Thursday, October 16, 2008

Why I Shoot

Update: Your responses to the question have been delightful! One blogger suggested "Why I shoot" should become a meme. I think maybe it has.

...I'm way short of time (trying to get caught up at work), so this won't be as introspective as I'd like. Perhaps that's for the best.

Though I was exposed to firearms -- rifle and shotgun -- at a very early age, and enjoyed rifle-shooting off and on in our backyard (the 1950s-vintage bombshelter, which we used during tornadoes, made a fine backstop) as I was growing up, as an adult it was a bit over a decade before I shot again.

What started me shooting was not so much being robbed at gunpoint twice or even my fascination with small complicated devices. It was politics.

Plenty of shooters become political after realizing their interest is threatened by legislators. I don't know how common it is to move from conservatism to anarchism to small-l libertarianism, slowly working out along the way that self-defense is a basic human right and starting from there, resolve to become adequately proficient with firearms, especially ones suited to defending oneself.

I'm not a hunter -- never really had the knack. I'm not driven to make long-distance bullseyes or even to become a Seven-Gun Combat Ninjamaster (or whatever it is) . Just wanted to be good enough to be able to say NO! to bad guys in a language they could understand.

How about you? Why do you shoot? Why do you carry, if you carry at all?


New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

Why? Concern about Zombies. Duh.

Tertiarily, the actions of a certain political class that wants me defenseless in the face of the Undead Menace so they can better control me, or simply be rid of me.

staghounds said...

The best explanation I have is from Ned Cobb (aka "Nate Shaw", from All God's Dangers).

Cobb was a n Alabama sharecropper, Black, in the 1930s. He tried to do some commrunity organising and was imprisoned. On a couple of occasions he used his .32 S&W to defend himself from the minions of the all-benevolent government.

At the end of the book, he talks about still having that pistol in the house, "asleep", and that every so often he takes it out and empties it into the air, just to hear it squall again.

Being armed is an intensely personal and political act. More later!

Anonymous said...

Why? Many reasons.

First I believe that I am “hardwired” for it. I have been drawn to it from an early age, it was also encouraged, and I find a lot of parallels to my natural mechanical aptitude.

Secondly I hunt. Less now than when I was younger, I can tell my blood lust is diminishing. Don’t know if that is natural progression or just me.

It is my main “hobby” I enjoy so many aspects of shooting. Being outside, reloading, effects of external ballistics, It go Bang! Where to stop!

Finally one day in my X0’s I became politically aware. The awareness of freedom, the sacrifices paid for this freedom, and the power of a gun to maintain this freedom. The movement of our government to the left and its intentions to remove these unalienable rights endowed by our Creator. The right to self defense.

These are just a few.


Anonymous said...

Same reasons as you, but I have started going hunting since I picked up my first firearm.

Oh, and the zombies.

Crucis said...

I'm not so different from you. I grew up on a small Southern Illinois farm and hunted with my Dad until my teens. We always had shotguns and rifles in the house, usually stacked in a corner somewhere.

After I was married, one of the first items I purchased was a Beretta pistol. It stayed in the drawer for the next 20 years along with a box of ammo---for emergencies. In the late '90s I started shooting Pins and IDPA and traded the Beretta in on a Kimber 1911 and a Browning Buckmaster .22.

I'd always been pro-2A, but the '90s changed me making me more aware of the efforts of the libs to destroy the constitution to allow them to remake it more to their advantage. That's when I became a NRA life member, and when Missouri passed CCW, I was one of the first to get a license.

I didn't get a CCW because I was concerned with my safety or that of my wife, kith 'n kin, but because I could.

Awareness of being personally responsible for ones safety and liberty is a life-long effort, continuously renewed.

Aaron said...

I'm kind of like Anymouse. I was always interested in guns at a young age. Dad, uncles, and various other adults took me shooting sporadically since I was 10 or 11. That went on until I was in high school.

Then I started drinking the liberal kool-aid. Looking back, I'd guess it was because my principle was very conservative (at least in his mind), a major gunnie, and an abusive asshole. It only takes getting beaten up by your principle a few times and having no one believe you before you rebel against everything he and your parents have taught you.

Didn't shoot at all until I joined the Navy right out of high school. Shot a lot, but didn't own any and was still a liberal until the Cole. Then I actually started paying attention to what was happening around the world and at home.

I got my first gun, a 1911 gov model, about the same time I finally formed my own opinions regarding politics and rights. Having seen the inside of the liberal thought process, I'm pretty adamant.

Anonymous said...

I shoot because it's fun, and I enjoy it.

I'm glad I've found my niche, or I wouldn't be shooting today. I'd just have a bunch of metal taking up space in my home.

I'm not a Hunter, just a SASS shooter. Though the thought of Buffalo Hunting with an old Sharp's in intriguing.

I live in Jersey, so I'm already surrounded by Blue Blood Zombies, but in case the day comes when they decide to eat brains, I'll be ready.

NotClauswitz said...

It started with dirtbikes and the threats to freedom and the pursuit of happiness and spodeley joy by the Nannystate Greenweenies and their nasty faked-up zero-sum environmental propaganda masquerading as "science." Then my Grandpa died and I inherited a rifle - and discovered that he was a Life NRA Member, and lots of little family secrets and puzzle pieces started coming together, and scales literally fell from my eyes.

BobG said...

I first started shooting a 22 before I was old enough to go to school. I learned the 1911 when I was 10. My dad always had firearms around and was very fond of hunting and fishing, and I always enjoyed hunting. To me, shooting is more enjoyable than going to a movie.

Word verification: vodpu

Quigley said...

My dad got me involved in shooting sports and I have been completely hooked ever since. Mainly for putting food on the table early on but also for the sport and defense.

I shot rifle competitions for many years but that gave way about half way through college due to expense and time constraints. I have dabbled in shotgun and pistol/revolver shooting over the years (not ever good enough for competition) but all my early training and experience was long-distance rifle shooting so that is my long time love--I am primarily a rifleman but am working on my pistol craft.

I just started to carry but prefer to shoot the big pistols so I need to invest in a smaller one that conceals better without a coat (my smallest one is still lumpy under a shirt). I would rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it, and not just for myself - I would intervene if someone else was in trouble. There are a lot of predators out there that love to prey upon unarmed sheep.

DoubleTapper said...

I carry because it's my right and my responsibility.

I carry openly, every day. I am responsible for myself and the safety of those around me. For my family, my friends and my community.

Mrs. DoubleTapper carries too.

DoubleTapper, blogging on
Guns Politics Defense from Israel

Carteach said...

I posted my response on the Bear.
Good question... and worthy of a longer answer.

Anonymous said...

My interest in gun ownership started as more political than anything else, though I've always like owning "cool" stuff, and guns certainly fall into that category.

I shoot because I enjoy the hell out of it.

My #1 reason for owning guns (and shooting, for that matter) is succinctly stated by Boston T. Party as excercising the freedom muscle. Wouldn't want to let it atrophy. Unfortunately, in my case, I don't exercise it often enough.

Less said...

While I was born here, I lived/grew up in Hungary at times.

While the worst parts of Communism were already winding down, there was more than enough to sour one for several lifetimes to that sort of politic.

I love shooting for, as Robb Allen alludes, the "zen of it", but started because I never want America to be like Hungary during my childhood...

James R. Rummel said...

"Why do you shoot?"

This is why.

Just read the last line if pressed for time.


Welshman said...

I was raised in an era when boys were taught by their fathers and grandfathers how to respect and use a gun.

I never lost my interest in that.

Beginning with handguns and moving from there to rifles and such, I regularly honed my skills by going to a farm and a local firing range. It was a police club, actually.

My motivation to this day continues to be self-defense, exercizing a right I believe to be inherent, and reminding the powers that be in 'gub'ment' that millions of us citizens are armed and must be respected.

Anonymous said...

I grew up learning how to defend myself with my bare hands, and the odd melee weapon. While I was "anti" gun, that meant that I disliked them and wouldn't use or carry, not that I thought anyone else should be restricted. Basically I thought that deadly force should have a higher cost and take more effort than pulling a trigger.

After having some of my basic assumptions questioned, I realised that the firearm is the most effective modern tool of self defense and that it is a force multiplier that really does help to even the field.

That and the whole preparing for war thing really does help to preserve peace.

Chas S. Clifton said...

I learned to shoot as a young hunter, but I got the concealed-carry permit as much as a political statement as anything.

Anonymous said...

Decades ago I learned martial arts so I didn't have to fight. That attitude has served me well for over 40 years. I can be the most polite, friendly man most folks will meet, because I have options a defenseless person doesn't.

Not long ago I was walking home with a few groceries in a bag, when a guy coming the other way down the sidewalk grabs for my bag and attempts to assault me.

I was planning what to do, in case, and ended up, after dropping the groceries, with my jacket slung back and my hand on the butt of my holstered .45.

Didn't have to draw, dude in question couldn't be more helpful. He was picking up groceries, putting them back in the bag, left the bag on the sidewalk, then made like an Olympic sprinter.

He left a more educated man; I didn't have to fill out police paperwork, though I reported the incident to my local constabulary. I even "made a cop's day."

Anonymous said...

I posted on my blog.

Old NFO said...

Because I enjoy it- It is a constant challenge, whether shooting targets or hunting. I carry because the police cannot protect us, and I choose to protect myself and my family... for the same reason I have insurance and a fire extinguisher. Hope I never need them, but I have them just in case.

Jay G said...


Thanks for the inspiration.

Yeah, I thought my response would be too long for a comment...


Anonymous said...

I shoot because:
It's a fun and relaxing pastime.
I like fine mechanical devices.
But most of all I love history and my collection allows a direct connection to our past. Several weapons are of the type my father, uncles, father-in-law and grandfather used in 'Nam/Korea/WW2/WW1.
I pray I wont have to use my favorite in my own war; Civil War, The Sequal

Kurt '45superman' Hofmann said...

Because I might not be able to get close enough to stab.

Anonymous said...

My login account and the name of my (hot of the presses) blog, say it all. I am a free man and when I go about unarmed, I have a distinct sense of not being free.

I shoot simply to keep my (rather limited) skills in tune.

Anonymous said...

More here

Roberta X said...

Welcome, Markofafreeman! Nice blog posting.