Reply To: Ok, this sounds stupid I know ….
One thing that I really see all the time is “you spent that much money on that.” Then they get in their 45,000 dollar pick up truck and drive away. Personally, I spend my money on things that are both fun and useful. I drive a 20 year old vehicle because I paid cash for it and it works great and has been paid for in cash. I have been driving that truck for 6 years now. So, take a 500 dollar car payment every month and put that in the bank for five years and then who is spending a silly amount of money? Everyone spends money on things they enjoy. But truthfully, if you spend a 1,000 dollars on an air rifle and then spend 100 dollars a year on ammo and you use that gun for a decade it is probably one of the cheaper hobbies compared to: atvs, motorcycles, shooting ARs, horseback riding, and the list goes on and on and on. Sure, you can go way out there and budget 5,000 dollars a year on high end scopes/rifles/shooting ranges/etc, but that is still a fraction of what many people around here invest in a new Harley Davidson motorcycle (some of which regularly surpass 20,000). And you can hunt with it. You can target practice with your rifle (as close to meditation as I get), or just play with it.
You can try to explain and rationalize your hobby until your tongue falls off. But there is less pressure to do so when you keep in mind that a pool table costs as much or more and many people see no problem with that. My wife owns pens (fountain pen collector) that cost more than my Mrod. If you feel in the wrong or guilty about your sport/hobby that is on you. If you can let it go then you can get off of the defensive and really squash the judgements before they get out of hand. I squirrel hunt. People find out and they give me weird looks. Doesn’t bother me because I like the taste of squirrels. People who agree with hunting find out that I use a shotgun to squirrel hunt and tease me about it. Doesn’t bother me. I like to eat squirrel a lot, and often. In fact, my daughters and wife are fans of squirrel too, but not a fan of me spending the entire day away in the woods. So I fill my bag with my 20 gauge and am home in time for lunch. It just makes sense to me. That is all that matters.