As many of you know, I’m doing a series of books about getting into guns. This is the intro to the first one:
You are taking your first steps into a new world. Into “The Gun Culture”. Hopefully with a little coaching here those steps will turn into a run.
First off, we’ve got to define what that Gun Culture really is. Because the Mainstream Media will have you believe that the Gun Culture is full of banjo playing, illiterate racists. This is not the case. For the last (almost full) decade I’ve been selling guns at what is my favorite gun store in Utah. I’ve sold some guns to people that, yes, could be called banjo playing illiterate racists. But I’ve sold far more gun to people who can not be categorized and labeled so the Media can easily dismiss them.
Some of my best customer were Lawyers and Doctors and other professionals that spent years in study and working in their fields. Artists and Musicians. Radio Hosts and DJ’s. Scientists in the fields of Archeology, Geology, Biology, and Rocketry. Several actual Rocket Scientists, yes. People who went to the big named prestige schools. People who went to State schools. People who’ve only gone to Community schools. I’ve sold guns to people who’ve never set foot in a college or even graduated high school. Oil Barons and Roustabouts and Roughnecks.
I’ve sold guns to CEO’s and Celebrities. Cooks and Cashiers. The old and the young. Immigrants from north south east and west of any of our borders. Fathers and sons. Mothers and Daughters. I’ve sold guns to all kinds of people. I’ve sold guns to Liberal Hipsters that brought their Starbucks cups in with them to the gun counter. Peace and Beads tie-dyed hippies who drove VW Vans with flowers on the sides and wore sandals.
You can’t pigeonhole the American Gun Owner, because he or she is everyone. We are everyone. The one thing we all have in common… Is that we are Americans.
The media would have you believe that there is something wrong with owning a gun. They try to take a moral high ground that firearms are traditions of the past fit only for history books. Let me tell you, there is a lot of history in the firearm. And if you are an intelligent person, you’ve already picked up on that. A firearm, regardless of what it is or what type, is a time machine. Pick up your Grandfather’s old rifle. Feel the heft of it, the balance. Now close your eyes and imagine your Grandfather, young and strong stalking through the deer fields. Can you feel that connection? You connected to your Grandfather through time and have just caught a better understanding of who he was. And who you are. Some of you don’t understand anything I’ve just said and can’t comprehend this because maybe your Grandfather never had a gun or you’ve never been allowed to see it. Or you were not lucky enough to have this tradition passed to you. Others know exactly what I’m talking about because they’ve done just that and have felt the connection. You don’t get that connection from anything else that might be passed down through the family. Not even through photographs.
America has a gun culture stemming from the very first pilgrims and explorers to land in the New World. They brought with them the tools that they needed to survive in the new world. Hammers, Axes, Drills and Saws. And the Gun.
You coming into this American Gun Culture is really you embracing who you are as an American. Be proud of that. Never apologize for that. And never back down from that.
Most people get into guns for fairly specific reason. Some are collectors and historians. Others want a gun for home or personal protection. Some for hunting. Others because of the shooting sports. And some just want to have something to plink with on occasion. So I’m going to categorize new gun owners into a few groups.
Sheepdogs: Defense oriented. For personal defense or defense against tyranny. For the sake of this book, Sheepdogs will include those who are Military and Law Enforcement who are off duty or retired. You know who you are.
Sporters: Those looking at IDPA or IPSC sports and wanting to join in that fun.
Hunters: Those that are looking to put food on the table or to sell a pelt on the side.
Historians: Those looking to get into gun for that greater historical perspective. These guys are also the Collectors and Librarians of our gun culture. They also appreciate the art and aesthetics of the gun. The artistic and clever way of how the gunsmith’s talent crafted a piece. They appreciate the design and engineering of these very simple machines.
Then there is another category that we will touch on… The Investor. The Investor looks at a gun as commodity or asset that calculates an items value and projected value. Many of us are a combination of these category types, maybe even all of them rolled up into one. And that’s the type of Gun Owner that we affectionately call “The Gun Nut”.
I am one of those Gun Nuts. I do not call myself an Expert, those others have called me as such. I only call myself an Enthusiast of The Gun. So what are we waiting for? Let’s get started! The best way to start some things is to hit the books and study the subject. For the gun, it’s a hands on thing. How did you learn to ride a bicycle? Someone helped you get on the bike. Held that seat while you felt the balance and ran alongside you as you peddled. And after some yards ran, gave you a little push and watched you ride off. Both proud and smiling, and praying you don’t run into a tree. That’s me.