“By and large, most people don’t give a damn about gun rights,” TTAG commentator ST writes underneath Costas to Gun Rights Advocates: FU and the Horse You Rode In On. “In reading the protests against Bob Costa online, I’ve noticed most of the objections are because he used a sportscasting position as a political soapbox, not because of what he said about gun rights per se. We need to jettison the assumption that gun ownership=gun activism. Most folks see a gun as a tool and don’t get why people like us wail about the smallest regulation proposals.” True dat. Ironically, people who have guns don’t feel they need them. I reckon the gun rights fight is best served by arming and activating the people who don’t have guns but need them. Specifically, African Americans and Hispanics in high-crime urban areas. That would take the wind out of the sails of gun control advocates. Am I wrong?

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36 Responses to Question of the Day: Does Gun Rights Advocacy Matter?

  1. Advocating gun ownership to those, who for the most part live in the poorest of areas isn’t too smart. Not because they dont need the guns, but because unfortunately they are for the most part the least educated about gun safety and gun etiquette. You take the wind from the sails of the anti-gun crowd by presenting to them the facts and the “math” behind gun stats….and I’m not trying to be racist here, but you need this presented through the mouth of a clean cut well dressed man. Now if we activate them by first schooling them, I’m 100% on-board, but we’re talking about a whole new fight.

    • I see no reason why a gun owning activist member of said communities cannot organize a neighborhood gun education program. Hell, I can even imagine eventually seeing midnight shooting sports at the local Boys Club or YMCA, in the same vain as midnight basketball programs.

      • They use to have those in fact the high school I went to had a rifle club. The range use to be used by the Boys Club, Girls Club, Boy Scouts, and other youth programs. I remember they use to have a match every year between the Girls Club and the Boys Club. Since then the rifle club has been shut down and the range is just sitting there. They also use to have things like drivers ed but putting young people be hide the wheel of a car is to “dangerous” these days. They also shut down the gymnastic program because the “OMG the children” may fall and hurt themselves. Now their thinking about taking away the ROTC program because it makes “the children” violent. Think of “the children” “OMG the children” THE CHILDREN”.

        I’m starting a lets de-pussify America campaign whose with me.

  2. You are correct. It is essential that the gun rights movement continue to expand its base by introducing more women and minorities to the sport. Self-defense is a fundamental human right of every American and the movement’s leadership is stronger if it reflects the increasingly diverse U.S. population.

    NRA should be actively seeking women and minorities for the top spot while promoting strong, popular female gun owners like Angelina Jolie and Whoopi Goldberg who are both NRA members.

  3. It wouldn’t hurt but it wouldn’t take the winds out of their sails entirely. We can win the argument but we need to win hearts AND minds. Our propaganda-fu is weak and, for the most part, cheesy.

    Some Oleg Volk picture with a plus size woman in a gigantic dress holding a watermelon under one arm and a Glock in her hand combined with some unmemorable saying isn’t going to convince anyone of anything.

      • Right, but those aren’t the people we should be going after anyway. The curious undecided folk and the vulnerable (like aforementioned inner city minorities) are the ones we need to get into responsible gun ownership.

        Take a friend or family member to the range.

        Also, the NRA and gun rights orgs need to spend more time on public outreach to those people.

        • By the way, here’s some ideas to appeal to minorities:

          1. Posters in inner-city neighborhoods of Charlton Heston and Martin Luther King Jr. together coupled with some snappy quote or something that I’m sure the NRA could have an ad person think up. Mr. Heston marched on Washington with Dr. King and was an advocate of equal rights in addition to being a defender of the second amendment. One of the big hurdles the gun culture faces is the media-driven lie that it’s just OFWGs and racists who like guns. This shuts that argument the **** down immediately and appeals to the pride which African-Americans (particularly the older crowd) feel when they think of Dr. King.

          If one of the NRA’s most memorable presidents marched with Dr. King how could all gun owners be racist like the media pundits like to imply they are? It might plant the seed of doubt in “convinced” people and inoculates the unconvinced against the claim the next time it’s brought up.

          2. Offering free or discounted training at a local range.

          I could think of more but it’s crucial that the gun orgs focus on this because the more people who responsibly own guns for their own protection, the more independent and self-reliant they are.

          They might even start to ask the right questions when one of their demagogic pols starts ranting about gun control, namely: “Why does this person think I can’t be trusted to protect myself?”

        • “One of the big hurdles the gun culture faces is the media-driven lie that it’s just OFWGs and racists who like guns.”

          Is it a lie?

          When I go to gun stores and shooting ranges, OFWGs is what I see. I don’t know how many of them are racist, but I know that some are.

    • Correction: we’ve won the argument, but it hasn’t yet affected the hearts and minds of those bent on resisting the truth.

      Honestly I think the route for minority interest and education is through community churches. Does anyone know a gun toting Pastor – lets start there.

  4. You are wrong. Look at what happened in California when African-Americans overwhelmingly supported Prop 8. What about all the antisemitic placards you see at “peace” marches? People of color and Jews are disposable if they don’t get with the Programme.

    Minorities will not desert the party of gun control because there are just enough high profile Republicans who are unwelcoming to us. Plus gun control is a loud, passionate platform for a demagogue. Self-reliance doesn’t produce good sound bites.

    • Not sure I follow your logic. The point of discussion is whether it is essential that we bring more women and minorities into leadership in the gun-rights movement.

      If there are unwelcoming people in the leadership right now, let’s get rid of them and bring in folks who are ready to welcome every law-abiding American who wants a gun, regardless of gender, race, or ideology.

      • What I meant in the first part of my rambling is that the liberal “intelligentsia” will turn on any black, Latino, Asian or LGBT group that bucks the gun control creed, just like they did to black Christians that opposed gay marriage. However, that hasn’t turned African-Americans off to the Democratic party. Quite the opposite. They now know they must follow the party line without deviation — hence, the NAACP’s incongruous support of gay marriage. Any niche group that opposes the liberal agenda will be slapped back into line.

        Of course we should encourage shooting enthusiasm for all Americans because it’s fun and the right thing to do. But don’t expect gun control idiocy to disappear just because more minorities are into guns.

    • Just skip Republicans all together. On behalf of my Libertarian brethren, I welcome all minorities to the Liberty party.

  5. My guess is that minorities living in high-crime areas don’t think they’ll get a fair break from the police if they are involved in a defensive-gun-use incident. Legal gun ownership in those areas is like wearing a target on your back. I live in Oakland, CA and that is one of the concerns of people living here.

    I think we can reach people faster by continuing to get more women–from all walks of life–interested in gun ownership. All men will listen to a woman with a gun 🙂

    Or am I wrong?

  6. I took offence to what Bob Costas said because of the attitude in how he said it. Sort of “I’m Bob Costas and therefore know so much more than you little people watching me at home on this issue”. Apparently he went to the Mayor Bloomberg school of public speaking.

  7. One thing America will never tolerate is a mouth piece for gun ownership that encourages arming the black neighborhoods. Especially if it’s the NRA.

    First, you’ll have the minority leaders and activists that will cry foul that the oppressors of their people are trying to encourage violence in minority neighborhoods. Arguments like “the police want us to do their job for them and kill each other off” will be popular among them. Expect Sharpton to show up. They’ll even get the victims in those neighborhoods to deny themselves the right to defend themselves.

    Second, you’ll have the common guy who realizes that while the law abiding people in those neighborhoods are in the most need, they are also the easiest to rob of their guns while they are out of the house thereby allowing more criminal elements greater access to guns. What was said above about education may also be of concern. Nobody wants more guns in the wrong hands, even of the intentions were good.

    Third, you’ll have the racists that will not want the object of their hate to have an even playing field.

    Fourth, you’ll have the people that are easy to scare. The racists will make use of these people. No matter how many times you try to show that the innocent people in the neighborhoods that get victimized there will always be that video someone showed them of a Denny’s full of black kids rioting, or pictures of the latest album cover of Lil Poot holding guns.

    Then, lastly, you’ll have the media. Who will lump all this together and scare everyone.

    • The proposal is to welcome more women and minorities into the shooting sports to expand the base. If that fails, the gun rights movement will weaken because the population is getting increasingly diverse. Let’s not give up without trying. If we fail to engage the next generation of shooters, the movement will die out.

  8. The folks in those areas need to protect themselves the most. It’s a shame the folks that need the most have been brainwashed to think they’re the root of all the violence and despair going on around them. After being poor, living in Baltimore city and getting mugged, my views changed drastically. Now I advocate because I’ve seen how much my own party would rather have me defenseless than protect myself.

  9. Getting Non-Shooters from inner cities to the shooting range and explaining the Second Amendment is the MOST important thing we can do for preserving our rights.

    Like it or not, inner city minorities are now the Majority. Don’t ask me exactly who or what a minority is… because as far as I can tell, this is a pretty ethnically mixed up country.

    It is certain that the Second Amendment will be slowly eroded away if the Majority of people do not come to love it and understand that the Second Amendment protects the rest of the Bill of Rights.

    I have actually built a shooting range and a website for the purpose of attracting people from inner cities and introducing them to firearms and firearms safety.
    http://www.poconoshooting.com

  10. Minorities are now the Majority in America. The Second Amendment will be slowly eroded if it is not expanded to include minorities. I am not sure what a minority is anyway since America is so ethnically mixed… but we need to reach out to those people in the cites too and get them involved.

    If gun ownership is viewed as a rich, white-man’s sport, it will get about as much support as equal tax treatment of the rich.

  11. Gun ownership and the protection of those rights is critical. We need to change the ideology of a generation of Americans where they feel guns don’t pertain to them, or because they don’t own one, gun laws don’t matter. Education, exposure, and removal of the fear spread by the Brady Campaign and others is the only way. This needs to include all Americans, not just old white guys..

  12. The best way to assure that all private ownership of guns is forever banned in the US is for the NRA to advocate arming black people. That would be the death knell of the Second Amendment.

    Racism isn’t dead, it’s just become boorish and unattractive. But put guns in the mix and it will rear it’s ugly head again, big time.

    • Don’t disagree about racism being alive and kicking, but I don’t see how that should prevent the NRA or any group from promoting responsible gun ownership in any and all demographics. The racism is in making guns “unfashionable” among law-abiding African Americans.

  13. Most minority citizens live in large urban areas like Chicago.

    Major cities of that size in the US share one thing in common: strict gun control laws, and no public places to shoot.

    As such we come to a chicken and the egg conundrum when approaching how we would go about demonstrating positive uses of firearms to ethnic voters. In order to change the laws in favor of the 2nd Amendment, positive associations with firearms must be generated with hands on gun safety and shooting demonstrations. Yet the very laws we seek to change prohibit the very activity needed to build support in reversing them.
    There are no gun ranges in Chicago city limits, and its a similar situation in NYC. Assuming one simply brought a table of guns out for display and handling, its still illegal for the ethnic laypeople to even *touch them* without the appropriate and expensive city and state permits.

  14. Are you wrong? Absolutely not. But, as others have noted, there’s a conflict between liberal agendas providing subsistence living as wards of the State and the individual interests of law-abiding citizens to protect themselves and their families, ironically from the malfeasance of the State.

    • Attacking someone for a “liberal agenda” weakens the gun-rights movement if the attack has nothing to do with guns. We shouldn’t give a damn what the person believes so long as they support gun rights.

      Let’s agree it is a good idea to warmly embrace any social liberal who supports the right to bear arms, regardless of that person’s other beliefs.

      • What if their other beliefs are in confiscating 75% of your legal annual income in the form of taxes or arresting and imprisoning people who speak out against the government?

        I have met liberals who think my gun hobby is very intriguing, but they also believe in views such as these. I may be a libertarian, but I refuse to support anyone who so obviously loves tyranny in its basest form.

  15. How about a compromise with the left-wing gun grabbers?

    Blacks make up 13% of the population, but comitt 50% to 65% of the homicides, and some ridiculously disporportionate amount of other violent crimes.

    Therefor, let’s prohibit blacks from owning guns.

    Will it stop all of the crime? No, but targeting a small percentage of the population will result in a disproportionate drop in gun-crime, according to the left-wing gun-grabbing “logic”.

    • This comment is far outside the mainstream and does not represent the views of law-abiding gun owners. The right to bear arms is a fundamental, constitutional right, not a political issue.

  16. The base argument is about Rights. All the sidetracks, obfuscating rhetoric, social and demographic analysis and related mentation just blur the focus on the central issue of Rights. People who are jobless, hopeless and hungry have a hard time caring about “their Rights”. Figure that one out and you can win the argument.

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