OSD 82: Recon by fire

To help a beginner, you've got to meet them where they're at.

David Yamane, a sociology professor at Wake Forest University, runs an undergraduate seminar there called “Sociology of Guns”. The highlight of the course is a trip to the range. Students come from all experience levels, and Prof. Yamane has them write a reflection on the trip.

We tweeted out a reflection that caught our eye this week for being especially introspective. Check it out. If you take newbies to the range, understanding what’s going through their head is essential to helping them have a good time. And you’ll seldom see recon this good on what a newbie is thinking:

With all this negativity surrounding firearms in mind, I was honestly quite nervous to go to the gun range in the days leading up to the trip. There were several reasons for this: I was scared of holding such a destructive weapon in my hands, I was worried I was going to be terrible at shooting and make a fool of myself, and, worst of all, I was concerned that I would actually enjoy myself.

I always judged people who saw shooting guns as a hobby because I felt that it was encouraging all of the violence and destruction that I witnessed guns causing on the news. So, when I found myself actually enjoying shooting the guns at the range, my worst fears were confirmed. I did not understand why I was having fun doing something I considered to be so detrimental to society.

Nevertheless, I tried to put these concerns in the back of my mind and focus on doing my best to aim well. Leaving the range, I felt a strange mixture of emotions: I felt an adrenaline rush from shooting the guns, and was proud of myself for not doing too terribly, but I was also irritated with myself for having fun, and confused as to what this meant regarding my previous views towards guns.

Guns have something really powerful in their favor: they’re fun! It’s easy to forget once you’re a pro, but that fun can be disturbing and confusing at first. We’ve got the same advice for this that we always have: just be cool. Be friendly and supportive, and let people discover the fun on their own, without feeling like they’re being pushed into it too hastily. Give them that space, and like the student above, they’ll independently start to question their own mental roadblocks.

Make it a good week, gang.


This week’s links

Pew Pew Tactical’s complete guide to cosmoline

What it is, what it’s for, and most importantly how to clean it off.

“The Real Heroes Are Dead”

An article worth re-reading each year on 9/11. It’s long, but read the whole thing and the last two paragraphs will sit with you for a while.

Firearm ownership among LGBT adults in California

“This study presents results from the first, detailed state-specific examination of firearm ownership among LGBT adult residents of California.”

Quad-tube NVGs for under $15,000

Still spendy, but at a quarter the price of GPNVGs, it’s cool to see a company bring some consumer-focused innovation to this field.

Judge VanDyke’s dissent in a Ninth Circuit case upholding the lifetime gun possession ban on people who’ve been involuntarily committed

@2Aupdates with every spicy excerpt from Judge VanDyke’s dissent. (Technically, a dissent from a denial of en banc rehearing.) You may recall Judge VanDyke from this, back when he was the solicitor general of Montana:

On multiple occasions VanDyke recommended to Fox that Montana join other states’ challenges to state and federal gun laws.

In May VanDyke recommended Fox sign-on to brief written by Alabama’s attorney general urging a federal appeals court in New York to overturn that state’s ban on some semiautomatic weapons.

In addition to supporting the challenge to New York’s semi-automatic gun ban, VanDyke wrote in an email to Alabama assistant solicitor general Andrew Brasher: “Plus semi-auto firearms are fun to hunt elk with, as the attached picture attests.”

The attached photo showed VanDyke hunting with a semi-automatic rifle.

“That’s a SCAR 17 — the same gun used by the Navy SEALs (but mine’s only semi-auto, unfortunately),” VanDyke wrote.

As we pointed out a few weeks ago, if you are a smart law student, you should apply right now to clerk for Judge VanDyke.

Tim Kennedy gifts Joe Rogan and Young Jamie some guns, live on Joe’s podcast

Exactly what it says in the headline.

Sniping a slow-motion camera

Gun barrel and camera barrel point at each other. Gun barrel wins.

Digital marketing lessons from Andrew Schulz

Not gun-related, but if you care about gun culture, it’s important to care about marketing too. Some great lessons here from a case-study on one of the most tech- and marketing-savvy comedians in the game.


OSD Office Hours

If you’re a new gun owner, thinking about becoming one, or know someone who is, click here to come to OSD Office Hours. You get a 30-minute video call with an OSD team member to ask any and all questions in a friendly, non-judgmental space. For free. So come on by!

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