Psychology of Gun owners

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Ok this I really don't get, I've googled this and only found some stuff about whether gun ownership increases/decreases crime/suicide/etc.

1) The Zero Sum game, this is from supporters who claim that if criminals have guns, citizens should have them as well. Some basic assumptions,

a) Where you live, Cops are corrupt/too slow/incompetent to protect the citizens
b) If there was a law to remove all guns, criminals will still find a way to get them.

To a certain extent, both are true but not entirely. For example in Japan, a strict gun control policy is in place, but the Yakuza can get their hands on weapons, same for the Hong Kong Triads (but they use knives more). However, small time crooks are unlikely to find them and it is pretty unlikely that you'll run into gangsters if you're on the straight and narrow.

2) The Power. Guns give even the weakest person the same power as a fit person, a person who's fat/weak/small etc cannot take on a regular person in a fist/knife fight, but with a gun, all the power goes to the one holding it. This applies to both Good and Bad guys.

3) Bad Guys ALWAYS have guns, every movie, tv show, book or videogame, in other words, they cheat. Most of the time, the Good guys will also have guns, but are more reluctant to use it, or use it only when necessary or use it only as a deterrent.

Anyways the point of this thread is not to discuss the merits of gun ownership. It's the psychology that interest me.

From the point of view of someone who has fired a gun and lived in a gun free country, I don't get it.

So why do people want their guns so badly?

i myself use guns to hunt, i live in california. and here, its very common so many people own guns for that reason. but take the guns away and we will get angry because we cant hunt anymore.

I'm a gun owner, my friends are mostly gun owners. I'm also a legitimately licensed owner with no criminal record.

We use them to go hunting or shoot targets. It relives stress the same way shooting pool or golfing would, plus you get a nice work out walking, and fresh air when you are out in the woods/marsh. It also gives you time to unwind.

Dangerous individuals with psychological problems that drive them to commit crimes are USUALLY not legitimate gun owners. These problem people will commit crimes with or without guns.

A better system to prevent something like a school shooting would not be to take away the guns from kids families, it would be to have a system to identify high risk kids with unstable mental conditions to get them the special help the need and deserve, but that takes allot more time and money then just pointing at legitimate guns and gun owners and calling them all sorts of nasty words.

I don't know about all of this. Arguably the safest society would be one where everyone is armed, but no one uses the weapons, but of course that'll never happen. The more people own guns, the more likely they'll be used. Simple as that. I kind of like how most of Britain is handling this issue and I really like how Canada does it.

The only reasons I have guns are:

Home defence-I'd like something to scare a common burglar away with, or shoot him if COMPLETELY (I mean no other option whatsoever) necessary.

Fun- What can I say, shooting a powerful gun at a target and following proper safety measures is fun as hell.

I think the main psychology is safety and recreation.

I want to own a gun to try hunting, as well as to take up range shooting as a hobby.
I just love guns, though I don't like the idea of killing a person (Yes, I know that's basically the reason they are made).
The kick, the sound, the impact and power...it's all pretty awesome. And I mean awesome as in 'awe' some. As in I'm in awe. The power and precision of modern weaponry is truly a marvel. Again, though, I don't like the idea of shooting anyone, and have no interest in being involved in anything, or with anyone, that shoots people.
Hunting? Sure.
Range shooting? Sure.
But that's about it for me.

NoDamnNames:
I'm a gun owner, my friends are mostly gun owners. I'm also a legitimately licensed owner with no criminal record.

We use them to go hunting or shoot targets. It relives stress the same way shooting pool or golfing would, plus you get a nice work out walking , and fresh air when you are out in the woods/marsh. It also gives you time to unwind.

Problem individuals with psychological problems that drive them to commit crimes are USUALLY not legitimate gun owners. These problem people will commit crimes with or without guns.

A better system to prevent something like a school shooting would not be to take away the guns form kids families, it would be to have a system to identify high risk kids with unstable mental conditions to get them the special help the need and deserve, but that takes allot more time and money then just pointing at legitimate guns and gun owners and calling them all sorts of nasty words.

Yup. Actually, the best way to keep guns out of the wrong hands isn't to remove them from everyone's hands, but to destabilize the black market and raise awareness.

As for psychology..

Well, this isn't the best school of thought, but c'mon!

it's FUN.

=p

I own guns for home defense, hunting, and because I enjoy shooting. It's my hobby, and I get a great deal of enjoyment out of shooting. Besides, I'm pretty damned good at it!

Most gun owners wouldn't hurt a fly. Most of us enjoy our ability to own guns, so we do what we can to keep those rights - like not hurt people with them. In fact, I have heard .50 cal owners compared to golfers. They enjoy the challenge of hitting a small black circle from 1200m away, and they rely on constant practice and competition to keep their skills sharp.

I would also like to point out that a good many people involved in the gun culture are fairly wealthy. Not all of us, but many that I have met are. Just look at how much shooting can cost. It's not terribly cheap, but it can still be accessible to anyone if they know where to start. Generally, gun owners are good folks who are fairly laid back, but when people attempt to take away our hobby/entertainment, we can get a bit snippy.

Of course these are generalizations. I can't speak for everyone of course since that would be impossible. This is just the general feeling I get from my local community.

Because they feel lucky, punk. Seriously, they own them just on the off chance they need to get into a balls-to-the-wall, leaping through the air, ninjas everywhere, blazing gunfight, and because guns are cool.

Honestly when it comes down to it, People want their guns because they want to be free enough to do so. In order to take guns away you have to be in a position where you can actually take them away. The majority of Americans(Including myself) would go absolutely berserk if our government showed what they really think by taking them away. Humans want to be free, and true freedom is having the option to do the wrong thing, not that we should or even want to.

"A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have. "
Apparently Gerald Ford said that and not Thomas Jefferson but you never know any more eh?

heyheysg:
Ok this I really don't get, I've googled this and only found some stuff about whether gun ownership increases/decreases crime/suicide/etc.

1) The Zero Sum game, this is from supporters who claim that if criminals have guns, citizens should have them as well. Some basic assumptions,

a) Where you live, Cops are corrupt/too slow/incompetent to protect the citizens
b) If there was a law to remove all guns, criminals will still find a way to get them.

To a certain extent, both are true but not entirely. For example in Japan, a strict gun control policy is in place, but the Yakuza can get their hands on weapons, same for the Hong Kong Triads (but they use knives more). However, small time crooks are unlikely to find them and it is pretty unlikely that you'll run into gangsters if you're on the straight and narrow.

2) The Power. Guns give even the weakest person the same power as a fit person, a person who's fat/weak/small etc cannot take on a regular person in a fist/knife fight, but with a gun, all the power goes to the one holding it. This applies to both Good and Bad guys.

3) Bad Guys ALWAYS have guns, every movie, tv show, book or videogame, in other words, they cheat. Most of the time, the Good guys will also have guns, but are more reluctant to use it, or use it only when necessary or use it only as a deterrent.

Anyways the point of this thread is not to discuss the merits of gun ownership. It's the psychology that interest me.

From the point of view of someone who has fired a gun and lived in a gun free country, I don't get it.

So why do people want their guns so badly?

I love guns because I find them fascinating, not because I expect to run into the mafia (but I still expect the unexpected).

1. a. It's not that the cops are slow, incmpetent, or corrupt, it's that they can't be there instantly. The average time for a cop to get to you should you call 911 is about 4-6 minutes, during which time you could be beaten raped, mugged, shot, etc, and the police would get there afterwards and the bad guy would be gone. So it's not the fact that the cops just don't feel like going fast, it's the fact they cannot teleport to your location instantaneously.

b. It's true, bad guys would still get them. Although it is highly unlikely that your average burglar (not well connected, just does it for money, etc) won't have access to the people who sell guns illegally. However, there are ways and they will be found, just not by everyone.

2. Guns are the Great Equilizer. Just as you said, weak person v. strong person, strong wins, but give the weak a gun and the weak one wins. Give them both guns, and call an ambulance. Guns were created to give their weilders an edge over their opponent, and it does just that.

3. The bad guys always chea because they don't give a damn. That's the point. They don't care about what's honorable, or lawful, or just, and they cetainly don't care about the rules. Bad guys=reckless, careless law breakers, who couldn't care less about accidentally shooting an innocent person, and good guys=careful law followers who don't want to harm innocent bystanders.

Gun owners want guns for protection. From what, though? Chances are you won't run into any crazy ass ninjas, hitmen, assassins, Mafia soldiers, mafia bosses, mercenaries. So why carry a weapon when you probably aren't going to use it? Security. Security of the knowledge that they are free to do so, and the knowledge that they can defend themselves.

Nice thing about living in Alaska..we allow Open Carry of a loaded firearm.
My sister's australian husband almost had a fit when he saw a guy with a Glock in the store last week.

I have about 9 weapons in my house,my niece and nephew both know to not touch them or play with them.

Example of the boomsticks I own.
M1903 Springfield .30-06
Winchester 69
Winchester 69A
Springfield .30-40Krag
.40SW Chiefs Special
Marlin .22WMR
20Gauge Western Field bolt action

Will I kill someone with them? no
Would any of my family members use them to kill themselves? no

im planning on saving up and getting a New England Firearms single shot rifle in .45-70.

Baby Tea:
I want to own a gun to try hunting, as well as to take up range shooting as a hobby.
I just love guns, though I don't like the idea of killing a person (Yes, I know that's basically the reason they are made).
The kick, the sound, the impact and power...it's all pretty awesome. And I mean awesome as in 'awe' some. As in I'm in awe. The power and precision of modern weaponry is truly a marvel. Again, though, I don't like the idea of shooting anyone, and have no interest in being involved in anything, or with anyone, that shoots people.
Hunting? Sure.
Range shooting? Sure.
But that's about it for me.

Hunting and range shooting are great things, and if you did have interest in shooting people I would say you should never hold a gun. Firearms have collectable value (just because somebody owns several guns does not mean they are a crazy redneck) but they can effectively teach you safety and discipline. I am a national level shooter and not once have I seen a gun related accident at a shooting range. Guns are weapons, yes, but if used safely they can be an great source of fun and stress relief. That's why gun owners have them.
Well that and self defence, though I don't know anyone that wants to have to use them for that.

The psychology is: Guns are cool.

My view is that gun ownership is a right and for good reasons.

1. Self defense is a human right and therefore access to effective tools of self defense is too.

2. A well armed population has a deterrent effect on government tyranny. The fear of being shot is one reason government officials are reluctant to oppress us. I do get angry when I hear about government abusing its power, but I don't want there to be a civil war. I prefer to exercise my first amendment rights to protect the other rights.

Guns are neither good nor evil, it really all comes down to who has to power to pull the trigger. Good or bad they are here to stay (like it or not). I wouldn't have it any other way.

I live in Texas, and we own guns mainly for hunting/target shooting. But, i will also ust those guns as a means of self/home defense.

We have a Constitutional right to own firearms.

I use guns for recreational use (fun) I find it relieving to go into a gun range and fire a few rounds I'm also a gun enthusiast so guns are more of a sport than a self defense aspect (I'm reluctant to use the word plaything it implies I use my gun recklessly) In case I AM attacked in my own home I call the police I only use a gun when the robber is specifically carrying a weapon and may be a threat to my family...

In america it is ment as a check on goverment power. If the goverment started to really abuse the citizens the citizens can rise up and overthrow the goverment. There are also peopel who are the usual compensating for having something small in there pants.

People hunt with firearms.

People use them to gain peace of mind.

People like the power, they may never use a gun to harm another person but just owning one, just haveing the ability, gives some people a little rush.

Used to carry concealed, but after a while, I just didn't renew my license and stopped carrying. It was more of a burden than anything, especially learning and keeping in mind which states honored the permit from my state and which did not, among other differences in state laws, and having to plan out whether I could even carry anyway (travel a lot for my job). Not to mention all the areas where carrying is prohibited regardless. Didn't really make me feel any safer, either. Just a hassle.

As the registered owner of 2 firearms I can say that I have them for different reasons.
one is my late Grandpa's Colt 1911 from WW2 and I have it for sentimental value and I don't even have any rounds for it and I have the firing pin removed.
the other is my Mossberg 500c pump action shotgun. I bought the one that has 2 interchangeable barrels. One is 26 inches and i use it for skeet shooting and target shooting (SAFETY! SAFETY! SAFETY!). the other is a 18 inch barrel and that ones only purpose is home defense. Now I'm not some paranoid redneck, I live in a bad community (and in the process of finding a new place to live) and I have had my neighbors apartment broken into 3 times last year, my car broken into, people trying to tell me drugs, and local gangsters giving me shit because i look white (I'm half white/mexican). And even if someone did break into my house, I would use the shotgun to scare him off with that classic CLICK CLICK noise that pump action shotguns make that's so scary. If that didn't work I probably still wouldn't shoot him just because of how my apartment is set up. Also I'm more than skilled in hand to hand or with a knife anyway.

Because it gives the every man a symbol of power in a world where he has little to no power. Also it gives a reason for the government to fear its people.

Shooting things is fun.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=atqYLcGyuUY&feature=sub

That is all I have to say about gun control.

I've used guns over the years, and found them to be quite safe when handled properly. I would own one, but the cost associated and maintenance required is more than I want to deal with right now.

That said, I'd go with the Zero Sum argument, based on the intrinsic simplicity of the mechanics involved in firearms. I'm entirely certain a full-auto AK47 could be manufactured from memory by a child, using primitive tools. However, I disagree with your listed assumptions.

Being afraid of guns is no more reasonable than being afraid of technology. If you can browse the internet, you can handle a gun safely, and need not be a criminal. (Some exceptions apply, of course.)

Guns are expensive. That is why people want to keep the guns they got legally.

I hate guns in possession of normal people just for "protection", at least when it comes to assault rifles and heavy calibre rifles/shotguns.

Hunting on the other hand is fine for me^^'

I have a gun for sharpshooting. You know, firing a gun for recreational purposes.

I own a gun and I do not hunt. Instead, I refuse to fall prey to criminals who seek defenseless victims. Anyone who asks why people own guns shows their na´vetÚ. Must be nice in their hide-your-head-in-the-sand world. On a tangent note, gun owners will never decrease crime as criminals commit crimes regardless. Gun owners are simply less likely to be DEAD.

meh, Ive always viewed gun for hunting as generaly a pretty wussy thing to do, I mean your going up against something that cant hope to defend itself, really for hunting unless your using a bow Im gonna call you a wimp.... or better yet chasing down the animal with a knife and killing it in a frantic blood soaked melee.

Target shooting can be fun, I got pretty good at skeet awhile back but if it was taken away I dont think I would care.

Ive always wondered why in most states its legal to carry a gun, concealed or not but not legal to carry a blade that is more then a few inches, at least here in tx you cant, that always confused me.

heyheysg:
Ok this I really don't get, I've googled this and only found some stuff about whether gun ownership increases/decreases crime/suicide/etc.

1) The Zero Sum game, this is from supporters who claim that if criminals have guns, citizens should have them as well. Some basic assumptions,

a) Where you live, Cops are corrupt/too slow/incompetent to protect the citizens
b) If there was a law to remove all guns, criminals will still find a way to get them.

To a certain extent, both are true but not entirely. For example in Japan, a strict gun control policy is in place, but the Yakuza can get their hands on weapons, same for the Hong Kong Triads (but they use knives more). However, small time crooks are unlikely to find them and it is pretty unlikely that you'll run into gangsters if you're on the straight and narrow.

That last bit is actually incorrect. China saw a dramatic rise of gun violence (especially in Hong Kong) in the late 80's/early 90's. Even with strict gun laws in place, the gangs still get guns and they still kill a lot of innocent bystanders as well as their victims.

Japan has just recently seen a larger increase in the common criminal obtaining and using a gun to commit crimes.

The criminal culture drives that first point home for some gun users - the US is huge with giant borders in the same hemisphere with other countries (primarily in Central and South America) that use guns quite frequently. Guns aren't seen as mere tools for muggings to the criminal element - they are objects of power, and a very easy way to gain credibility. Not to mention killing someone who slightly upsets you in an expedient manner. No number of guns laws ever practiced in the US and other countries with carry laws have ever stopped the criminal element from getting firearms.

I keep reminding everyone who says they don't understand the open gun culture in other countries to actually read about their gangs and criminal culture. It's rather narrow-sighted to say, "Our criminals aren't like that, so why would your criminals be like that?" or "It's all Triad/Yakuza related" when in China and Japan that's not the case anymore.

(I have my masters in psychology and sociology, and so I keep up with this topic and others on a regular basis. I'm rather amused by the rather obtuse assumptions people have about other cultures around the world, and the constant threads that pop up that constantly place blame/deride other cultures because of people not understanding that cultures vary vastly between locations)

What man wouldn't use a gun to protect his wife and kids in the case of a home invasion, mugging or rape? What woman wouldn't use a gun to protect her children?

If he or she doesn't use a gun, what would you suggest?

Billy Sastard:
I own a gun and I do not hunt. Instead, I refuse to fall prey to criminals who seek defenseless victims. Anyone who asks why people own guns shows their na´vetÚ. Must be nice in their hide-your-head-in-the-sand world. On a tangent note, gun owners will never decrease crime as criminals commit crimes regardless. Gun owners are simply less likely to be DEAD.

Statistics conducted in USA shows that you are more likely to get shot in your home if you own a gun, and not by a perpetrator, but by another member of your home.
Discuss.

Oh, and about the head in the sand: Guess what, no one IN MY CITY owns a handgun, and as far as I know, the worst that has happened this year is that a bike got stolen. You just have a violent example of tunnellvision ignorance.

And what about people that hunt? A single deer will bring in enough meat for a family of four to eat every day for months for a far lower cost than going to the supermarket and buying beef and chicken.

Then again all the guns I own are only taken out of the case for cleaning most of the time any more and the one hand gun I own was purchased while I was in the army for use as a sidearm to replace the crap 9mm the gave me, I prefer the .44.

slipknot4:
I hate guns in possession of normal people just for "protection", at least when it comes to assault rifles and heavy calibre rifles/shotguns.

Hunting on the other hand is fine for me^^'

Large caliber rifles and shotguns are MEANT for hunting, not full auto assault rifles. The guns that are predominantly used for home defense and killing are hand guns.

But go ahead and try walking down the street with a rifle or a shotgun (and you can't really hide them) to go shoot up your local 7-11. See how far you get without at least being stopped by the police.

Now try the same thing with a hand gun, those you can hide pretty easily, probably keep them hidden until you intend to use it.

CaptainCrunch:

That said, I'd go with the Zero Sum argument, based on the intrinsic simplicity of the mechanics involved in firearms. I'm entirely certain a full-auto AK47 could be manufactured from memory by a child, using primitive tools. However, I disagree with your listed assumptions.

yes, but now what is the chance of the gun firing without catastrophic failure?

I have guns for several reasons, Home Defense, Target shooting, and self protection being the main three.

I do believe criminals will get guns no matter what, the Mexican drug cartels are a prime example [as a person that almost got arrested for having a .22 shell in our truck, I can tell you their gun laws are very......VERY, strict]. and its true that police cant get to you instantly when you call 911, unlike CSI, and I can guarantee that if a criminal has a gun, he wont be afraid to use it.

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