Gun Kulture

NonEntity's picture

I have a friend who is into guns in a big way. He has been since before he was old enough to buy one without his mother's permission. He loves to shoot. He also is a computerphobe. He son gave him a computer. He refuses to use it. We were talking the other day and he noted to me that among his shooting friends, almost none of them use the computer. To me, this is mind-boggling. It is like choosing not to read or some such thing. But so it is with this group of people.

And then I got to thinking that there is a large group of libertarian (for want of a better description, perhaps) gun enthusiasts who are very active on the internet. I pointed out this discrepancy to my friend who speculated that "his" group was interested in shooting for shooting's sake, while the "libertarian" group was interested in shooting for a totally different reason.

I have no idea what, if anything, this means. I just found it interesting and thought I'd share.

- NonE

That is interesting

I think the dynamic in play in your narrative is mostly self-selection: it makes sense that shooting enthusiasts who aren't online would find each other and become friendly. After all, the online ones presumably fill at least some of their leisure time being online, which means less time for offline activities.

I pointed out this discrepancy to my friend who speculated that "his" group was interested in shooting for shooting's sake, while the "libertarian" group was interested in shooting for a totally different reason.

That may be for some in the libertarian group, but I daresay not all—perhaps not even as many as your friend might claim. One name is all I need to put the lie to the claim: L. Neil Smith. Many pro-RKBA people, myself included, enjoy shooting for shooting’s sake. Seeing a philosophical context for the activity doesn’t mean we enjoy it any less, I think; maybe many of us even enjoy it a little more. It isn’t really quantifiable.


I have associated with both groups.

I never had internet access until around 2002. I enjoy it (obviously). One of my pre-computer friends was convinced that the internet was "a trap" (web=net=trap) in spite of my insistence that it could be used to promote liberty. His suspicion of computers bordered on paranoia; other people claimed he was way over the border. I think it is a suspicion of anything new, at least in the anti-computer folks I have known personally.


Yeah, I find my friend somewhat similar. Whenever I tell him about some interesting information I've come across he says, "Where'dya hear that, the internet?" His implication is generally along the lines of "if it came off the internet it's about as reliable as what one of those raving lunatics talking to himself on the streets of New York might be." When I point out to him that The New York Times (as if THAT source is honest and credible, but I'm trying to speak in his mindspace) is on the internet, he just gets a little quiet and I don't think it alters his view that anything on the internet is total insane ravings.

Well, we always have FOX News when we desire factual sources. !!! ;-)

And of course we'll soon have the gubmint certifying and selecting what can be on the net, like they do in Australia and China, so soon everyone can feel safe.

Am I feeling sarcastic this morning, or what?

Oddly, he recently asked me why I haven't told him anything new lately. I replied that since he poo-poos everything I tell him I don't see any reason to share. To which he replied that I was his only source to the internet and he misses the info. Dribs and drabs, I guess, is how we need to move into new idea spaces. A few thousand or hundred thousand generations and we'll have this freedom and respect thing all worked out. I'm sure of it.

Remember how far in the distance 1984 seemed at one time? And of course, Kubrick's 2001 was over the horizon. I guess infinity will be here before we even notice. Speaking of which, I just listened to the AudioBook of Hitchikers' Guide to the Universe Galaxy a few days ago. I love the part about the "infinite improbability drive" where you pass through every point in the universe simultaneously. What a wonderful book and how relevant even now. Well, maybe not the digital watches...

I'm thinking of my first four-function LED digital calculator which cost something like $150 early seventies dollars (gas at $0.35 as I recall). I guess I should pull this ship out of ramble drive and find a destination.

If only human society could evolve along the lines of Moore's Law. Ah yes. Y'all have a great day.

- NonE

{edited to correct brain fart on book title}


I recently had another gun-loving, non-libertarian, friend tell me during a drunken fit that he was sick of hearing about how I hate government. I told him that he brings up the subject, and if he didn't want my input, I would be more than willing to say nothing. I warned him that it would create a lot of long silences on my part. He said he didn't want me to shut up, but that "we NEED government of some kind or people would be killing and stealing with nothing to stop them".

Sometimes I wonder how long it will take for everyone to get a clue.

How old is your friend?

My husband is an avid shooter. In addition to range shooting and skeet shooting for fun, he shoots benchrest competitions.

In our local benchrest community, my husband is a minority. Most competitors are over the age of 60. If your friend's group is of a similar make up, that may be one explanation for computer avoidance. In my experience, some seniors are intimidated by computers and the internet.

If you do any online research on shooting sports, gun smithing, maintaining your firearm, reloading, and parts purchasing, you will find there's many websites, forums and online shops to peruse. Many, many people who like to shoot also use the internet, libertarian or not.

Sixty Eight

Thanks for pointing out that glaring error in my supposition. My friend is 68. But then, I know a lot of people in his age group who are active on the internet, so I probably overlooked that with some level of reason. Even so, you've probably hit the nail on the head.

I'll crawl back in my hole now.

- NonE

Not So sure....

My parents are both in their 60s and use the internet quite a bit (for getting religious-right "news" & views), and my mom has an aunt way up in her 90s who is very much online. The friends I was talking about, one is a few years older than me; the other is younger than me. I think there is more to it than age.