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Which is the biggest "recruitment" to our ranks?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Skribs, Nov 16, 2012.

  1. Skribs

    Skribs Senior Member

    Oct 29, 2010
    Lakewood, Washington
    I'm just curious as to what people think is the biggest reason people come over to the gun-owner "dark side". A lot of the rhetoric on this site is to take someone shooting and the next time you go somewhere with that person it will be to the gun store to help them pick out their first purchase. However, in the news, it's often people who see news stories and think "I need to protect myself from that" or a victim who doesn't want to be victimized again.

    So which do you think is the biggest conversion factor: the fun of a day at the range, or the healthy fear or a forcible felony and desire to protect oneself?
  2. jacob2745

    jacob2745 Member

    Jan 12, 2012
    I would say that most of us grew up shooting, but i think the majority of "new members" probably buy a gun for sd and realize how much fun it can be. Then comes the addiction
  3. mgmorden

    mgmorden Senior Member

    May 22, 2009
    Charleston, South Carolina
    What I see a lot of outside of the people that grew up with it is guys that play video games. They play Call of Duty or Medal of Honor or what-not and decide that they'd like to have a real gun, so they go out and get one and take it to the range.

    I actually recently ran into this with a coworker. He's never owned or even fired a real gun, but he knows I shoot and was asking about going the range. He actually had a decent knowledge of different guns and ammo (though somewhat off in some areas like power difference between different cartridges). He'd gleaned everything off of playing video games.

    Nothing really wrong with that, and anything that drives interest and ownership is good.
  4. Halal Pork

    Halal Pork Member

    Feb 6, 2010
    Posts 2 and 3 pretty well cover it. The only group I might add (and it's certainly not the biggest) would be people who grew familiar with firearms in the military and then get into it on their own after they're discharged.
  5. CoRoMo

    CoRoMo Senior Member

    Sep 21, 2007
    Californicated Colorado
    Elections certainly play a role. Right or wrong, for better or for worse, and whether it's the biggest 'recruitment factor', I don't know. It might actually create more 1st-time gun owners in a short period of time than news/tragedies do.

    Earlier today I met with a lady who wants to start buying guns because of the outcome of the election. I think that getting a carry permit and becoming a gun owner was something that was 'always on the to-do list', but now that the election went the way it did, her and her husband have moved that task all the way up to 'next' on the list of priorities.

    I met with her to show her my wife's pair of LCRs (.38/.22). She had asked me a few days ago to recommend a pair of handguns; one that she could carry and the other for range practice.

    Even though these folks are jumping into the ranks of gun owners under these circumstances, I'm glad she reached out to find some guidance. They had just bought an AR15 and were about to go out and buy a handful of Glocks when she happen to ask me my opinion.

    I know another fellow who moved here from Illinois and it was like a whale breaching the surface; he was free at last. He got a carry permit and bought all kinds of anything and everything. He went hog-wild for a period there.
  6. radiotom

    radiotom Member

    Sep 18, 2012
    Self defense. Now an addiction.
  7. aarondhgraham

    aarondhgraham Senior Member

    Sep 28, 2012
    Stillwater, Oklahoma
    Recruit shooters proactively.

    The fun day at the range generates shooters who will hopefully buy a handgun and keep going to the range to have fun and develop skills.

    The person who buys a handgun because they read about bad stuff happening will probably never practice enough to learn to use it properly. Not all of them but I would speculate the percentage to be high.

    That's why I recruit as many young people as I can entice to go shooting with me. So far my record over the past 4-6 years is not bad at all.

    I know for certain that 2 young ladies now own handguns, can shoot them reasonably well, and have obtained their carry permits.

    At least 6-8 young men and women have gone to the range with me and keep asking to go again. Financial woes of being college kids keep most of them from buying a gun and or range membership.

    You know, if each and every one of us generated just one new shooter a year,,,
    We would double our ranks in that one short year.

    One young man I introduced took to it so much that for his graduation I gifted him with a Ruger 22/45 that I had gathering dust in my safe.

    I would bet that most of us have at least one handgun we could live without.

    I'm single with a low mortgage and a professional salary,,,
    I can afford to splurge on a gift every now and then.

    In May next year there will be two very happy college graduates.

    The young woman who liked shooting my S&W Model 18,,,
    He will receive a Charter Arms Pathfinder.

    The young man who liked semi's,,,
    He will receive a Bersa Thunder 22 or Ruger SR-22.

    Doing my part in recruiting new shooters,,,
    One young person at a time.


    Last edited: Nov 20, 2012
  8. pseudonymity

    pseudonymity Member

    Jan 25, 2012
    I was at an Appleseed earlier this year, and there was a woman shooting next to me on a bench. She was probably in her mid sixties in age and by her actions a novice shooter. During lunch she sat with my group (my son and his friend) and she explained that she had heard some conservative type talk show host mention that now would be a good time to buy a firearm, so she did. The Appleseed was her first time actually firing it, and she did a pretty decent job of it for the most part. She had planned on attending with some friends, but they had been called away with some type of family emergency just that morning so she attended anyway. I see quite a few novice shooters at the range, but that was the first time I saw a novice that was a combination of female, 50+ and shooting alone. An encouraging sign IMO, and of course as typical for AS shoots in this area, the instructors did a fine job of keeping her safe but challenged.

    I stop by the LGS once or twice a week just to browse, and I would say 1 out of 4 trips during busy hours I see a woman buying a gun, and it is typically a rimfire rifle or handgun. I see a lot of people in the LGS, there are lots of 30-something men looking at bolts in 30-06 or pump shotguns, but the buying seems to be done mostly by 20-30s males buying AR or AK platforms or 20-50s females buying handguns or rimfire rifles.

    These are just local observations, so they do not mean much, but it seems that most of the purchasing I see being done is probably geared towards plinking/fun and personal defense based on the hardware that is selling. Overall I think this is good thing, not because traditional hunting or organized target shooting is bad in any way - but people buying guns for things other than "sporting purposes" helps spread the message to the public that shooting is a legitimate recreational activity.
  9. nosmr2

    nosmr2 Member

    Jan 26, 2010
    A fun day at a nice range works for me.
  10. gym

    gym member

    Dec 9, 2007
    Home defense and self defense. Many think something has to eventually happen . They may not be sure what it is, but feel once it happens it will be too late to get a gun and ammo.
    There could easily be a shut down of the govt if they don't get spending under control
  11. akodo

    akodo Senior Member

    Aug 31, 2005
    additionally, a lot of people have their interest in firearms sparked by video games. Note this isn't the same people who think they are experts on real-world firearms BECAUSE of video games, but games that feature guns are a big factor in young males buying their first gun.
  12. r1derbike

    r1derbike Member

    Oct 4, 2012
    Northwest Arkansas
    Our retirement community has been rocked pathetically by home invasions/break-ins from members of our degenerate subculture. Elderly people live here. They are buying weapons to try to stem the onslaught. Police have admitted huge problems in the area on newscasts, and have been quick to point-out that home invaders will be met with armed citizens, fully justified in their use of lethal force, if they feel their lives threatened. I'm hoping the new owners get some training with their new peacekeepers.

    So, the crime wave here, which will deepen during the next year of economic upheaval, is at least going to be met with some resistance by homeowners. A few weeks ago, a lady appeared at the front door, and she offered to clean the carpet for free, as a market survey firm would pay her and her crew. My wife handled the case-out beautifully, but I was there with means to an end, if it went south quickly.

    The knock-on-the-door crime element is alive and well, here.
  13. ATBackPackin

    ATBackPackin Senior Member

    Dec 10, 2009
    Valley Forge, PA.
    I would venture to say that there are two reasons. One is that people have realized that the police for the most part cannot protect us, but mostly investigate crimes after they happen. Secondly is that owning and shooting guns has become more socially acceptable.

  14. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Senior Member

    Jun 18, 2011
    It's SD first, shooting sports a distant second. The unfortunate part is that so many people come to the realization that they need to be able to defend themselves only after they or someone they know couldn't.

    The things we learn when we're young stick with us. All children should learn firearm safety, defensive mindset, and defensive shooting kills. It should be as natural as riding a bike (but then, I've discovered that many children these days never learn to ride a bike because their parents don't want them out on the streets). If from about middle school age they were taught how to be responsible with guns (in place of some of the useless nonsense they're subjected to now), they would quite likely arm up when they're old enough, and that fact alone would serve as a deterrent to the BGs out there who currently feel confident that most of their victims are defenseless.

    I've taught my daughter. She can't carry yet, but I'm sure she will when she's old enough for her CHP. Have you all taught your children?
  15. ExTank

    ExTank Member

    Feb 5, 2011
    Within the past 5-8 years, I think the large number of vets returning from either The Rockpile or The Sandbox have boosted our numbers, especially those from traditionally gun-unfriendly regions of the country.

    Imagine carrying an M9/M4/M16 around for a year+ on a deployment; then imagine getting out of the military, going "home" (wherever that is), and then being told you can't have a Beretta or Taurus, or a semi-auto version of the rifle you carried and/or used in service to your country.

    On a separate note, I find interesting some of the comments up-thread about video gamers swelling our ranks, as they get off the couch and go out and get some of the guns they've "played with" in-game.

    I'd never considered them as a source of new-gun ownership before, and am wondering how many game-box warriors make that kind of move.

    Interesting to consider.
  16. ExTank

    ExTank Member

    Feb 5, 2011
    ETA: duplicate post. DOH!
  17. smalls

    smalls Senior Member

    Feb 8, 2011
    Macomb County, MI
    Tons. I'm still relatively young, and I know plenty of people from high school who I'd never think of as gun owners, but were huge gamers. They started off with air soft and paintball, then moved up to AR's and what not. And most of these people I know don't think of guns as "tools". They're just plinking toys. Not to say they're dangerous with them, but a day at the range is just something fun to do, no different than the bowling alley or shopping mall to them.
  18. Tamren

    Tamren Member

    Jan 17, 2008
    My Dad is gun neutral and my mom used to be a huge anti, so I never got a chance to go shooting until I was in my 20's.

    Video games are what originally sparked my interest. In my case it wasn't Call of Duty, but the original Rainbow Six. I was curious about how the designers decided how to assign stats to all the different guns and started researching real life information on my own.

    A few years later I met and became good friends with a regular shooter, and he agreed to take me out shooting. The addiction and career weren't far off from there :p
  19. HDCamel

    HDCamel Member

    Sep 7, 2011
    I've been gaming for over 20 years now (since I was old enough to pick up a controller). I don't know if I would call it the "biggest recruiter", but it is becoming a bigger recruiter all the time.

    Incidentally, for the most recent Medal of Honor game (MoH: Warfighter) Electronic Arts and Danger Close Studios actually went out of their way to get the licensing for the real brand names for the guns featured in-game. Daniel Defense, LaRue Tactical, McMillan, H&K and others are all featured. Larry Vickers even put together a custom 1911 for the game.

    It's no surprise really. Gaming has really come into its own in the last 10 years or so, and it's getting more prevalent all the time. It's only natural that companies would want to use them to plug their product, especially since the "tactical" market really seems to appeal to younger, adult males with an overabundance of time and money, which is the same audience that many game companies market to.

    It's just a newer type of pop culture to influence what people buy like getting an SAA because you watch westerns or a S&W Model 29 because of Dirty Harry.
  20. catinthebat

    catinthebat New Member

    Jun 12, 2012
    I was shooting since I was 7.

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