John writes:

I had a conversation with a coworker at a fast-food minimum wage job that I’m currently working. We were talking about general hobbies, and since I just bought a new Ruger 10/22, I decided to mention that my new purchase. The reaction I got was a little disturbing to say the least . . .

To summarize how it went down, basically my coworker asked me why I would need a gun, then quickly asked the question “Are you planning to shoot up the place or something?”

Needless to say, I was a little shocked. Afterwards, I was approached by one of the managers and told to not talk about firearms in the restaurant anymore. Any other type of discussion is perfectly game though, apparently.

Have you ever been discriminated against because of your guns?

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92 Responses to Question of the Day: Do Firearms Owners Face Discrimination?

  1. I’ve been discriminated several times when I revealed that I own guns or enjoy shooting as a hobby or go hunting. Besides my coworkers, family members, acquaintances, and friends, I’ve also been discriminated by insurance companies, banks, and one time a condo/HOA association. Needless to say, when you live in a large metropolitan area you’ll get discriminated by ignorant people simply on the grounds that you enjoy shooting and/or own guns; it is something I have just learned to live with and ignore.

  2. No, certainly not in that way… That’s ridiculous. I’ve managed to avoid people like that thus far, even the anti-gunners I’ve met aren’t worried that I plan on shooting people.

    If someone at work asks me on monday what I did that weekend and I was out shooting, I’ll say so. If I bought a new gun, I might mention it. Nobody called the cops or complained to a supervisor yet, heck my supervisor wants me to take him shooting!

    Many people at work are interested in learning about firearms when I bring up the topic, I helped one guy buy his first handgun and took him to the range to show him the ropes and sold another good work friend his first shotgun. I learned another coworker was an AK fanatic and he let me shoot a couple of his AKs as well as an MP5 clone for the first time. I’ve also educated quite a few people as to VA gun laws, it seems that at least 50% or more of the population believe that you need a permit simply to OWN a firearm in my state… NOT true!

    So, thus far I’ve only had positive experience at work, even the anti-gunner supervisor I had for a while, we had some good conversations regarding gun rights. We respect eachother but she’s still anti-gun sadly, guess I ain’t that convincing!

    • I’m also in Virginia (Northern). I’ve also had the experience of dealing with people in the area who believe you need a permit to own or use a gun. Silly people!

    • I too live in Virginia (originally from Georgia). I get that same question all the time; “Do I need a permit to buy a gun?” I think one of the biggest factors in people misunderstanding guns is their understanding of gun ownership, function, and use comes from Hollywood. How many times have you heard a cop on TV ask the suspect “do you have a permit for that gun?” Only the bad guys carry guns (and almost never in a holster). The civilians don’t carry a gun unless they are a spy or they have a bad streak in them (which will be fixed by the end of the movie when they swear off violence). All too often, movie goers see shooters hit their targets almost effortlessly and without aiming. They see hundreds of rounds fired without a mag change and all the targets die immediately (except when a dramatic scene is needed as someone utters their last words as they slip away). After seeing hundreds of hours of that kind of stuff, people start to accept it as realistic or at least very close. One of friends will not believe me that a shotgun shot won’t blast an assailant through a window and kill everone behind him. At the same time, he somehow believes that an overturned kitchen table will stop any bullets, no matter what the caliber. My wife gets irritated with me when I correct every firearm inconsistency or error when we are watching a movie.

      • Palmetto stater here as well. My favorite instance was a NY resident recently moved here was at one of our local gun stores. He was explaining that his AR was “compliant” with the laws. The look of a kid on christmas came across his face when I explained the SC gun laws. Immediately after I said “Welcome to free America.” It felt good to use that phrase without having to be on the subject of Red Dawn. =)

    • Sometimes I get a odd remark when people learn I love to shoot.
      “Hey if you ever go crazy start in his/her office”!
      “Have you ever shoot somebody”?
      My daughter saw my AR and wanted to know how I got a permt for it.
      She’s better educated now.
      A buddy of mind stated he’d love to carry a gun on his hip, but couldn’t because of the laws. I/He lives in NC. Open carry in the state is legal except in two towns. Blew his mind.
      AR’s & AK’s bring up the most questions. What do you need a fully automatic rifle for? I thought machine guns were illegal? etc.
      I try to answer as best I can. One person at a time.
      I even had a Cop ask me how I got a Glock 22, the same gun he had. As they were only for police use. LOL
      He must have that old mind block/glock thing going on.
      Or belived the ads. GLOCK 22/ The U.S. law enforcement pistol!
      Guy22

  3. Yes. That’s what happens when the media and government marginalize and demonize one group of people. As some around here keep saying, the fight for gun rights is a civil rights matter.

    • In support of what CinSC said below, I’ll also add don’t be discouraged from talking about guns with people. Plenty out there are interested and, like anything else, there will always be one or two exceptions. Even though his idiocy came to the surface here, that co-worker was still exposed to the idea that a normal person was a gun owner.

      And hey, at the very least mentioning guns weeds out who’s worth talking to and who’s an idiot not worth your time.

  4. “Do Firearms Owners Face Discrimination?”

    Is the Pope Catholic?

    John,
    I am sorry you got a bad reaction, but don’t be discouraged to talk to people about shooting. Before I mention the topic I try to get a feel for a person’s outlook. Usually in the course of a normal conversation you can drop a casual reference to something related, like a news story, and a person will quickly tell you how they will respond to the idea of gun ownership.

    Though there is discrimination we are currently ascendant, so keep you chin up and stick to your guns..

    • Well said, I agree completely. I use the casual reference strategy all the time when talking about potentially hot-button issues. Does it make me sad that it’s necessary? Yes. Does it help make life go more smoothly? Also yes.

  5. Since I live in the middle of liberal gun-grabbing territory, I rarely mention firearms. One of the few times that I did was when I told a coworker and friend that my husband had just bought me a revolver. Her reaction was to ask if I could legally own firearms. I didn’t ask, but I assumed that she asked because she knows I take anti-depressants. I just said yes, she expressed her distaste for guns, and that was the end of it.

    Several months later, however, she said that her husband and her 18 year old son had just bought handguns for target shooting, which she was not at all happy about. I took the opportunity to share a copy of the “Four Rules of Gun Safety” and told her where to download a summary of CA gun laws. The Four Rules seemed to make her feel at least somewhat more at ease. She later said how much her husband and son were enjoying the target shooting and what a good father/son bonding sport it was.

    It’s a baby step, but it’s a step.

  6. Great Hopping Thomas Edison YES!!!!

    I did some tech support in a University environment (in Virginia). When someone asked me what I did on a weekend and I was silly enough to say “Had a great weekend, took second place in a rimfire shooting competition” ONE co-worker said “hey that’s great” and the rest reacted like I’d said I had a fun weekend of axe murdering kittens while burning churches.

  7. I’m in college so I’ve gotten a few funny looks. I only really talk much about it when I’m around circle, but most of them are afraid of guns. I’m trying to convert a couple of and get them to come shooting just once and that’s just from the people that like me already.

    In one of our classes they asked what we liked to do and I said I almost let shooting guns slip out. Said shooting my bow instead and the TA said it seems pretty dangerous. I wonder what he would have said if I told him about the guns.

    • I put on my resume to college (gun nut) and I’m going to write a papper about it for an English essay. I live in new jersey and I’m just getting tired of hiding from my own hobby I’m just telling everyone now, whether or not they like it isn’t my problem. I’m working to try to get a few converts and I’m having moderate sucess with it. I’ve taught 2 people to shoot in a VERY DISCRIMINATING state.

  8. Lucky I live in Ga. I don’t have much of that problem but I do feel that I have to judge the people I say things too. Normally it’s fine but it’s crazy to have such a hard time talking about something that is completely legal.

  9. Working on a university campus I’ve run into people whose knee-jerk reaction to the mentioning of a gun is the usual “why do you need a gun?” screed, but for the most part it’s not bad here (Idaho). In the most anti-gun place possible in the state (a university), there’s still quite a few people who’ll enthusiastically engage in firearms related conversation. The faculty is maybe 50-60% anti-gun, but the students and staff reflect the demographics of the state and are collectively very much pro-gun.

    That said, I usually test the waters first now. I’m not worried about discrimination per se, but I don’t want to put up with some rabid anti-gunner making an annoyance of him- or herself all the time.

    I work for a professor who is from Canada, and has an attitude of “why does anyone need a gun?” and who thinks hunting and varmint shooting are cruel. I pointed out to him that death by firearm is a heck of a lot more humane than how an animal usually dies in nature, and his reaction was “oh, you’re right, aren’t you?” He still insisted pest control with firearms was cruel. A student asked me if I knew anything about the .204 Ruger, if it is at all effective since it’s “smaller than .22 cal,” so I showed him a video of a pigeon getting popped at close range. Feathers everywhere. The same professor saw that video and was horrified until I pointed at that the pigeon had to go: invasive species, eats animal feed, spreads disease; getting hit by that .204 Ruger was humane as could be: it never felt or realized a thing. That professor’s attitude has changed remarkably on sporting use of firearms, but he’s still dubious on carrying one for self-defense. I’ll work on it.

    • Must be an east coast Canadian thing. While my experience is only second hand from my cousin currently going to university in Alberta, it seems they’re all largely very pro-hunting and pro-guns up there, professors included.

      Unfortunately their gun culture up there seems largely centered around hunting so things like armed self-defense are still alien and potentially alarming to them.

    • “Working on a university campus I’ve run into people whose knee-jerk reaction to the mentioning of a gun is the usual “why do you need a gun?” screed…”

      Just point this out to them:

      “A citizen may not be required to offer a `good and substantial reason’ why he should be permitted to exercise his rights. The right’s existence is all the reason he needs.”

      –U.S. District Judge Benson Everett Legg, Woollard v. Sheridan, 2012

    • Working on a university campus I’ve run into people whose knee-jerk reaction to the mentioning of a gun is the usual “why do you need a gun?”

      Tell them “poking holes in the paper with a pencil is frowned upon and generally regarded as cheating.” Or tell them about the time you inserted a 12 ga slug into a moose using only a center punch and a ball-peen hammer.

  10. No. I’ve had some not-positive reactions, but I’ve tried to educate when I can, and I think I’ve been reasonably successful. But I’ve never felt discriminated against as a result.

    • I’m the same way. I get some “gasp! and you have a young child at home!” or “why on earth do you need a gun” type reactions, but in my book those are prejudices and biases, not discrimination.

      • Discrimination is the active result of prejudices and biases. You should carefully watch the ones expressing their prejudices and biases against guns, because one day it will turn into discrimination.

  11. I guess it depends on where you live and who you talk to. One of my co-workers, a person who knows nothing about guns in a blue- gun-hating state, believes, for example, that silencers have only one purpose: to sneak up on people and kill them quietly. That’s it. Thanks Hollywood, but no thanks. But that’s what is to be expected when most people get their gun knowledge from movies and TV shows that have little or no basis in reality. So when you bring up guns as a hobby, expect weird looks or worse.

  12. I’ve sometimes gotten funny looks if I mention I had a good range day on the weekend, but most folks know I’m ex-military, so they figure it’s just a nostalgia thing. As has been noted on this blog before, libs seems to think that “only cops and soldiers should have guns”, but some seem to extend it to a former soldier. I never talk about what I own, and I probably give the impression that I’m shooting rentals or friends’ firearms.

  13. I face discrimination every time i want to put fuel in my truck. I have to drive several blocks out of my way to fuel at the Shell gas station instead of the closer 7-11. The 7-11 has a ‘No Guns’ sign so my business is not welcome in their establishment. I often wonder why a store owner is not allowed to discriminate against a person’s skin, religion, or sexual preference but he can post a ‘No Guns’ sign? Granted, he isn’t refusing to do business with me just refusing to allow me into his store if I am armed… Maybe that’s the loop hole?

    Aside from that I haven’t faced any real discrimination. In fact, quite the opposite; I made the error during a job interview of mentioning that my wife and I enjoyed the sport. Afterwards, I figured I had just lost the oppertunity but as it turned out I was called back for a second interview and offered the position. Later, while chatting with my new supervisor I asked about the interview and his response was, “Hey, this is Oklahoma. We all enjoy shooting!”

  14. The only relevant questions at a job are these two:

    1. Am I discussing a legal activity?
    2. Am I disrupting work?

    If the answers are, in order, yes and no, there should be no problem.

    • That would seem to be the case but the jerk who ran to management took a legal activity/possession/0bject and accused John of planning a massacre. And got away with it.
      I used to have discussions about my various hunting trips at work until I was told to “tone it down”. I asked if the tramps in the adjacent row would stop discussing yeast infections, their relationships, and other personal matters we didn’t care to hear about. The language the women used would shame a sailor.
      I was informed that “guns are different”. I responded that 175K people hunt in our state each year and it’s a perfect legitimate activity and if others can waste time on their phone with their ex husband for an hour arguing I should be able to share my deer hunt with a co-worker.

      I don’t work there any longer and boy and I glad.

  15. This article leaves me wondering which 10/22 I should be discussing at work. The bone-stock carbine? Or the tacticooled-out one with the Archangel stock, vertical foregrip and red-dot? Decisions, decisions…

  16. To be honest I don’t talk to anyone but family and TTAG about guns. The only co-worker I have spoken to about firearms is a Texas transplant who I found out owns a number of pre ban AR’s.
    Being in CA you get a lot of odd stares and gasps. I now live in a more rural area where guns are more of a norm, but it is still CA.

    • I live in an even more rural area of the state where waterfowl hunting is huge and there is a reasonable amount of deer hunting (just not that many deer). My old boss goes elk hunting every year. So no, guns here are a poular item.
      But not so for my daughter. She went to a very good but very liberal college in Ohio, and many of the students and faculty hail from the east coast. Needless to say, most are anti-gun. But she has met plenty of Ohioans who own guns. She just has to be aware of the people she is around and act accordingly.

  17. heck yes. I used to travel a fair amount on business, always unarmed. When traveling to the east coast, chicago, or almost any university town there was often a real bad reaction if i mentioned shooting or guns. luckily I was the customer(buyer) from the companies I was visiting, So there was a limit to that reaction.

    I have also ran into anti-hunting people in social situations who go into a shaking rage when they find out that I hunt. Its very disturbing to see that level of raw hate.

    • yes. i’ve gotten much more adverse reactions from telling people that i’ve been hunting. some people react negatively when i talk to them about guns, but in my experience the response is much more critical to hunting.

  18. Despite the fact that I live in VT (which SHOULD be gun-lovers paradise), many people seem to be under the impression that gun ownership=scary violent crime. I wouldn’t feel comfortable telling my coworkers that I am pro guns, and I know my mom feels the same way 🙁

  19. Not generally. At work people were actually interested in hearing more about my shooting hobby and several asked for advice on pistol and shotgun purchases they were contemplating.
    I have one long-time very dear friend who is aggressively anti-gun and we have had some serious arguments about it, but finally drew a truce when we both recognized the other was not changing their beliefs and our friendship was more powerful than the conflict over our vastly differing views on gun ownership.
    I don’t banter my gun ownership around. No NRA or CRPA stickers on cars or house. I don’t bring it up as a topic for casual conversation, but when people ask what I am up to as a Retired person, I don’t hesitate to mention I’ve been Shooting nor to mention anything I have bought or done Shooting related. I am sure several of my neighbors have observed me loading my car to go to the range, and I use obvious containers like long gun cases, pistol cases and ammo cans, but none of them has ever asked me about it.
    Live in a suburban/rural area. We are in a tract neighborhood on the cusp of metropolitan area and large open spaces with State Park and Dairies and horse ranches, so my closest neighbors are all within 20 to 50 feet on our street.
    So, not hiding anything, but not advertising, either.

  20. Discriminated against? Boo hiss.

    I’ve never been denied a job, date, party invitation, insurance, or anything for enjoying firearms. Just gauge your social circle and act accordlingly. My coworkers know me as the “gun guy” for what that’s worth. I politely educate them and offer to take sane folks to the range.

  21. Recently my Postman (a lady actually) lugged a 60 lb. flat rate box to my door. I risked telling her what it contained, 45 Colt cowboy bullets. I explained cowboy action shooting briefly and she thought that was very interesting. It turns out that she is interested in historic reenactments and was comfortable with the idea of CAS.

    Another time my friend and I were loading the car with all our CAS stuff, rifles, shotguns, gun bags for the revolvers, gun cart, etc. A neighbor noticed this and also our 19th century western garb. I gave the brief CAS explanation. It turns out this neighbor is a shotgun hunter.

    It’s good to live in “fly over country.”

  22. “Have you ever been discriminated against because of your guns?”

    Prior to moving to Portland, I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for almost 20 years. I knew Never to discuss guns in a Bay Area workplace and to deny owning one if someone asked me. It could be used against you in a false allegation politically at work to get you fired or have your promotion held back by the politically correct liberal attitude.

    I also never told roommates I owned a gun or respected them as tools. One stupid house mate argument and a false allegation call to the police by the house mate could result in an arrest and your gun(s) being taken away. The area negatively over-reacts about guns. The area was also crawling with lots of self-absorbed egotistical liberals. The were the bad type of liberals and not the good liberal gun owners we have commenting here.

    Most women available for dating (when I bothered with them) were PC liberal and very anti-gun. Therefore, that was another group not to discuss guns with.

  23. Working at MUSC (Medical University of South Carolina) I run into anti gunners constantly.

    The subject of guns come up often when I run across a fellow hunter/shooter. If there is an anti gunner in earshot, I get the speech about guns being evil, and hunting is wrong. I love watching the looks on their faces go from anger/horror to curiosity when I lay down the old “Do you own a fire extinguisher, car with seatbelts, smoke/CO2 detector, insurance policy, etc.” I then explain why I am a gun owner and the principles of the legal gun owner and carrier. I have converted a few.

    The anti hunters really look confused when I explain to them that the money from our hunting licenses goes to conservation, and that PITA and other such organizations contribute nothing to the cause except lip service under false pretenses.

    Being in the south makes for a comfy pro-gun environment, but we do get a LOT of northern/international types that believe we are barbarians for taking responsibility for our personal safety and food harvesting. I have received much joy in taking a few to the range and watching their POV do a 180.

    Keep up the good fight!

  24. Yes, but it’s not nearly as bad as the joker/batman comments. The anti-hunting people, on the other had you reallly have to keep an eye on, have to remember.. That some of them consider hunters mass murderers, they can get violent.. And I don’t even hunt, sigh…

  25. I actually don’t get as much as I expect.

    One, I look like Brando in Apocalypse Now, so folks figure I’m ex-military or LEO (and tend to seek me out when things are spooky).

    And two, despite the fact that I come to work in CA, and worse, in social services, several of my cohorts enjoy shooting, and the newbie-curious usually get converted after their first trip to the range. (High stress job and all–need to go make stuff go boom.)

    That said, I have been “aggressively disinvited” from several businesses for carrying a visible knife.

  26. About 1/3 of my coworkers are of the liberal persuasion. It is general knowledge that I teach Colorado CCW. I have helped dozens of my coworkers to get their Colorado permits.

    I have received a bit of discrimination from a few of my coworkers but more appreciation from the majority.

  27. That would be the last conversation I had with him and I would be exploring opportunities elsewhere. The lesson unfortunately here is it’s ok to talk about most things except religion, politics, money, and guns.
    The only question is did he or your boss drop a dime to the cops and will they raid your house in search of an arsenal?

  28. Having grown up in South Louisiana and lived in North Louisiana, South Florida, and Northern Virginia I cannot fathom this kind of thing. I brought a few of my guns with me everywhere I went and never got any flack about it. It sadens me to read these accounts. I would really not fit in well around any of those places.

  29. Of course firearms owners face discrimination. Just look at almost every response to this post, much less other posts. Firearms owners consistently feel it is in their best interest to keep their firearm ownership status a secret or at best to “test the waters” before discussing with someone for the first time.

    Then we have both legislated and privately enacted “gun free zones”. Gun free zones discriminate on many levels. First, all citizens have the natural right to privacy so their armed status is not anyone else’s business. Second, all citizens have the natural right to defend themselves — they do not need anyone’s permission or approval to exercise that right. Third, no one has any legitimate authority to tell a citizen what property (objects) they can or cannot own or possess. Fourth and most importantly, an armed citizen does not infringe upon anyone else’s Natural Rights. If a citizen is armed and walks into a “gun free gift shop”, the citizen is not preventing the owner, employees, or patrons from doing anything or interfering in any way with their business or personal activity. Since an armed citizen does not interfere with anyone’s rights or activities, any efforts to disarm them against their will is an effort to deny them their rights … and that is discrimination.

  30. Living in a very blue state that is very permissive has been an interesting experience, but most interesting is my work place, a tech company with a lot of highly educated ‘logically’ thinking people.

    About half have engaged their logical thinking on the topic of guns and react positively when guns comes up, with many even being gun owners themselves. The other half absolutely refuse to engage logic when it involves anything outside of work, and this usually leads to less than favorable reactions for most topics, guns especially. Even then little rises to the level of discrimination, most just avoid the topic, but there are a few who go out of their way to avoid me and the other gun owners as best they can.

  31. I live in northeastern PA, but I work in the People’s Demokratik Republik of NJ. Yes, I have been discriminated against for being a gun owner. To avoid vandalism to my car/truck, I have no bumper stickers or NRA stuff on anywhere. I am careful about discussing shooting, firearms in general, or even politics related to the second amendment with people until I get to know where they stand on these topics. I wasn’t as cautious when I was younger, but now that I’m nearing 60, I’ve found that I have learned stuff, like when to keep my mouth shut.

  32. I have gotten very little in the way of adverse reactions in MA and RI. Mentioning firearms to people, I’ve heard everything from “I used to shoot with my uncle” from an extremely attractive 25 year old woman, to “I think the NRA is right” from a 55 year old, Chinese-American urologist. Neither owns a gun.

    On the other hand, I met a dear friend who flew from San Diego to meet me in Las Vegas last week. She got the heebie jeebies at the very mention of firearms and evidenced extreme reluctance toward the prospect of going to the range and blowing up some sh!t with rented Tommy guns. I didn’t tell her that I was carrying.

  33. Reminds me of a story a friend in Idaho told me a couple of years ago. He was in a trading post type place that sold all kind of goods, plus guns and ammo. He was back in the guns section when a guy walked up and looking at the AR15 and AK type rifles on the wall behind the counter said “are those legal to sell?”. The guy behind the counter said yes, why do you ask, are you from California? The customer said yeah, he was a California cop, on vacation. The Californian asked “what do you do with them”, again gesturing at the rifles. The owner said, “I buy them low and sell them high, and call the difference profit”.

  34. Well… Yes and no. I live in interior Alaska- UAF is pretty proud of their rifle team. Some aspects of my life, I don’t let anyone know I own guns. Other times… Well I go pulled over by a cop my first year up here- broken tail-light and it was legit. Cop asked if I had any guns in the car. I was 20, and didn’t. Cop looked horrified- told me I should look into getting something, even if I couldnt buy a handgun yet. Said that the two legged preditors up here werent too bad- but were here, and that if the car broke down, if I opened the door and got out I was steping into the food chain- better have a plan to be on top.

    Most people up here own guns, and a pretty large portion carry daily. Because both open carry and concealed carry are legal without licenses needed, it’s common enough that it doesnt cause much of a stir.
    But, this is a college town, and every so often anti-gun stuff pops up.

  35. Discrimination? Nope. I grew up in Louisiana(a state with more guns than people), was stationed in Wyoming(more guns than people, again), and now live in semi-rural Florida(almost as many guns as people).

    I do live in an area which is popular with Yankee retirees. When I lived in a golf course condo, my neighbors were all older and from NYC/NJ. Nice people, but being the youngest person in a comples meant I was asked to move a lot of furniture and flip a lot of mattresses. I bought my first AK at a gun show, bought it used with no box or case. When I arrived home, I slung it over my shoulder and walked up the stairs to the condo, passing the elderly neighbors. They looked at the rifle a bit strangely, but didn’t say anything.

    They never asked me to do any manual labor again.

  36. “Are you planning to shoot up the place or something?”

    The appropriate reply to that is, “Are you planning to run over someone with your car?”

  37. We are discriminated on the basis of what God Given rights we exercise by our own Government(s). By the Health Care System. By Law Enforcement. By the Secret Files Kept on us by innumerable agency’s. By where we are allowed to travel and do business with, by modern Jim Crow Laws and blatant segregation

  38. I’ve been discriminated against in that sense for quite a while. When I was in grade school I’d often talk about going to the range with my dad and what a great time we had, I also had gun magazines (the publications, not the feeding devices) that I read fairly (more accurately looked at the pictures) all the time. I was called “Columbine Kid” by most of the older students and that stuck with me through my Freshmen year of High School. Keep in mind I was the kid that was raised to be polite, courteous, and non-violent.
    I had a teacher come up to me one day and tell me I should be ashamed for talking about such things at school.
    After my Freshmen year we got a more understanding principle ( a fellow from England who was actually pretty interested in my shooting hobbies) and most of the idiots who’d called me the names I mentioned had been kicked out by then; which left me with a bunch of people who could really care less what I did with my pass time so long as I didn’t hurt anyone.
    To this day I still get treated like people think I’m going to shoot something up if I’m angered (which oddly enough never stopped people from trying to anger me), but mostly now it’s toned down. Again, I’m a nice guy, I don’t get into fights, I don’t even think I’ve raised my voice in public in I don’t even know how long, but people associate guns with violence. I’m not all that young anymore (21), but I’ve noticed that people equate youth+Guns to murderous shootings.

  39. I treat my gun hobby like I treat my hobby of collecting German WWII militaria. I don’t mention it unless someone asks. I live in the gun rights horror show that is NJ when not at college in a very pro-gun state. Gun owners of NJ are usually a silent breed because we don’t like to attract the migraine inducing bleats of the sheeple. We are well under a million in a state of seven times that with positively Soviet Union level gun laws.

    For example, slide-fire stocks are legal on a federal level, and they were outright banned by the State Police directly. I’m fairly certain there wasn’t even a state government meeting on it, the Gestapo just flat out decreed it illegal. We’re also the only state that I know of (California maybe?) that requires an FFL transfer for CMP firearms. We NJ gun owners may have the odds stacked against, but we all share a bond stronger than a Bethlehem Steel I-beam. It’s a labor of love, and anyone who’s known me for over a month who all of a sudden doesn’t approve of my hobby because they’re hoplophobic or think it’s “uncivilized” can get bent.

  40. I’ve never really been discriminated against and actually got a free rifle from a lady who’s father had passed and didn’t’t know what to do with it. Tried to pay her but wouldn’t hear of it nice little Winchester in 35 rem too. So with that I would say the rewards can outstrip the annoyances

  41. Dan, forget the co-worker. I think that it’s time for you to ask Robert for a raise, tout de suite. Nes’t-ce pas?

    You’ve been working there how long, with a bunch of strangers that you hardly know, and you saw an opening to steer the conversation towards guns, and you took it? Well, that was pretty silly, wasn’t it?

    • Hey, I’m the guy who wrote the actual question.
      I’ve been working at this restaurant for about two months, right alongside the coworker who asked if I was going to try and shoot up the place because I bought the 10/22. I’ve talked to him a fair amount, enough to know that he’s served in the Navy and that he has a wife and kids.

      I don’t think it was silly of me to assume that the veteran I’ve been working with for two months would be an anti-gun individual…

      This has kind of prompted me to turn in my two-week notice to leave. The staff has been just mean to me in general since the incident anyway.

  42. Guns no. God Yes. I asked they were asking the Everquest users if they were getting asked to stop talking about spells and damaons and of corse I was told no. I then told the supervisor that if me and the other person want to talk about god then it was none of the companys business and if the bring this up again I will contact a lawyer. I was very upset they even brought it up.

    Thanks
    Robert

  43. Why, yes, I’ve faced discrimination as a gun owner.

    I remember it well: In 2008, I stepped onto a trap range with a black, synthetic 12ga semi-auto.

    The other shooters on the line harrumphed and sneered at me. I felt so crushed.

    Then they made me put a rubber band on my gun if I wanted to keep shooting. I’ve never felt so low as a gun owner in my life. 😉

  44. You guys are really mixed up. Either you’re the vast majority, winning, winning, winning, or you’re the poor discriminated-against minority.

    Like most of your arguments it doesn’t matter. It just depends on what you want to say.

  45. A little late to the party but yeah, I get discriminated all the time. Being that I’m a college student doesn’t help, also doesn’t help that every one here in Milwaukee is so damn anti-gun. I have to pretty much watch what I say when I’m with my friends, watch what I read on the internet (TTAG, TFB, etc.) or any magazines (Guns and Ammo, Field and Stream, etc.) that contain anything related to firearms. Pain in the ass to deal with all the crap I get. Guns aren’t good but drugs are just fine apparently.

  46. Yes. I was downgraded from a GS13 to a GS12. It took me a number of years to get promoted again. I was an activist at Yuma Proving Ground, and managed to legitimately use the system to change the stupid regulation banning almost everyone from bring a firearm, pocket knife, or even a slingshot in their vehicle on to the post.

    I was told that my downgrade was directly due to this action by two different bosses over the years (they were sympathetic).

    It was worth it. I maybe lost $20K total, but the regulation stayed in place for nearly 20 years, until the Obama administration forced all base commanders to adopt a much strickter and nastier policy, all over the country.

    I am now retired, so I can tell the story.

  47. I used my concealed carry permit as a 2nd ID at a bank, a few minutes later an armed security guard took up a position directly behind me. On my way out the bank manager informed me that my use of the permit made everyone in the bank, “feel uncomfortable, and intimidated”.

    • Fine. Fvck ’em.

      First: why does “everyone in the bank” know about it?

      Second: OK, Mr. Manager… your lack of discretion makes me feel uncomfortable, and so I’ll be changing banks at the earliest opportunity. I have $723 in charges currently outstanding. I’d like a check for the difference between that and my balance. Now, please.

  48. While stationed at K. I. Sawyer AFB in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in the 80’s, I took classes on base through Northern Michigan University while working on a degree in criminal justice.

    One course I took called “Guns in American Society” was taught by a professor who opened the first class with a statement “I don’t like guns, I’ve never owned a gun, never shot a gun, and don’t beleive people should have guns”.

    I immediately challenged him and invitied him to join me at the range, stating that if he were to hold a gun, and shoot a gun, he’d be a lot more qualified to make such a statement. By the end of the semester, I had him asking my advice on which type of gun to keep for home defense. All it takes is a little diplomacy, intelligence, tact, fact, knowledge and effort to convert an anti to a pro.

  49. Little late on this but felt the need to share as I’ve had a bit of this as someone new to firearms in general. I am very very new to shooting. Only been to a range once with my father when I was very young and twice recently at the behest of my sister. I’ve always been both fearful and curious of guns. Coming from a military family having a gun in the home has always been normal to me.

    For a long time I wrestled with the idea of owning a gun for self defense in the home or even as a carry on my person. I’ve been mugged twice in my life. Once at knife point and another at gun point. While I do not know if carrying would have changed the outcomes of these situations having a muzzle nearly pressed against your face can put the fear of god into a person and I buried my head in the sand after this event for nearly 7 years. I avoided everything about guns and just ignored them which is unhealthy when it comes to anything. Ignorance is not bliss.

    Now I am in my early 30s. My sister is changing careers to become a police officer and has been going to the range to familiarize herself with what will become her service gun. I went with her. I was probably pale as a ghost and scared out of my mind. The range rules only allowed for new shooters to fire a .22, which made sense. As I stepped up to the booth and loaded the revolver I was probably shaking a bit. I lined up my sites trying to remember everything they had told me about grip and aiming. Took a deep breath and pulled the trigger. To my great satisfaction I hit the bullseye dead on my first shot. All the fear had just melted away and the activity become cathartic very quickly.

    Like most things I enjoy doing I usually throw myself into it. My wife tells me often; “You don’t do anything half-assed do you?”. Reading about types of firearms, firearm sports, available defense classes, laws and regulations in my state and surrounding ones, and finding websites like this one. It was like opening pandora’s box for me. All this information I had ignored for so long and kept myself ignorant about I felt I needed to catch up.

    Yet when I discuss this information with friends, they think I’m obsessed with guns now. I’ve been accused of being passionate about things I do, absolutely I am. But I am the same way about any hobby I am interested in getting into and never been told I was obsessed, followed by this accusatory look of concern. What’s interesting is I had a similar interest in swords after watching a blacksmith at a renfaire craft one. It was fascinating and I started researching how swords were made etc. When discussing this with the same group of friends none of them seemed to bat an eye, in fact several were interested in what I had researched about folding technics and so forth. A sword is a weapon… yet for some reason the stigma of the gun appears to be a great deal worse.

    I’ve decided to calm my enthusiasm around certain people but I’m not gonna let it deter me from learning more or taking a defense handgun course so I understand all the safety for owning and handling a firearm.

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