Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The dangers of letting your workmates know that you shoot.

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?


Crucis said...

The instance you mentioned occurred when the wife turned in her husband. There was absolutely no cause. He wasn't despondent nor angry with his former employer. It now appears to be more of a familial dispute. I believe the couple was in divorce proceedings.

Don said...

I don't concern myself with the opinions of others when it comes to my God-given right to self-defense. If the police show up at my door because some idiot tells them I'm dangerous, then I will sue them (both police and the hypothetical idiot) with extreme prejudice for violating my Constitutional rights.

I generally don't advertise the fact, but if anyone asks me about my firearms or why I own them, I try my best to educate them about their rights and why they should also exercise them. Positive exposure to factual information and experience from people who know what they're talking about (like yourself) can do wonders.

I say carry on, without fear. By teaching others, we will all be safer.

Sevesteen said...

"Having guns" isn't really worthy of comment here--estimates are that half of households nationwide do, and I live in an above-average area. The equivalent level of "oddball" here is probably having a carry license.

When I got my carry license, I had been working for the same employer for 6 or so years, and something like 10% of our office were known to have licenses. I was open there, and convinced a couple more to get their licenses. In a place where I'm new, I'm less likely to be as open until we get to know each other well enough.

My ex tried to make guns an issue, when I took my 16 year old shooting. Earlier in the proceedings, in a less gun friendly state that might have worked, but she got nowhere.

I don't advertise on my car, because sometimes I have to leave my carry gun locked inside.

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

I don't advertise because I'm not home 24/7 and I don't want my house broken into. If my house is burglarized, there is a decent chance a burglar will find only one or 2, and not know I have any enthusiasm for guns.

Work is less of a problem. I work with lots of ex-military folks from every walk of life. Even the hippies are good shots.

The Armed Canadian said...


My concern isn't so much the police rather being deprived of said guns by them without cause. In many states, a soon-to-be ex has made wild accusations, gotten a temporary protective order (commonly done as a matter-of-course in divorce proceedings) and gone on to deprive the other soon-to-be-ex of their firearms.

Even if the TPO is found to be bogus, which it often is, many people have great difficulty (and sometimes never) getting their guns back from the authorities. Lots of jurisdictions have screwed-up or downright hostile processes and roadblocks towards the return of seized property, rightful seizure or otherwise.

Personally, I would be very angry at being deprived of five figures worth of firearms and accessories because someone didn't like my hobby and could do so simply on their little feelings being hurt and for the cost of a dime.

Suing them after the fact might make me feel better but it doesn't erase the loss. Like most sane gun owners, I have firearms that cannot be replaced. They are unique to me or hard to find.

Old NFO said...

I'm in a gun friendly neighborhood, so when I'm loading up in the garage, and a neighbor sees me, they will usually wander over and chat about what I'm taking and sometimes will go get their guns and go to the range with me... I 'know' at least 5 neighbors that also have carry permits.

KurtP said...

Being as I live and work in Texas,,,We've talked about and compared our weapons on 'gun free' jobsites- even the GC and foremen.

Does that count?

LL said...

It must have a lot to do with where you work/what you do for a living.

I've never heard of that being a problem.