Guns, including rifles, pistols, and revolvers, play a significant role in the United States, particularly in rural and conservative states like Wyoming. The presence of guns can only be partly attributed to hunting, which is still an important aspect of life in these areas. However, many residents also own guns for self-protection, whether it be from wild animals, criminals, or perceived threats from the government. Furthermore, guns are a popular hobby among many Americans, who invest a lot of time and money in them. Many individuals I've met during my research, both men and women, own not just one or two guns, but a dozen or more. Gun handling is often learned at a young age, and as a visitor, it is common to encounter residents who carry a loaded gun or have one readily available in their car or home. The origins of the American passion for guns are difficult to trace, but society remains deeply divided on the issue - with Democrats advocating for stricter gun laws and Republicans fiercely defending the 2nd Amendment. Mass shootings often reignite the debate, but meaningful change is rarely achieved.
Many gun enthusiasts make their own ammunition. This process is called reloading and not only saves money, but also allows the reloader to produce a more accurate ammunition. It takes four components to make a functional cartridge: the case, the primer, the propellant and the actual bullet. These components can be purchased at many firearms stores. Modern firearms typically use smokeless powder as the propellant. The case, which is reused from previously fired ammunition, can be reloaded a varying number of times depending on its quality. The key to produce highly accurate ammunition is knowledge and the use of specialized tools such as a press, die, powder scale, and priming tool. The goal is to minimize variation among individual cartridges so that they all have the same characteristics when fired, which enabling extremely precise shooting.
Guns in everyday life
Wyoming is a state where guns are a prominent presence in daily life. From specialized gun stores to outdoor shops and even major retailers like Walmart, it's easy to find different kinds of firearms for purchase. Furthermore Museums dedicated to the American West have guns on display, and towns like Cody or Jackson have daily re-enactments of "Wild West" gunfights for tourists during the summer. For those interested in experiencing “the thrill” of firing a gun, some shops even offer the opportunity to try out different firearms, including historical models like the M1 Garand and the 1873 Winchester, also known as the "Gun That Won the West". In Cody, visitors can even fire a gatling gun from 1862.
Shooting is a popular pastime and sport in the United States, and can take many forms, including target shooting and competitive shooting. Shooting is also a popular activity for families and friends to enjoy together. Most of the times it is done on shooting ranges, which can be found in many communities. Additionally, there are many companies that offer firearms training and skill-building courses. Furthermore, in Wyoming it is permitted to carry a firearm concealed. However, a specific license has to be obtained and a course has to be attended. In summary, Wyoming can be called a very gun friendly state, for most of its residents the 2nd Amendment and its broad interpretation is untouchable.