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Need your opinions for my research paper!

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by bjbegley, Oct 2, 2010.

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  1. bjbegley

    bjbegley Member

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    I’m doing a research paper for my sociology class. The topic I’ve chosen is public perceptions on guns. Basically, I’m researching the reasons why people are anti-gun or pro-gun. Obviously, I know everyone on this forum is pro, as am I. This is where I need your help. So, if you wouldn’t mind, I would really appreciate if you could answer a few opinion questions for me!

    1. In your opinion, why are people against guns?

    2. Do you think that people can go from anti to pro-gun? How?

    3. If you have ever been anti-gun, what event in your life made you decide to be pro-gun?

    That’s it for the questions! I really appreciate any help. I thought I would add that this is only a part of my research, as I’m going to try to find people who are anti-gun and ask them different questions. If you feel uncomfortable posting ANY of these answers where everyone can see them, feel free to message them to me, or if you’d prefer, you can ask for my AIM screen name and I will message it to you so we can talk that way. Thank you!
     
  2. N003k

    N003k Member

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    1) I think the majority are idealists that don't stop to consider the realities of the world. However, others have probably dealt with traumatic events that make them dislike guns, perhaps someone close being shot. Given the event, rational thought probably doesn't exactly occur. The rest probably just haven't stopped to think about it much, and just figure that since they can kill, they should be banned.

    2) Yes, but only certain ones. I don't think you'll convince any of the hardcore politicians or leaders of the anti-gun organizations to support private gun ownership.

    However, if you get a person that's just never stopped and thought about it, and you get them to sit and discuss it with someone that knows all the facts, they might be surprised at a good many of them, and they might consider it more over time and reconsider their position. I think there's some people like that right here on the forum.

    3) Never was anti gun, so can't help you there.
     
  3. bjbegley

    bjbegley Member

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    Thank you! :)
     
  4. DoubleTapDrew

    DoubleTapDrew Member

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    1. A combination of lack of exposure to guns, along with the negative exposure from the mainstream media and hollywood (when was the last time you saw a pro-gun news story as opposed to a gang shooting). They are seen as mysterious and dangerous to people who have no personal experience using them.

    2. Yes. First they have to ignore their preconceived notions and emotions associated with them (difficult), then be exposed in a positive light by going to the range with a friendly, paitent, experienced mentor. Then they may be able to think about the pro-gun sides of the arguments when they arise instead of immediately getting emotional or defensive.

    3. Never been, I grew up in a pro-gun household. They weren't mysterious and dangerous, they were facinating and fun!
     
  5. M-Cameron

    M-Cameron member

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    1. In your opinion, why are people against guns?

    mostly because people are uneducated about them....they grow up being told they are bad, and they stick to it (much like how racism is passes from generation to generation)....

    2. Do you think that people can go from anti to pro-gun? How?

    people need to realize that guns arent inherently good or bad.....and that its people who do bad things....and they will continue to do bad things whether they have guns or not.....people need to be exposed to guns safely on a regular basis to become comfortable around them.

    3. If you have ever been anti-gun, what event in your life made you decide to be pro-gun?

    well basically i grew up, and started to think for myself.......i realized all the anti-gun "facts" had no basis or support.....and i realized there was no rationale for being anti-gun.




    hope this helps and good luck on your paper.
     
  6. bjbegley

    bjbegley Member

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    Thanks!
     
  7. happygeek

    happygeek Member

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    Quoting myself from a different thread on a different forum:

    Then there's a good number of people who just haven't been exposed to guns. I should know, I used to be one of them. When I was young I'd shot 22 rifles once or twice. The first time I handled a M16A2 at work I was scared of it. I gradually got more comfortable, then I went to a different org where I handled M4A1s, M9s, M249s, M240s, and the occasional M2 and Mk19 and got far better with using firearms in general and got comfortable [not complacent, comfortable as in not being scared of handling them].

    Now I've been a gun owner for about a year and a half and have taken a few people to the range to shoot 22LRs. I think there's a lot of 'fence sitters' who just haven't been exposed. The only guns they've ever seen in real life were being carried by cops. A lot of them probably support neither side, I know I didn't back then.

    But then there are the types we see who are actively anti-gun
    1) the elitists: those who think only they should be allowed to own and carry guns
    2) the statists: only the government should own and carry guns
    3) the nanny staters: only the government should own and carry guns because they're the adults and the "citizens" are children who can't be trusted
    4) those who are scared of guns to the point that they think no one should own and carry guns

    We see the elitists at work in many gun control schemes where they institute so much red tape and expense that only the rich and/or politically well connected can get through the maze. May Issue isn't a bad example, where the powers that be can deny your "right" to keep and bear arms simply because they don't like you. Other places make permits so expensive as to be out of the reach of normal joes. There's been much speculation that the NFA, the original gun control scheme of the 1900s, was designed to put NFA items out of reach of average joes by more than doubling the cost of the items [$200 was a LOT of money back then]. Then there's places like NYC where a carry permit costs something like 2 grand to obtain and $170 every 2 years to keep current.

    For anyone wondering why I put the right in the right to keep and bear arms in quotation marks above, that's because many believe it to be a privilege, not a right. What's the difference? Privileges can be subjected to licensing, registration, permits, and other red tape designed to add time, money, and hassle to the process of legally obtaining an object. Of course, privileges can also be taken away for pretty much any reason ... or no reason at all.

    You could write a book on the statist perspective, I won't try to dive into that here.
     
  8. bjbegley

    bjbegley Member

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    Wow, that was certainly informative! Thanks!
     
  9. happygeek

    happygeek Member

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    Yeah, I've hung out on The Huffington Post a little in an attempt to gain perspective, read a pretty good amount of Josh Sugermann's writings on VPC.org (http://www.vpc.org/index2.htm is a wealth of information since the VPC doesn't seem to take anything offline. There's "studies" and papers on there from the 1980s.), and visit the Brady Campaign and CSGV less often.

    Much of what I post on them is just a copy and paste since they don't change their rantings much, the facts haven't really changed, and it gets tiresome to constantly re-type links to the FBI homicide stats, Supreme Court cases, etc.

    One of the anti-gun posters on the Puffington Host recently claimed that we should give up our rights "for the greater good". :uhoh: Hitler, Stalin, Castro, Kim Jong Il, and many others couldn't agree more.
     
  10. Sky

    Sky Member

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    General philosophical statement or treaties:

    Most people like to feel they are safe in their environment. They cannot believe that bad things will happen to them; always someone else who probably brought the bad luck upon themselves. Arlington cemetery is full of "it will happen to someone else".

    It seems like the human psyche even when confronted with a death sentence due to disease does not want to get the estate in order but want to hide their head in the sand and not recognize the impending doom.

    Guns are no more different than a shovel both can kill you but neither will attack you by themselves.

    From a sociology 101 point of view when the population moved from rural to city we no longer needed to protect the live stock and chickens from all sorts of varmints thusly guns were not needed any more. As cities grew more opportunities for the bad 10% of the population began to see opportunities for stealing and doing harm to the residents. If the 10% rule is correct in a city of just 5000 then you got 500 people who will take advantage of you or your property. Some cities have a higher percentage and some have much less. 10% is for discussion purposes only....pick a number...you feel lucky?

    Well meaning people think if there were no guns it would be a better world yet feudal Japan had no problem killing people with out them. No offense to the Japanese intended they were just very good at it.

    Pick any other country where there are no guns and people lose their lives and other things from all sorts of weapons. Guns just make it less work. That's why they (guns) were called the great equalizer. 5' woman can stand her ground against the largest hairy legged guy if she is armed and knows how to use it.

    Now that societies have become larger their are more human varmints. I would much rather see a woman who is being carjacked, raped, pillaged or plundered shoot and kill the varmint and that's the end of it.

    The farm when a coyote was killing chickens you just stopped him with a bullet if you wanted to keep your chickens. Yes you could set a trap and if lucky catch him. Spend hours domesticating him and getting him to eat out of your hand. But the day you trust him and turn your back he will do what his nature is and there goes your chickens.
     
  11. bjbegley

    bjbegley Member

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    That's very true Sky, I agree with you. But what about the other two questions? Have you always been pro-gun, or did something make you that way? Do you think people can go from anti to pro? With the depth of that answer I'm very interested to hear the others!
     
  12. Owen Sparks

    Owen Sparks member

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    People are born with a natural fear of only two things, falling and loud noises. All else is learned behavior. If there were a sudden loud BANG behind you right now, you would jump. No matter how many years you have been shooting, if you did not know it was coming you would revert to natures reaction to loud noise with fear. In fact, as shooters we constantly have to suppress this natural urge to flinch even when we know it is going to happen. Gunfire is loud. It is scary on a subconscious level even to a seasoned shooter. How much more so is it to a person who is unfamiliar with firearms? Guns can have a very negative connotation to people who don't understand them, as they associate guns with loud frightening noises.

    Interestingly enough, the type of person who is scared of guns and would not allow one in their home would probably be totally comfortable around archery equipment. Even though being run through with a broad head can be just about as deadly as being shot, it does not make that loud scary noise therefore it does not elicit that strong primordial urge to avoid it.

    This phenomenon does not apply just to guns. How many times have you seen a villain in a movie use a chain saw as a weapon? Anyone who has ever used a chain saw knows that it would make a lousy weapon because it is just too heavy to wield quickly, but to the average 18-24 year old movie patron who has never used a chain saw, the image is very frightening simply because of the noise it makes.

    It is critical that we, as gun owners promote shooting in a positive way as we are dealing with peoples deep seeded subconscious fears and the only way to conquer that fear is with knowledge.

    Just an observation, OS
     
  13. Sky

    Sky Member

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    I never was pro or anti they (guns) were tools we used all the time because we had to. I favored a pick ax for somethings over a shovel just depended on the task at hand and as I once said, "if you wanna eat bird don't take a .50 cal to a Dove hunt"..

    My uncle was shot in the back by a city dude when he was 7 years old. He remained crippled until his death at age 62. Was I anti City Dude, well maybe a little bit; normal human reaction until you realize not all city Dudes are stupid nor fat...?

    It wasn't the gun necessarily or the Doctor that messed up getting the .22 out of Tom's back it was the City Dude that had no training and pointed the gun at Tom when he thought the gun was empty. We knew guns were dangerous and were meant to kill what we shot otherwise why have one? The philosophy back then was there are gonna be accidents regardless if you are on a tractor, horse, bicycle, or getting out of bed..That's life..Ironically years later some of the best fishing and hunting trips I ever went on was with Tom.

    Sometimes it is worth a few peaches to make a peach cobbler.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2010
  14. Sky

    Sky Member

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    As far as anti to pro let them get robbed or the pookey scared out of them and they will be the first at the gun range...It's all about comfort zone.

    Maybe some liberal thinks the bad guy has more of a right to live than they do. Their choice not mine.
     
  15. Owen Sparks

    Owen Sparks member

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    Liberalism is based in emotion and fear is a very strong emotion.
     
  16. glassman

    glassman Member

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    I think a lot of people are anti gun due to fear. The focus is on the gun rather than the person behind the trigger. This may or may not be irrational but that fear is reenforced by an irresponsible media. We read the paper or watch the evening news and see a talking head report on a shooting with great emotion followed by a piece on an anti gun rally. It's sensational and sells papers/attracts viewers. Rarely do we see a positive position presented on guns. If Dianne Sawyer says it on TV, it must be so. We are being brain washed to a certain degree.
    My opinion is that a person has to be open minded enough to accept change before their attitude about guns could be altered. A hard line anti isn't going to do that unless something catastrophic happens to them on a personal level. Perhaps being mugged or being terrorized during a break in could do it. Arguing about guns is like arguing religion, politics or abortion. It's a very emotional topic for a lot of people.
    I'm a Viet Nam vet and after discharge from the military, I didn't want to see another gun for a long time. Not anti, mind you, just removed. About ten years ago, I was invited to the range by a friend and rediscovered the joy of the shooting sports and have been involved ever since.
    Hope this helped. Good luck with your education.
     
  17. lwknight

    lwknight Member

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    1. In your opinion, why are people against guns?
    I think that the majority of the anti gun group is that they would have to leave the comfort zone of everything being just fine and the police will keep you safe, and admit that they live in a messed up potentially dangerous world.

    A good many people are more non sympathetic to guns than anti because they would not trust themselves with a gun due to ignorance and lack of experience.
    Exampled: My female cousin that cannot be taught to put gas in her own car also could not be taught to operate a gun of any kind. Therefore she thinks guns are dangerous but minds her piece because the rest of the family would flame her on that issue.


    2. Do you think that people can go from anti to pro-gun? How?

    I think that most hardcore anti-gunners will never change. Fortunately there are a lot in the neutral zone that will become pro gun at the first realization that they are defenseless after being too close to a crime ( gang shooting in hometown etc.) for comfort.

    3. If you have ever been anti-gun, what event in your life made you decide to be pro-gun?

    I'm a country boy. I can't help there.
     
  18. TexasGunbie

    TexasGunbie Member

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    1. In your opinion, why are people against guns?
    I think it's the movement of politics and peace that brew the anti-gun mindset. Some people relate guns with violence while we see it's inevitable that violence will come, so we (pro-guns) associate guns with protection. Some people are naive and think that if we outlaw guns, then no one will have guns to rob stores... but criminals will always get their hands on guns regardless. To sum it up, people against guns are intimated by guns and too scare to learn to use one, and naturally you are against what you are afraid of.

    2. Do you think that people can go from anti to pro-gun? How?

    Honestly, they need to have an open mind and become more educated to appreciate the safety a gun can provide. I have spoken to many anti-gun friends over the past, and most of them cannot logically explain why gun is bad. They simply repeats, "gun is bad, gun will give you more trouble than you ask, if you didn't have a gun, you probably wouldn't get hurt and the robber will just peacefully let you go."

    It's funny because they rather associate the robber with "peacefully" than to associate a gun with protection. Some anti-gunnies will read a paper article on a local store robbery and say "see, if the store clerk didn't have a gun, he would have lived, it's his fault that he tried to fight the robber", in this case even blaming fault on the victim.

    The very sad thing is that politicians strategically rally these people together and feed on their ignorant. Promising things to change, but not offering real solutions.

    Some anti-gun people had become pro-gun after becoming a victim of crime. Wishing that they had a gun to defend themselves.

    My brother was anti-gun, but after I showed him how to handle one properly, he realized that as long as he is responsible with it, then having a gun is a good protection.
     
  19. XxWINxX94

    XxWINxX94 Member

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    1. In your opinion, why are people against guns?
    Because certain people are afraid of guns, and believe that guns alone kill people, start wars, and are property of white-trash rednecks and gangbangers. All of these things these people hate or don't like. You also have the whole PETA crowd who will give you a BS reason for everything and anything gun related. People who have been personally or emotionally harmed by guns are really the foundation of this mindset, and only recruit more folks that are neutral to this mindset through gossip and made up statistics.

    2. Do you think that people can go from anti to pro-gun? How?
    Yes, I think they can. I would say that taking someone on a quiet, informative, and safe trip to the range or shooting area is the best start to switching their mindset. Another way to change them is tell them several stories about how civilians with guns can save innocent lives from robberies, rapes, and other bad things, (For example, reading the "Armed Citizen" section in American Rifleman). I find that political bickering just worsens tensions and makes everyone angry.

    3. If you have ever been anti-gun, what event in your life made you decide to be pro-gun?
    Before I owned guns, I was somewhat neutral, until a relative took me shooting. I also had an interest in history, so I applied that to my gun collection, and now guns are one of my main hobbies. I think there are more to guns than hunting, and the actual shooting. People can make careers out of them, like the military, a gunsmith, an engineer, a designer, etc. That idea could, and probably has interested many people. Folks like me can just take a gun and look at it/handle it for hours and be compleatly intrigued.
     
  20. 52grain

    52grain Member

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    1) In my opinion, you either grow up around guns, learned about them from people that know something about them, and have first hand experience with them or you didn't and learned about them from TV and movies. If you learned about them from TV and movies, much of your information is probably misleading at best and false at worst.

    2) I suppose people probably can be cured of their antitis. I don't have any experience with this, but I suspect that it would probably have to involve gaining accurate knowledge.

    3) Never been an anti. Can't help you there.
     
  21. Ole Coot

    Ole Coot Member

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    Ignorance of firearms and images of us Rednecks from the hills pushed by the extreme liberal media. MHO
     
  22. beadhead

    beadhead Member

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    I'm a sociologist, a lecturer at a mid-western university, and I'm pro-gun. I don't study this topic, so I'm not going to opine. However, I do have a couple of suggestions for you.

    1. Posting an inquiry on an internet forum is a great way to generate some ideas. But if I'm grading a research paper, I'm going to want more than opinions from pro-gun people on a pro-gun website.

    2. I recommend that you start by reading the scholarly literature on the topic (well, at least some of it). This should give you some ideas about what has already been argued in the field. Include a lit review in your paper.

    3. Generate some hypotheses regarding attitudes toward guns. The discussion of the effect of urbanization, for example, is one place to start.

    4. Take a look at the General Social Survey. It contains at least 20 gun-related variables, in addition to all sorts of demographic and attitudinal variables. At the very least, you'll be able to run some cross-tabulations examining the relationship between, say, opinions on gun control (measured perhaps by favoring or opposing police permits for gun ownership) and race, gender, age, political party affiliation, urban vs. rural, etc.

    There's also a variable for "firmness of opinion," which might give you some insight into the second question.

    You can use these data to test your hypotheses, or you can simply study the descriptive statistics, which ought to demonstrate to your prof that you've done the pick-and-shovel work.

    http://www.norc.uchicago.edu/GSS+Website/Browse+GSS+Variables/Subject+Index/

    Have fun, and PM me if you have any questions about the data or how to analyze it.

    BH
     
  23. JDoe

    JDoe Member

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    1. In your opinion, why are people against guns?

    • Because they are willfully ignorant and have not done any researching of the statistics, etc. and rely on anti-gun organizations to do their thinking for them.
    • Because it may benefit them politically.

    2. Do you think that people can go from anti to pro-gun? How?

    • Yes. If an anti will truly be honest and do their own research and figure things out for themselves instead of lazily accepting as truth the blatant lies that anti-gun organizations spew they would come to the natural conclusion that guns, in general, are good things to have.

    3. If you have ever been anti-gun, what event in your life made you decide to be pro-gun?

    • I was against guns before I was for them. The events that made me change my mind was being a victim of violent crime and then getting smacked in the face with the reality of the police response. Then I realized that the only person standing between me and an attacker is me. I looked at the entire range of less lethal options and they are all woefully inadequate when compared to the all round effectiveness of using a gun for self defense.

      I am now very pro-gun.
     
  24. rhubarb

    rhubarb Member

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    3. If you have ever been anti-gun, what event in your life made you decide to be pro-gun?

    Although I grew up in a rural area where guns were ubiquitous, I later became doubtful of their value in a peaceful society. Shortly after my first son was born, a young father was found dead in a nearby intersection and his baby and car were missing. The baby was eventually found a couple of miles away, still strapped in the carseat, dead. I realized I did not live in a peaceful society. I vowed that would not happen to me. I've now carried a pistol every waking hour for years.
     
  25. orionengnr

    orionengnr Member

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    Unfortunately, many people buy this at face value. If you do a search, you will find that both England and Australia have had significant increases in all forms of gun violence since they have enacted their misguided laws.
     
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