The sheer joy of firearms


April 26, 2013, 08:00 AM
It's funny. As I get older, and maybe gain a little more perspective, sometimes I look at things differently. :) I am grateful for my life with firearms.

Seems so many threads touting the benefits of firearms, how they prevent crime, prevent government tyranny, etc., decrying the efforts of the "Controllers". All of these threads seem to me today to share an aspect in common: the this/that, us/them, type of foundation. Sometimes I tire of the debate which has been framed in terms which themselves direct the conclusions.

Here lately, I marvel in myself, subjectively, the sheer joy of firearms. I feel great happiness with guns. Each one is a marvel of engineering. The mechanisms, the materials, the heft, all of these to me have become very satisfying. I smile when I examine firearms, ammunition, these things. How much I enjoy reading of people's experience "in the field," the prospect of maybe buying a new rifle, thinking through options... again it is not a subject of should I / Shouldn't I, or with any concern whatsoever to what these extraneous arguments of "need" of firearms imply, but solely based on the connection I feel with a deeply blued, walnut stocked, firearm.

And I control these mechanical items, they do not control me. The jabs and insults and insinuations of the Controllers become laughable, pitiable cries of futility, based in ignorance.

The act of shooting is become for me, when I pay attention, almost a Zen state of oneness. The joy and solidity I feel is its own reward. It is as though my mind guides the projectile to the target, not the mechanics of burning powder, aerial flight, etc.

It is a wonderful aspect of firearms ownership and shooting which, in the moment, eclipses the oft debated aspects of guns. The same debate which we all know has been framed by the "Controllers," in such a way as to put us on our heels. The debate becomes mindless babble, distraction, when I take the time to experience why firearms ownership is important to me.

So, in these troubling times for the firearms community, I find it is helpful to me to experience this joy, remember my hunting experiences, my shooting experiences, and know "this is good." :)

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April 26, 2013, 09:59 AM

April 26, 2013, 10:06 AM
Well said, Sir !

April 26, 2013, 10:08 AM
When people ask me why I enjoy shooting, I find it hard to put into words. Anything I can say only merely scratches the surface. There's just that feeling of seeing a nice group fall into place, or that satisfactory 'ping' as you knock down a steel plate. The only way to truly understand is to shoot.

Jim, West PA
April 26, 2013, 10:31 AM
VERY well said stubbicatt. I concure completely.
I can take your "zen" a step further in saying that that is exactly what got me into gunsmithing 25 years ago.Wether i was repairing, machining, building the mechanisms,shaping the stock, checkering, shooting, reloading,meeting another enthusiast, talking with a customer, teaching someone tyo relaod or whatever. I was always in that "zen".

The only things that you left out of your post is those beautiful plum brown colored guns and more importantly.....that absolute joy in a childs' face when she or he is sending projectiles down range be they bb's or bullets.
Even kids that are initialy apprehensive, ( for whatever reason), once taught the 'realities' of a gun, quickly find themselves totaly enjoying the experience and very eager to want to shoot some more.
Now that i think about. Shooting and the interst in guns seems to be so inherent in each of us that i'd say that those that oppose guns must have been taught to do so.
Thier loss :(


Jim, West PA
April 26, 2013, 10:32 AM
When people ask me why I enjoy shooting, I find it hard to put into words.

That's when ya invite 'em Blackstone and encourage 'em to find thier own answer.

April 26, 2013, 10:35 AM
Yep, I open the door, but they must step through it themselves.

April 26, 2013, 10:43 AM
Your post made me recall a moment with my young son from a few years back.

He was probably 6 or 7 at the time, and he always tagged along with me hoping he would get to shoot some. I normally just shot one of my 22s at spinners so he could shoot and handle the recoil. That day I also had one of my J frames with some light 38 loads.

After shooting the 22 for a while, he asked if he could shoot the 38. I debated for a bit, and then figured what the heck. He emptied the cylinder quickly, not hitting anything of course, and started laughing after the first shot and then on thru the whole string. I remember the look of just sheer, unadulterated, youthful joy and happiness on his face. I was a little jealous.

That night, before tucking him in at bed time, he declared that day to be the greatest day of his life. I hope I remember it for the rest of mine.

April 26, 2013, 12:53 PM
I can remember the day my Pop gave me my first firearm, a Remington .22 bolt rifle, to shoot Junior NRA. Since that time, we've hunted and shot many, many times, me always trying to out shoot Pop, never done. Finally after many years of shooting and a lot of practice, I was able to out shoot him on occasion, not every time, but frequently. This is what firearms have meant to me, the ability to shoot accurately, shot after shot, being able to see someone finally see what they've been able to do, produce a good shooter out of someone trained by you. To use the same firearms left by the one who taught you, thanks for caring Pop.

April 26, 2013, 01:09 PM
Well said! A few years back I bought one of the commerative Winchesters. My dad lives a couple of hours away and when I took it over to show him, He asked me why I bought it...I told him I liked it and I wanted it. He laughed and said that was the first time he ever heard an honest answer on buying a gun.

April 26, 2013, 07:28 PM
Very well said.

April 26, 2013, 07:55 PM
It's much like having a motorcycle... or more specifically travelling on a motorcycle. Why you'd subject yourself to the weather, why constrain yourself to such a small luggage capacity, the risks of travel on 2 wheels. You can't explain smelling the change from pine trees to an open field, the chill you experience when you pass near a small lake or pond, the joy you feel after passing through a storm, the feel of the road, you merely have to experience it.

I was just talking with my co-worker today that I took shooting a few months ago, and then ccw training, and more shooting. She said she could have never imagined wanting to go shooting a few years ago, since she never understood it or saw it's purpose beyond committing crime, war, self defense, and hunting. The joy in simply shooting is not something that's self-evident to the uninitiated, but is obvious once you've experienced it.

April 26, 2013, 08:51 PM
That's a great way to relate riding a bike. Been doing it for 43 years now. Even though I'd never say it to anyone there's some truth in "If I have to explain it you wouldn't understand."

In times like these when much of the population thinks gun owner = baby killer I find it difficult to explain the fun of shooting, sharpening skills, learning the mechanics and the engineering. All they see is a baby killer. It's extremely frustrating.

April 26, 2013, 09:09 PM
The act of shooting is become for me, when I pay attention, almost a Zen state of oneness. The joy and solidity I feel is its own reward. It is as though my mind guides the projectile to the target, not the mechanics of burning powder, aerial flight, etc.

I agree...When I'm "in the zone," shooting-wise, the total fusion of myself to machine and target takes on a meditative state. At the conclusion of such sessions, I find myself coming down from a high, as if I was leaving a different plane of existence.

It has nothing to do with anything going "bang" or a sense of power (the usual projections made on shooters by the Left and the uninformed). I imagine it's much more akin to the Zen archers who "become the arrow."

As with the Zen archers, maybe the "trick" is to be able to retain that meditative state of oneness all the time... :)


April 27, 2013, 07:40 AM
Very well said. I just wrote 4 pages to my brother who believes Bloomberg is all good to explain shooting in non-political terms. Though you and I said many of the same things, you said it so much better and in fewer words. :)

April 27, 2013, 08:05 AM
That was some fine poetry, my brother. When is chapter two coming? :)

April 27, 2013, 08:19 AM
Stubbicatt, very well put. There are so many things in life that unless one experiences they will never understand. A perfect morning at the range is one such thing for many of us. Just me, my rifles and a target down range. Life is good in my world of my own.


April 27, 2013, 08:25 AM
Now that's the kind of motivation I need to make a pit stop at the range today...

Hoppes Love Potion
April 27, 2013, 08:43 PM
I'll definitely be going to the range Monday after reading this. My wife and I had the honor of taking our grandson to the range last week. He's 11 and has a good eye for marksmanship.

April 27, 2013, 09:24 PM
I've never really thought about why, but I've loved guns my whole life. My father had an impressive collection in his den, all lined up along one wall in a built-in gun rack. My sister and I would go in there just to stare in awe. He grew up loving them as well and bought his first firearm when he was sixteen, a Remington Navy 1856 revolver for around ten bucks. It's been decades since I've seen any of those firearms, but he still owns most of them. Now I have my own collection and love to handle, photograph, display, clean, disassemble, and shoot them all. I get a feeling of fulfillment and satisfaction that is difficult to put into words. But I will proudly proclaim, I love guns.

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