By Drew

To start off, I’ll offer a little background about myself and hopefully you can fully appreciate my view. I’m a 23 year old college student in a very liberal town, Boone, in a not so liberal state, North Carolina. I live off campus in “student living” that is in no way affiliated with the school, but is targeted (no pun intended) by college students and is marketed that way. Boone is home to Appalachian State University, which some of you may know from a few years ago when we became “The Giant Killers” when we beat Michigan in their own stadium. Since 2007, the University has exploded in popularity and the town has doubled in size, the majority of which are college students. Now that that’s out of the way, I’m about to tell you what I think is the problem with guns . . .

The problem with guns, in my humble opinion, is a lack of education. I can’t even blame the media fully this time, although they do contribute. I strongly believe that even a vague understanding of firearms would prevent the vast majority of anti-gun views, including what a “assault rifle” is and the likelihood of being “gunned down” by one.

I come from a military family, was raised around guns, and shoot as much as I can. My two roommates, who are also close friends, feel the same way about guns as I do and we all own firearms. Since I’ve been raised around firearms, I feel completely at ease around them. Although, I can certainly understand why a less educated person would not. And this brings me to my main point, college kids, for the most part, are completely and utterly uneducated when it comes to firearms besides what they see in video games.

A friend from a neighboring building stopped by the other day and told me a story that I just couldn’t help but laugh at. He, like myself, is a gun enthusiast and we’ve talked about finding a range close and going shooting together. Well, the last time he was back home visiting he brought back his AR-15, shotgun, and GLOCK 23 with him like we had talked about. When he walked in with his guns his roommates confronted with him with concerns about his guns and he quickly put the guns up so the roommates wouldn’t cause too much fuss about them being out in the open. But, of course, the trouble didn’t end there.

The roommates immediately called the police to report that my friend had firearms in his apartment and was concerned about the legality. Naturally, the police couldn’t do anything since my friend owns all of his firearms legally and the police told him that unless he directly threatening his life, they couldn’t do anything. After the phone call with the police the roommate confronted my friend again and told him he didn’t want the AR and handgun in the apartment and that “the shotgun was fine.” My friend responded politely and told the roommate that the guns would stay right where they are since they are legally owned and aren’t against the lease agreement.

That response didn’t satisfy the roommate so he contacted the management company of the apartment complex we live in and reported the problem to them as well. They told him that there was nothing they could do since he was within his rights to own firearms and they offered to move the roommate. The roommate was offended and insisted that he wasn’t the problem and he shouldn’t be forced to move. The management company called my friend and explained that his roommate doesn’t feel safe living with him any longer and asked if he would mind moving. My friend refused and the matter was dropped in the eyes of the management company.

After that, the roommate now sleeps with his door locked and refuses to communicate with my friend in any way, shape or form which is fine by him. This occurrence, although comical, isn’t surprising based on my experience with people my own age. I constantly get looks of disgust whenever the topic of “assault rifles” pops up and I’m immediately judged. Usually the first words out of peoples mouths is “you can’t hunt with that.” To which I usually reply, “thousands and thousands of people hunt with AR’s, successfully, ever year and me owning my AR has nothing to do with hunting.”

Not that it bothers me personally, but it does bother me that people my age just don’t seem to understand firearms except from what they’ve seen, heard, or been told. If the roommate had any previous firearm experience I feel like he would be much more tolerant of firearms simply because he obviously doesn’t understand that he should be much more concerned about the shotgun rather than the AR. Or that a handgun is much better for self/home defense than a shotgun. Also, most people seem to think that the AR is such a powerful, almighty rifle, although it is very effective, it’s not particularly powerful, comparatively. Firearm ignorance is what is fueling this campaign on our rights.

I’d like to make a suggestion. A suggestion which I’ve been following for a little while now. I suggest that it is every gun owner’s duty to educate the public on firearms. Take a person, a reasonable person, that’s open-minded enough to come to the range, and show him/her a good time. If anyone knows how infectious guns can be, it’s the readers here. Teach them about proper gun safety and if you’re so inclined, throw some statistics about how many people defend themselves with firearms every year.

Show them that guns aren’t scary, mythical, beasts. Instead, they are just tools for different things. Maybe swing by the gun counter before you leave, if your range has one. You might suggest what type of handgun would be good for self/home defense for that specific individual.

I think that this method would be much for effective than, say, open carry rallies and extremist gun owners making a bad name for us. Actually, I think that all the open carry rallies are having the opposite effect. Don’t get me wrong, I open carry and I’m an advocate for it, but I don’t think now is the right time to be parading around with our guns out while the media construes our story. If we show up, concealed guns in tow, then they can’t make a spectacle out of us. They can’t call us crazy gun-toting people if we aren’t flaunting our guns during rallies.

There you have it. There’s the problem with guns. At least from the perspective of a 23 year old college kid.

81 Responses to FNS-40 Contest Entry: The Problem with Guns

    • I’ve quickly realized that besides the students, Boone is a very gun friendly place (besides only having one gun store and a few pawn shops). But I love this town and would love to retire here.

      • Funny, I grew up in Boone and Blowing rock, moving their in 89 and graduating from Watauga in 95. It’s still my idea of paradise. It’s probably worth remembering that that area is split between the upper-crust folks who cator to and support the college (mostly college educated themselves) and the families that have lived there for generations. I distinctly remember a culture split down to who took which classes and drove which cars—much less the political and philosophical views.

  1. I once had a…Discussion with a women whom was convinced that “bushwhackers” should be illegal. I tried like hell to tell her that her husbands deer rifle was far more lethal and painfully overpowered for the dear he was hunting, also that Bushwackers are a mixed drink famous in the Florida pan handle. yeah i couldn’t agree more being of similar age and occupation.

  2. As a twenty eight your old college student, let me just say that your idea-though well intentioned-won’t work.

    Here’s why.By the time our classmates make it to the hallowed halls of higher education, they’ll have somewhere in the neighborhood of over 12 odd years of public school indoctrination on the subject.You see the problem isn’t that there isn’t any education.The problem is that the average persons been educated by the government to abhor their own civil rights.We are just one guy, compared to every teacher and public administrator they’ve ever encountered.

    By the time someone’s made it to college, their mind is made up.While I won’t suggest that taking people to the range is an intrinsically bad idea ,do NOT expect one trip to a gun range to erase over a decades worth of indoctrination.I’ve tried.

    Heck, I used to be a gun hating liberal.I didn’t repudiate that bankrupt philosophy after just one range visit.It took months of shooting with an NCO followed by buying my own gun before I really went down the rabbit hole.

    Worse,among our generation I forsee a great struggle ahead for our rights.We’ve grown up in the shadow of the Post 9/11 America, a place where TSA and expansive government programs are socially accepted instead of rightly repudiated.Our non-veteran generation doesn’t give a flying crap about anything besides their iPhones and Facebook status.Our generations political involvement seems to end at expanding abortion and legal use of weed.
    Constitution?What’s that, a band?

    • As a 25 year old active-duty servicemember, you’re right. The average civilian in our our age group I talk to is so full of general ignorance on how the world works that I frequently find it very difficult to interact with them.

    • I don’t agree that everyone’s mind is made up by college age. I have known many people in that age range who were open minded or gun curious. Those people are worth taking to the range. Every pro-gun person helps.

    • Man, I wish you were wrong. I routinely post TTAG articles to Facebook and routinely get maybe 2-5 comments and likes. Ditto for references to political articles such as the abysmal failure of Obamacare. A photo of me picking up the UCLA mascot at the last game got tons of hits, and pictures of my 9 month old son get lots of likes.

    • Wrong, ST. As someone in his late 50s, a military retiree, and an avid person of the gun, I’ve been able to turn even college professors around on this issue. The trick is: NEVER GIVE UP. At least some of the antigun folks CAN be turned, with reason, logic, common sense, and persuasion. Not all, but some.

      • Bingo. As a 38 year old engineer, I can tell you this is not a lost cause. People don’t like being confronted, and they don’t like being manipulated, but people are naturally curious and they do learn.

        I’ve had

        • Sorry, I had problems posting / editing, apparently. 🙂

          Anyway, I was saying: I’ve had pretty good luck with a patient approach. I don’t usually bring up guns in conversation, but I do get involved when the topic comes up. I don’t step into arguments or debates; I defuse them. I’ve been inviting people out shooting since Sandy Hook. A few weeks ago I took a college buddy (who now lives in Maryland) out to the desert for a big fun shoot. My neighbor wants to get a revolver after shooting mine, and I still owe a few coworkers a trip out.

        • I have found if you make it fun , I used some different picture targets , like a tank or bad guy target, even used some pictures rats, snakes, etc…make it fun and they will want to come back for more…

        • Absolutely! The key to making it fun is to tailor the experience to the audience. The tricky part is usually getting someone to volunteer to go shooting in the first place. Part of my bait is to ask them what they’d like to shoot (i.e., rifle / pistol / revolver / shotgun) and give them the option to visit a range or head outdoors somewhere. This helps me to figure out what they’re curious about, but more importantly, it involves them in creating their own experience.

          If I can’t get any kind of commitment, my default plan is to hit the local outdoor range with a .22 rifle and a handgun or two. The range, being a very controlled environment, is a good place to teach newbies about firearm safety. Shooting a .22 rifle offers a challenge to hit targets at distance (the range has 50 and 100 yard positions) and the recoil and noise is mild enough to be a non-issue. Handguns are good, because they’re familiar to anyone from movies & tv, and they make a great contrast to rifle shooting (cue “different types of guns” conversation & debunking “lots of guns = crazy arsenal” theory).

          For range shooting, reactive targets are really good; I think it might have been MattinFL who clued me in to the “game” targets (billiards, etc.). And, as you mentioned, you can make your own easily enough.

          For my coworker trip (fellow engineers), I’d like to do something “bug” themed. For example, take a traditional bullseye target and randomly paste it with a half dozen or so colorful “bug” stickers (see scrapbooking section at Michael’s or Target). If someone’s a terrible shot, we can joke about aiming for one of the bugs instead of the bullseye. Or aiming for “real bugs” behind the target. The key, though, is that “debugging” is normally an extremely tedious, boring and stressful task; so, what could be more fun than blowing them away instantly with a gun? Checkmate. 🙂 Whatever doubts they may have had before the trip, guns are now fun.

  3. I for very selfish reasons hate that they won that damn football game. So many assholes soon after discovered what an amazing place NW NC is.

  4. There’s a Fish and Game range on the far side of Lake Watauga a little over the border into Tennessee. That’s the closet public range I know of. It’s also the place I fired a gun for the first time. 😀

  5. Get real stoned with them and they’ll be more likely to listen to your ideas on guns and constitutional freedoms.

    No joke.

    Works easier up here in Washington or Colorado these days.

    Why do you think both democrats and republicans alike hate marijuana legalization?

    Nevertheless, if your friends went as far as to call the police on you, they’re probably not open to the suggestion of going to the range. To them, you’re the potentially crazy, kill-everyone roomate, and they’re already plotting their next steps to either get you kicked out, or move out themselves, at which point they’ll tell everyone to avoid you because you’re a crazy serial killer who just hasn’t struck yet.

    On the other hand, if their reaction is more like “so that’s what those look like” or “can I see it?” then you’ve got a green light to invite to the range.

    I had a friend of mine over about a year ago with his Seattle hipster girlfriend. He liked watching Sons of Guns, and although he doesn’t know shit about guns, he’s shot with me before. So I pulled out a few AKs to show him, his girlfriend walks into the room, and I just hand one to her, only saying “it’s not loaded”. She grabs a hold of it and she immediately went bug-eyed. Priceless.

    • To them, you’re the potentially crazy, kill-everyone roomate, and they’re already plotting their next steps to either get you kicked out, or move out themselves, at which point they’ll tell everyone to avoid you because you’re a crazy serial killer who just hasn’t struck yet.
      ——————————————————–
      The logic that’s used by these people always baffles me, because you are right, they view gun owners as one tick away from an explosive violent lethal outburst, then do everything they can to personally be as dickish and offensive to you as possible.

      If you really thought the gun owner was a hornet’s nest, why do you keep poking it?

      • …And if anything goes down or there is an incident you can bet the cops will be all over the gun owner who was outed and reported on.

  6. We’ve all had various degrees of success debating anti’s, or taking them to the range, or other approaches. What that proves is less that certain techniques don’t work, or that some are better than others, or even that some people cannot be reached; but rather that there is no silver bullet. Different people may be persuaded by different means and it’s worth trying a variety of tactics. Keep on keeping on, young man.

  7. Each one, teach one.

    It sounds crazy, but imagine if every gun owner right now made an effort to educate and train one newbie. We’d instantly double our numbers and power!

    Just this past year, a childhood friend of mine became a new gun owner. He was interested both in personal safety and as a hobby. I didn’t make a big deal of it, but I took him to the range, gave him articles to read and even to a gun store to try different ones. In person. Before, he probably would consider himself apathetic to the 2A – now he’s another strong advocate!

    • The article writer here. That’s exactly my point. If every gun owner took someone that was on the fence about guns to the range, it could potentially change their mind. I’m not saying take a die-hard anti-gun liberal, but a more moderate undecided person. It could make a difference.

    • Jesus has been advocating this type of individualized education and cooperation for thousands of years, no?

      I rarely see Sunday going church goers evangelizing nearly as much as the anti-gunners these says 🙁

  8. Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do to change the situation. Those people are only going to believe what they WANT to believe. You would have better luck trying to convince a stone to turn itself into a duck.

  9. As someone older, and who spent 18 years teaching college classes, I can assure you that many people simply cannot be reached, no matter how you present the ideas to them, no matter if you take them shooting.

    Some can be reached.

    But some simply cannot.

    The guy you describe in the story above sounds like a Grade-A hoplophobe who cannot be reached, no matter what.

  10. I got a buddy in Boone,from what I heard its very gun friendly, at least he seems to think so.

    Calling a that man his “friend” seems odd considering he’s clearly lacking a few brain cells, and paranoid of the world even with his head up his ass.

    Unfortunately the idea, while well intentioned, wont work very well. By the point of college most people are too set in their ways. Ether they like guns or they don’t, and outsider cant make much of a difference, its up to the person. Im in SC, and while my fellow students seem to have a decent liking or at least tolerance for firearms, their knowledge usually only goes as far as hunting or Call of Duty. Its hard to really have an “educational” or even general discussion when THEY cant understand what most of what im saying means, let alone an anti.

  11. If you can actually talk to him, just ask small questions to get him to think. Nothing blatantly pro gun. Give it a week or 2, ask another. Then after awhile, if he has thought at all. He may come with his own questions. Then move slowly, no confrontation or argument. Just rhetorical questions. Small seeds of thought (or doubt in this case). Eventually, he will either clam up, move out or become a convert. You win regardless. It may be years later but the questions you ask may be what will get him to think it through.

    Just move slow and keep the firearms out of sight until he’s ready and asks. Make it an intellectual exercise until then. Desensitize him slowly.

  12. The people easiest to reach are the apathetic ones. Step one: Invite them to the range. Step two: convince them to buy a gun, any gun. Your work is now done. Once they become gun owners all of those anti’s demonizing the people of the gun are now also demonizing them, and it becomes personal. Once you get someone’s toe into our world, the anti’s shove them in deeper than any of us ever could.

    • My 22/45 LITE has been the perfect gateway drug for my friends to buy their own brick and come plinking with me. Love it.

      Little to no recoil, five minutes of “howto’s” for the levers/switches and slide. Can’t beat it.

  13. Education never won a culture war. Teaching people about guns will sway the undecided, but the true believers — who hate us because of our culture — are beyond redemption.

    They would prefer it if we were to disappear from the face of the Earth. Being a polite person, my response is, “After you.”

    • Interesting. I have a suspicion that some of your responses may be a whole lot more snarky. I know that some of mine are.

    • Yes, but isolating the true believers would make things a whole lot easier. It sounds like our gun-scared roommate above wasn’t able to get much support because not many people around shared his phobia… wish it was like that in NYC.

    • I wouldn’t agree with that. Education IS ‘winning’ the culture war, why are there so many idiots? Who runs the educational systems? The 60’s radicals went into education and look at the product they are turning out. Sheep willing to give up their rights, as long as you don’t mess with their gadgets and facebook/instagram accounts.

  14. Sounds like the kind of roommate that deserves some drugs hidden in his stuff and pointed out to a cop. Since he doesn’t care if he ruins your life by calling the cops for no reason might as well return the favor.

  15. Excuse the length of my comment.

    Drew, I never mixed guns and college. I attended college and law school after serving in the the military. For decades after my war my firearms were just skeet/pheasant and deer guns, as they were earlier in life. I never dreamed of trying to normalize shooting at school, because my free time was consummed answer queries, how a high-performing student could have served in Vietnam. It sounds awful. It wasn’t. My experience was generally a plus, like being from some exotic country. It was a very liberal school, yet they elected me to head our student government. Perhaps they viewed the administration as the communist enemy? Laugh. You can definitely normalize your fellows’ view of you.

    I have a suggestion about getting people comfortable with guns. I’m sure it works as often as it fails. It has two parts:

    First, enjoy your guns, but not constantly. Make it clear you enjoy shooting sports, but, whatever your inward view, don’t make it the conerstone of your identity outwardly. If gun politics comes up, let it go, keep it light. Instead, let your use and treatment of your guns lead others to form a better political view slowly, as if it were their own doing, not the inevitable result of your example.

    Second, from the first moment you bring a gun into an apartment or shared house, or a moment before…explain to the people your view of guns as tools. Young people and professors generally know guns only as the fetish items of exploitation movies. They’ll think you must view your gun as some magic totem of power as if it were a part of you, a second voice. Disabuse them of that notion. Make it clear, instead, that your guns are for uses, not emotional expression. Bring them to understand that guns are for hunting, sport shooting (clays, targets) and, in extremis, for defense of self and others. Guns, they should learn your view immediately, are never to be picked up in anger or rage, ever. They are not the next step in an argument. They are never for escalation of a fight. Self-defense, you can point out, is always defense. Let them know you don’t expect that need, but if it arises, your goal will only be to defuse the situation or to survive it, and help them survive it too, if they’re around.

    Put in that light, and lived that way, guns become much less threatening to the inexperienced. It is largely an effort of personality, behavior, that conveys the view. An analogy: If you like carpentry and have a few hammers, people are more comfortable when they learn that you don’t view your hammer as an argument stopper or a possible instrument to enact jealous rage. Once they realize that in your hands it really is just a hammer for carpentry, they’ll slowly come around. They may even try some carpentry. So it is with guns, in my experience. My two references for my firearm carry license were both Million Mom March Against Gun Violence People, liberals raise in NYC. But they didn’t hesitate to sign, and they no longer, ten years later, are active in that cause.

    I wish you well. Hasten slowly in your campus ‘persuasion by example.’

    • Avoiding making a single hobby or issue the conerstone your identity is probably good advice anyway you look at it actually. I’m not sure it’s healthy and it damn sure doesn’t attract people not interested in it already.

  16. I have a bag of brass from a 223, 243, 308, 30-06 and a 300 win mag. I play which is the deadly AR-15 round. People tend to pick the 308 or 30-06 and then I go through round by round from the 300WM on down. They are always surprised when I get to the 223 and some say I am lying.

    • You should take some pliers and pull out the bullet. Its hard for someone to look like a rational person when they are scared of a 55 grain piece of lead and copper.

      • Well, I, for one, AM scared of them. That’s why I only point the barrel at inanimate targets on the range, potential food, or criminals/armed enemies.

        This seems to have worked out well for me for 45 years….

  17. Nice article, sir.

    Living with someone who is diabolically opposed to your firearm collection can be a dangerous thing. I wish you well, but I would seriously be looking into different living arrangements. Ex-wives aren’t the only ones out there who can make baseless accusations, and one of those can seriously screw up your life.

    It’s good to know that we have ambassadors for the 2A out there. I know that I certainly can’t reach everyone I talk to, but the efforts are worthwhile nonetheless.

    • I was thinking this also. He needs to be very careful. The hoplophobe roommate has already proven that he will call the cops. I’ve found that a Cyka like this guy will manufacture a story because he feels morally it is the right thing to do. Ruining other peoples lives is ok to them.

  18. There’s a basic lack of critical thinking involved too.

    The country has roughly 300M firearms. If they truly were as dangerous as the hoplophobes think, there would be blood in the streets and anarchy. The only honest conclusion is that guns aren’t as dangerous as hoplophobes think.

    Yes, some people can overcome their fear by shooting with a friend, even if they never touch a gun again in their life. It never hurts to ask a hoplophobe if they want to try shooting. But the real problem is refusal to think for even five seconds.

    Same as driving down the freeway at 5 or 10 over and coming across a wall of cars going below the speed limit. The unthinkers get pissy and anxious and tailgate and swap lanes. The thinkers figure there’s a reason for it, such as a cop running a break or just being a dick.

    • “Yes, some people can overcome their fear by shooting with a friend, even if they never touch a gun again in their life. It never hurts to ask a hoplophobe if they want to try shooting. But the real problem is refusal to think for even five seconds”

      In my estimation, a number of people seem to think firing a gun, even once, will instantly turn them into a John Deere cap, overalls-wearin’, moonshine drinkin’, tobaccy-chawin’ REDNECK. IRREVOCABLY.

  19. Nicely written, thanks.

    Guess that roommate is beyond hope, but glad to hear that the police and the apartment management gave a collective shoulder shrug and essentially said: “Guns? No problems here.”

    If the same situation occurred around where I lived, managers and/or the authorities would contort a law or contract wording to make the guns “illegal”.

  20. “After that, the roommate now sleeps with his door locked and refuses to communicate with my friend in any way, shape or form which is fine by him.”

    I immediately thought, reading that, “how the hell do they get the rent and bills split up and paid, without talking to one another?”

    Go Mountaineers.

    • We live in an apartment complex that leases individual rooms. Roommates only share the common areas (kitchen, living room). Rent is all inclusive and individually paid by each roommate.

      • Got it. Does he ever leave his room unguarded, so you could put itching powder (which is tarantula hairs) in his sheets?

        • Haha no dice, as part of the lease agreement, every room gets a dead bolt and he locks his door when he isn’t home. But that’d be hilarious.

  21. Hello all! This is the writer of the article. I’m glad to see that some of you have given previous thought to this idea and I also see that some of you disagree with the idea. But, I’m aiming at people who are either undecided about gun control or are unsure if gun control will even work. That’s who I aim for when taking my friends to the range. I know my efforts are futile against a true die-hard anti-gunner. Just keep that in mind. Also, Judging by some of the comments, people seem to think that my roommate is the one who called the cops, which is not true. My friend, Steve, lives in an adjacent apartment building and I’ve only met his roommate (who called the cops on him) once. Both of my roommate share my views and also happen to be my two best friends. We all have firearms and shoot as regularly as we can, which is difficult because the only range within 35 miles is private. Nonetheless, Thanks again for all the replies!

  22. I am an old man whose grandfather’s grandfather hunted and fished Watauga County and most of western NC, just as I have. Before society feminized so much manhood, I hardly knew a man who could not shoot fairly well, and almost every home had one or more guns that were used for hunting and self-protection. My great-grandfather was a county sheriff and he and his few deputies could not effectively patrol all of the ridges and hollars. He relied on men, and women, to make some effort to defend themselves, and most people did so gladly. They considered it their right, their privilege, and their duty to defend their families and their country. It had not been too long since they fought the British (and the Yankees), so they valued their freedoms and their safety highly.

    We cannot slide blindly into the sucking whirlpool of political correctness that takes away our ability to defend ourselves as a nation and as individuals! We must not think that government tyrants cannot or will not ever take away our freedoms! They will try, and a sleeping and ignorant citizenry will not even know it is happening until it is too late to do anything about it but revolt when it wakes up. World history shows us that no nation is immune to tyranny by its own government, it whatever form it takes.

    It encourages me to read the comments from the young men who have written above. Keep up the fight for the 2A. Enjoy your guns now for sporting and hunting, but keep in mind that someday, and possibly in the not-too-far distant future, you may need them again for your personal protection and for provision of meat for your tables just as my ancestors did in the beautiful wilderness of Appalachia.

  23. I had a very similar situation that happened to me in my college days. I had a roommate that I had become very good friends with and it wasn’t uncommon for us to spend 8+ hours playing such games as Halo and Call of Duty on a saturday afternoon. And then I started to talking to him about my first AR I was building. That was when the S hit the F. He was so upset that I would even think of owning such a “Weapon of Mass Destruction” that he didnt even think he could be around me anymore. I offered to let him shoot it and see what he thought and he dowright refused. He was convinced that its meer proximity to him would end his life in the most horrofic way. I then tried to explain to him that while it was a weapon, it was no more deadly than his dads hunting rifle and actually used a bullet smaller than my 1911 45, similar to my 10/22. That only slowed him down for a second before then he was questioning my ownership of a 10/22. Finally he showed how little he actually knew about when he asked if it was full-auto or 3-round burst. It was then that I realized, like most ppl with hoplophobic friends probably do, that his fear was born out of ignorance and misinformation. Unfortunately we never resolved our issue and I’m no longer friends.

  24. Education in America goes from very little to almost nothing in understanding the real world , had one 20 year old saw my Marine hat and he said how was it in the Civil War, I kid you not, history is no longer in our schools, a people with out a past , have no future, and TV news is truth , no thinking allowed……..that will be a big problem for gun owners!!!!!!!!

    • You looked old to him, so naturally he thought you were in the “Civil War”, which, in his mind, occurred in the 1950s, or something like that.

  25. College kids, for the most part, are completely and utterly uneducated when it comes to just about everything. It’s not until they spend time in the real world having to eek out a living on their own does their education finally come into play.

  26. The lad is right. An actual trip to the range is worth more than all the arguments you can marshal. I’ve done it a dozen times or more. It doesn’t always convert people completely, but it has never once failed to move their opinions. My greatest success story is a full-bore hoplophobic liberal feminist. I had argued with her for years about guns, and finally got her to the range. We may still disagree about a lot of politics, but she owns three guns and has a CCW now. One lady was so frightened to shoot a gun she had a panic attack at the prospect of firing a single-shot .22. She still supports some gun control, but far less than she did, and she isn’t frightened of the objects anymore. Do your part. Be nice, don’t spout politics that aren’t related, don’t put people off over social issues. You are an evangelist. You don’t get converts by arguing.

  27. As a 58 year old “old Guy” college graduate, one time “gun agnostic” ( I owned a couple of guns I just didn’t believe in it, in Urban Music conservatory) I could tell you Drew, you ARE on the right track. AND like any evangelism, i.e. small “e” bringing the good news, some are ready for it RIGHT NOW, some will find it interesting but not right now for them, and some have minds like cement, “All mixed up and permanently set” — your friends apartment roommate.

    To change “hearts and minds” you must master the Socratic Method. Next pick your market.

    I live 4 miles EAST of UC CAL Berkeley. Most would be shocked, shocked to find out the Largest active Student organizations year in year out on CAL Berkeley Campus are 1) The young Republicans, and 2) Real Life (Campus Crusade for Christ) Run mostly by immigrant Chinese, Korean, Indian or First/Second generation thereof. They also have a huge ROTC presence on that campus.

    Having two sons and two daughters and worked with their youth groups as a volunteer for 30 + years, Here are the markets that work out here in a very Blue Blue Coastal counties.

    And if you have a good range or gun club nearby you’ll be ahead of the game to recruit some help from the club that click with young people. I have an airline pilot from New Zealand / Aus that played Rugby, and a skinny funny guy who works on a loading dock. The kids seem to like them and they are glad to help when we show up with a crowd — (More than two). With two I usually give a skills talk and mainly reload magazines for them. My Friend in the hills of Virginia opines that ours is “the mother of all ranges” — it was built by the Army Corps of Engineers back in WW II when service men were all coming thru here … http://chabotgunclub.com/ CAL ROTC uses it for range qualifying day.

    Range Day – Everybody has to bring a box of ammo to contribute to the day. Our range has a grill but we usually stop at a takeout place and bring deli food. Always demonstrate good safety. Twice I have been handed a pistol and revolver after just watching the person empty it of ammo, checked it and it had a round in the chamber, which I showed them.

    The best Markets for Range Day take alongs:

    High School guys & girls — they all love a day at the range; you need lots of extra adults and might get them interested & thru Appleseed. Athletes of Guys and Girls, and those outliers who are either Dweebish and smart or Artsy fartsy work too, a little rebellious of the indoctrination they are fed.

    Young people from formerly communist Block countries — they get it, they all love Oleg Volk’s story and yeah they get it. German, French, and particularly kids from Poland, Russia, Switzerland and the Czech Republic. Remember in Germany currently there are 2 million registered firearms and 20 million UN-registered firearms. http://reason.com/archives/2012/12/22/gun-restrictions-have-always-bred-defian

    Boy Scouts and Eagle Scouts, Their Dad’s & moms — most have a rifle or shotgun badge, they may be able to drag along a few in their outer circle of friends. One of my Sons in Law is an Eagle Scout. He WANTED to get to know guns, he just didn’t have much of an opportunity past the badges (we’re working on getting him a shotgun, AR and 10/22 before registration hits in Jan.) He shoots O.K. for a novice.

    Girls your age. ( Get a couple of hot looking conservative girls that like to go the range, … guys will follow). You want to get these women on our side before they become “Soccer Moms voting against us”. Get them in High School and as College Freshman/Sophmores. My girls all shoot, as do their friends. How do you think that happened ?

    You have all of these close at hand … in college as well.

    Work on extending same in college circles. You’re going to find some strange ones. And some will just get thru only “desensitization” and gun safety. That’s about the best you can hope for.

    A handsome young former Army Ranger is married to a cute PhD English Lit. Candidate at U.Chicago. She’s Liberal generally , he’s not. She goes to range and votes conservative. … go figure. They are both in my Kid’s Church of university young people back there, that probably helps.

    Keep your chin up, and your powder dry Drew.

    You are doing the right thing.

    Your spare time is limited right now, so pick your range guests wisely and work on the “low hanging fruit”. And do not “cast your pearls before swine”.

    Your friend with a trunk full of training .22’s

    ScottsCove

  28. Tell your friend to lock-up his guns! Not because they are dangerous, but because his roommate sounds unhinged. (From the discription) I wouldn’t be surprised if he/she took matters into their own hands. Since there was no reason for the authorities they contacted to act, the next step would be to create a situation were they had to act. You see die-hard anti-gun and anti-racism activist “creating” a reason for people to act if the real world won’t provide one; just look at the Mom’s Demand Action photo that was recently released.

  29. My biggest problem with the “Almighty AR” is it’s NOT powerful enough to take down a moose or a grizzly! That is the requirement I have for my firearms except for the .22 rimfire for small game.

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