November 1st, 2005 12:13 PM
Is it different?
Some wandering thoughts as I wait for grade sheets to print this morning...
Do we, as the gun culture and not society in general, treat handguns differently from "socially" (for lack of a better word)?
Now clearly this is a case among those who choose not to be assertive about their 2A rights. I hate to sound like a hackeneyed comedian, but there's not anything strictly wrong with that.
My siblings are perfect examples.
My sister just doesn't care a flip for pretty much any machine, guns included. They're loud, they're expensive, they're noisy, and seem mechanically complicated. But handguns make her nervous. Ask her to pick up an obviously unloaded handgun, she either won't do it or touches it like it's a dead rat. Long guns, no problem, don't bother her a bit.
My brother is kind of the other way. He's one of these guys that'll have one or two guns he'll go shoot every once in a while, but won't bother to get a carry permit. He just won't. Thing is, he really wants a handgun of some sort. He's just not sure what. I asked my parents if we should get him one for Christmas and they looked at me as if though I were suggesting we give a 6 year old a nuclear bomb.
The reason why is because owning a handgun is a privilege reserved for "adults" in my immediate and extended families. It really doesn't make any sense, but handgun ownership is like a right of passage to us. It's the last step. You own your first handgun, you're now an adult and not just a kid who's old enough to know better.
It really makes no sense at all. I've had the same Mossberg 500 for well over a decade. I've had access to an "evil streetsweeper" which is far more lethal than any handgun for some time. For several months, it was my "go to" gun because it was either that or a .22 that I could reach for when the mutants broke the front door down.
Do we regard handgun ownership in a different light? Society at large does, that's obvious, but why do even better informed people seem to mimic the convention?
November 1st, 2005 12:50 PM
Amateur psych assessment here:
I would say thet it has to do with the handling of long guns two-handed. It just looks safer. Unless you're having an extremely bad day, or are a total oaf, you really are less likely to "fumble" with a long gun.
Handguns are (for many practical applications) one-handed tools. Safety, firing, and holstering are all done primarily with the dominant hand. Loading and speed firing are more two-handed ops, and because of the confined space in which multiple operations are being performed, it's much easier to fumble with something. Competence=practice. Do you have confidence, seeing someone try to load a mag backwards in a pistol, or drop a mag on the ground and stare at it dumbfounded for a moment?
Honestly, situations as I described can be the result of range safety regs. "Mags must be on the bench, not in a carrier", or, "If you drop a magazine, do not pick it up; raise your hand for the RO to help you." Basically, it's too "safe" to be using live weapons, only a week-end plinker-shooter would really think that way. But I digress. Pretty much, I see it as the fact that a large percentage of HG users really aren't as familiar with the manual of arms as they should be, and that familiarity can't be picked up by daily handling and common usage the way it was 100+ years ago. It requires a dedication that many people don't want to take on, and a high degree of personal/situational awareness (also uncommon.)
November 1st, 2005 12:58 PM
I think people tend to associate long guns with hunting and handguns with people-killing. Long guns are more "okay" because they're what dad, grandpa, and great-grandpa had, like that dusty shotgun in the corner of the livingroom by the fireplace. There's people who don't see any "use" for a handgun except for killing people, because it's a smaller, concealable weapon. And not just antis and fencesitters see that way, there's even gun owners who do!
I've observed several types of gun owners (and these are generalizations - there are plenty who are NOT like this):
• The hunter who believes guns should only be for hunting and anything else is bad and should be banned (and his hunting gun will never be at risk);
• The veteran who believes than anyone non-military should not have any military-style weapons;
• The gun owner who believes people do not need and/or should not carry handguns for personal protection;
• The gun owners who randomly pick and choose what should be legal or not, like "hi-cap" magazines, folding stocks and whatnot.
With friends like this, who needs enemies?
I don't know if it's snobbery (like Mac vs. PC debates) or pure ignorance, but gun owners need to realize we're all in the same boat and all of our gun rights are at risk, whether we own over-under shotguns, AR15s, a Barrett or an NAA Mini.
"Americans have the will to resist because you have weapons. If you don't have a gun, freedom of speech has no power." - Yoshimi Ishikawa
November 1st, 2005 02:57 PM
Betty - you have pretty much - and well - posted for me too
Indeed I think the ''stigma'' of handguns revolves around their ''assassination/execution'' aura, plus even for those who own and shoot a handgun - once the range environment is left behind, they freak out at the thought of constant carry for some reason. Maybe they don't trust themselves in which case - better they don't carry!!
Reminds me yet again of my dear UK leather-working buddy - he thinks because I carry - I am inviting trouble! . Cannot get him to open his mind to logic.
For most part - we carriers are not only staunch 2A supporters but - also, the people who have seen the way to take responsibility for the protection of selves and loved ones. In my book, a laudable and sensible decision.
Some of the biggest hypoctite gun owners I have met - are the hunter rifle owners, who shoot 4 rounds before season starts to check sights and then that's it - apart from any kills they make. They sometimes think they are in a different class from the rest of us - having some divine right - such that ''other gun people'' do not matter and their rights need not matter either.
ALL firearms owners should be together, on a level playing field - sadly this is not the case.
Chris - P95
NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.
"To own a gun and assume that you are armed
is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."
- a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.
November 1st, 2005 10:03 PM
I suppose we are all conditioned some way, aren't we?
Nature and nurture...media and real life...fantasy, imagination, reality...it all combines to make us up.
Your sister picks up a handgun like it's a dead rat...I'll pick up a dead rat like it's a stick and toss it into the woods...different life experiences.
We all see connotations in objects...
Some see an evil handgun...
Others see a tool...and beyond the functionality some of us see the craftmanship or even the beauty of a work of art.
It's not a right or wrong issue...there is no way to decide if one perspective is "correct".
Change the connotations and the object is viewed differently...but it hasn't changed at all.
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