Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Great Gun Survey

After reading the comments to my post about Las Vegas, and reflecting a bit, I realized my so-called score card of gun experiences was a bit overly simplified. I scored twenty to zero, the twenty being negative experiences and the zero being positive ones, or the lack thereof.

Here's the new survey. Whoever is kind enough to respond will be included in the compilation. Three columns: A: bad, B: neutral, C: good.

Column A - Bad will include any first hand experience with a gun that was negative, like the 20 I described before. Included will be not only any killings or shootings but also potential ones. If someone drew down on others in anger or as a threat and you were there, it belongs here. Listed will be illegal possession of firearms by people of questionable competence and responsibility, like my nephew.

Column B - Neutral will be the largest for many folks. Included will be any military or law enforcement training. Listed would be legal gun ownership or even illegal gun ownership by responsible people. Hunting and shooting range experiences will go here.

Column C - Good will be the times when a gun saved the day. Thomas already mentioned some of them to Brit Girl. Included here would be any experience of self defense utilizing a gun, any time of thwarting a crime. If you personally knew that granny in PA who held the burgler until the police arrived, you'd mark her down here.

Now, a couple thoughts before we begin. This doesn't have to be rocket science or perfect in any way; there's no need to over-analyze this thing. Estimations are fine. Columns A and C should get the most attention and accuracy, naturally for comparison purposes.

Here's mine:

A. 20 - already described in some detail. Includes the murder of a good friend by his wife, the non-fatal shooting of another buddy when we were 25, I'm counting Tupac because I was at the same red light just the other day and as an example of how loose we can be with this thing. My nephew is on this one, which someone else might put on Column B or C, but I already told you I think he's not responsible enough to own a gun.

B. 2 - Marine Corp training, summer of 1970. I'm counting it a one, but it was a lot more than that as some of you know. And, I had about five or six trips to the shooting range in Indiana using legally owned guns, one of which was used on my friend who made it on Column A.

C. 0

Please give us your numbers in a comment with as much explanation as you feel comfortable with. Everyone is the judge of his own, but of course we might want to challenge each other about the logic - we've been known to do that.


  1. Mike,

    May want to edit your post...both column A and column C show bad. Shouldn't column C be good?

  2. +1 I see a little bit of Freud in that one.

    Also I'd like to refute your use of Tupac as it really just dive-bombs this into the world of emotional hysterics. For a frame of reference, if I could name all the people who have died in a given hospital room, that could easily be turned to imply one was foolish to go to a hospital.

    But I'll play, omitting the "Personal experience that is hardly personal"

    A: I have lost one friend and one family member to suicide that happened to be with a gun (The cousin I never really knew, and I know of a few others who chose other methods. I personally find the gun irrelevant)

    B: Countless. I'm a legal gun owner, as is my wife. Many of my friends are gun owners, a large portion of them carry defensivly. Many of the ones who don't own have at least gone shooting with me on several occations. I have several family members and friends who were or are currently avid hunters. I'm a member of a number of gun clubs, social groups, and political action groups. I frequently communicate with my State and federal representation on gun issues. I also write a gun blog and occational go to local meets with other gun bloggers. I hold a federal collector's licence and mostly concentrate my collecting to military arms from Soviet and Warsaw Pact nations. I also own a few family heirlooms. I target shoot, shoot sporting clays, and I plan to soon to get into IDPA. I load much of my own ammo.

    This is in the neutral column, but I'd say all of the above have had a very positive impact on my life.

    C: I have never had to use my gun defensively. Its not generally talked about, but I suspect a few of my friends have. A few have told me of instances where they have used a gun defensivly. None that I know of involved shots fired, the agressor retreated when they encountered the gun.

    To step back a bit further, I'm glad certainly glad to carry when I'm in town or on the subway (See the story on the asshole with the hammer in Philly...also there have been a number of stabbings and rapes in subway stations this year alone. ) Also I have a few friends who have been victims of forcable rape, none were in "Dangerous places", as have the friends I know who have been mugged. So I don't consider any place to be truly safe....nor is any place truly dangerous. I just make all attempts to be constantly aware, and armed.

    I'm not going to go all out and dredge all the defensive gun uses that have occored in places I've been just because its pure stupidity, as I mentioned above, but I received my pistol training course at the Medford MA, Police range, and the officer who qualified me told me of 3 defensive gun uses that happend in places I've been (Two that involved the agressor being killed and the defender declared justified by the police) and that was just examples he found useful for training....not in any way an enumeration like is being done here.

    So that's me. Add my score how you feel fit (and let me know how it adds)

    I'll be interested to see where this goes. But definetly dump the Tupac.

  3. Mike,

    I'll play,

    Column A Bad -2
    My stepfather went on a bender (recovering alcoholic) and was in a bar fight. He received a gun shot wound to the leg. It was just a flesh wound that bleed freely.
    My knuckleheaded brother shot himself in the leg carrying an unauthorized revolver when he was a security guard. He was in an entry booth to a manufacturing plant; playing cowboy by spinning it around on his finger. Surprise, the .22 caliber bullet is still lodged in his leg as a reminder to his stupidity.

    Column B - Neutral - 26
    Received training in the Air Force with the M-16 ++Grin++ For some reason it took me 3 tries to qualify...of course the last time I shot expert. Also 2 years of re-qualifying on the M-16. Qualified on a .38 Revolver (missed the switch to the Berattas by a year). Boy Scout Rifle and Shotgun call it 6 or 7 experiences in 7 years as a boy scout. Another 3 experiences working and teaching as an adult Scouter.
    I've been to the range probably 10 times in the 14 months since my Dad gifted me with his pistols.
    (Also have taught 5 new people to shoot in that time).
    Grew up with firearms in the house (dad hunted) and never shot myself or that nothing for your purposes.

    While you call these neutral, I would call the good. I enjoyed myself, put lead down range, no one got hurt, etc.

    Column C- Good. 1 possibly 2
    Aunt was carrying concealed illegally back in the late 70s. Reached into her purse when she realized she was being followed in her apartments garage. Male figure stopped and turned away. Next day she found out another woman had been raped less then 15 minutes later in the same garage.

    I would have to check with my stepfather - now armed security guard in some very rough parts of Dallas- but he has mentioned holding criminals for the cops on multiple occasions over the years. Since I can't verify number...want to call it just 1?

    Plan on adding another one to the list - tonight I take the shooting portion of my Concealed Handgun License class.

  4. Congrats Mike, you'll do fine on the shooting test. What are you bringing to the qualifier, and do you already have a carry gun/rig for when the permit shows up?

    The weather is turning cool here, I may upgrade to the 1911 for tommorow!

  5. I tried to edit that freudian slip but Blogger won't let me. I'll try again tomorrow.

  6. Weer'd

    My Excam/Tanfoglio .380 is down with a busted firing pin, so I'll be borrowing my father in law's Ruger P-89, I think. It's a nice 9 mil that I've shot before.

    I don't have any hardware for my carry rig yet. Working on the wife to purchase a dedicated carry piece. The .380 is my father's pistol. I would like to put it in the safe, especially since I found out that EAA isn't importing parts for it any more. I'm looking at the Taurus Millennium Pro, either in .45 or .40.
    Any suggestions for carry rigs, I'm planning on IWB.

  7. I carry pocket, or shoulder, so I haven't really looked very deep into it. The wife plans on packing her S&W638 J-frame bodyguard in an IWB rig (MAN women have it lucky with IWB, she strapped on her holster for apendix carry and the curve of her hip made the gun VANISH!!!)

    She's mostly been looking at Galco and Bianchi holsters for starters, and maybe a big-bux custom rig if she feels the need.

    If the Taurus' suit you well, go for them. Personally I don't like the redundancy of a manual safety AND a DA trigger pull. In that class I'd recomend highly a look at the S&W M&P series (if you can't get one without the magazine disconnect I suggest having it removed by a competant gunsmith) But I really like the M&P ergonomics and the trigger. Of course there's Glock, and the Springfield XD, and Sig Sauer.

    Bottom line pick somthing you like, as the more you shoot it the better you'll be when the chips hit the table, and the more likely you'll carry it (ain't much good being a good shot if your gun's at home!)

  8. Weer'd,

    Next time I get over to your live journal, I'll comment over there.

    Don't want to run out my welcome here by turning Mike's Blog into a CHL tutorial. :)

  9. A: 1 (I don't count John Lennon being shot, political assasinations, and shit like that. I reckon "A" should be PERSONAL EXPERIENCE)

    B: Multiple THOUSANDS

    I got my first firearms near 40 years ago. I've always been an active shooter, trainer, range officer, competitor, and hunter. You can figure the math. I AM the "gun culture" including most all aspects of it that are non-criminal,as some leftists like to paint us with leading words.

    I just was down in San Antone today and over lunch found that a family friend I never would have suspected, as she's a liberal Doctors Without Borders volunteer that goes to the third world on HER DIME to save children's eyesight, packs a Colt .380 and has for years.

    On the way back from San Antone, I stopped off somewhere in between to help a buddy of mine tune up an old govt model he feels like running as an IDPA gun.

    Normal behavior in my world. Like helping old ladies across the street and saying Yes Sir and No Ma'am.

    C: Dozens + on three continents. You can read about them in my biography some day. Statue of limitations and all... :-)

    Right now I am working on a book of legal scholarship as to where US case law draws the line between editorialist behavior and sedition, so the autobio is gonna have to wait, plus there's plenty more interesting stuff likely to happen to me yet to come.


  10. Addendum for Category C:

    I just checked my email for the first time today and the top of the inbox contained:

    SGS - Small Arms Repairman position

    This is a position with a physical rating of heavy. Must have a minimum of three (3) years experience in the Small Arms Maintenance Field. Should have experience in the 45B Series MOS or equivalent. Must have thorough knowledge of Army technical publications. Must have a current Secret Security Clearance. U.S. passport required. Must pass a physical exam due to the harsh living and working conditions. Criminal background check and drug screen will be conducted.
    Assists the armored with small arms storage operation. Maintains armoire's toolbox. Use gauges and precision measuring gauges. Stores weapons repair parts. Provide direct support for weapons maintenance of small arms, ensuring weapons repaired to 10/20 standards.

    Exceptional benefits package beginning day of hire.


  11. Freudian slip amended.

    A = Bad
    B = Neutral
    C = Good

    I'll start putting some totals and averages together later.

  12. I think these gun carrying guys are trying to be macho and are fixated on the power and delusional aspects of control that carrying a gun give them. They live in a individualistic society that makes them fend for themselves and fight for the scraps of wealth that the upper one percent of Americans that control 90 percent of the wealth in America give them.

  13. oh yeah. I also own a gun. A Ruger P-40. ex military with fire arm AND combat experience.

  14. @ il principe

    Putting a pistol on my belt is no different to me than putting on my socks or putting my multitool, pliers, flashlight, wallet, and lensatic compass in my pockets before I leave the house. It gives me no feeling of anything power related any more than taking barbecue tongs out to the barbecue gives me and you're weird and insulting in how you phrased what you did.

    I've got combat experience outside of "official UN sanctioned" channels and have HELPED TRAIN military and LEOs.

    Most everybody in my family has combat and/or LEO gunfight experience. In 5 different countries and multiple states.

    Don't sling mud or paint with such a broad brush or the favour will be returned to you in spades. If I can be civil about this, you lot should learn to try it.

    You don't win a debate by insulting people as that sort of behavior, of which I've also been guilty at times, makes one out to seem a closed-minded assh*le. This tends to either degenerate into a pointless flame war or people ignore your writing.

  15. Dear Principe, Now that you've provoked our regular commenters, the leat you could do is complete the Great Gun Survey yourself. What are your Columns A, B and C?

  16. Fellow likely has the balls of a parrot if that, like most that spout off like he did...Painting with a broad brush just like he did...

  17. As a testicular cancer survivor I take your balls of a parrot a little offensive. Ole Thomas seemed to live up to MY perception of gun lovers. As a political scientist I know all the factors behind the use of the military and the war and combat is the highest form of politics which is about power.
    The statements of fighting in five different countries and LEOs draws my ire when I think of how the Reagan administration used the Communist threat in Nicaragua as a reason to support the Contras and also the US support for Pinochet in Chile.
    The debate about guns to me is a mute point. Just like nuclear weapons, the genie is out of the bottle and no one will give up their own weapons before the other guy does.
    Goes down to human nature and the fear man has of each other.
    When I walk the streets in America I am more afraid of the cops than I am of criminals. But then I knew if there was a more equal distribution of wealth in america there wouldn;t be as much crime.
    Just like all Arabs are not terrorists and all jews are not zionist pigs, gun owners like myself and the other bloggers here in the blogosphere, are not all bad. Sorry if I shot off my comment too soon about my negative thoughts on the gun culture in America. I should have been more disciplined like I am when I walk the dangerous streets of America.

  18. As a poli-sci/history/econ triple major...who has survived two bouts of colon cancer, you can't cry me any kind of river on that and if you aren't up for a bit of internet fisticuffs, I'll leave you and your mistaken ideas alone and put you in the "do not bother to respond to file".

    Stat statement about multiple countries includes saving people from the Holocaust, among other things. You can look up a lot of my family in Arlington. If you have a problem with defeating Nazism, you are beyond redeeming and speaking with anyway. LBJ and JFK were responsible for the ones on the LARGE GRANITE WALL.


  19. Another 100% CLASS C, by your scale, incident.