Gun Gripes: Corporate Gun Culture with IraqVeteran8888

Screenshot 2015-07-21 11.22.44

I know many TFB readers are also tech people, and the five years I spent at Google HQ, I saw the gun culture change for the better. Google’s anti-gun policies are a different story, I’m talking about your rank and file employees who used to be more shy about discussing guns in the workplace. Once I was on Top Shot, it gave my colleagues a reason to ask me about guns, and I was happy to talk about it openly at the workplace. One of my fondest memories was seeing one of my direct reports searching for AR-15s and accessories with all the pictures and websites up on his screen for everyone in our bullpen area to see. He was asking me about 16″ vs 18″ barrels and a host of other questions. No one in our area batted an eye thinking we were dangerous, and it was because we had overcome the fear of being negatively stereotyped in the office.

I recently spoke to YouTuber IraqVeteran8888 about corporate gun culture – my own personal experience at Google, and also some higher level trends I hear about during my national travels.

Here’s the full video for your enjoyment. I’d love to hear about your own corporate gun culture experiences, both good and bad, in the comments below.



Chris Cheng

Chris Cheng is History Channel’s Top Shot Season 4 champion and author of “Shoot to Win,” a book for beginning shooters. A self-taught amateur turned pro through his Top Shot win, Cheng very much still considers himself an amateur who parachuted into this new career.

He is a professional marksman for Bass Pro Shops who shares his thoughts and experiences from the perspective of a newbie to the shooting community. He resides in San Francisco, CA and works in Silicon Valley.

www.TopShotChris.com.


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  • TheNotoriousIUD

    Im not sure I qualify as “corporate” as I work for a business with less than 30 employees but the boss has 3 shotguns in the supply closet and Ive sold a few pistols to coworkers during business hours.
    But thats Houston for you.

    • Thomas Gomez

      Texas is awesome.

      • noamsaying

        Went to see a client who is a construction company owner in Houston. Had my CHL “shoot me first vest” in the car. Told me to bring it in to his business. He has well over 100 people working for him, and he told me that there is a probably a gun in every desk, and he has a gun safe in the back.

  • Sheeple shepherd

    I work for one of the largest SAAS companies in the world that has a very liberal ideas on many things as they are a tech company. Luckily my branch is in the southeast so everyone is more conservative and open about gun culture.

  • Esh325

    What “anti-gun” means in American culture is “you don’t view guns the same exact way I do therefore you must hate all guns and want all of them banned”

    • ostiariusalpha

      Wow, such an authority on the subject! Look no further folks, Esh325 here is the last word on American gun culture. Especially ignore any actual Americans that might contradict him, as they are all completely tainted by proximity biases. LOL!

      • Zebra Dun

        Hell the folks who are against the gun culture had their head spokesperson speak on evil guns making children run back and forth to college in fear of being shot while at the same time bombing a hospital as he spoke!

    • anon

      *This site brought to you by “American Gun Culture.”

    • TheNotoriousIUD

      Ever heard of de-caf?

      • Brocus

        why do you hate coffee and freedom so much?!@?

      • M.M.D.C.

        Or beer, for that matter.

      • Zebra Dun

        De-Caf? It has half the caffeine of regular coffee, two cups is one cup etc.
        It’s not actually De-Caf.

        • TheNotoriousIUD

          Good to know.

          • Zebra Dun

            I looked it up one day LOL I found out a regular Mountain Dew is as caffeinated as any energy drink.
            I always wondered why after a mountain dew my nephew went spastic with energy!
            He comes over I say here have a Dew and then get him to clean out the stable.

          • Cymond

            A 12oz cab of Mtn Dew has about 55mg of caffeine. A 12oz can of Coke has about 34mg of caffeine.

            A small Starbucks coffee has about 260mg of caffeine. A 8oz Red BullBull has 80mg of caffeine, 1000mg of taurine, and other stuff. A 2oz bottle of 5 Hour Energy has about 200mg of caffeine, plus a mix of glucuronolactone, malic acid, taurine, phenylalanine, tyrosine, citicoline, and vitamin B3/6/9/12.

            There’s a pretty significant difference between soda and energy drinks.

          • Zebra Dun

            True! Yet once you have any amount of caffeine in your system your caffeinated and every coke or soft drink you drink ups the amount I’ve seen folks consume two to three soft drinks inside an hour and that adds up.
            Just so you know……I am on my second cup of regular coffee LOL and I feel Great!

          • Cymond

            My point is that your statement “regular Mountain Dew is as caffeinated as any energy drink” is false. Yeah, you can eventually reach the same caffeine level, but that’s with several cans of soda. That doesn’t include the other stimulants and stuff in energy drinks. Plus, drinking that much Mtn Dew is about 500 extra calories and a huge load of sugar.

          • Zebra Dun

            My point is valid.
            Your point is Moot, any drink containing caffeine is by description an energy drink.
            To be precise,

            “What is an energy drink?”

            ENERGY DRINK
            “a usually carbonated beverage that typically contains caffeine and other ingredients (as taurine and ginseng) intended to increase the drinker’s energy”
            ——————————–
            “What is Caffeine?”

            “Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant. It works by stimulating the brain.:

            Therefore Mountain Dew is a caffeine containing drink which has in it’s properties a stimulant which makes it an energy drink.

            Is there any thing else I said that bugs you? LOL

            Ford or Chevy?
            Mary Anne or Ginger?
            ;^D

    • aka_mythos

      I don’t think that’s the case. I know a number of people that are personally anti-gun, as in they don’t want a gun in their homes but are perfectly fine with other people owning them.

    • Zebra Dun

      No anti-gun means you moved to a rural area from some big city or suburb and when hunting season arrives you call the police screaming about a war going on because of the occasional gun fired while hunting rabbit, squirrels and deer.
      example: L’il Jonny goes squirrel hunting with his very own .22, “OMG COLUMBINE!”
      “Help Police Sandy Hook is happening!” “VIETNAM!” The police then respond with a laugh, “Ma’am it’s hunting season things like this are normal” and you say “BUT, I am anti gun and there ought to be a law!”

  • Bronezhilet

    Whenever I talk about guns here in the Netherlands, I’m instantly branded as a maniac. It’s infuriating. Except for when I did a project for our MoD, that was cool.

    • ostiariusalpha

      I find that it helps if I wear sunglasses, that way they aren’t disturbed by the burning fire of fevered madness gleaming in my eyes. Just remember not to wave your hands around wildly, don’t let too much spittle fly out your mouth, and don’t punctuate too many of your sentences with “Pew! Pew! Pew!” Learn from these hard won lessons of experience and you can enjoy yourself in all those important social situations.

    • Grindstone50k

      That’s just sad.

      • Bronezhilet

        We’re the prime example of horrible ‘gun control’.

        • ostiariusalpha

          They certainly killed off poor Artillerie Inrichtingen, I’m sure it hasn’t gotten any better since then.

          • Bronezhilet

            We basically have nothing left except for TNO.

  • J Calvert

    Well, my boss is also an FFL, so no issues here. Also in Houston as well.

  • Don Ward

    I guess Wednesdays are IraqVeteranEightEightEightEight days at TFB.

  • While working at Motorola my boss sheepishly struck up a conversation about guns one day after overhearing me and my cubicle farm neighbor arranging a sporting clays trip for after work. Talking about Firearms at work (Especially in NY) was fairly hush-hush and generally kept to off-site lunch conversation. After several high profile shootings in the US the company sent a bulletin about how to safeguard yourself in case of an active-shooter type situation (the article was laughable at best), this at least had the benefit of starting the conversation and for a short while created some good dialogue between those that understood firearms and those that did not.

    After my Motorola days I worked in Yonkers, then Brooklyn for a short while, which felt like being trapped in an insane asylum since everyone I worked with was an ultra-hardline liberal. My direct boss was originally from Australia and had lived in NY the entire time he had been in the US, he believed that all Americans should just hand over their firearms since it worked so well for Australia. Any time the topic of guns or gun-control was brought up by anyone they were immediately assaulted by the neo-feminists or ultra-liberals; Working in that environment for too long is toxic and I was beyond relieved when moving out to Arizona from that liberal hell hole.

    Now I own a firearm tech startup so firearms are a daily discussion, I don’t miss any of that corporate nonsense; I think any discussion of firearms even within the same corporation dramatically changes based on what state you are working in.

  • smartacus

    Bullcrap!
    Screwgle is just as anti-gun as ever!
    They got rid of guns from Google shopping.
    i used to buy a lot through Google shopping.
    i just put in make/model and it automatically finds the best deal
    and you can toggle choice of only listing free shipping.

    Thank God i found SlickGuns
    and of course you can still find deals on SlickDeals and Fatwallet

    • Cymond

      Maybe you missed his point. The Google Corporation is anti-gun, but that doesn’t mean that everyone who works there feels the same way.

      “Google’s anti-gun policies are a different story, I’m talking about your rank and file employees who used to be more shy about discussing guns in the workplace.”

      • smartacus

        Clearly; you missed the point.
        The New York Times Company is anti-gun, but that doesn’t mean that everyone who works there feels the same way.

        The New York Times is still just as anti-gun as ever.

        So are the following companies:
        A & P, AMC Theatres, BB&T Bank, Bloomin’ Brands (Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s Italian Grill and others), Brinker International (Chili’s and Maggiano’s), Buffalo Wild Wings, California Pizza Kitchen,
        Carmike Cinemas, CBL & Associates Properties (Shopping Malls),
        CBS, Chuck E. Cheese’s, Cinemark Theatres, CNN/Time Warner,
        Comcast/NBC Universal, Costco, Forest City Enterprises (Shopping Malls), General Growth Properties (Shopping Malls), Goodyear, Groupon, hhgregg, Hooters, Howard Hughes Corporation (Shopping Malls), IKEA, Jack in the Box / Qdoba Mexican Grill, Jo-Ann Stores
        Macerich (Shopping Malls), Modell’s Sporting Goods,
        Paragon Theaters, Peet’s Coffee and Tea, Regal Cinemas,
        Simon (Shopping Malls), Southern Theatres,
        Sprouts Farmers Market, Square,
        Sterling Jewelers (Kay, Jared, Shaw & others)
        T.G.I. Friday’s (and all Carlson Companies)
        Toy’s R Us / Babies R Us
        US Bank, Value City Furniture, Waffle House, Walgreens,
        Whole Foods Market

        • Cymond

          Sorry, I thought you’d wandered off topic accidentally. Yeah, I know Google and a huge number of corporations are anti-gun, but that’s not what this article is about.

  • Grindstone50k

    I work in DOD and at least half my department are gun owners of one stripe or another. Sometimes I organize gatherings with coworkers for an afternoon at the range.
    This is America, you shouldn’t have to hide who you are.

  • Bal256

    I’ve taken some of my co-workers shooting. However there’s that one guy…

    That one guy thinks that people who use guns in self-defense are “afraid of a fair fight”, and he thinks he’s a big enough badass to beat up anyone that invades his home (he’s an average build). Also, since I take other people to the shooting range, he makes jokes about how I’m going to one day shoot up the workplace. And his viewpoints on other things make no sense either.

    • Brian

      Are you kidding! In a self defense situation I play to WIN!! Screw “fair”.

    • Paul White

      If you’re in a fair fight your tactics suck

    • Zebra Dun

      I was attempting to one day long ago at a workplace I had worked at for three years to get promoted from delivery/pick up truck driver to warehouse worker/inside sales My boss knew I was a veteran, benefits of an unemployment office assigned job gave him my dossier, and I liked firearms hunting and discussed them, his reply was “Ralph ( he called everyone Ralph the high turnover rate of the workers meant he couldn’t remember everyone’s changing names) Ralph he says, you will be meeting the public we can’t have someone who is a veteran out there at the counter who might shoot up a shopping mall some day representing us” as if picking up product and delivering product in the company truck wasn’t meeting the public, I said O. K. and began to shop around for another job, I found vinyl siding crews didn’t care if I was a vet or owned a firearm and away I went.
      Your employers don’t have to know you are a vet and do not need to know you own a gun.
      I scaled back on both. Now if asked I say, I don’t own a firearm if anyone, Doctor, lawyer or Indian chief asks.

      • Grindstone50k

        Almost every job that I’ve applied to, being a vet puts you in the top of the stack in terms of consideration. It’s a shame your former boss had such a prejudicial view of veterans, considering the complete lack of factual basis for his bigotry.

  • K96

    I am a video game developer and I can attest that there is indeed a vibrant and growing gun sub-culture in that industry. Especially the artists and engineers. Thanks for the great video Eric and Chris.

    On a side note: It is common to see packages with ORD-M stickers arriving at work 😛

  • Brian

    Thank you Chris! You set a great example to your peers at Google and our community as well in demonstrating that there are “good” people who like & own firearms. We just need to grow our numbers and influence. I hope that someday we’ll have a CA that is more in line with AZ or TX in its view on the 2A issue.

  • Glock Guy

    What ever happened to the “my gun is bigger than you gun” argument?

  • kahrmudgeon

    I discovered that by wearing a nice polo shirt or button down with a nicely embroidered logo on it (Colt, S&W, Ruger, you name it) I have had a number of coworkers, etc. approach me about firearms and shooting, people I wouldn’t have taken for enthusiasts otherwise. They come out of the woodwork. Usually its a low key “‘like your shirt” that opens into “yeah, I shoot 3-gun but I don’t like bringing it up, you know…”. I’m trying to change that. Its not something you need to hide. Great post.

  • TXgnnr

    I work at a small privately owned production shop in Texas and we have 8 full time employees. Of the 8, 4 of us carry. A local law enforcement officer had occasion to visit our shop a couple of weeks back and one of the people he needed to talk to was carrying. He noticed the print and asked if the employee was carrying and he said yes. He was then informed that 4 of us were armed. His response, “This must be the safest business in town.” And that it is.