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Concerns about getting my first gun

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by theCloud, Dec 23, 2011.

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  1. theCloud

    theCloud Member

    Feb 8, 2011
    So I've gone shooting, took a course, tried out a variety of guns, and even have narrowed down to what guns I am interested in buying. I've located a few LGS to shop around for the best price, found some decent shooting ranges, etc. But I am still hesitating on pulling the trigger so to say.

    My biggest concern is safety. Not so much the NDs because that is something we all can control- there is nobody to blame but yourself if you shoot yourself while cleaning the gun or if you are showing off your new handgun and mistakenly shoot your best friend. We have control over this.

    Handguns are a means of self-defense and there are several stories that handguns do save lives and prevent crime. But I feel like guns also attract the wrong element- it can place you at increased risk of robbery or violence. People rob houses for guns. I could be followed home from the gun shop, from buying ammo at wal-mart, from the shooting range? Or at the parking lot when things are all locked up. Why not? Those are all signs you have a gun.

    The knee-jerk answer would be to get a CCW and train. Problem solved. BUT... as a new shooter, I'm still learning the basics and I don't trust myself to draw my gun quick enough at gunpoint to prevent a robbery. It also takes time. Even with CCW some criminals are desperate enough to take your life for a range bag. And what if there are multiple assailants? I'm no Waco Kid, even if I had years of training. And CCW is not a replacement for situational awareness- why put yourself in harm's way or allow yourself to get into a SHTF situation?

    Then there is the issue of others at the shooting range. I'm not white and that's a concern. Where I live it's probably 90% white. And we have some KKK groups here too. Don't really wanna go shooting when the KKK has it's meet up out at the local range. Now my experiences with the LGS and my training course have been very positive, but the mutual love for 2A does not always conquer all prejudices.

    I don't know, am I being too paranoid? Just wanna hear your thoughts on this and if anybody else went through the same thought process when getting their first gun. Thanks!
  2. LNK

    LNK Member

    Dec 21, 2010
    SE MA Soon Somewhere else
    Paranoid? Maybe....

    I think it is good you are considering things that "could" happen, however, you have to take a plunge sometime. The main thing is to be aware of what goes on around you at all times. Not like a guard dog, just aware so that you can assess any threat ahead of time. I don't know where you are, but most gun people I have encountered are good people, it's a shame that there are even the thoughts about your color entering into your equation. I haven't walked a mile in your shoes, but I wouldn't worry about those K's. At least you will be prepared (armed) should that situation arise. I vote for going ahead and find someone to help you in your learning process. I would help you if you live around me, and I am sure there others near you that will help also. Good luck.

  3. LKB3rd

    LKB3rd Member

    Dec 2, 2007
    Too paranoid? Possibly, but I think being cautious is a good idea. I agree that being aware of your surroundings is something that is always a good idea, and can get you past many of your concerns.

    Just my $.02, but if you've decided it's something you want to do, I would just do it with the intention of considering and trying to counter any risks of the type you have described.
  4. Buck Kramer

    Buck Kramer Member

    Apr 17, 2009
    I had some of your concerns when I first carried also. I have been carrying for 3 months now and now I dont even consciously know I'm carrying anymore. Just like you throw your wallet in your pocket in the morning you strap on a gun too. As for being a new shooter, I wouldn't worry about it, train as much as possible and you will still be worlds ahead of any other victim. Like LNK said you're already a step ahead if you are armed. I was paranoid (like a lot of people are) at first when I started carrying that someone would notice I was carrying. Now Its not a big deal at all, everyone is way too busy in their own lives and walking around in "white". I started with a BG 380 and now I carry a full size 9mm. I would recommend starting small though.

    As far as the K's go, I wouldn't worry about it. Though small minded, it doesn't take a genius to know its a bad idea to shoot up a shooting range. Good luck.
  5. chhodge69

    chhodge69 Member

    Jun 19, 2011
    CLT, NC
    Discretion and situational awareness are important regardless. Coming from the jewelry store, electronics department or ATM can make you a target too. If you don't allow the criminal unknown stop you from living other parts of your life, why would you do it now?
  6. Wanderling

    Wanderling Member

    Nov 21, 2011
    I wouldn't be worried that someone will follow me home from WallMart or a gun shop. If you're worried, just take a couple of side roads that are not busy and see if the same car is behind you. Although this IS paranoid.

    Don't tell people that you have a gun, unless you know them well and know that they wouldn't tell others about it.

    And don't give up your rights just because someone may not like your skin color. It's none of their business. I have an accent and some people may not like that; but I won't let them make it my problem.
  7. MtnCreek

    MtnCreek Member

    Dec 8, 2010
    West GA
    Paranoid? Sorry, but your post just does not sound right. If you're up&up and are really concerned about the klan; I don't think that would be anything to worry about. We have several klan groups around here and they're pretty much a joke.
  8. Skribs

    Skribs Member

    Oct 29, 2010
    Lakewood, Washington
    Guns are simply a tool to aid in self defense. Good awareness keeps you out of situations where you have to use it, but that won't keep you out of 100% of those situations. In those cases, drawing may dissuade your attacker, and if not then the gun actively serves to stop the threat.

    To plan ahead for your home getting broken into, keep your guns somewhere where they will be easily accessible to yourself, but not to the attacker. Hide it in a cutout book or some non-obvious spot, or use a gunsafe (especially a digital safe, which is easier to operate at night). If you're not home, the thief may find the hiding spot or crack the safe (or if it's a pistol safe, take it with them), and if so it's no different for you than any other robbery. Hopefully you're insured, and otherwise not much you can do. However, if you're home, it will slow them down in finding your gun, but you will still have access to it for defensive purposes.

    A decent safe will also keep kids out (well, it will keep them out as good as any other safety mechanism) and help prevent NDs.
  9. outdoorsman1

    outdoorsman1 Member

    Oct 25, 2011
    S.E. Wisconsin
    Saftey and caution are a good thing... but almost everything you have mentioned in the OP can apply to many other daily life activities... If you drive a nice car, your a target, if you dress in a suit and tie, your a target, if your black and in the wrong area your a target, if your white and in the wrong area your a target, etc. etc. etc. Not being ready to draw quickly is better than not having anything to draw... I do understand the race concern as obvioulsy there is some real reasons to feel that way, but I guess even that could apply to other daily activities that could possibly turn life threating... Even more reason to be able to defend yourself. I think most of what you are feeling is beginners nerves and will get better and even, in time, be gone. You said it yourself, the firearm itself is nothing to fear with proper safe handling, so once you get some experiance under you belt (no pun intended), I think you will do just fine...

  10. leadcounsel

    leadcounsel member

    Jun 5, 2006
    Tacoma, WA
    Cloud, your concerns are entirely nonsense. Get a gun, go train, and just practice safety. Get a small safe to keep your gun in when you aren't home.
  11. mg.mikael

    mg.mikael Member

    Mar 15, 2009
    Your at a risk of robbery because you don't have any guns, it's alot easier to rob someone who doesn't protect themselves them someone who took the initiative to exercise their 2nd amendment right.

    People certainly do rob houses for guns, but they rob houses for jewlery, tools, cash, electronics, and whatever else tickles their fancy. But if you have a gun at least you can prevent this.

    What is all this paranoid talk about the KKK? Do you have proof of this or is this just stereotyping? Where do you live that you fear the KKK? Or better yet what era?

    I don't think this a risk just because most of the people in your neighborhood happen to be caucasian. If you ask me sounds like your being off the wall paranoid and beliving too much in some racial stereotypes. For example: that's like if a white guy said I fear going to the range because their might be a Black Panther meeting. See it sounds downright foolish to talk like that.
  12. NavyLCDR

    NavyLCDR member

    Dec 14, 2005
    Stanwood, WA
    Welcome to the forum and the gun community!

    Coming from the "outside" we can certainly understand the reasons why you make the statement above. However, just the opposite is actually true. Criminals tend to avoid and stay away from armed citizens and armed households.

    Please read page 12 (printed page 12) of this document:

    The whole page is applicable to your situation and the entire document is a good read.
  13. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

    Feb 12, 2011
    The Land that Time Forgot
    This is the best advice you can follow, and I'm glad to hear you say it. A gun is a supplement to defend yourself. Your first tool of self defense is your brain, regardless of where you live, and what the community is like. A lot of people are saying you are being overly paranoid, but you know your home and community best. I believe you can't live in fear, but paranoia can save your life. If things feel "off" get the hell out of the situation. If you can't get out, that's when a concealed gun comes into play. Never, ever, before that. I think a prudent person carries a gun when ever they can, and has one in their home to defend it, so my opinion is go buy one, and practice...... a lot.

    If you can, move. And always remember the saying "Never go somewhere you wouldn't go without a gun."
  14. hermannr

    hermannr Member

    Jan 23, 2011
    Okanogan Highlans
    Hej Cloud! Obviously you have never been in the military. Their are great people of all races, and bad guys of all races, it has nothing to do with race, it has to do with how you conduct yourself personally. Don't ALLOW anyone to intimidate you, for any reason.

    Yes, there are white people that think they are the only humans, all others are subhuman...and their are black people that feel exactly the same way about their race and will try to intimidate a white guy...just don't Allow them to do that to you. Not confrontational, just no boot licking either.

    If you are new to shooting may I suggest you find a used (if money is a concern) .22 pistol and practice, practice, practice. When you feel very confident with that .22, go to a range that rents guns and try several different pistols...then purchase the one you do the best with.

    As to will owning a firearm making you a "target"? I don't think so. Most burglers would rather hit "soft" targets, the ones that cannot/will not fight back.

    I have owned firearms for over 50 years, I have OCd a sidearm for over 40 years....never had a problem. I doubt you will either. Use common sense and do not intentionally put yourself in dangerous situations. You should carry for the same reason you have a fire extinguisher at home, you hope you never need it, but you are happy it is there if you do ever need it.
  15. Gordon_Freeman

    Gordon_Freeman Member

    Feb 17, 2011
    Just use your brain and you most likely will never get into a self defense situation.
  16. Gryffydd

    Gryffydd Member

    Jan 7, 2009
    W. Washington
    When I lived there not many years ago Harrison, AR was still a very unfriendly place if you were black. Just head over to http://www.kkk.com/ and tell me what address you see right at the top of the page.
    I know living in Chicago it's easy to forget places like that continue in this "era".

    I don't want to denigrate the area, I was born there and have family there and in general people are great there. But there are pockets of that culture that remain to this day.
  17. youngda9

    youngda9 member

    Aug 21, 2008
    Carry at home until you're comftorable with it. Practice your draw stroke there, with an un-loaded firear. Read to know the laws of your state and when deadly force is justified to protect yourself or your loved ones.

    Be aware of your surroundings...but lose the paranoia. All the scenarios you presented could happen for any reason. They could come after you for your wallet or your sneakers. Do you want to have the ability to protect yourself or not....that is the only question that you need to ask yourself.
  18. Dr.Mall Ninja

    Dr.Mall Ninja Member

    Jul 15, 2008
    Saint Louis. MO
    I agree, a BMW would make you a target much faster then owning a gun, but would you hestiate to drive it if someone gave you one?
  19. Freedom_fighter_in_IL

    Freedom_fighter_in_IL Member

    Aug 30, 2010
    mg.mikael, You obviously have not had any dealings down south there buddy. I grew up in the heart of KKK land. Black folk didn't live there long. They either moved in the middle of the night or were found hung in their yards the next morning. And this sir was in the 60's and 70's!! You would still be hard pressed to find a black family living around where I was raised. Unfortunately, the KKK does still exist. While granted, to me and anyone else of any intelligence, they are jokes, the problem is, they pose a threat still to anyone of color. I do not know where the OP lives but if he feels that there is a possible threat from them, I would highly doubt that it is complete paranoia. For you to simply dismiss his worry as paranoia is a bit obtuse to say the least. The problem still exists. Granted not on the same levels as in the past, but to say that it's not still a worry in some areas is just naive.

    OP, most here have given you some good solid advise. Keep practicing too where you feel confident. I would say that you are worried a bit to much about the robbers following you home from the gun stores. They are actually more apt to follow you from a supermarket or jewelry store than from a gun shop. Hard to "case" a gun shop out. Most gun shop owners are extremely aware of the cars outside and would notice a case job.
  20. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

    Dec 24, 2002
    Idahohoho, the jolliest state

    It's conceivable you have a Ku Klux Klan klavern in the area, but those boys are nothing to be concerned about: at least half of them are F, B, and I agents or informers.

    In full seriousness: nobody need know you have guns, and very few people would dare try to take it from you. Think about it: would you try to take a gun away from someone? Steal it from your house? Yeah, maybe, but you need to bear in mind most criminals are cowards, and look for the defenseless, the weak, the victims they're sure won't fight back or get ticked off and come after them.

    Chin up where it belongs, theCloud. Build your skills steadily, and try not to be surprised when you find yourself walking taller.
  21. dirtengineer

    dirtengineer Member

    Jan 1, 2009
    Southeast WA
    Be discreet, get training, get a small safe like a gunvault at the same time (or before) your purchase. Don't let small minded idiots like skinheads, kkk, etc. drive your decisions.

    That being said, if you aren't comfortable yet, then wait to purchase. Find some friends who are gun owners. Or just go to the range and see how things are.
  22. mmitch

    mmitch Member

    Dec 26, 2010
    Armed or not, take responsibility to refuse to lead a fear-driven life.

  23. JoeMal

    JoeMal Member

    Jun 30, 2009
    People could also follow you home from Walmart when you have a huge TV in your cart.

    Or when you leave Best Buy with a computer in your cart

    Or when you leave the furniture store with a leather sofa in the truck bed.

    This could happen anywhere, anytime, from really any scenario.

    And think of it this way; the person robbing you is knowingly robbing someone who has a gun. They will think twice about who to mess with. While a reasonable thought, I think you are worrying too much about it. After you buy your first gun, 6 months down the road, you will laugh at this post.

    Hope you enjoy your new hobby. Welcome to the site.
  24. ShawnC

    ShawnC Member

    Aug 20, 2011
    No. Va
    Do you obsess like this on your way home from the bank? That would make you a more likely target than coming home from a gun store. If they know you have a gun, they won't follow you home. Who follows a guy with a gun for criminal purposes and doesn't expect to get shot? Bad guys go after weaker prey than gun owners.
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2011
  25. stickhauler

    stickhauler Member

    Mar 22, 2009
    Ya'all might notice, in a thread with 24 posts so far, the OP has yet to answer any comment made about their "concerns" about alleged Klan activity. Do I smell troll?
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