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Elmer Fudd, the not-so-savvy gunseller...

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by effengee, Jan 18, 2011.

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  1. effengee

    effengee Member

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    I have read a few posts here and elsewhere that deal with that old cronnie of the gun world who I call "Elmer Fudd"

    Elmer is always an old guy who hunts, or used to, and thinks that guns for any other purpose are a waste of time. He thinks that women shouldn't own guns, or at least nothing more powerful than a .38 special. He sits behind the counter/table and balks at your wife when she asks to see the .44 magnum. He grumbles at you when you ask if he sells 7.62X39mm and he thinks that any gun with black plastic on it has no merit.

    I've met several of these guys in my lifetime and am always amazed when I meet another...

    Not long ago, my wife and I went to a large retail gunshop in upstate VT fully intent on purchasing a firearm.
    We walked out less than a minute later, sans guns, due to the Elmer behind the counter who actually huffed at my wife when she asked to see a .44 revolver in the cabinet... "What's a woman want with a gun like that?" was all he needed to say to make my wife and I leave, never to do business there ever again...

    Ever had a situation like this happen to you?
     
  2. CZguy

    CZguy Member

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    No............maybe Elmer is a regional thing.
     
  3. danprkr

    danprkr Member

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    There are 2 sides to the story there. Once in a while I'll rent a table at a local gun show to reinvigorate my collection. I know it's a sickness, but I get this odd 'out with the old in with the new' urge. What can I say?

    Here's the problem, I can see myself becoming 'Elmer' in time. I get these morons who come up and are spouting all sort of nonfactual BS trying to convince either myself of their companion they're the know all end all of firearms knowledge, and it just sets me off. So far I've been able to hide it, let them spout their stupidity, and wander on. But it is trying at time, to listen to the idiocy, and just smile. I'm sure one day I will snap, and go off on one of them.

    Heck, I've a buddy who works the gun shows regularly, and I was helping him out one weekend and I saw him do it to a guy. Trust me this guy had it coming. I was about to go off on him, and it wasn't my table. Even he knows that it's not a good idea and was embarrassed afterwords. Not saying you or your wife deserved it, but if the previous 15 people that were in the store were morons you may have just triggered the moment.
     
  4. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    Yes, I think most of us have met a few shooters with old-school tastes and stifled/stunted sensibilities. A dying breed, to be sure, but they do still exist.

    But here at THR we have tried very hard to remove terms like "Fudd" and "Sheeple" and other "us > them" divisive terminology from our lexicon. Everyone had their own tastes, beliefs, and prejudices and all we should do is try to educate them and welcome them to a higher understanding. There is nothing gained by puffing ourselves up by grinding them down.

    And, we try to limit how many "gun dealers suck" and "gun shop customers are dumb" threads we allow for much the same reason. (One just closed this morning.)

    I'm sorry you had a bad experience. Did you take any time to discuss the matter with the gentleman? He might have been surprised to learn that your wife was an accomplished shot with a large bore handgun. (My daughter was shooting my 629 at 7 years old...) Walking out on him might have felt good, but teaching him why that was an ignorant statement (like by her proving herself knowledgeable and capable -- her buying that gun and shooting rings around him) would have felt a whole lot better.

    We do need to remove such prejudices and ignorance from our "community" but that has to be through polite, confident replies and education, not through derisiveness and ridicule -- especially on a gun forum he'll never see.

    :)
     
  5. Gouranga

    Gouranga Member

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    Sam1911, good post. I agree with most of what you said. I think the value of these threads is for the rest of us to consider the human side of things here and NOT be the guy in the store who helps these stereotypes persist.

    I have a local store I took a new shooter to. He is in dire need of a HD shotgun. He is limited on funds, and has never fired a gun before. With the limited funds(Which means he cannot afford to go through CCW classes), the fact that he if never going to take the gun out of his home, and a wife who has never fired a handgun but has a LOT of shotgun experience, it seemed a no brainer that an inexpensive HD shottie was the way to go. The store we started at played to his manhood about how a nice big revolver was needed, and how he needed to "man up" and forget about what his wife could us. It was his job to use it. After trying to explain things (calmly and respectfully) to the sales guy and having his continually try his buy a gun to make you penis look bigger speech we left.

    Finally got a the store I should have started at and they helped him with a good shottie he could afford. Was a great place, they listened to his needs, and level of experience and came to the same conclusion I did. Now I do not know it all and I was not looking for a store that agreed with ME. I was looking for a place that could listen to the customer and give good advice with good reasoning.

    If anything these threads help educate everyone that yes there are awesome gun stores out there. We do not have to deal with the "fudds" and if we keep our standards high on what we expect out of a gun store, then we can weed out the "fudds" and other poor run stores and really get some good service.

    As for "gun dealers suck" and "customer are dumb" in the past I have worked with the general public and BOTH statements are true as is the inverse. People suck, some people don't.
     
  6. MMCSRET

    MMCSRET Member

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    Have been hunting and shooting in several places around the world for most of my 65 years and have never met Elmer. I know a few ranchers that use guns for lots of things and shoot a lot and have them at hand continuously but just consider them tools of the profession of farming and ranching, but no Elmers.
     
  7. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    While I really hate the condescending attitudes of a few, I know several Elmers who think of their guns as tools and little more. When hunting season is over and the final cleaning done,
    they rarely touch them or even think about them until the next season. If they actually own a pistol or revolver...and it's most often a revolver...they don't shoot it and they don't bring it out for show and tell when friends come to visit...and they probably have most of the first box of ammunition that they bought for it.

    It's been said before and bears repeating. Not all gun owners are active shooters, and many...if not most...have no interest in being active shooters. Their guns are tools that are used when they need to use them.

    I heard a long-time gun shop owner remark that 5% of the gun owners are shooting 95% of the ammunition that's sold. The majority of them buy a pistol/revolver and a box of ammunition in a lifetime...and they leave pristine guns and a half box of ammo to whoever inherits their personal property.

    Several years ago, there was an old guy who came to a gun store and bought two .30-30 cartridges.
    Just two. It had been his habit for years, according to the owner. He even had a box of Winchester 170 grain Silvertips with his name on it in the back, and he got his two rounds from the same box every year...something that he probably wasn't even aware of...a service that the owner provided for him, knowing his habits.

    I asked him why only two rounds. He looked a little incredulous, and shrugged as he answered:

    "I've only got two deer tags."

    True story.
     
  8. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    While I'm not quite as PC as the mods wish I was, I agree that we have an obligation to turn attitudes.

    This world is run by old people. Not just our gun world, ALL of the world. Some minds you can change. Others......you have to wait for them to die. :)
     
  9. david58

    david58 Member

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    We still speculate if my wife's grampa ever shot more rounds thru his marlin 336 than he had skinned deer.

    Not a Fudd, by any means. He grew up in CO, and used to hunt jackrabbits, coyotes, etc for pay. He would take my wife shooting, well, "throwing" - at 80 years old he would shoot thrown golf balls for fun with a 22 pump.

    I only have two deer tags......sheesh....I can only dream...
     
  10. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    I find your post offensive.
     
  11. Professor Gun

    Professor Gun Member

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    I have encountered several Elmers over the years here in Western Wisconsin. They are the guys who will pontificate that "no one needs an assault weapon" and "we should ban any magazine that holds more than 5 rounds". I know two gun owners personally who have said exactly what I put in quotes to groups of people who do not own guns.
    I conduct NRA Basic Pistol classes and run a class each year for women only; every class there is a student or two for whom the man (husband, boyfriend) has chosed the gun he thinks she should have. When it turns out the little woman doesn't like that gun but instead prefers one of the handguns she got to try out in our course, some of these guys do not react well; they are Elmers.
    I look upon these guys as damaging to our cause of supporting and expanding gun rights. I call them Elmer Fudd.
     
  12. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    If so, either hit the "Report" button or explain your thoughts clearly and politely in the thread.

    Do you find his post offensive because your last name really is Fudd and you don't wish to be portrayed as thinking this way?

    Or do you find it offensive because you DO think that way, and don't wish to be called "Fudd?"
     
  13. Bubbles

    Bubbles Member

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    At the last gun shop where I encoutered that attitude, I asked to see a Sig P228, detail-stripped it using a dime as a screwdriver, left the pieces on the counter, and left.
     
  14. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    I feel that people have the right to say what they want usually. Some things are best left unsaid. But to label people who may not share your views as a "Elmer Fudd" is simply wrong. You honestly don't know what their views are other than you are guessing.

    There would be no cause without these people. When they were probably cleaning out your diapers, they were fighting for the cause. The cause changes. If you wish to alienate people who you would probably define as an older group of firearm owners as "Elmer Fudds" then you deserve what you get.

    By the way, I don't think I would be considered an "Elmer Fudd" but I try not to label myself. Nor do I think you should try to label people in general although we all have our moments. Sam1911, there are a lot of those kinds of people in your home state. Why haven't you gotten the semi-auto ban for hunting with rifles and handguns changed in PA when I suspect you feel it is outdated as do I? Oh... but you are suggesting I'm a "Fudd"... okay?

    There is no winning this argument, so I will try not to further fan the flames.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2011
  15. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    Ahhh, that's more clear. And very much in alignment with what I was saying before.

    Alienating other gun owners (other gun voters) is never a positive move. Better to educate and welcome them into a broader view.
     
  16. TrakHack

    TrakHack Member

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    While I'm sure there are some older gentlemen who fit your description and are frustrating to deal with in a retail environment, I specifically seek out the older guys when I'm at the gun store (I go to a big box store very close to where I work). The guys my own age (30s) largely ignore me, and that really ticks me off. The older guys are helpful and knowledgeable and don't respond in a condescending way to my questions or requests. Can't say the same of the younger guys I've encountered there. I wonder if I brought one of my male coworkers who also shoots with me if anything would change. Could be an interesting experiment.

    The issue I see here is one of customer service. A person wanting to successfully sell things should be careful not to offend any potential buyer. This extends to internet service, too. I asked questions of three different sellers this week, got a one word response from one, got a "let's make a deal" from the second, and got a very nice e-mail from the third that answered my questions and apologized for not having all the pictures available on the website. If I weren't down the road of making the deal with the second guy, I would forget about him and buy from the third guy today (even though the gun the third guy has is not my top choice).

    Love the two deer tag story!
     
  17. Superlite27

    Superlite27 Member

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    It's the exact same based on any other demographic.

    Everyone is an individual, and has their own individual perspective regardless whether it's religion, politics,....or gun ownership. None of them are more or less valid than the others. The OP laments the fact that the gun seller has dismissed his view of firearms ownership as invalid......but commits the exact same error of doing the same thing by dismissing the "Fudd's" narrow view, as well.

    Labelling someone as a "Fudd" is just as much falling into the trap of stereotyping as any other assumption. They do it to you when they "tailor" their opinions and advice to you when it is geared towards hunting, or suitable firearms "for women". You only lower yourself to their level when you start framing your perspective of them as "Fudds". As Sam1911 said, it becomes devisive. Yes, they are devisive as we are all gun owners, but when you do the same thing, it pretty much seals the deal. It creates two classes: Us and Them.

    It's often done with political viewpoints, as well. Gun owners often identify with "conservative", and automatically assume that all gun owners would logically do the same. This isn't neccessarily so. I have a cousin Beth who's about as liberal as they come: Purple hair, tattoos, die-hard Obama supporter, "save the whales", "climate change", and all that crap. Although we disagree on almost everything across the political spectrum, spending time with her at the range where she is a pretty accurate shooter with her full size Kimber 1911 is very enjoyable as long as we keep our discussions on the topic at hand.

    We're both die-hard firearms rights supporters.

    All the Fudds are too. Let's include them in our "we" and take the high road by attempting to influence their view of firearms ownership to include us, instead of resorting to their method of alienation which fails to make "us" any better than "them".
     
  18. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Exactly so. There is nothing to be gained by stating or implying that someone is an idiot simply because his view on firearms is different from what we as active, involved shooters think it should be. Elitism comes in many guises.

    That's the spirit! Whenever someone makes a statement that we disagree with, we should immediately vandalize his property!

    You're lucky that he didn't have you arrested.
     
  19. MMCSRET

    MMCSRET Member

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    I suppose that I fall into some peoples definition of Elmer. I'm 65, have bought, sold, traded, hand loaded, hunted, several hundred guns in my life. I don't currently own many, 60 or so, I don't join in conversations about guns without being invited. I go to gun shows alone, do my contemplation of purchase alone, usually shoot alone, prefer to hunt alone. I've only owned one "plastic" firearm, a Glock that was cheap and I never fired it, it was traded on a 30 year old S&W revolver. I only have synthetic stocks on three rifles and they were the cheapest I could buy, 20 bucks at a gun show. I bristle at being called a "gun nut", I'd rather be "Elmer".
     
  20. suzukisam

    suzukisam Member

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    I don't think the op was lumping all older shooters together. I got the impression that he was speaking on the condescending/arrogant attitude. I have pretty much stopped using the local gun shops for this reason. I use friends that are private dealers for the most part. I have my own business(not in firearms) , and I was always taught that my customers are the boss and it's my job to provide them with what they want whether I think it's right or not. now I usually interject and tell them how it is typically done or what my opinion is, and if they are hell bent, then I smile, give them what they want, and wish them well.

    So why is it when you go in gun shops, even bass pro and cabelas some of the guys, and honestly it is the older gentleman I have experienced this with, you get treated like it's a privilege to be in their shop and that you should just buy what they tell you cause the great gun god has spoken. I go into bass pro a lot just because it is the largest selection around to handle and hold what I'm looking for(then I order from a dealer), and they start treating you like a twelve year old. I was in there one day and an employee started giving this guy legal advice on carrying a gun that was gonna get the customer landed in jail. when I quoted him the law and explained why he was wrong he just looked at me and said "I work here I think I know, besides I was in law enforcement".

    so anyway I think the point is that the condescending looking down the end of your nose attitude does get kinda old.
     
  21. SpaceFrank

    SpaceFrank Member

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    Working behind the gun counter at Academy, I've seen all kinds. From the old opinionated guy who owns nothing but revolvers, doesn't trust any automatic but the 1911, and thinks all modern handguns are plastic garbage, to the younger guys who walk in and want to buy whatever handgun they saw in a movie. Then there are the innumerable times when someone makes a blanket statement about a particular manufacturer, and I have to resist the urge to roll my eyes.

    I do my best to educate when I can, and usually I can tell if it makes a difference; however, sometimes there's nothing you can do. Times like that, you can only smile and wait for them to buy something or leave.
     
  22. CoRoMo

    CoRoMo Member

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    I can relate.

    I was all but thrown out of a gunsmith's shop when I asked him to check the specs on a Norinco 1911 that I came across. He said they were all junk, none of them were in spec, and that he's not interested in putting money in the hands of communists.

    He doesn't know a whole lot about that particular firearm, but otherwise, he's supposed to be the best gunsmith in the area. If I were to judge him on that one encounter, I'd be out a very good resource in all else that he's talented.

    Sometimes you have to look past where a man falls short, because in other areas he's probably the best source for a particular expertise.
     
  23. bogie

    bogie Member

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    What I love are the guys who walk up to your table at a gun show, and ask "So, do you have any AK-47s (when what's on the the table is an M14 and a FAL with double snaildrum mags)?

    Or... "How much do you want for your SKS ammo?"

    which is sometimes shortly followed by...

    "How can you expect to stay in business if you don't have SKS ammmo?"

    Same folks ask for handguns, handgun ammo, etc., etc., have an opinion about everything, and are obnoxious and insulting.

    We also don't sell jeep parts, beef jerky, or fireworks.
     
  24. therewolf

    therewolf member

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    As to post # 7 "I've only got two deer tags."

    I had a neighbor like that. He spent @ 11 months a year stalking his prey
    with binoculars. An epic guide and trophy hunter.

    The hunting season was over for him 30 minutes after it started.

    He referred to it as "harvesting" game. He knew where they ate, slept, and drank. And he knew exactly where to be when it was time to pull the trigger.
    Fired one shot. Cleaned his gun. Put it away till next year...

    ... then he picked up his binoculars again...

    As to grumpy shop owners, I almost feel blessed after reading horror stories like these. I can only think of a couple times when
    a counterperson at a gun store was ever rude to me.
     
  25. NMGonzo

    NMGonzo Member

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    Elmer is a terrible salesman.

    "fine choice! ... would you like some ammo with it?"
     
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