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Young Gunsters

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Sometimes I have trouble deciding whether Yuppie bean counters or Communists present the greater threat to freedom. Both, in my book, are bad news.

What have gotten me on the numbers kick lately are the repeated polls that pretty much have decided that most folks buy their first and at least some subsequent guns for defensive purposes, and that there are more and more women entering the shooting sports.

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Young Gunsters

  1. 1. Young Gunsters Sometimes I have trouble deciding whether Yuppie bean counters or Communists present the greater threat to freedom. Both, in my book, are bad news. What have gotten me on the numbers kick lately are the repeated polls that pretty much have decided that most folks buy their first and at least some subsequent guns for defensive purposes, and that there are more and more women entering the shooting sports. I’ll not challenge the assertions, but will cry out that they do not come close to explaining what is really happening in society relative to guns these days. It is not antiseptically cut-and-dried, as the number crunchers would have us believe. At least a couple of times each week, I make a point of shooting at some kind of public shooting facility. This means that over the course of a year, I watch thousands of people and take note of the guns they shoot and how they shoot them. Things have changed in the last few years. The younger/entry level folks now show up with their own guns and focus keenly on being able to manipulate the actions of the guns in ways that result in their having fun shooting them. Pinpoint accuracy is not part of their game. They want to hit the target and enjoy the process. Their choice of arms makes one thing totally clear: defense was the moving force that brought them into the shooting sports. But, unlike the “survivalist” ethic a few decades ago when folks bought guns and ammo and then squirreled them away for a “rainy day,” these new shooters want to pop caps – a lot of them. They show up at the range with several boxes of ammo and proceed to shoot it all before leaving that day. Most of the young women I see are in the 18 to 25 year-old range and they tend to be quite athletic. Their hands and wrists seem to be stronger than were those of entry level women a decade ago or so. This means they tend to be able to manipulate semi-auto
  2. 2. actions with ease and have no trouble holding arms tightly enough to take advantage of their already practiced hand/eye coordination. The young guys generally fit the same overall description and often, there are young guys and gals showing up in pairs or foursomes, all seemingly learning the mechanics of shooting together. Additionally, in the last couple of years or so there has been a noticeable increase in the number of newbies showing up with guns, who normally would not be expected at shooting facilities. I’m talking about the obvious libs, some of who show up with Obama bumper stickers on their Volvos. At first, I didn’t put two and two together relative to them, but a few conversations with them set the record straight. They were showing up with hunting rifles and wanted to learn how to use the rifles well enough to bag their own meat – that’s right, they wanted to eat truly natural meat. Go figure. The point is that the story behind the story, as usual, is more interesting and important than the basic story itself. Over time, I have seen that these folks tend not to become regulars at any of the ranges. So I asked about that. Seems as though these folks are weaving guns into the fabric of their busy lives – kind of like another box to check off on their to-do lists. Once they have their guns, they shoot them relatively infrequently, but when they shoot, they shoot a lot. For me, this is beyond comforting. These newcomers are not just giving guns a go; they are including the ethic of the gun in their personal and social lives. And, for the first time in decades, the gun is once again bridging the political abyss. Think about it: when defense and food are the catalysts that bring new folks to Gundom, there are basic, primal motivations that will keep them. The fact that they also want to have fun in the process merely cements the deal.
  3. 3. In the end, the future of the gun culture has less to do with the logical arguments and esoteric philosophic concepts that traditionally have characterized our cause and more to do with the DNA that defines us all. Doesn’t get any better than that, because no government, no society can stamp out such motivations. Yes, the bean counters may be able to count the numbers. But in the process they miss the reasons for them. The more advanced the world becomes and the more densely people are crammed into small areas, the more relevant the gun becomes. I’m bullish on the future. Looks brighter all the time.

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