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Perceptions of the US by Middle Eastern immigrants

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Oleg Volk, Mar 3, 2007.

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  1. Oleg Volk

    Oleg Volk Moderator Emeritus

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    I have a friend from Persia who was concerned that people find out about her learning to shoot and consider her a terrorist. Today, a person I invited to the range asked if I could get in trouble for teaching a Muslim man to shoot guns.

    Seems to me that we should be aware of this concern when talking to those we invite to come shooting with us. Not everyone would voice it directly.
     
  2. FieroCDSP

    FieroCDSP Member

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    I was under the belief that middle-easterners were born with the knowledge of how to use an AK and how to blow themselves up.

    That statement was in poor jest, and also a comment on our own stereo-typing. We (not to mention the US Government) assume the person you taught to shoot is a terrorist without actually knowing them. This is due to the fact that as little as we listen to the media, they still have power in that they know how to play to subconscious fears.
    When you think terrorist, you think sneak attacks, random bombings, etc. I'd imagine even the most hardcore gunny has a deep-down fear of a sneak attack. Waking up to a gun picking his nose, being shot dead in his sleep, etc... It's only human.
    So when we see a middle-easterner shooting at the range, what does it take to overcome a deep-seated fear?

    Could you get in trouble for teaching shooting to someone who eventually turned out to be an actual terrorist? Probably. IN any attack, heads will roll. Feds like paperwork, and will trace anyone involved in an attack to what they had for breakfast when they were twelve. I doubt the Feds could prove anything, but in a paranoid society, they don't have to. You have a link that involves a killer and a weapon. You're an accessory. That's one of those laws that suck in a lot of ways.

    Could you get in trouble for teaching someone who doesn't want to kill people how to use a gun. I doubt it. You'd be more likely to get in trouble for teaching them how to drink beer. The way they hand out DL's to foreigners that can't speak English, they could drink and drive. No NICS check (yet) on DL's people.

    Just my thoughts at a late hour. Oleg, we'd all stand up for you if anyone questioned your patriotism. Unless you really ARE a terrorist :eek:
     
  3. bogie

    bogie Member

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    Boomsticks are as American as apple pie. And if they're coming to Oleg for training, they're probably not terrorists - they've got their own gig...

    Empower away.
     
  4. Thain

    Thain Member

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    There was a time, Oleg, when many would have had the same concerns about teaching a black man, an eastern european, an asian, or a Jew to shoot.

    I am of Jewish ancestry, through my father's father, and have the prominent nose, dark hair, and (for thelast few years) a beard that many consider rather full and long. (To the typical hunter/shooter its short. To the MTV generation, I'm a shaggy hippie. To the hippies, I'm too well groomed.) Anyhow, when I'm in my shrt-and-tie for work, running from court house to court house filign papers, I get called "rabbi" a lot.

    Now, in a t-shirt and jeans, looking over the defense rifles and shorter barreled shotguns at the local gun-and-knife show or pawn shop... yeah, everyone looks at me and thinks one thing.

    Frankly, I could care less.
     
  5. Oleg Volk

    Oleg Volk Moderator Emeritus

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    Concern I mention isn't mine -- it is the concern of the people considering taking up the offer of gun safety training. Have to be aware of their concerns and address them.
     
  6. bogie

    bogie Member

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    Heck, I'm goyim, and if I wear my "walk to church on shabbas" hat, they think I'm Jewish...

    Darn fine hat for walking tho...
     
  7. cslinger

    cslinger Member

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    Gunnys are gunnys. I don't care about her color, sex, religion or sexual orientation. As long as she is a responsible gun owner willing to do what is right then I could care less who she prays to.

    Fact is there are lots of us gunnies who might not agree on many things, that doesn't make one or the other right. It does however make us all gunnies and to me that brings us together. Terrorists attack the innocent, gunnies do not no matter what race or religion they are, she is welcome as far as I am concerned.

    Chris
     
  8. Thain

    Thain Member

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    This is a fair concern, but just remind them that their are safely trainning people who are legally exercising their basic human right, with lawfully owned firearms, in a safe and controlled setting.

    Black, yellow, white, or olive skinned...

    To those "red bluud'ed `mericans" who have a problem teaching "dem dere aye-rab ter'rist evil do'ers" how to shoot, I'd point out that if they [jingo] hate us because of our freedoms [/jingo] then our second ammendment is one of those freedoms that they do not enjoy in the Middle East, Persia, or anywhere else...
     
  9. DoubleTapDrew

    DoubleTapDrew Member

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    Knowing how to shoot doesn't make someone a terrorist.
    If that person does something criminal with that knowledge then that's another issue. Terrorism doesn't know race, religion, sexual preference, shoe size, or favorite color. I don't have a problem with a muslim, jew, or christian learning how to shoot. If they decide to turn that gun on me and attempt to do some ethnic cleansing, then I will do everything in my power to stop that.
     
  10. mbt2001

    mbt2001 Member

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    From Johnny Tremain by Ester Forbes

    James Otis asking Sam Adams and the "Sons of Liberty" why they were fighting the British... Was it for the repeal of taxes? To get rid of the British? For the rights of Englishmen everywhere?

     
  11. Beetle Bailey

    Beetle Bailey Member

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    That's a tough one. The way I see it, a real terrorist would try to remain as low-key as possible. However, I know more than a few people with irrational fears about Middle Easterners. I could see them jumping to conclusions if they find out a Middle Easterner was learning how to shoot a gun. Your Persian friend might not want that kind of attention.

    On the other hand, she still has the right to self-defense, and you can impress upon her that she shouldn't feel the need to give that right up in order to accommodate the irrational fears of those who do not even respect her as a human being.

    In the end, it's gonna be her call. But that doesn't mean you can't help things along by introducing her to as many friendly shooters as possible. I suspect that if she is made to feel welcome by a variety of gunowners, it would go a long way towards allaying those concerns. Good luck and please let us know how things develop.
     
  12. cslinger

    cslinger Member

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    We as gun owners have to be ambassadors to all so to speak. We are ourselves men/women without a country so to speak. If we start judging books by proverbial covers then we are no better then the antis.

    As I said before welcome all who come to us. Terrorists are wrong, evil and have no place here but to denouce one as such without evidence makes us no better then those who would denouce us as baby killers or mass murderers.

    I wish the world could get together, get drunk, throw a few punches, fall down and then laugh about it. Would be a better place.

    Its hard in todays world but we must put asside racisim based on race, religion creed, or anything else. Unfortunitely there are a$$holes all over, the problem is they come from all walks, creeds, races, and religions so there is no easy way to pick them out.

    I have to fight very hard my inate racism for those of middle eastern decent after 911, I do however know that in MOST if not all cases my bias is wrong and as such I must say any gunny is a good gunny as long as they are a responsible member of our community.
     
  13. Logan5

    Logan5 Member

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    It worries me that your friend can and does worry about this. When people start engaging in a lot of fearful self policing behavior because their perception is that they might get a SWAT team or a cruise missle down their chimney, they might as well not have the rights they're keeping themselves from enjoying.
     
  14. cslinger

    cslinger Member

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    Amen. This is America dammit. We are a melting pot. We are stronger for our diversity and one should only be guilty if proven so. Safety isn't freedom and freedom isn't always safe. One of the greatest things about our society is that we are not the safest people in the world and we are some of the most generous, open people around. No matter what the world thinks. I have my hang ups, my predjudices and I am ashamed to admit I have them but dammit my single personal views are not what this country was founded on. But what do I know.

    Chris
     
  15. Oleg Volk

    Oleg Volk Moderator Emeritus

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    cslinger,

    Would you and Sheslinger like to come out this Sunday and help me out with introducing the newbies to RKBA?

    Oleg

    BTW, the Persian lady is fast and accurate with a .357 now.
     
  16. cslinger

    cslinger Member

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    I am in. Understand that I do have certain predjudices that I am not proud of. I know they are wrong but I do wrestle with them. But newbiees are the best gunnys and the ones that make us stonger so....

    What time and where.

    Chris
     
  17. bogie

    bogie Member

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    If there are any opinionated wannabe patriots there, just tell 'em that she's Persian, and has been on our side a long time... Since they probably know about the geography of their county, and maybe one neighboring one, you should be good to go.
     
  18. cslinger

    cslinger Member

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    Well hell she likes .357 maggie and that makes her ok in my book.
     
  19. Dr. Dickie

    Dr. Dickie Member

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    That is interesting Oleg. Did you use Persia, or does your friend say she is from Persia? It would be ironic indeed if you used Persia rather than Iran because you thought we might be more likely to judge her a terrorist. I'm not causing trouble here, when I say something is interesting, I mean just that. I find some things interesting that others do not.
    It was my understanding that the Persians have always called themselves Iranians. Very rich and powerful history.
    As far as the bigotry goes, asking someone to the range is always fraught with misunderstandings: the inviting a middle-eastern person who might be thought a terrorist is a new one.
    As much as I hate to say it, that likely would be the first thought to jump into my mind if I saw 4 or 5 middle-eastern persons together practicing at the range. If it was a single middle-eastern person with other non-obvious middle-easterners, or they were there by themselves I doubt that would enter my mind. But remember, we are wired to recognize patterns, especially patterns that might be pleasurable or painful (death being the ultimate pain). Just recognizing the pattern does not dictate my actions based on the pattern. Would I give 4 or 5 middle-eastern looking folks practicing at the range a closer look, sure. But generally when I am on the back bays by myself, I give everyone else at least the once over. I would also give anyone under 40 years of age a hard once over look (why is Abie Hoffman in my head).
    People have a variety of reactions to being asked to go shooting, I will have to keep this one in mind. Thanks Oleg.
     
  20. Brian Dale

    Brian Dale Member

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    She sounds like an American at heart, then, whatever her citizenship. ;)
     
  21. Travis McGee

    Travis McGee Member

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    If a person is a loyal American, who gives a darn where they came from, or their parents' religion?

    To avoid any possible misunderstanding, I would just suggest dressing patriotically, and putting a patriotic sticker on the car. "Show your true colors" IOW.

    By dressing patriotically, I mean a t-shirt with a patriotic theme, etc.
     
  22. Lucky

    Lucky Member

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    So you all are saying:

    A)Profiling is wrong.

    B)Profiling is wrong when it's someone I know.

    C)Profiling is wrong when it's someone I know, but it still works so I'll look the other way because it doesn't really affect me.


    If there's another option shout it out.
     
  23. Kali Endgame

    Kali Endgame member

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    If it was only individuals and not an organized team, I wouldn't have a problem. If I happened to stumble on a group of people with a complex mock up of a known building or structure and performing CQB training, I would be a little apprehensive. ICORE, IDSPA, and other training would get most people to wonder about the intentions of the group.
     
  24. Glockfan.45

    Glockfan.45 member

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    Thats really sad and pathetic that you would even be asked that. Now I will defend profiling at airports to a point, but if somebody asks if its legal to teach a muslim to shoot I could only just walk away in disgust. The indoor range I visit in the winter to shoot my pistols in gets quite a few African Americans that come in to shoot. It really pisses me off when I here other folks there make comments like "practicing for a drive by" when they are out of earshot. What our cause doesnt need is racist bigots creating stereotypes the make all gun owners out to be the same. Take her shooting and if anybody gives you grief about it tell them to go screw.
     
  25. Pax Jordana

    Pax Jordana Member

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    I have thought about this long and hard

    for the time it has taken me to read to the bottom of the thread, and have arrived at only this:

    Profiling will happen, sadly. Sometimes our instincts are right, sometimes not. It's profiling to note how a dog's tail is moving and if he's showing you some teeth while he barks at you, and in cases like that who can blame you?

    The most significant trait we, as gunnies and hopeful instructors of a new generation should judge ALL the time in evaluating new shooters is moral judgement. Age, race, gender, sexual preference, et al, MAY have SOME bearing on it, but at the root of the problem is, will the person I'm teaching use the skills I help them develop for good?

    I hope I say this right.. But (imho) the only people who do not 'deserve' to know how to use guns effectively and safely, those who should simply be told "do not touch," are those who lack the judgement to apply their skills responsibly.


    Oleg, I don't wanna hijack this thread. Can we start a new one on ideas for luring new shooters into our evil instructing clutches? :evil:
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2007
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