In any hobby there are people with a lot of money that use their financial ability as a club to beat down ‘lesser’ hobbyists. It’s just as true in the gun community, but fortunately there aren’t that many of these folks and they are such obvious assholes that it’s easy to shrug and dismiss them.
But increasingly I am seeing seeing a more subtle divide. There’s a You Tuber I really like, but he seems to class anything that costs less than $800 as an ‘economy’ option. On social media I saw someone ask for suggestions for an economical rifle scope and most of the responses suggested scopes that start at $500-600, which is more than the individual payed for the gun in question. There are perfectly usable scopes that cost a hell of a lot less than that, they are just not likely to be as useful beyond a few hundred yards and are less likely to survive a direct hit by a nuclear weapon. Seriously, someone who wants a scope for a hunting rifle that will never shoot more than 150-200 yards NEEDS to spend $1000 for scope?!
OK, people are different and have different finances and standards. Understood. But what’s disturbing to me is the lack of empathy. I regularly see people suggest that someone buy hundreds of dollars for accessories even after a person has stated they are on a strict budget; it seems to be beyond their comprehension that someone might not be able to afford it. In some cases it’s worse than that; they seem to think the person ‘isn’t serious’ if they won’t scuttle their budget to buy something optional that exceeds the need.
The classic case is someone saying they need a defensive firearm and have a very limited budget. To me this means they can only afford to spend so much, and I assume that they know their finances better than I do. But every single time there are people that just have to say, ‘You should save your money and buy this thing that costs 150-200% of your stated budget.’ It never occurs to these folks that the person might actually know their own life well enough to know what they can genuinely afford.
Today I posted on social media that I didn’t want to spend hundreds on a gun that I had made clear I was pretty much indifferent to. One person said basically ‘You should just spend the money.’ It was like they didn’t even read the post. Jesus dude, I’m a self-employed partially-disabled vet; you think I can just shit money at will?! It was pretty obvious from his subsequent comment that he couldn’t comprehend that someone couldn’t simply spend any amount of money for anything they wanted. Oh, and if you read this and wonder if I am talking about you that means something even if I am not.
Not having tons of disposable income is not indicative of a character failing, and people still need stuff even if they aren’t rich. If someone is looking for a budget option it is perfectly reasonable to ask what their budget is if they don’t specify. It is NOT reasonable to simply ignore their budget and tell them to spend more money. Odds are if they could they wouldn’t be asking the damn question.
Seriously, if someone says ‘I need an inexpensive, reliable new car’ you don’t tell them to get a 7-Series BMW or a Porsche, do you? Because if you do you’re a dick. But I see people do this sort of thing all of the time with firearms related stuff. Sure, some of them are dicks and are deliberately doing it to be a jerk, That doesn’t bother me; there are always jerks. What disturbs me is the people that it never seems to occur to that this is unreasonable.
So try to pay attention and be a little more understanding, people. Don’t assume, ask questions if you need to and try to understand that not everyone is you, with your needs, wants, priorities and finances. If you can’t do that, if you cannot genuinely be helpful it is possible and better to just stay out of the way of people that can. Shut up and scroll down is actually an option. Try it some time.
Stay safe and take care,
Michael Tinker Pearce, 16 January 2023
Good for you!
As a similarly unemployed, retired and disabled old geezer I applaud your efforts to educate dicks and potential dicks.
However, the real or aspiring dicks usually don’t know they are dicks.
Dicks gonna dick.
Yep. Can’t stop the rain.
To an extent I think it’s an enthusiast thing. Guns, cars, knives, computers, tools – the bling draws the most attention, the most adulation, maximum desire, and in today’s ever more pervasive the-hologram-of-social-media-is-reality what a critical influential mass of the community hitches their identity to. The car example is a trope in gearhead communities beyond your example where a single mom on a budget needing transportation to work will be recommended a 6-digit supercar “because it’s a good value” in such a tone that any intended humor is utterly lost. And by extension since it’s enthusiasts, many have lost sight of the pragmatism most bring to the subject in their pursuit of that next tier of exceptionalism well beyond diminishing returns; the exclusion of casuals may well be a feature rather than a bug.
A common retort to the suggestion that one source a used Glock or S&W revolver or purchase a lower-end brand new is some variant of “isn’t your life worth more than that”, ignoring the A) adequate serviceability of the aforementioned and, B) relative unlikelihood of said hogleg making a life-or-death difference in life relative to the likes of fixing their car’s brakes, replacing smoke detector batteries, making a doctor’s appointment, or mitigating any other far more likely hazard in life to say nothing of constant needs such as groceries, school supplies for their kid, rent, etc.
That being said I appreciate your focus on the practical and accessible – truly harder to find and more creative than someone casually suggesting that everyone max out their credit cards on bling (and secretly start stealing food from their cat).
Damn that was well-said! Maybe you should be writing this post! 🙂
I can afford pretty much anything I want yet the reason I can was not being stupid with money. Yes I have some gems yet I find the lower end fascinating. I’ve been thinking about buying a Hi-Point C-9 because its reputation is so good. To paraphrase Townsend Whelen “only reliable handguns are interesting”. I’ve had Ruger autos that weren’t worth owning and the S&W autos of my youth were horrible.
My favorite gun is my 2005 S&W Sigma 9mm. I have nicer guns It’s just what I like and that is all that matters to me. My carry gun is a Rock Island officers model with mapel grips in .45 I aint trying to impress anyone except myself. In my opinion you have put out an excellent rant. Keep up the good work. Now if you could only get interested in inexpensive shortwave radios?