View Full Version : Tolerance....

Dave McC
November 14, 2001, 03:23 PM
Most of the Geezer League are old white guys in baseball caps and vests, so the Sikh in the Blaze Orange turban stood out, even if you didn't look at his shotgun. It was a short bbled Mossie, with a mag out to the muzzle, all black except for the green FO sight. He was there to shoot it for the first time. The Geezers, a conservative bunch, eyed him a little askance, but were non committal as he paid his fees and signed up.

And conservative might be an understatement, some of these guys fought in WWII and Korea, and a few of us in later conflicts. With the situation as it is, the Sikh could have been cold shouldered.

The trap man said to me quietly," This guy wants to shoot his sawed off, any problem with him shooting next to you"?. I looked the guy up and down and replied, "No".Then, "Has he shot that before?". "I dunno" said the trap man, "But I'm gonna walk him through it". We exchanged glances before he went to his truck, got something and put it in his pocket.

I was shooting OK, had a 24 the first round,then slipped to a 22. This was my last round for the day, the Permanent Head of the Budget Committee ( Wonderful Wife) has me on a stringent shell budget for the nonce.

So, I started off on 4, and the Sikh was on 3. After his first shot, I briefly regretted going along with this,that short bbl had lots of side blast.I felt a brief pang of guilt,this must be like it must be sharing a pit blind with Frankenstein and me....

The Sikh was a quick study, he was safe, kept the shotgun pointed downrange,and only loaded when he was supposed to. He wasn't hitting though, no follow through and poor form.

Meanwhile, I was having fun watching clay after clay explode into itty bitty pieces. I was in the groove, focussed and smooth. Damn, it was fun!!

And meanwhile,the guy I had spoken with was hovering nearby,watching the Sikh and never taking his hand out of that pocket.

Final score was me, 25, the Sikh, maybe 5. He picked up some empties and I told him he did fine for the first time, it just took practice. His dark face split into a grin, and he spoke in the English of India, "Thanks, this is a lot of fun".

I then mentioned he should lean into the gun a bit and keep his cheek on the stock. He tried it and I 0K'd it as he got it down. We walked off the line together, and he was met by another guy in a turban,black this time, and unleashed a volley of some language I didn't know.

Another guy I knew came over then and started suggesting a few things to the Sikh to improve his performance. As I left for the van, the way the arms were moving, the Sikh was getting a short course on leads and swing.

I went back to the line to pay up my fees and heard another regular tell the Sikh he should try a longer bbl for trap, but his shotgun would work if he kept it moving.

And the moral to all this waste of bandwidth? These folks are not Muslims, but like most minorities, have experienced some bias here in the US. But that didn't happen here and now, they were treated like most any other newbie, with the minor exception of armed supervision they didn't know about.This is America,and if a bunch of opinionated, hidebound old coots can accept a funny talking guy in a turban as a shooting partner,we can learn to get along.


Oleg Volk
November 14, 2001, 04:35 PM
Good to hear this. I have abandoned my regular trap range in MN in favor of private land because of the range owner...got sick of hearing how "so and so ***, **** and ***** are ruining this great country and should all be shot". I will admit to having a bit of cultural bias, though...the first rifle I offered as a loaner to a Singalese friend was a .303 Enfield :)

November 14, 2001, 05:28 PM
Good post Dave.

On a different note, at the Fort Washington (PA) gunshow this past weekend, there reportedly was a dealer sporting a sign saying "no sales to Islamics". :rolleyes:


Fred Hansen
November 14, 2001, 05:55 PM
Right on! As usual, grown men with confidence have no need to over react to the presence of a stranger. In time the stranger can even become a friend, on his own merits, not on some fruitloopy PC decoder wheel. How cool is that? I hope we never forget how great our country is.

The sign thing sucks. The Washington Arms Collector's (our largest gun show org.) specifically prohibits discrimination at our gun shows. I have only had to bring it up w/ management once. Whenever the skinhead types put up a table I generally just ask if they have any "The Only Good Nazi Is A Dead Nazi" bumper stickers. The uebermensch don't seem to have a lot to say after that. At least until I walk away.

Big Bob Heinlien was right. 99% of the time "An armed society, is a polite society.":cool:

Jack R-NJ
November 14, 2001, 06:48 PM
Good post, Dave as usual....could be there is some hope for this world?

November 14, 2001, 08:27 PM
Yeah....you'll probably get called in as a witness after he shoots up an airport. JUST KIDDING!! :p

Dave McC
November 14, 2001, 08:30 PM
Thanks, folks.

Oleg, wife's family includes Holocaust survivors.
I've got a good rein on my temper,but the racists and bigots get my knuckles to itching big time. The fact that my ancestry is multiracial accentuates the itch. They were all good folks. BTW, some of them were Scots-Irish Protestants (Pop's side) and some were Irish Catholics. They managed to get along well enough to learn to love one another. There's a lesson there...

And the folks next door are Pakistani Muslims. He works three jobs to get his extended family all over here, she does day care and tends their two under 5 yr olds. They like venison, Challah(Jewish festival bread) and fish. In return, we've eaten curry of theirs. These folks WANT to be Americans.
Give me 5 more years, and they'll have a couple 870s and be getting their own venison(G)...

And, Islamics have the same right to defend themselves as anyone else. NOBODY has the right to aggress.

Dismounting from soapbox...

November 14, 2001, 09:48 PM
I have shot with an Iranian Muslim several times over the years. He happens to be married to my aunt. He had never shot a shotgun prior to one of our outings but he has some interesting (and vague) history as some sort of military security for the former Sha and his family. I know he could really make a 9mm FN highpower perform.
He has also flown the American Flag every day for years.
These folks are here to stay. Dave's and the club's version of Tolerance is a good thing.

November 14, 2001, 11:50 PM
Here in the Metro NY area you often run into people of various ethnic backgrounds. I have shot with Sikhs, Lebanese, Iranians, Iraquis, Albanians and one really good shooter from Afganistan! He even taught me his own special technique for long crossers he calls the Afgani slash:D

As long as they are pro gun they are OK with me.

I have noticed during my frequent visits to the local gun emporium quite a few foreign accents and languages spoken amongst the patrons. Often their wives accompany them weraing scarves on their heads in the muslim tradition.

New York does have its cultural advantages.

Rich Lucibella
November 15, 2001, 12:11 AM
Any time you're South Florida way, you have a place at my table. Would be a pleasure.

Thanks for the eye opener.
Rich Lucibella

Long Path
November 15, 2001, 01:23 AM
Nice post. :)

Now, a question for you, Dave: Would he have received as warm a welcome, had he been a really-o-truly-o Muslim, acting the same way? Your post leaves it a little unclear as to whether this was pure-D tolerance, or whether it was enlightment about the true origins of the Sikhs. I'm not sure whether it matters much, but there are plenty of conservative Muslims, too, who have no truck with bad guys.

You ever find yourself Ft. Worth ways, drop me a line, Dave.


Dave McC
November 15, 2001, 06:08 AM
Thanks, folks, got the warm fuzzies all over...

Most of the guys, Long Path, probably thought he was Islamic.The Sikhs are an offshoot of Hinduism, quite militaristic, and serve as the backbone of the Indian Army. We have a few here, and all the men have a military bearing, as well as those turbans.

Geoff,my little 'hood here has Haitians, Africans, Asians, and so on. The nearby Senior Center has an enclave of elderly Russian Jews. I like the diversity.Local restaurants include good Chinese, Indian, Viet,Tex-Mex, Ethiopian,etc, as well as seafood and Rib joints.

One nearby indoor handgun range has lots of ethnics in there. Don't see as many at the trap, skeet,and rifle ranges.

Rich, Long Path, I don't get away from home much these days, but if you get in the area, stop on by....

November 15, 2001, 08:00 AM
Dave gets a big gold star in my book today.

Dave posts like yours remind us that we are all in the fight to keep the RKBA together, and that teaching a new shooter is NEVER a bad thing.

You keep up the good work.

Dave McC
November 15, 2001, 09:24 AM
Thanks, Rob, my old scoutmaster would be proud(G)...

November 15, 2001, 09:38 AM
Every time I go to the range I HAVE to shoot with a Lebenese woman. She's my fiance! Here at TFL she's known as DuckHunt.

November 15, 2001, 09:47 AM
Wonderful post Dave.

November 15, 2001, 12:22 PM
Dave that is a wonderful story.


November 15, 2001, 01:09 PM

Yeah but does your hood have all the ethnic restaurants we have here in NY:D

Reminds me of the time I shot sporties with two serbians. They both had O/U s' with slings and one guy had lost his left hand. Shot by balancing the gun on the stump of his arm. Shot well too! I didn't ask how he lost the hand but they told me they were going pheasant hunting and were just getting in some practice.

Great thing about shooting sports is that it breaks down barriers betwen different folks:)

November 15, 2001, 02:27 PM
Heartwarming post, my friend.:) It's nice to read of tolerance among the RKBA crowd. Especially since the Anti-rights crowd tries to paint us all with the opposite brush.:rolleyes:

Dave McC
November 15, 2001, 04:37 PM
Thanks, guys, but I was just one of many giving this guy a fair chance. THAT's the best part!