The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Conference Center > General Discussion Forum

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old July 9, 2013, 07:32 PM   #1
dakota.potts
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 25, 2013
Location: Saint Augustine, Florida
Posts: 1,172
Things non-shooters don't understand

Looking back before I started shooting (roughly 7 months ago) and at the people speaking out who don't shoot, there are some things that I remember seeing as weird.

I used to be interested in forensics and I used to wonder "how on earth are all these people cleaning their guns often enough for them to go off and kill somebody?" Now I realize just how much you have to clean your guns, although they still break many rules for that to happen.

I never would've understood why somebody needed 3,000 rounds of ammunition. Now it's no different than me keeping extra packs of bass guitar strings on hand (at $50 a pack)

I never understood how hard it was to hit a target at 10 yards (although I can now group roughly 35/40 in headshots at 15 yards) or just how hard it was to look down the scope of a rifle. Video games and movies, even the realistic ones, don't show half of the struggle.

The only guns I knew about were military ones and I thought the only things you could find were military models, revolvers, hunting weapons (shotgun/bolt action), and saturday night special. I never realized how big the civilian gun market was.

I think knowing these kinds of things will help us better understand the mindset of those who don't shoot and even those who might be against guns.
dakota.potts is offline  
Old July 9, 2013, 07:47 PM   #2
AL45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 12, 2012
Posts: 307
The "gun firing while it is being cleaned" still confuses me. I take my guns apart when I clean them. And how do you run a rod down the barrel if there is a cartridge in it? If I am merely going to wipe a gun down, I make sure it is unloaded first. My brother, who is a retired paramedic, feels that the saying, "He was shot while cleaning his gun", is sometimes a polite way of saying, "He committed suicide."
AL45 is offline  
Old July 9, 2013, 07:49 PM   #3
SgtLumpy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 2, 2013
Posts: 779
Good points, Dakota.

I thing what non-gunners (not necessarily anti-gunners) don't realize that shooting can be a sport. Just like bowling or fishing or jig-saw puzzle solving, shooting is fun. It tests your skills. It gives you a sense of accomplishment. That kind of stuff happens in any hobby. People who don't realize that (I think) tend to look at it like "I'd hate to think that I'd ever have to USE the thing". Where most of us probably look at it like "I wish I could shoot more often".

I've personally taken a lot of people from "non-gun" to "This really is fun-gun" status. Every time it's been on the first shooting outing. For the price of a box of ammo, I'm an ambassador...


Sgt Lumpy
SgtLumpy is offline  
Old July 9, 2013, 08:22 PM   #4
Bluestarlizzard
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 23, 2013
Location: Virginia
Posts: 254
The ammo thing, mostly.

Also, how much ammo weighs! I remember banging my head against the wall when the reports of how much ammo Lanza had purchased and the assumption of non gunnies that he was carrying it all with him.
Yeah, no. you don't just stroll around with a couple cases of ammo. Hell, a single can with just enough for a light day at the range makes me put my back into it.
__________________
Mal: "If anyone gets nosy, just...you know... shoot 'em. "
Zoe: "Shoot 'em?"
Mal: "Politely."
Bluestarlizzard is offline  
Old July 9, 2013, 08:24 PM   #5
BigD_in_FL
Junior member
 
Join Date: December 20, 2012
Location: The "Gunshine State"
Posts: 1,981
Besides a few hunting guns, the bulk of mine are strictly for fun shooting clay targets, not to repel some zombie apocalypse. I wouldn't own too many if I only thought of them as survival/HD tools..........they are just too much fun and I have spent enough over the years to have doubled my 401K
BigD_in_FL is offline  
Old July 9, 2013, 08:50 PM   #6
Louca
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 22, 2013
Location: Michigan
Posts: 174
Quote:
I've personally taken a lot of people from "non-gun" to "This really is fun-gun" status. Every time it's been on the first shooting outing. For the price of a box of ammo, I'm an ambassador
Sarge is on to it. Take an anti-gunner out to the range and plink at some reactive targets and you can come home with someone who went from "guns are bad and should be banned" to "guns are OK, bad people should not have them." Take a non-gun person to the range and you can come home with an enthusiastic shooting fan.

I think one thing unacquainted folks learn quickly is how hard it is to shoot accurately. They see how shooting from the hip is all but impossible without LOTS of practice.

Lou
Louca is offline  
Old July 9, 2013, 09:03 PM   #7
Aguila Blanca
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 25, 2008
Location: CONUS
Posts: 6,407
Quote:
Originally Posted by AL45
My brother, who is a retired paramedic, feels that the saying, "He was shot while cleaning his gun", is sometimes a polite way of saying, "He committed suicide."
Or sometimes it's a polite way of saying, "He was shot while cleaning his gun."

My great-great-grandfather has a beard in every photo I've ever seen of him. My grandfather told me why: Because great-great shot himself in the face while cleaning an "unloaded" firearm. No, it was not a suicide attempt, it was a momentary lapse of attention to the task at hand. G-g-g lived on for many years after that ... and was thereafter MUCH more studious about cleaning his guns.

The interesting thing is that he did NOT immediately sell all his guns, or throw them in a lake, or sermonize to the rest of the family about how guns are evil and should not be allowed in civilians' hands. In fact, I grew up in a family in which every household (grandfather, both uncles who lived on the same street) had guns. And they weren't kept locked up, and by some small miracle not a single one of those guns ever loaded itself and shot a member of the family.
Aguila Blanca is offline  
Old July 9, 2013, 10:15 PM   #8
trg42wraglefragle
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 21, 2008
Location: new zealand
Posts: 836
Quote:
My great-great-grandfather has a beard in every photo I've ever seen of him. My grandfather told me why: Because great-great shot himself in the face while cleaning an "unloaded" firearm. No, it was not a suicide attempt, it was a momentary lapse of attention to the task at hand. G-g-g lived on for many years after that ... and was thereafter MUCH more studious about cleaning his guns.
I don't really understand this, is not the most important rule to treat every fire arm as loaded?
Whilst cleaning a bolt action I would have the bolt removed, pump the slide back, semi auto bolt locked back if possible. Not to mention I'm always nervous to even dry fire a rifle indoors even though I have checked that the chamber is empty 3 or 4 times.

I always thought it was similar to breathing, that it is just second nature to double or triple check your fire arm isn't loaded.



And it is funny that shooting isn't seen as a sport.
There are multiple disciplines of shooting in the Olympics and if bet if team USA in the Olympics won a shooting medal the nation would be proud, yet your average Joe cannot do it as a legitimate sport.
trg42wraglefragle is offline  
Old July 9, 2013, 11:56 PM   #9
dmazur
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 5, 2007
Location: Pacific NW
Posts: 1,310
The Four Rules is a fairly modern construct.

Before that, the NRA taught "keep your guns unloaded until ready to shoot", such as at a range or when in the field actually hunting.

As I understand it, people generally thought guns were unloaded.

Oh sure, there may have been a few who checked, but they were probably ahead of their time in recognizing the importance of it.

Remember, he's talking about a great-great-grandfather...before Al Gore invented the Internet.
__________________
.30-06 Springfield: 100 yrs + and still going strong
dmazur is offline  
Old July 10, 2013, 12:04 AM   #10
Beemaster
Junior Member
 
Join Date: June 1, 2013
Posts: 10
Parables (okay metaphors) are fun, here's one. I'm a beekeeper for 40 years and have a massive beekeeping forum (same as username) and "people in general" have fear of bees as they do guns. Rarely do I meet people who (when I say I'm a beekeeper) don't reply "I'm allergic" which is rare, everyone swells a little, gets itchy, it's normal reaction. Anyway.

I had a home years ago which had new neighbors every few years and my bee colonies were right on our fence line - literally they parked their cars 15 feet from my hives. The hive entrances faced my property and the main bee-path crossed the mailbox location - poor mail-lady jogged to and from my box, rather comically but they were never a threat for many reasons, mostly generations of selective gentle breeding.

As soon as the neighbors showed any interest or concern, good or bad - I explained the good things bees do, how they have been bread to be gentle, how handling them is easy and safe and how they are not only beneficial to me, but to their plants and trees too. In no time, they'd stand and watch as I opened the hives, pull out the frames and show them the young larva, eggs, queen and thousands of workers busily doing their thing - all too busy to bother with us.

Before long, I'd have them bare-handed holding a 12 pound frame of honey with about a thousand bees on it, with bees crawling up wheir hands, and them smiling for a photo which I took, printed and gave them to show their family and friends. I had them hooked and in many cases they asked me to make them a hive for their property. I think this attitude is so important when exposing new-comers to anything that is strange or scary to them.

My point? Guns, having guns and proper responsible ownership, is something that neighbors (with little or no understanding) is lost on. It's much easier to make a knowledged neighbor, than a scared one. And as with anything, the more you know - the more you realise you don't know and people by nature want to learn new things.

No one wants to be thought of as the nut-case with guns in their neighbors mind, but in Liberal states like NJ, we are taught young and in school that only cops and bad guys have guns - it is up to responsible gun owners to take at least one person under his/her wing and show them that not only is it NOT the monster in the closet, but literally can be a new exciting sport hobby or realist home defense option.

I've never fired a handgun in New Jersey, spent many months over many Summers throughout the South firing mostly small arms. The one thing that fascinated me was how so many John Moses Browning designs still exist and in so many ways. I know engineers who wouldn't want to come within a mile of a handgun, but would spend an afternoon looking at a simple looping animation of a semi-auto. I guess you need to know your audience

Good topic. Hope the parable made sense.
Beemaster is offline  
Old July 10, 2013, 12:12 AM   #11
Tom Servo
Staff
 
Join Date: September 27, 2008
Location: Foothills of the Appalachians
Posts: 10,341
Quote:
I never would've understood why somebody needed 3,000 rounds of ammunition.
Slackers. I have twice that on hand for every loading I use.

I used to keep extra sets of strings on hand as well, along with fuses, tubes, and other weird parts. I ended up with a toolbox that wouldn't have made any sense to someone who wasn't in the trade.

My range toolbox is pretty much the same. A non-gun person would be forgiven for thinking it was some weird Victorian torture apparatus. But it's mostly not.
__________________
Sometimes it’s nice not to destroy the world for a change.
--Randall Munroe
Tom Servo is offline  
Old July 10, 2013, 04:09 AM   #12
Tejicano
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 4, 2013
Posts: 163
Jeez, maybe we could start with the things that they understand correctly. That would cut down the discussion and save a lot of time.
Tejicano is offline  
Old July 10, 2013, 07:25 AM   #13
45_auto
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 21, 2011
Location: Southern Louisiana
Posts: 606
Quote:
Originally Posted by dakota.potts
Now I realize just how much you have to clean your guns
How much do you think that you have to clean them?

Are you a member of any competitive shooting forums (the Brian Enos forum is a good one) where a majority of the posters actually shoot a lot? I believe that the last poll I saw there showed that most of the top shooters cleaned their guns every couple of thousand rounds, or just before a big match.

How long does it take you to go through 2000 rounds?

Back when I was in the Army, the unit I was with NEVER had a clean weapon. It was a requirement that any weapon be function-fired a minimum of 20 rounds after any cleaning or dis-assembly. Last thing you want if you have to use your weapon with no warning is to find out that it goes click instead of bang because some clean part is missing or assembled wrong.

Last edited by 45_auto; July 10, 2013 at 07:33 AM.
45_auto is offline  
Old July 10, 2013, 08:38 AM   #14
FlyFish
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 20, 2009
Location: Overlooking the Baker River Valley
Posts: 1,485
Quote:
I believe that the last poll I saw there showed that most of the top shooters cleaned their guns every couple of thousand rounds, or just before a big match.
I don't qualify as a top shooter, especially when a name like Brian Enos is floating around, but I have shot Bullseye competitions for a few decades and I agree absolutely. I clean my Walther GSP once a year, shortly before the indoor League matches start in October. S&W 41s are a bit more sensitive and need to be cleaned more often to avoid FTFs, but even there the interval is hundreds of rounds or more. After cleaning, I wouldn't dream of using a gun in competition until I'd put a hundred rounds or so downrange.

Back to the OP's original comments, whenever I read someone claiming that "it went off while I was cleaning it" I just assume that means they were playing dumbass games and had an ND.
__________________
NRA Benefactor Life Member
NRA Certified Pistol Instructor
SASS #84900
Pemigewasset Valley Fish & Game Club

Last edited by FlyFish; July 10, 2013 at 10:34 AM. Reason: corrected typo
FlyFish is offline  
Old July 10, 2013, 10:18 AM   #15
Skans
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 20, 2008
Posts: 7,849
Other things non-shooters don't understand:

1. You don't need a license to own a gun (generally)
2. Machine guns are legal and many people own them; same with silencers
3. Semi-auto military style rifles are not machine guns.
4. Anything relating to the form 4473
5. Where to go to shoot guns
6. How to buy a gun
7. the difference between a revolver, semi-auto hand gun, a rifle and a shotgun
8. How guns work
9. The anatomy of a cartridge
10. Why some handguns cost $1,000+ and why others cost $109.95
11. Anything regarding caliber
12. How various cartridges translate into "power"

Heck, just a few days ago, I was at Gander Mountain and was listening to a guy talking to the counter jockey while examining a 1911. The 1911 had a laser mounted on it, and he wanted to know if the grip safety was the on-off switch for the laser. You could tell he tried to do his research ahead of time, because he did seem to know a little about the 1911. But, there are HUGE gaps in knowledge when it comes to non-shooters and firearms.
Skans is offline  
Old July 10, 2013, 10:39 AM   #16
Brian Pfleuger
Staff
 
Join Date: June 25, 2008
Location: Central, Southern NY, USA
Posts: 18,789
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skans
1. You don't need a license to own a gun (generally)
2. Machine guns are legal and many people own them; same with silencers
3. Semi-auto military style rifles are not machine guns.
4. Anything relating to the form 4473
5. Where to go to shoot guns
6. How to buy a gun
7. the difference between a revolver, semi-auto hand gun, a rifle and a shotgun
8. How guns work
9. The anatomy of a cartridge
10. Why some handguns cost $1,000+ and why others cost $109.95
11. Anything regarding caliber
12. How various cartridges translate into "power"
Generally seems like you don't have to specify "non-shooters". Many of those things are foreign to gun owners as well.

I know an awful lot of gun owners who don't know understand 2,3,4,5, parts of 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 of that list!
__________________
Still happily answering to the call-sign Peetza.
---
The problem, as you so eloquently put it, is choice.
-The Architect
-----
He is no fool who gives what he can not keep to gain what he can not lose.
-Jim Eliott, paraphrasing Philip Henry.
Brian Pfleuger is offline  
Old July 10, 2013, 11:06 AM   #17
Spats McGee
Staff
 
Join Date: July 28, 2010
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 5,085
In many ways, our world is completely alien to the non-gun and anti-gun world. Some of that can and should be forgiven, though. We (gun owners) may not be able to sway the anti-gun folks, but we have a chance with the non-gun folks.

There are many, many things that they've never needed to think about, and so they haven't. Many of them have never been in a situation where they wished they'd had a firearm, so they've never had to think about the legalities, or the practicalities of carrying a deadly weapon everywhere they go.

From a hunting standpoint, . . . many folks in todays world think of meat as "something that comes from Safeway," not "something that I bring home from the woods." It's not necessarily a failure of character. It's simply inexperience.
__________________
A gunfight is not the time to learn new skills.

If you ever have a real need for more than a couple of magazines, your problem is not a shortage of magazines. It's a shortage of people on your side of the argument. -- Art Eatman
Spats McGee is offline  
Old July 10, 2013, 11:19 AM   #18
zukiphile
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 13, 2005
Posts: 1,653
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakota.potts
I think knowing these kinds of things will help us better understand the mindset of those who don't shoot and even those who might be against guns.
Indeed. While ignorance of the activity can accompany hostility to the activity, from inside the hobby/sport/activity of shooting it can be very easy to mistake simple lack of familiarity, and the unease anyone will have with the unfamiliar, for a positive hostility.

I recall a dinner party in which the way I spend my spare time was brought up by another person. Several of the girls present were mystified at yet curious about the activity. I fetched a small and unloaded .22, noted the similarity of the magazine to Pez dispenser, and spent the next half-hour answering questions of the serious and unfamiliar.

It later turned into several trips to the range.
zukiphile is offline  
Old July 10, 2013, 12:36 PM   #19
Dr Big Bird PhD
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 26, 2012
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 778
Quote:
From a hunting standpoint, . . . many folks in todays world think of meat as "something that comes from Safeway," not "something that I bring home from the woods."
Quoted for emphasis.

I live with two non-guns. Neither of them are anti-gun, but wouldn't bat an eye if a few more restrictions were put in place. However, that can be attributed to inexperience and apathy. Most people feel that way about things they aren't heavily into.
However, the larger thing they don't understand is the need of capacity and caliber. That people go limp when hit with a bullet, and that you don't need more than a few shots for HD/SD. Like someone said earlier... they don't get how hard it is to aim a firearm, let alone in high stress.
__________________
I told the new me,
"Meet me at the bus station and hold a sign that reads: 'Today is the first day of the rest of your life.'"
But the old me met me with a sign that read: "Welcome back."
Who you are is not a function of where you are. -Off Minor
Dr Big Bird PhD is offline  
Old July 10, 2013, 12:47 PM   #20
Tom Servo
Staff
 
Join Date: September 27, 2008
Location: Foothills of the Appalachians
Posts: 10,341
Quote:
many folks in todays world think of meat as "something that comes from Safeway"


I've had to explain the need for deer hunting in north Georgia to more than a few folks. Killing Bambi is murder, murder, murder until Mom crashes her minivan into one at 60 miles an hour. Or until population pressure causes them to graze everything arid. Or until they get pushed into suburbia, bringing coyotes with them.

Or until they realize that a free life followed by an instantaneous death by gunshot is far more humane than the ways meat is cultivated traditionally.
__________________
Sometimes it’s nice not to destroy the world for a change.
--Randall Munroe
Tom Servo is offline  
Old July 10, 2013, 12:55 PM   #21
Skans
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 20, 2008
Posts: 7,849
Quote:
I've had to explain the need for deer hunting in north Georgia to more than a few folks.
I have some land and a cabin east of Clayton (Rabun Co) and go there frequently. I have noticed a rise in the deer population over the past 8 years or so. Not at nuisance levels yet, but I think it's going to get there. I remind people that mice can be "cute" too, until their populations explode, they invade and destroy your home and spread disease.
Skans is offline  
Old July 10, 2013, 01:03 PM   #22
Webleymkv
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 20, 2005
Location: Indiana
Posts: 9,894
People in general seem to be reluctant to learn about things until they need to. Having worked in both the automotive and medical fields, I never cease to be amazed at how very little most people understand about the cars they drive and even their own bodies. As such, I'm really not all that surprised at the lack of firearm knowledge among people who have never had an interest or need for firearms.
__________________
Smith, and Wesson, and Me. -H. Callahan
Well waddaya know, one buwwet weft! -E. Fudd
All bad precedents begin as justifiable measures. -J. Caesar
Webleymkv is offline  
Old July 10, 2013, 01:24 PM   #23
eldermike
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 24, 2013
Location: NC
Posts: 545
I don’t think many non shooting public have considered civilization before the gun. There was a common theme, history was directed by warriors. Since the gun history has been nudged into shape by inventors and businessmen. Generalization? Sure, but it’s what drove Samuel Colt, a businessman and inventor. He invented peace.
eldermike is offline  
Old July 10, 2013, 02:41 PM   #24
SgtLumpy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 2, 2013
Posts: 779
Tom Servo - Is that highlighted clipping someone's real letter/post or is it someone being facetious?

That's hilarious


Sgt Lumpy
SgtLumpy is offline  
Old July 10, 2013, 03:11 PM   #25
Tom Servo
Staff
 
Join Date: September 27, 2008
Location: Foothills of the Appalachians
Posts: 10,341
Quote:
Is that highlighted clipping someone's real letter/post or is it someone being facetious?
That was sent to a newspaper. There are plenty of folks who feel that way.
__________________
Sometimes it’s nice not to destroy the world for a change.
--Randall Munroe
Tom Servo is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:10 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.14652 seconds with 7 queries