Social media is a strange animal. There are so many uses and positive attributes, sharing a moment or memory. There are business opportunities, a means to market yourself, your brand or product; all great stuff, but with it comes those who assumedly sit in their parents basement only to cause controversy. Truth be told, we cannot exactly say that they are unemployed, as there are businesses that pay for this “service”. We have given these types a name, appropriately called ‘trolls’, we are not describing the ones who live in trees with flamboyant hair.
If you have been on social media for more than a minute, you’ve seen them and the crap they let fly from their tiny little fingertips! You know what I mean. The people who always have to say something stupid or critical on posts. Some are hilarious and I get a kick out of just how low someone will sink and embarrass themselves while thinking they have proved a point or gotten the upper hand. With humor, comes inflammatory, there are many that are down right abusive and disturbing. These are the types that are on a crusade to destroy our industry and those trying to make a difference in it.
Today I want to touch on social media specifically two negative groups regarding the firearms community. There are those I label the ignorant, and the others I label Ego.
These are the people that know nothing about firearms, or what our sub culture entails. They base their points simply from things like video games and ill informed slam pieces published by outfits comprised of…well…trolls! They throw their two cents with regards to how guns work, what is “the best” and throw stones at anyone who they feel disagrees with them. These ignorant love to spew as though everything they say is factual and by opening up and slamming others posts they are in fact saving mankind.
There are more than we can reasonably count, but this is one example of ignorant in every sense of the word. There is a lovely little lady I follow on Instagram whose handle is alpha_addy. She is 8 years old and a junior Competitive shooter. She also has a little sister Trystan who is 5 that also trains to shoot. Not too long ago, Addy posted a video on Instagram of her practicing dry fire in her room. I watched the video get reposted on a few other pages and on Facebook. I was mortified at the amount abusive comments it gathered from people that know absolutely nothing about firearms. Comments such as “there is the next school shooter” as well as “future murderer”. Disgusting isn’t it? This beautiful girl is enjoying practicing and perfecting her sport, a sport that happens to include a gun. This now, apparently changes her and all of the sudden she is predisposed to being a psychopath? In the eyes of the ignorant, this sweet girl is being painted with same brush as ridiculous as saying that “just because someone is an all star [American] football player, he is now likely to become a steroid driven sociopath. Stupid isn’t it? It is a shame that these so called adults are that immature and blind that they can’t even see that they themselves are the problem with society these days. The fact that they can make such a comment reveals that they are the ones with the minds that are warped if they could so easily judge to the point of destroying a young girls innocence. If you see a “murderer” in a nationally ranked youth shooter; you need to get your head examined.
We got the heat from those that scream “what about the children for god sakes someone think about the children”. They went into full attack mode on sweet addy’s parents. They were accused of being abusive, unfit, dangerous and social services should be involved. I even read comments claiming that they [addys parents] don’t deserve to have children. I commend these parents. They want to raise daughters with a back bone and valuable skills. Their daughters not only train to use guns but they also train in martial arts. With both sports, an unsurpassed level of responsibility and maturity is crucial to only be successful but a role model.
These parents are not raising girls that will not be targeted, victimized by the evils in the world. They are learning to defend themselves. There is a difference in being prepared to fight and looking for one. The ignorant don’t understand that difference and often have no clue they are the ones out to provoke a fight. When it comes to these parents I salute them and from everything, I have seen, they are raising two fine young ladies who have learned more about responsibility and maturity than most adults these days. I am willing to bet that if asked, they will both tell you that they are enjoying being children, with everything they do!
Some of the mildly ignorant can be converted. No not all of them. Some ignorant love being ignorant, but there is a subcategory of them that aren’t abusive they just don’t know any better due to a lack of education and if these types are reasonable, once they are informed, their opinions drastically change. This is where many of us can help. If you know them and they make comments because they just don’t get it? That’s your cue to invite them out to try for themselves and give them the time of their life! I was once a mildly ignorant independent woman. Now, it is abundantly clear to me that shooting sports were what I needed. If you missed my last article called Defying Society, take a read and maybe it will give some perspective to where I am coming from here. Completely had no exposure to any sort of firearm and my knowledge was only that of what I saw on the news or what was depicted in the movies. I’ve come a long way since then!
Bring them With!
If you have a liberal MP in your circle of friends and/or family, invite them to the range and teach them the truth. If they want to legislate then we should…need to educate. We all bitch and moan about the unreasonable gun laws! Well, find those that want to make the decisions and call them out. Encourage them to come and see the reality first hand. Some will be dicks about it no matter what like the reporter that started crying firing an AR and claiming it gave him PTSD. Yeah ok, “Gersh” [is that even a name?], we understand your balls have never dropped and you are excused from class. I guess your last name Kuntzman is fitting.
The other common component to social media are the ones who believe that they are demigods. These are the people that have a wide range of knowledge of firearms. They feel the need to call out everyone as though no one could ever know more than they do. Everything from a choice of firearm, optic and how we shoot is wrong. These are the types that as children, want to pick a fight on the playground. After all, their daddy is bigger than yours and can kick his ass. Am I right?
I personally encounter these types on my personal IG page. Apparently calling myself “Brass loving” means I need to know absolutely everything there is to know about firearms. Hmm who knew? Let’s say someone only ever experienced firing a gun once so far in their life. They loved the living hell out of it and was instantly hooked. As adult life happens…you know with raising children and working a career, this person does not have all the time in the world to shoot; these people are motivated in the shooting sports and create an Instagram and/or Facebook page to document their journey down an exciting path.
Should they be punished for calling themselves brass loving? I have never claimed to be an expert. I just happen to have a page that took off in followers unexpectedly. I love to celebrate others who have been introduced to our industry and are having a blast [pardon the pun] and learning along side with me. I never pretend to know more than anyone, I simply share my experiences and direct people to others I feel can help them learn. People have felt the need to “call me out” as they put it. As of recently, I simply commented on a post about a celebrity calling for violence towards police officers, I put my opinion in the comments, opening myself up to someone asking me how many parts there were to an AK-47.
This guy…along with many others, commonly tout about their time in the Military, which also…apparently a determining factor to being the “end all be all” in our industry.
No disrepsect to those who serve, but military background is often used as a validation for someone to be unprofessional and immature…both traits I assume are not taught in the military? The AK-47 guy, was proven to not been as much of a bad ass as he eluded to being, during his validation…speech
What was he trying to accomplish? I questioned him on his validity of bringing up the AK. His response:
It was just a thought…Another gun bunny poser who knows squat about guns yet has the audacity to call herself “brass loving”
Well first, I do not own an AK-47; I’ve never used one because they are illegal in Canada but I do know how to field strip and reassemble the firearms I own. Do I call one of the pieces in my AR the curvy metal thingy? YEP!. I have no f’ing clue what it’s really called but I know where it goes and I also know if I forget to put it back where it belongs my gun will surprise me next time at the range and not fire. All of that said, do I love shooting? YES, do I love the brass that is extracted and ejected out of my firearms? YES…So, Thank you for your service but to single me out didn’t make you appear intelligent. I have seen a few out there because they have the military experience behave this way. Thank god they don’t represent the majority of those who serve because of the rest of you, I thank you and I adore your attitudes and honour in it. Others use it as a weird bragging point.
The comparison of my experience (or anyone for that matter) over yours doesn’t say I am less intelligent. Just proves we have different experience levels. I’m sure that working with and caring for autistic kids over the years would have taught me more about autism but would I try to shame you with that? Google can’t teach you what those experiences have taught me. Savvy?
I have never served in the military. My experience with firearms has not been like those of whose guns are an extension of your bodies. My training is next to nothing in comparison. However, I, like many am very eager to improve and seek out those who can teach me. My expertise is sometimes viewed as vast from the eyes of those just starting out. I refuse to tear them down for not knowing what I know. People who have been around guns for over 50 years know there is always something else that can be learned. They are humble and hungry. Those are the people I surround myself with. Online trolls you may think you are being helpful but sadly you’re just being jackasses.
Who out there has encountered the trigger police? Yes! they’re out there and in force! I constantly have them getting on my case about my finger, and where it’s placed! If I have one more person point out to me they think my finger is on the bang switch when it shouldn’t be I will find them and throw a brick at them.
Other times they think they have caught me in a disgraceful form is a photo of me actually firing the weapon. Come on people wake up and find something better to do. Yes, trigger discipline is important but those all over social media are just showing off that you know a fancy term for it and like to pat yourselves on the back for knowing what it means and have saved the world from a terrible tragedy pointing it out in someone’s photo.
I’m not going to point out names but, there are those in the social media world who do nothing more than critique photos…of people shooting…from their parent’s basement…I’m going to leave you with this; If you are as good as you claim then let your work prevail, instead of hiding behind a keyboard.
Proving your value and what you contribute to our industry comes from hustling and work, not running your mouth. Be a positive influence for everyone and teach those that are looking to be taught. It’s incredible for a community that is fighting for a voice and wanting respect as a group loves to tear up others exploring the very thing that unifies us. If you don’t want to be viewed as the mindless dickheads or the ignorant trolls, then quit wasting precious syllables and put up or shut up!