A Gun-Dumb Brit's Journey into American Gun Culture

To conquer his fear of guns, a British immigrant takes a road trip to gun lovers' mecca: the NRA Convention.

A Gun-Dumb Brit's Journey into American Gun Culture
Eric Sauseda
"After the Sandy Hook massacre," a teary Glenn Beck told the crowd, "the government went in, seized the opportunity [and] exploited these families."

The AR-15 is lighter than I expected.

It's an intimidating chunk of rough-hewn black metal and rubber, but it sits softly in my hands. I bring it to my shoulder and, making sure I'm not pointing it at anyone, I peer down its sights. I'm not sure what to do, so I start to copy the man next to me, a big bearded guy with his baseball cap turned backward. He's turning the rifle around, upside down and side to side, to admire what I assume is some facet of the workmanship.

I perform a similar inspection, but I have no idea what I'm looking at. It's definitely a gun. It appears to mean business. There's a place where the magazine goes; I recognize that much from the movies. I can see where the bullets come out. After that I'm lost.

Ted Nugent titled his speech "Freedom is Not Free." Luckily the cookies in the press room were.
Eric Sauseda
Ted Nugent titled his speech "Freedom is Not Free." Luckily the cookies in the press room were.
A young girl looked pretty comfortable holding a rifle, which is more than can be said for the author.
Eric Sauseda
A young girl looked pretty comfortable holding a rifle, which is more than can be said for the author.
Eric Sauseda
Chris the zombie (below right) was the most popular bleeding zombie target among the NRA faithful.
Eric Sauseda
Chris the zombie (below right) was the most popular bleeding zombie target among the NRA faithful.

People swarm around Backward Hat and me as we perform this ritual inspection, thousands of people on their way from one gun to another, families on day trips, herds of young men in combat shorts that bulge under the weight of concealed carries and gun-company promo materials.

"It's not so bad, is it? How does it feel?" Fred, my gun Sherpa, has a glint in his eye. He thought we should get the big one out of the way, so we're standing at the Bushmaster display, in the middle of the NRA Annual Conference in Houston.

"The one that the liberals hate," Fred says, barely concealing his contempt. He's draped in a freshly pressed suit, face clean-shaven and hair perfectly cut. He might work for something called AmmoLand.com, as his press pass announces, but Fred wouldn't look out of place slickly anchoring a nightly newscast. "They've got a real hard-on for this gun. It's just a gun."

"I kind of like how it feels in my hand," I tell him, lying. The gun's entirely deactivated. It can't even be switched to "fire" from the safe position. A thin yellow cable prevents anyone from holding the trigger down, and there's a gaping hole where the magazine should be. But despite all these clearly necessary precautions for displaying a semiautomatic rifle in a place containing tens of thousands of people, my palms are slick with anxiety. I need to leave. Now.

"Put it up to your shoulder when you look down the sights," Fred says, grinning. "Take your finger off the trigger. That just shows people you've never held a gun before."

The far end of the rifle does fit snugly on my shoulder, but I still can't get comfortable. The model of gun that was used in the Sandy Hook killings and divided my new country is perched on my shoulder, and I can't keep my finger off the trigger.


It doesn't seem that long since I moved from Cardiff, Wales, to suburban Dallas, but it's been two years now — two years of bemusement at tank-sized pickups, non-ironic cowboy hats and differences in language, part of my never-ending quest to clumsily discover every British word that doesn't apply here. And of course, there's the difference in gun culture.

Before that AR-15, the first gun I ever held was an American friend's handgun, which I quickly handed back, half-paralyzed by some vague but very real fear. Before that — before I moved here for my wife's job — the closest I'd come to seeing a real gun was those arcade shooters, with their plastic cartoonish pistols and their imaginary lasers.

As you may have read on your most liberal friend's Facebook page, there are basically no guns in the United Kingdom, and basically no gun violence. In 1996, after a school shooting, the U.K. moved to ban or monitor every gun in the country. You can get hunting rifles on a five-year renewable license, but it will require references. There's a central database of gun owners. The whole place is basically one long Glenn Beck nightmare, right down to our strangely logical name for "soccer."

Given this backdrop, I was drawn to Houston by the chance to better understand Americans' fondness for guns — more than a third of households have one, although that number is falling — and to talk British to some serious patriots. Plus, as much as guns scare me, I was fairly certain I wouldn't get shot. "Journalist shot by NRA member" would be tough to spin, even for the guys who spin school shootings.

I arrive at the George R. Brown Convention Center on a Friday afternoon, the air and the mood outside heavy. The center is an industrial-looking monstrosity, outfitted, temporarily I assume, with 30-foot NRA badges, as if the building itself has been deputized. The closer I get, the more slogan-blaring T-shirts invade my sight lines, some funny ("Reduce noise pollution! Use a silencer!"), some gross (see previous parentheses). Protesters dot the sidewalk. Some are pro-gun folks wielding placards depicting Obama with a crudely stenciled Hitler mustache. The others are anti-gun, largely in pastels for some reason, muttering things incomprehensible toward an uncaring convention center.

I move inside and am hit immediately by a flash of bright yellow bursting from a huddle of noise and movement, heralding something called the Wall of Guns. It's not a wall. Several gigantic wooden cabinets are filled with everything from camouflage shotguns to revolvers to assault rifles I recognize from Goldeneye (the Nintendo 64 classic, not the film).

People swirl around the cases, their faces alive with desire. I manage to piece together from the booming P.A. that there's a raffle happening. Tickets cost $20; when 100 are sold, the owner of the winning ticket gets to pick a weapon from the Not-a-Wall of Guns.

"You just hand them out to the winners?" I ask the man selling tickets. "There's no checking?" Checking for what, I'm not sure; it just seems like there should be checking involved.

His eyes go wide.

"Oh no, no, of course we don't."

He describes the process, which basically involves the gun of your choice being sent to your local gun retailer for you to pick up. I imagine what this process would look like back home, should some budding entrepreneur decide to register GunLottery.co.uk. Even the right-wing press would denounce him as dangerous. He'd be living on the streets within days.

"So you're selling these guns for $2,000, essentially," I tell the ticket man, and he laughs. This place is a real money spinner. There's a wheel of fortune, the winner of which takes home a really big knife. And the raffle lasts all weekend. They've already given away 50 or 60 guns, he says.

"How many do you think you'll sell?" I ask.

"Depends on how many tickets we sell. Want to buy a ticket?"

I don't.

"Can you just straight out buy a gun from the wall?" I ask him.

"Well, if you've got $2,000."


The press room is tucked into the upper corner of the convention center, a sterile gray room with neon lighting and three flat-screens. There are good points and bad points.

Good point: It's got free cookies. Bad point: It's otherwise no different from the convention floor.

I thought it might be a quiet place to jot down some totally not-judgmental observations about Sarah Palin's shouting, but there she is on all the TVs, prattling on in Alaskan about her hunting prowess. I briefly consider switching the channel to football, but something about the scene — the press Wi-Fi password is "standandfight," and my fellow media members are largely from outlets like blackmanwithagun.com or the Philadelphia Gun Blog — tells me there probably aren't a lot of Watford FC fans here.

I flee, cookie in hand, under the watchful gaze of a man in a black T-shirt that says "SECOND AMENDMENT: AMERICA'S ORIGINAL HOME SECURITY." I go back down the escalator and get my first glimpse of the conference hall. I pause a moment to take it in and to finish my cookie. That's when it hits me: I should have taken two.

It also hits me that this place is gigantic. You have to admire the architect who decided that Houston needed something bigger than the starship Enterprise for convention-holding. It feels like the far ends of the hall are shrouded in mist, and that I must trek through the night to make it to whatever brushed-steel obscurities it holds.

The center is rammed to capacity, like Cardiff City Centre on a Friday night, but with way more guns and way less beer. I let the tide carry me out into the sea of cloaked armament. There are no metal detectors, and it's kind of assumed that most everyone has a gun. I'm not sure if that makes me feel more or less safe, but I certainly can't get it out of my mind. I brush past a guy in combat shorts and feel his handgun brush against my leg. I briefly long for the Tube at rush hour, where the things that brush against you only leave a rash.

There are guns everywhere, of course, but it's more a shrine to general survival implements: handguns, rifles, assault weapons, silencers, scopes, entire stalls of antique coins for some reason, clothing, endless ways to conceal a weapon, knives, throwing stars, stuffed animals, targets, holiday packages, humongous gun safes that you could live inside if you were small and resourceful, and my favorite stall, the one I'm looking at now.

It's called Zombie Industries. It's a large corner stand with variously attired but universally bloodied zombie torsos, displayed prominently above the polo-shirted workers below. The "director of sales," Nicholas Iannitti, flits around underneath, happily talking about his creations, which retail for around $100 apiece. They're targets to use on a range; that much is obvious. What makes them special is that they bleed when you shoot them.

"Our best seller is Chris," Iannitti says, pointing toward a gray-hued zombie high on the wall.

"Any idea why?"

"None at all," Iannitti says. "We're equally proud of all our creations."

The other zombies are either green-skinned or silly caricatures, like the zombie with a Bin Laden beard and a turban simply called "Terrorist," or a garish clown with an evil grimace.

"Why do they all bleed red?" In all the films and computer games I've seen, zombies bleed black or green.

"We tried out a lot of colors — yellow, green, black — and in the end red was just the easiest to see down range."

"Anyway," Iannitti adds brusquely, as he considers more deeply why someone with such a silly accent is asking such silly questions. "How do any of us know what color a zombie's meant to bleed? I certainly don't."

I wander off, pushing aimlessly down rows and between booths. After some perambulation during which I observe every rifle ever imagined, some swords, an ax and a VW Campervan with a chain gun on top, I decide to make my exit for the evening. But just as I'm ready to leave, I'm swept back in by the sight of a man's dream dying.

He's standing in a booth with machetes and swords and spears, basically all the weapons you're left with in video games when the real pixel-killers are out of ammo. He's wearing a 10-gallon hat, and his face has a gray and white handlebar mustache so fulsome it could shelter an entire family. He is purchasing what I think, from my extended playing of Soul Calibur II, is a halberd.

The weapon — a giant medieval ax, basically — is on display as one glorious piece. But this clerk! This clerk separates it and hands it to him in two pieces, with the business end tucked safely into a bag. The man looks confused, then crestfallen. As resigned to his fate as a man with a mustache and weapon that size can be, he walks out of the hall, head down. His hope, it seems, was to gaily parade his killing implement throughout downtown Houston, past the ranks of police outside and past the baseball game going on at Minute Maid Park. Or maybe in the baseball game, to put the Astros out of their misery? We'll never know. His dream, like so many, was crushed by the laws of the nanny state, and he's heading home. I'm not far behind.


It's Saturday morning and I'm back, ready for another day of occurrences I don't understand conducted by people who don't understand me. (My accent's still thick enough that it takes at least three tries to order "water" in restaurants.) As I make my way, I notice several new road closures. Police are in the intersections, directing people and cars alike. After a few minutes' walk, it becomes apparent what the fuss is about:

There's a Cinco De Mayo parade, and it's heading straight for the NRA convention.

It's an explosion of color against the gray Houston landscape. A float is decked out in green and red streamers. Up and down the street, Hispanic families wave at the extravagantly dressed populace on slow-rolling display. I'm just waking up so I'm slow to piece together the wonderful dissonance happening before my eyes, but eventually it hits me. I spend the rest of the walk imagining the committee that plotted this route, presumably late at night and after a few drinks too many, a decision made of either ignorance or mirth. I'm rooting for mirth.

The main float turns away at the last minute, and despite some confused looks from NRA badge-wearers, the powder keg of racial hilarity is defused. One man, neat white beard prominent under his sunglasses, shouts something at the float, but it's drowned out by the kind of fast-paced Spanish-language song you hear in one of those scene-setting shots in a film set in Mexico.

I pass more protesters — today Obama is a "puppet of the British government," which gives us a level of respect I never even knew we had — and soon I am back on the packed convention floor. I skim around the side of the stalls, following a loud crackling noise I could hear yesterday above all of the aural chaos. Eventually I find the source: a stall selling "personal defense equipment." Mainly this means stun guns of extraordinary strength, which flash intimidatingly and emit a noise like the electric fence from Jurassic Park.

I approach one of the sales guys, who's handing out stun guns to people without looking at them. I ask him what their best seller is.

"Definitely the flashlight taser," he says. "It's got a flashlight at one end and the taser at the other."

Logical enough. How many volts would that carry?

"About two million. It'll incapacitate an attacker for 10 to 15 minutes."

"That's a pretty long time. It must be some serious equipment."

"It really is," he says. He picks one up and presses a button, and a deafening burst of electricity fills the air. "It's the perfect non-lethal defense."

There's a guy next to me, can't be more than 20, swishing one around and grinning. He's about a foot away. This feels considerably less safe than standing around a bunch of assault rifles.

"What's this?" I ask the salesman. I'm pointing at something that looks like a phone case.

"It's a taser iPhone case."

I probably should have expected that. It's a miracle of engineering, really, a normal-looking pink iPhone cover with a flip-off top concealing a stun gun. I picture the epic battles my phone and I have as I try to wrest it from my pocket while driving and listening to the superior music of my homeland. I imagine the consequences of throwing the best part of a million volts into that mix.

"Six hundred and fifty thousand volts," the salesman says proudly, "and 20 hours additional battery life!"

Would be pretty useful if someone tried to steal your phone, I guess. They'd never see that coming.


I retreat upstairs to the press room to restock my reportorial supplies (read: more cookies), passing the Not-a-Wall of Guns, the P.A. still blaring, "WAAAAAAAAAAAALL OF GUUUUUUUUUNS!" It's here that I end up sitting next to the media arm of AmmoLand.com.

Aside from the AR-15 they want so badly for me to hold, my Sherpas up the Mount Everest of guns are useful for something else: getting people to talk to me. My media badge and accent are a left-right combo of untrustworthiness for most people I approach. But at the Ruger stand, our first port of call after the Bushmaster display, I'm having the safety features of a Ruger SR45 demonstrated to me when a guy starts waxing lyrical about the safety of this particular gun.

"Best gun I ever bought," he says without prompting. "I got kids, and none of them are gonna be able to fire this. It's got a double trigger for safety!"

He motions for me to tilt the gun and look at the trigger, which my finger is wrapped snugly around, much to Fred's dismay. Sure enough it has a second trigger in the middle, raised up from the first. Two triggers! I'm not sure what this means, exactly, but I assume it shoots two bullets at once, possibly in different directions so I can kill two bad guys at the same time.

I sense my opportunity to get a gun enthusiast to open up, surrounded as I am by the only media he can trust. I strike with all the subtlety of an untrained Brit brandishing a Ruger.

"What did you think of the recent gun-control reform bill?" I ask. We're just a few weeks removed from the disintegration of the president's plan for universal background checks.

"Ain't gonna change nothing," he says. "None of that crap would have stopped anything happening. You know, they interviewed guys in jail who went there 'cause of gun crimes. Less than 2 percent got their gun legally. Obama needs to try and help the good guys."

"How are the bad guys getting their guns?" I ask, earnestly.

"I could go to any high school in Houston and get any gun I wanted. I just got to know the right people. It's easy."

I sense the mood starting to turn. My Sherpas have to leave — AmmoLand isn't going to populate itself, I guess — so I offer my goodbyes. Popping outside for air, I see the anti-gun protestors stationed across the road in front of a huge piece of modern art. It's a weird series of white and blue shapes outlined in black, giving them a comic-book feel. In front of it stands a podium, and behind that stands a lady calmly reading from a book.

A large man stands about three feet from her, shouting into her face. The woman, middle-aged with graying brown hair and glasses, is reading names and ages, slowly and deliberately. Spittle flying, the gentleman is shouting at her, his NRA badge riding the waves of his gestures, up and down, up and down.

"THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE NRA! YOU CAN'T CHANGE NOTHING!"

A policeman saunters over, intimidating in his sunglasses and no-fucks-given demeanor.

"I could do with your help, officer," the lady says. "This guy's giving me some hassle."

The policeman suggests that the guy move along. He does, muttering under his breath. The lady, satisfied, returns to reading names.

"What's she doing?" I ask a young dreadlocked woman standing next to her, clearly associated.

"We're occupying this place," she says, gesturing toward sleeping bags hidden inside the art display, "and we're reading out the names of 4,000 victims of gun violence."

"Over what period of time?"

"Four thousand from Sandy Hook up until last week."

To our side, the names of minors and adults alike, from around the whole country, are being read out in the order they died. The giant yelling man is hardly out of sight and another badge-wearing storm cloud is already forming.


The speeches happen in the convention center's auditorium, a room so surprisingly sprawling it feels like a really boring version of Doctor Who's TARDIS. Still, going by the numbers, it's not big enough.

The keynote event of the weekend — it's named "Stand and Fight," after the Wi-Fi password, I guess — is two hours away, but it's long sold out. People have plunked down $15 to sit in the overflow hall and watch on a screen. And the keynote himself is right now signing books upstairs, where a line is taking up most of the second floor.

The media platform is raised up in the middle of the crowd, which is pretty rude if you consider the speaker and his disciples' feelings for the press. Before the big speech is the window dressing: Wayne LaPierre, the NRA's executive vice president and chief shit-stirrer, rallies the crowd. Colonel Oliver North offers a prayer. The music is cued. The lights dim. A huge "G.B." is projected onto the screen, rapidly replaced by a very large, stylized drawing of what I think is an eagle. Glenn Beck, looking more frail and graying than I remember, takes the stage.

"I usually don't make any notes when I'm giving a talk," he says. "I might write something down on a napkin, maybe. Not tonight. Tonight I've got some things I need to say."

We're fighting not only "for our country" but "for our souls," he says. The audience is hushed. Beck, it turns out, has a rifle. He raises it above his head. He's on the verge of tears, as he has been throughout the speech. You can hear his voice break, especially when he mentions Sandy Hook.

"After the Sandy Hook massacre, the government went in, seized the opportunity, exploited these families, and pushed for more control over our lives. It's immoral."

Applause sweeps through the auditorium. Beck takes a moment to collect himself.

"The only way you can control a free people is to lie! The bigger the lie, the longer you deny reality, the more apt people are to believe it."

It's when he says "they've accepted the media lie that the NRA is malicious" that things start to turn. Thousands of eyes turn toward the media. I get the same feeling I had holding that AR-15, only this time they're holding the metaphorical Bushmasters, and I'm the intruder at the bottom of their stairs.

The next day, I come back for more. I talk to a group of elderly men leaned up against a streetlight. They've come all the way from Tennessee, and they're a lot more interested in my views than they are in telling me theirs, which are largely attacks on the recent gun control measures.

"I'm from outside the gun debate," I tell them. "I'm a neutral. Really, I have no idea what I'm doing here."

"You better learn quick, boy. There are some bad people in this country."

I've heard this several times over the weekend, and at this point I start to ask myself, in haltingly perfect English: Do I need a gun? How am I going to stop someone who breaks into my house? Does it matter that a new gun would instantly become my most valuable possession in that house, followed not that closely by my tea kettle?

I limp up the escalator for one last date with madness, a speech by Ted Nugent. He's calling the speech "Freedom Is Not Free," which I immediately recognize as one of the musical numbers from Team America: World Police. It's a ballad satirizing the overuse of the word "freedom" in political rhetoric. I hum it to myself and wonder how to compute what I'm witnessing: a speech by Ted Nugent that unwittingly has the same name as a song that expertly satirizes the likes of Ted Nugent. Eventually it hits me: Satire just died in a conference hall in downtown Houston.

I leave the auditorium before the speech starts, past the "WAAAAALL OF GUUUUUNS" that never runs out of guns, and into the street. I realize as I leave that, no, I'll never squeeze the trigger of an AR-15, that I'll never own a handgun. I probably won't even buy a stun gun. There's just nothing for me here, I think as I make for the door, although I will admit: There's something about those halberds.

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56 comments
JRjr
JRjr

"The only way you can control a free people is to lie! The bigger the lie, the longer you deny reality, the more apt people are to believe it."  It's when he says "they've accepted the media lie that the NRA is malicious" that things start to turn. 

but...but... Glenn Beck IS part of the media, the lying media,  fed by the likes of LaPierre and abated by the likes of North and Nugent.

josh
josh

The "Wall of Guns" raffle was obviously not conducted without background checks. The story says the guns would be shipped to a local gun retailer, for the winners to pick up. The gun store will have to run the winner's name through the National Instant Check System, or face a felony charge. There's simply no other reason to ship the gun to a third party. Well, other than the fact that the NRA would commit a felony by shipping guns across state lines.

bop25062
bop25062

I'm sure the man that was run over and then had his head chopped off with a meat cleaver wishes he could had a weapon to defend himself what will the Brits or like the author of this story like to do ban the meat cleaver get real the lawless ones care nothing about a gun ban, gun control or a background check. If you hear this self proclaimed "red coat" we who believe in self protection of our life, property, and the pursuit of happiness are retarded country bumkins who believe in just wreaking havoc. Tell this to the man who lives in oak cliff Gavin stay a month not a day in the 5th ward in the wonderf city you were just in and talk to honest people who have to sleep in the tub to escape the bullets from drive bye's. I assure gangs, thugs, rapist, and murders don't think before they commit one of there horrible crime, " oh gee wonder of I'm legally authorized to do this." give me a break! I've been in law enforcement for 15 years the only deterant against bad people is for good people to defend themselves wake up we meaning law enforcement are here for "after the fact" when the son, daughter, or mom are already lying in the beatdown or dead. If you read you history books you would know that the so called "red coats" who you claim to were coming into the home of colonist and helping themselves to anything they liked it was only when a armed public of honest hard working patriots started defending themselves that the madness stopped. Welcome too the heartland of America brotha there are just some things you a self proclaimed "red coat" will never understand but it didn't stop you from coming to this country now did it. I'm love Brits even love the women of Brits but a "red coat" which term really is a derogatory comment toward the brittish people use by you sir which embodies what the colonist used to call the occupiers of this great nation I will not ever care for or understand.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

You and I will probably never find a middle ground to meet on when it comes to firearms ownership, gavin, but I do like the story.  You did more than most writers would have, even more than I would have.  I support an individual's right to keep and bear arms, but you would be hard pressed to convince me to go to an NRA event, and you'd have to kill me to get me anywhere Beck is speaking.  I think, on further investigation, you'll find most gun owners aren't all that much different than you, and have a host of topics they're more likely to bring up than guns.  We're all just normal people who happen to own firearms.  Some of us even like European Football.

joeinbost
joeinbost

Did you see the story on Dallas Safari Club   turns out it is a Front for Pedophile  Tours of the Third World

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

Does it matter that a new gun would instantly become my most valuable possession in that house, followed not that closely by my tea kettle?

I would suggest that possession is the wrong word, and that the most valuable thing your your house to protect is your wife and yourself, in that order.  People who break into occupied houses want more than to pawn your stuff.

smithy7092
smithy7092

I'm pro gun, I live South Oak Cliff. My father was ex-military. I learned to shoot at age seven after a week of safety training. I used to keep a pistol, but switched to rifles, to allow my nieces and nephews at the house.

I call 911 at least once a week to advise them of gunshots on the next block. To live safely in my neighborhood you have to know certain things, like which blocks are controlled by which gangs, what haircuts and colors are hallmarks of gang activity, which houses you don't walk by least you see a cock or a dog fight, then there's santeros, the dealers moving, X, whack, and cheese (they get kids to sell for them in exchange for street cred and protection). Then there's just the average garden variety thieves and hookers, half of whom carry a weapon of some sort. This neighborhood is also filled with halfway houses, in the summertime the electrical grid is so old, it takes them weeks to correct an outage. So what do you think happens to ankle bracelets during that time. It's all very fine and good to think we're safe, but there really are some very bad people out there. So if they manage to get past the steel door, the sheperd, there's always calling 911 for a two hour wait for them to arrive. I support the NRA. I just wish they would do more on gun control and education, especially in school districts like this one. The Cliffdweller

epicmale
epicmale

I quote from the article:  "I kind of like how it feels in my hand," I tell him, lying.  Notice how easily he lies.  And there is no sense of remorse or guilt.  Truly, the liberal mindset is a mental illness of self destruction.

TexMarine
TexMarine

It's good to know that the idea of well armed Yank's makes you nervous. Enjoy your stay.

Americano
Americano

It was sneaky the way the author slipped Sandy Hook in there, considering all those kids were killed with handguns.

Reader
Reader

The UK did a great job banning/monitoring the guns used by the terrorists after they beheaded that British soldier in the streets, didn't they matey? You have quite the strange fear of firearms. I'd like to read an article from you about shooting trap/skeet for the first time, and/or shooting a target at a gun range. Also, something on how the U.S. needs Nando's.

Joshstruckoutagain
Joshstruckoutagain

Good article matey! Dove season is right around the corner Gavin, them critters sure taste good with a little lead, jalapenoes and bacon added.

NewsDog
NewsDog

Gavin,

Pity you have already decided you will never squeeze the trigger of an AR-15, it's a fun gun to shoot.

Maybe you should find a friend who has a .22, rifle or pistol, and some land where you can just go plinking. Think safety first then have some fun. It's kind of a rush the first time you make a can dance.  

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

good take by a non invested point of view.  I dont own a gun but I feel that if I wanted to, I should be able to.    Most of the time I never even think about it, but then some nights I lay in bed and hear some noise at 2 in the morning and think, if someone is breaking in my house right now, I have no way to defend myself.  

JRjr
JRjr

^ abetted

randi.trollop
randi.trollop

@josh The out-of-state winners would also likely break laws transporting them if given the guns in Houston.

JackGrimshaw
JackGrimshaw

@bop25062 Ar you seriously stoned, seriously grammar-challenged or just a blithering nitwit?

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@bop25062 

Holy cow.

I don't think you're doing your side any favors with this screed.

joeinbost
joeinbost

So  stand yoru ground  ends at yoru Doorstep. How about that guy  who killed his Wife  FB   and he got off, but a woman who shot and Killed her  abusive  BF   goes to jail  Florida  what a Muslim World

R2D2
R2D2

@everlastingphelps This is factually incorrect. Please note the statistics here: http://www.parliament.uk/briefing-papers/SN01940

To quote: "In England and Wales there were 388 firearm offences in which there was a fatal or serious injury, 13% lower than in 2009/10. The number of offences resulting in slight injury in 2010/11 was 5% lower than the number recorded in the previous year. In almost 80% of firearms offences no injury occurred."


From a population of approximately 50 million redcoats.


lolmathDailyMailwut?


CogitoErgoSum
CogitoErgoSum

@Americano Really? Unbelievable the ignorance that still remains about this event. He used a goddamn AR, genius. See Gavin's link to the state police statement. 

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

@NewsDog Ain't it just super fun to go out and shoot living creatures?  Just.... funsies...

WhiteWhale
WhiteWhale

@ScottsMerkin I have to respectfully disagree with you on this.  The author has been so heavily indoctrination to the anti gun view that he was scared to even hold one.   

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

@R2D2 Well, obviously the Daily Mail should have used their time machine to report on statistics that hadn't actually been compiled based on events that hadn't actually happened yet at the time of publication.

I mean, come on, that's precog 101.

Americano
Americano

@CogitoErgoSum

I've seen stories that say both, he did use an AR-15 and he didn't.  When it comes to the media in this country, who knows?  The media in this country is overwhelmingly anti-gun, unlike the Constitution.  The Founders were clear, the people need weapons that can protect them from a totalitarian government.  Handguns do not fulfill that role.  Crazy people do make that right disappear.

I think, therefore I am.

NewsDog
NewsDog

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz @NewsDog   Myrna, did you actually read my comment? Where did I mention shooting any living creature? But I guess for people who don't think, facts and comprehension just get in the way. 

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@WhiteWhale While that may be true that he has an anti gun view, he never says so in the article, we can only infer that he is bc he is from an anti gun law country.  

One other thing, is there something wrong with fearing guns?  Those that fear tend to respect the power of a gun

Americano
Americano

@CogitoErgoSum As exciting as it is to read your opinion of what the 2nd Amendment means, the Founders wrote about it at length.  RT Golden1 explains it well.  That Amendment was designed to keep a Totalitarian Government from running roughshod over the people.  Like the current administration, the British needed an unarmed public to have their way.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@CogitoErgoSum The Supreme Court has consistently upheld that the the Second Amendment, like all the others in the Bill of Rights, is an INDIVIDUAL right.  Gun ownership is already regulated enough, no need for more regulation.  The Founding Fathers, by the way, notably George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, were clear that the citizenry must be allowed free and unfettered ownership of firearms.  You know, to prevent the kind of shit they had just rebelled against from happening again.

CogitoErgoSum
CogitoErgoSum

@Americano @CogitoErgoSum The Founders meant no such thing. The Second was meant to provide for "well-regulated" militia members who would protect the country from foreign invaders (because there was no standing, peacetime army) and internal rebellion like the Whiskey Rebellion -- the very kind of rebellion that Teabaggers constantly preach is the reason for the 2nd Amendment. You have been manipulated into believing this pro-gun tripe. Regarding the news media: try not taking what is spoon-fed to you and use this thing called the Internet to find multiple sources to get closer to the truth. That's exactly what I did months ago when I learned that he did, in fact, use an AR. 

Americano
Americano

@G_David @Americano @GavinCleaver  

It doesn't matter what he used, it's the person who does the killing, not the gun.  I own 2 guns, neither of which has ever killed anyone.  Socialism requires and unarmed public.  They are easier to control.

 

NewsDog
NewsDog

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz @NewsDog   And something else Myrna. Are you an absolute strict vegetarian? If not, how do you think the beef, chicken, pork product got to your plate?  

NewsDog
NewsDog

@ScottsMerkin @WhiteWhale   You shouldn't fear a gun, unless it's being pointed at you. Especially if the person pointing it doesn't know how to use it correctly.

Respecting the power is another issue. When I taught my son to shoot I showed him that using the example of what a .22 can do to a can of soda. Small entry hole but the back was torn apart. I told him the same thing can happen to a person. He has always been careful around guns.   

kduble
kduble

@ScottsMerkin @Myrna.Minkoff-Katz If you're psychologically stable and can pass a background check, I have no problem with it. It's your business.


 
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