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Why do we like guns so much?!

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by JeremyK, Sep 6, 2014.

  1. JeremyK

    JeremyK Milwaukie Professional BA

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    So I'm now on my way back from Springfield with my national guard company, had a chance to shoot the M4 in an indoor range (lotsa fun) and I'm thinking: what is it about guns that draws me to them? What is it that makes shooting such an enjoyable and rewarding experience? Can it be defined? What is it about guns that is so beautiful but at the same time, so practical and efficient? I've been shooting since I was ten (dad got me and my little brother BB guns) and I've been hooked on guns ever since then, but even before that I had an abject fascination with firearms. Part of it I'm sure I gleaned from my dad; growing up, there was never a firearm in the house (I broke that trend when I got my first rifle, a 10/22, at 13) but never the less, dad still taught us all to have a healthy respect for firearms from a very young age. I remember flipping through his issues of Guns and Ammo for hours and deciding which guns I wanted most when I 'grew up' (the first of which, as I recall, was a 1911A1. Not that I new the significance of that pistol, but I simply thought it was the best damned looking handgun out of any of those magazines. Guess I wasn't such a dumb kid after all ;))
    But anyways back to my point: what is it about firearms that so inexorably draws us? I love guns and I always have, and I simply can't explain why that is! Does it really matter that I can't?
    F2CMaDMaXX and Sstrand like this.
  2. IronMonster

    IronMonster Washington Opinionated Member Diamond Supporter

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    Personally I like mechanical things and things that make loud noises so its a win/win. :)

    Firearms are powerful in more ways than one. They can be beautiful, amazing, practical or even sentimental items. A better question would be why do some people hate guns? (not the people who hate what "evil" they can be used for, That is pretty easy to figure out. I am talking about people who legitimately seem to hate the sight of or be in the presence of a firearm)
  3. clearconscience

    clearconscience Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    I think as men it's the same gene that makes us love the big trucks, fast cars, etc. it's about the power and strength that comes with those items.
    People love to feel powerful. The same reason people become greed/power drunk.

    I grew up in an alcoholic home dad off on the other side of the world, brother beat me up, etc. Having a firearm makes me feel safe. Makes me feel like no matter what I will be able to defend myself and my family. Watching the news, etc you know how much evil is in the world. You start to feel overwhelmed by the amount of danger in the world. A firearm is an equalizer in the world. Like the saying goes, "God made man, Sam Colt made them equal"

    Also some of the only memories I have as a child with my father was out target shooting.
    blackadder likes this.
  4. pakrat57

    pakrat57 Reedsport Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I'm true to my avatar, and every one knows pakrats love shiny things. Like monster I'm into mechanical things and firearms fit with that nicely
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2014
  5. Kruejl

    Kruejl Hillsboro Moderator of the Coriolis effect Staff Member Silver Supporter

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    At first I thought my wife joined and created her first thread. :)
  6. Modeler

    Modeler Ketchikan, Alaska Soccer Fan

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    I like the idea that I can control and change things (targets, tin cans, animals) without being in contact with them. It's as close to Telekinesis as any of us will ever get.
  7. drewp

    drewp 503pdx Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Its instant gratification. Im a huge hobbyist. Guns are like number 5. I build rock crawlers, golf, brew beer, drink lots of beer...building a truck takes years. Golfing im never satisfied. Brewing beer takes time. Drinking beer gives me headaches....now guns I can open my wallet and buy something and immediately im happy...well until I see the next thing I have to have.
    IronMonster and clearconscience like this.
  8. Joe13

    Joe13 NW of Vancouver Opinionated & Blunt Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    I like the control.

    When I make a good shot, I feel it before I see it hit paper or whatever is being shot.

    I also like mechanical things and find enjoyment in taking them apart and thoroughly cleaning them. Few things are as black and white as guns; either they are clean or they aren't / they are loaded or not loaded / pointed in a safe direction or not - it's very concrete with little to no grey area.

    Power to me is fun but not something I need to feel capable of handling my business. There is a certain comfort of having a sidearm on you if you were to need one.

    I grew up shooting so it always brings back good memories - like a good soup or stew that mom made.
  9. PDXSparky

    PDXSparky Keizer / Hillsboro Well-Known Member

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    I just like to see things shatter, splatter, burst, or explode. Guns can make all that happen.

    I also like mechanical things that I can take apart and put back together, maybe even tinker with a little to improve them.

    But explosions are the best.
    Modeler likes this.
  10. Simonpie

    Simonpie Portland Active Member

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    For me, I like the design evolution. From 1500s chemistry blackpowder, to smokeless right at the pinnacle of industrial revolution chemistry. Materials starting at bronze and running through iron, steel, to high alloy steels and chrome plating bores (and on to carbon wrapped barrels). Lead and copper forced to function in a mechanism reliably right at their yield points. Mechanisms like a clockwork that have to take hammer blows. Optical systems as fine as a surveyor's transit. Dynamic systems of recoil control. Noise control. The whole package combines a wide spread of technical study.
    Motorcycles hold a similar fascination.
  11. Doc In UPlace

    Doc In UPlace Tacoma-ish Well-Known Member

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    Actually I don't really like guns all that much. I do appreciate well-made things which work exactly as intended, and so the ones I have are tuned up and meticulously maintained.

    The shooting I do is mostly to improve accuracy and maintain proficiency because, in my work I sometimes have to be in dangerous places dealing with impulsive, dangerous people. The guns are tools which enable passage in and out without having to bring a platoon everywhere we go.

    On the rare protective service assignments, standing there with my 6920 carbine hanging off its 1-point sling and a G-21 pistol with x-26 Taser on the duty belt pretty much gets potential trouble moving right along, after they see the expression on my face. This saves a lot of talking, and I like this, too. It's efficient.

    Then, outside of work, well, you know what normal urban street life is like in 2014- so no explanation is necessary to this group, you guys already "get it". The little S&W 638 in the pocket can keep you warm at night.

    I do get some satisfaction out of achieving a good qual score, or making some accurate groups at the range, but seriously guns are kind of a pain in the rear, too.

    If the human race would get over its cranial rectosis, I wouldn't be too upset to just leave the guns in the safe. Judging from the looks of things, that's going to happen right about the time Richard Nixon gets re-elected for a third term.
    WilliamIV and clearconscience like this.
  12. Joe13

    Joe13 NW of Vancouver Opinionated & Blunt Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    My dad said something very similar about not being upset if guns just up and disappeared - different conversation but your last paragraph sounded eerily familiar.

    Guns and shooting are so ingrained in my upbringing that I would be devastated if all of a sudden we lost access to them.

    Very few hobbies bring so many people together like the firearms community that I think the USA would be a very different place without them - and not in a good way...
  13. eldbillbo

    eldbillbo clackamas New world samurai and a redneck none the less Bronze Supporter

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    Please pardon all the spelling errors but i can't find spell checker and i may just be rambling .

    It's so many things one i think its about the power thing not in a negative way Like i have the power to kill that would be psycotic (unless its regarding game animals ) its about feeling the power of that bullet launching out of that barrel the loud boom and seeing a target 100s of yards away get hit and that feeling you get when you hit it . Why do guys like faster cars , tougher trucks, its been said that just handling a gun increases testerone . Loud sounds release a chemical in the brain assciated with pleasure. And it so much more .

    Often its a tradition a way a father and son bond . Its the romance that goes with them assciated with movies or being out in the woods hunting with one.

    the astectics of how they are built and the the simple enginering behind them that can facinate even the least techical mind. sometimes its the fine worksmanship that goes into them the wood grain and find details . some times guys will pay 2 or 3 times as much for a gun that is not really any more accurate but is a beauty to look at think of browning and weatherby beautiful rifles but not much more accurate than a savage .

    Also they are show pcs and subjects of discussion and status that guys will stand around and the range or in parking lots or web forums discussing them. We can't all be rocket scientist or master mechanics but we can all have a good understanding of how these marvels work what makes them function what makes them accurate and what makes them reliable . Men like to be able to have something to talk about .

    they can be status symbles to some oh my rifle goes to 11 .

    There is just something in our nature and being that a gun just satisfies . Its not just about being able to protect your self or put meat on the table or protect your country or your God given rights but being able to defend yourself and I think even more importantly ones family is just something that is built into normal human nature and firearms are the most effiecent tool of doing so.
    Certaindeaf likes this.
  14. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    Come on,come on and tell the truth
    It's just that we have an excuse to make a big bang
    I know the cool kids like the quiet but really most of us are the same as we were whn yong and like to make big noise.
    And blow shtuff up.
    eldbillbo likes this.
  15. sdlsaginaw

    sdlsaginaw Oregon Active Member

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    I like the smell. It smells like freedom. :D
    ikemay, F2CMaDMaXX and mjbskwim like this.
  16. Just Jim

    Just Jim Well-Known Member

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    Shooting is a skill and guns are used to perfect it. With knowledge and education you can increase your skill level at the same time having fun. Very few things we do in this world cover as much area as guns do. Be it collecting history, self defense, sport target shooting, hunting or plinking. Shooting is a big part of smart people's lives, the rest of the people just don't know how to have fun:D
    mjbskwim likes this.
  17. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

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    I think a lot of people are just practical.. and have seen what bad people with guns will/can do.. and conversely, didn't much like it.
    I used to look at the gun and war (Nazi war crimes) pictures in the encyclopedia Britannica when I was three on and then read all about guns therein a few years later on when I learned to read.. this was before the internet and I didn't have a car or library card at the time so that was that.
    They are tools and as is proper, it is good to have good and fine tools and be trained/train thyself in their use/application.
  18. techiej

    techiej vancouver, wa Active Member

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    I enjoy the mental & physical focus; perfecting a skill set; I enjoy reloading and shooting what I reload.

    I also enjoy the camaraderie from competitive shooting.

    As I get older & slower I also depend upon the equalizing effect that it can provide...which is actually how I got started into firearms.
  19. RBid

    RBid Wilsonville, OR Well-Known Member

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    I'm into activities where I compete with myself. In my younger days, I was heavily into (very technical) skateboarding and basketball. In each of these pursuits, there were ways for me to observe how my skills were developing, and I was constantly challenging myself to improve. Getting a better landing on a flip trick, seeing a pass split defenders and hit the roll man's lead hand perfectly in time with his steps... Those types of things give me a lot of satisfaction and motivation to be even better.

    Factor in practicality, innate protective instincts, the fact that this is an activity that I can age with, and the ability to do this all year long in the soggy PNW, and you have a recipe for true passion.

    I don't care as much as I used to about the hardware. Having had the chance to handle or fire all kinds of firearms, I have come to view them as more similar than different. I'm down to owning 3 firearms, all of which are Gen 4 Glock 19/23s.

    Because of my particular quirks, handgun shooting excites me more than long gun shooting.
  20. scrandall01215

    scrandall01215 Washougal,WA Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure what it is. But I do know that the first time I went hunting at 13 it all felt right, I new I was were I belonged. But strangely enough I got my first shotgun at 12. Go figure!
    I had been shooting a 22 a few times since about age 6 or 7 but it wasn't anything like at 13.
    Now I'm just a fanatic.