One of the things that I’ve been keen to explore is the question of Gun Control and the Gun Culture in the States.

So it was with a mixture of trepidation and anticipation that on Saturday Jacqui and I joined our host Bill McKeever and some of his family at a gun shop and range. Some photos for you, followed by some observations.

AK-47 Kalshnikov
AK-47 Kalshnikov and short-barelled shotgun
long-barelled revolver
long-barelled revolver
me firing
me firing the .22
Jacqui firing the 9mm
Jacqui firing the 9mm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jacqui' s superb shooting
Jacqui’ s superb shooting – .22 then 9mm
  1. The first thing that strikes you about the scene is that there is immense respect for the weapons and a real concern for safety. This has got to impact the common perception of many people that guns are inherently unsafeThey may or may not be, but what is clear is that those who handle guns in shooting ranges are very concerned to minimise any risk.
  2. Continuing from this first point, I found my nervousness about the weapons themselves largely evaporated after I took my first shot. Again, I was concerned about safety and a small part of me was terrified about this “killing machine” in my hands, as though it was going to spontaneously fire off indiscriminately. The truth is, of course, very different – you are in complete control of the gun and it does exactly what you choose for it to do. And if you choose to handle it with respect and with concern for safety (see 1. above) then it is, in a sense, very safe.
  3. Nevertheless, you can do an immense amount of damage with it. Those were real bullets we were shooting and just as they went through paper they can go through flesh and splinter bone (although we were assured that the .22 we shot first would take several rounds to stop someone determined.
  4. Jacqui is a superb shot! The above is her first 2 ever attempts at shooting – first with a .22 and then a 9mm. By the time she was finished people in neighbouring booths were applauding. Here are her first three targets:
IMG_1438
Jacqui – .22, 9mm, 9mm. Note the awesomeness of the last one

More to come on this subject.

3 comments on “Utah 2 – Guns

  1. As an American myself, I have not thought a lot about America as a “gun culture” in the way that non-Americans sometimes perceive. A Korean friend at uni told me that he used to be afraid to go to America because “everybody has guns”. In 30 or so years of living there, I have seen someone carrying in public maybe once. Granted, I am from New Hampshire, not Texas, so maybe that makes a difference, but I really only know a handful of people who have guns personally or even really talk about them at all. Yes, once in a while, the gun control issue comes up and is debated but I sometimes get the feeling that those living outside of America see us as a bunch of crazy gun-toting cowboys. I am not saying that this is your view, David, but I think that I hear from some quarters, that “Americans love guns” is a gross exaggeration.

    • Thanks Karl. Yes, I think some of that perception exists and it’s mixed with a sense that those same gun-toting crazies are unsafe. The reality on the ground, as I discovered, is somewhat different.

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