Is there an anti-gunner in your life? In my family I seem to be the exception. Just about all my family is rabid anti-gun. My mother, for example, is a thoughtful and intelligent woman. Let me tell you she loses it when the topic of guns comes up. Completely irrational. I will never understand the visceral reaction people have towards firearms. It is a testament to how effective the anti-gun crowd has become with their rhetoric that they have successfully demonized an inanimate object to such a degree that the actions of a few indict the whole.
I’m willing to bet we have all been there. Perhaps its while engaged in conversation at a party, or at work, or even a family gathering. Maybe it occurs on a first or second date. Everything is going along fine – you are clicking and confident your witty and clever observations are leading somewhere. Then it drops like a ton of bricks.
“I hate guns”.
“People should not be allowed to own guns”.
“They (the gun owner) are overcompensating for a physical shortcoming”.
“What kind of lunatic carries a gun?”
And all the air goes out of your sails. I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking the energy and time it would take to try to talk sense into whoever is espousing these thoughts is exhausting and, most likely, will lead nowhere. The vast majority of people are entrenched in their beliefs. Most seek out other like minded people as a means of re-enforcing their worldview. The news seems to cater to whatever audience they attract and stories seem to all have a particular slant. I doubt this is anything new but it seems to be more and more noticeable given our 24 hour news cycle and the vitriol that is poured out of these news broadcasts.
Okay – it looks like I was headed towards one of my diatribes. I’ll try to reign myself in and maintain focus on the actual topic at hand. I tend to be a bit scattered and it does not take much to derail my train of thought.
I think I can count on one hand (and, more likely, 2 fingers) the number of people I’ve successfully convinced that owning and carrying a firearm makes for good practical sense. One of these people happens to be my wife. And chances are pretty good I’ve not actually convinced her of any such thing and she is humoring me. So be it.
So I’ve compiled a few tips for dealing with the anti-gunner.
Here we go.
Often the subject of guns illicit a strong, emotional reaction in people (both pro and anti). Do not react in similar fashion. Throwing emotion into any type of debate as charged as guns will lead nowhere. One attacks and the other defends. The other attacks and the other defends. Round and round you go likely resulting in no meaningful information being passed, let alone digested. I’ve taken to replying with a simple, “okay”, when talking to someone who is pretty amped up and trying to bait me into an argument. Don’t take the bait.
Be prepared to refute generalized statements.
A popular example, “you’re more likely to end up being victimized by your own gun if someone breaks in to your home”. Keep things focused on you and reply with “I” statements. A good example, “I’m not sure what others do but I keep my gun in a safe by my bed and no intruder could access it”. Another favorite of the anti-crowd seems to be stating “gun violence” in this country is out of control. I have no idea what gun violence is. A gun – the last time I checked – is an inanimate object. My gun is not likely to harm anyone on its own. Do you have any idea how many misspellings and grammatical errors I’ve made in this article? As much as I’d like to I don’t think I can blame my keyboard.
Point out the ridiculous nature of gun control laws.
The obvious being gun laws make the rather stupid assumption criminals obey the law. There are plenty of laws in place already to keep firearms out of the hands of would be “bad guys”. A simple look at areas of violent crime in this country will reveal places with the most strident gun laws have the highest amount of crime. Is this a coincidence? How can this be? Oh, that’s right. Criminals prey on the weak and the unarmed. See those guns laws? The criminal just ignored them. While the subject of gun control laws is in the air ask them what laws would they like to pass? Then follow their logic. If they want to limit magazine capacity ask them how many rounds are acceptable? And how did they come to that conclusion? Whatever number they throw out there is strictly arbitrary. And once restrictions are in place it will lead to further restrictions down the road. Not to mention round restrictions only impact the law abiding citizen. No criminal is going to stop filling his magazine at 7 cartridges; or 10. Or whatever the number is that week.
It is a given, if engaged long enough, the anti-gunner will state citizens have no business owning the dreaded “assault rifle”. This is easy. Simply ask them to define an assault rifle and watch their head explode. They will stammer and sputter until finally saying “it’s a machine gun”. Then let them know that is incorrect and would they like to try again?
Gun free zones are a fallacy.
I’m pretty sure banks are a gun free zone. At least the ones I frequent. They all have the picture of a pistol with the red void circle/slash over it. Has this caused any criminal in the history of criminals to abort their plan of robbing a bank using their firearm? I’m having a difficult time picturing the would be robber stopping short and realizing he will need to come up with a better way for killing his morning as his plan was just foiled by that decal. The vast majority of schools are gun free zones and we all know about the surge in school shootings over the past decade and a half. Have you noticed most mass shootings occur in gun free zones? Of course you have. Why is this? This is pretty much a rhetorical question.
Don’t be afraid to walk away.
Not every argument has to be had. Knowing when you are up against an irrational person can go a long ways towards saving you some grief. Simply asking them what they were like prior to their lobotomy is a nice way to go.
People love to paint the opposition with a broad stroke (I just might be a bit guilty of this myself). It does not take long for them to unleash offensive and derogatory labels like, “gun nut”. I cringe when I hear this. As much as I appreciate the hypocrisy involved – as most anti’s are liberal and claim to be all accepting of others yet don’t bat an eye at slandering and degrading gun owners with that term – this really does offend me.
If they are really honest with themselves the anti-gunner would realize their fear of a firearm is their own issue. They are not likely to seek the professional help they need. I’ve suggested therapy for a few over the years and let me tell you that is an effective strategy to end a conversation. Most will not be satisfied until the 2nd amendment has been dismantled. They need not inflict their fears and phobias on the rest of us. A firearm is simply a tool and nothing more. Like any other tool/object it can be misused. But I’m tired of my rights being threatened and curtailed due to the actions of a few.
Safe carrying everyone.