Do gun forums distort reality?

Do gun forums distort reality?

This is a discussion on Do gun forums distort reality? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I read a lot. Mostly long books and articles. I know that reading more than a few abbreviated words is old fashioned but I enjoy ...

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Thread: Do gun forums distort reality?

  1. #1
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    Do gun forums distort reality?

    I read a lot. Mostly long books and articles. I know that reading more than a few abbreviated words is old fashioned but I enjoy it nonetheless. Heck, I even write stuff with a pen sometimes just for old times sake. I am fairly new to gun forums but been shooting and buying guns well before Glocks and AR's were invented. Even before the 9mm was no longer considered a caliber best suited for those who pee sitting down.

    One of the things I notice about gun forums is that they tend to distort reality. By its very nature, gun forums attract those who are into guns much more than most and who enjoy taking about them and their defensive use. However, some fail to recognize that gun forum members are a very small part of gun owners and sometimes tend to think things are as they read in their forums. Let's just look at one example.

    People in gun forums seem to like to discuss (argue?) about the merits of a 9mm vs .40 vs .45. Anything below may be considered barely adequate for defense or not adequate at all. This gives us all the impression that we are all carrying guns in these calibers and yet I hear more people ask for a .22 than any other gun in the gun store where I hang out. Granted I live in a retirement community but I am also the seeing the same thing among new shooters who are concerned about recoil having never had to endure any part of their body being hit with anything. . I read a blurb the other day from a year or two ago where the BATF said that the .380 was the most popular caliber at the time and with the success of the LCP and .380 ammo shortage a few years ago, I can believe it. My LEO friends tell me that they encounter .22's and other small caliber guns more often if for no other reason that most crime takes place in low income areas and the people there can only afford cheap guns that shoot small calibers. It also seems to be written in many places that the .22 is the most popular caliber in the USA and responsible for more gun related deaths than any other caliber because of the shear number of .22 guns owned.

    Just looking at gun owners in my own family I see .22's and .380's the most. In talking to several gun store owners most say that they sell more .22's than any other caliber gun. Once again demographics and geography will affect that. I live surrounded by farms and ranches so a .22 is a good varmint control round and very popular. When I lived in big cities, most had 9mm and above with 9mm being the most popular. So it seems that while we talk about big calibers and such, the majority of gun owners are not mirroring what we are reading and saying in gun forums. That is the impression I am getting as a newbie to gun forums. The same can apply to how we perceive the need to carry all the time, number of guns and rounds carried, etc.. I think that sometimes we may forget that we are not the same as the rest of the gun owners and I see that all too often when I talk to other gun owners who do not read gun magazines, books or browse gun forums.

    I do not know whether this is good or not as it does provide us with more info than others but on the other hand one has to be careful about figuring out which of that info is good and accurate and which is not and sometimes people have a tendency to accept as fact those things that fit into their own belief system and reject all else. I have read topics that focus on things that are about as likely to happen to most of us as marrying Angelina Jolie and honeymooning in Monte Carlo on our yachts. Sure it is possible but not very likely. :)

    So do you think that gun forum members get a distorted view of gun related things due to focusing on them and if so, is that good or bad? Feel free to mention other areas where that get a lot of attention but really do not amount to a hill of beans.
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    The reality I have lived is much more distorted than most things I may have read about on a gun forum.
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    One of the many topics I think are really old are the "Do you think I'll like a G19 or m&p9 better. No one can tell you what you like. That would be like me asking everyone if they think I'll like spaghetti because I've never had it before. You should never let the Internet dictate what you buy or do. Another one would be the 9vs40vs45 debate. My opinion, shot what you are accurate with. Don't buy a gun because so and so said it was the best gun he ever had. Do research. I'm always reading things here and on other sights.

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    A lot of the people at work who carry seem to think they have to pick the smallest gun/caliber they can find. Pocket autos in .22 or .380 are the favorite choice. They are baffled that I would even consider a .45, let alone carry one, and are often equally surprised that I carry a spare mag.

    The things I think the forum distorts, and the internet as a whole really, are the failure rates of guns/accessories and the amount of people who care about the second amendment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by andrewcdub View Post
    One of the many topics I think are really old are the "Do you think I'll like a G19 or m&p9 better. No one can tell you what you like. That would be like me asking everyone if they think I'll like spaghetti because I've never had it before. You should never let the Internet dictate what you buy or do. Another one would be the 9vs40vs45 debate. My opinion, shot what you are accurate with. Don't buy a gun because so and so said it was the best gun he ever had. Do research. I'm always reading things here and on other sights.
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    We are definitely a minority. Something like 65% of the world's living population have never and will never use the internet. Gun forumers make up an even smaller % of that already small amount that do.

    That said, I'd say we're a pretty well informed minority. More so than any LGS grunt I've ever met. So yes, the more well versed will spend more time arguing the finer points of .380 v 9mm, and why you shouldn't carry a .22. That doesn't mean a lot of people out there don't carry .22's, but that also doesn't mean that a .40 or .45 isn't a significantly, significantly better option for almost any application.

    As far as reality goes, a gun forum is not the place I'll come to discuss politics and religion and the sort.. but we know our guns.
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    Quote Originally Posted by andrewcdub View Post
    One of the many topics I think are really old are the "Do you think I'll like a G19 or m&p9 better. No one can tell you what you like. That would be like me asking everyone if they think I'll like spaghetti because I've never had it before. You should never let the Internet dictate what you buy or do. Another one would be the 9vs40vs45 debate. My opinion, shot what you are accurate with. Don't buy a gun because so and so said it was the best gun he ever had. Do research. I'm always reading things here and on other sights.
    In my experience, you will probably find qualities you like and dislike with both platforms.
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    Quote Originally Posted by andrewcdub View Post
    One of the many topics I think are really old are the "Do you think I'll like a G19 or m&p9 better. No one can tell you what you like. That would be like me asking everyone if they think I'll like spaghetti because I've never had it before. You should never let the Internet dictate what you buy or do. Another one would be the 9vs40vs45 debate. My opinion, shot what you are accurate with. Don't buy a gun because so and so said it was the best gun he ever had. Do research. I'm always reading things here and on other sights.
    Great point. This is one of the things that puzzle me too. Do these people ask others which underwear to buy too? :) I think some people seek the approval of others or are unable to logically determine what is best for them. Some may just be too dang lazy! :)
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    In the sense that any given "forum" for discussion self-selects the sort of people who'd congregate there, it does skew the discussions, the opinions offered, the topics covered exuberantly and heavily, etc. Same can be said of, say, the AA gatherings, or the amputees' community that's springing up from the Boston Marathon bombing victims.

    As for "gun" and "defense" citizens discussing things that aren't strictly related to the equipment and products, surely many of the discussions are heavily weighted with the "inside" take on things. And you're right, that that can be quite different than a similar discussion might follow if it were populated with roughly similar percentages of folks "inside" the community and "outside." But by the very nature of such forums, you tend not to get that sort of engagement. (Self-selecting, as I suggested.)
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1956 View Post
    The reality I have lived is much more distorted than most things I may have read about on a gun forum.
    I can say that about the place I live. It is often called Disney World for adults. 100,000 retired people spread out over 3 counties with its own radio station and newspaper. Completely self contained with stores, all the popular restaurant chains and government offices on site. We call it the Bubble where you only read or hear the good news and every hour is happy hour. Sometimes I forget how the world outside the Bubble is. However, I made the choice to retire from the real world. Been there and done that and prefer my fake world. It is a much happier place. :)
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  11. #11
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old_Dog View Post
    Completely self contained ... We call it the Bubble.
    Ah. So you know how self-selecting a specific group can be on the "message" passed around, discussions that are had, etc.

    Most groups tend to be like that, to varying degrees. DefensiveCarry.com isn't immune from the same effects.
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    Distinguished Member Array onacoma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old_Dog View Post
    So do you think that gun forum members get a distorted view of gun related things due to focusing on them and if so, is that good or bad? Feel free to mention other areas where that get a lot of attention but really do not amount to a hill of beans.
    Aging Bow Wow, in one of your previous post I commented about the amount of "I"s and "My"s you had in an article that I beleive you were going to publish as helpful directions for newbies. JMHO - Most of the members on this forum I have encountered seem to be open to discuss (debate) their beliefs/experiences wheather it is a caliber wars discussion, what make an EDC their favorite, etc. Some of this discussion have brought with it enlightenment while some has reinforced our opinions. Of course some has givin us a favroite for "Worst Person of the Year Awards"! However, without this debate all we need do is listen to your Gun Nut of a VP and we all have double barreled shotguns!

    From this post I get the feeling that the forum needs fixing, If you're looking for something to fix maybe you'd be bettered served by starting a policital action group and go to Washington.

    Disclamer: This is JMHO!


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    There is an old joke out there that the gun most commonly carried by afficionadoes of the 1911 is, in reality, a snubbie revolver.

    I also suspect that a lot of the big gun/large caliber types don't actually carry it nearly as often as they claim to on the internet.
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    Distorted? Absolutely.
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    Like anything else, take what you can from the forum and leave the rest behind. It's always good to hear what other people are thinking, so in the case of this forum, you're going to get a whole range of opinions. While the ultimate decision for anything you do or buy rests with you, you can benefit from reading the forum's posts and it will help expand your knowledge base. For that reason, I think this forum is anything but distorted. I agree with some people, disagree with others, learn a lot, and try to share things I think other people will benefit from. And sometimes I just rant. Sound a lot like life to me!
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