What is Gun Culture

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farson135:
The most obvious threat was to my left and I factored out what was directly in front of me. That happens. No one can be perfect least of all when you have too much going on. Once again, Condition Yellow on your average city street can provide far too much useless information especially if you know what to look for. A more general example might be, you see a person hitch up their pants from the 4-5 o'clock position. That implies that the person might be carrying a concealed handgun (or that they are just hitching up their pants in that location). You would focus on that person because they are an immediate appreciable potential until you access the situation. On a more normal note, when you are about the cross a street you attention is probably on your immediate right and left because those are the locations where you are most likely to have an immediate problem. Everybody filters and the more you know, the more potentials you may see.

And you stopped scanning in front of you. That was the mistake. Even if you divert your attention for a split second to continue your scan, you need to do that. If the risk is to a degree where you feel you need to keep your attention on it, at that point you need to alter your actions, ie, stopping walking without watching where you're going.

farson135:
What you are asking for is too much. You cannot remain at Condition Yellow at all times without causing yourself problems. At the very least you must always have a location from which to relax. Your home, your office, etc. If not, you will lose the plot very quickly. That is why the military sends soldiers on R&R.

Practice makes better Farson, that's pretty much all I can say to this. Again, it's my personal opinion that gun owners should be doing this, as a service to themselves and everyone around them. If you don't feel it's reasonable, don't do it. I personally don't like having to maintain that much attention, that's one of the reasons I don't carry.

I just thought it was the overall consumer desire to own guns combined with the constitutional right in the United States as opposed to other nations. Combined with military reverence and pride it has formed what could only best be described as a culture "of the gun" which was shortened to "gun culture".

I guess the term came from outside the USA from folks who live in countries other than it and observe the habits and practices of a significant demographic of US citizens. That same "culture" does not exist in any other western nation that I know of.

Jux:
And you stopped scanning in front of you. That was the mistake.

You would not say that if the truck that was moving around immediately to my left sped up and hit me. You also would not have said that if the bulldozer that was carrying chunks of concrete had run into the scaffolding and dropped that entire thing into the street.

Once again, you have to prioritize.

Even if you divert your attention for a split second to continue your scan, you need to do that.

It was a split second. I was walking straight, turned right, scanned, looked left (I could see the construction before I turned but the concrete was less obvious).

If the risk is to a degree where you feel you need to keep your attention on it, at that point you need to alter your actions, ie, stopping walking without watching where you're going.

I was watching. Problem, concrete on concrete in addition to the fact that most people feel that trucks moving around are more dangerous than a sidewalk.

Practice makes better Farson, that's pretty much all I can say to this. Again, it's my personal opinion that gun owners should be doing this, as a service to themselves and everyone around them. If you don't feel it's reasonable, don't do it. I personally don't like having to maintain that much attention, that's one of the reasons I don't carry.

Let me get this straight, I say that it is unreasonable and you say that it is reasonable. At the same time you claim that it is too hard for you (a person who claims to do it 12 hours a day) to do it on a regular basis.

You are asking us to do something that you will not do because it is too difficult. Now, I want you to show why it is even necessary. You claim that it is too difficult for you so show me why we should maintain such an absurd level of vigilance. This kind of vigilance reminds me of one of my favorite characters, Burt Gummer. In one scene Burt is trying to get into his home. He is typing into his keypad lock but first his looks over his shoulder at 100 miles worth of desert and then covers the keypad with his body. You know, just in case there is a government surveillance team watching him. Caution is good but what you are asking us to do borders on paranoia and that is something we need to avoid.

Kaulen Fuhs:
If we learn about this culture, spend time around people and have friends among those who are part of it, can we then render some form of judgment?

You could certainly share your experiences, but to me a judgment of a culture is arriving at conclusions about who "they" are; doesn't seem right to me. Cultures are complex and diverse to be summed up by an opinion, but that's only my opinion.

AgedGrunt:

Kaulen Fuhs:
If we learn about this culture, spend time around people and have friends among those who are part of it, can we then render some form of judgment?

You could certainly share your experiences, but to me a judgment of a culture is arriving at conclusions about who "they" are; doesn't seem right to me. Cultures are complex and diverse to be summed up by an opinion, but that's only my opinion.

I actually agree with you to an extent, but if there were no consistent characteristics we could make note of in communities, the denotative label for those communities would be functionally worthless.

You're right though; exhaustive, encompassing judgements of communities are practically impossible to make in good faith.

farson135:

Jux:
And you stopped scanning in front of you. That was the mistake.

You would not say that if the truck that was moving around immediately to my left sped up and hit me. You also would not have said that if the bulldozer that was carrying chunks of concrete had run into the scaffolding and dropped that entire thing into the street.

Once again, you have to prioritize.

And this all plays into perceived vs actual risk. You overestimated the risk of those things happening against the risk of tripping. My numbers may be a little off, but something like 80% of OSHA recordable accidents in my industry are from 'slips, trips and falls'. People are more than twice as likely to get hurt just walking from task to task than actually getting hurt doing their regular maintenance work. What does that tell you? It tells me there is a very real disconnect between actual risk vs. perceived risk.

farson135:

Even if you divert your attention for a split second to continue your scan, you need to do that.

It was a split second. I was walking straight, turned right, scanned, looked left (I could see the construction before I turned but the concrete was less obvious).

And unfortunate mistake then. Sometimes that happens.

farson135:

If the risk is to a degree where you feel you need to keep your attention on it, at that point you need to alter your actions, ie, stopping walking without watching where you're going.

I was watching. Problem, concrete on concrete in addition to the fact that most people feel that trucks moving around are more dangerous than a sidewalk.

Were the trucks driving dangerously? Were there not spotters for the heavy machinery in the area? This goes back to perceived vs actual risk.

farson135:
Let me get this straight, I say that it is unreasonable and you say that it is reasonable. At the same time you claim that it is too hard for you (a person who claims to do it 12 hours a day) to do it on a regular basis.

Please don't start with the mischaracterizations Farson. Did I say it was too hard for me? Where? I said I don't like doing it, not that I can't do it. And that would be 12 hours a day, 7 days out of a two week period, assuming I am not working any overtime.

farson135:
You are asking us to do something that you will not do because it is too difficult. Now, I want you to show why it is even necessary. You claim that it is too difficult for you so show me why we should maintain such an absurd level of vigilance. This kind of vigilance reminds me of one of my favorite characters, Burt Gummer. In one scene Burt is trying to get into his home. He is typing into his keypad lock but first his looks over his shoulder at 100 miles worth of desert and then covers the keypad with his body. You know, just in case there is a government surveillance team watching him. Caution is good but what you are asking us to do borders on paranoia and that is something we need to avoid.

Not too difficult, simply an issue of preference. I don't like having to maintain that amount of vigilance, and I don't like the added responsibility of carrying a firearm. Paranoia is not what I'm advocating. You've missed my point completely. I don't advocate vigilance because you need to be on the lookout for the next mass shooting or bank robbery, I advocate vigilance because being aware of your surroundings and your firearm is the best way to avoid a confrontation to begin with.

Jux:
And this all plays into perceived vs actual risk. You overestimated the risk of those things happening against the risk of tripping. My numbers may be a little off, but something like 80% of OSHA recordable accidents in my industry are from 'slips, trips and falls'. People are more than twice as likely to get hurt just walking from task to task than actually getting hurt doing their regular maintenance work. What does that tell you? It tells me there is a very real disconnect between actual risk vs. perceived risk.

The risk of tripping on ground that I thought was flat. I missed something. That happens and it shows that people cannot be perfect.

Were the trucks driving dangerously?

They were driving in a way that could be dangerous. There was a T intersection and one of the trucks was trying to park in there while two of the other trucks were moving around to less obvious purposes.

Were there not spotters for the heavy machinery in the area?

Yes, and they were looking everywhere due to the fact that this is a busy intersection and several trucks and civilian vehicles were moving at once.

Did I say it was too hard for me? Where? I said I don't like doing it, not that I can't do it. And that would be 12 hours a day, 7 days out of a two week period, assuming I am not working any overtime.

If it was easy you would do it simply for your own safety. Being watchful is important with or without a gun.

I don't like having to maintain that amount of vigilance, and I don't like the added responsibility of carrying a firearm. Paranoia is not what I'm advocating. You've missed my point completely. I don't advocate vigilance because you need to be on the lookout for the next mass shooting or bank robbery, I advocate vigilance because being aware of your surroundings and your firearm is the best way to avoid a confrontation to begin with.

Vigilant of what? Your advocating of perpetual vigilance borders on paranoia. If nowhere is safe and no one is not a suspect then you have a problem. Thinking that a confrontation is anywhere is also a problem. You have to be able to shut down or you will burn out.

Gun Culture is a cynical artificial creation made by the gun industry. That's right, both the pro-gun and anti-gun movements are the result of a business wanting to make more money. They feed people power fantasies, preying on their insecurities and convincing them to buy weaponry far exceeding anything they could personally merit. Then, they demonize the well-meaning but hasty people who are just (rightfully) afraid of getting shot, by making them out to be larger than life with claims that "those people" are going to "take your guns away."

This is completely impossible of course, being that their lobby is multiples larger and more influential than the other side's could ever be. But having already sold the power fantasy, this alarms people to a ridiculously overblown degree, and so they use this interest to- you guessed it- sell more guns! Guns to protect their customers from that vocal minority that could never have done anything to take them in the first place.

Having seen guns in action, they don't make anyone more or less safe. Only helping the economically disenfranchised and shoring up our piss-poor mental health system can make us more safe.

farson135:
If it was easy you would do it simply for your own safety. Being watchful is important with or without a gun.

Again, you're filling in blanks with what you think I mean, as opposed to what I am saying. I am watchful on a day to day basis, because I value my own safety. I am as vigilant driving a car as I am handling a gun, as the two things can be lethal when not handled with the utmost care. However, when I am not driving, my caution lessens to a degree, because I don't feel the added weight of responsibility of carrying a lethal device.

farson135:
Vigilant of what? Your advocating of perpetual vigilance borders on paranoia. If nowhere is safe and no one is not a suspect then you have a problem. Thinking that a confrontation is anywhere is also a problem. You have to be able to shut down or you will burn out.

Vigilant of the potential for conflict, and vigilant that I am maintaining control of the firearm. You see it as paranoia, I see it as being responsible. Confrontation can occur anywhere, and if you're not prepared for that, you may react unduly with your firearm when confronted with it. Not speaking from a legal stand point, rather, a moral one, I advocate that when confrontation occurs, lethal force should be the last option.

I already get that you don't agree with me here Farson, but my application is consistent, and not without reason. You aren't going to change my mind on this. You can just chalk it up to me being afraid of guns if you want, but in my mind, when you choose to carry around a firearm, especially for the purpose of self defense, you are taking on a whole world of responsibility with that choice. If you don't acknowledge that, that's fine, but I feel it only increases your chances of making a mistake and getting someone hurt or killed.

Gun culture in Texas essentially boils down to the following observations and conclusion:

First observation, criminals do not care much about whether an object is legal or illegal when they go to acquire it. This is inherent in a person's status as a "criminal".

Second, the United States is not good at keeping illegal things off of the streets. Indeed, if one is under twenty-one in the United States it is generally easier to get marijuana than it is to get alcohol.

This is less an "observation" and more of an assertion, but it is one that would be rather questionable to disagree with: if either only criminals will have guns, or both criminals and law abiding citizens will have guns, the second option is preferable.

The conclusion follows very simply. Criminals will seek out guns whether or not they are legal.
It is easier for the government to enforce protective regulations (in the case of guns, don't sell to minors, don't sell to people with felony records, don't sell to people with documented mental issues) on items on legal markets than items on the black market. Because of that increased ability for regulation within a framework of legal ownership, the ratio of violent criminals with guns to generally good people with guns swings more in the favor of the good people.

That's the gun culture here, but I can't really speak for anywhere else.

2012 Wont Happen:
Gun culture in Texas essentially boils down to the following observations and conclusion:

First observation, criminals do not care much about whether an object is legal or illegal when they go to acquire it. This is inherent in a person's status as a "criminal".

Second, the United States is not good at keeping illegal things off of the streets. Indeed, if one is under twenty-one in the United States it is generally easier to get marijuana than it is to get alcohol.

This is less an "observation" and more of an assertion, but it is one that would be rather questionable to disagree with: if either only criminals will have guns, or both criminals and law abiding citizens will have guns, the second option is preferable.

The conclusion follows very simply. Criminals will seek out guns whether or not they are legal.
It is easier for the government to enforce protective regulations (in the case of guns, don't sell to minors, don't sell to people with felony records, don't sell to people with documented mental issues) on items on legal markets than items on the black market. Because of that increased ability for regulation within a framework of legal ownership, the ratio of violent criminals with guns to generally good people with guns swings more in the favor of the good people.

That's the gun culture here, but I can't really speak for anywhere else.

The general ideas are basically the same in Georgia. I'd suspect its the same all over the South.

Realitycrash:
But when it becomes an interest, when you by magazines about them, when you go off to the firing-range to 'squeeze off a few rounds' because you enjoy it and it takes the stress off, and not because you strictly need the practice, then it becomes too much for me. Then it becomes a degree of gun-culture that I really can't support. Yes, I'm putting the bar that low. Guns shouldn't be an 'interest' in my mind.

Simple question for you; why do you think it should be put that low?

2012 Wont Happen:
First observation, criminals do not care much about whether an object is legal or illegal when they go to acquire it. This is inherent in a person's status as a "criminal".

That seems rather odd, because it seems not to have been the case where I live.

When handguns were restricted in 1927, Sydney criminals stopped carrying them because they didn't want to be caught with them. Razors became the weapon of choice, leading to the razor gangs (the two most prominent of which, both led by women, were recently dramatised glamourised in a TV series).

I'm led to believe that people started carrying sharpened screwdrivers once going round with knives was banned.

Even assuming that all criminals disregard all laws, you still don't want to be caught with an illegal weapon. I can't think why this hasn't been the case in the US.

Apollo45:

Realitycrash:
But when it becomes an interest, when you by magazines about them, when you go off to the firing-range to 'squeeze off a few rounds' because you enjoy it and it takes the stress off, and not because you strictly need the practice, then it becomes too much for me. Then it becomes a degree of gun-culture that I really can't support. Yes, I'm putting the bar that low. Guns shouldn't be an 'interest' in my mind.

Simple question for you; why do you think it should be put that low?

Because I find having an interest in weapons to be unhealthy and machismo. It suffices for me to define gun-culture.

To me, "Gun culture," is simply a term used to define a culture that is accustomed to the presence of firearms. I often see it as a derogatory term here, but I really don't see it that way. Many legal gun owners are productive members of society, and safety and responsibility are paramount with a great many of us. Sure, we have a culture all of our own because we all enjoy a similar hobby. There is a, "Culture," for just about every human interest on earth. Firearms are no different.

Realitycrash:

Apollo45:

Realitycrash:
But when it becomes an interest, when you by magazines about them, when you go off to the firing-range to 'squeeze off a few rounds' because you enjoy it and it takes the stress off, and not because you strictly need the practice, then it becomes too much for me. Then it becomes a degree of gun-culture that I really can't support. Yes, I'm putting the bar that low. Guns shouldn't be an 'interest' in my mind.

Simple question for you; why do you think it should be put that low?

Because I find having an interest in weapons to be unhealthy and machismo. It suffices for me to define gun-culture.

Do you find running unhealthy and machismo? I shoot and I run to relieve stress and because I like it. I do not do either because I need to but because I want to. More than enough people in this world live long and health lives without running so what is the point?

Firearms are a piece of equipment. I am a gunsmith and I enjoy tinkering. Trying to build an effective platform is a challenge in many ways. It takes a great deal of concentration and skill to do what I do. Why shouldn't I take pleasure in that? If I am building an AR there is nothing like getting the forward pivot pin installed in one go.

Do you know how much math you have to be able to do on the fly to make a 1500 meter shot? Combine that with all of the calculations you have to make based upon your platform and your cartridge and you have one hell of a task (especially when you consider the fact that your calculations depend upon weather conditions that can change in minutes). Why shouldn't you take pleasure from making a successful shot?

As for magazines, why shouldn't I read them? They are a valuable source of information. Not as valuable as the internet is nowadays but still useful in their own way. How am I supposed to hear about lesser known companies without those magazines? I did not hear about Franklin Armory online, I heard about it in Guns and Ammo. The guys are Guns and Ammo get products from pretty much every firearm company in the US. They have experience and they know when something is good. How am I supposed to hear about these products unless someone talks about them? I am in Texas and Franklin Armory is based in California and primarily sells firearms in California.

Overall, I am not sure why you have this problem. Skills are something to be cherished. Especially when those skills are so marketable.

farson135:

Realitycrash:

Apollo45:

Simple question for you; why do you think it should be put that low?

Because I find having an interest in weapons to be unhealthy and machismo. It suffices for me to define gun-culture.

Do you find running unhealthy and machismo? I shoot and I run to relieve stress and because I like it. I do not do either because I need to but because I want to. More than enough people in this world live long and health lives without running so what is the point?

Firearms are a piece of equipment. I am a gunsmith and I enjoy tinkering. Trying to build an effective platform is a challenge in many ways. It takes a great deal of concentration and skill to do what I do. Why shouldn't I take pleasure in that? If I am building an AR there is nothing like getting the forward pivot pin installed in one go.

Do you know how much math you have to be able to do on the fly to make a 1500 meter shot? Combine that with all of the calculations you have to make based upon your platform and your cartridge and you have one hell of a task (especially when you consider the fact that your calculations depend upon weather conditions that can change in minutes). Why shouldn't you take pleasure from making a successful shot?

As for magazines, why shouldn't I read them? They are a valuable source of information. Not as valuable as the internet is nowadays but still useful in their own way. How am I supposed to hear about lesser known companies without those magazines? I did not hear about Franklin Armory online, I heard about it in Guns and Ammo. The guys are Guns and Ammo get products from pretty much every firearm company in the US. They have experience and they know when something is good. How am I supposed to hear about these products unless someone talks about them? I am in Texas and Franklin Armory is based in California and primarily sells firearms in California.

Overall, I am not sure why you have this problem. Skills are something to be cherished. Especially when those skills are so marketable.

Running isn't a weapon (or a tool that kills, or however you want to define guns). I find weapons highly distasteful and to be the subject of armies and police-officers, not for casual recreation. I find it to be Serious Business. Apply your skills somewhere else, hone your math somehow else.
Once again, I do not propose a ban on anything. I just disapprove of the practice. Heck, I disapprove of fighting-sports as well (and I used to be a boxer, until I realized what a shitty boxer I was because I couldn't willfully hurt someone else without feeling seriously bad about it).

Jux:

When I think 'american gun culture', the fetishisation of guns and the lone cowboy hero figure often come to mind. I know some responsible gun owners, but by and large the people I know that like guns tend to be of the mindset that picking one up makes you John McClane.

I guess I don't need to say much more, Jux got it mostly right.

I find the American gun culture very disturbing - along with the insane hero-worship of the military, the vile "everyone for themselves" socio-economic culture, and add to that a whole lot of hatred for things that are different, and you'll basically have a complete picture of why Europeans dislike America and constantly worry it'll do something horrific.

HellbirdIV:

Jux:

When I think 'american gun culture', the fetishisation of guns and the lone cowboy hero figure often come to mind. I know some responsible gun owners, but by and large the people I know that like guns tend to be of the mindset that picking one up makes you John McClane.

I guess I don't need to say much more, Jux got it mostly right.

I find the American gun culture very disturbing - along with the insane hero-worship of the military, the vile "everyone for themselves" socio-economic culture, and add to that a whole lot of hatred for things that are different, and you'll basically have a complete picture of why Europeans dislike America and constantly worry it'll do something horrific.

And this view is also clearly one based on lack of knowledge of the United States. Just look at our current president to realize how ridiculous this is.

We've got Mr. Social Justice as our president right now, who signed into law two pieces of legislation that are proving to be completely impossible to implement and fail to solve the problems they were "supposed" to solve. Dodd-Frank and ACA are just terrible pieces of legislation.

I could keep going through all the reasons why you've misjudged the United States, but it would take too long.

If only the federal government was set up to be "everyone for themselves." Our economy might actually be growing at a good clip! We're stagnant right now and it's screwing anybody under the age of 25.

Realitycrash:
Running isn't a weapon (or a tool that kills, or however you want to define guns).

Nor are most firearms. The use of a tool is defined by its master. The vast majority of my firearms never have and never will be used to kill anything. The ones that have are either milsurps (in that case they are collectors' items and will never be using in combat again) or they are hunting firearms (only a few of my firearms).

I find weapons highly distasteful and to be the subject of armies and police-officers, not for casual recreation.

Have you ever tried it?

You are on a video gaming website, do you oppose the playing of shooters, or hack and slash games, etc.? Many people can and have argued that you are "training" to kill people.

With shooting you are training for far more wholesome activities. Like shooting sports.

I find it to be Serious Business. Apply your skills somewhere else, hone your math somehow else.

Why should I? What is so wrong with what I do?

You are providing your feelings. I want you to articulate them and show why they are useful. If your feelings are not useful then you need to get rid of them because they are a hindrance.

Shooting well requires a lot of skills. It is fantastic practice and far more enjoyable than the alternatives. Can you name a better way to teach people trigonometry than by applying it to a real world example? Like- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rifleman's_rule

To put it simply, the best way to teach a person something is to give it in a practical manner. Do you know how many kids I have trained to shoot that suddenly start getting better grades in school? That is not really about math as it is about concentration and decisiveness. It requires a lot of concentration and decisiveness to make a good shot. That is something that many kids are lacking but by putting them in a position where they have to concentrate and commit to get a result that they actually care about they learn better.

Once again, I do not propose a ban on anything. I just disapprove of the practice.

I get that. I just want to know why.

If you want a different example, cars kill a lot of people every year. Should people stop racing (on a track) out of respect for the death they might cause? People are far more likely to die at a NASCAR track than they are at a shooting competition. So what is the big deal? It is fun. Personally I do not like driving and years of walking through campus have proven to me that all drivers except for me are idiots (joke) but that does not mean that I disapprove of racing. I just want to know what your issue is.

Firearms are tools. They are treated as such by the vast majority of shooters. However, you cannot be afraid of a tool and expect to use it effectively. You have to understand it and be ready to use it but you CANNOT be afraid of it.

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