I was talking to my new neighbor the other day. He casually mentioned that he had 53 guns in his collection. To people who've never grown up in a rural area this seems excessive. Out in the country you can acquire a fair sized collection without even trying.
First of all, my neighbor's family, like many others, doesn't believe in selling guns. Granddad had a few guns. Dad had a few guns. The kids get a few of their own. Over time the kids inherit a couple of collections. My neighbor also ended up with his brother's collection.
Most people I grew up with are hunters. When you are a kid your parent's buy you a .22 rifle to learn on. Later you may end up with a .410 or .20 gauge shotgun.At deer hunting age we all had something like a 30-30. As you get older you might upgrade to better firearms. If you get seriously into target shooting, that's a whole different set of guns. Over a lifetime, they start to add up.
Then there are those people who become collectors. Collecting guns is really like any other collecting hobby -it can get out of hand. For example, my father-in-law has over 300 firearms in his safe. Sounds like a lot, but collectors understand. A good number of them are old flintlock rifles and pistols. He's been collecting guns since he was a kid and now he's 81. Since his retirement he's added a lot of guns to his collection. He's got the disposable income and all his friends hang out at the gun store.
One thing I get a kick out of is the number of people who carry concealed. New Hampshire has a very low crime rate. Maybe being well armed is a part of that. However, we also have a pretty good economy and people are generally civil in the first place. At any rate, there are a lot of concealed handguns out there.
They are concealed, until you start talking with a bunch of people. Before you know it, everyone is pulling out their handguns and passing them around. Soon as people realize I know how to safely handle guns, people I barely know end up handing me their Glocks, Rugers, Colts and whatnot. If I'm carrying I never pull my handgun out and show it around. Seems to defeat the whole point of carrying concealed.
When people from the city move out into the country they sometimes freak out at the number of guns out in these parts. Don't panic. While we have a lot of guns, we have very little gun violence. If someone wants to show you their guns they are just being friendly.