Thursday, March 26, 2009

Oh For Annie Oakley's Sake

...Marko's gone and started the Girls With Guns flingfest again. Tam's in the fray, too, which means odds are not so very good for the other side. Right, wrong, I dunno from the big objective, sociobiological, philosophic, with a capital T Truth* but I know who'll lose and it will not be Tamara K.

Me, hey, LOOKIT me, my eyes are Up Heeeeere, thank you, me I normally carry around enough visible hardware of the sharp, pointy variety that a smart feller or even a merely clever one usually knows better than to get too talking-to-a-child with me. Usually is not always, which I will get to in the next paragraph. Otherhandly, some men loathe me on sight, in part because in the right mood, stalking a gun show for example, I can come off pretty butch. I'm not all nice and dainty like Mom, Sis or their gurrrrrlfriend. Hey, too bad; those sellers don't get my money. Them: Fail!

The guys that do try to talk down? I can promise you, if you are a merchant, if you try that I will see just what I can talk you into or out of, because you're an idiot and I can probably exploit it. Outside a commercial setting, I may give you enough rope to hang yourself in front of Ghu an' everybody or nod a lot while making notes on how a certain type of goit behaves, 'cos I do write and I like to work from life; could be you'll get into print as a frikkin' maroooooon! ("...Make y'famous..." as one Kid may've said). And that's how the game is played; if you don't like it, maybe you had better stick to sports with a referee, 'cos I'm not gonna make nice with you like your Mama did.
* I really do. not. know. "Sexist?" Gender is one of the first things we notice about a person, quite often followed by deciding if we'd kick 'em out of bed or not, despite the low probablity of finding out. Right, wrong or neutral, it's one of the reasons why our species is not extinct. That doesn't make it nice to be treated like a child (or, for the boys, a brute) but maybe if we all stuffed a sock in the whole "sexist" (agesist, racist, whatever) hot-button an' worked on' bein' civil or at least minimally polite to all the losers, ijits, geeks and heros we meet, we'd get more light an' less heat. --And okay, your ex ripped your heart out. Hey, so did mine; neither is enough to impugn an entire gender.


Anonymous said...

I wish I could find some women in the same league as you, Tam, Breda and Brigid up here in Minnesota. Something tells me that all of you enjoy it most when respect flows BOTH ways.

Anonymous said...

Gender differences, hell, it's 2 entirely different species....."Alien vs Predator!

Tango Juliet said...

A point of view can be a dangerous luxury when substituted for insight and understanding. - Marshall McLuhan

Doesn't this all boil down to the dangers (and stupidity) of making assumptions?

And I was just trying to read what was on your T-shirt, honest! :)

Tango Juliet said...

Wish I would've found this quote before my previous post:

Belief is the death of intelligence.
- Robert Anton Wilson

sam said...

Dang, beautiful! Nice rant. You are still "young and cute." Period. End.

Anonymous said...

Lots of heat, not so much light. Please tell me how you really feel, because if I read you right, the much-maligned "anonymous" over there agrees with your point of view completely.

I've been around enough, and long enough, to have learned that a lot of guys who whole-heartedly pile on the new genderist bandwagon are really only doing a latter-day version of "defending the little woman," with the same old end in mind. Pedestals are a lot like tigers: it's quite a trick to get on one, and it's even more dangerous getting down.

skipelec said...

Like Tina said...R.E.S.P.E.C.T
If ya don't show it, ya won't get much.

karrde said...

Now, I've known the instinct of a guy to help a woman who's unfamiliar with the skill/art of [INSERT_GEEKERY_TAG_HERE], but I usually begin by trying to sound out her knowledge-level.

'Cause, if she can teach me a thing or two about my hobby, I'd be glad to learn.

I can't make much sense out of [GEEK_TOOL_OF_CHOICE] for [INSERT_GENDER_HERE], because there are so many individual characteristics involved in the choice.

I'd end up with "it depends...on your goals, price-point, area of use, etc."

And that ranges from motorcycles to computers to guns.

Anonymous said...

After all the BS settled, there actually is a pat answer to the supposed question, "What gun for woman?"

The question presumes that the woman does not already have a gun. Therefore the answer will always be, a non-snubby .22. When she is done teaching herself to shoot, there will still be money in her pocket to buy the Perfect Gun of Dreams everyone thinks exists.

Of course, the answer is just as pat for an 8-year-old boy, a wheelchair Olympian, illiterate old hillbillies and the Prexident of the New-Knighted States. But it's the right answer, no matter what ball cap you show up in. No one should buy a centerfire pistol as their first gun. Simple.

Tam said...

"The question presumes that the woman does not already have a gun."

So we're actually answering the question "What gun for a new pistol shooter with the luxury of buying a training gun?", then?

Roberta X said...

Good point, Anon, though I should 'fess up that my first pistol was a DAO Beretta 9mm (the 9000, I think, quite a challenge for a newbie), which I was happy to replace with a Star model BM.

I'd've been better off with a .22 and was delighted with the Ruger Mk II I bought a year later. I did have the advantage of having shot a .22 rifle a lot when I was growing up.

But, yeah. Outside of emergency situations (as I was just reminded), .22 first. Master the skills, learn the right habits, then big stuff.

...Although I have a macabre desire to answer the "What gun for a woman?" question as though it were a hunting query -- one that horrifies me.

Anonymous said...

I have a macabre desire

We knew that about you.
Probably, all rifle shooters, no matter how experienced, should consider themselves "new shooters" when they first try a pistol.

Thought experiment: did you ever see one of those down-range "bad guy" target profiles with a skirt, or decolletage, or a hijab? When you envision the center-mass of your attacker, is the breastbone ever between two breasts? What, never? I think you've discovered another blind spot shooters have.

"the luxury of buying a training gun" carries a level of presumption, as well. Are .22's nothing but training guns? Is training a luxury? Can a .22 be resold or traded up? And, my favorite, are any of those new shooters on YouTube, with the .500 S&W spur-scar over their right eyebrow, ever going to pick up a pistol again (other than to butt-whip their convulsed boyfriends with the cell-cam)? My Fighting EVAH!

Tam said...

"And, my favorite, are any of those new shooters on YouTube, with the .500 S&W spur-scar over their right eyebrow, ever going to pick up a pistol again...?"

Psst! Reverend! The congregation is that way.

"Thought experiment:..."

They're always white, too, FWIW.

I generally discouraged "illustration" targets in favor of simpler stuff like the B27, IPSC/IDPA-type, or FBI "Q" target, and for exactly that reason: You don't know where the A-Zone is going to be on der tag, so goofy "photo" targets do nothing for "realism".

"Are .22's nothing but training guns? Is training a luxury?"

No, but when the Waffle House employee with no disposable income, $200 to spend, and no intention of taking up shooting for a hobby (and a flat refusal to buy a shotgun) comes in the store, do I:
A) Bitchily insist that they buy a .22 to learn how to shoot,
B) Sell them the used Model 10.
BT&DT too many times to count.

Anonymous said...

Ho-kay, a used Model 10 it is, then
...and a nice $13.95 box of 50 cartridges, to let "them" (post-singular indefinite pronoun) know what you think of the Waffle House.
"Y'all come back now, heah?"

What do you do for people you're really trying to help--hit them up for their empty brass?

Unless you're clear up at the Ft. Benjamin Harrison end of Post Road, shooting is a hobby. Even concealed carry is a hobby--something you have to invest time, practice, interest in. I'd at least try to encourage that. Maybe an invitation to the range, first time free? You make it sound like your ideal customer still has wet ink on the restraining order. Why don't you just shoot "their" ex-spouse for "them"? Go on--you know you want to.

If they made a drop-in .22 conversion for a used Model 10, you'd be shopping for one now.

Roberta X said...

Biff! Pow!

...What's the right way to help people? --But wait, you have to decide based on very little information and no hindsight!

I dunno. What I do know is that while shooting qua shooting is most often a hobby, stayin' alive is more like a basic requirement. If you have crazy/bad/whatever after you, accomplishing the latter may require a gun, the willingness to use it and some very basic training. Insisting on always startin' with a .22 is like requiring a waiting period.

Ideally? Ideally Jane or Joe Hardluck buys an adequate .22 and a bargain .38 or 9mm...and range time, training, ammunition... Ain't an ideal world.

Anonymous said...

You've maneuvered quite a distance from the guy at the gun show who was such a sexist asshole because he wanted to buy a gun for his wife, and was so predatory as to ask advice about what to get her. Biff pow that.

He might have worked at the Waffle House, too. But that's...different.

Tam said...

Well, I was damned if I did and damned if I didn't...

I used the indefinite pronoun because I find "his or her" to be awkward and I'd have been accused of crawfishing if I used the universal "he". While I was referring to a certain broad class of customers, I used "Waffle House" as an exemplar because the last customer I had of that type that I can remember was a dude that worked at the local Waffle House.

I'm not sure if he had a wet-ink restraining order against his... uh... "spouse", or if indeed he had an "ex-spouse" of any sex or gender or species. Like a majority of people who come in to purchase firearms, however, what he wanted was not a gun, but rather a sock-drawer talisman to keep the boogiemen at bay.

One tries and tries to be an evangelist in these situations and suggest a .22 and instruction and frequent practice, but the sad fact of the matter is that "gun owners" vastly outnumber "shooters" and at the end of the day, I'm just a lowly gun sales clerk and it's a free country.

"You make it sound like your ideal customer still has wet ink on the restraining order."

No, my ideal customer is someone who wants to seriously get into shooting and keep coming back and spending money on a range membership and accessories and ammunition and training. Maybe one in four fits that profile in a good week.

"Why don't you just shoot "their" ex-spouse for "them"? Go on--you know you want to."

You know, I single-space these responses so as to not leave room for reading between the lines. That was certainly neither expressed nor implied by me.

Tam said...

Oh, and to make it perfectly clear: Most of the "I want a self-defense pistol to keep in the house. I don't want a shotgun. I don't want a CCW. I don't want a .22. And I want it now," customers that I was referring to with that indefinite pronoun are dudes, just like most of the customers in my line of work.

I haven't broken down any statistical analysis, but I'd suspect that as a percentage of all gun store customers, that particular mindset is equally well represented across ages, sexes, races, and creeds. They see it on TV, decide to buy a magic "Crime-B-Gone" thingie to keep in their sock drawer, and I, after the limited polite remonstrances allowed by the customer-clerk relationship, sell it to them.

Que sera, sera.

Anonymous said...

You know, it's good to see you clear that up.