Beretta 92G
Beretta 92G (Courtesy Beretta)
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By Everyday Gunner

I am fairly young. I’m relatively stupid. And I really have no idea what it takes to break into the stereotypical OFWG (old fat white guy) gun crowd. However, I’ve been working to find my way as a gunner for a while now, and figure someone might benefit from my experience, especially given all the first-time gun buyers out there.

Several years ago I purchased a Beretta 92G and had absolutely no idea what to do with it. It was only the second handgun I had ever fired, the first being a couple rounds through a Smith & Wesson Model 14, and I had done zero research of any kind into handgun techniques or methodology.

I knew I wanted a Beretta 92 due to that absolutely great in-hand feel, but I didn’t even know that it was a “G” until I no longer had the gun. The lack of a safety made me nervous so I kept it without a round chambered. My first magazine was reloaded hollowpoints I’d purchased at a small-town gun show, and the second was some random frangible ammo I’d purchase not even knowing what that meant.

I would still put it under my pillow, regardless of my lack of comfort though, because you know, that’s what movies showed the “gun guy” was supposed to do. And, of course, I was CLEARLY a gun guy. I shot rarely, had very little knowledge of my firearm or the laws associated with it, and had no means to carry or transport it other than a $9.99 plastic hard case. That was my first step into the world of gun ownership.

Later, I made a more concerted effort to get into the firearms scene. If I hadn’t studied diligently enough, I might have done something like openly carry my FNX-45 into an area that disallows OC by state law. I can only speculate, of course, that the one comment I might have gotten would have been a compliment followed by “what gun is that?”

Obviously I wouldn’t have been the only uneducated firearm fan that day…if that had happened. Imagine my relief when I finally did more study on state legalities and found out about this restriction and the apparent 4th degree felony I managed to avoid by not putting myself into such an uneducated and stupid position.

Another unpleasant experience involved IWB concealing a full-size handgun in a Kydex IWB/OWB modular holster for two days. Talk about a major sore spot. I legitimately thought I had injured myself. Almost limping from the pain, red and nearly raw with a ridiculously tender raised welt. Sound fun? Yeah, it wasn’t.

Even as I researched more about firearms, I still had embarrassing moments. Shall I tell you about getting screamed at in front of an entire conceal carry class for having my finger on the trigger? Sure, I was just dissembling my XD-S to check the lubrication on it before our next range session. And sure the instructor had dissembled his GLOCK about 20 times to that point in front of the class. And sure my gun was pointed in a safe direction, but….

Uhh wait, what was the “but” again? Oh, I just wanted to vent about getting yelled at? That’s right. (I know I know, classroom setting and all. Relax. It was still frustrating to get hollered at and besides, the whole goal here is to display my mistakes, right?)

Here’s the point: I don’t know everything about guns, but I’ve come a long way. How did I manage it? I read sites like The Truth About Guns, I watched videos, and I listened to podcasts to learn what was acceptable and what information had merit. Do your research. Look at the pros and cons of each firearm-related choice, try your best to understand what constitutes good gun manners, and do so BEFORE claiming to be a “gun person.”

Perhaps, like me, you’re not-so-old, not-so-fat, only half white — or none of the above — and wondering how you can fit in. Well, quit trying to. Just be an everyday guy or gal trying to gain knowledge, and you’ll find a place. We’d love to have you.

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    • Unfortunately there are “gun guys” on this forum who talk guns only to denigrate the POTUS worse than a fake news democRat. Of course gun guys like that are too ignorant to realize how to democRats they are more valuable than gold. Nothing a Rat likes more than finding self serving azz scratchers like Mitt Romney to slander and libel the POTUS.

      Then you have the “gun guys” who are quick to join hands with democRats in celebration of their assumed demise of the NRA. Instead of patching the wound and restructuring the NRA every NRA member should listen to gun guy wisdom and throw their NRA membership in the trash and go join one of the assumed to be puritan gun rights orgs. The fact is such gun guys only prove to everyone but themselves that they never, ever were the NRA. A light breeze will knock such gun guys off their feet because they stand for noting but cut and run. Despicable.

      • I never will leave the NRA but I do have problems with the current leadership. My concerns started with what happened to Col. North. The entire leadership needs to be fired, get the hell out of NY and then rebuild.

        • It helps the cause because once We get rid of all the people We don’t like, We will have people We do like, and all those people think just like Me.

        • “It helps the cause because once We get rid of all the people We don’t like, We will have people We do like, and all those people think just like Me.”

          Careful what you wish, because I only want people who think like me. So we already have the ingredients for another culling, right?

        • The more important question is: Do Democrats help our cause or hurt it?
          Gun control is one of the main points of Dem party’s platform and you will be hard pressed to find any high level (D) politician that opposes infringements on our civil, human, constitutionally protected right to own and carry weapons. Some low level Dems may claim support for the 2A, but they still vote in the gun grabbers.

          The Left is not the side to look for friends or allies.

        • Anyone on the left will be quick to tell you how easy it will be to get along with them, because they all lie. Constantly, continuously, and about everything.

  1. Welp, I would have wished for you to do more research before you purchased, and learned some of this earlier, but good on you for doing it! Everyone is a “first time gun buyer” at some point, and most are fairly ignorant at that point (I know I was). Congrats for recognizing you needed to know more, and reducing your lack of knowledge.

    But, beware – learning “more about guns” is the ultimate slippery slope. You’ll soon find out you can never know “enough” about guns – there is always much more to learn. Either you get to a point where you say, “Well, I ain’t no Jeff Cooper, but I’m good enough”, or you just keep learning until you die, and die wishing you knew a little more.

    Learning is good; training is better. Enjoy! Hope I see you at the range sometime.

    • POTG were practicing social distancing before the chinese virus. Those who refuse to follow the safety rules usually, over time, find themselves alone. Be safe and the rest will fall into place.

      • Amen!! But at least you’re still learning. If I ever get to the point where I say “I know enough about guns; I don’t need to learn any more.”? Time to get rid of my guns.

        • “If I ever get to the point where I say “I know enough about guns; I don’t need to learn any more.”? Time to get rid of my guns.”

          I already know all I need to know about guns….I don’t have enough. And I can’t afford enough.

  2. EG,

    There is no shortage of old white guys (some even not particularly fat) who will be happy to teach you. Just strike up s conversation. We all were just like you once and in general you will not find a friendlier. crowd.

  3. A relative of mine recently purchased her very first gun and asked me to show her how to shoot & care for it. When I arrived and she opened the case to show me her purchase (of the brand new gun), I asked her if the LGS owner had shown her how to perform a takedown for cleaning, and she said no, the LGS had sold it to her (plus ammo) and that was it.

    So I showed her how to remove the upper assembly, separate the barrel from the slide, perform a basic cleaning with swabs and a boresnake, and reassemble. Then I had her do the takedown/reassembly herself twice to be certain she remembered.

    I also had to show her how to correctly load ammo into a mag, as well as how the gun operates. I used empty mags to demonstrate how the slide locks open after the last round is fired, how to chamber check (and check again!) for safety, how to handle a basic misfeed, the Four Rules, the Four Rules again, and the Four Rules a third time for good measure. Due to the COVID measures currently in force here and the smaller size of the gun shop, only one customer at a time was allowed in the store, meaning she was the owner’s sole focus while she was there. Yet, disappointingly, he sold a gun to a newbie and provided no instruction.

    I suspect there are many such newbies out there now, and contrary to many of the comments posted here, we should not denigrate them, but welcome them into the brother/sisterhood of POTG and educate them.

      • I do have to reluctantly reveal , that some of these newbies will not ever fire the weapon ,until they are making their first and last stand ! Making clean n lube a moot point. But you are right , from a customer service aspect ,instruction should be given especially for safety reasons.

        • You’re probably correct, but if the other half *do* become true POTG, that’s still a high number. Even one million nationwide added to our ranks is a welcome result, and can change voter habits in certain locales.

          Glass always half full…

        • I would never argue against your point , I’m just realizing a few truths in this evolution of gun culture which I have been an ardent participant. I started (in 1973) with the purchase of a Colt 1911 .45 ACP , Series ’70 . For $100.00 , the purchase included ,the weapon , box and 2/ 50 rnd. boxes of brown box military ball ammo. Those were the days, huh ! ( the seller said ” I just need to pay my rent “)

    • The only time a LGS showed me how to take down a gun was when I purchased a firearm from a gunsmith who (1) was a LGS on the side and (2) was a close personal friend. I don’t think gun shop owners have the time or inclination to go that far, particularly when they likely have a long line of prospective customers outside.

      I don’t expect a car dealer to demonstrate how to change a tire or change the oil. There are manuals and videos for that stuff, if I don’t already know how to myself.

      • My first semiauto pistol was/is an S&W 1911. (Before that, all of my handguns had been revolvers, and some still are.) So, I asked the salesman for some instruction on fieldstripping the thing, and he was glad to oblige. You just have to patronize the right gun shop.

    • I’m one of the new gun owners that needs help. Just purchased a 9mm EZ and now want to purchase reliable ammo that doesn’t jam…..range and self defense. Recommendations would be most helpful. Thank you.

  4. Imagine how embarrassing it was to attend a beginner pistol class by opening the plastic case and letting the entire class see my .22LR Beretta Neos. I think the people sitting behind me actually moved to another part of the classroom. This was the class where I learned “open carry” didn’t include walking between my car and the classroom, carrying the hardcase.

  5. Your honesty is refreshing. And to think you have bared your soul to an untold number of OFWGs like me. My first pistol was a Sig P320 compact purchased a few years ago, although as the son of a USMC Sergeant I spent many (as in most ) weekends at gun ranges, dumps, etc. either shooting or hunting with my father in my youth. Nonetheless, I, too, didn’t do enough research before leaping into the world of self-defense pistols, and sold this gun to a shooting buddy. I decided, like you, that I don’t want to carry any pistol without a manual safety. Period. Now I will probably hear from many other OFWGs et. al. about manual safeties, but that’s my preference. To make matters worse, I shoot left handed so all my pistols either have totally ambidextrous controls, or nearly so. BTW both Beretta, and now Sig Sauer equip the service pistols with ambi safeties. Keep learning, and pass along what you learn to other “newbie” gun guys. And, no, you’re not relatively stupid. Compared to the anti-gun crowd, you’re a star ship captain.

  6. I can confidently state that the cost of firearms has been the cheapest part of gun ownership. Ammo, holsters, belts, upgraded parts, optics, tripods, spotters, LRFs, Kestrels, shooting bags, ear protection, safes, carrying cases, range bags, range fees, steel, reloading equipment.

    The market is so inundated with options, it must be overwhelming for a new gun owner.

    Every new shooter should have an IWB and OWB holster, at least one extra magazine, and a few hundred rounds to practice with. A range day with an experienced shooter to get them going in the right direction.

    I don’t support mandatory training requirements, but I do think that new shooter training is a really good idea.

  7. “And I really have no idea what it takes to break into the stereotypical OFWG (old fat white guy) gun crowd.”

    Have an interest in guns and ………….uh, ah,, that’s it. Have an interest in guns. That what it takes to “break in”. It’s not a requirement to be old or fat or white or any other thing except maybe a generally decent person.

    Usually people do more research. Everyone you tubes everything now. Back in the day it would have been buy gun magazines (the paper kind, with pictures, but of guns, not girls), hang around gun shops, talk to gun people. You clearly didn’t do much about being a “gun guy” other than buy a gun and act like a………..nevermind. You already got yelled at.

    Not to rag on you, the author, but I was reading Guns & Ammo by high school, and buying gun books at the local used book store way before there was an internet.

    But all that aside, just show an interest. Almost all of us will be happy to have you as a gun person, and to help you learn the ropes. There are plenty of old rednecks who do things that make us cringe. The yelling types yell at them too.

    • I was buying electronics magazines, building circuitry, and reading schematics in high school before there was an internet. Only to discovery (inspite of my own passions) that no one understood how to program away the flashing 12:00 from their VCR’s. It all gave me more appreciation for 1’s and 0’s. But not everyone even cares. Many just accept that these things work. Until they don’t.

    • It’s the same kind of idea as breaking into the motorcycle crowd. It’s not a club. It’s not a lifestyle.

      • fun for some. when you’ve got the factory socks, cologne, coffee mug and your closet turns to a sea of black t- shirts that’s flirting with lifestyle.

    • Pirate:
      “The yelling types yell at them too.”

      I don’t know about you, but I’ve always thought that it isn’t a real good idea to start yelling at someone who’s holding a gun. Just saying…

  8. Not sure how many OFWG’s make up street gangs to the point of making it stereotypical.

    Hollywood movies make bad teachers.

    I’m a big fan of Beretta. That was not a bad choice. I wouldn’t have slept with it under my pillow though. But to each their own. My first was a Ruger that I still have and thoroughly enjoy. In my case though, when I first saw it I had to have it. I love that one.

  9. OFWG = Old Fart With Guns or GOFWG = Grumpy Old Fart With Guns,although not all are that old.

    Want to learn,attend and take your pick,IPSC,IDPA,Steel Challenge,Three Gun,SASS ,Action Pistol,Bullseye match,if you own a Glock then GSSF match.

    Make your first trip to see what type of match best suits your interests for the moment,or perhaps all of them and then decide and join in the fun.You will learn what you need to to be safe, build your skills and perhaps develop life long friendships along the way and you be guaranteed to enjoy yourself and have fun all while learning.

  10. I can commiserate. In my early 20s I bought my first handgun, a SIG P220. I had been a fairly high-level M9 shooter and range coach in the Marines, so the marksmanship and safety aspects weren’t an issue. But I didn’t understand the laws all that well. I did get a CWP, but I did stupid stuff like carry into bars and other proscribed places where, if there had been an incident, I would have been up S. Creek without the proverbial paddle.

    Back then, I loaded it up with Glasers because I bought into the super high velocity frangible hype. After a lot of study, highlighted by the 1986 Miami shootout, I came to realize that heavy, tough bullets are best until you get into magnum territory, then lighter bullets start to make more sense. The old Hydra-Shoks and Golden Sabers back then, now the Hornady, Winchester, and Speer wünderbullets.

  11. I don’t call myself a “gun guy”, but other people do.

    We all start somewhere, it just depends on if you’re able to learn and evolve from there. Hell, took me 20 years but I finally learned to appreciate Glocks (revolvers are still perfection to me).

    • I was the same. I saw my first Glock in the next lane over sometime in 1990. My thought, after I sniffed my nose at it, was if it isn’t a metal gun, it’s not a gun. Space-age, plastic, fad hipster gun will blow up in someone’s hand. My mindset, at the time, was buy new 1911s and of course take to favorite gunsmith immediately to fix it how I wanted it. Nothing “just worked” out of the box. No one of note competed with a Glock at that time.

      Fast forward to 2020..and I count at least five I own now. I carry a G19 Gen 2 every day.

      End the trip down memory lane. My advice, as others have said, is read all the gun mags and publications you can. For us OFWGs it was ShotGun News way back when. Buy publications such as the ‘ Blue Book of Gun Values, order catalogs from manufacturers (usually for free) Read TTAG and other forms discussing your specific interest.

  12. “And I really have no idea what it takes to break into the stereotypical OFWG (old fat white guy) gun crowd.”

    More chicken-fried steaks would be a good start…

  13. Lotsa folks takin’ this a bit too serious. It is a nicely done put-on to illustrate a condition. Allows newbies to feel more at home.

    Good show, that.

  14. How to become a gun gun guy or gal.

    Learn the 4 rules.
    Buy gun.
    Learn how to take care of it
    Practice (admittedly hard these days due to ammo shortage.)

    You are now a gun guy or gal.

    Things like carry permits if needed or available give you bonus points. If you go this far you also need a proper holster

    • I would add “Join a club”.
      When I wanted to garden (and knew nothing), I joined a club.
      When I wanted to take good pictures, I joined a camera club.
      I joined a women’s gun club. The old members have a wealth of information that you might not find in a book.
      They may not always be right, but their depth of knowledge is amazing. Later you can help others. That’s the fun part.
      p.s. is very good, (for beginners and others).

    • OFGs who have this attitude wonder why no one likes them lol.

      It’s that mind-body-rear end connection. Being fat makes you feel like shit. Feeling like shit makes you grumpy. Being grumpy all the time usually turns you into a raging asshole over time.

  15. I was lucky to be born in the south with a dad who hunted and taught me about guns at a age considered these days as way to young. I knew what a gun would do, the bloody quail, ducks and deer showed me. There was no “reset” button.

    • I was thinking along similar lines as I read through the comments. I didn’t do anything to become a gun guy other than being born into my family. My first firearms instructor was named “Grandpa”. I had to learn how to safely load, unload and clean a gun before I was ever allowed to shoot it and I knew very well which I was and was not allowed to touch and under what circumstances. I too was what many would consider far too young when I was first allowed to fire a .22 rifle and as time went by, I was allowed to handle more and more of the family firearms. When I finally bought a gun for the first time it seemed less remarkable than buying my first car – after all, I had to have a license to drive the car.

      I was a teen before I really realized how many people there were that didn’t learn to shoot from Dad or Grandpa or their big brother (and, yes, I’m being a bit sexist but, in large part, it was the men in my family that were into guns and most of the women less so – plenty of the gals could shoot just fine though). I was very surprised to learn how many people had never even so much as fired a gun. I was disappointed to learn how many people thought that I must be crazy and violent because I was a gun owner, shooter and hunter. It was around then (in my late teens) that I first started to recognize that there was a so-called gun culture and, unfortunately, a badly misinformed and antagonistic cross section of the population that thought they should be in control of everyone else – particularly when it comes to guns. Prior to that realization, I just called the “gun culture” America – at times I wish I could go back to the ignorance of youth.

      • Similar experience here.

        I’m not fat, but I do fart, so I s’pose the acronym applies.

        Wanna learn? Be a good grasshopper. Anybody remember Pat McManus writing about Rancid Crabtree? Newbie/mentor deals work.

    • That is a bit of old fashion myth making. Wisconsin has more guns per capita than most if not all Southern States. During gun deer season there will be more Wisconsinites in field than the US Army has Infantry.

  16. I suppose this post is infused with satire…or is that irony? As a bonafide OFWG my only qualification is I’m old and fat. Entirely self taught gunwise. I’m a guru to a few folks(very few!) but really I just try to educate myself. I felt really dumb when I decided to get an AR15 not long ago. An idiot is someone who won’t learn-or try. Or a criminal gangbanger. Or a casual firearm owner who has no clue about rhe 4 rules(lot’s of those in Indiana!)

    • I too am self taught. Found out I had a knack for it. But I am still learning and teach those that want my opinion.

  17. “And I really have no idea what it takes to break into the stereotypical OFWG (old fat white guy) gun crowd.”

    Well, for one thing, d!psh!t, you can stop calling them old fat white guys.

  18. E.G., you’re not stupid if you’re admitting your inexperience and making an effort to learn. We are all (hopefully) learning every day. Welcome to the community.

  19. Don’t equate owning a lot of guns with gun knowledge, experience or skill. Learn to use a pistol, rifle and a shotgun properly, safely, and accurately and you’ll be ahead of Yahoos that spend lots of money on guns but are still doing it all wrong.

  20. I LIKE THE TERM GUN-GUY , i grew up in the back woods of western maryland , yes im a gun guy from age 8 , all the kids had rifles in the back windows of all pick ups , and we took them to school to show them off and the teachers did the same . we had to shoot 7 deer a year to feed our family every year . any one in my family can out shoot 95 per cent of normal shooters

    • Same Same and Same only in Missouri. Now to the subject of Old Fat White Guys. Same and Damn proud of It. Just looking at what qualifies as a Young Skinning White Guy in society. makes me seriously doubt the future of not only the Nation But, Humanity Itself.

  21. The fact that you recognize that you are young and dumb means you have taken the first step to reforming yourself.

    Also. OFWB now stands for Old FIT White Guy. No more fat bastards in tactical gear. Its all about being old and fit. (52. Did my first half ironman this winter in FL)

  22. Be careful with advice. As in politics nowadays, opinions are often regarded as facts.
    Automatics are better than revolvers.
    Ruger is better than Smith.
    A shotgun is more useful than a rifle in the house.
    .45 is better than 9mm.
    Everyone has opinions and the older one gets, the more carved in stone they are. That doesn’t make them gospel.

    • Doesnt seem to take time.

      Some of us have molded our inflated opinions with years of our experience. Good or bad.

      But the modern era sees a lot of people who think Google makes them smart and that whatever sells the best “is” the best.

      Google just provides information (good? Bad?).

      Rote memorization of information is knowledge …… wisdom is the application of knowledge.

      People with only a ton of Google info are mostly just irritating.

    • “Everyone has opinions and the older one gets, the more carved in stone they are. That doesn’t make them gospel.”

      Yes it does.

  23. Laughed at,,,,,,NO , You jump on the table and scream “You Better STFU, I’ve Got A GUNM!!!” Then start waving it around and make a real ass out of yourself.

  24. 😳. I hope this is a puff piece to entice comments and attract noobs.

    I was more of a “gun guy” at 10. Read everything I could get my hands on and asked questions at gun shops (learned quick that some people are dicks).

    Lots of guys were plenty willing to educate me on guns.

    Some rifle guys …Colt Auto guys…..wheelgunners….skeet shooters….all was interesting.

    I quickly migrated to handguns, reading Skeeter Skelton, Elmer Keith, Dean Grennell, Bill Jordan, and the like.

    Need to find people to talk to about guns….learn what you like…and how to sort out what works for you without dismissing the experience of others.

    • And shoot as much as you can. Caliber matter little for learning.

      22 is your friend to learn ballistics and basics and accuracy.

  25. The thing every new shooter should understand is, your first pistol won’t be your last. You will learn the pros and cons of whatever you bought, and eventually find something you like better. Or something you like for different reasons. Same with your first holster.

    You might also learn that you can sell a used gun in good shape for a high percentage of that you paid for it new, so the cost of those learning experiences is limited. In the past several years I have sold nearly as many guns as I have bought, but I don’t regret any purchase. Each gun was a learning experience.

    With an open mind, you will eventually learn the differences between old-fashioned hammer-fired steel pistols and newfangled striker-fired polymer framed pistols, and you will appreciate the advantages of each.

  26. My first gun purchase was a KelTec. I bought it with zero research at a hardware store that also sold guns. If nothing else, you started better than I did.

  27. We need to update the mindset from “gun guy” — which automatically dismisses women — to something that welcomes and encourages women to participate as well.

    I would also add that anyone who wants to join the party should be ready to learn about maintenance and repairs above and beyond simple field stripping and cleaning. I have had to actually repair multiple firearms. While I repaired them myself, not everyone will be so inclined of course. At any rate, it is a good idea for firearm owners to have an awareness of how firearms can have manufacturing defects right out of the box as well as how firearms can develop defects after use. Like everything else, this comes with time, research, and talking to other people who have firearms.

    • “We need to update the mindset from “gun guy” — which automatically dismisses women”

      Seeing and hearing females address collections of females as “you guys”. The word seems to have become an all inclusive substitution for “ya’ll” (or, “all ya’ll).

  28. I’m an OFWG myself. Been around guns for a long time. And still learning every day: safety, drawing, carrying… all of it. So, OP, you’re not alone on the learning thing. We’re all in the same boat. It never ends.

    And I’ll think you’ll find most of us OFWG types very welcoming of anyone joining the people of the gun, regardless of race, sex and just about any differentiator anyone can imagine. Got or getting a gun? Interested in using it responsibly? Plenty of room for you in our tent.

  29. When I bought my first handgun (Canik) I was already an ofwg. I think it was a birthday gift to myself at 67 Y/O.! The man at the gun/ lawn mower parts store must have asked me three times if I had a CWP I admitted (after I had told him 3 times that I hadn’t fired a weapon since 1969) that I knew I was subject to the waiting period , no CWP, and I would be back next week to pick my pistol up. He really offered no instruction or helpful information except that he heard that the Canik was a soft shooter. Life goes on from there, when at the range I have been approached for advice and had to admit that I was a beginner even if I looked like their grandpa !! Keep learning and don’t buy too many guns, HA! HA! you will……….get better and help the next newbee.

  30. When I bought my first handgun (Canik) I was already an ofwg. I think it was a birthday gift to myself at 67 Y/O.! The man at the gun/ lawn mower parts store must have asked me three times if I had a CWP I admitted (after I had told him 3 times that I hadn’t fired a weapon since 1969) that I knew I was subject to the waiting period , no CWP, and I would be back next week to pick my pistol up. He really offered no instruction or helpful information except that he heard that the Canik was a soft shooter. Life goes on from there, when at the range I have been approached for advice and had to admit that I was a beginner even if I looked like their grandpa !! Keep learning and don’t buy too many guns, HA! HA! you will……….get better and help the next newbee. BTW never say idiot, words mean something.

  31. Well, I’m 64+ and can’t remember when I wasn’t a “gun guy”. I prefer enthusiast. I’m old and white, but not fat. It’s a genes thing.
    I got my first BB gun at 9, a Daisy mod. 25. Totally wore it out in a couple years. Got another Daisy, an 1894. Wore that one out too. Dad was a WWII Navy veteran. Not against guns, but he grew up in the city and no one had guns. I begged him to let me have a .22, but he would have none of it. So I settled for a Sheridan Blue Streak, which I still have.
    I counted the days until I turned 18 and could buy my own guns. I bought a Marlin Mod. 60 and a Remington 870. Still have the shotgun.
    I read every scrap of information I could find on guns. My parents thought I was “studying” at the library. I’d go to a local gun club just to watch and learn and sometimes guys up there would let me shoot their guns. An incredible treat.
    As soon as I turned 21 I got my “pistol permit”. Like a newbie cowboy, I bought a used Colt Trooper MKIII with a 6″ barrel and a shoulder holster. I carried it every day for almost a week after which I swore I was 6″ closer to the ground than when I started.
    That started my ongoing learning trek into all things gun. I’ve been an NRA instructor and RSO for a bunch of years now and it brings me joy teaching the newbies the right way to be a gun owner. POTG are the most welcoming group that you’ll find.

  32. If newbies are afraid to come out then gun culture has a problem. We should identify as educators, not experts. As educators we would have more contact time than if we adopt a “My way or the highway” attitude. And we might make a few more friends in the process.

    Short of actual safety violations I try to be non-judgemental. I’ve been down that road, myself, and I know what it’s like to encounter a self appointed expert. I see them all the time. Gun people can and should do better.


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