Saturday, June 17, 2006

The Shooting Question

A friend called the other night for other reasons. He happens to be the friend who introduced me to firearms.

"So, are you still shooting?"

He was pleased to hear that I am. I'm sure I am like anyone else. I don't get to the range as much as I'd like for several reasons. The funny thing is, other people ask me this question from time to time, people I don't expect to ask. This makes me realize that I am becoming identified as someone who shoots. I am not sure how I feel about that. I'm not even sure what that means, honestly.

I read others, consider my own ideas and keep and open mind but I cannot deny the power behind this habit or hobby I have picked up. While I wrestle with the questions of my own belief system, my 7yr old nephew is in love with guns. It has been 9 months since I have fired my first gun. Now it is time to reconcile some of the questions that go along with that.


Blogger Zendo Deb said...

What it means is dependent on the people who ask.

Very few people are willing to admit that they are wrong about anything.

A lot of people have a view of "anything (and anyone) related to guns is bad." If they like you, then they have to either change their views about guns, or their views about you.

Or they adopt the "but she's OK" approach to rationalization.... gun people are still bad, but you are an exception to the rule.

Cognitive dissonance averted, facts ignored.

17/6/06 7:35 PM  
Anonymous Steam Dragon said...

People that shoot, though, tend to take folks at face value.

We see that you have problems, and we hope for you to get thru them. Past them, (hmm.. that don't sound right either)

You tell us -here- about your problems, and guess what?
We don't let your problems identify who you are.
We offer to help, if we can.

We care.

18/6/06 4:03 AM  
Anonymous Ronin said...

Shooting is empowerment. Shooters tend to want to share empowerment.

From the confidence thereby engendered springs the strength and wisdom to judge less, support more.

Those who resist empowerment are damaged. Once the fruit of failure is tasted, it is hard to accept responsibility for oneself, and one thereby judges all against their own faults.

You are strong, and getting stronger. The wisdom your path has revealed to you will later serve you well.

30/6/06 1:38 PM  
Blogger Jerry The Geek said...

"... It has been 9 months since I have fired my first gun."

Nine months? Really?
It seems like only yesterday, when you first started shooting and blogging about it.

I discover that I am inordinately pleased that you are "still shooting", because I know how much I enjoy the activity.

Curiously ... though perhaps not oddly ... I also am known in my office as "the one who shoots". My office, my personal life, within m family. I shoot for the fun of it, and for the fine people I meet on the range who share my enthusiasm.

I've found myself in the odd (as opposed to "curious") situation of discussing my hobby with people who feel obliged to solemnly intone "I never found any reason to pick a firearm". My usual response is to assure them that it's okay to have different interests. The reason is to make it clear that I don't feel threatened by their tacit disapproval. "Shooting is not for everyone, any more than kayaking is for everyone: I've never found any reason to pick up a boat" or something to that effect.

People are sometimes dubious, even nervous, around "the one who shoots", and while that shouldn't be problematic for the shooter, it might be for ones friends and co-workers.

I've not only never tried to conceal my affinity for the shooting sports, but I even keep plaques (awards) from competition on my desk. I put my coffee cup and water bottle on them. I have photos of matches on my wall where others have photos of their family, in part because the people in the match photos may be my family. My current computer 'background' photo is from a large IPSC match I attended in July. Twelve people with holstered pistols grouped around a Ben & Jerrys Ice Cream Stand, that's a definate statement.

From time to time some of my co-workers stop by to talk to me about firearms or shooting. They may not be afficianados of the sport, but they may have an old pistol that they want to shoot, just to see if it works. I cheerfully volunteer to take them to the range and let them try it out. Since my local range is 20 minutes away, it's an easy trip after work.

The whole point is to establish that people who shoot, especially people who shoot pistols, aren't weird. We're just people who have an interesting and rewarding hobby. We are just your average Joe, and we don't present a threat to anybody.

I note in passing your intention to get a camera. I encourage you in this goal. I bought a camera a couple of years ago specifically to take pictures at pistol matches. I found that they were so interesting, other people wanted to see the pictuers. (It's even more fun if you have a digital camera which takes movies, so you can capture the action.)

I hope you manage to achieve this goal. It's just one more way to meet new friends.

8/8/06 1:06 AM  

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