How hard do you work to dispell myths?


July 5, 2009, 10:47 AM
I went shooting this past week with a friend who is an avid trap and skeet shooter. He knows quite a bit about shotguns is a member of a nice higher end trap and skeet club and reloads. He is also a very good shot and me in several rounds (I am more of a rifle shooter). He is also a bird hunter as well.

Unfortunately he doesn't know anything about pistols or rfiles. Anyway he is thinking about buying a pistol and it all came pouring out like a tidal wave. Honestly based on his knowledge of shotguns I was shocked to find that he believed the following:

- .38 caliber is usless for HD/SD because the bullets bounce off of human heads
- .45 bullets tumble in flight causing bigger wounds
- Hollow points are illegal
- Glocks are unsafe because they don't have a safety (and they are made in Alabama apparently)

This was just for starters. I spent at least three hours explaining ballisitics, gun laws, ammo types and effects. Frankly I was exhausted after a couple of hours but he kept pulling more myths and simply bad information out and I felt compelled to keep going and presenting evidence.

I felt bad for the guy because I knew he knew a lot about shotguns (certainly more than me) and is also very pro-gun but had grown up without any knowledge of rifles or pistols and so had filled in the blanks with hollywood and gun shop commando talk.

It got me to wondering about how hard we work in our community to dispell these types myths.

So hard do you work at it? Or do you just let it go?

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tasco 74
July 5, 2009, 11:25 AM
it depends on the situation and who it is i'm listening to.... sometimes i just grin and shake my head and sometimes i say what i know about the topic spoken about... a good old friend of mine who shot black powder meets a few times years ago recently decided to get more into other types of firearms.... he has owned and shot different guns and hunted his whole life but knows little about reloading so i've been trying to school him little by little about what it took me years to learn....... on the other hand early last winter i happened to be at the gun counter at my local wally's and i young started in about .460 this and .500 magnum that.... the old guy behind the counter (i've known him for years) just kinda shot a look at each other...... i finaly said "a .357 magnum will drop anything in north america" and the old guy concurred "he's right" the youngster looked a little deflated but not too bad..... generally i don't spend alot of time trying tell most people much because most of the time i just get the look that says "you really don't have a clue"....... i do have a clue but it might take a long time convince someone of that........... it took 20 plus years gather and experience what i have and i really can't tell someone all that in just a few hours................

i had a great friend a mentor who taught how to reload patiently and cast bullets,and took me to a lot of shooting events.. all this was absorbed and it takes a bit to get it all back out sometimes......... so..... it depends on if the person is really interested in all that or not............................

Tim the student
July 5, 2009, 02:38 PM
it depends on if the person is really interested in all that or not

Yep, if he is willing to listen, and is not dead set convinced that he is right and you are wrong, its worth it. If he's not, well, you can't reason with the unreasonable.

July 5, 2009, 03:03 PM
^^^^^Lot of that here on THR.

July 5, 2009, 03:39 PM
So hard do you work at it? Or do you just let it go?
Assuming we are not talking about a potential safety issue here, I explain my position once, then get on with life. He may come around over time, or not. No use stressing over it. Enjoy the friendship, that's more important then diverging viewpoints on the plethora of minor issues involved with firearms.

July 5, 2009, 05:04 PM
Clearing up myths of that type is my job.

I'm a Librarian!

July 5, 2009, 05:20 PM
Well, Titan, first thanks for taking the time.

All information seems to propagate outward. So you probably kept some random number of other souls from being similarly misinformed. ;) So you're educating the masses!

I usually try and size up whom I'm talking to... It's pretty clear a lot of people who make statements like those above don't actually want to be corrected if wrong. And what some people consider persuasive probably shouldn't be. "well, my cousin was an *Army* Seal and he told me they don't use anything weaker than a desert eagle" (rolleyes).

So, you probably have to ask yourself if they are willing to listen to you. A friend who's going shooting with you probably is. An acquaintance at a gun store (worse yet an employee) or a fellow club member might not be...

And so many of these types of points are basically "religious". You can actually have an intelligent debate about Glocks and safety (it's pretty relevant since it's such a common gun, you'd think) but that instead seems to draw out personal vehemence and absolute stands. So accidentally getting into it with a random person isn't something I try to do.
(Of course, you did warn him that they explode without warning, right?? :D)


July 5, 2009, 05:50 PM
never try to wise up a chump.

same category as trying to teach a pig to sing.

July 5, 2009, 10:56 PM
My feelings are if we can't educate ourselves than we will never, ever be able to educate anyone outside the community. There is a bit of bull headedness but I think it can be worked.

July 5, 2009, 11:04 PM
Depends on whether the person in question is ignorant or stupid! Ignorance you can fix, stupid, well in the immortal words of Ron White, "You can't fix stupid!"

July 6, 2009, 03:04 AM
I worked for 2 years at a locally owned gun shop that was directly outside a major Army Base, and 10 miles from an Air Force Base. All of the employees where former military, and for the most part good. Yea then there where this dip sh*t that they hired who was just "In ROTC" who owned one 22 pistol and a 12 guage mossberg. He then tried would be telling our coustmers all this bull. One day I cought him telling a coustmer that the 7mm Rem Mag was the best rifle to hunt Grizzy with. I was like "ok sport, first you have never hunted anything but rabbits, second you don't even own a centerfire rifle, and third just NO!" So his reply was that .."but I shot my freinds 7mm." Anyway we then had to spend 35 mins cleansing the stupid out of our coustmer. Explaining to him that there is never a Best only things that work, and what fits you. Told him since he had never hunted bear, first to hunt black bear, and second unless he was used to magnum guns a 30-06, or even a 308 with 200gr's works better than a 338 that you are scared of. We spend time answering his questions and aksing him questions to get a better idea of what he liked, used, and was comfortable with. Explained to him that the Generic bullets will never work as well as a premum bullet like a Nosler, Bear Claw, or Barnes. Well long story short. The dumn kid got an education. We explained to him that he was not to ever give blanket statments, and it was ok to say that he did not know. because there where others who would and there are books. After all no one knows everything. So I think that we educated the coustmer as to his firearms questions and to how to spot a mall ninja, I think that the kid learned that he looked smarter if instead of "I Know that" he said "I know where we can look that up and find the answer". So hopefully both are btter off. On a side note, and week later the coustmenr came in and told us he had went to other shops and got more mall ninja salesmen, who told him to get everything from a .223 (not kidding) to a .416 Rigby. He came to use and bought a kimber america stainless in 30-06' and put a Leupold VX-III 2-7x33mm. and he went for black bear first!

July 6, 2009, 05:11 AM
Yeah myths are a favorite hobby of mine. When I am retired and have more time, I will make dispelling them a full time occupation.

On Saturday I was at a 4th of July bonfire with friends and a few strangers. One of whom was a 19 year old criminal justice major. I myself am a 22 year old studying criminal justice. Naturally we talked about school and compared notes. I showed him a picture of my AR15 and he said "I am glad it is illegal for regular people to own full autos..." I explained NFA tax stamps which he didn't seem to believe. Also, apparently all law enforcement agencies in the US use the Glock G22's (apparently they are the most accurate in the world and all cops are awesome shots). I tried to to inform him otherwise as local cops use Sig Sauer P226's and Sheriff's Deputies aren't required to carry guns at all (most acquire their own from a list). I told him all about my collection, and even the .38 Smith my dad bought when the prison auctioned them off. But according to him prison guards can't legally carry as they aren't post certified. I wonder why my dad has an AR for tower duty then? He told me about the tour he took at Stillwater Prison, how the guards carried tasers (they don't, I asked my dad, a guard of 29 years) and wore brown uniforms (they wear blue pants, white shirt). I told him he was at the Washington County Jail (located in Stillwater, fits description) and not Stillwater prison. According to him prison and jail are the same thing. While similar, they are not the same. He also believed you are required to conceal you handgun when carrying in MN or you can be charged with brandishing a weapon (not true). A law enforcement student should know these things. He was an arrogant little jerk who thought he was hot ****.

Ragnar Danneskjold
July 6, 2009, 05:19 AM
One of the first things gone over in the most basic Criminal Justice classes on the first day at even the most mediocre schools is the difference between jail and prison. If he didn't grasp that, I don't see him going very far.

July 6, 2009, 06:31 AM
yeah, he wouldn't shut up and just listen... you won't be a good cop if you can't listen. He was an idiot and got worse as he got drunk. I found out he was 19, he got kicked out FAST.

July 6, 2009, 08:54 AM
Fallguy,I predict this kid will be judge in 10 years.

Zach S
July 6, 2009, 09:21 AM
Sometimes I'll correct them and they'll either listen, or just humor me to get me to shut up. Other times we'll argue. Then again, there are those times that I go ahead and listen to, and agree with, something I know is wrong just so I can get it over with and move onto the next subject because I've already had my daily dose of BS and drama.

Reminds me of my marriage...

July 6, 2009, 09:38 AM
Fallguy,I predict this kid will be judge in 10 years.
god I hope not!

July 6, 2009, 10:15 AM
I've had people tell me that

1. You are required to register your guns with local PD . He stuck to his story even after I explained that Colorado law specifically forbade registraion.

2. Special paper work required to sell a firearm FTF in Colorado. When I showed him the CSP printout stating that private firearms sales are unregulate in Colorado he replied " Well, that's what the police told me."

3. CHP required to transport a gun in your vehicle Handed him a copy of 18-12- 204

People don't like to be told they're wrong. I prefer being happy to being right

July 6, 2009, 10:27 AM
I do my dead level best to stop someone who is disseminating ANY kind of mis-information but I'm particularly motivated when it comes to gun myths, mainly I'm trying to win the culture war.

I'm pretty politically active so I have a fair understanding of Texas law, as it pertains to weapons, so I have a tendancy to pipe up everytime I hear someone get something horribly (and sometimes dangerously) wrong.

You know the ones:
*In Texas you can shoot 'em on your porch but just be sure to drag 'em in the house.
*I keep a .22 pistol in the car but it's not loaded that way they can't bust me for it.
*There ain't no law in Texas that says I can't shoot somebody for being ornery or loud. (I actually had a guy tell me this, in all seriousness)

So, When I hear things like that or:
*If you shoot a man in the hand with a .45 the "knock-down-power" will throw him to the ground.
*Hell, just get a shotgun for the house, you don't even have to aim it to kill an intruder. (almost invariably followed by the advice that pump action 12-gauge pistol grip only shotguns are the only repectable choice for ANY homeowner) Because....
*Heck, I bought a pump shotgun so I never have to shoot anyone, the sound of the slike racking will scare off even the most hardened criminals, I don't even keep it loaded.
et cetera

I usually just put on my best "That's interesting but here's a different point of view" face and explain my side in a calm rational and non-confrontational manner. I hve never once had someone who was interested enough in a gun conversation to start spewing their non-sense give me anything but attention and debate.

I almost always win them over but, even when I don't, I'm comfortable in the knowledge that THEY weren't the target in the first place, it was everyone they were talking to that I was interested in teaching.

July 6, 2009, 10:57 AM
How about the myth that there's a fireball coming out of the barrel because the powder is still burning? Or that a short barrel needs a faster powder?

July 6, 2009, 11:57 AM
I try until I get frustrated.

Then I back off, relax and regroup.

Then I go back trying again until frustrated.

Actually, I apply this method to most situations in my life.

July 6, 2009, 04:37 PM
How hard do you work to dispell myths?

Not very ...

I do recall once, however, when I was at university in the very early 70s and my housemates & I were watching a war movie on TV. I laughed when a GI successfully took cover from a long burst of MG42 fire behind a small tree.

I explained that in real world the fellow would be dead.

They did not buy my explanation so the following weekend I took them to my girlfriend's family farm and demonstrated the effects of 7.92x57 rounds on small trees.

July 6, 2009, 05:29 PM
It depends on who the person is. If I'm in a restaurant and I hear the person one booth over saying something, I'm not going to lean over and correct them.
If I'm with my friends, or with friends' friends, then yup, I'll say something!

Shadow 7D
July 6, 2009, 06:12 PM
When debunking myth, age and uniforms help.

I'm a 28 year old army vet, and look young. I've been there, but the looks I get when I tell someone that, um, thats not right. Most of these myth tellers seem to get so indignant at young "puppy" contradicting them.

My personal favorite was a thirty something guy talking about how he had used this particular gun in the A-shaw (sp?) valley in Nam. Yep that is exactly what we used to pop turkeys in Iraq, It's a hard season, only open for for two days.

Corporal K
July 6, 2009, 06:50 PM
Gun myths can be hard to correct b/c so many people have a tremendous amount of emotion wrapped up in their gun/caliber/knowledge/experience level (or lack thereof). Emotion usually trumps logic.

Corporal K
July 6, 2009, 06:53 PM
*Heck, I bought a pump shotgun so I never have to shoot anyone, the sound of the racking will scare off even the most hardened criminals,

I can't stand when people buy in to these kinds of things. That's along the same lines of "shoot him in the yard and drag him in the house". :barf:

July 6, 2009, 08:11 PM
If that worked you would just need a recording of that playing when your alarm went off.

It is a good point about the emotionalism. I think to be successful you have to be fairly dispassionate to keep the other person from having something to feed off of. Not monotone just straight forward, it would certainly be a bad time to prove things or score points.

July 6, 2009, 08:19 PM
I gave up on arguing a long time ago. I used to get burnt up over that **** but, I learned to just let it go. Their is rarely any reason to bother.

July 6, 2009, 09:16 PM
One of my roommates argued that his Beretta .40 S&W was better than my suited to stopping an attacker than my shotgun with 00 buck, on the basis that buckshot won't penetrate enough to inflict mortal wounds. I tried to explain that buckshot was serious business, and he may be confused with birdshot. He was drinking at the time.

July 6, 2009, 10:21 PM
I spend a lot of time on this forum trying to correct myths but I don't think many people are listening!

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