How do we educate the folks that want to make guns illegal, the folks that don’t know about guns at all but make statements that make no sense? How do we introduce them to our way of life without sending them the wrong idea? How do we teach them the ideology of self defense? What’s your way of passing along information to the folks that are scared or mad, can it be done realistically? What are your thoughts?
Great question Steve. For me, it starts at home. My family is educated. Their friends might not be, but my kids can speak educatedly and respectfully about self defense and guns.
My mom has a lot of friends who don’t know boo about guns, yet they’ve made statements about banning all automatic and semiautomatic weapons. When I heard that from them I paused and collected my thoughts so I could speak as respectfully as possible. I asked them to explain to me what they meant so I could understand their view. They know what I do and how much I train.
They shared what they knew and I gently corrected them on what the terms really mean and what the laws really are right now. That gave them something to think about. I suggested that they read up on the laws because I would love to delve further into it with them - they’re all in some sort of educational occupation so research is right up their alley. One other thing I did was to invite them all to the range.
My mom isn’t a huge fan of guns, but she isn’t anti-guns at all anymore. She’s a mom, she worries. But once I took her to the range and showed her the safety, training, and responsibility aspect of responsibly armed Americans, she understood it. She also loved shooting the 22 I rented for her. (I’ve found that 22s always gets the new shooters excited because it’s such an easy shot.)
And now, my mom can tell her friends about her experience and hopefully open their eyes just a little bit to what it means to be a responsibly armed American.
It’s not an easy fix.
There will always be people that think irrationally. One example I can trigger people with is being discussed and pushed through society today and frequently discussed in the media on a daily basis. - dealing with politics and morals. I won’t bring them up to respect that this social media is supposed to be about gun safety, training and self defense.
I offer to take them shooting if someone’s on the fence. That usually creates an instant gun nut. For those more stuck in their ignorant opinions I’ve found that slow and steady wins the race. It’s not an opinion you can over turn in a day or two. It takes weeks of comments and conversations. After you have them boxed into a corner then you come in with the knock out punch. Something like “hey I’m headed to the range this weekend, you should come with me. I’m buying the ammo!!”
We all know the type of person who is dead set in their opinion, or better yet, the opinion they’ve been told to have. No matter how much you dispel the myths and bogus info they have, they’ll end it with “Well, I still think they should be illegal”
For the ones who are misinformed but almost more neutral on the subject, I find that being able to present facts to dispel their myths goes a long way. Correcting them in an educational way, not in a way to prove they don’t know what they’re talking about; automatic vs semi-automatic, safety reasons of why hollow points are better than FMJ, the average miss ratio of up to 70% in police shootings to dispel the notion that “If you can’t hit your target with six bullets you shouldn’t own a gun”, police response times varying greatly in different regions (“When seconds count, the police are minutes away!” Maybe quite a few), the fact that the majority of gun violence is committed by criminals who illegally possess a firearm that they got on the black market, with no limit to how many rounds their magazine can hold. Take ours away and they still have theirs, along with the knowledge that we don’t have them anymore, and there are more than 20,000 gun laws already on the books. You could triple it, and the criminals will still not adhere to the law. That’s what makes them criminals.
I also like to point out the myriad of high profile cases where the gun laws that are championed were not enforced, or other info was ignored, which led to tragedy; the Parkland shooting was a complete failure on the end of the FBI, school committee, administrators and guidance counselor, the sheriff’s department etc. all prior to the first shot being fired. I’d go so far as saying the system failed the gunman years ago, big time. The shooting at the bar in California. Months prior police were called to the gunmans mother’s house for reports that he was physically assaulting her. Police showed up, a standoff ensued with shots being fired by the gunman. Eventually he’s arrested with recommendation for detention in a mental health facility, but the State of California let him out instead. Three law enforcement officers were killed last year due to a lack of enforcement of Massachusetts gun laws; two in MA, one in Maine. Career criminals, one with over 100 convictions. The one who killed a deputy in Maine was arrested the week prior in Massachusetts illegally in possession of a firearm. One week later he’s killing a sheriff’s deputy. Multiple cases in MA where people are arrested illegally in possession of a firearm for the fourth or fifth time, but walk. There have been shooting homicides in Boston recently where the killer is found and has a lengthy record of firearms crimes but never did time.
Then the success stories we never hear about. A month or so after Parkland a school shooting in MD ended quickly by an armed resource officer in the school who shot the gunman. Another one in Illinois happened around the same time, with pretty much the same result. Each year on average 2.5 million crimes are stopped by a good guy/gal with a gun, most without a single shot being fired.
Thanks. After I finished I realized how long it was and thought “Is anyone even going to read this?!” Haha
It was a great read! Sometimes you just need to say it all!
Continuing the discussion from Can this be done? What are your thoughts?:
That’s very good…the problem is closed minds are not opened easily. The 24 hr news cycle is not the friend of the truth either…You see it time and time again, and not just in the gun arena, Something happens, and media starts coverage, and certain factions of society start running with it. Almost never is the first impression correct, but you can’t unring that bell…those with an agenda understand this and exploit it. Nowhere was that more apparent than Parkland, one week after CNN holds a “townhall” and they attacked Dana Loecsh, even the sheriff, once the investigation was complete, and all the systemic failures were known, it’s now the Sheriff that’s on the hot seat…and that’s only one layer of failure among many…but to some degree the NRA is still stigmatized from that original rush to judgement…
Not only has the Sheriff been outed for what he is, two separate, independent studies of the whole fiasco released a scathing report of him, his department, their response, the FBI’s inaction prior, as well as the school. No Town Hall meeting for that! It’s blatantly obvious that there’s an agenda in this country, and the media is on board with it.
First, we have to understand that about 99% of what the anti-gunners think they know is factually inaccurate. The legally armed gun community is the most aggressively silenced group in the country. Meanwhile, all the information being pumped into society is carefully and methodically anti-gun. We hear so much about the gun lobby paying off politicians, but Bloomberg and others outspend pro gun people by 10 times as much. So, while they think they know all the correct information, they don’t. Trying to change the mind of someone who is convinced is quite a challenging task. So we need to understand that there will be resistance simply because they they believe what they think they know is right, and you are wrong. If the discussion reaches the point where it starts getting heated then we’ve gotten nowhere, and possibly made it worse. We just have to be polite, be calm, and discuss in slow, clear details. They will counter with false facts and use emotion to deflect. We have to be ready for that, and not lose sight of the point. I recently explained how some places cannot report when an illegal alien tries to purchase a firearm, and how that makes enforcing existing laws more difficult, and so of course now the other person wanted to change the discussion to be about how that doesn’t matter because toddlers kill more people than illegal immigrants - Yes, she actually said that. So, you can see what we’re up against. We just have to stick to the plan, and don’t let them change our game or dictate our words. It will be a long battle, but we can gain ground with cool heads and hard facts.
We have some really good replies on this subject, I think it’s very important to understand their mindset, as impossible as that may seem, lefty has their own agenda. It’s so true that when you discuss a subject with them like guns, they will change the subject around to questions that don’t apply to the original question. They are famous for taking a whole paragraph on a subject, picking out one sentance from it, breaking that sentence down and using one part of that sentence to create a new subject that’s in your own words, even though you may be agreeing with them, they will twist it into something that’s more appropriate for their agenda. I like to frame the conversation, when they try to attack your views, I then ask them one simple question, “In your opinion, what’s the solution to the problem?) about 90% of the time, they have either no answer, or the solution would take years to make it happen. I usually ask them, “what we can do right now, we need the shooting gs to stop right now, how do we do that?” There’s no reasonable answer under their ideology, no answer. I try to let that sink in a little bit for them. The information they have is usually pretty far fetched, so I try to answer their questions with facts as opposed to personal feelings. I’ve managed to get a few to the range on a busy day so they can see how everyone is using the same safety platform, all of us are doing the same thing. There are many that can’t be moved on their beliefs, but in turn, I won’t be moved either. It seems almost impossible to get some of these folks to even listen to what you have to say, it’s extremely frustrating for me at times, but I try to be patient. Education on the subject is important.
I could just say ‘ditto’ as so many of you said whats on my mind.
Here’s a little devil’s advocate.
- in response to Parkland, vegas, others: “you care more about your guns than a childs life!” “If childern dying wont change your mind nothing will!”
- “why do you need an assult-rifle” (yes, i know AR doesnt stand for assult, but it is an inaccurate and ingrained term used)
- "how do you plan to protect our schools? Arming teachers?! Using more guns to stop gun violence!?
I know ive heard these comments and im sure you may have too. But these are those emotion-packed questions that our anti-gun neighbors ask. Yes, its usually said walking into a fire vs a conversation. Its said with media-fueled information and also lack of knowledge. But tgis is what they’re asking. How would you respond?
This thread has had really good replies. Keep it up!
I love question 3! I’ve responded to it a few times.
Of all of the mass shootings that have occurred in the last 65 years, how many have happened in a gun-free zone? Here’s a graphic that always gives people pause:
Allowing teachers who want to carry the ability to carry and taking down the gun-free signs would definitely be a start to protect our children in schools!
Which feeds into the answer for question 1 - my guns can help protect a child’s life. How else would I protect a child from someone who wants to use a gun to cause death or grave bodily harm to a child? Sure I can throw myself between the gunman and the child, but when the gunman kills me he can then do whatever he wants to the child.
And number 2 - Do you need the latest smartphone? No, but it’s a helpful tool and I like helpful tools - and both are fun in the right time and place (not the dinner table for a phone and at the range for an AR.)
I mentioned the whole teacher carrying issue, which both reports from the Parkland shooting recommend. People hear it and right away assume that what we’re advocating is that to be a teacher, you need to carry a gun, which we all know isn’t the case at all. If a teacher already carries or would be interested in doing so, why shouldn’t they?
I would have no issue with them being required to take classes specific to the type of situation they could find themselves in to prove their proficiency, but only for the ability to be able to carry in school.
I’ve heard so many ridiculous comments against it; “So if someone starts shooting in the school, a teacher is now supposed to go find them?” If the shooting starts in that classroom or area where the teacher is, yes, otherwise lock the classroom down and the teacher can at least be able to protect those students there. “When the shooting starts in a classroom, the teacher is really going to have time to get the gun out of a safe in their desk drawer?” Nope, the teacher will have the gun on them. “What if a student tries taking the teachers gun from them someday and using it?” If the teacher is carrying concealed correctly, no one should know they’re carrying. Also, people who carry and take appropriate classes are taught ways to keep that from being a possibilty.
Here’s my favorite; “What if the teacher is having a really bad day and decides to shoot their students?” I’d like to answer by asking if they know how stupid they sound, but I usually say “People have bad days all the time and don’t go shooting people, but seriously, what’s to stop a teacher from doing that now?” The point I make is that someone intent on causing harm or death is going to do it no matter what, or at least try. The ones who are successful are given free reign to do so in “gun free zones”.
Totally good with the AR at the table, but no cell phones at the table!
These people all seem to have one thing in common, an inability to process logic. These are the same people who think the earth is flat and the moon landing is a hoax. No amount of facts or logic will ever faze them, they think that everyone that disagrees with them is stupid and therefore, their opinions are automatically invalid. They all seem to possess one other trait, the need to control all the ‘stupid’ people around them, and since they lack any analytical prowess, they usually resort to intimidation tactics.
I don’t know if they have an inability process logic, @Unclesteve.
I think working hard, doing the research for yourself, and thinking logically without jumping to emotional conclusions has lost its value to a great extent.
A good work ethic and critical thinking are perishable skills and need to be practiced often, just like shooting, IMO.