Common Ground

Common Ground is a visual commentary on life in Hampton Roads, in which a Virginian-Pilot photographer explores a topic of his or her choosing.

Starting Aug. 31, 2014

What's Inside with Vicki Cronis-Nohe

Statement: What's Inside will be my excuse to knock on the doors I've always wanted to, and probe into the hearts and minds of those who intrigue me. I hope to take us to some surprising places.

Breaking Stereotypes

 “I just think there's a popular misperception of who gun owners are,” says Douglas Burdett, who stands for a portrait in his living room, holding a Remington Model 700 rifle. Above him are three of his hunting trophies:  a deer, hunted in North Carolina, a black bear from a hunt in Maine, and a boar he killed while hunting in the mountains of Tennessee.

“I think visitors to my home aren't used to seeing these kinds of hunting trophies,” says Burdett. He smiles and adds, “They ask what I did with them, to which I respond: 'I ate them'.” 
Burdett is the owner of a marketing agency, and wears a bow tie most everyday to work. “I had a client once who thought everyone who went to gun shows were uneducated, ignorant people, but that's not my perception.” Burdett, a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute, says he grew up with guns and that it's part of his family history. 
As Burdett speaks, the sun sets behind his stately Norfolk home along the Lafayette River. Afternoon light pours through the windows of the hundred-year-old home. Off to the side (unseen in photograph), his English Golden Retriever “W' snores quietly.  Burdett stresses the importance of the diversity of gun ownership.  “There's a mistaken stereotype of gun owners and hunters - that they're off the set of 'Deliverance', but the fact is that it's not accurate. I should know, because I'm a gun owner.”

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