This post is out of a discussion I have had with another gunny in a not-so-gun-friendly state in the US.
Recently, in the US there have been reports of people losing jobs, buying guns and being reported by friends/family to the authorities and then being in a lot of hot water.
I can appreciate not looking for hot water situations!
However it got me to thinking about whether or not it is wise to let your colleagues know that you shoot.
Here in Australia, while we do have quite (very) strict gun laws and it is not the ‘norm’ for people to have anything to do with guns generally, I’ve found that reactions to my hobby are basically positive.
So much so, that during the interview for this job, when I asked if they would consider the position being a part-time one, when asked why, I didn’t hesitate to give the real reason. (Weekends are full due to my training commitments at the club so I would like a day to catch up).
The reaction of the interviewers was quite amusing, but certainly not worrying – oh, and I got the job.
So was this a wise thing to do, or should I not advertise the fact that I shoot?
I haven’t heard of anyone here being reported to the police just because they have firearms or shoot.
I have heard of this happening during separation / divorce proceedings where one party feels particularly aggrieved. I guess that it also happens if people have made direct threats.
I guess there is a risk of people finding out that you have guns, finding out your address and deciding to acquire the guns for themselves.
I know of a friend who has instructed his children not to mention that there are guns in their house at school due to fears about this. I also know that some of my friends are very cautious when transporting the gun from their house to the car to only do it in a way that their neighbours can’t see them.
These friends also ensure that they don’t wear their club shirts other than on the range etc.
I’m not that cautious. I guess part of the reason that I am not is that I want people to know that ‘normal’ people can have guns and can enjoy shooting. (Now, no comments about whether or not I’m ‘normal’ please – you all know what I mean!).
I have also found that by being open about my hobby (both at work and my girls' school) that I have been able to take a number of newbies up to the range, people who probably wouldn’t have had the opportunity otherwise. Some of these have gone on to participate in the sport, others haven’t. However, they have had the chance to see first hand how much fun shooting can be.
What’s your take on the topic? Do you ‘advertise’ that you shoot or have guns, or are you secretive about it? And what is the reason for this?