Friday, May 20, 2016

Gun Culture 1.0 and 2.0: Which Are You?

Which culture do you come from? Gun Culture 1.0? Or Gun Culture 2.0? What’s the difference? What does it matter? These are all good questions that I will attempt to answer.
I will attempt to define these two terms Gun Culture 1.0 and Gun Culture 2.0 (respectively GC1 and GC2). GC1 would be by my definition a hunter or competitive shooter, over 45 years of age. A GC2 would be a competitive shooter or a concealed carrier between 21 and 45 years old. As usual, these are generalities. By these definitions I would be considered a GC1, but of course I don’t hunt or compete anymore. I do carry so maybe I’m a GC2? But I’m over 45 years old so I must be GC1. As you can see, trying to define these two cultures is pretty difficult.
At one time I was both of these definitions. Now I am part of one and part of another. I’m older and I meet a lot of what I would define as GC2’s. I think the typical GC2er sees me as a sage and very unorthodox even by GC2 standards. I am often found shooting on my back or crouched behind something. I am not so concerned with my “pattern” or “group” although on a good day it can be pretty tight. I am concerned with stopping the threat. If that means my group is 5 inches then so be it. A 5 inch group head shot will stop a threat. At times I revert back to my competition days and make .5 magazine changes. But usually I’m not in a big hurry anymore.
What I like about the GC2 people is that they are young. For us “GC1ers” a young shooter was a pre-teen with a .22 rifle in 4H or Boy Scouting. Now days a young shooter can be a 23 year old with a Kimber competition 9mm. Of a Smith and Wesson Shield. The only problem that I can see with a typical GC2 is that they don’t seek out enough training. They took one class 2 years ago when they first bought their gun. If I have any advice for the up and coming shooter it would be to get training. Get diverse training. Take what you feel will work for you from several instructors. Learn and practice safety and do it uncompromising.
What exactly is “Gun Culture?” The word definition is: “A way of thinking, behaving, or working that exists in a place or organization (such as a business).”
Sometimes the words “Gun Culture” are used by those who don’t like guns. I think anti-gun people try to use certain words to scare people. Words like “assault weapons” and “gun culture” create negative connotation in those uneducated in guns. The media often is the problem here. They love to throw these words around even though they don’t know what they are talking about. I live my life as I was taught. My Father was a teacher and his Father a carpenter. Guns were not a big part of our lives any more than a garden rake. I own several garden rakes. I use them often. Does that mean I live in a “Rake Culture?” No. It’s a tool that I use. Guns are similar in my life. I was taught to shoot just as I was taught to ride a bike. I grew up in Arizona in the suburbs. We couldn’t shoot in our back yard but we could in the desert. We also could not ride mini-bikes in our back yards but we rode them in the desert. I don’t completely understand those that have little knowledge of guns coming up with a culture they think exists about something they have very little knowledge of. I also own an axe. I’ve never killed anyone with it or even threatened anyone. Do I now live in the “Axe Culture?” People have murdered with an axe yet for some reason the media thinks there is a “gun culture” out there but not an axe culture. They make no sense. Cars kill people a lot more than guns yet if you have several cars and they are your hobby you’re not considered part of a scary culture.
So, as I’ve said above, I guess I am part of this gun culture but I’m not sure I want to be known for that. I don’t want to scare anyone. Except the bad guys…
I have noticed that when people find out I am a gun guy they are surprised. I think they have a mental idea of what gun guys are like. Tattoos, red-necks, dark operator types, hunters, whatever they come up with. They are sometimes surprised that gun guys (and gals) are just like anyone else. I don’t usually dress any different than anyone else or do that different of things. I was at the gun range about a year ago where someone from my Church was with their son. We have a game warden in our ward who loves to hunt. She was willing to take out kids that wanted to hunt and was taking out my friend’s son. To get him familiar with the gun he would hunt with they were at the range. As I was leaving I stopped my vehicle to talk with these good people and my friend asked what I was doing there (at the range). I said “Oh I come here about twice a week.” My friend said “Twice a week!?” He was surprised that I shot so often. I don’t think he knew I shot at all! It’s not that my friend was anti-gun or anything, he just did not know that I was a gun guy and took it seriously. Is that part of the gun culture? Maybe it is and maybe I am part of that. If so, I am proud to be associated with good people, law enforcement, and military members who are also part of that “culture.”
And now I return to the GC1 and GC2. I am really a part of both. I know many who I would definitely describe as GC1 and others as GC2. But when it comes right down to it, I enjoy guns. I like the smell of spent gunpowder at the range. I like the sound of brass hitting the pavement. I like the feeling of shooting a fully automatic weapon (of which I don’t do very often because I don’t own any). I like the smell of CLP after I’ve cleaned my guns. I like the feel of a Smith and Wesson Model M686 with Pachmayr grips loaded with .357 Magnum ammo bought from Gunnies in Provo, Utah. These things make me smile.
The difference between Gun Culture and normal living is pretty negligible. I don’t think I’m that different than a golf guy who spends his time watching, playing, and reading about golf. Most of his money goes to the same thing.
I think that maybe there is some level of truth to the GC1 and GC2 and to gun culture in particular. But I don’t know if there is much difference with a sports nut or a car nut. But I know that we are treated differently. Cars, golf clubs, and baseball bats have all been used to kill people, but for some reason many have focused on the dreaded gun.
So, what are you? Gun Culture 1.0? Or Gun Culture 2.0?

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