GUN COUNTRY A new generation of American kids embraces firearms.
Courtesy New Yorker and Sharif Hamza

“She handles all three guns with, uh, a level of skill that I would only have expected to have seen someone in the military possess. There’s something alarming about seeing someone so young have such capabilities, and alarming about seeing her father encourage such things. Yet there’s also something wonderful about seeing the bond she has with her father.” – British photographer Sharif Hamza in The Gun Owners of the Parkland Generation [via newyorker.com]

100 COMMENTS

  1. Soooooo
    You see a kid who is responsibly handling firearms with her father and it scares you?
    I see a responsible young woman who grew up with good parenting. Props to her parents.
    How do these snowflakes even get out of bed in the morning and function?

    • Show me what military has it’s average soldiers as good as her and I’ll show you real fear. Only thing funnier would have been comparing her to cops.

      Sometimes it’s hard to know just how bad someone is at their job until you see someone good at it.

      • That’s why they often refer to themselves as “British Subjects,” and the concept of an “American Subject” is absurd. That’s the biggest dichotomy between the cultures. We fought a bloody, eight-year long revolution to break ourselves free from that autocratic subjectivity.

        • And yet, here we are in a nation with a de-facto standing army that puts you in prison (or kills you if you resist) for growing vegetables, collecting water, owning certain guns, possessing or ingesting a plant, letting your kids play outside, and driving without asking permission, getting on an airplane without being digitally or physically strip-searched, and takes way, WAY more of your money than Britain’s tiny little Stamp Act and uses it to drop bombs on people in more countries than even the most informed among us could probably name.

          So much for that experiment.

      • Being subjects of an all-powerful, top-down, controlling central government that controls every aspect of the individual is bred in the DNA of every European society. European societies have all been under the control of monarchs for thousands of years in some cases. The concept of individual freedom is as foreign to most Europeans as the concept of socialism is to most Americans. In other words, the thousands of years of Europeans living under the iron rule of monarchies and dictatorships have bred entire societies of sheep.
        You also have to remember that the American society was born of armed citizens rebelling against tyrannical government. Rebellion and being armed to guard against and in preparation of rebelling against tyrannical government is as much a part of the American societal DNA as being an obedient subject is apart of the European societal DNA.
        The right, included in our Constitution, of the individual citizen to be armed and empowered as the average American citizen is, is almost impossible for the European citizen to grasp, and they really cannot understand the way our society is structured. To most people around the world, the American society is out of control and there is no one to tell the people, what to think and what to do, and to furthur complicate the situation, large numbers of these out of control people are armed. I have read, more than once, that most people around the world, including the leaders of nations, do not understand Americans and the American society.

        To a lot of people around the world, someone has to be in charge and someone has to tell people what to do; it’s the reason why most societies, when they are freed, immediately, voluntarily, return to authoritarian strong men, because they know nothing else. To a lot of people around the world, the thought of indivual freedom make them uncomfortable; even if is means living under the rule of a brutal dictator, most people would rather have someone to tell them what to do, than be responsible for themselves.

        The legally armed with the same power of arms as the government, average American citizen is an anomaly of human history. In no other society on Earth does the average citizen have the power that the American citizen has, and in no other society in the history of mankind has the average citizen had the power that the average American citizen has. It is for this reason that it is so urgent that we protect our right to have that power.
        Unfortunately, there is a large segment of the American population that is actively trying to surrender that power and live as most of the rest of the population of the world lives and has lived for the majority of human history. Those members of the American population must not be allowed to succeed in surrendering the power of the American citizen.

    • I could only watch about half of this guy’s video before I became so disgusted with his twaddle that I had to stop. Rather than make a commentary on American gun ownership practices, what is so much more redolent in this video is just how effective socialist/fascist societies are at producing sheeple. Granted, he knows little about our history and how, based on that history, American culture so so very different from the kind of society and culture he knows and understands. Hence his cloying condescension about how “shocking” it was for him to see American kids who were completely comfortable around guns—and again to his shock and dismay—were personally empowered by guns in ways people living under socialist oppression can never be. Sad to say, the kind of personal independence and responsibility exercised by the kids he talks about is completely alien to most people in the UK.

  2. Everyone sees others through the filter of their own knowledge and experience. The article reveals more about the author than it does about the subject.

  3. Guns without training is scary because who knows what drunken yokel redneck idiot thing you’ll do when you ask your friend to hold your beer.

    Guns with a little bit a training and proficiency is scary because clearly you’re not dedicated to the discipline and practice that is clearly required for such a dangerous weapon, but yet you think you’re equal to those peerless firearms experts: the police or military.

    Guns with a lot of training and expertise is scary because the only people who would dedicate time to discipline and practice are clearly unstable and fetishize their guns. You probably have delusions of joining one of those racist legalized murdersquads: the police or military.

    • Yep, I’d say you about summed it up. Now matter what you or I do, the antis don’t want us to have guns. It really is not about the guns – It is about you and I.

    • That is all supposed to be read out loud in an accent from one of the British Commonwealth nations, of course. (Assuming anyone can understand a British accent.)

      Excellent reminder why we kicked them out of our nation.

  4. I took my son with me to the range from when he was about 4 years old and he started shooting at about 10. This was in Australia before all the gun grabbing.

    Plenty of people I know in USA and Australia do the same. We just don’t put it on YouTube to scare the snow flakes.

    Seriously though doing any sport with your children is great. Beats video games any day.

    • I wonder what s/he’d say if s/he was to see my sons shooting clay pigeons at a hundred yards… with a .22 rimfire?

    • True ,and let’s not forget video games. Kids love to play 3D gun games virtual reality. The undeveloped mind learns to shoot the shit out of anyone / thing. It becomes engrained in their minds. Some of which take it to a whole new extreme. Thinking it’s reality. Get a hold of a real gun and do something tragic. I think that a parent teaching their children safe responsible gun use is far more productive than said children learning via a headset , no guidance , and thus learning actual firearm responsibility,from a responsible learned parent.

      • Violent video games don’t cause violence any more than guns cause violence, that is to say they don’t at all. Yes, some murderers played violent games, but correlation doesn’t equal causation. They already had violent tendencies.

        Video games are also protected as free speech and it’s never a good idea to throw one constitutional right under a proverbial bus to protect another.

    • My son has been going to range with me since before he was 3 and he is looking forward to turning 12 to get his junior’s permit (still just over two years to go). He has been assisting with scoring, learned how to clear firearms, assists me with cleaning my rifle, and teaches other children the safety rules at the range.

      He is a competitive athlete competing at state level in a number of events. He is also a perfectionist and has been discussing with me how he wants to learn how to shoot. He does not want to start with a service rifle match. He wants to learn the basics and fundamentals first with an air rifle and a .22 rimfire on a smallbore range.

      He has also been playing first-person shooting games on the PC for several years. He knows it is only a game and loves the teamwork when we play together. From ye olde Battlefield 1942 he has picked up the basics of flying airplanes.

  5. Typical anti doublethink.
    Untrained = wreckless, dangerous
    Trained = lethal, dangerous
    They’ll mandate training requirements until everyone trains then they’ll cry that the training is setting them up to be killers and warriors. The lack of proficiency is a threat as is proficiency.

    There is absolutely NO placating or pacifying them.

  6. It’s about young american’s getting together on both sides of that argument and simply having a discussion. But that discussion has to change, because it certainly isn’t happening now. – Sharif Hamza

    Uh… Why? Why do we have to have a discussion. A discussion for what purpose? Mr. Hamza is missing a bit out of his explanation here. Why on earth do we need a discussion? Are we doing something you don’t like and you want us to change???

    • Unarmed victims are an assault to my sense of justice .
      I demand ;
      1. Constitutional carry in all states for home and car .
      2. CCL as shall issue in all states for public and privet places with resiprocity and may be carried any place that does not have metal detecters and armed security in place .
      3. A requirement for an ‘ Unarmed Permit ‘ by state law, that all non gun owners must have . Costing 12$ to @$25.00 a year to pay for free gun training to all who wish to get instruction .
      fee’s for permits for # 2 and 3 to be the same.

      Exemptions to # 3 above ;
      1. if already a gun owner in the state.
      2. under 21
      WHY? BECAUSE IT TAKES PEOPLE WITH GUNS TO PROVIDE DETERRENCE for there safety.
      It’s hi time all have to cover the costs of such .

      • Rights do not require permission. Let me see the permit thing required to vote, post online, please the 5th, have a trial, etc then we can talk permit to carry.

      • Davida, you forgot one thing in your directive on gun-free zones. Besides metal detectors and armed guards, they also must have secure storage for my firearm. Otherwise, spot-on.

        And yes, I’ll third.

    • They don’t want a discussion and they know it. They also know that “We demand that you sit still and shut up while we browbeat you with our views!”, doesn’t sell so well in Peoria.

      • I guarantee you, if gun owners were a minority of say, 90-10, they wouldn’t care for a discussion at all. They would just ban guns, and enslave gun owners in these things call “prisons.” There would be no discussion at all. The only reason they bother asking for a discussion is because they lack the votes for the above. And the only reason they seek a discussion is because they want to incrementally move people towards their above idea. They have zero interest in understanding our point of view, or adopting our culture. To them, we are a stain that needs cleaning, and they want strict sterile uniformity.

  7. I see a young woman who isn’t going to worry about being attacked by a violent criminal that democrats keep letting out of jail. Who will teach her children the value of freedom and the ability to protect yourself and your family. World War 2 really damaged the psyche of Britain and the rest of Europe….why else would they give up their guns, again, after seeing the horrors of mass murder of innocent, unarmed, men, women and children, during the war. You would think rational human beings would realize that yes, their own governments can turn against them…since it happened less than 80 years ago, and we still have survivors of the death camps among us…..

    Remember, any vote for a democrat is a vote to end the 2nd Amendment…any democrat, no matter how “pro-gun” they claim to be…since they will vote to appoint anti gun judges and anti-gun laws….

    • Oh, YES! Did you see the one today with a cop murdered by a 29-year-old, on parole, with 111 (one hundred eleven!) prior arrests?

  8. How come there are no documentaries about Drug use, Rape, child molestation, drunk driving,rape, to name a few, More humans are effected by these things than the total number of gun related incidents. What is with the libs reporters.

    • Where are the walkouts, candle lit vigils, and cries for common sense doctor control, for the 200,000+ killed by medical mishaps annually?

  9. “As firearms have proliferated in the United States, so have gun-related injuries and deaths. ”

    In an article talking about how safety and responsibility are taught to kids they continues to spread the lies of the gun grabbing left.

    What else should we expect from a Brit?

    • Deaths n injuries going up? Precisely untrue. For decades.

      When you get your “facts” from propagandists, this is what happens.

  10. The only thing I think when I see these children in shooting sports is “Lucky”. My dad introduced me to firearms at a young age, but he never had the patience to teach me anything past the four rules.

  11. Did you guys read the same article I did? I thought it showed the kids, firearms and their families in a positive light. It sounded like a man with no experience with firearms made an honest effort to learn something. If everyone tried to learn something new everyday we would all be better off.

    Casey. Military and law enforcement are racist and murders? You need your ass kicked so hard that you find yourself wearing it for a hat. You probably wanted to be one, or the other, but couldn’t hack it. And no they’re not firearms experts by virtue of their occupation. I have seen terrible firearms handling on both military and law enforcement ranges, but at least they’re willing to put their ass on the line.

    • Umm, I think you forgot to turn your sarcasm filter on. If you were able to “think like the media” you would see the point he was making. As a vet & former LEO I was able to see where he was going & found it spot-on.

  12. I thought we kicked the Brit’s the hell out of our country,so perhaps they have Nothing to say of our Second amendment or how it is exercised.

  13. Unarmed victims are an assault to my sense of justice .
    I demand ;
    1. Constitutional carry in all states for home and car .
    2. CCL as shall issue in all states for public and privet places with resiprocity and may be carried any place that does not have metal detecters and armed security in place .
    3. A requirement for an ‘ Unarmed Permit ‘ by state law, that all non gun owners must have . Costing 12$ to @$25.00 a year to pay for free gun training to all who wish to get instruction .
    fee’s for permits for # 2 and 3 to be the same.

    Exemptions to # 3 above ;
    1. if already a gun owner in the state.
    2. under 21
    WHY? BECAUSE IT TAKES PEOPLE WITH GUNS TO PROVIDE DETERRENCE for there safety.
    It’s hi time all have to cover the costs of such .

  14. Shhh nobody tell that idiot my 7&8 year olds shoot. The 3 year old is working on learning with Nerf guns. The author might have a coronary over that and I don’t want that blamed on my guns.

  15. There’s something alarming about seeing someone so young have such capabilities…

    Leave it to leftists to be “alarmed” at potential. No surprise there. Can we get some legislation over here to quell this potential!???

    And now… a Jordan Peterson moment on people with “potential.” (which is basically everybody)

    You might say someone incapable of cruelty is a higher moral being than someone who is capable of cruelty, and I would say and this follows Jung as well, that’s incorrect and dangerously incorrect. If you are not capable of cruelty, you are absolutely a victim to anyone who is. And so part of the reason that people go watch anti-heroes and villains is because there’s a part of them crying out for the incorporation of the monster within them which is what gives them strength of character and self respect, because it’s impossible to respect yourself until you grow teeth. And if you grow teeth and then you realize you are somewhat dangerous, or maybe somewhat seriously dangerous and then you might be more willing to demand that you treat yourself with respect and other people do the same thing. And so that doesn’t mean that being cruel is better than not being cruel, what it means is that being able to be cruel and then not being cruel is better than not being able to be cruel. – Jordan Peterson

  16. The British came for our guns in 1775, and again in 1812, so why more than 200 years later do we listen to the British when it comes to guns?

    • Came here to say basically say the same thing. With a name as British as “Sharif Hamza”, why even mention they’re British in the article. Quintessentially British, part and parcel, and all that.

  17. IF YOU CAN’T TEACH YOUR CHILDREN TO BE GOOD, AND RIGHT, AND JUST, AT LEAST TEACH THEM TO BE TACTICAL, AND TO LOOK UPON FOREIGNERS WITH A WARY EYE.

  18. What’s all this then?!? Moe-hame er Hamza is alarmed? Good. The good guys and gals have the vast majority of guns in America…unlike the Brits where you won’t even be able to poccess a bloody KNIFE😖

  19. I want to like this article, but the writer’s bias is too strong for him to actually understand American “people of the gun”. It’s got some pretty pictures though haha

    “Shooting generally places few physical demands; advocates present it as a safe sport, with little incidence of injury (unlike soccer, or, for that matter, skiing). With no discernible disparity between the sexes, it is also portrayed as an empowering one.”

    Shooting is as safe as you make it. Like driving or using knives in the kitchen cooking. All things I was taught to do from about 10-12 years old. Everyone’s children are different, but dangerous things are inevitable in life.

    ‘Portrayed as empowering?’ It IS empowering to learn how to defend oneself. Especially for females.

    “As firearms have proliferated in the United States, so have gun-related injuries and deaths.”

    Nope. Data does not support. Firearms related injuries peaked at 31 per 100,000 residents in 1990. This has trended down to 20-22 per 100,000 from 2000 to now. There are millions more firearms in circulation now than 1990. More guns does not equate directly to more injuries and deaths. (If that were true, everyone in Texas would be dead by now!)

    The author really missed on the big picture point. Generally speaking, most “people of the gun” (who teach their children to shoot) value self-sufficiency as a broad approach to life. Rather than trust and depend on society and others to take care of you in desperate times of need, they prefer to be able to take care of themselves. Whether that is defending self and family, or hunting for food for your family, it’s all about individualism. Being able to ensure the safety and well-being of your loved ones yourself. That is really what it is all about at a basic core level. This seems to get lost in the debate completely.

    • Well said. I agree there were many objections from his comments and POV, but this may be the best effort I’ve seen from a liberal “journalists” to see the “other-side.” I do give him kudos for getting out, spending the time, and being a man named Hamza and strolling in to a 3G match to shoot photos for the “New Yorker.” Haha, pretty gutsy!

      Most liberal “journalists” are adamant about things they know nothing about and give no effort to gain understanding.

  20. After seeing the video, any positive remarks I heard were tempered by the scary, ominous background music.
    Coming from a country where using any weapon for self-defense is illegal, I’m sure he would feel less threatened by the teenage boys portrayed in a popular insurance ad, that don’t even know what a lug-wrench is!

    DrDKW

    • The background music is the best part. It’s the sort you’d expect to have playing underneath while someone discussed something on par with a 9/11 type event.

  21. this is one of those times i probably wouldn’t bother engaging with this person other than to say “so someone acting RESPONSIBLY…scares you.” and walk away.

  22. How do you know she won’t grow up and be the military that defends us against what you failed to do in your alarmed states? Minds yours there safespace and clean up your immigrant run cesspool.

  23. That’s why your country lost. Drink some coffee, do some squats and get your guns back. And maybe then your country would be scary again, other than that your tea drinking pu$$y$.

    / mostly sarcasm…

    • Their country IS scary, if you’re a disarmed subject. London’s murder rate recently surpassed NYC’s. Coffee and squats don’t fix unethical policies.

  24. He’s teaching her to be like Mad Dog Mattis: ‘Be polite. Be professional. Have a plan to kill everybody you meet.’ And . . . as a bonus, he’s teaching her not to be a victim. Way to go, Dad!

    Brit, go home.

  25. I think he was trying to look at guns in ‘Merica with an open mind because he saw the positive benefits of it as he progressed. You have to remember his worldview colored his thinking and made it difficult for him to process the info as good. Then he had to give a statement to his flaming liberal overlords so that he would still get paid and be able to promote his work. What took him 18 months gets done in a 30 minute episode of most TV hunting or gun shows in ‘Merica. He might come all the way around and then be a great advocate for gun rights. Kinda like Dana Loesch did. He probably went into the whole thing thinking that he might get shot or killed or someone would go all Deliverance on him! So in that light I think he did well.

  26. There are so mamy misconceptios about the military. Many believe Soldiers are experts in handling weapons, but they really aren’t. Army training will absolutely not maintain your weapon skills. Firing once or twice a year does not build competence. Most army units fire their weapons once or twice per year for qualifications. Maneuver units may get to fire a few more times for live fire exercises. Soldiers might handle their weapons a few more times in other training such as field exercises.

    While I am not a door kicker operating operationally, I train on my own. I am very unlikely to need to fire my weapon, but I want to make sure that if it comes to it, I can effectively employ them.

    There is also an added benefit to shooting. A weekly range session is a great way to relieve stress and not think about anything else for a few hours. It’s a great way to clear your mind. This is something that people that have never fired a gun or trained don’t understand.

  27. I just think she’s lucky to have parents who encourage her and have the resources to support her passion.

    The gear in that picture ain’t exactly cheap.

  28. Many of the commentators HAVE NOT read the full article or watched Hamza’s backstory to the project.

    He’s actually telling the left that these are photos of responsible, safe gun owners in good families and his eyes were opened to the passion of this American sub-culture.

    We need more liberal “journalists” to dare learn what they “write” about.

    • I have to wonder if it’s you who haven’t watched the video or read the article. He’s certainly not taking the position that his eyes were opened on guns. It’s more like he’s taking the position that he was unaware that people held such arcane, outdated, and unexpected views and what he found blew him away (figuratively).

  29. Sharif Hamza, that’s a good old time British name. ..what foreigners brought the bed bugs?.? Thank goodness for the Mexicans and my house full of Brown Recluse all other insects are promptly devoured

  30. That’s one gal that isn’t going to be intimidated by anyone! Good for her and her dad. Dad, you did an AWESOME job as a father! True Americans practicing America’s true sport, shooting!

  31. Certain people seem scared of a lot of things.

    These people coincidentally have two things in common with young children who have underdeveloped brains:

    1. Lack of personal responsibility
    2. Lack of personal accountability

  32. A young girl that possesses more manly skills than this limpwrist, makes said limpwrist feel inadequate. Not that her skills are exclusively manly, but you get what I’m saying.

  33. What REALLY bothers Brits is people who aren’t effectively developmentally disabled wards of the state.

  34. Is the kid a competitive shooter? Ha, try BETTER than someone in the military. At least your average military member.

  35. I enjoyed teaching my 2 daughters the skills involved and they became quite adept with rifles and shotguns. From shooting trap to taking our .22s out for plinking or serious shooting, they really got into it. Nothing was better than watching their glee in “outshooting ol’ Dad” which kept their interest high. Later on, it was time to teach the skills of safe sidearm handling. They were very aware of extra attention required with those short barrels (not muzzling anyone etc) and we always discussed safety first. Welp, years later and they are out creating their own paths in life. Guess what we still do when we get together? Yup, they kept up the interest and became such fine young women enthusiasts.

  36. UK subjects are useful idiots on several levels.
    This guy is an idiot in that thinking other countries do not have guns.
    Switzerland and Austria come to mind.
    Is this guy a member of the aloha snackbar club?

  37. Britain? You mean the same country whose government was complicit in the systematic rape of multiple thousands of it’s girls by muslim gangs for twenty years? The same Britain that will place a man in jail for a youtube joke but will allow jihadi mosques and recruiters to operate without interference? That Britain? Screw their opinion about anything. That Orwell was British was not a coincidence.

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