As we know, I like to make life difficult for myself. I, therefore, often mix with a non-gun loving set and conduct casual gun related conversations. By doing this, I find some great content, but I also find the most some very confused folks. We’ve all run into the, “Why do you NEED a gun” person, but this post isn’t about them. I want to talk about the people who are just waiting to meet a gun owner in the flesh. They want to know if you’re packing, can they see your permit and what it might take, for you to draw your weapon…
These inquisitive people are sweet, their hearts are in the right place, but they’ve been swayed by all the misleading info that’s out there. They wouldn’t consider themselves anti-gun, they are just detached or otherwise engaged. However, when they come across a person who is more involved in the gun world, they are immediately excited and full of questions.
I believe it is our job to invite these people to the range, and show them a fun, safe experience with a firearm. Make sure that they meet others like us who are friendly, non-violent and generous with knowledge. We should answer their questions honestly and without judgement, even if their questions stem from misleading “facts” gleaned from mainstream media.
Then again, there a few questions they must be informed, are off limits. The following are questions too personal to answer as often as they are asked or that, for other reasons, I prefer to avoid. Please add to this list and then share it around the web so that we can educate the masses.
How many guns do you own?
Do you keep your guns in a safe?
Are you carrying right now?
Where (on your body) are you carrying right now?
Can I see the gun that you are carrying right now?
If I make you mad, will you shoot me?
Have you ever killed someone?
yeah, don’t ask that either!
Actually, it’s a pretty valid question when people start running their mouths like they are tactical Jesus.
Gabby, this was a pretty good post. Just a few thoughts:
“They wouldn’t consider themselves anti-gun, they are just detached or otherwise engaged. However, when they come across a person who is more involved in the gun world, they are immediately excited and full of questions.”
I think most of this is because the percentage of people who are engaged gun owners is still relatively small. Look at the last bout of craziness, for example. A person who’s into guns wouldn’t have gone out and bought just an AR after The Administration came out with its “we’re banning everything” spiel. They would have looked at accessories and ammo at the same time. A large portion of the ARs (and other guns) sold during the nuttiness were sold to people who weren’t engaged gun owners–and still aren’t. Once they got their prizes home, they realized that one PMAG wasn’t going to be enough and they forgot to get the stuff that goes into that PMAG to shoot out of it.
What I’m saying is many gun owners are about half a step above the person you’re describing in your post. They’re disengaged gun owners, as opposed to being disengaged non-owners. For both sets of people, the really important thing to do is what you’ve described–get them to the range and get them using their guns. It pays dividends for both sets of people to get shooting.
As far as the questions go, I always answer them with:
– “Not as many as I’d like”
– “I store them safely and with regard to my personal preferences”
– “You should assume I’m always carrying, even though I might not be”
– “Wherever it’s most comfortable”
– “Probably not” (The reason for this is because I don’t pull my gun for show and tell unless I’m in my home or theirs.)
– “Probably not, but it depends on what you mean by ‘make me mad'” (The reason for this is that someone trying to harm me or mine makes me mad and may make me shoot the offender.)
I have heard the “Have you killed someone” question before, mostly because I’m ex-military. My answer to that is that I’ve never personally dropped the hammer on someone, but I’ve been in situations where I would have been within my rights to and I have done things that directly contributed to about two dozen bad guys being deleted.
I never answer questions about how much spare ammo I’m carrying, whether I’m carrying anything else for self-defense, or whether I know how to get or make a machinegun. I also never share load data with anyone I don’t know well, even when asked repeatedly.
I wouldn’t even ask most those questions of gun owners, even if they were close friends. I had decided the other night to make a list of all the guns that I’ve shot, most my shooting experience has been with one friend and his guns so I asked him only for a caliber list because I felt it would be wrong to ask specifics like I was making an inventory of his guns. He was perfectly happy to give a specifics list, which is nice but I never would have expected that.
it’s a little different if your keeping track of all the different guns you’ve tried. glad you’ve got a good friend who let’s you go to town!
I’m happy I have a friend like that too, 20 of the 24 guns that I’ve shot have been his and that’s not even half his collection so I’m pretty excited to eventually try everything. I’ll try just about any gun a few times and only one I’ve not liked. 🙂
So what’s your favorite?
Thank you for asking 🙂
Handguns, hands down the .45
Rifles it’s a hard toss but I do so love the AR-15, I hope to own my own by the end of the year. I also love the bolt action rifles a lot too.
I’ve loved all the guns I’ve shot minus the S&W .50, that thing is just awful for me I’m 5’5 105 girl but I had to try it not just once but twice and still didn’t like it. lol.
Don’t worry about that 50… It’s not meant for anybody
On a side note, I love reading your posts, thank you for being around and just being so down to earth and real.
… thank you for the side note. Yes I am real, sometimes more than most folks would like. Thank you for relating and appreciating what I write. Knowing that makes it worth it.
I know you won’t be giving it up or anything but I would be disappointed if you did. I have very few female shooters that I look up to, granted they’re all on line and maybe someday I’ll have a local one but I’m sure a lot of other female shooters look up to you as well.
I think the “do you have a safe question” is a valid question and should be addressed. Having a safe or keeping your guns locked up is part of being a responsible gun owner. If the person you are engaging with in conversation asks this question it would be a good issue to address especially with how the mainstream media is acting these days.
I often open carry (yeah I know about others feelings on that) so most of those questions are completely irrelevant. The last one is dumb and I’ve never actually heard anyone ask it but if they did I’d just say no. Those questions actually seem pretty normal to me and if those make you uncomfortable maybe you better look at yourself as being the weird one and not the person asking. If you can’t talk about whether or not you carry and how then how do you expect to educate people who don’t know any better?
Most of my world revolves around discussing guns and gun issues, so I have no problem talking about techniques in general, but I prefer not to share with most people, how I’m carrying, at any given moment. I mean, the point is “concealed” carry, and I prefer to be the only one, who reaches for my weapon.
But, yes, I get asked the last one quite often.
Yeah, most of those questions sound more like they are casing you for a robbery. The last one sounds more like they are trying to start an argument or otherwise be offensive, while trying to seem like they are being funny.
Why in the world would you let someone know that you were carrying a concealed weapon? That defeats the entire purpose.
I love this topic. I belong to a gun club that holds weeknight shoot meetups twice a month and has new shooters at almost every meet. I’ve personally brought two borderline anti-gun Obama voters to the range and introduced them to shooting. They both loved it and left with a new appreciation for guns and gun owners.
What I’ve learned is that, except for the dedicated antis, who are a small minority, almost everyone is persuadable. I’m not trying to toot my own horn, it’s not that I’m some great persuader, it’s just that guns are fun to shoot and most people have a natural curiosity which, if satisfied in a friendly environment, leaves them interested and enlightened and much more resistant to the antis’ propaganda.
If you can manage to have a somewhat thick skin about some of the more ignorant or insulting questions you may face and just be the friendly voice of reason and authority, you can make many converts.
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