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Welcoming new gun owners

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by rust collector, Aug 2, 2020.

  1. rust collector
    • Contributing Member

    rust collector Contributing Member

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    I attended the Saturday morning meeting of gun cranks at my LGS, and it was busy. Many guns, some ammo and accessories were finding new homes, but one guy stood out a bit. He was poring over the pistols in the case, and the cordial proprietor was explaining the difference between a revolver and semi auto. It was clear the guy had no idea about firearms, but was here to buy. He selected a S&W shield EZ, but did not have the slightest idea how to load, clear, or handle it. Owner spent quite a bit of time with him, but he was single-handing the shop and he brought the guy over to one of the regulars for further demonstration and instruction. One of the other regulars knew where he worked and said he would try to connect for some range time.

    Afterward I learned that this was not an uncommon event, and that usually there was more time to instruct and a few dummy rounds were sent home with the new owner for practice. I got to thinking that it might be opportune for our Game, Fish & Parks division to reach out to these new owners to put them in touch with good instruction, maybe gift them some dummy rounds and gun oil samples, and welcome them to the fold. I've suggested as much to the hunter safety office, but wonder what you would suggest for a "welcome to the community" care package?
     
  2. CDW4ME

    CDW4ME Member

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    Explain to them that if they are ever reading a gun forum "caliber war" is insensible slang for caliber discussion.
     
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  3. FFGColorado

    FFGColorado Member

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    Unfortunately, most 'new gun owners', like the one cited, are buying, 'just in case'. They perhaps know a little about 'gun culture' but most just know all they needed was a clean background and a credit card to buy a gun. And a box of ammo...And there it will sit, until many decide, 'i'd rather not have that in the house'. Yes, some are going to get involved, both in recreational shooting and perhaps in the 'politics' of it all but most are buying ONE, and a box of ammo, 'just in case'..IMHO. of course.

    I think that most 'new gun owners' will probably go to range to shoot it...and I saw first hand at a local range, where the gent next to me had NO IDEA' how to operate what looked like a Beretta 92FS. Range safety guy came over and gave him about a 30 minute instruction primer..AND, these range guys will do that with anybody brand new...freebie so I think decent ranges can accomplish this goal of instructing 'new gun owners'. Or a family member(like with me and oldest son)...

    What has to occur is the 'new gun owner' needs to maybe swallow their pride, admit to the range guy they have no idea, and ask for help...
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2020
  4. rust collector
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    rust collector Contributing Member

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    That's what worries me. If the gun is loaded and goes into a drawer, never to be moved for years thereafter, it is a dangerous security blanket. If someone is taken out and taught to use it thoughtfully and effectively, they are more likely to see it as a useful tool.
     
  5. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    You say that as if it is a bad thing. Growing up as a kid I knew of many folks that had a revolver and one box of ammo in the sock drawer.....just in case. One reason why for a while there were so many pristine used revolvers for sale. Many times those folks also had long guns and some were avid hunters. Just those handguns were their "just in case". Having a gun, whether you use it regularly, occcasionaly or even rarely, means you support the right to own one, and that never is a bad thing. One of the biggest hurdles I have seen for new gun owners over the years is having to deal with those "good ol' boys" that want to belittle and ridicule them, instead of instructing and supporting them.

    As for some form of "welcome to the community", I think it has to go both ways. One has to have volunteers with the time and patience to assist strangers. I help teach Hunter Safety. Have for years. We constantly are being told by folks that they would like to help.....but then never hear from them again, or they don't show up when asked. Some folks that do are not really helping. The last few years, young/new hunters needing their certificate to buy a hunting license are being outnumbered by folks needing the same certificate to get their CWC license. There are resources out there, if you know where to find them. Maybe that's what gun shops can do....give out lists of legitimate places that give formal instruction by folks that know what they are doing.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2020
  6. AlexanderA
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    AlexanderA Member

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    Agreed. I believe the wave of "new owners" is very different from traditional gun owners, including the ones that inhabit this forum. The new owners are not hunters, are not collectors, are not fascinated by the history of guns or by the nuances of their engineering. They're buying for one reason only -- protection in these uncertain times. And that probably won't result in actual use of the gun. What they're buying, really, is a psychological crutch.

    If we're going to convert these new owners into allies, we can't use the traditional approach. For example, range time and training is unlikely to interest them at all.
     
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  7. cdahl383

    cdahl383 Member

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    I’m a new gun owner, just picked up my first rifle in early June. I now have two rifles and a 12 gauge shotgun, ammo, and a gun cabinet haha! I’ve found shooting to be very fun!

    Maybe I can offer some perspective. I was fortunate enough to have a buddy clue me in on things. I told him I was interested in getting a gun but knew nothing about guns, never fired one in my life. Went to his house and tried out several guns he had. He has a nice range on his property. Here are some things I didn’t know about.

    1.) safety rules (maybe provide a basic card with the four main safety rules)
    2.) how to clean a gun and furthermore, what products you should use to clean a gun.
    3.) a discount or free pass to a local gun range to ensure the person learns how to properly fire the gun, load magazines, load the gun, clear and jams or malfunctions, etc.
    4.) card with some forums or groups to join (like this site) as a supplement for additional info. If someone is interested enough, they will take the ball and run with it and absorb as much as they can.

    I am one of the people who always believed in the 2nd amendment and felt it was important, but had no desire to own a firearm. Since moving out to the country where we have only a couple police officers and the recent riots and unrest around the country, I felt it was time to become a gun owner. Turns out it’s ton of fun to shoot! I’ve found a new hobby and never thought I’d have several guns and ammo in my house and tell my dad “I’m going shooting this weekend” haha!

    I think a lot of people like myself, just had no clue about guns, no one they knew that owned any, no exposure to gun ranges or things like that. It’s a completely foreign thing, and so many people may avoid the whole thing just out of fear of the unknown or looking like a newbie at the range trying to load your gun awkwardly. Having a friend or buddy to help you out and teach you things is worth a lot.

    Maybe you could have some volunteers sign up to help new gun owners as a one on one session. Assign a volunteer to one new person and make an appointment with them to go shooting for 1-2 hours. It’s invaluable to have a friend show you these things vs watching YouTube videos, reading, or fumbling through things yourself. May not be a realistic idea, but worth looking into.

    Just some of my thoughts. May or may not be helpful haha! All I know is I’m glad I got introduced to guns, as I’m having a lot of fun and feel better knowing I have something additional to protect my family as well as feel confident enough to use each gun if necessary.
     
  8. luzyfuerza

    luzyfuerza Member

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    I recognize that fellow.

    During the Rodney King riots, rioters in Las Vegas were interviewed on TV saying "we're tired of burning down our own neighborhoods...we're burning down Green Valley next".

    I lived in, you guessed it, Green Valley.

    I realized that I was powerless to defend my wife, very young children, and home from any attack. And I vowed to change that.

    Some good friends helped.

    Now, I've got a safe full of guns, lots of training, ammo, and reloading gear, and a passion for the sport. I shoot regularly. For practice AND for fun. I teach others.

    I am powerless to defend myself no more.
     
  9. cdahl383

    cdahl383 Member

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    This would be extremely helpful to a new gun owner. There is a lot to the world of firearms. Having someone provide some pointers and tips on where to go for good information and instruction would be very helpful.
     
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  10. cdahl383

    cdahl383 Member

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    It sounds like you took the thoughts right out of my head regarding the recent riots and craziness going on around the country. I came to this realization a few months ago and am now a proud gun owner. Turns out it’s a lot of fun and my wife and I both enjoy shooting for fun!
     
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  11. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

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    Actually, there's nothing really new about less-informed new gun owners. Other than what year it is, and that we, now, have ways to gab about it larger than the pot-bellied stove at the LGS or the barbershop or lodge.

    The phenomenon of sticking a shooter in a drawer next to an unopened box of ammo also goes back to well before when I was born. Firearms have always been a talisman, it merely needs to appear to be effective.
    The fact that will, experience, practice all matter is glossed over. Always has been.

    "We" know better. And, it's an uphill climb when hard up against such ingrained notions.

    For my 2¢, we should always embrace those seeking help, who want to learn. This can be inconvenient, and can interrupt our plans, but if any gain comes from it, far better for us all. And little loss if it doesn't.

    Our "media culture" has no clue, which is why they portray people just getting a firearm as having instant knowledge. Or, being a super-expert without showing the constant training that requires. Or we get a montage where the god guy spends an afternoon or two, and immediately "locks in" and is super-proficient.

    That's the "knowledge base" we have to correct, or deflect towards reality. And, like every other human endeavor, it takes time to develop skills, that "practice, practice, practice" is one of the ways to get to competence.

    Sometimes it helps to point out that people take time to get 'good" at things. Sports analogies sometimes work--batting, golf, etc. Owning a set of Ping Titanium clubs does not make you a pro golfer.

    In a larger sense, it can help "us" get better, too, as we will be asked questions for which we do not have the right answers. The trick of that is to do that hardest of things, leave our vanity aside, and to admit our ignorance. Which can help reinforce the idea that this is something you keep learning. Not in a way that stops you from participating, but one where you just are missing the answer to a question.
     
  12. Old Dog

    Old Dog Member

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    As a firm believer in all aspects of a social contract, I believe that it is our responsibility as free citizens and knowledgeable gun owners/shooters to attempt to educate and assist those who are willing to learn and practice with firearms.

    I can tell there are a lot of individualists in this forum who probably believe it's the responsibility only of the person choosing to own/shoot firearms to acquire knowledge and experience with their chosen firearms, and that we basically have no responsibility in this arena, everyone is on their own, but that's simply not how we perpetuate the RKBA movement -- and it's another reason we're failing, because we've chosen to ignore the new folks, especially if we do not agree with their philosophical or political stances.
     
  13. Old Dog

    Old Dog Member

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    In our state, we have a couple agencies that provide some pamphlets with a good summary of the RCWs (state statutes) regarding firearms and the concealed carry laws. Many gun shops locally also give out brochures for training opportunities in the area. One gun shop where I used to live handed out photocopies of all the shooting ranges (commercial and gun clubs) and public land available for shooting, in their shop. I thought that was a great idea.

    Me, if it's at the range or the gravel pit, if I have it with me, I'll give the newbies a box of ammo for whatever they have with them. I've bought a box of factory range ammo on a couple occasions in the store when I've been there with someone buying their first gun. I've also thrown in a box of good defensive JHPs if I know the person.

    I always try to share links to the state's gun laws and some good internet resources with new gun owners, time permitting. And I'll always refer people to my favorite training sites' websites.
     
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  14. murf

    murf Member

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    glad you got introduced to guns, also. i hope you stick with it.

    add "dry fire (or dry practice)" to your list. if you want to get good real fast, dry fire a bit every day. first rule of dry fire practice is: no ammo in the same room, or around you if shooting outside.

    luck,

    murf
     
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  15. danez71

    danez71 Member

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    Theres at least 2 new gun owners in this very thread that dispel some of the stereotype bs that 'seasoned gun enthusiasts' hold.

    Bluntly put...
    New gun owners need swallow some pride and ask questions and be open minded.

    We need to swallow a LOT of pride and be as much or more open minded and extremely welcoming and realize new shooter will have their own particular interests, likes and dislikes. This isn't one size fits all so realize that your way isnt the only way.


    Stop belittling people that say clip... caliber... and silencers.


    Phrases such as 'Do a seach.. it's been asked a 1000 times' should be grounds for a temp ban, imo.

    Stop asking ourselves in an echo chamber... and instead ask the new shooters. Yes, that might mean you have to put in some effort beyond 'liking' a post here. Actively engage the new shooter. Give them positive feed back and encouragement and drip the snarky one liners that only make the new person feel inferior and you feel superior.


    We need to actually put in time and effort into doing something so that the 1st gun owners don't just put a loaded gun in the sock drawer only to be seen again in the likely unfortunate circumstance of another round of social unrest or worse, someone finds it that shouldnt, like maybe a child that wasn't even born when they bought their 1st gun.


    These particular new gun owers are part of the next generation. All new gun owners are part of the next generation.

    If we don't support them, your children and grand children will have a much harder time.

    We were all gunless at some point in time.....
    Support your children and future generations by supporting every new gun owner you can regardless of the reason they got their 1st gun.
     
  16. cdahl383

    cdahl383 Member

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    This sort of thing is very similar to drag racing. I race quite often and sometimes see new guys that don’t quite know what they’re doing. I always help them out if I can, give them tips and pointers, some things to try, products that work better than others, etc. The drag racing community is very helpful towards newcomers. I received the same treatment 20+ years ago when I first got interested.

    It’s hard to attract new people to a hobby when it’s full of know it all dicks. When the seasoned people are helpful to new folks it gives off a much more positive vibe. Sometimes some newcomers pretend they are know it alls and have ego issues asking for help. Those folks can be difficult. But most people are willing to learn if you give them a chance and don’t belittle them right off the bat.
     
  17. GEM

    GEM Moderator Staff Member

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    Here's an interesting piece on Hispanic gun ownership increasing:

    https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/01/us/guns-ownership-latinos-el-paso-shooting/index.html

    Note as with African-American gun ownership, it is in part a response to some increasingly unpleasant aspects of American society. The classic gun 'paradigm' such at the NRA ignores that.

    In San Antonio, I had many Hispanic friends who were shooters, LEOs and competitors. My experience teaching that population found many of them to be interested in and supportive of gun rights and usage.
     
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  18. Nuclear

    Nuclear Member

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    Your last sentence is in direct opposition to the CNN page you linked.

    And you are right, the NRA doesn't promote gun ownership because you perceive your neighbors as violent racists. Although they do promote gun ownership for self protection, so I guess that would apply if you think your neighbors are violent racists.
     
  19. 23tony

    23tony Member

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    I think there is ONE thing "really new", and that is there is a larger number of new gun owners in a given period than usual. All the more reason to try to help educate.
     
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  20. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

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    I've seen a bunch of the surges. This one is poignant because it's current. Previous elections and law enactments have seen as many. But that was before, and the past fades into memory from the exigencies of the present.
     
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  21. Ignition Override

    Ignition Override Member

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    Were there no constant television images--many were just the remote CHOP (Seattle)/Portland and small St. Louis community--there might be far less anxiety about personal security and the need for a first handgun.

    Couldn't gun stores post a large sign about where to receive Free instruction on safe, basic handgun use?
    This should have been standard policy Decades ago by every store.

    And it could have prevented tragedies for children :( in so many homes or cars. I'm much more concerned about children's access, than whether Jim Bob or Martavius has the ability to hit a bullseye.

    * cdahl383: the delicate ego factor (and many resulting fatalities) are why both the aviation and medical communities developed Crew Resource Mgmt.

    Spotting it in a brand-new shooter might require other people to be much less "laser-focused" on their own objectives.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2020
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  22. danez71

    danez71 Member

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    I think 23Tony is right.

    Surges in general sales... or surge in AR or future ban guns...I agree with you.

    But the # of new gun owers seems to be greater this time than any other in recent history.

    The articles I've read that have ffls quoted are indicating the FFLs are seeing more new gun owers than ever before.
     
  23. danez71

    danez71 Member

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    In CA, the FFLS are required to go over safe handling, loading and unloading with the gun youre actually buying.

    An inconvenience for me but I'm fine with it.
     
  24. mmb617

    mmb617 Member

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    Good analogy! I raced every weekend for 7 years and saw first hand how the seasoned guys helped the new guys any way they could. My very first night I just so happened to pit beside the reigning class champion and he made a point of welcoming me to the class, as did many of the other regulars. Many times I saw guys lend tools or parts to competitors in their own class, sometimes to have that person put them on the trailer later on. As I became one of the regulars I made sure to welcome new guys myself. That's what keeps a sport going. You always need new blood.

    It's no different in the shooting sports. I have gotten advice and help from those who've been in this a lot longer than I, and have also tried my best to help anyone who expresses an interest in what I'm doing.

    I have a real good friend who keeps talking about how he should buy a gun, so I have a standing offer to take him to the range anytime and let him shoot anything I have. He's a type A guy who's always super busy but I think eventually he'll take me up on my offer. His woman has said that if he buys a gun she's buying one too, so I've extended my offer to both of them.
     
  25. 1942bull
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    1942bull Contributing Member

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    Fact is that gun ownership is increasing among minorities at a very fast rate. I read that women, especially black women and Jewish men and women were a large part of the increase. Apparently black women have created a group that promotes gun ownership and training, and an organization of Jewish gun owners is doing the same.

    I live in SE PA. The area is well known for its massive mushroom farming and not far away are traditional farms. Accordingly there are any Hispanic farm workers in the area. My LGS is in the heart of the area. I know the folks at the LGS well. I was last week, and while chatting with the manager he mentioned that throughout the gun buying rush of the past couple months his estimate was that about 30% of the gun sales were to women and 20% were to Hispanic men and women. He and the staff never just sell a gun to a first time buyer. They probe the reason the person is buying a gun so they can provide proper advice. Sad to say that the manager said the Hispanic buyers often cited that they feared White Supremacists of which we have some in my area.

    Mods: if this seems or gets political, and I hope that does not happen, I will take no umbrage at my post being deleted.
     
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