A word to “gun guys”

Jenna and I are often asked “what gun should I buy?”  Or “which gun is the most accurate?”  Or “what’s the best holster?”

I’m sure that many of you, all you “gun guys” out there (that term is asexual, by the way – many of the women out there have that one friend that’s into guns… like it or not, she’s now the “gun guy” of the group), get asked all of the same questions.  So here’s a tip for you: often times the answer to the question is FAR less important than HOW you answer it, and less important still than what the person actually wants to know.

Here’s an example: say I want to buy a Ferrari.  A Ford F150 is more my speed, but work with me on this one.

Great for taking a trip to the range.

So let’s say that I walked into Ferrari of Denver with a few bags full of money, walked up to the nearest way-too-excited-to-see-me-but -can’t-let-me-see-it-in-his-face salesman and said “hi, I’m here to buy a Ferrari.  Which one should I buy?”

The salesman could do what most salesman do: pick the most expensive one, sit me down in it, try not to let my drool get on the seats, politely take possession of my cash, send me on my way, then laugh as I try to get the thing out of first gear and run into a 1993 Honda Accord stopped at a red light 2 blocks down the road.  OR, he could actually do me a service by truly trying to understand what my actual goals are, explain to me how a Ferrari actually works (I’m quite certain I’d have no clue how to drive one, and I’m not afraid to admit that), then move on to teaching me about the differences between the F12 Berlinetta, the 458 Spider, and the FF so that I can actually start to make the decision on my own.

See how that works?  When a new shooter comes up to you and says “which gun should I buy?” you could immediately say “Glock 17” or you could try and get to the root of why this person is asking you in the first place:

  • Why do they want a gun?
  • What are they going to do with it?
  • Have they ever held a gun before?
  • Do they know the differences between a revolver and a semi-automatic?
  • Do they know the differences between a Glock 17 and a Glock 19?  Have they even heard of Glock before?
  • Do they know how to even hold a gun?
  • Do they know, even at a high level, the differences between a .38 Special and a 9mm Luger cartridge?  Do they know what a cartridge is?
  • Is this a gun for a backpack/purse/fanny pack?  Or is this a range gun?  Or a nightstand gun?
  • Do they have any idea which features they like (or hate) on a gun?  Are they even aware that certain features even exist?
  • And on and on and on

After significant research, it’s possible that yes, the Glock 17 WAS the perfect gun for him/her.  And you may have had the best of reasons to recommend it when asked.  But unless the person has some basis of understanding the thought process behind the answer, you’ve actually done them a disservice by answering their question.

So even if you happen to be a spokesperson for Glock or if you’ve carried one on your hip for 20 years, try to resist the temptation to just come out and answer the question.  The person doing the asking may not even know what to ask yet.  Your personal love of Glock is absolutely important!  There’s a reason that you love the Glock 17 and there’s a reason that the person trusted you enough to ask you in the first place.  Don’t lose sight of that.  I’m sure you came to your conclusion after much thought/research/practice/blood/sweat/tears – so let’s do everything we can to help that person walk down the same path you did.

If we’re successful, we may have just brought a new life-long gun person into our midst.

And if any of you out there actually own a Ferrari, can we be friends?

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2 comments on “A word to “gun guys”

  1. […] The more I’m involved with the firearms training community, I’m learning a lot of things about society and people in general that I never expected to learn.  One of those is an interesting phenomenon that people end up owning a gun that someone else wanted them to own.  Here’s part 1 of this same question. […]

  2. […] see, many of us have come to conclusions through blood, sweat, tears, arguing, questioning our assumptions, trial-and-error, failing […]

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