to go so far and might reach double that...a good many totally new shooters... no, it isn't an official company event, but it is positive contact that never would've happened if I hadn't started a conversation about owning guns and shooting.

It's up to you to start the conversations....and it is a risk...but there are rewards too.

servantofinari
March 5, 2009, 08:31 PM
I think you're right. Guns need someone to defend them, an odd turn around. I have never hid my love of gun. And I have no intention of it. It just is a pain, especially when I remember being sixteen and everyone still trying to hid death from me. My parents have always been very blunt about life so that was never a problem.

Zak Smith
March 5, 2009, 08:51 PM
I don't know where you are in Colorado. I've lived here for about 10 years and have found that the vast majority of people I meet in person - if the topic comes up - are either neutral or interested.

PT1911
March 5, 2009, 08:56 PM
I have a sneaking idea that even the "high ups" who oppose everything about guns, go home each evening to make sure no one has seen their shotgun is still propped up behing the door...

BHP FAN
March 5, 2009, 09:06 PM
When I was a kid, you could ride across town, on your bicycle with a .22 across your handlebars. Nobody would say a thing.Those of you who don't think things have gotten worse,should try that.

moooose102
March 5, 2009, 10:07 PM
i am not so sure about society as a whole, but certainly the media is! in major cities, where most peoples exposure to guns is from criminals, they probably have a bad outlook on guns as a whole. but i think most folks out in a rural setting are much more acceptant of them.

MatthewVanitas
March 5, 2009, 10:16 PM
I'm in my 20s, and have found most people, even in "liberal" Austin, to be quite receptive. I did a lot of flyering and recruiting for UT's campus shooting range, and had a mere handful of really negative "that's terrible" responses compared to hundreds of "wow I've always wanted to try that!" responses from a huge variety of males and females of varied ethnic groups. The UT campus club, when I coached there, drew about 50% Asians (if we count South Asians as well), and about 30% female shooters.

That said, and this is purely anecdotal, when I was attending a colloquium in Los Angeles I offered to take anyone from my class (10 people) out shooting. One guy from Chicago actually went, one Iranian wanted to go, and at least four others (from NYC, Hawaii, and SoCal) made a face and said "that's terrible, why would I want to do that?" So I have run across random groups where it was not well-received.

Overall though, I've met a ton of 20-somethings who had never been shooting but were eager to try it out. Out of several hundred new shooters I've coached (mostly at the UT campus range) I've had a total of maybe 3 that had an unpleasant experience, and most of those showed up for the safety brief but then refused to touch a gun. I even had several that were initially very resistant but tagged along with friends or came as a personal challenge, and ended up really enjoying it.

ComradeBurg
March 5, 2009, 11:41 PM
I think it depends on where you are to how society is treating guns and gun owners.

During college I was around a seemingly infinite number of anti-gunners. Just mentioning that I was a gun owner (which I always proudly state) was enough to set people off. Granted most of these people were anti-gun because they wanted to be "progressive." In other words if something can harm people they wanted to be against it (as long as being against it didn't inconvenience them, most of them were for having a car which are far more deadly).

At work it seems half of the company I work for is pro-gun and the other half is anti-gun. Both sides have strong opinions.

I have a lot of friends who are pro-gun and a lot who are anti-gun as well. Honestly I notice more of a split then an acceptance or rejections.

Zundfolge
March 5, 2009, 11:46 PM
I don't know where you are in Colorado. I've lived here for about 10 years and have found that the vast majority of people I meet in person - if the topic comes up - are either neutral or interested.
Of course to be fair, Zak spends 95-98% of his waking hours at the range surrounded by serious shooters :neener:

jbkebert
March 5, 2009, 11:46 PM
When I was in high school not all that long ago. 15 years now I got into a fight at school. After the principal got through chewing my rear out he told me that I would be suspended for a week. {I am going somewhere with this}. He asked me about the farm my family owned north of town. He wanted to know if we had any turkeys on it. I spent my 4 days while I was kicked out of school turkey hunting with the high school principal.:D
Last year I was called to the same school district where I went about my oldest son. The principal was concerned that he talked about hunting to much and wondered if I was setting a good example for my son.:fire: The principal went on to tell me that my son was lying alot to his classmates. He was saying things like he got to shoot guns, and he went to 3-D archery shoots with his dad and even won a couple trophies. Needless to say I was pissed I went home and came back to the school with pictures of my sons first deer and his archery trophies and set them on the bastards desk:D
So much has changed over a course of just 14 years it is hard to believe.:banghead:

Kind of Blued
March 6, 2009, 12:44 AM
I think that you've hit on something to a degree unfortunately. I haven't been alive or into firearms for all that long, but the reaction amongst younger folks is either uneducated but interested, or uneducated and "foreign", either way, they're uneducated in regard to firearms and the role they are meant to play in American culture in light of our history and Constitution. Either way, I think the issue is ignorance; the belief that the police can and will protect you is widespread and most people will never in their lives be told that this assumption is untrue, nor will they agree that self-suffiency is an admirable or desirable ability.

I think it would be hard to argue that anyone is more at fault than the media as far as actively criminalizing firearms. They naturally need an "antagonist group" in order to do their job and blaming socio-economics, low education, or racism/sexism/ageism/etc just isn't that interesting.

I tend to think that we're still in a progression that began around the time of the Enlightenment era or the "scientific revolution", and 99% of the time that's a great thing. I also think that the country which was meant to be the culmination of all of that thought and sociological, ethical, and philosophical progression has never truly existed in its purest form. Nevertheless, we're likely as close as mankind will ever get, but if we want to have a shot at bettering ourselves, the Second Amendment needs to be actualized, or at least preserved in its current state.

Match14
March 6, 2009, 12:45 AM
I lived in Arvada Colorado from 99 to 03, I think that the negative impressions of firearms and their owners are partly the result of to many people who aren't responsible. I never did any shooting in the mertro area, rather my father and I would drive to the foothills and pull off a road to shoot. I would usually see shot up road signs, and lots of garbage like tv's that had been left behind.
Personally I consider such actions to be reprehensible, and I consider myself pro RKBA, I can only guess that those neutral or anti take even dimmer view of such.

Hugo
March 6, 2009, 12:51 AM
The times they are a changin'. For the better in that more people are enjoying shooting sports and waking up to concealed carry and self defense. One step at a time folks.

Kind of Blued
March 6, 2009, 12:55 AM
I lived in Arvada Colorado from 99 to 03, I think that the negative impressions of firearms and their owners are partly the result of to many people who aren't responsible.

I'm in Arvada now, and I know what you're talking about. I think that's a pretty widespread problem, but especially out here with lots of lonely, wide-open spaces.

Passers-by will never think of the hundreds of thousands, or even millions of rounds that have been sent downrange safely and responsibly. They'll notice, and remember the one round of 12GA birdshot that some jerk put through a "Falling Rocks" sign, just like the countless justifiable self-defense shootings per year will never make the news.

Wesson Smith
March 6, 2009, 01:17 AM
When I was a kid, you could ride across town, on your bicycle with a .22 across your handlebars. Nobody would say a thing. We did the same thing. I lived in the Appalachian foothills as a young crumb cruncher, and nearly every summer day we packed bologna sammitches, YooHoo and some Redman chaw in our sacks, strapped a .22 to the back of the sack and headed for the hills for a full day of critter plinkin'. Without a doubt, some of the very best times of my entire life. :D

Dirtpile
March 6, 2009, 02:40 AM
It's not so much society in general but the product of ever more pervasive media fear mongering and rising crime rates. Which conveniently enough for the anti's leads to even more media fear mongering.
Couple that with the general pussification of society and the asinine legislation that foundered it and has been foundered by it you have a dangerous decline.
A few decades ago you could get in a fight at school and only get sent home for the day. Nowadays you get charged with assault and sent to Juvie for a year or two. Lots of the older members hers probably remember when they could legally shoot in their own back yards (space permitting of course) and now there aren't many places left where you can do that.
It definitely doesn't help that as a species we're getting dumber. The gene pool could use some Chlorine.

CoRoMo
March 6, 2009, 11:08 AM
I no longer see guns being sold...


At Kmart
At Sears
At many Wal Marts
At corner drug stores
At most all hardware stores
At most all western wear/farm & ranch stores


Maybe there is some validity to this "pushing guns out" perception.

BHP FAN
March 6, 2009, 12:04 PM
Quote:
When I was a kid, you could ride across town, on your bicycle with a .22 across your handlebars. Nobody would say a thing.

We did the same thing. I lived in the Appalachian foothills as a young crumb cruncher, and nearly every summer day we packed bologna sammitches, YooHoo and some Redman chaw in our sacks, strapped a .22 to the back of the sack and headed for the hills for a full day of critter plinkin'. Without a doubt, some of the very best times of my entire life.
__________________
"When the eagles are silent, the parrots begin to jabber"

- Sir Winston Churchill

We'd head down to the river bar and shoot pheasant.pluck 'em and cook 'em right there on the river bar.Good times.

rfwobbly
March 6, 2009, 12:32 PM
Society is NOT doing anything. Socialist liberals ARE.

As part of their anti-gun agenda, the small but vocal liberal core of the Dem party has made it their agenda. With the help of the teacher's unions, these guys are implanting the message in kids minds that "guns are bad". This, while subjects such as the US Constitution and personal responsibility are being avoided.

I see this every year when I take my Scout troop for our annual shooting outing. Parents (who do not own guns) reel at the thought of little Johnny being shot and raise objections. Even parents have now been trained to give that "guns are dangerous" knee-jerk reaction. Our troop's leaders find as much to teach the parents as the kids. And guess what? In ten years of these outings no one has been shot and everyone had so much fun they can't wait to get to summer camp so they can shoot some more.

This is why the Socialist liberals are so much against Boy Scouts of America. It probably has little to do with gays. After all what parent who thought about it twice would send their boy into the deep woods with an avowed homosexual? No, it's because 75% of the people now shooting had one of their first shooting experiences through Boy Scouts. So the plan is, eliminate the BSA and eliminate 75% of the US shooters.

If you really want to defeat this mentality, then sign up with a Scout group, Sunday school group, or any other youth organization and take them all shooting. In my experience most ranges will give organized youth groups free range time and free coaching just to make sure our youth have the experience. And the kids love it !!

servantofinari
March 6, 2009, 07:07 PM
f you really want to defeat this mentality, then sign up with a Scout group, I was in the scouts for a year, my experience with the jerks who ran it and the ones who where in it was so bad I just left.

rightside
March 6, 2009, 08:05 PM
My son and daughter were and are shooting, started at age five.......like when I started....I taught a scout group a few years ago...All liberal.......qwestioned everthing...

kilo729
March 6, 2009, 10:44 PM
The Taboo is fear caused by ignorance. A little education should clear it right up :D

When I was in high school not all that long ago. 15 years now I got into a fight at school. After the principal got through chewing my rear out he told me that I would be suspended for a week. {I am going somewhere with this}. He asked me about the farm my family owned north of town. He wanted to know if we had any turkeys on it. I spent my 4 days while I was kicked out of school turkey hunting with the high school principal.

That is awesome dude.

jbkebert
March 6, 2009, 11:18 PM
I was really lucky growing up. My dad did not deer hunt, he actually quit hunting when I was around 14-15 or so. My older brother and I tried deer hunting with archery gear. We had no idea what to do and were eating tag sandwiches for 3 years. The computer lab teacher started taking me and my borther bow hunting and showed us the ropes. I think that is why I have tried to carry that on. When we teach hunter safety classes willing instructors take one or two student per class hunting. So if 6 instructors are will anywhere from 6-12 kids get their names drawn to go hunting with an instructor. I remember how frustrated I was stumbling through learning to hunt. If we can take a kid and his parent hunting and teach them how it goes miles to making them hunters for life. Many new hunters go out for a year or two and get frustrated and quit. I am no expert at the art of hunting but what I can do is give pointers, and steer them in the right direction.

KarenTOC
March 6, 2009, 11:22 PM
I no longer see guns being sold...

At Kmart
At Sears
At many Wal Marts
At corner drug stores
At most all hardware stores
At most all western wear/farm & ranch stores

Maybe there is some validity to this "pushing guns out" perception.

Today at work I asked my 29-year old female coworker "want to see my new toy?" I showed her a picture of a Baby Browning.

She gasped, bug-eyed, jumped back, did a modified Fred Sandford chest grab, and said OH MY GOD! I imagine if she ever saw a real gun on display in a store, she'd faint.

Is there a word for "fear of a photo of a gun?"

Bookworm
March 7, 2009, 07:22 AM
"Is society pushing guns out?"

Yes. It is only getting worse. Sure, Heller affirmed an individual right to keep guns in the home but that decision was already watered down by DC refusing to license semi-autos, and requiring them to be locked up anyhow. Heller has done absolutely nothing for ANY court case whatsoever.

They have begun disarming thousands of veterans experienced in urban warfare because they have received counseling or something due to either shooting BGs or seeing their friends and brothers killed before their eyes. They are stripping misdemeanants from 2a rights, and disarming others involved in divorces or custody battles.

The supreme court recently issued an order allowing police to search and confiscate the weapons of anyone whom they think might be armed and dangerous, regardless of whether or not they were even under suspicion of committing any crime, never mind warrants or probable cause.

The assault weapon bans are again being introduced to the public to preview how it floats, as well as various ammo infringements. The same with body armor. Permits and licenses are rampant, expensive, and subjective.

Cities and their governments point to any shooting as an excuse to "crack down" on criminals and guns and further restrict gun ownership.

No-knock warrants are issued increasingly for "police safety" when the homeowner is "known to possess a firearm".

President Obama and his entire team were anti-gun activists. Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and the democratic leadership are also left wing liberals who would love to do anything to control the masses. There are no checks at all to what the federal government does - and that includes the supreme court which has abandoned its role from protecting the rights of the little guy and into rubber-stamping whatever congress and the presidency do.

Here in PA, one open carry activist handed out flyers NEAR a park where Obama was campaigning - and even after the prosecutor acknowledged that he had a right to carry, case law supporting the citizen, he was arrested anyhow. Apparently his constitutional rights were subject to police whim at the time.

Apparently the best the average hardworking citizen can do is pick up a gun or two from a private sale for home defense and otherwise mind your own business. The last thing you should want is for the government to know you possess a firearm, even if it is "legal".

Is it truly "getting better" as some state? I don't think so, a handful of meaningless victories aside.

Nicky Santoro
March 7, 2009, 08:55 AM
Is society pushing guns out?

I don't believe it is society in general, but rather a noisy minority who are getting media coverage out of all proportion to their numbers.

yokel
March 7, 2009, 11:19 AM
It's my fervent hope that certain ethnic group's unqualified support of the Second Amendment takes off in a big way and real soon...

http://www.upi.com/Top_News/2008/08/...3591218683948/


Whites to be U.S. minority by 2042

WASHINGTON, Aug. 13 (UPI) -- Whites will become a minority in the United States as early as 2042, a Census Bureau report to be released Thursday projects.

Census Bureau demographer Grayson Vincent told the Detroit Free Press that's about a decade earlier than previously forecast as the point at which all Americans will be minorities.

The report will show that by 2050, non-Hispanic whites, who now represent two-thirds of the U.S. population, will number 203 million out of the nation's estimated 439 million people, the newspaper said.

In addition, the number of Hispanics will likely triple by 2050 to 133 million, while the black population is projected to reach 66 million and the Asian segment of the population will be about 41 million, the report said. The American Indian and Alaska Natives population will reach about 9 million. We're clearly doomed and defeated if it does not.

Liberty is a blessing that must be secured and if one generation fails to properly secure liberty, other generations will neither reap liberty's blessings, nor have the opportunity to secure it for themselves or their posterity.

Bill_Rights
March 7, 2009, 03:10 PM
I will take Ed Ames prescription (http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=5397893&postcount=14).

now I was the problem. I was doing what they had done, was letting guns stay taboo in my social circle. So I started talking to people. I started conversations. I also started telling friends things like, "I'm going to the range next Saturday at 2PM... if you want to do some shooting just show up and look for me." I didn't push it, but I didn't hide it.

There have been three general outcomes.
1) I have discovered existing shooters who were already part of my social circle but never opened up.
2) I have introduced new people to shooting, in some cases creating new shooters, in others at least demystifying and clearing away misconceptions.
3) I have been the "undeniably sane person" who turns out to be a gun owner and opens the eyes of a few antis. In one case that worked out to my benefit to the tune of a free gun when the anti's gun-owning family member died and they turned to me for disposal advice (they wanted to take it to the police....I gave them a locking case, told them the laws, told them it was worth $$$, and offered to buy it...a day later they said "it should be with someone who will enjoy it" and gave it to me -- it is one of my range regulars).

A few of my coworkers and I were talking the other day and, because I brought up shooting, we are now organizing an office-wide range day in a few weeks. We have about 15 people lined up to go so far and might reach double that...a good many totally new shooters... no, it isn't an official company event, but it is positive contact that never would've happened if I hadn't started a conversation about owning guns and shooting.

It's up to you to start the conversations....and it is a risk...but there are rewards too.
My baby-step experience so far is wimpier. I brought the subject up with my brother and his wife, only to find out that they were already actually thinking of getting some guns for HD and wanted to take CHP/CCW classes AND his wife (hi! Sis-in-law, if you're reading) had had a real life home invasion scare years ago in which she went for her roommate's pistol. So that was an "Ames encounter of the First Kind". A good thing.

metallic
March 7, 2009, 04:30 PM
Is there a word for "fear of a photo of a gun?"

Hoplophotophobia?

rojocorsa
March 7, 2009, 11:01 PM
I have always determined that if in modern day (as in today) it is socially acceptable for a homosexual to openly claim they are gay, then it should also be acceptable for my to display my fondness of my hobby/passion?

Aren't we now supposedly living in an open and egalitarian society?
Then why have a grudge against responsible gun owners?

EHL
March 7, 2009, 11:09 PM
I definitly think it is. Mentioning a firearm around workplace is grounds for possible termination just because somebody may find them "offensive". Also, I think the media has been tossing around the poll that 56% of Americans support a new AWB. We're clearly in the minority. Keep in mind that there are many gun owners that don't support 2nd amendment rights, just so long as their hunting shotguns and rifles aren't messed with, they could care less about any other use for firearms. It's sad.

Zak Smith
March 7, 2009, 11:10 PM
Mentioning a firearm around workplace is grounds for possible termination just because somebody may find them "offensive".
I've worked in large corporations in the high-tech industry for the last ten years and have not found this to be true.

Zak Smith
March 7, 2009, 11:11 PM
Mentioning a firearm around workplace is grounds for possible termination just because somebody may find them "offensive".
I've worked in large corporations in the high-tech industry for the last ten year and have not found this to be true.

EHL
March 7, 2009, 11:25 PM
good for you Zack. I had a friend get fired because he mentioned that he went shooting down at the range. Somebody filed a complaint to HR and said they felt like it was "intimidating" hearing somebody talk about their use of firearms and they wanted for management to "do something about it". He got the pink slip since he was "creating a hostile work environment".

BHP FAN
March 7, 2009, 11:49 PM
good for you Zack. I had a friend get fired because he mentioned that he went shooting down at the range. Somebody filed a complaint to HR and said they felt like it was "intimidating" hearing somebody talk about their use of firearms and they wanted for management to "do something about it". He got the pink slip since he was "creating a hostile work environment...''

I had the same thing happen at my work, HR takes that ''touchy feely'' stuff real seriously.

Ed Ames
March 8, 2009, 12:01 AM
I think gun owners and homosexuals have a lot in common actually.

You can say it's socially acceptable for a homosexual to be open, but get real... half the people on this forum got angry reading that sentence ("gun owners and homosexuals") and we all know it.

The issue, in both cases, is Social Deviance. As in, "Sociology 101", the deviation (difference from normal) of the individual. Humans are very sensitive to perceived Social Deviance. They react violently to unfamiliar styles of dress, appearance, and lifestyle. Humans aren't alone - animals routinely ostracize and kill deviant members of their own species.

If you are in a place where guns are normal you aren't a deviant for being a gun-user and it is no big deal to talk about guns. If you are in a place where homosexuality is normal, again you aren't a deviant for being a homosexual and it's no big deal to talk about homosexuality.

What about everywhere else?

We hear stories about ROTC students suspended or expelled, shooters fired for saying they went shooting, homosexuals beaten, children kicked out of their homes, people being ridiculed constantly, jobs lost, friends lost...we hear many stories not just about gun owners and homosexuals, but about immigrants, atheists, muslims, nerds, and everyone else who is just a bit too different. A bit too deviant.

That's what keeps minorities in the closet. Homosexuals, gun owners, pastafarians, mensa members, you name it - fear of punishment for being social deviants. It takes a lot of courage to expose your deviance. To tell someone that may have power over you, "I am an atheist", or "I own a handgun." To start a conversation you know can cost you everything humans value -- friends, family, income, and place in society.

There are huge, very real, pressures keeping us from exposing ourselves. I said before we needed to talk about guns more often, but at the same time I don't want to sugar coat the fact that those conversations can have harmful consequences. This is the real world and not everything has the Hollywood, "I came out and everything was fine forever after" ending. Sometimes Matthew Shepard is tortured and murdered for being gay.

The question is, is there any possible reward?

One reward, and this is something the homosexual community has been counting on for 25+ years now, is that familiarity reduces the perception of deviance. That's the theory behind open carry rallies and the like ... by repeatedly exposing people to something considered deviant, you acclimatize them to the behavior and they start to see it as normal. Gun owners need to do more of that. So do atheists and sikh and a whole bunch of other deviant groups.

There are other benefits. You find that others you know share similar interests but wouldn't start the conversation. You...well, I'm repeating myself now.

If we want to keep our 2A rights we need to be realistic about what we are...deviants (why? IMO because of those old foggies I mentioned before that didn't talk about their guns)...and we need to start looking at other groups who have faced the situation we are in. Outsider groups who have made inroads towards acceptance as normal. Homosexuals have walked that road and we could do a lot worse than using what has worked for them.

crazy-mp
March 8, 2009, 12:09 AM
It seems to me that the younger generation is much more pro gun than the baby boomers

I hadn't thought about that much but it seems you are right, for the most part. It seems like the older generations only have a few guns mabey 3-7 while each younger generation buys more guns. Mabey it has something to do with only getting what you need or have to have, some of the lessons passed down from the Great Depression?

gallo
March 8, 2009, 12:49 AM
Most countries in the world have strict gun control laws. Most people from those countries have been indoctrinated that guns are bad. Those people emigrate to the US with those ideas and eventually vote accordingly. Do the math? We are doomed.

I went to school in the field of IT, which is strongly dominated by Chinese and Indians. Very close minded individuals when it comes to the 2nd amendment. They have never known or experienced such liberty and are afraid of it. Most of those people are currently in line waiting for a green card. Great guys to have a beer with, but I see a dim future for the 2nd amendment in their hands.

Even people I know that like guns support 'common sense' gun legislation. I was one of them and perhaps some of my earlier posts in this forum reflect that. It was until I read more about how any gun legislation erodes the 2nd amendment did I came to understand the viciousness of the Brady bunch.

I am not optimistics about the future of the 2nd amendment. We are the minority in a country where self reliance has almost become a thing of text books.

YK
March 8, 2009, 12:58 AM
good for you Zack. I had a friend get fired because he mentioned that he went shooting down at the range. Somebody filed a complaint to HR and said they felt like it was "intimidating" hearing somebody talk about their use of firearms and they wanted for management to "do something about it". He got the pink slip since he was "creating a hostile work environment...''

I had the same thing happen at my work, HR takes that ''touchy feely'' stuff real seriously.

Provided that your friends said nothing threatening towards their co-workers or humans in general, this would be an inappropriate reason for termination and grounds for meritorious law suit.

Redneck with a 40
March 8, 2009, 10:24 AM
I still feel that I have to be carefull who I talk about guns with. I tend to feel them out with some very neutral questions, don't want people flipping out one me, going into a tirade. Its a real shame, our media has made guns taboo, it ticks me off. Guns are a great hobby, very fun, builds comraderie, and instills responsibility and discipline.

grimjaw
March 8, 2009, 11:15 AM
From 2000-2004 I worked on a military base as a contractor. Since my conversations with people there sometimes happened in a room full of mock up weapons, I will not take that as representative of the population.

From 2005-2007, I worked as a contractor for DoE in Washington state, in an area that was liberal for the nation but conservative for the state. My workplace was very PC on some subjects but not on others. For example, religion and gun ownership conversations were avoided and/or viewed as somewhat extremist. However, crude sexual jokes were commonplace, even with a very gender-mixed environment.

Since 2008 I've been in the health care field in Arkansas. In general, if I start talking firearms with a nurse her eyes are going to glaze over and she'll start thinking about injecting herself with a narcotic.

I find that in general my interest in guns provokes one of three reactions in people.

- They share an active interest in the subject.
- They have no interest beyond what utility firearms provide in their daily life. If the person doesn't hunt, the only other use they usually have is self defense. Since most people aren't regularly having to defend themselves and don't want to think in those terms, they don't want to talk about it. Any interest beyond that is viewed as "gunnutism."
- Last view is that firearms provide no utility and are only a danger. Firearms and people who handle or own firearms are irresponsible or dangerous and are to be avoided beyond what's absolutely necessary.

There are so many things competing for your time today, including your leisure time. I think that the harder (i.e. litigious) it gets to own and operate firearms (harder and harder as the population continues to increase), the easier it is for people to choose other avenues. I don't know that it's US American society specifically that's doing it.

That's my uneducated $0.02.

jm

Bill_Rights
March 8, 2009, 11:47 AM
Grimjaw,

Good context, but Any interest beyond that is viewed as "gunnutism."
Huh? "gunnutism"? Please define....

grimjaw
March 8, 2009, 01:05 PM
Huh? "gunnutism"? Please define....

It was probably a poor choice of words.

For people who view firearms only as useful as it applied to their everyday lives, any excess interest in the subject (and for that matter any subject) beyond what is required is excessive. They might view the interest as nerdy, fetishism, paranoid, etc. For example, a person who uses firearms to hunt but sees no other use for them might see someone who takes an interest in firearms beyond that as frivolous, but otherwise harmless.

jm

Geno
March 8, 2009, 01:10 PM
I went to Target Sports today to have a "blast". Their MCPL course had standing-room-only. The cash register-line ran from the door the register. Seriously, there had to have been 40 to 50 people in that line! Every shooting lane was full, and even members could shoot only for 30 minutes.

If society is pushing guns out, I saw who is taking up the slack.

Geno

EHL
March 8, 2009, 01:12 PM
Provided that your friends said nothing threatening towards their co-workers or humans in general, this would be an inappropriate reason for termination and grounds for meritorious law suit.

Yes, they do have grounds for a law suit. But this is a college town that I live in, they know that there is a slim chance that this college guy is going to put his education and life on hold while he goes attorney hunting, fills out affidavits, gives testimony, helps the lawyer gather witnesses, go to motion hearings, etc.... when they could put it behind them and go get a job at any of the local places right away and get the bills paid.
I got fired from this same place for simply having empty brass casings in my backpack. I thought if I didn't talk about guns and keep my hobbies to myself, I'd be just fine. But..I had just got back from the range and opened up my back pack to grab my pen out (I kept my empties to reload later and my backpack was the only thing handy as I was trying to get some range time in and then go to work immediatly afterwards) and somebody was standing over me as I opened it. She noticed a few empties on the bottom of the bag. I had security swarming my desk within 2 mins. They thought I had complete bullets in my bag. I explained to them that they were inert and there was no powder, projectile, or anything dangerous. The guy next to me saw me produce the empty and he told security and the supervisors that they weren't bullets either, that they were harmless. They didn't listen and they canned me right there on the spot since they defined a bullet casing as "part of an exploding device" and thereby in violation of their HR handbook that states "no exploding devices". That and the girl who reported me was "shaken" is what they told me, and that "could constitute harrasment".

Tell me that there is no anti-gun sentiment in the workplace!:cuss:

grimjaw
March 8, 2009, 03:30 PM
Keep in mind also that many of the restrictions for firearms have been in place for the entire lifetime of many people today.

For instance, one of my ex-girlfriends was born after 1986, and was still very young when the 1994 bans were put in place. She lived in the Cleveland, Ohio, area, and probably heard about guns more through media reports of criminal use or the movies than through personal experience.

In my limited experience people who have never experienced certain freedoms, especially if those freedoms were demonized throughout their life previously, are afraid of those freedoms once they or others have them. Just like there are many millions of us who grew up going to schools that weren't like Columbine, there are millions of young people who were born after 1986 in places like New York and California who have never known what it's like to possess a gun without that possession automatically being criminal.

You tell me what that might be doing to "society."

jm

YK
March 8, 2009, 09:07 PM
Tell me that there is no anti-gun sentiment in the workplace!

Depends on a workplace, I guess. Couple of month ago I offered to take a guy who works as our office manager to shoot an AK. And then one of our PR guys wanted to tag along. And then another guy from HR really-really wanted to join us 'cause he'd never shot an AK... :)

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