Ignorance is bliss.


July 25, 2011, 06:33 PM
Or so they say.

Before I bought my first gun, I gleaned all my firearms knowledge from television and the movies. The only guns I really knew of were Mel Gibson's Beretta, Dirty Harry's .44 Magnum, as well as the ubiquitous Glock and the gangsta favorite, the Desert Eagle. I also knew of the M16, the AK47, and that old cowboy standby, the Winchester .30-30.

In short, I knew nothing.

That all changed when I bought my first firearm, a Ruger 22/45. I joined this and other gun forums and read a boatload of information. The 22/45 was soon joined by a couple of 1911s, a CZ 452, a BHP, and a couple of ARs. In addition, my wish list grew a lot longer. Before I bought my first gun, I thought I would be content with two, a pistol and a rifle. Now I want a CZ 550 Safari Magnum in .375 H&H, a Winchester Model 70 Featherweight in .308, a CZ Hammer Coach, a pinned and recessed 4" Smith and Wesson Model 27, and a H&K P7M8. And those are just the ones I can remember off the top of my head.

I guess that one could make the argument that I was happier before I got into guns. I certainly had more disposable income. But I'll never go back to being without guns. They're too much fun and I like them too much. And I'd probably just spend the extra money on stupid stuff like alcohol and baseball games.

Anyone else travel on a similar journey?

If you enjoyed reading about "Ignorance is bliss." here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
July 25, 2011, 06:40 PM
Welcome to the ranks of the armed citizen!Anyone else travel on a similar journey? Not me. I've spent my entire life around firearms.I certainly had more disposable income. Get a C&R license and you'll have NO disposable income!

July 25, 2011, 07:06 PM
Yep. I've like firearms my whole life, but had little experience actually shooting them. I figured a rifle and pistol to start would be good. Did a lot of research and ended up with a 1911 and a Tikka T3. About 6 months later I had 5 additional firearms added to my start of a collection. They sure are fun.

July 25, 2011, 07:12 PM
I've had an interest in firearms ever since I fired my first one at about 10. I don't know everything about them, but I know enough to make my co-workers joke me when a gun conversation comes up.

July 25, 2011, 08:26 PM
I traveled a somewhat similar path. I plinked a little with BB guns as a kid, but really had no interest until I was in my mid-30s. I took an NRA Basic Pistol class, shot a .22lr Ruger and thought, "Wow, cool!" Now I'm looking for my first, full-size centerfire in 9mm...

I took a trap shooting course, and bought a Remington 870 (mainly on the advice of THR!).

In all, I'm glad I know what I know and I've learned what I've learned. And shooting is, for me, an awful lot of fun. :)

July 25, 2011, 08:35 PM
Yeah, the C&R will dispose of all your income.

July 25, 2011, 08:41 PM
I probably have been interested in guns almost my entire life. First toy guns, then BB guns and replica models until I was old enough to buy the real thing. I guess I have always been interested in the mechanical and operational aspect of firearms, as well as their practical application for target shooting, hunting, and self defense.

July 25, 2011, 08:45 PM
I had a conversation with someone that mentioned "I like to shoot". I replied "what do you like to shoot". Of course I am expecting to hear a few models and calibers of firearms. but noooooo. He says "I like to shoot my compound bow" There goes my hopes of a meaning full conversation. In the end, he said "I don't like guns". I said " I won't hold it against you, I don't like compound bows." But he was still a decent person to talk to.

July 27, 2011, 12:53 AM
I'm right there with ya on that CZ Hammer Coach! I don't do cowboy action shooting or anything like that, I just find it to be an incredibly attractive firearm and it seems like it would be a hoot to shoot. If you ever pick one up, be sure and post about it!

July 27, 2011, 01:48 AM
Thomas Gray wrote it: "... And happiness too swiftly flies. Thought would destroy such paradise. No more; where ignorance is bliss 'tis folly to be wise."
Both states of being are good for a shooter to know and accept. Get some excellent gun show buys that way. As to satisfying your gun quest: you will never be totally satisfied, I hope. Each new gun brings its own re-education. Good luck. DAO

July 27, 2011, 09:19 AM
When I think back to my late teens and early 20's, I can't help but think of all the better investments I could have made with my money. Hindsight is 20/20. However, I had a pretty good time and it made for some interesting chapters in my life. It's like the line in "My Way" by Frank Sinatra, Regrets... "I've had a few.... But then again... Too few to mention." Oh well, that's life for all it's comedy and tragedy.

I knew from the time I was small child that I liked guns and would own several as an adult. In my house growing up the only firearms were a couple service revolvers. It made my desire to own other firearms stronger. Now, I own ALMOST every gun I want growing up and that's an achievement for which I am proud to have accomplished.

July 27, 2011, 09:35 AM
When you spend any time around a redneck family like mine, you're pretty much doomed from the get go. My grandpa has literally more guns than he can remember, and almost as many places he keeps them lol. My youngest uncle and I have been working for months to photo catalog his collection. My 3 uncles and 1 of my aunts are well on the same track. All have their CCW's. Ever since I can remember, our Easter egg hunts have been a little... different. We don't bother hard boiling the eggs, they make more mess when they're raw if you get my drift.

July 27, 2011, 12:46 PM
I guess that one could make the argument that I was happier before I got into guns.
Does this mean you are selling your guns? If not, you are then choosing to be unhappy. :)

July 27, 2011, 03:16 PM
I've been handling firearms since I was about 9 or 10 so I've always had some knowledge about them. I can't say that I know a ton about particular types but I get the gist.

My father bought me an 870 when I was 16 so I can say I know a good bit about that but I've never held or fired an AR or even read much about them so I'm a bit of a beginner with those.

July 27, 2011, 03:46 PM
I grew up with firearms in house and by the age of 7 or 8 was shooting with my dad and his friends, so the Transition from shooter to owner/shooter was seamless for me. Firearms especially handguns have been a part of me for all my life. Yet, the shooting sports are only a very small part of whom or what I am. As I get older my collecting/owning tastes have changed, Im now very interested in classic Smith and Wesson revolvers, with a special interest in the N frames manufactured between 1930 and 1980. Do to the increased prices of these my new, to me, purchases has slowed down some.

El Mariachi
July 27, 2011, 09:05 PM
After years and years of pouring money into various sail boats, the crappy Kali Ekonomy ran over my little construction biz last year, so we kinda/had to dump our last boat, as I just couldn't swing it any more. So I needed something to do money-wise, spent some time in my shop and invented this little thing for the 4x4 market. Which hasn't made us rich but it has helped a bit. And the wife is happier. Then out of the blue last February a sailing pal/NRA instructor friend of ours called and offered to take me and a famous handicapped sailor to his local So Cal range for a day of 'show 'n tell', and in particular to give some guidance for an s/d weapon for the parapalegic sailor, who was going to start driving around all over America teaching kids to sail. Long story short, after spending an entire day shooting over a dozen various firearms, I came home thinking that it was time for a new, less expensive hobby. Fast forward to today, and we're up to eleven firearms already, mostly of the 'Old School' variety.....'cuz I just really dig the looks of aged beautiful aged lumber and nicely patina'd metal. And these past six months has taught me a helluva lot, be it buying and owning firearms in this gawd-4-saken state, getting re-acquainted with our Constitution, safety, the historical side of hundreds of different firearms from around the world, the Ying & Yang of gun maintenance and usage, target shooting, getting the entire family involved in something completely different from ocean sports, talking story with fellow gun folks (that we previously had no clue that they were into them), meeting new people at various gun ranges (and getting asked repeatedly to try out their toys, whilst we reciprocate in kind) and all & all, just having a blast. Metaphorically speaking.

We're currently wrapping up a 7000 mile road trip in which we had the pleasure of shooting at several ranges in various states, visiting different gun shops (to see the kind of stuff that our Kali politicians think we should not own), and introduced our son an gal-pal to firearms as well. And when we get home next week, hopefully my C&R packet is there. Or maybe I should hope that it's not?......:D

July 28, 2011, 08:15 PM
The only guns I really knew of were Mel Gibson's Beretta, Dirty Harry's .44 Magnum, as well as the ubiquitous Glock and the gangsta favorite, the Desert Eagle. I also knew of the M16, the AK47, and that old cowboy standby, the Winchester .30-30.

In short, I knew nothing.

That all changed when I bought my first firearm, a Ruger 22/45.Give yourself some credit. You knew far more than nothing.

That list of guns? A very reasonable starter's collection, IMHO. And the choice of a .22 as your first gun? Nothing short of perfect.

Now go get all those others, and you and I can start shooting for bragging rights, or beers. ;)

July 28, 2011, 09:08 PM
I had BB and pellet guns as a kid. Late teens I got to do skeet shooting on a regular basis. However, I only looked at firearms as a very cool hobby for the next 30 years without actually owning one.

Recently I kind of..........woke up to what's going on in this country. I had a couple of incidents that made me aware of the need to protect myself and my family. The more I read and understood, the madder I got over the attempt to deprive Americans of their rights. I mean, I was already POed over the slow erosion of our other rights but the 2nd was not one that I thought much about. By that I mean I firmly believed in that right but was in the dark over the magnitude of the assaults on it. I finally focused.

As far as choice of firearms. I thought long and hard about the first purchase. I read everything I could find on the internet, went to all of the LGSs and asked (maybe bugged the crap out of) everyone I could find that would discuss it with me. Once I got the basics of what to look for and an idea of what "I" needed I was able to narrow it all down. I purchased two semi-auto handguns within a month and a decent HD shotgun shortly thereafter. Next up is a rifle, I'm thinking something like an AR-15. After that I think I'll have a decent collection that can cover most bases.

Now, being the kind of guy that LOVES technology I seriously doubt that I will stop there. I want one of everything. :D

July 28, 2011, 09:51 PM
Just posting to say that I'm listening to a song that says "Bliss of ignorance"" just as I read the thread title. Whoa.

July 28, 2011, 09:52 PM
Been around firearms my entire life.....but because of ignorance I have stumbled into some terrific buys. Had little to no knowledge of 1911's and quality bolt action rifles. The only thing I knew was that these guns seemed extremely well built......ended up buying several Winchester M52's, a Colt Sauer, Colt Gold Cup, S&W M41. Wasn't till later did I discover how special some of these were......yep, ignorance is bliss.

July 29, 2011, 04:03 PM
I'm right there with ya on that CZ Hammer Coach! I don't do cowboy action shooting or anything like that, I just find it to be an incredibly attractive firearm and it seems like it would be a hoot to shoot. If you ever pick one up, be sure and post about it!

I'm going to get it eventually. I've never fired one, but it's a slick handling gun. Points very naturally.

I also want to get a couple of full sized rifles. I just finished my ARs, so I'm a bit EBR'd out at the moment. I'm thinking walnut and blued steel. Something in .375 H&H, .308 Win., and .30-06.

CZ 550 Safari Magnum in .375 H&H

Winchester Featherweight in .308 Win

Ruger No. 1 in .30-06

July 29, 2011, 04:34 PM
I was in my early fifties before I woke up.

Sure, I had a couple of pellet guns when I was a kid (Sheridan, Crosman, Benjamin), and I scored "expert" with a beat-up M16 at Lackland, but when I hung up the uniform I assumed that the whole defense-of-whatever was now someone else's job.

I was a little uncomfortable around gun people. I couldn't grasp the evident (even when muted) passion for them.

Which is all kinda weird, now that I look back on it. I grew up in a town in northern California where folks hunted routinely, and a shotgun or rifle in one's pickup window was common. We had "Wild West" displays of quick draw prowess (town was kinda historic that way). Guns were just part of the landscape. How I managed to get from being reared in that culture to being "uncomfortable" around them is . . . I dunno . . . just odd.

When we, at long last, moved from a big-ish metro area to a small-ish town-and-scenic-everything locale (Reno/Tahoe), I noted that the hunting culture was more prominent. It was less about "gun people" and more about "stuff people do with guns."

Wife got me a 40th anniversary Ruger 10/22 our second year there, and I began to cruise the gun shoppes, educating myself through a process known as "dumb questions." I went to the range and learned how to hit stuff reliably from 50 yards (eyes don't go out to 100) and figured out how to clean the thing (yeah, that first encounter was messy, but at least I didn't ding the crown or bore). I was enjoying the process and in no hurry to bulk up with more artillery.

Then one day we had a "spontaneous" march of "youths" past our front door. In front of them they held a spontaneous Mexican flag, requiring five people across to keep it from dragging. They had their spontaneous fists in the air, chanting spontaneous slogans in a foreign language. The police held back at a spontaneously respectful distance of where-the-hell-are-they.

As I stood in my doorway, basking in the glowers and grimaces, my comprehension spontaneously elevated to the next tier on the Periodic Table of Awarenesses. I am SO not prepared to deal with anything like this!

Today? I actually pay attention to my surroundings and to events that might have a near term impact on them. I have more than one .22 rifle now.

I'm no longer uncomfortable around gunnies.

I now understand that defense-of-whatever is my job, too.

Looking back, I feel a vague sense of sorrow at all the people I used to call friends, who will simply be unable to cope if things . . . deteriorate . . . and the grinch of bad fortune calls their number.

The culture in which they live is so . . . groomed . . . so as to keep them blissful about the hard stuff. And there is no time. I'm still recovering from my own stupor.

I've managed to stave off most of the symptoms of compulsive collector-itis. I have the basics, more or less, but I fear the day that my company blesses me with any kind of sizable bonus. :D

July 29, 2011, 04:42 PM
Just when you think you're done buying guns... you're not.

El Mariachi
July 29, 2011, 05:56 PM
Arfin. That was fricken just beautiful. And rather Hemingway-ish to boot.


July 29, 2011, 06:22 PM
Creeping enlightenment....

Arfin, what a great post!

My own enlightenment was different, but just as much a sea change as yours. I've always owned guns from childhood on, but they were never more than furniture until I (through the direction of Uncle Sam), found myself living in California some 25 years ago. There, forced to suddenly deal with a myriad of prohibitions I suddenly saw them as the essential right they are. This changed my political outlook from liberal democrat to (small "L") libertarian, or from collectivist to individualist.

August 13, 2011, 10:27 PM
I wish I could say I woke up like I was struck by lightning or something, but I was slow. I'd watch the news or even just the situation out in the world every day, and I'd think to my self, "Somebody needs to do something." After several years of this type of denial, I realized that nobody will do anything these days because most people are still waiting for government to take care of them.

That's when I also realized that my safety and the safety of my family rested solely in my hands. The police would only be there in time to do the paperwork. That's not meant to say I don't think they're doing their job or anything like that. There aren't enough, they aren't paid what they deserve, and they aren't given the support they deserve and need.

Most of all, I don't think people care anymore. That's why I started looking into self defense and personal protection. One of the first things I did was to try opening my wife's eyes. I'm proud to say that now she's a better shot than I am. I still think she needs some work on her situational awareness, but it's a continuing process of learning how to be awake and aware when you thought you were safe all of your life.

August 14, 2011, 11:30 AM
I was never asleep. Even when I was young I would ask questions that made the adults in the room uncomfortable. If the Constitution says this, how can they do that? My questions were always answered with "that's just how things are". How did they get that way? Did we lose a war that I didn't hear about? Greatest generation my patootie.

August 14, 2011, 07:01 PM
Did we lose a war that I didn't hear about?
It's beginning to look like we did. Don't worry, though. It's not over. We didn't surrender, and we can still win it.

Greatest generation my patootie.
It's possible for the smartest and bravest of us to be fooled.

I would suggest that a closer examination might reveal that their biggest mistake was underestimating the greed, cunning, and perfidy of those who owned and financed the conflicts in which they had served, and the subtlety and treachery of those who would be kings.

The greatness was, and is, genuine. There are generations alive today who got the message and understand.

The pretenders and weasels still lie, distort, and misrepresent, but with broad access and bypass of the compliant and complicit conduits of corruption, it's harder to fool the smart and the brave.

Of course, it's also possible that I have no idea of what it is I speak.

Maybe I, too, have been fooled.

We will know in due time.

August 15, 2011, 10:57 AM
All my childhood gun knowledge came from videogames and movies. Every gun holds 30-200 rounds. 'Sniper' rifles always hit dead center in the crosshairs. Shotguns are worthless after about 10 feet. I believed gun control was good for America. I knew 'everything' about guns.

My grandpa was the only person I knew who had real guns, and as far as I knew the only reason he had them was to shoot turkey.

I too, knew nothing.

After a burglary while I was home, I finally woke to the fact that MY security is MY responsibility. I was in my early 20's.

I lurked around gunshops listening to the old men talking, absorbing anything I could. Later, I braved asking "stupid questions". My first purchase was an 870 shotgun. I enrolled in several classes so I would know how to safely/properly use my new weapon.

My income has always been disposed of but it changed focus. I used to buy movies, games, and electronics. I switched to firearms, ammo, and training.

What did I learn?

Grandpa used to "turkey shoot" which is shooting a competition where the winner takes home a frozen turkey. The average gun holds 5-16 rounds. 'Marksman' rifles require math and observation to hit dead center in the crosshairs. Shotguns are perfect for defending enclosed areas. Gun control laws are only for HONEST CITIZENS, the criminals don't care. I know a LOT about 10 firearms. Hollywood doesn't know what its talking about!

I joined the ranks of Concealed Carry and was surprised to find out (after 2 years of secretly carrying) 4 out of 6 of my closest friends ALSO carried.

Ignorance is dangerous! But I did enjoy movies more before I noticed 10+ rounds from revolvers, full auto firing with the selector on 'safe' and the good guy escaping a point blank shotgun blast.

I envy those of you who started shooting in your youth.

(sorry so long)

August 15, 2011, 05:03 PM
A few posts may have faded from view as a result of wandering off into political territory.

Let us not drift too far off the original topic.

I'm aware that there is often a political factor in one's "waking up" from ignorance, but let's not make that the main theme.

August 15, 2011, 10:23 PM
Yep, that pretty much sounds like my story. I used to not even care about 2nd amendment or even the bill of rights... it was there but I didn't worry about it. I woke up while I was unemployed and just hung out with my dad because I had nothing better to do. Got to put some rounds down range and realized what I had been missing for all those years. As soon as I got a job again I quickly saved up and bought my first firearm and its been crazy ever since. Once I got that Glock I hit the internet forums and have accumulated a wealth of knowledge that I would have never had before. Along with that comes some of the political and ideological changes that come with being a gun nut. I much prefer knowledge over ignorance.

August 16, 2011, 04:07 AM
In the beginning I went with my grandfather to watch (not shoot with) him shoot skeet. This at the time was the coolest thing I'd ever seen, and tragically the first and only exposure I would have with a real firearm for over a decade. The years went by and I was asleep one night. I woke to see a light blue beam of light moving slowly across my room. It took me a long moment to realize that someone was in my hallway looking through my room at 3 am. My mom woke to use the bathroom and made noise. I heard the door slam as the attempted thieves ran from my home. The next day I put my hard earned money on the table and bought the "coolest" shotgun I could find in the store. No, much to my shame now I didn't know how to use it or even know where the cheap chinese Saiga 12 knock off came from. A few years later I developed an interest in pistols and talked with my brother who helped me do the best thing I could. Enroll in a proper pistol safety course at our local gun club taught by a former military, and former sheriff. Wish I would have gotten the training before buying my first shotgun. Would have went with the 870 I own now.

Cop Bob
August 16, 2011, 03:04 PM
My earliest childhood memories are walking the Creek Bottoms with an Uncle, hunting squirrels... Waking up in the country to the smell of Coffee, fresh Bacon.. and the way old paper shotgun shells smelled.... I was raised in a shooting, hunting family... All I have known. My 1st exposure to a gun, one of my uncles teaching me to shoot his Remington single shot 22, I was probably 5. My 1st handgun experience, at about 7 or 8, a Police LT, put a K-22 in my hands and walked me through it... I later shot that very same pistol when I came through the academy years later...

My father was an avid 2600 pistol shooter, he was a heck of a shot, but not the best teacher.. But he knew some really good ones and hooked me up.... Shooting has been a part of my life since my earliest memories...

However.. If Ignorance is Bliss... I am probably one of the happiest guys you would ever meet....

There is so much to know about shooting and all that is associated. Many of the newer powders, I know little to nothing about, alot of the newer pistols and rifles, I have little experience with. And AR's, I own several, however, I just never really got into them.. Now that I see what those old Mattel Toys have turned into... I am on a quest for knowledge and experience with them...

If you enjoyed reading about "Ignorance is bliss." here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!