Enlightening the Anti-Gun Crowd

By Home Defense gun staffer David

anti gun growd

How they see us

I don't care much for the opinions of the anti-gun crowd. I have found many of them to be narrow minded, rigid, inflexible, uniformed, and ignorant. They wholeheartedly believe the worst stereotypes about gun owners, lumping us together as uneducated, beer chugging, camouflage and flannel wearing  goons. My first impulse is to dismiss them, tune them out, and disregard their opinion. But this is a mistake.

Ironically, some of the people who hold these views have very strong opinions about establishing social justice, fighting racism, building equality and opportunity for others, making a safer society, or another words, protecting and defending those who are weak and oppressed. If only they could hear themselves.

Many who own firearms are warriors by profession,  or in their hearts. Warriors protect those who are weak and oppressed, more actively than those who engage in empty rhetoric. But this  is a common ground between gun owners and anti-gunners.  I think you would be hard pressed to find a law-abiding and responsible gun owner who didn't agree that that violent crime involving guns is a  bad thing, as is suicide by gunshot, careless handling of firearms, guns in the hands of the psychologically and emotionally unsound, and accidental gunshots. These are more areas where anti-gunners  also agree.

We  need the anti-gunners on our side.  We need to win them over, or at least plant enough doubt in them about their beliefs that they are a little less vocal. They vote, they lobby, they blog, and they attend town meetings. Their voice is heard, they declare that private ownership of firearms is a social problem, and the legislators respond with bills which are signed into prohibitive laws which chip away and erode our 2nd amendment rights.  We have nothing to gain by alienating them.  Instead of shunning them, ridiculing them, or arguing with them using bumper sticker wisdom, such as The West wasn't won with registered guns, and You can have my gun when you pry my cold dead fingers from around it, work to understand their point of view, and offer them an alternative view.

Be well prepared for these debates. Know the facts about the history of gun ownership in America, causes of violent crime, efforts at preventing crime, gun violence, the historical victimization and oppression of unarmed populaces, and the second amendment. Focus on common ground that I mentioned above. Learn what beliefs you have in common, and where agreement can be reached.

If you are secure in your beliefs, you are not afraid to have them challenged. Listen to the anti-gunners from a genuine place of curiosity and respect. See where they are coming from, and why they hold their beliefs. I think that one's feelings toward guns and the ownership thereof exists on a spectrum:

  1. Second Amendment advocates/Gun owners.
  2. Those who shoot and hunt, but are indifferent to the politics of gun ownership.
  3. Those who do not own guns and are oblivious or neutral on the issues of gun ownership.
  4. Those who are agreeable to private ownership of firearms, but with restrictions such as registration and permits.
  5. People who are opposed to gun ownership based on moral or political ideology which they may or may not not fully  fully grasp.
  6. Those for whom gun control is a personal matter due to a loss by criminal gun violence, accident, or suicide.

You never know who you are talking to.   Maybe the woman who advocates gun control is  a mom who lost her son to a criminal using a gun. Maybe the man who advocates gun control has abdicated his critical thought processes,  and bent to the latest popular political trend, because it feels righteous, and he wants to be righteous, but isn’t sure exactly how to go about it.  The former may not be easily swayed toward a pro-gun argument having sustained such a loss.  The latter may never have questioned how they have arrived at their beliefs, and may change their mind.

woman aiming a gun

A real gun family

Whenever you have an opportunity to talk to someone who holds anti-gun views, calmly and politely ask them why they hold the  views they do, how did they arrive at their conclusions, and do they have facts to back up their opinions. Gun control is an issue which people on both sides are equally passionate about. It can be easy to get heated up when discussing the issues. Always be respectful and calm.  Don't fulfill any of the stereotypes they may have about gun owners. Hear them , empathize with their point of view, and then offer them yours as a gun owner. You may not convert them and see them at the range next week, but you might make them a little less convinced about the position they hold. You may challenge their beliefs, dispel their negative stereotypes of gun owners, , and plant some doubts about the position they take on gun ownership.

What are you going to do to change the views of the anti-gunners? Let us know in the comments.

 

Comments

  1. nicknielsensc says:

    The first mistake is in assigning the term “anti-gun” to anybody who doesn’t fully favor unrestricted access to firearms. By doing that, you take an all or nothing position that requires you not listen to what the other person has to say. At that point, you have left yourself no choice but to use ridicule and bumper sticker wisdom in response.

  2. I have used this story on several occasions: It’s 3:00am, you awake to the sounds of your 6 year old daughter crying and yelling “mommy make the man stop doing that” Then I hand my anti-gun opponent a cell phone and a (made safe) revolver, and say, “decide right now” Hmmmm It’s funny just how quickly you make a convert.

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