Gun Discussions. How Often Does This Happen?

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Feb 16, 2022
This discussion is an offshoot of the church security discussion.

I got my first job in 1980 I retired in 2021. In all my time in the workforce I only remember very few times that guns and shooting sports came up as a topic of conversation.

Even then most of the discussions were about hunting, as in "I got my Elk last week" or "I drew a moose tag for this area." I even worked with a guy who wrote for a hunting magazine and he rarely brought up guns specifically. He talked about hunting but never really about what gun he was using. I did see him start some conversations with other people about his bow hunting equipment but never really guns.

Even during my "career" as a security guard it wasn't a primary topic of conversation. I remember one of my co-workers talking to another about an unsafe act that he had witnessed but that was about it. ( the unsafe Act was the guard drawing his pistol in the parking lot and unloading it before casing it before leaving for the day. The other guard mentioned that the first guy would be better off number one not to draw his gun in the parking lot at work and number two to Simply put it in the case without bothering to unload it and reloading it.

The last non security job I had was in 2007 and even then you didn't talk about guns at work, not unless you wanted a trip to HR.

So my question is, is this something that people discuss at work? Do people sit around after church drinking coffee and talking about who has what gun?

The only time I ever remember it coming up with an employer was when a new security company took over a contract that I was already working on and they hired us all and then how does all fill out job applications. One of the questions was "Do you have a concealed handgun permit?" I asked the office manager if that would have any bearing on who got selected for armed posts and who didn't and he said "No."

So, to those of you who have real jobs that don't require you to walk around a gun on your hip, is there something you discuss at work?
In the area I work, and with the people I work with I’d say it comes up about once a week.
Generally someone getting a new gun, researching the possibility of getting something new, when laws are being discussed, someone will have something for sale, it certainly isn’t uncommon.

It’s probably more common when Democrats are in office, but I’d guess it’s a topic of conversation about once a week.
Worked at a church for my last 15 years of work. Only came up twice. 1) The church hired a new Sr. Pastor who hunts a lot and someone pointed me out to him as a shooter. He asked if I had a CCW permit. I said yes, but it was against the law to carry in church without written approval. He said he get that for me and never did. 2) I often ran lights for special events, the control board for which along with the sound board were located in the balcony. The sound guy and I discuss an escape plan through an under balcony access hatch. Never did he mention firearms. Otherwise I never heard it discuss on campus. 2003-2018 time frame
When I worked in Pennsylvania, most of my coworkers were hunters and the topic of guns came up pretty often at break times and lunch. Most discussions centered around what rifle different people used to hunt whitetail deer. Gun rights were discussed sometimes, particularly during the passage of the 1994 gun control law.

When I worked in Maryland, very few of my coworkers hunted and nobody had a carry permit so self defense guns were a foreign concept to any Maryland resident. Quite a few had one or two guns for hunting but very few had ever even handled a hand gun. When I mentioned how many firearms I owned, most were shocked and couldn't understand why anybody would want or need that many guns.
I suppose if you live in a socialist enclave like Maryland, you simply don't understand target shooting, extended hunting trips or self defense/carry guns.
I mainly discuss guns before & after a good range day with the other members there trading lies or hanging out at home with friends. All the conversations are on range accuracy we get with different gun/ammo combinations or guns, new & old and shooting gear. None of my shooting circle dwells too much on defense, we all share a quiet recognition of that value. The para military/"Rambo wannabe" mindset never enters our discussions. Shooting as a sport, train to use them, God Forbid , defensively.
I don't hunt so that rules that out. I don't attend religious services so that rules that out. I used to "twist the doorknob" so to speak during idle conversation with people at work or in social settings, but these days I prefer to not discuss owning firearms unless I know I am in like minded company. Regrettably, we are headed for times where the fewer people who know you own firearms the better off you will be.
Only in very, very select company of people I’ve known for a little while. Otherwise I choose to avoid those conversations-I will briefly mention hunting but only as an oblique reference: “A hunting buddy of mine told me xyz…”

most co-workers I currently know are not that interested beyond basic deergetting or possibly a once-a-year pistol range date. A (very) few are enthusiasts and those folks are fun to talk to.

It’s hard to gauge intent with these conversations. Politics can often insert itself there, and I’d rather not. Would prefer to just be work friends and earn my pay.
I’m still in the workforce. I never discuss the political side of guns at work.

Occasionally a coworker will stop by and we will discuss guns related to hunting. As in ‘Hey, what’s a good round for elk’ or ‘I’m thinking about buying this gun’ etc. That usually takes place in a private office and not something I discuss in a conference room waiting for meetings to start or at the water cooler in mixed company.
When I was a cop, yes; everybody knew I was "into" guns.
Subsequently as a teacher, NO; worked in the same school as my wife for 13 years; she would lovingly say, "just do your job and keep your mouth shut" and that was just a general overall reminder, not gun specific. (She was right)
The last 15 years of my employment I was a third-party contractor and usually the only employee of my employer if not the only person period, on site. I wasn't "one of the team", in fact they usually considered me to be a hassle.

That may have skewed my results but even when I worked with other security people we didn't sit around talking about guns.
In my office, I have various rounds of live ammo sitting on my bookshelf, plus bunch of expended projectiles and penetrated test targets. Yes- We discuss guns at work.

Client employee had something similar on his desk. Another employee took exception and called the police. They called the bomb squad (protocol?). I don't display anything not work related on my desk.
Do people sit around after church drinking coffee and talking about who has what gun?
I've mentioned before that in the last 10 years or so, my wife has had at least 3 women from church (that I know of) and at least 1 co-worker, ask her advice about concealed carry guns. I don't know whether or not they asked her while "sitting around after church drinking coffee" though - I wasn't there. ;)
So my question is, is this something that people discuss at work?
I'm long time retired (2005) but yeah, sometimes my co-workers and I used to discuss handguns, including CCWs, at work. Let alone discussions about deer and elk rifles. This is eastern Idaho - deer, elk and bear hunting has always been kind of a big thing here, at least in the social circles I run in. :)
If it comes up and I see that "look" I tell them for me it's like golf. I don't hunt, it's just a hand eye coordination challenge. Better than golf, I shoot indoors, whenever I want, weather doesn't matter. don't have to find a partner like tennis or a foursome for golf. Seems to help a little. I don't mention that I have many, many "clubs".
Of course, where you live has a bearing. TN is mostly gun friendly. I have had discussions about guns and hunting at just about every place I've ever worked. I've had many hunting and fishing trips with colleagues and supervisors over the years. I've bought several of the guns I own from the same. But just like any other topic, you have to mindful of what you say and who you're talking with.
In TN, its legal to keep firearms in your vehicle even if company policy prohibits it. Still, I don't go around telling folks about the Ar in my trunk or what's in my console.
Other hunters and/or gun people seem to be able smell you out, but until I know enough about them, I don't indulge them on company premises. If I do trust them enough, it's still limited to innocuous information. If it goes beyond that, it's because we've become close enough friends that we're meeting at thier house or mine. You have to be very diligent and discerning who/what you information share because once a person finds out you are an avid hunter/shooter/reloader, then all his buddies are probably going to know. They may or may not be people you want knowing anything about you. This has actually led to some good friendships and mentoring, both for me and from me. But, I am ever cautious about who/what I discuss.

At my previous job, I was the top company officer on site 90% of the time. The owner never made any official policy one way or the other. He could not carry because he was not a U.S. citizen, but he did shoot a couple of my guns once, so he also relied on me for "unofficial security". He and one other person were the only ones that ever knew.

Before that, I worked for a Japanese owned firm for about 5yrs whose official corporate policy was "no weapons" . Unofficially, the Hr mngr and President at my factory were cognizant that some of the folks we hired thru temp agencies were not exactly "up standing citizens" , to put it nicely. They likely were not adhering to the "no weapons" policy, but that's hard to police and discipline until there's a problem.
So, I was "unofficially " designated as plant security since they knew I had a CCW. My field is very in demand, and it was discussed off the record that I was willing to lose my job if need be as a result of having to protect others. I wouldn't have any problem finding new employment if that happened. I carried deep concealment, so you could never tell I was armed and I never talked about it. The only other time it was ever brought up openly was one time off premises after a discussion about a shooting in an Oklahoma factory. The Hr mngr asked me, off the record of course, how many rds I kept on me. She knew she could never see my CCw and I would never compromise her "plausible deniabilty" about me carrying. But she wondered if I just had a Derringer or if I actually had enough ammo to really handle a problem. Finally, she just had to know. I relieved that concern, but otherwise it was never discussed again.

I suppose if I lived in a more urban area, worked for more "liberal" employers, or my career field wasn't so in demand, I might be more concerned about keeping obscurity and probably wouldn't discuss any thing with anyone at work.
Most of my career has been in higher education. I'll happily talk politics, religion, and firearms with anyone who is interested. A lot of my students over the years have been shooters, and they light up when I acknowledge and ask about their interest. Especially in the educational context I want to engage what others consider sensitive topics to model constructive conversation with those who think differently.

I've also been known as one of the gun guys at church. I was a hunter safety instructor for years and introduced a boatload of young people to safe gun handling. I mentored quite a few young people from my church in hunting. It's not unusual for someone in my circles to ask my advice. Last year a church member asked me what pistol he should buy for his wife. That turned into a no-fire safety and familiarization session after dinner in our home followed by a range outing (I told him she needed to decide).

I am not an "in your face" gun guy, but I will certainly talk with people who are interested. I think it's important that people know a few normal, friendly, well-adjusted firearms enthusiasts to counter what the liberal press and politicians try to portray us as.
I never tell anyone 'numbers'. I don't even tell Mrs Thunkit how many guns 'we' own - not certain I know that number myself.

If the subject comes up - someone asks how many guns I have - I generally say 'not enough '. It's not anyone's business, and not for public consumption.

As for general 'talk about guns' conversation: if I'm with friends, or others I know, I will engage. If it's someone I barely know I am vague/non-specific to the point of not being in the conversation at all.
I’ll talk guns with whomever. However I’ve been trying to change and be quieter about it. Mostly because I fear the red flag laws that may come down the pike. I rub people the wrong way often times. I figure it’s just a matter of time before someone baselessly claims I said something or looked at them the wrong way again.

I once was in a home of a friend for a social gathering. There was people there I didn’t know. I heard later that I had offended several. And one of the people was a sheriffs deputy (a female). I was told she was going to “check me out”.

After thinking on that, and another couple things that didn’t go as expected, I generally try to keep to myself.
I worked in state LE in NYC for 40 years. Very few of the other officers had any interest in guns, just a tool they had to put on every work day.

Not many conversations about guns except when we were going to transition to Glocks. After the three day training, that was that.
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Client employee had something similar on his desk. Another employee took exception and called the police. They called the bomb squad (protocol?). I don't display anything not work related on my desk.
:cool::cool::cool: I did volunteer work at a Navy Base for a long time, and wandering through the storeroom one day I stumbled across a large box of rubber hand gernades that someone in the distance past had bought to hand out to kids. I don't know how long they had been there, well before PC was popular I presume, and when I mentioned it to the head of the department, she became quite aggitated :cuss::cuss::cuss:and said she would take steps to get rid of them. I grabbed a few before that happened. :rofl::rofl:
....When I worked in Maryland, very few of my coworkers hunted and nobody had a carry permit so self defense guns were a foreign concept to any Maryland resident. Quite a few had one or two guns for hunting but very few had ever even handled a hand gun. ........I suppose if you live in a socialist enclave like Maryland, you simply don't understand target shooting, extended hunting trips or self defense/carry guns.
A lifetime ago, I lived in Maryland while stationed at Andrews AFB (statue of limitations had expired, I assume) and was living in an apartment complex, Above my unit were a pair of women who entertained a couple of bums. I had to call them at 1AM to turn down the noise, no luck, I called the manager at 2AM and complained. The two guys came down and pounded on my door and for me to step outside. I passed on the invite.
Next morning I mentioned it to my first seargent. At lunch he stopped me and gave me a package. It was a loaded 38 SPL and holster.
That evening I stopped by the apartment manager's office and told them I would not put up with being terrorized and flashed the revolver and said that if there was an incident it would be on the manager for not taking action.
The next day they were gone.
Someone did break into my storage area and toss things around but I had nothing of value.
My point being, that in years gone bye, personal guns on a miltary base, guns being passed from one person to another, carrying a concealed gun without a permit, apartment manager not calling the police was not a problem. Sigh, can't do anything like that today....especially in Maryland.:neener:
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