Question of the Day: Should You Tell Newbies The Whole Truth About Guns?

Sorry FoD, but I don’t think The People of the Gun should erect psychological barriers for Americans contemplating exercising their Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. It really isn’t that complicated. Buy gun, insert bullets (facing forward), don’t point it at someone who doesn’t need shooting. If someone’s trying to kill you, point and shoot. The rest — the safety rules, firearms selection, caliber choice, marksmanship, safe storage, gunfighting techniques, situational awareness—it’s all great stuff. But I don’t think gun guys and gals should overwhelm newbies with the full range of concealed carry considerations. At least from the git-go. Am I wrong?

comments

  1. avatar sanchanim says:

    Well RF…
    There needs to be some discussion. Sure you don’t need to drown the noob in all the information.
    My personal opinion. If someone new wants to buy a gun, get them to a range, and fast.
    Rent revolvers, semi autos, 9 mm, 38, 40, and 45, heck throw in a 357 while we are at it! Have them shoot…
    There will be that one gun, out of all of them where you see that little smile. You know the one… It says yup this one feels right. That is the one you want them to have. We can get into caliber wars later, and throw downs on rail accessories, and luminescent sights to our hearts content.
    If it doesn’t make em smile, and they don’t want to shoot it, it is not the right gun for them! To me that is the simplest way to know it is the right one for home and personal defense.
    Once they come back and start hand loading, you will know they will probably want to add to their collection, and expand their horizons.

    1. avatar Accur81 says:

      Amen! Nothing beats trigger time – and sometimes the ugly guns shoot best.

      My wife hates my .40 cals because they “kick too much.” She’ll eventually get a lightweight 5.56 AR and a .380 or 9mm or even a .22. She’ll never love a .45-70 or .460, and that’s alright. As of this moment, she doesn’t want a handgun and is happy with her Taser C2. We’re working on it…

      If someone wants AR advice, I’m hard pressed to summarize it. Best to mull that choice over after trigger time as well. A shooting aficionado

      1. avatar Mike2588 says:

        I have a hard time offering AR advise to a first time buyer. everybody wants to buy the fanciest new thing with all the bells and whistles, but in all honesty I know that a lot of recreational shooters who want to pick up an AR will never use the weapon to its full potential. you don’t need a $1700 set up when all you’re going to do is take it to the 50 yard indoor range and shoot 100 rounds once a month. Something like the Bushmaster carbon 15 is a good option for that person. looks cool, not beefed up by any means, and not too expensive.
        It’s like buying a Porsche 911 so you can drive it to church on Sundays. not super practical.

  2. avatar RKflorida says:

    As to the concealed carry information, that wouldn’t be a problem because they would have to either be informed enough to want to get the license (if required) or have to take a class. But I agree that overwhelming someone with information when they are new to something is not advised. This applies to anything, but since guns and cars are potentially dangerous machines, safety information or a period of hand holding is necessary.

  3. avatar Matt in FL says:

    I have some friends (a couple) who are interested in at least learning more about it. They have their concealed class scheduled for later this month, and they’ve been window shopping guns for a few months. I have tried to give them the benefit of what I’ve learned over the last 20 months since I got my permit, but I’ve tried to do it without overwhelming them. For instance, for firearms selection, I simply told them that when I bought my first handgun, a .40 XD(M) 3.8, I bought the full grip model with the conscious thought that “I don’t expect to carry.” A few months later, I had my permit, and I regretted buying the full size grip weapon instead of the compact. I had to mess that up to learn, and I try to pass that knowledge along, so that they think before they buy. On the other hand, I thought before I bought, and I still messed up because my preconceptions were wrong. Maybe they’ll do the same, but at least I tried.

    Other than that, I haven’t really touched on anything else you listed, except when I have learned things about concealed carry laws that surprised me or ran counter to what I expected. They’re well aware that I have a wealth of information to offer, and when they get to the “need to know” point, I’m sure they’ll ask if they require clarification.

  4. avatar Hinshelworld says:

    On my HK the bullets go in backwards?

    1. avatar bobo says:

      All pistols should be HKs, all HKs should be 9mm, and all 9mm should be USPc’s. And all bullets should be inserted backwards.

      1. avatar Gyufygy says:

        Johan Jaeger? Is that you?

  5. avatar GS650G says:

    I guess FoD is no longer in the inner circle of trust for suggesting that untrained people shouldn’t carry concealed, or even in the open. She makes good points but if the standard is carry what you want, where you want, why you want, because you want then you are going to have problems. Like we saw in CA, anti open carry laws that apply to your driveway. More MWAG calls that get you harassed or even arrested. And untrained people become IGOTD more often than trained ones do.

    I’ve suggested training for gun ownership and been pissed on by people that don’t like to be told they need to be taught how to operate, carry, and use a gun. These are the same people who will probably need lawyers some day to get them out of a jam.

    1. avatar Michael B. says:

      Do you support training requirements for people to meet before they’re able to exercise their right to keep and bear arms? I noticed you beat around the bush some so I’m asking for clarification. Once you answer we can start from there.

      Also, please try to avoid projection and logical fallacies.

      1. avatar GS650G says:

        Do you support idiots carrying guns around you that don’t know how to use them>?
        Nice simple question, no projections or fallacies.

        1. avatar Scott Henrichs says:

          What training was required for you to exercise your first amendment rights? Or before you could vote? None? Really? Interesting.

        2. avatar Matt in FL says:

          GS650G: I think we’re on opposite sides of this, but that’s OK. My problem with your question is that it presupposes that the people carrying those guns around me are idiots, and further presupposes that they don’t know how to use them. I’ve never been in a gun shop yet that would refuse to give you basic instruction on the use of your firearm, whether you purchased from them or not.

        3. avatar Chris says:

          Yes, because training is often a pointless exercise in “passing the test” and not a true measure of competence. This applies to leadership training, drivers ed, and the NRA Basic Pistol Course.

          Useful, but a measure of competence it is not. I know plenty of permitted folks of many years who are scary on the firing line.

        4. avatar Phydeaux says:

          Hmm, let’s see. The bullets go in pointing to the front of the barrel… Slide the pistol into this holster thingy… Leave it alone until you need to use it… Point it at the person trying to kill you and pull the trigger…

          Anyone with even close to normal intelligence can learn that in about 3 minutes – often, on their own. THAT’S what it takes to properly discharge your inalienable right to self defense. Not background checks, not training, and really not even practice.

  6. avatar Phydeaux says:

    With regards to self defense, firearms can be many things. The second amendment makes them an inalienable right. For some they serve a key role in their profession. For others, especially citizens who want to achieve a higher level of mastery for whatever reason, they can become more like a hobby, competitive sport or hobby.

    There should be little or no hurdle for exercising your right to self defense, and there are frequent examples where people with little knowledge or skill do so successfully.

    I’m personally interested in a higher level of mastery, and practice the things Destinee mentions, got the range frequently, compete in IDPA, and don’t leave the house without my gat. I would never want my level of interest become a threshold others must meet to exercise their right to self defense.

    1. avatar Transparent Soul says:

      Please amend your first comment. The 2nd A does NOT make, give or guarantee anything. It only codifies our right.

  7. avatar Rokurota says:

    Point 1: Train and get comfortable.
    Point 2: Get a car safe. If your state doesn’t allow a gun in a locked car on school/state/work property, call your state representative and get a law passed.
    Point 3: Yeah, that’s someone’s brother/son/husband attacking you. So am I. It’s very altruistic to think of some thug’s mom. Please excuse me if I think of my own.

  8. avatar Jack says:

    I don’t just toss the keys of my vintage Mustang GT to my 16 year old who just got his license and say “see ya later”. And its not because I’m worried about the car. While I believe he has a healthy respect for it, the first time he punches it in the rain he’ll be spinning in circles and get himself killed. So instead I take him driving in it and teach him how. Then I let him drive around the neighborhood with me along until he gets familiar with it.

    I have the same approach with him and firearms. Handing someone a gun without considering their knowledge and skill is irresponsible. But just like the car, it shouldn’t be illegal either. Personal responsibility is key here.

    1. avatar Michael B. says:

      Completely agree.

    2. avatar Paul W. says:

      exactly my sentiment.

  9. avatar wvumounties8 says:

    My personal decision is to carry ALL THE TIME. If not on my side, in my Maxpedition Versi-pak. Criminals don’t take days off from striking, so why should I take a day off from carrying??

  10. avatar Bill H says:

    Sorry FoD, I don’t agree. I will carry every day if possible. If I don’t have to pass through a metal detector, then it is possible to carry.

    The beauty of a concealed weapon is that it is concealed! I don’t over think my daily schedule – I just carry. If I need to defend myself or family at a location that doesn’t allow a person to carry, I will deal with the consequences as I will still be alive.

  11. avatar 6 gunner says:

    Maybe don’t try and fit all that in in the first 5 minutes, but the safety rules? Situational awareness? Yes, absolutely. The quicker you get them thinking about it, the more likely they will be to start applying the lessons imparted. Put in the second 5 minutes of the lecture for sure.

  12. avatar Ed Rogers says:

    This topic (the original one) plays into yesterdays conversation on free advice. I prefer to be enthusiastic but noncommittal. I try to maintain some personal operational security as well. Sometimes my enthusiasm overwhelms me though 😉

    Every situation is different as well. Who is the newcomer, where are we when the topic comes up? I’m relatively new to recreational/personal defense firearms myself – Maybe I should STFU…

  13. avatar Lance says:

    No I agree we must tell all you said Farago

    But add moral accountability when using a gun too.

  14. avatar Stacy says:

    What do you mean by newbie? If you mean someone completely new to guns, then I’d say you start off by taking them to the range, explain the four rules and how to operate the gun(s), and let them have some fun. Talk about CCW and self defense if you want, but don’t forget all the other aspects of shooting sports that don’t involve shooting at other people. Most normal people are going to find 3-gun, or the per-pound discount for hunting their own meat a lot more compelling than having a plan to kill everyone they meet

  15. avatar Dan says:

    Here’s what I teach newbies.

    * Cooper’s 4 until it’s instinctual.
    * Isosceles, thumbs forward. Revolver holds.
    * Manual of arms, charging, emptying, slide lock/release, safety, magazine, malfunctions.
    * Don’t judge a gun or round by its looks.
    * Don’t be in a hurry to buy your first gun.
    * Don’t listen to *anyone’s* recommendation about what gun to (or not to) buy.
    * Exception to above: *do* buy a 22lr of *some* kind.
    * Try everything you can, even guns you think you won’t like.
    * If you are serious about self defense, take a course.
    * You can (and should!) figure out the rest yourself. It’s more fun to discover than to be told.

  16. avatar ST says:

    What a minefield of a topic. Im not a trained EOD tech, but I have stayed in a few Holiday Inns , so I’ll take a stab at this.

    The first step we have to acknowledge is that the Right to Keep and Bear Arms has no prerequisite for training. The IGOTD has the same right to own and use a firearm as the most highly trained CIA Special Activities Division operator. Obviously I don’t wish harm or death to anyone by negligent action, but a free environment for gun owners means we must accept some degree of idiocy and tragedy related to the mishandling of firearms. We as a society already have come to terms with this concept regarding the automobile.

    Step two on this subject: all of us started off as gun-ignorant morons. Every .Single.One. Of .Us. You know that moron on the firing line sweeping everyone with his finger on the trigger? Yeah, I was once that guy and so were you. Even Rob Leatham and Jeff Cooper were not born with pistols holstered in their umbilical cords, at least as far as we know.

    Point 3, and I promise its the last one: some people really shouldn’t carry, and some people have no business being within 10 miles of a firearm. There are people in our nation who genuinely find the concept of taking another life so abhorrent that they would prefer being dead themselves. Just because its a thought process I can’t understand doesn’t make it any less true for thousands, and probably millions of people in America. We do no favors for anyone by trying to “force” someone to own a gun when they deep down want nothing to do with firearms or any process which may lead to taking another life. Personal defense starts with mental will to overcome a lethal assault by any means necessary. Without that mindset a gun owner is just another sheep with a fancy toy on their hip.

    OK I lied:one last point, there is such a thing as “too much” training. That place is where you’re buying guns, gear, and instruction with firearms for situations you’ll never realistically face. Getting off the X with a battle tested HK may be a great skillset for a contractor, but that’s not the job or threat description of 99% of ordinary Americans. Joe and Jane America do NOT need to take a weeklong course at TACTICAL BATTLEFIELD SUPER COURSE! in order to be considered “prepared” for defending themselves.

  17. avatar Chas says:

    The sad truth that no one wants to mention is that every single one of us were “noobs” once and by FoD’s standards probably had no business buying a gun.

  18. avatar In Memphis says:

    Planning on taking my new partner to the range today. Two things we talk about most at work are women and guns, I can only teach him about the later as my recent divorce would suggest lack of operational knowledge on the other.

    Ill cover the basics; the rules of handling, grip, isoscolese/weaver. We have already discussed what he needs to do to get his permit so today is just a matter of letting him go through whatever guns catch his eye and making sure he is safe while doing so.

    I am actually looking forward to it. I can only hope he is as excited as I was my first time.

  19. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    “But I don’t think gun guys and gals should overwhelm newbies with the full range of concealed carry considerations. At least from the git-go. Am I wrong?”

    Each situation is unique. I simply ask people about their style. Some people want lots of facts and details. Some people just want something that works. I mention a few basics and then follow the other person’s lead. Like anything, you cover the major considerations first. Then, over time, introduce the nuances.

  20. avatar Ron says:

    I believe there are three categories of “Newbie”.
    Those who are thinking about buying a gun.
    Those who have decided to buy a gun.
    Those who have bought a gun.
    What advise I offer depends on which stage I’m dealing with.

    In my experience, conversation with someone thinking of buying a gun is always of the question and answere variety.
    They ask a question and I try to answere it to the best of my ability.
    When the questions stop the conversation ends.
    I never offer unsolicited advise to a potential gun owner.
    Anyone considering buying a gun is by default considering not buying a gun. These people need to resolve this issue before moving forward. If they decide against gun ownership all further advise / information was unnecessary.

    When someone tells me they have decided to buy a gun, the roles reverse.
    I become the inquisitor and the questions all involve the responsibilities of gun ownership and potential consequences. If I believe them to be mature, responsible adults (and they still want a gun), I ask which gun they have decided to purchase.
    If they are still undecided, I offer to let them shoot with me. Using my guns, at my range and at my convenience. They bring their own ammo and pay their own range fees. I suggest which brand of ammo to buy and where to purchase it.
    If they follow my advise on the ammo purchase and at some point decide against buying a gun, I will purchase any remaining rounds at the pro-rated price they paid per round. If they buy the brand I suggest but pay a higher price, I will buy it at the pro-rated price I would have paid. If they buy a different brand, they go home with a nice souvenir of their day at the range.
    After range time has expired and before leaving the range, I suggest they get as much professional training and practice as often as time and financial restraints will allow.
    If they have purchased a gun, the conversation is the same as with the person who has decided to purchase a gun. Without the range time.

  21. avatar george lortz says:

    I had a friend in my old home state (N.Y.) that got a pistol permit. He told me that he became a lot more cautious (maybe not the right word) about various situations when he had a gun with him. When I moved to Fla. and they passed the CCW law; I got my permit, but took about a year to decide what I wanted to carry. I realized that it came with a lot of responsibility. After carrying for a few years, I recently started carrying in condition 1. It is all in the mindset, and the familiarity and training with the carry weapon. If you have any doubts about using your weapon to take a life in defense of your own, you have no business carrying said weapon.

  22. avatar justice06rr says:

    My strong suggestions for newbies who are just starting to get into firearms is to get themselves educated with the laws and proper gun handling practices even before they buy a firearm. Taking the Conceal Carry class is a great first step, esp if you are looking into buying a pistol for CC/SD.

    FoD made some good points, but ideally a person legally allowed to carry should carry at all times whenever and wherever possible. But main thing we should not forget is that carrying especially in the CCW sense is a personal choice based on individual level of comfort and preference.

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