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Gun Ownership and Social Stigma?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Nushif, Jul 19, 2011.

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  1. Nushif

    Nushif Member

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    I have been seeing a few threads pop up as of late, in which there is a discussion about how to avoid others knowing one has guns. This ranges from sanitizing reloading benches, to hiding away even gun safes and of course the guns when anyone not living in the house comes in.

    While I see reason for this practice of someone for instance has a very large collection of very expensive firearms, I do have to wonder as to why this notion is about.

    Maybe I am utterly naive here, but if I had thirty or so collectable BEretta shotguns by virtue of that I'd have the money to put them in a very secure display case, right? And then I could show them.
    Controversially right now I am rather poor (that's an overstatement, but I am by no means rich) and own a couple handguns I have accumulated ... and I keep them in various places in the house and of course a small safe.

    My apartment is crammed with reloading supplies, a workbench and firearms and I have *never* gotten this negative response so many here want to avoid.

    What I am driving at is this notion that gun ownership must be kept super-squirrel secret, as if one should be shamed of it, or at least could get a lot fo negative feedback.

    I live in a very, very liberal town surrounded by college students and other like-minded people and not once has my gun ownership gotten a negative response. As a matter of fact, me carrying rather large guns underneath a loose shirt in the wind has never even provoked the bat of an eye.

    I am wondering where this culture of (dare I say?) paranoia is coming from. I can understand it in NYC, Detroit and the like, but the average run of the mill gun owner at least in my experience on both the east and west coast really has no reason to live in secrecy. As a matter of fact more than once have I been approached with questions regarding laws, firearms and the shooting sport, even self defense! And never once was this negatively.

    So where is this borderline anti-social and secretive culture coming from? any thoughts on this? Because I am legitimately perplexed.
     
  2. El Tejon

    El Tejon Member

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    Two major forces driving the train:

    1. The gun rags.

    Most of the gun publications come from New York (Harris) and California (Petersen) which featured decades long of repetitive articles on hiding guns and "concealed" carry because of the anti-gun hysteria of their states. Look at all the gun writers with California ties!

    2. The politics of large electoral states.

    Hiding guns as deformities that one should be ashamed of is derived from the political reforms in Florida (1987) and Texas (1996) with large electoral vote states reforming their "CCW" laws.

    I see you have spent little time in New Jersey, Massachusetts, New York or California. Good for you.:D
     
  3. Rusty Shackleford

    Rusty Shackleford Member

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    I think it's mainly because some of the antis are so crazy about it. I heard of one woman who was completely convinced that you had to have a license in Georgia to even buy any kind of gun (not true, even for pistols), and threatened to call the police and have this guy's kids taken from him. This happened to a friend of mine in his own home.

    These random and (hopefully) rare events keep most of us wishing to stay private about it... at least until someone we know admits to owning a couple of firearms themselves, then it's all we want to talk about.

    Edit: She also insisted that they all had to be registered or he would go to prison... Good thing there is no gun registration at all in Georgia. Even if you wanted to, it simply doesn't exist. That is how badly this lady was misinformed.
     
  4. Mike1234567

    Mike1234567 member

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    You don't experience firearm paranoia because you live in Oregon... one of the still-free states.
     
  5. youngda9

    youngda9 member

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    People don't have a lot of backbone these day. They cower in fear of other's opinions. It's sad/lame/cowardice/foolish/weak/silly.
     
  6. Nushif

    Nushif Member

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    I've lived in New Hampshire, Delaware, Texas and Oregon thus far, at least CONUS wise ... did I really just luck out?
     
  7. Mike1234567

    Mike1234567 member

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    Yes, you're very lucky to have lived in Texas!!:D
     
  8. wh!plash

    wh!plash Member

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    I make it a point not to hide the fact that I enjoy shooting. Not to the point that I feel the need to broadcast it to everyone. I just like to treat it like any other activity that I enjoy. The last thing I want to do is act like its some secretive, evil thing. If non-gun people at least see that we don't treat it like a big deal, I think we're all better off. Guns don't have to be a negative, or even a neutral. They can be positive, and enjoyed just like any other legitimate activity or sport.

    For instance, the conversation comes up at work about "what did you do this weekend" and people are talking about boating or whatever, I have no problem saying that I went to the shooting range with friends. I don't go into any detail unless someone asks or strikes up that particular conversation, but I don't think guns should be treated as a taboo subject.
     
  9. JustinJ

    JustinJ Member

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    I'd be surprised if many people secure their guns within their own homes because of concern for social stigma. I have no qualms about people i trust knowing i'm a gun enthusiast and make no secret of that. I in fact generally make it known rather soon after meeting people as i am always trying to bring new people to the hobby.

    "Maybe I am utterly naive here, but if I had thirty or so collectable BEretta shotguns by virtue of that I'd have the money to put them in a very secure display case, right?"

    Depends on your definition of secure, but no.
     
  10. thedrewcifur

    thedrewcifur Member

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    i live in ohio where if you live in cleveland or columbus you will be harassed for carrying a gun openly. but i have never had a problem anywhere else in ohio. best city i have lived in in ohio for gun ownership is cincinnati.
     
  11. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    You mean there are still people who don't keep and bear arms? Wow. I haven't met any in years.
     
  12. HOWARD J

    HOWARD J Member

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    I never saw any paranoia in Detriot about guns---everyone I ever saw carried a gun.
    You must have meant the paranoia of the people looking in not the people inside.
     
  13. chhodge69

    chhodge69 Member

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    I'm not the slightest bit ashamed of my hobby. I hide my firearms from my social acquaintances for the same reason I hide them from the general public when I CCH. They don't need to know unless it's relevant for some reason.
     
  14. mgmorden

    mgmorden Member

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    In public I don't talk about my guns too much not for a social stigma, but for reasons of theft and security.

    Put it this way: nobody has much problem with a emeralds (I would say diamonds but there is some stigma around those - see the movie "Blood Diamond" :)). They're fine and there is no appreciable effort to "ban" or regulate emeralds, nor is there is stigma involved with their ownership. Still, if I had a safe full of them in my house, do you think I would go around advertising that fact? Heck no. It has nothing to do with stigma and everything to do with not making yourself a target.
     
  15. Ole Coot

    Ole Coot Member

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    It would be a social stigma around here NOT to own firearms. Guns are as good as cash to thieves and a little dope gives them the courage to try a break-in knowing few homes don't have guns. I don't display mine simply because they are valuable and triple in price in places like NYC and DC traded for dope. As any valuables today they must be locked away. Anyone that knows me knows I carry yet drugs cause people to do stupid things.
     
  16. Owen Sparks

    Owen Sparks member

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    In the rural South there is no stigma attached to owning guns at all. That seems to be reserved for homosexuals and atheists here but I digress. People with valuable gun collections are just like people with valuable coin collections in that most of them have better sense than to talk about it in public because if the wrong person hears a rumor about "a guy who has bunch of guns" it could lead to a burglary.
     
  17. Nushif

    Nushif Member

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    This is an honest question to the reply of "they don't need to know" as I'm getting. Do you keep your other hobbies from people as well?
    For instance do you keep the fact that you ... build cars, surf, collect coins or stamps and whatnot from people as well?
    Because a lot of the argument seems to be monetary value. But we park our cars outside every night. Weo own a painting worth a couple hundred bucks or a TV or even a laptop without locking it up at night. So why the difference in guns? If someone stole my i-pad I would be out much more money than one of my guns. But I dont lock that up in a hug safe at night or hide the fact that I own it.
     
  18. Mike1234567

    Mike1234567 member

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    ^^^ Because guns are "hot" on the black market so they sell quickly/easily for good money.
     
  19. chicago guy

    chicago guy Member

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    Here in Chicago gun ownership can be a stigma. Former mayor daley did his best to foster a general negative attitude toward guns. I don't run around shouting about owning guns, but mention it whenever I hear the anti BS about how evil they are. Many friends are surprised to discover that I own and shoot guns regularly. I guess I'm the opposite of the "redneck" image they picture. After their mouths close, I often invite them to come to the range with me and experience shooting first hand. I've had several takers, and several have even gone through the tedious process of getting a Chicago Gun Owners Permit.

    Every little bit helps in this very anti city.
     
  20. Overkilll0084

    Overkilll0084 Member

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    I enjoy shooting/guns/reloading as a hobby. If you get me talking, I'll likely go on for a while.
    There is however, the concept known in the military as OPSEC. Operations Security. The world doesn't need to know what I have or where it's kept. I have a safe and an alarm system but why advertise a nice juicy target. The less the general public knows about what goes on in my man cave, the better. If you were invited, that's an entirely different issue. As for carrying, concealed is concealed. If you don't have a need to know, I'm not likely to bring it up with you.
    When you go on vacation, do you post your itenerary on Facebook before you leave? The world doesn't always have your best interests at heart, those who forget this will often be given an unpleasant reminder.
     
  21. Owen Sparks

    Owen Sparks member

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    Guns, gold coins and jewlry are prime targets for theft while baseball cards and stamp collections generally aren't because they are much harder to fence.
     
  22. geekWithA.45

    geekWithA.45 Moderator Emeritus

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    Social stigma is highly dependent on location.

    Emitting what was once baseline American mores and values in NJ can result in reactions from some of the ignoranti that is extreme, ranging from social ostracisation to bias that results in job and economic consequences.
     
  23. XM855

    XM855 Member

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    For what it's worth, I've personally been called a terrorist on two separate occasions in my own home because I was cleaning my guns. I live in Texas. And this is just in the past year.
     
  24. JustinJ

    JustinJ Member

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    "For what it's worth, I've personally been called a terrorist on two separate occasions in my own home because I was cleaning my guns. I live in Texas. And this is just in the past year."

    Please elaborate.
     
  25. Jeff White

    Jeff White Moderator Staff Member

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    For me it's not about social stigma, it's about deterring theft.
     
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