View Full Version : develping new respect for Americans

March 25, 2012, 06:50 AM
I think Doc Hoy mentioned shooting alone and accepting the risks. I think the risk is lowered not increased. Among my friends it is a generally held belief that Americans don't treat guns with the proper respect. Some don't seem to realise how dangerous guns are. FAMILIARITY BREEDS CONTEMPT I used to agree with the above statement but recently have had a change of heart.

GUNS ARE NOT DANGEROUS: Take a new loaded revolver put it in a drawer. Take an old worn out black powder SSA with a worn trigger sear, load with smokeless rounds place in another drawer. The Black powder gun is a potential disaster which can only happen when you go to pick it up.

It only takes 1 man with a gun to behave like a clown, then suddenly all gun owners are clowns.

Carrying 5 in a 6 shot SAA revolver is safe even if I think it unnecessary. (let's not discuss that again) CAS use a deflector plate for safety if a mistake is made the bullet defects away from the shooter. SAFE FOR HIM NOT FOR OTHERS.

Shooters should be trained to DRAW THEN COCK THEN SHOOT. A man shooting alone is in far less danger than if he shoots with 3 friends who are careless of basic safety. I have been a spectator at a clay shoot watching my friends shoot. They never lay their guns on a table, shotguns are carried breech open and empty. Much as I love guns I never ask to touch them.

When it comes to guns Americans due to their laws are going to have the knowledge. This site has made me realise AMERICANS DO HAVE A PROPER RESPECT FOR GUNS any who don't soon learn it.

Not sure I want/need replies just needed to have a rant.

March 25, 2012, 07:49 AM
Guns have been part of the American culture since you and yours first landed here in the 17th century. I know, the Spaniards brought guns here in the 15th century, but it's not the same. ;)

The vast majority of us have a deep respect for firearms, and many are very knowledgeable about them. But just like everything else in this media-crazed sound bite society, one or two idiots make a bad name for many.

Doc Hoy
March 25, 2012, 08:09 AM
Americans are not alone among cultures in which firearms played a big part. But I think it is safe to say the our relationship with a handgun or a rifle as a tool is fairly well established.

I shot an awful lot in the Navy for training and familiarity and there was always someone there who had no knowledge or experience, nor any desire to build that experience. These sailors required careful monitoring. The range master/range safety officer' lead gunner's mate or whatever, spent most of his time keeping others in the group safe.

I witness this often enough post Navy with other shooters that I have developed what I consider to be a healthy respect for others when they are shooting.

I have no idea about the statistics, but I would venture to say that more shooters are injured or more potentially dangerous situations arrise at shooting events which involve multiple shooters than when shooting alone. Even so, I think the number is small because of the almost maniacal pursuit of a safe shooting environment. (Here I use the term "maniacal" as a positive adjective).

I used to ride motorcylces as well and avoided riding with other riders because it always seemed to be the case that there was a show-off in the group. As you say it only takes one to:

a) create problems
b) give shooters a bad name (Unlike lawyers in which case 99% of lawyers give the remainder a bad name.)

I will go one step further as I posit that our laws about firearms are by-and-large well presented.

The right to keep arms is important to us. "Stand your Ground" and the "Castle Doctrine" are good laws.

In the recent unfortunate case is FL "Stand your Ground" has been blamed for the death of the innocent lad. Totally inaccurate. "Stand your ground" appears to play no part in the tragedy. In fact we are not even certain yet that the shooter is claiming his right to shoot under that statute. We are assuming he is and the media was, until recently, reporting that he was.

Abe Lincoln said, "The best way to overcome a bad law is to enforce it strictly." Enforced strictly, "Stand your ground" and the "Castle Doctrine" work as they were intended.

March 25, 2012, 09:32 AM
Doc, I would say that America is probably alone, in that we were probably the first nation on Earth to trust every man with arms, no matter his "station." Most peasants were not allowed arms in Europe- that was reserved for the nobility and possible merchant class.

Our nation was literally born from gunpowder. It is ingrained in our soul, as a symbol of freedom. It's why we love the automobile and pretty much ignore public transportation. We don't want anyone telling us where to go, how to get there and when we can leave! :D

Doc Hoy
March 25, 2012, 09:44 AM
In your explanation we are unique.

But there are indeed other cultures in which farearms played a big part.

March 25, 2012, 09:50 AM
Yeah, most of us are okay with the firearms. We, Americans in general, with proper tutelage, are very capable with firearms.
After all, we're your cousins and are genetically endowed with an equal level of potential.
Or maybe a greater level, since only the heartiest of Englishmen endured the journey and settling of the colonies.

March 25, 2012, 10:37 AM
It is hard to beat a best English double rifle, though!

March 25, 2012, 10:58 AM
CAS doesn't use deflector plates. :)

March 25, 2012, 11:31 AM
If CAS don't use deflector plates someone does. I thought it was a CAS someone on this site definateley posted they were trying to get one.:)

March 25, 2012, 12:39 PM
It's some of the quick-draw people who use a deflector plate at the bottom of the holster.
Those who use live ammo.
The wax shooters typically don't.

The Cowboy Action Shooting sport is not based on a fast draw, as such.
Quick-draw is done by thumbing the hammer back while the gun's still in the holster as the draw begins.
CAS shooting is not.

Two quite different sports. :)

Andy Griffith
March 25, 2012, 02:51 PM
I have new respect for shooters under the crown.

So long as they aren't wearing red coats and shooting at me like they did my ancestors. :D ;) :D

March 25, 2012, 03:42 PM
We have NRA youth small bore rifle shooting programs here in the U.S. that teach children of all ages how be safe marksman prior to competing with small bore position rifles. The level of safety and respect for firearms that these kids have is simply amazing and often surpasses the level of safety that some adults practice.
But most adults are also very competent and practice safe gun handling even if they haven't completed the same training program when they were young.
The NRA hunter safety certification programs here universally require that basic safety skills be learned prior to obtaining a hunting license.
And an NRA pistol safety course is required to be completed in many states before becoming licensed to carry a handgun.
So there are some basic training requirements here that while they may not be absolutely required to be passed by everyone in every state, generally most folks do have some kind of basic firearms safety training in their background.
Those who don't are often closely observed and/or given training when they join their local gun club.
Anyone who exhibits alarmingly unsafe gun handling skills will either be offered help, put on probation or kicked out of a gun club if they don't learn and practice the basic safe gun handling skills.
Most folks are more than willing to learn, even if they're starting out at square one at a much older age. And most gun clubs have volunteer instructors who are willing to work with them and to teach them the basic skills.

March 25, 2012, 04:03 PM
Doc Hoy, I was a Navy Gunners Mate, and helped a LOT of non-shooters try to get it together. The captain drew the line on one RMSN who closed his eyes and squeezed 6 rounds of 45ACP ball into the non skid on the flight deck. I got to watch him re do all the non skid by himself...or like the idiot who dropped an entire web belt, 1911, two spare mags, etc., into the drink in 118 feet of water. EOD fished it out, he cleaned it, and we ALL got to wear lanyards from that day forward.
I am very lucky to live in Arizona from day 1, with a strong firearms culture, and had safety instilled in my from the first day I laid eyes on a firearm, same as I am doing with my son, who has his own 22lr rifle at 11, and just got his first 22lr pistol.

Doc Hoy
March 25, 2012, 04:35 PM
Yes....In 26 years I was never stationed in any ship larger than an LPD. (I spent 4 days on U.S.S. America which were the worst four days of my life.) We did Fam fire and shooting for quals on the fantail and there were patchmarks on the non-skid after every event.

Had a second class signalman on the quarterdeck drop a .45 over the side in Oslo, Norway. He was clearing the weapon to receive it from the offgoing watch. He let the slide go forward and the action took th pistol out of his hand.

We called in Navy divers to look for the pistol but never found it.

The Captain made the gunners mates put a piece of cord on the ring of the .45. The other end went onto the belt. The signalman's name was Hudson. That piece of cord was dubbed...You guessed it....a Hudson Lanyard.

True story.

4V50 Gary
March 25, 2012, 06:23 PM
When I was a firearms instructor, I spent the first four hours on safety and handling. A written test was administered to ensure that the student knew and for me, that I was communicating with the student. The more gun handling followed until the next day whe we were on the range. I built up my student's confidence and proficiency before the first shot was fired.

March 25, 2012, 06:32 PM
Speaking from personal history here, in the Army. I'm not sure about other branches or other programs, but safety was strictly enforced. If proper safety protocols were not followed, you were kicked off the range. No tolerance policy, if not worse.

March 25, 2012, 06:37 PM
its alot harder to get "accidentally' shot by your shooting buddy if your shooting alone, or hunting alone.

March 25, 2012, 07:05 PM
I have watched much Utube on guns hunting etc. Noticed hunters wearing orange jackets instead of camo gear, then read an article about a hunter unhappy cause his buddy nearly shot him. Orange jackets seem like a good idea. It doesn't enhance the American hunters reputation. I believe you have conscription(its a shame but we don't). I am confused because some American hunters are not behaving as trained military personnel. Perhaps these guys managed to dodge the draft.

March 25, 2012, 07:27 PM
Andy Griffith
Our respective countries have not been at war since 1776 ish. You have not had much reason since the Union beat the South. Perhaps the Union should have declared war on the UK for selling Whitworths and Enfields to Johnny rebs. Regardless of Holywood, Mel Gibson(the patriot) and tons of Black powder substitute the Brits aren't the bad guys anymore.:D:D

March 25, 2012, 08:23 PM
We haven't had conscription (the draft) since the end of the Vietnam War but we have a fairly large number of veterans and National Guardsmen plus a widespread hunting tradition with the spare land in which to do the hunting.

March 25, 2012, 08:28 PM
Oh, and don't forget the para-militaries. You all know who I'm talking about.

March 25, 2012, 09:54 PM
With all due respect, you really don't know as much about the American gun scene as you think you do. :)

I agree that the borderline anti-Brit comments are unnecessary, but I sometimes wonder where you get your thoughts about this country & guns from. :)

I was one of the last bunch drafted in 1972 (spent two years stationed at RAF Alconbury, north of London, in fact).

Non-veteran hunters far outnumber military veteran hunters, and not every veteran handled a gun at all while in the service once through basic training. Most military specialties don't involve guns at all. You only see combat arms units on the news, you don't see the support people that keep the military branches up & running.

Basic training, aside from the Marines, covers basic weapons handling only & firearms exposure generally is not on-going during either a single hitch or an extended career unless it's a specialty that requires it.

March 25, 2012, 09:56 PM
I was referring to quals mostly. Which every MOS has to go through.

For instance, one private wasn't watching his muzzle positioning... he kind of got clocked. it was amusing.

Sure Shot Mc Gee
March 25, 2012, 09:59 PM
Doc. Hoy said: "Stand your ground" and the "Castle Doctrine" work as they were intended. Although pass by in both State Houses. The Gov in this State wouldn't sign S/Y/G into Law. Two days latter when the Young Man in Florida shot to death became somewhat known early on here because of the out-state news media. (CNN) Our Local News Paper posted a headline in the Opinion Page "Our Gov was Right about Not Signing that Bill into Law." --Before hand there was so much opposition to it from Police, anti gun folks, Lawyers, even M.A.D. mothers got into the mix. I have never seen so much commotion over any Bill like there was on this piece of Legislation. I think were just lucky to have the Castle Doctrine on the books here just passed & signed this last Spring reluctantly by our Gov. I'm wondering if both these bills were too close together in there timing? To much to quick? :confused: :( --I no longer have that paper delivered to my home on a daily basis.:(

Andy Griffith said: All joking aside, different locations and states in the United States have widely differing attitudes toward firearms. This State has around 2 million deer hunters annually alone. Not one shooting sports organization stood up to voiced their opinion in this situation other than the NRA who sponsored the Bill. Most times they S/Sport do in other Gun Legislation of any kind. (Strange.)-- I was looking forward to the S/Y/G Bill. I think passing would have made a big difference here in slowing street crime. We C.C. again have to retreat in a dangerous situation if at all possible on a city street to save our own lives.:(

Andy Griffith
March 25, 2012, 10:04 PM
All joking aside, different locations and states in the United States have widely differing attitudes toward firearms.

For instance, a good portion of the Appalachian mountains has a large firearm/hunting/target shooting history. There are some notable exceptions to the rule such as some of the largest towns in the heart of the mountains, such as Asheville NC (which is a lot like a little San Fransisco), Johnson City TN (which has bans on air rifles) and a few other exceptions.

There are turkey shoots, cowboy matches, pistol matches, etc- just something going on all over just my part of the tri-state area every weekend. I have also seen more women involved with sport and self-defense shooting and training than ever before- I've introduced many to the sport myself. If our hunting and shooting rights are to survive, we must involve as many women and children in training and the sport as possible.

March 25, 2012, 10:05 PM
Orange jackets seem like a good idea.

Many states have a mandatory requirement to wear XXX square inches of blaze orange that's visible from all sides while hunting.

March 26, 2012, 06:34 AM
Among my friends it is a generally held belief that Americans don't treat guns with the proper respect. Some don't seem to realise how dangerous guns are. FAMILIARITY BREEDS CONTEMPT I used to agree with the above statement but recently have had a change of heart.

Is this belief held by older members of your country, those that might remember, say, the 1940s?

Doc Hoy
March 26, 2012, 07:20 AM
....and my interface with persons from European nations, I did indeed detect two reactions to American Culture. The first was a fascination with the "Cowboy" image of Americans. That image seems to have been quite widely applied. I had occasion to work with an Italian business person and the two words in American that he knew very well were Caterpillar (He worked in construction), and Winchester (When he spoke the word the exxpression on his face was the same as if he were addressing the Pope).

I would ask Myk if American TV Western shows were popular 10 to 20 years ago in Great Britain.

The second image is one of roughneck pioneerism. An Englishman who had visited the U.S. commented to me that he was impressed by the wide open space with, what he called, little pioneer towns. He called it barely civilized. To him I am sure this impression was valid and accurate.

All safety and especially firearm safety is built upon adherrence to strict processes or rules. A culture which is associated with the cowboy image and the pioneer spirit might be assumed to prioritize other things above rules. I can completely understand Myk's comments.

I don't view his comments as an indication that Europeans have forgotten WWII. Lest we forget, America did not enter WWII to win the admiration of our allies. We did it to help (and here I repeat with emphasis, the word "help") defeat our enemies. Talk to a Russian and you will get the portrayal that the U.S. effort was a minor annoyance to Hitler in comparison the the Russian onslought. To some extent this portrayal is accurate.

March 26, 2012, 08:23 AM

After a long time casually reading on the forum, and then the gift of a Pietta '58 in .36 (a long line of broken bones in my right hand so I thought I'd ease into pistol shooting again before getting a .44), I'm really happy to be shooting BP. Thanks for all the unintentional inspiration!

This may not be the best for a first post, but I thought I'd chime in here. As some have said, Europe is a huge place with a lot of different cultures and ideas about guns. Here in France, the real "crackdown" on gun ownership didn't start until well after the First World War, and didn't become cultural until after the Second. About a million reasons for that, but there is a long history with guns in the country and a lot of guns still around - you come across pinfire rifles, shotguns, and revolvers fairly often at flea markets, as well as older cartridge guns. And there are a lot of French with a real passion for American history; I can assure you that beyond the media crap on both sides, there is a lot of admiration for the States.

Black Powder firearms are still not considered as firearms legally - I order my BP through the mail with no hazmat or other restrictions, and nothing beyond being 18 is required to own or shoot such a firearm. Owning a non-military caliber firearm usually is only limited by being part of a shooting club at the time of purchase, and having a gun safe for larger calibers. Lots of hunting, lots of target shooting going on. I'm not saying that it's anywhere close to the gun culture I grew up with back home, but hardly what I expected after all those years of hearing how you couldn't own a gun in France.

Please don't take it as soap-boxing, just as reading for some general international gun culture. Thanks again for the great forum!

Doc Hoy
March 26, 2012, 08:41 AM
....and welcome to the forum.

You are off to a great start.

March 26, 2012, 10:37 AM
Dpris & pohill mostly
I do know about guns, you are all teaching me about the American gun scene, I didn't know about the draft. I have tried to be cautious and not be insulting when making posts. My period of greatest interest is the Black Powder period. Your recent posts make me feel I should post how I feel about WW2, America and where my attitudes come from but I am not sure where to post it. As regards anti-British comments I thought them in Jest. In my locality the general attitude is "The greater the friendship the harder it is for my friend to insult me.":D

March 26, 2012, 10:49 AM
Doc I think the western has changed in the last 10 20 years. Movies have always been popular. Serials are virtually non existant now. too much reality TV.

March 26, 2012, 11:00 AM
I was just curious if there was a generational attitude difference towards American gun ownership in GB. You mentioned the opinions of your friends - I was wondering about the old timers.
As far as our little "dispute" a few hundred years ago - we keep bringing it up every July. That'll never go away.
I still don't get crickett.

March 26, 2012, 11:04 AM
I still don't get crickett.

Does anyone? Kidding.
I've been to London and surrounding areas a few times. Aside from a few pub scuffles, I never had any problem with most of the residents. They were as polite and as helpful as they could be in most cases. (Like me getting lost in downtown London and being at the opposite end of my hotel.)

March 26, 2012, 11:25 AM
Yes I agree. An uncle of mine drove landing craft in Normandy invasion, said he had Americans aboard sometimes (only spoke about it once). He said Americans did things different, but were equally afraid and equally brave. He made the point quite emphatically they were all very afraid.

I regret to say of myself & friends and our impressions and attitudes to Americans is shaped too much by Holywood. Holy wood often seems to put American soldiers in a bad light. I have recently been trying to redress the balance.

Sure Shot Mc Gee
March 26, 2012, 01:59 PM
mikthestick said:"The greater the friendship the harder it is for my friend to insult me-- I like that phrase!!!:) I always liked History. As we can label a whole society from what is read to be either cultured or barbarian like. Mikthestick I would hope that Great Britain's folks think of us Americans as holding hard fast to the middle ground. We all know B/P played a tremendous roll in both our History's. I guess you can say it was "Yankee Ingenuity" that helped give us our Independence and also helped Great Britain to hold fast onto theirs. Which I myself consider a good thing for us both.;) SSMcG

March 26, 2012, 05:38 PM
I lived and worked in the UK (Edinburgh) for 5 years, from 1995 through 1999. Two things come to mind that, at the time, characterized the perceived attitudes of the Brits towards the Yanks and vice versa:

1) A Brit thinks 100 miles is a long distance, and a Yank thinks 100 years is a long time, and

2) A Brit's understanding of Yanks is greatly shaped by Hollywood, and a Yank's understanding of Brits is greatly shaped by Holyrood.

During that 5 year period I was never insulted by or felt mistreated by any Brit because of my American heritage. I had interactions with the length and breadth of UK society, from HRH's to crofters, on a wide variety of subjects and philosophies. I was careful to always be honest and straightforward and that would on occasion result in disagreement and even anger, but it was never personal. I cannot say the same thing about other European countries, although I haven't visited them all.

PS - I suspect the reference to Holyrood above will be too esoteric for the Americans, so here's a hint: Holyrood Palace is the seat of the British monarchy in Scotland.

Andy Griffith
March 26, 2012, 06:07 PM

I hope you know I was only kidding! I hope you felt welcome, and if you are ever over on this side of the pond, you're welcome to come my very humble abode and go shooting, or at least have a glass of sweet iced tea. :)

March 28, 2012, 12:02 PM
I did have a problem with American humour but not what you may think. I tried to tell an American Wargamer "There were no medieval Scottish Longbowmen" I tried to be humourous about it and he got quite upset. I thought it best to just leave the Forum. Judgeing by most American TV comedies we get here what makes an American laugh can be quite different to what works for a Brit.
What you should know "I don't often get upset" I have learned a lesson though, When unsure I always look for and assume humour is intended.:D:D

Andy Griffith
March 28, 2012, 12:24 PM
I do have some friends that are British although I've never been over yonder to the old country myself, I hope to pack the family and come over there and also hit Ireland (where some of my ancestors are from also) and have a look around the countryside...but I already live in vacationland! :cool: Or...is it the nut house??? :p

I do have plenty of experience with MG's, Rover's though. I had to learn to read the King's English out of necessity to use the Bentley Publishing repair manuals. :)

I've been meaning to pick up a nice SMLE to go with my Webley's. ;)
The British make great stuff.

March 29, 2012, 10:16 AM
Now Welsh bowmen, on the other hand...:D;)

4V50 Gary
March 30, 2012, 12:10 PM
Doc Hoy. Your European's attitude about the lack of sophistication in the pioneer towns was also shared by big city Americans in the 1870s-1890s. In some towns, the town folk were painfully aware of this and built opera houses, albeit small ones, to prove they were just as worthy as their big city cousins. Of course, this doesn't explain the Sante Fe Open Air Opera of today, but it may explain how Saint John Moses Browning from Ogden whistled some tune from Gounard's Faust.

Doc Hoy
March 31, 2012, 05:31 AM
And not surprising since the attitude persists to this day albeit to a lesser extent.

March 31, 2012, 09:33 PM
Mikthestick, the last armed conflict with the British was in 1812. The British sacked Washington D.C. and burned the White House, it's like Buckingham Palace.

4V50 Gary
March 31, 2012, 11:01 PM
The US and England almost came to blows on some island between Vancouver and Seattle. Somebody shot someone else's pig and tempers flared. Thankfully cooler heads prevailed.

During the Spanish Anerican War a German ship was taking a position to support the Spanish line. The British ship then maneuvered to the tail of the American line. The British captain said he proposed to teach the German some manners. The German ship then veered off and assumed the position of a neutral observer.

Former enemies, now friends.

April 1, 2012, 04:04 AM
my relitives came to america from germany,england and irland to try and better things for their families only to get sucked up in the american civil war (not one ever owned a slave)and after that if you didn,t call them americans there was going to be a fight (all seven were members of the GAR). this pic is of my ggg grandfather,s country estate in 1859 in the wilds of central pa. eastbank.

4V50 Gary
April 1, 2012, 04:42 AM
East bank. Do you know what unit(s)?

April 1, 2012, 05:26 AM
...the White House, it's like Buckingham Palace.
Oh, no, no, no, it's not.:mad:

April 1, 2012, 08:40 AM
4V50, yes,most of them,ricketts artillery, 28th. infantry, 155th infantry,48th. infantry all pa. units of the GAR. of course i never knew them,but my grandfather grew up with them and one lived with him and my grandmother untill his death and i talked to my grandfather and listend to him relate things they related to him. it was indeed a hard war. eastbank.

April 4, 2012, 03:57 AM
Some friends of mine I met through the Boy Scouts are from England. They received their citizenship a few months ago. The father bought his son a Rossi combi-rifle kit because he was interested in shooting with the other Scouts in CMP. The dad had never owned or shot any gun before. After the CMP First Shots intro, they were a lot better educated about safety and guns in general. We had a practice and then a match after lunch. He came in second place, even though he ended up laying in a fire ant bed during the prone part of the match. His dad got to shoot another friend's .380 after the match. Hopefully, they'll come over on weekends so we can practice together and shoot.

We're trying to make sure all the boys involved with our shooting sports go through the NRA Basic classes, both pistol and rifle. We're strictly following the BSA range safety rules with more than the minimums of instructors and safety officers. We have several parents and leaders trained for both.

MS doesn't require any sort of class for CCW any more, but the NRA Advanced Pistol Instructor/Safety Officer course qualifies you to have an "Enhanced CCW" which allows CCW holders to carry concealed in court houses and other state regulated places.

We're also going to drum up interest in NRA Blackpowder shooting and shotguns, so the boys (and parents) will get as well rounded into guns and safety as we can get them.

April 5, 2012, 06:30 PM
If you have a lot of folk handling, shooting and owning guns then it just follows that a small percentage of'm will not respect the gun, be careless and or just plain stupid. It's like if enough people post on a subject then a few will say something that will make other uncomfortable. We try to gently correct those of'm around us and encourage them to do better.