I’m curious how the pro gun rights readers of this website feel about openly supporting gun rights.
I ask because I find myself increasingly willing to discuss guns with coworkers and friends. I don’t get on my pro-gun soapbox every day, but when gun-related matters come up at lunch I tend to freely express my viewpoint. So far, that has worked out quite well for me, and I’ve become friends with a couple of extremely knowledgeable gun owners at work. Had I not made my opinions about guns known, chances are I would never have really gotten to know those coworkers, since our work rarely leads us to interact. I’ve also take a few people shooting for the first time, and convinced at least two of them to become gun owners.
On the flip side, although I haven’t personally experienced this, I do worry that I may at some point have a supervisor who is an ardent opponent of gun rights. I worry that in such a situation, my open support of gun rights could have an adverse effect upon my career. Given the rather pro-gun dynamics of my office, I’m not too worried, but I’m sure there are gun owners who face that very situation…
So what approach do you all take? Do your coworkers/friends/family know that you’re a gun owner? Do you mainly keep your views on gun rights to yourself, or do you actively try to persuade those opposed opposed to gun rights? Do you worry about adverse effects of being a known gun owner?
I work in Manhattan where we have a lot of pro gun regulation advocation. I wear a pin that says "This is what a responsible gun-owner looks like." on my book bag. My manager is in the UK, from the UK and quite anti-gun. Every time he comes over we get into debates on the topic. It's usually not guns that comes up directly. I'd consider myself a libertarian and I'm politically active and an amateur Austrian economist so my perspective on things are quite contrary to mainstream. That's where the conversation often starts and the "do you think anyone should be able to own a gun?" comes up eventually. The gun issue, for someone of my political and economic perspective is hardly the worst of the positions I defend.
I've never had any problems because of it. People in the office just know I've strong and well researched positions on such topics and don't engage me unless they are interested in a deeper discussion. I think that's the key. Most people are ignorant of many of the things in which they are willing to take strong positions on. So as long as you are educated in the topic at hand and can provide logical reasons and relatively objective facts they will at least respect your position.
When I express my opinions online, I'm forthright about my support of gun rights. I'm also unafraid to talk about the topic in social situations where politics have come up for discussion, although I won't be the one to initially move the conversation in that general direction.
I'm quite a bit more cautious at work, though; this isn't out of fear of my boss — who is just as technical as the rest of our team, and I'm sure knows everything about me if he's cared to poke around online, since I don't write anonymously — but out of a desire to avoid alienating my co-workers. The best we all know for sure about each other is that we support gay rights, as the subject has easily come up since several of us have gay family and/or friends. Support for gun rights here in Chicago seems to be strongly frowned upon by many people (no doubt in part due to selection against gun rights supporters — i.e., people who support gun rights end up *moving away*), and I don't want a formerly friendly co-worker turning cold. I wouldn't hesitate to politely demur, however, if something I disagreed with did come up and my silence would seem to indicate assent.
I live in Oklahoma. This is still freeland.
Real men AND women here know how to shoot and almost everyone here has a concealed weapons permit. Hold up a convenience store here and you'll be carried out in a body bag and the clerk and all the customers who gunned you down would be given marksmanship medals by the local Mayor.
Any politician who comes out for regulating firearms ownership here has just announced his retirement from public service. The only folks here who don't support the II amendment are weenies and Obama voters who depend upon pepper spray and cell phones instead of a .45, to save themselves from the East Coast Crips and West Coast Bloods who occasionally cross our borders.
Folks who still live in areas of the country where politicians are afraid of armed citizens should know how to cure that condition. Vote em' out of office !!! Any politician who doesn't trust an armed citizen
shouldn't be trusted by free citizens, and that goes for supervisors in corporations.
I work in a technical factory in N.W. Arkansas. In casual conversations at work I find most pro-gun co-workers do not talk about guns that much except with the occasional hunting tale. In general the subject does not come up often, however when it does; those who are unsure or anti gun often make statements that I find conflict with the statistic perspective you present at LearnaboutGuns.com. I find the information you present helpful for both my own understanding, and to direct investigation of relevant information for those who are unsure but curious of the statistical facts. As I see it knowledge is always a good thing.
Unfortunately for me, I live in California. It is the most anti-gun State in the US, probably only behind New York and Hawaii. I also work for a very large advertising firm, and most of my coworkers are very liberal = anti-gun. In such a "hostile" environment, I try to be as informative and non-confrontational as possible. However, I generally don't bring up the subject and only discuss it if the other party brings it up. If I can help to convince 1 more person that guns won't magically turn you into some sort of crazy killer, then hopefully we can turn this state around as far as the gun issue.
James: Trust me — California has *nothing* on Illinois in terms of being anti-gun. There is *absolutely no provision whatsoever* for concealed (or open) carry here, not even on a "may-issue" basis like CA or NY. Furthermore, you need to apply for a special firearms ID card just to buy a gun of any sort, whether a handgun or a long gun. And if you live in Chicago (like I do), you are completely barred from bringing a handgun into the city limits, and must register any long gun with the local police (assuming it meets their requirements, isn't a so-called "assault weapon", etc.). If I had known about the lack of self-defense rights as well as the violent crime rate (which — surprise! — go hand in hand) before moving here, there's a good chance I would have gone elsewhere.
Ed: Vote Chicago's King Daley out of office? He's been here for *twenty years*, winning six elections, and I'm certain he'll drop dead before he leaves. This is an *extremely* left-wing city, so no Republican candidate stands a chance in hell of winning. I don't consider myself conservative — I'm libertarian, if anything — but I'd gladly see a Republican mayor here if it meant I could finally protect myself. I'm right there with you in my opinion of violent criminals — we should be able to drop them where there stand without anyone batting an eyelid, rather than the current state of affairs where criminals *sue their victims* for getting hurt in the commission of their crimes. I wish I could carry around more than my lousy pepper spray, believe me; I suppose I should be grateful that I can own a shotgun at home *at all*, compared to citizens of other countries who can't even do that much.
I recruit at gun shows, on my blog, and when I am in public.
I did try for a time at work, but the hoplophobs said I scared the sheep too much. So I have stopped trying there.
Don't like to waste my time and energy if you know what I mean.
My current supervisor is a catholic family man and gun owner "if you break in to my home your dead" his words. We got into a gun conversation after I told him my shoulder was sore from a combat shotgun class.
I live in California, and I find that more people are pro gun than not. However we have a anti gun administration. Which is why we got all these stupid low end gun laws, 10 days waiting period for all gun purchases, 10 round magazine capacity restriction. How ever, CCW permits are granted by your local sheriff, if you can't get a CCW permit, vote your sheriff out of office.
My Sheriff is Sandra Hutchens, she is former LASD. The OCSD web site sums it up in a few lines "*** DISCLAIMER ***
No resident has the right to a license, nor is the Sheriff required to issue a license. By law, the Sheriff has the discretion to approve or deny CCW license applications as well as revoke licenses that have already been issued."
She is really good at denying and revoking.
I work in media, I will happily defend gun rights on set, but I don't go out of my way to introduce the topic. Amongst Crew there are plenty of gun enthusiasts. I try not to talk to the writers, actors and producers.
Tom, wow I had no idea about Illinois.
I'm in California. In my current job, most of my co-workers are blue-collar, working class folks who generally speaking have strong beliefs about self-defense. Even if they're not gun geeks like I am, most of them own a shotgun for home defense and/or a handgun that may have been their father's or something they bought also for HD. So here at work, I feel fairly comfortable discussing firearms and shooting, and my considerable enthusiasm for both.
However, prior to my current job, I worked in a number of office-type positions, where the demographic makeup was decidedly heavily female and mainly liberal. Guns were looked at as things that only crazy rednecks from the IE and High Desert had, or gangbangers from the 'hood. Any kind of gun discussion was couched with "Oh I went hunting once as a kid with my dad and uncle" kind of thing.
Also, in social settings, I tend to be very circumspect regarding any gun discussion, mainly because I know that I have a tendency to get very irritated when dealing with ignorant, opinionated jackasses, and also because I have no real desire to advertise that I own a good number of guns at my home. You never know who is listening…
I'm progun in my conversations, with anyone, where the occasion allows me to talk about firearms.
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