The FireArmGuy reckons there are five reasons why non-gun owners don’t own guns: I’m too busy, guns are too powerful, I have kids to protect, I don’t care about the Second Amendment, the police will protect me. True dat. But if I had to distill it down to one reason, it’s fear. Gun muggle are afraid that they’ll shoot themselves, or their kids will shoot themselves, or they’ll shoot the wrong person by mistake (guns are too powerful). They’re also afraid that they’ll be a hypocrite – supporting gun control to keep firearms out of the hands of bad guys while owning a gun. And, lest we forget, they’re afraid that . . .

their friends and neighbors will ostracize them. The last is the hardest to combat; peer pressure is a terrible thing. Again, unless and until the firearms industry can break the advertising black list prevening them from making their case to non-gun owners, “selling” armed self-defense/fun to gun averse Americans will be both difficult and slow — depending mostly on one-to-one persuasion and their perception of crime/terrorism. The end of the mainstream media’s gun ad ban can’t come soon enough. If it comes at all . . .

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50 Responses to Top Five Reasons for Not Owning a Gun?

  1. You forgot #6-money. Unless you steal it all it costs $. I can’t afford to shoot right now. I do have snapcaps. I have a son with 3 kids in the “it’s not safe and the po-leece will protect us crowd”. He’s a big boy-I hope nothing happens too. But Shite happens…

    • Doesn’t your son watch TV? Most cable channels run almost non-stop reruns of all of the Law & Order series, most of the plotlines of which are at least loosely based on real-world incidents.

      The important lessons to take away from all such televised police procedural dramas is that the police cannot protect you and the only thing they can and do protect with a passion is the crime scene so they can investigate, detect, and hopefully apprehend the Bad Guy before he kills anyone else.

      What you will essentially never see on these shows is a non-LEO citizen successfully protecting himself with a firearm.

      One other thing, and it is important in the public perception of both police and “civilian” gun ownership – they grossly exagerate the number of murders police departments actually solve where the perpetrator(s) are arrested and convicted of their crime.

      • AS a matter of fact he doesn’t watch much TV. Cut the cable. Kids home schooled. Ex-military,been in combat and works for DoD. And speaks Arabic. Just some stupid left weenie thing. And since he’s over 40(and hasn’t lived with me since he was 3) I quit saying a damn thing. It is what it is…

    • There are still a number of firearms options in the 300US ‘dollar'(FRNs) range. That’s about the same as doing without cable TV for six months, or skipping a daily starbucks for a couple of months.
      If there is something else you would rather do than shoot, that’s your choice, but almost anybody can afford a gun if they really want one. And if one would rather have a cup of coffee instead, that’s all right too. But its more of an excuse than a reason. Unless one is outright homeless, or otherwise desperately poor and has little to no disposable income.

    • A cheap, single shot .410 is in low hundreds and one box of buckshot is about $5…

      So, around $150 for a weapon that is a hell of a lot better than a pointy stick.

      Money is factor in gun ownership, but it is not a deal breaker. I’d say few people couldn’t save up $150 in a matter of a few month.

      • I may be speaking out of turn here. But i believe FWW owns a gun or two. I think he’s referring to the cost of shooting them and a fianacial downturn he’s been talking about on occasion.

        • You’re not out of turn jwm. I got guns-I got ammo. I got knives,axes,machetes,pepper blasters and baseball bats. Enough to kill lots of criminals. Just don’t go to the range. I’m still a great shot. I don’t hunt,plink or compete. I don’t collect. Sorry it took so long to respond but I’m not taking back reason #6…

      • RockOn,

        I imagine you could purchased a used break-action single-shot shotgun for around $100 depending on its exact condition. And you can purchase brand new H&R Pardner Pump action shotguns for around $200. Buy a box of 25 shells (#6 lead shot) for $7 and you are in a pretty good position to be able to defend your family from most threats. If you want something more potent than a shot shell with #6 shot, you can purchase 5-pack of slugs for $5 … or get two 5-packs for $10!

        You can also purchase a brand new Marlin semi-automatic rifle in .22 LR for around $150 and a 50 round box of ammunition for around $4. While .22 LR is definitely not the greatest self-defense caliber in the world, it is far better than nothing. And a semi-auto rifle that has zero recoil and holds 15 rounds in the tube magazine is actually a fairly formidable self-defense firearm. Think of that platform as delivering the same payload as a 20 gauge shot shell with #4 buckshot. Granted, you have to pull the trigger 15 times over the course of about 4 seconds to deliver that payload, it is still a nasty payload.

        • Those H&R pumps are good, low cost guns.

          So are Mossy Maverick 88’s. One of those would be in my closet if I was still broke as joke like when I was in my twenties.

          I’ve said it before, my first carry gun was a $300, out the door, Charter Arm snubby .38 w/ $20ish Don Hume IWB leather holster and some Federal 110gr Hydrashocks. I didn’t even carry a reload.

          So, for $350, I was able the protect myself and my young family while out and about. Broke is an obstacle, not an excuse.

    • FWW, look into reloading, seriously, you can get set up with a basic Lee Kit and a set of dies for about $150. If you save your brass, you can then get set up with primers, powder, and cast lead bullets for your first 500 rounds about $100 more.

  2. “…unless and until the firearms industry can break the advertising black list preventing them from making their case to non-gun owners, “selling” armed self-defense/fun to gun averse Americans will be both difficult and slow — depending mostly on one-to-one persuasion and their perception of crime/terrorism.”

    IMO, the best way to advertise self-defense and gun ownership to gun muggles is to open carry an appropriate sidearm where and when it is reasonable to do so. Until the media ban on advertising guns goes away there can be no better way to promote guns and gun ownership than for ordinary people to see other ordinary people actually carrying pistols on a regular basis. YMMV.

    • Think what you want, but I take the opposite view. While OC doesn’t bother me personally and I OC occasionally, I think OC scares non-gun owners (and even some gun owners) and creates more anti-gun sentiment than pro-gun sentiment.

      • It scares them because they rarely see it. Just like fireworks scare babies on their first Fourth of July, or Santa scaring them on their first Christmas, Easter bunny etc. However, once the child learns what they are and that they won’t hurt them (not that I wouldn’t supervise my kid around a mall Santa, but that’s a different matter entirely) they stop having irrational fits. Those who have no exposure to guns are afraid when they get that exposure. It’s natural. The solution is to give them exposure, and show them that we mean no harm.

  3. A student was telling me about starting college in the fall. “Security has my back because my sister knows them all.” Me: have you seen those blue lights on the poles for emergencies? That just lets security know where the body is located.” Yep. I’m that teacher. I did a quick class on pepper spray and zappers and why you should carry one. And a knife. Because a knife is a tool. But in a gun free zone nothing says get your hands off me like 3 inches of steel.

    • Unfortunately, there are colleges where carrying pepper spray or a pocket knife for self defense are prohibited. Using either to safe yourself would likely result in your expulsion which would make difficult to impossible to enroll in another college.

      It’s too bad there wasn’t someone with good unarmed combat skills to take out Meechaiel Criner before he succeeded in raping and murdering Haruka Weiser on the University of Texas campus. She would still be alive and well, which is the important part, and we would get to see the administration’s response to her rescuer’s actions.

  4. Perhaps the answer to the gun advertising blockade would be to promote a television show where non-LEO gun ownership is common and accepted by LEOs. A big step, to be sure, given Hollywood’s anti-gun stance, but in such a show there could be subtle “product placement” of popular firearms casually mentioned which would side-step the advertising ban.

    Another step would be to actually speak accurately about the capabilities and effectiveness of pistols used in such dramas. It is a running joke to me how often TV shows depict the BG shooter as having access only to .22LR or other mouse guns and yet they routinely get one-shot stops with these weapons where their victim drops where he/she stands, instantly dead.

    But professional bag guys – Hit Men – of which there seem to be an unlikely large number, use REAL guns (9mm, .45 ACP, even Desert Eagles) and their victims live long enough to give the cops a description of the shooter. Nothing will be accomplished until the facts of firearms are accurately described in fiction.

    • I know a woman who wants to own a gun, but admits she has a wicked temper and cannot control herself.

      So, she chooses not to own a gun and I agree with her choice.

      She is married, too – I feel sorry for that poor bastard.

        • I know a woman who doesn’t own a gun for exactly the same reason; she’s not BatShitCrazy, she just has a nasty temper. She is, in fact, quite rational and has enough insight into her own behavior to know she would be an irresponsible gun owner. Good for her.

        • Batshit crazy, even for a few moments when the temper takes over, is still batshit crazy.

      • Are there knives in her kitchen? If her temper is as bad as she claims, what’s stopping her from stabbing people?

  5. In my experience, the best firearms advertising has come in the form of gun control legislation. When you’re trying to take something away from people they become very curious about it. Just ask the Obama administration!

    • How about …

      “I’d rather see my family raped and killed than use a firearm!”

      Because that’s basically what they’re saying.

  6. There are plenty of people too stupid/irresponsible/lazy to take the steps necessary to be a responsible gun owner. The fact that some of them recognize their own shortcomings and avoid gun ownership to prevent the inevitable tragedy is a good thing.

    • Absolutely, some people really arent responsible enough for firearms, and some even recognize it. That’s how I ended up with an Ithaca 37, a pal had substance abuse issues, didn’t think he could forestall doing something stupid indefinitely, and made the decision during a sober spell to get rid of the temptation. That’s a good call to make sometimes, and one I hope I would make if I were in a similar situation.

  7. And, lest we forget, they’re afraid that their friends and neighbors will ostracize them.

    If their “friends” ostracize them, they are not and never were friends. They were enemies who came with smiles because they wanted something.

    FWIW, my non-gun toting neighbors are fascinated by guns and, to a certain extent, by me.

  8. You also forget the “I don’t care, I don’t think about it” crowd.

    Millions of people live there lives safely, successfully, fully without giving firearms a second thought.

    If you asked them if they ever though about it, they’ll say no. If you ask them to think about it, they’ll likely say “Yes” to appease you and then immediately not think about it ever again.

    • There’s always a certain segment of the population that just assumes that nothing bad will ever happen to them. They’ll never get cancer. They’ll never get severely wounded in a car accident. They’ll never get raped or assaulted. They can walk around town with their nose in their smart phone and it never occurs to them that they might get hit by a bus. (That actually happened in my town, then to make matters even more dramatic the bus driver took off. The girl died btw.) Millions of people go through life without life insurance because, presumably they’re never going to die. Hard to convince those sorts that they NEED a gun. But if you can get them to the range you might convince them that they WANT a gun.

      • The late, great Jeff Cooper said something in a training film I watched as part of my concealed carry class. He said (paraphrase): I wonder how many millions have died thinking, ‘I must be dreaming, this can’t be happening to me!’

        We actually (if you’re a middle class American) live in quite peaceful times. Many live their entire lives without being a victim of violent crime. OTOH, bad things do happen to good people. You are much more likely to be assaulted than winning the lottery. So be prepared.

  9. I think the problem with the list of five in the OP is that it assumes someone needs an excuse not to own a gun. Therefore, I disagree with his conclusions. My top five list would be:

    1. Most people feel safe most of the time. They may be worried about crime as a social problem in a detached sense, but few of the people I’ve ever known live their daily lives like violent crime is a real possibility. This includes a lot of gun owners, BTW. Even when you show them stats that prove they are more likely than not to be victims, they don’t feel it applies to them.

    2. Most non-gun owners don’t think having a gun would be a real protection for them and a lot of them may be right. The average person does not have the training or the mental attitude to dependably use lethal force to defend themselves and they will never do what is necessary to get there. They certainly have a right to own a gun, but it’s probably not a good idea for them. It’s as likely to be used against them. Paradoxically, people with no experience and training successfully defend themselves with guns every year and good for them, but it seems to me there has to be a lot of luck involved there.

    3. Not everyone enjoys guns and shooting. It can get expensive and time consuming to do it right. People tend not to do what they don’t like to do. A lot of gun people just like guns and justify it as a “need” to keep them and their families safe. But do they also practice with fire extinguishers? Do they have a current first aid certification? I see gun owners who smoke and don’t wear seat belts. It seems to me their “need” is more of a hobby and it’s not everyone’s choice of a pastime.

    4. Guns can be handled safely, but they are dangerous devices. It’s one of their design purposes to be lethal. That puts some people off, especially people who are not secure in their abilities in that area. Where I disagree with the guy in the OP is that that is necessarily based on fear. It could be just based on common sense and reasonable caution. An example: I will never own a circular saw. I am not afraid of them. I have used them. I know there are people who can handle them safely. But they do present a hazard, I don’t use one often enough to get good at it at and it is one more risk I don’t need in my life.

    5. Some people don’t see that shooting their way out of trouble as a preferred solution. Sure, sometimes there is no substitute for a gun properly used. But most of the time, there is a better way out of trouble, like just running.

    I carry because: I know I can handle a gun well, I know I can use deadly force if I have to and therefore carrying reduces my risk. Also, I carry to support the RTKABA. Finally, I think guns are cool. But not everyone is like me and I respect that.

    • I own a circular saw, but not a gun. The thing that scares me is my table saw. Power saws are like guns. If you follow some basic safety procedures, they actually are safe to handle. I feel safe. If I decide to get armed and properly trained, it will be expensive and time consuming. If I lived out in the country, it might be fun and relaxing to come home and shot off a box of ammo. I live in a house on a small property in a big city with a low crime rate.

    • I disagree with you on 2 and 4 at least in part.

      Home defense is much simpler than defense in a public setting even in places with a stand your ground law. The bad guy shouldn’t be inside your home in the first place. If he doesn’t surrender or leave voluntarily on discovering that your home is occupied, it’s reasonable to conclude that he is an imminent threat to your life. That justifies shooting him The biggest impediment is not having a gun readily accessible when you discover the bad guy.

      I once read a comment by a naval aviator who distinguished between dangerous and unsafe. If something is unsafe, you are dependent on dumb luck to protect you. Something that is dangerous requires appropriate precautions to avoid becoming unsafe. Firearms and circular saws are good examples of dangerous items that need not be unsafe to use.

      • Coincidentally, I was a Naval Aviator also and served my last tour at the Naval Safety Center in Norfolk and so I am very familiar with the concept you mention. We are not in disagreement at all. I was talking more about non-gun owners >perceptions< in 2 and 4, not the reality. Certainly all you say is true if the person can get their head around it. But a lot of people can't, or won't. And for them, having a gun may not be the best choice.

        I just took yet another defensive shooting course and the instructor related a documented incident where someone was kicking in a homeowner's door, the homeowner got his gun and pointed it at the door, but when the BG broke in, the homeowner froze. The BG walked over, took the gun away from him, robbed the place and left. The homeowner was still standing there, in shock. That homeowner would have been better off without a gun. Things could have turned out much worse than it did.

        As to safety, it does take training and practice to handle arms safely. But that training and practice has to instill confidence without cockiness. If a non-gun owner believes they can't get there, well, you know the saying: "Whether you believe you can, or you believe you can't, either way you're right."

    • JohnF,

      Pretty good comment. I disagree with your last sentence in (2) …

      “Paradoxically, people with no experience and training successfully defend themselves with guns every year and good for them, but it seems to me there has to be a lot of luck involved there.”

      I don’t see much luck involved.

      First of all, many firearms are exceedingly easy to operate — especially for self-defense when an attacker is only 8 feet away. Consider how to operate a loaded revolver: point at bad guy and pull the trigger. That’s it. If you can point your finger at someone at 8 feet, you can accurately point a revolver at someone at 8 feet without any training or practice. And we all know that everyone has the knowledge/skill to pull a trigger without any training or practice.

      Second, many people have an inner warrior spirit. No knowledge, training, or conditioning is necessary. Can knowledge, training, and conditioning hone that warrior spirit? Absolutely. Nevertheless, the lion’s share of their warrior spirit is already there for whatever reason which means they instinctively act without hesitation or any inner dialogue.

      Maybe you lacked that inner warrior spirit (no insult intended) and needed a fair amount of knowledge, training, and conditioning to develop a strong warrior spirit … and figure that is why so many others would have to be “lucky” to use a firearm to defend themselves. Maybe I have an innate inner warrior spirit … and figure that is why so many others would not need to be lucky to use a firearm to defend themselves. These are interesting questions.

  10. It’s fear alright, but not the fear that you describe. They’re afraid of living in a world where you need a gun. Deny the gun, and maybe that world will leave them alone…

  11. An important point is missing in this discussion. Most people in the US live in cities or towns; do not know someone who hunts; did not serve in the military; do not have relative who can teach them about guns; and do not know where to find the information and the training. I include myself in that group. I came to gun ownership rather recently and rather late in life. I am glad I did. But even where I live now, which is fairly firearms friendly, there is only 1 indoor range with instruction available per mid size city of many hundreds of thousands population, although plenty of gun stores and pawn shops. One indoor range, although this is NC, a shall issue state where OC is also legal. As many have discussed before, the attitude toward newbies in some ranges and stores is not good, and further puts people off toward spending a few hundred dollars and then needing to train on how to use the gun. I agree that more advertising, if not on TV then in print and on billboards, advertising availability of ranges and lessons, would get more people to inquire, get trained, and then go buy a gun — or a few guns. As would resurrection of high school rifle teams like in the Smithfield-Selma post; something I remember from my high school days, but surely gone from that high school decades ago.

  12. A lot of people just don’t have what it takes to defend themselves. Not a criticism just an observation. For years my wife thought I was a psycho for having a gun for self defense. After more than 40 years of listening to her support of gun control we were listening to the news one night and she said ” I’m glad you have guns and carry one. I could never shoot someone but I’m glad you could.” She is right that if it came down to pulling the trigger to defend herself she wouldn’t do it. She is a good cook and pretty when she wakes up in the morning.

    • I don’t believe it is in any way necessary for every able-bodied adult to own a firearm and be willing to operate one in defense of human life. All that is necessary is that about 1/3 of able bodied adults own a firearm and be willing to operate it. Of equal necessity: the other 2/3 of adults who choose not to own a firearm and are not willing to operate one must NOT harass, disparage, or interfere with the 1/3 of adults that do own firearms and are willing to use them in defense of human life.

  13. You know, years ago I decided to tell everyone what I do for fun and protection. The only people that barked were not people I wanted to be friends with anyway. It is amazing how many people out there admit they own guns or want to own guns after they know you are into the sport. They usually become friends for life.

  14. 5 Reasons not to own a gun.

    1)Your wallet will hate you.
    2)The safe you buy will never seem big enough.
    3)Guns can spread black rifle disease.
    4)Guns and Magazines tend to multiple like rabbits.
    5)Owning a gun will quickly fill up your work bench with many kinds of tools you wouldn’t normally have.

  15. I have guns because the government has guns. If the government relinquished all its weapons… I’d still have guns.

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