Calibur Prints - AR15 (courtesy kickstarter.com)

A TTAG reader writes:

I’m probably one of your most left-leaning readers.  The whole “slave state” stuff is a turn off. Anyway, I’ve been reading for around a year, and decided that once AR parts were reasonably priced again, I’d get my first firearm–a stripped lower, destined for an 18″ SPR. That was back in April. I’ve since realized that the design and use of firearms, particularly the AR pattern, is an incredibly cerebral exercise. It flies in the face of the uneducated and fear-stricken stereotypes. I personally don’t have that problem, as a well-educated former Californian living in Alabama. But I understand that’s not the case for most gun owners.  There’s a massive problem in optics in the current debates we aren’t effectively addressing . . .

1) Instead of identifying as a bulwark against overeager authority, we should rebrand ourselves as martial artists. Firearms are situational tools, right? They require continual learning and a focus on basic skills for efficient manipulation. The choice of type, capability, and size is just that–a choice. We’re all students, honing skills with tools that have distinct advantages and disadvantages. It’s a waste of time to defend just the weapons the opposite vilifies. The warrior should not have a favorite weapon. When asked, “Do you really NEED an assault weapon?”, the answer is “Sometimes. Just like sometimes I need a can opener.”

2) I’ve been watching the opposition respond to open carry rallies. It’s just fodder for their ad hominem attacks. It’s a distraction. Why not just wear empty OWB holsters?  Force them to focus on the person, not the weapon system. When asked “why aren’t you carrying your gun right now? Aren’t you in constant fear for your life?”, respond with “Of course not, I trust you. I was hoping you would trust me too.” (Of course, they don’t have to know about your concealed carry.) We can build rapport with fear down and force them to recognize us as something other than a single issue voter. Confrontational counter-protests don’t particularly help either.  Building a projected duality isn’t going to win the hearts and minds of people on the sidelines. We know that converting non-shooters into shooters works in changing minds.  I’m just asking for more effective ambassadorship when out in public.

3) Appropriate their own messaging. Personal safety is a personal responsibility, how you assemble your security portfolio is entirely a personal choice. In that regard, we are Pro-Choice. My friends may choose to live in a ranch-style house and use an AR for home defense, while I choose to sleep at the top of a flight of stairs (a natural fatal funnel) in a loft with a selection of bladed weapons, rather than in the downstairs master bedroom. Firearms may not be right for someone’s particular security portfolio at some point in time and that’s perfectly okay. We’re not out there to decide these for everyone, we simply want everyone to have a choice in what part firearms play in their mix, if at all. So-called “Slave States” should be called “Anti-Choice.”

4) A common taunt I’ve heard from the opposition is “What are you afraid of?” It’s a rhetorical question that makes the supposition that we are paralyzed by fear without a physical object (which is not the intent of Condition Yellow). Reframe it as “My ability to manipulate my firearms to deal with possible violent confrontations gives me a level of confidence. Not certainty, not a guarantee, I’m just recognizing risk and taking proactive measures.” In a way, they want the same thing–confidence that potential scenarios don’t preoccupy their day-to-day lives.

5) Listen, I’m sad to see 100-year old firearms get destroyed too. But they’re inanimate objects.  The rightful owner can do whatever they wish with their property. That’s their choice. In fact, make them confront the fact that at least for a moment, they’re also firearms owners, exercising their rights to transport and transfer private property.

6) The hard left like to use terms like “gender shaming” and “body shaming.” Ironically, their ad hominem attacks constitute “gun shaming.” Use that. The MAIG bus tour is about as tasteless as picketing an abortion clinic with pictures of fetuses. Trying to solidify an abstract concept to create guilt and doxxing people can backfire if we’re effective in messaging. For instance, doxxing Heidi Yewman was not a win–she obviously finished her 3-part series from home and not a jail cell  It doesn’t sit well with me that someone is attacking a fellow gun owner. We’re free to seek our level and frequency of training on our own, she simply exercised that right.

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182 Responses to A Left-Leaning Reader’s Guide to Winning the Gun Control “Debate”

    • I’m trying “pro-self defense” and “anti-self defense”. They’re a little more unwieldy, but nothing’s perfect.

      • How about “Pro-Constitution” and, well, whatever term is used for those who would commit treason in the name of “safety.”

        There is no room for “debate.” The Constitution must stand inviolate!

        • Reference to the Constitution works within the choir. When dealing with “trust the government to protect you” folks, appeal to the Constitution is noise.

          No, it shouldn’t be that way, but I debate in the real world.

        • Advocating for change is not “treason”. We may not agree with it, but let’s be honest in our labeling.

        • Sorry, I guess I assumed everyone would understand that by “treason” I meant directly violating the RTKABA by making gun control laws.

    • I agree Nick. I have always been pro-choice even if I dont agree with the act. We cant expect people to accept us if we will not do the same.

    • Its Civil Rights we should be espousing. Those who oppose civil rights are bigots. Every anti-gunner who opposes my civil right to keep and bear arms is a bigot. Period. Dance around it however they try, its something in truth they can not deny.

    • i like the pro-choice meme. i realize its distasteful to some conservatives but it works. green rights, gay rights, gun rights is also a good meme. I think that the case for a single unified message is overstated though. To communicate with someone, you have to speak their language. There is no ONE reason people are pro-gun rights – that’s like saying there is ONE all purpose gun. for some people, its a civil rights constitutional issue, for some people is a practical personal responsibility for self defense issue, and for others its sheer hatred of Bloomturds nanny statism. One thing i hope we can all agree on though is that to be free you have to be willing to let someone else be free, even of you dont like their choices.

    • We should actually be warning people about the danger to society from the mental illness of hoplophobia.

    • What about “hoplophobe” are we still using that one? Is it effective? Or, is it too cerebral to use Greek root words? Should it be Gunophobe, shootaphobe, or boomaphobe?

    • My problem with the more common use of “pro choice” is that it redefines the object as the subject.

      If used with weapons, someone would likely say “Someone has the choice to not get shot.” That would be a bad argument for disarmament, but using the term “pro choice” is a bad argument against disarmament, in my opinion.

      Apparently the “left” have a liking for terms with “choice” in the title, and this article seems like it was written to other leftern folks, but I would think that most people would be put off by the term “pro choice” in this contest.

  1. Arguing with anti-gun leftists is a waste of time. Target the neutral, get them to the range, teach them about the hobby and handling firearms.

    Then when they finally own one they’re more likely to resent politicians who want to ban or further restrict what they have.

    • I disagree Michael. Sure the extremist ones are a waste but I have converted a few antis in my one year of gun ownership. Its not easy but it isnt impossible and we cant afford to act as such.

      • You’ve converted anti-gun leftists or just anti-gun people who aren’t that political?

        There’s a difference. One typically thinks guns are the tools of the white oppressive privileged racist upper class used to eliminate minorities, the other probably just doesn’t like guns or thinks they’re scary.

        Trying to convince the former that they’re wrong is next to impossible because you’re challenging their entire worldview.

        • Haha okay, one anti gun and one anti gun leftist. Im not ganna say it was easy though. Or cheap, it helped to pay for a range trip.

        • I used to think the 2nd Amendment should be repealed. Don’t get much more anti-gun than that.

      • You don’t argue with the extremists to change their minds. Bonus points if it happens. You argue with them to expose their foolishness to the bystanders observing the argument. Some of those peo[ple may well be turned to our side.

        If you don’t argue with the extremist then his message is going out unchallenged.

        • Correct. And if you don’t think people read comments below news articles, think again. They are effective, that’s why people are hired(trolls) in far away places to post opposing arguments. It’s a dirty secret, but it’s happening.

    • +100
      IF we stick to the basic point that personal defense is a natural right not subject to government control or the democratic process (small d), and defend the very core of the Second Amendment, then all of these other arguments are MOOT. We do not have to discuss WHY we want guns. We don’t have to discuss why we think we NEED guns. It’s irrelevant. The point is that we have the right to determine our own defense posture and they have no right to any opinion as to how, when, or how much we do it so long as we are not harming them. The only answer to the question “How many guns do you need?” is a flat, “As many guns as I want and/or can afford, and that’s none of your business.”

      • Exactly what I was thinking. We shouldn’t have to twist words in clever ways to justify our means for self defense. No offense to the OP but these strike me as measures to appease the opposition, which I refuse to do.

    • If you’re conservative or right-leaning, that’s generally true. There’s a tendency in many leftists to dismiss a priori any argument coming from a conservative.

      It’s a bit different for people like me; I lean left on most issues (but never too radically left; that way lies communism and insanity), but am further right on the gun issue than, I suspect, most of the modern GOP.

      If someone who leans left trusts you on political issues and you’ve discussed politics with them before, I’ve had a great amount of success turning them off of gun control, mostly by introducing them to shooting. If you’ve got the arsenal for it, work up a notch every time you go out (Last time I did this with a progressive friend, I started with a .22LR and moved up to an Arsenal SGL-31; once we finished, no more support for an AWB out of him :D), and introduce them to a semi-automatic rifle like an AR-15 or AK variant once they’re comfortable with everything else.

      It seems that once they’ve actually wielded an “assault weapon”, and the aura of mystery surrounding them is dispelled, they become much more reasonable.

      • See, Chris, my problem with guys like you is that your stance on guns is cancelled by you voting for people who, being politically ” Left”, believe the “living constitution” BS and that black-letter constraints on government power should properly be diluted pursuant to contemporary social fads built upon dilusional conceptions of “common sense”. You know… PROGRESSIVISM?

  2. I like the language manipulation, its excellent food for thought. Liberal gun owners would be well served to make their voices known within their own circles, and their likely party affiliation. They would be well served backing away from this issue. Especially with the GOP a mess. However its pretty hard to trust them and their party lines.

    That being said Heidi Yewman is not “a fellow gun owner” at this time. Someone with her intentions is not “a fellow gun owner” whether she owns one or not.

    • Look, I personally find that woman’s actions reprehensible. She’s lucky she didn’t kill herself or someone else. But it was her right, fought and paid for by others, to take that action. We do not have to agree with it. Certainly she is an irresponsible gun owner, and the backlash against her from our community clearly labeled her as that.

      It is a shame, as if she’d approached the experiment more that way Dan Baum or Emily Miller did, we may have won an ally (not that I agree with everything either of those writers say, but freedom is like that).

      • Dan Baum is not an ally. His point of view is not that banning firearms is unwise, undesirable, or an infringement of liberty, his position is that banning guns is ‘hopeless’.

  3. Welcome aboard. You can stay if you want. Or you can jump ship. Your choice, because we don’t need you or your ‘ideas’. We are doing pretty well without your ‘ideas’.

    Weak kneed little political strategies never got us anywhere. Blunt, high volume, politically incorrect opposition, facts, truth, and activism has.

    • Why belittle his ideas? He’s on our side offering some constructive advice. Whether you like his ideas or not, he’s only trying to help. We should be a “big tent”, something the two dominant political parties like to parrot but never come to reality.

      • Because making esoteric arguments about what is in good taste or not makes DiFi, Chucky and Mike giggle.

        • I believe the argument was not what was in good taste, but in what may be effective for people different from most of us. If the dog spills the water bowl, do you kick the sh*t out of it? Graduated response and exploring options to people who aren’t sure what they believe is not being weak-kneed, or whatever else you want to call it.

          We should welcome discussion around what might bring more people into our community, or at least into an understanding and supportive position even if they do not join us.

          Sometimes you have to kick the dog, but every time it steps out of line? Hardly. If it won’t work with dogs, it certainly won’t work with people.

        • ^ very much this. Never let the cultural Marxists bully you into playing by the rules they set, because the leftists sure as hell won’t let those rules constrain them.

          That said, we would do well to consider the ideas presented in this article, not to spare the feelings of people who would happily see all American values destroyed, but to start fighting fire with fire. Even if we have to take a long shower afterward. Over the last century and a half or so, collectivists have kicked Americans’ asses at controlling the narrative.

        • Agreed @ Ben and Buell;
          Are we to be like the intolerant arrogant a-holes trying to trample the 2nd Amendment into oblivion?
          It isn’t necessary to agree, but it is best to consider what the writer has to say if for no other reason than it provides some insight into the strategy and tactics of the opposition.

          @ Ramsey; are we to be like the grabbers we despise?
          That’s not for me!
          Tuning out what you don’t want to hear only leaves one ignorant and more vulnerable.

    • So youre perfectly okay with shunning a person who is a liberal gun owner? Do you think for one moment that helps our cause?

      • Yes, I am comfortable with it. 100% I’m not going to exchange my values for thirty pieces of silver in the form of the odd leftist gun owner. The same as I would never vote for Joe Manchin.

        So yeah, I’d toss him over the side, first chance I got. His value system dictates that on our little 2A lifeboat, he doesn’t have to row. So he can swim.

        • Are you stoned? Politely disagreeing and telling the guy to eff off if he doesn’t see it your way are very different things and the former doesn’t equate to exchanging your values for “thirty pieces of silver.”

          In fact, what you’ve done is prove his point. Being reactionary and obtuse won’t win the hearts and doesn’t appear to be ingratiating you with people of similar mindsets.

        • Im not saying you need to change your values but unless you know this person how can you judge theirs? I am a (mostly) liberal gun owner myself (however did not vote for Obama either time). So are you going toss me over the side because Im pro-choice despite the fact that I am an NRA life member and am fighting on the same side as you?

        • You, sir, are why the other side of the equation considers us nothing more than a bunch of neanderthals. “Leftist gun owner?” Really?

          I support a woman’s right to choose. What happens to her body is her choice. I don’t agree with the death penalty because I don’t trust the state with that much power. I actively support gay rights, including marriage if that is their choice. I think the idea that a Christian God is the ultimate salvation for this country is hogwash. I have friends who are Muslim and they are always welcome in my home.

          So, am I a “leftist gun owner?”

        • I don’t have a political party any longer. The Republicans are a giant mess of bad ideas and worse intentions. The 2nd Amendment support isn’t even a universal one, look no further than the East Coast RINOs for examples there. The Democrats, after crying foul for 8 years over our loss of rights, does the obvious thing and starts immediately upping the ante.
          The only party I count myself in these days is the Party of the Gun. At least I know where we stand, and anybody who wants to stand with us- liberal, conservative, gay, straight, male, female, or somewhere in between- is welcome to stand at my side.
          Because once the shooting starts, we’re going to need all the people we can get.

    • “We are doing pretty well without your ‘ideas’.”

      Not in Maryland you aren’t. The blunt force tactics haven’t worked here. I’m open to new strategies in places like Maryland where you are dealing with a heavy Democratic state and are targeting the moderates and more conservative folks in a liberal state. I don’t see the tactic presented above being mutually exclusive with truth, facts, or activism, either. Not sure what’s “weak kneed” about framing the argument in terms of personal liberty or choice (a core value of left leaning folks). This is just a suggestion about message and communication, the centers of any PR campaign. The tactics Steve suggests only stir up the base, but they don’t win any new converts. I think that was the goal of the poster, so kudos for suggestions about winning the undecideds.

      • You live in Maryland? Fix your own problem. I live is a decidedly blue state as well. And so far, we have done well. Tell me. Just what good is a leftist gun owner who preaches gun rights and then votes for say, Obama? No good at all really. Most of the time he is going to vote for our enemies, because the bulk of what he stands for surrounds the anti-gun core of his fellow constituents. He has a hundred potential issues pressing him from the left, and one from the right: Gun rights. That makes him unreliable, and not particularly useful, since he is unlikely to convince any of his peers.

        • Hate to say it Steve but one states anti gun problem is a problem for all of us. So far Colorado seems to be taking a pretty good stand for itself with the recals. But as it has been said their problem is the result of California residents migrating and looking for change but bringing their home politics with them.

          We are all in this together and cant afford to push people away. I left Connecticut for Tennessee and as much as I swore I would never look back, have donated to pro 2A causes there. Their problems are OUR problems.

        • I have to agree with Steve on part of this: “Just what good is a leftist gun owner who preaches gun rights and then votes for say, Obama?”

          Laws come down to votes, and a left leaning gun owner will most probably vote for candidates who oppose our rights to own (insert favorite feared thing here)…because other issues are more important to them.

          I’d love to have them on board, I welcome anyone who wants to join the people of the gun…but truthfully will thier presence help our cause? I think not…their votes will cost us in the end, whether they believe in the 2A or not. UNLESS, they become a single issue voter…and vote for pro 2A candidates.

          AND…I’ll be the first to admit…ALOT of my other views do not conform to the right wing party line…but I always VOTE conservative because I AM a one issue voter…thanks to the left wings dogged determination to remove my right to keep and bear arms…THEY have lost the possibility of EVER having my vote.

          The failure of our political system is the two party system: there is no middle wing!

        • Steve,

          Are you crazy? Do you really think we are winning? The legislation that we recently voted on in the senate was almost entirely in favor stricter gun control. We were able to block those amendments using a procedural vote where we didn’t get a majority of the votes. Do you honestly think the blueness of your state will protect you from federal regulations? If so, you are dreaming.

          What’s more, anyone who smugly attacks someone for voting for Obama in the last election has to take the responsibility for who they voted for. As bad as Obama is, and he is pretty bad, does anyone think Romney would be any better. How fast do you think that guy would jump ship to vote for something that he thought 90% of the people supported? What’s more, he has already signed an assault weapons ban. If nothing else, having Obama leading the charge probably gets us a few (R) votes that we wouldn’t get if it was Romney running with this. Biden playing a prominent role is really gravy for us. As paradoxical as it may sound, having a second term unpopular democrat as president and opponents as repulsive as Fienstein and Bloomberg in opposition is probably doing more for our cause than all of our clever arguments.

          The pro 2A forces are fighting a defensive battle right now. We are just trying to keep the feds from enacting anything and stay on top of the states legislation. We aren’t winning, right now we are slowly losing. This battle will be won by widening our tent, reaching out to people that are currently on the fence, and turning gun control back into the political suicide it was 10 years ago. If you are ready to toss someone out of a life raft because you don’t like their position on other political issues, maybe you should go take a dip.

        • “Unreliable.” “Most of the time.” “Probably.”

          Taking a rhetorical dump on them is a great way to turn all of those into “will always reliably vote against us.” A chance of them voting our way is better than nothing, and it certainly makes it easier to bring them more strongly to our side.

        • Seems a lot of folks here with opinions that are grounded in any experience with the reality of, or experience in, operating in politics in the US in recent (or last 30) years.

          The “liberals”/moderates/open minded that think the dem party is their home are clues sheep. The dem party is OWNED (yes, as slaves of 1860) by statist progressive who are intent in tearing down all the made the US sucessful. This includes a large number of “moderate” RINOs in the Republican Party who believe, or pretent to believe you can negotiate, compromise, or live with the enemy. For at least last 5yr (or 13yr) these progressives have been very successful in their agenca.

          Anti gun is just a tactic for these wackos in order to ensure they are successful long term with their agenda. The experinces of last years demonstrate there is no compromising on anything with these POS. If you love your guns and also accept the rest of their progressive agenda then you’re part of the problem.

          Which side are you one?

        • Wow neiowa,

          Brilliant, just brilliant. It must make life a lot easier to take the largest body of the population and group all together as a single entity and then identify them as the enemy. You don’t have to consider their position or why it might be wrong. It is clear that you have a substantial amount of practical experience in politics.

          The simple fact is that, if we want to secure our gun rights in our democracy, we have to get votes on our side. There is no other way. Demonizing the very people we will have to convince to vote with us isn’t a very effective tactic.

        • >> He has a hundred potential issues pressing him from the left, and one from the right: Gun rights.

          This is precisely the problem that you guys on the right have to fix. Most of “left wing issues” aren’t really left wing; economy aside, they’re mostly civil rights, and if Republicans were truly a “pro-freedom small government party”, they’d adopt them a long time ago. If all the loud religious bigotry and Victorian morality on the right disappear tomorrow in favor of economic issues and all social rights and freedoms, there would suddenly be a lot more people willing to vote for that party, including its 2A stance.

      • Fellow Marylander as well. I know far many more moderate/socially liberal gun owners here (Fredneck and MoCo area) than I know hard-line right folks. Count myself as one of them. We did a good job staving off what happened in NY, but we got shafted nonetheless. If you haven’t done so please join MDShooters and Maryland Shall Issue!

        I find it’s much easier to make points when framed in the “personal freedom” context. As I say…. don’t tell me who I can and can’t marry and don’t tell me how and with what I can/can’t defend myself and my family with.

        • I agree, I’ve found the personal freedom angle works best here in MD. BTW, I’m a member of MD Shooters and one of the rifle clubs that belong to the Associated Gun Clubs of MD. Not sure if I’m a member of MSI, but I got really active when the gun bills were introduced. Too bad we lost that one.

    • Steve, think about where gay rights were 30 years ago. While some in the gay community chose to have in-your-face parades, that did nothing to help their cause. It might have made them feel better, but it alienated/frightened many heterosexuals. What was effective in changing the minds of many Americans was the message that “we are like you.” Television shows that showed gays and lesbians as having the same desires as heterosexuals, that showed gays and lesbians as being non-threatening, that showed them as part of the community helped to change the attitudes of middle Americans. We do not need more yelling, more vitriol. New need to show that we want the exact same thing that anti-gun people want: security, peace of mind, choice.

      • Except the radical progressives own all the media so we will never be able to change the minds of American’s via TV.

        I agree with Steve on a lot of his views. I don’t think we need to take a dump on the other side but we definately don’t need to pander to them either. People that are part of the Brady campaign or Moms Desperate for Action will never be converted to our side by anything we say. Trying to convert these people is a huge waste of time and resources. Also, as others have pointed out liberal gun owners will vote for the other side just about every time.

  4. Truthfully I only find the gun buy back thing wrong because the Police are lying when they say it will save lives. It probably won’t. The cost of melting the guns down and giving out gift cards is also expensive. I think it would be better if the police worked together with gun collectors/dealers and allowed the gun collectors/dealers to pay out of pocket for the guns after a quick and easy background check on the gun to see if it was ever reported stolen. If it was then the police use the gift cards they give out to buy the gun and give it back to the rightful owner if possible. If it’s not possible then the gun should be either sold to the collectors/dealers with the money going to fund things cops need, or kept if it turns out it is needed in a criminal case. People could get more money for valuable guns from the dealers and collectors, and if it turns out they have junk guns that aren’t worth anything they can still get a minimum from the police officers to take it out of their homes, or they could give it away for free to the police to get rid of if it turns out to be too broken to fix.

    Or something along those lines, I haven’t really thought it through.

    • Do they even try to check to see if the guns were stolen or not before melting them down? They could potentially be destroying stolen property that was given to them by a thief, then rewarding him by giving him stuff.

  5. Pay very good attention to this article guys.Why?
    Because according to recent stats there are 5 million NRA members.That sounds impressive until we see the total gun ownership count:90 million.

    Not even ten percent of people benefiting from the RKBA can be bothered to support it.Before we can convince the hardcore gun grabbers,we need to deal with the gun control supporters in our own camp.Starting with folks like the OPs article who consider themselves liberal backers of the 2nd Amendment.Why should the antis in Berkeley listen to us when millions of AR owners are right next to them supporting gun control?

    • Good point. I think many of us here on the board think that everyone in the country is either die hard pro-or-anti-RKBA but the vast majority of people are in the middle or undecided, even if they broadly identify with being conservative or liberal. We should be able to use arguments that appeal to that general demeanor to prove our point, since RKBA works for both liberal and conservative values.

    • As soon as the NRA stops holding the line and starts running it back, I’ll consider supporting them.

      • So far the SAF has been the major force in running the line back. I hope you support them.

        The NRA also does a tremendous amount in IL. .. which has helped hold and run the line back a little. Very critical to the Illinois Carry movement.

        Perhaps you should support the NRA after all. Just because its not in the news doesn’t mean its not happening.

      • Matt,

        They had the same attitude in Australia and New Zealand…. How did that work out for them? You sir are the problem in the pro-gun community, how do you expect the NRA to “run” the line back if you won’t join and get involved?

        • If being unwilling to donate to an organization that doesn’t represent me makes me part of the problem then so be it.

          I’ll continue being part of the problem by aligning myself with organizations THAT DO represent me.

        • the NRA may not be the ideal representation of the gun owner collective but as more gun owners and friends of gun owners join the dynamics of the organization changes to be more representative, just look at the newest spokespeople they have.

          and the most important part, the NRA is the elephant that everyone sees and knows, which means it is the organization that people look to for guidance (even if they don’t follow it)

        • Of late, NRA rhetoric has been very firmly in the loonie camp (remember the “it’s all the violent movies and video games! burn them!” LaPierre’s finger pointing?). I don’t want myself to be associated with such a thing. I’ll keep donating to organizations that represent my point of view in a polite and rational manner, like SAF. NRA can fund its hysterical rants on other people’s money.

  6. One of the most thoughtful pieces posted yet.
    Less adversarial, more likely to create open minded thought.

  7. Since when is “Heidi Yewman” a “fellow gun owner”? The only point of her articles is to stir up more gun control. I do not consider anyone trying to have more gun control a “fellow gun owner”. We have seen far too many “I have a gun and support gun control” BS! Or, the “I support the 2a BUT….” BS!

    On point #5 — Loosing a 100yr old gun is a travesty. There is no reason why it should be destroyed. It is a part of history, it can be donated to various firearms museums “legally” or to the NRA. It could be sold to a gun collector. If someone was willing to get out of the house to go to a gun buy back to have a 100yr old piece of history, they ARE NOT a gun owner not even temporarily. You may be using those words in a technical sense like a lawyer would in court, but there is more to being a gun owner than possessing a piece of metal, plastic and wood — it is a mind set and belief. Gun buy backs are crap! If anything we should promote the fact that there are options other than gun buy backs.

    Regarding point #4: You are wrong. They believe that by banishing all firearms the world would somehow become safer. To them, safety is no guns and calling the police for help. It is a victim mind set. You will convince them of nothing, although your suggestion will give them pause for a retort.

    On #3, you make a very good point. “Anti-choice” and “pro-choice” also parallels to the abortion debate. If nothing else, it may piss them off more which is ok with me.

    I think you have some good ideas on how to debate the “Anti-choice” crowd. However, unless you have been face-to-face with an anti to the point where you can feel their spit on your face as they spout unfounded vitriol, some of your arguments will not work because they just lead to a series of other arguments. In order to change someone’s mind, the other side has to be open to new arguments, and many are not.

    • +100 heidi yewman is part of the brady campaign. Calling her a fellow gun owner is an insult to all true gun owners.

      There is no debating someone who believes guns are the cause of all that is wrong in the world. I have seen (on FaceBook) and heard (in person) several anti’s say this during a debate “No matter what you say, criminals without guns can’t kill!!” You really think you can convert someone with this mindset?

      Even if you did convert one the only thing that will change is they will now say they support the second amendment. Support that is only vocal, as in “yes I believe in the second amendment”. They will still vote for the same radical progressives that want to ban all firearms; they just will not be attending any Moms Desperate for Action rallies anymore.

  8. I like this article. Re-framing the language used in this debate is important because while hard-core, anti-gun types will resist no matter what, the large of amount of people in the middle need to be addressed in ways that help them to understand that gun ownership is about being proactive in response to a uncertain world and taking responsibility for protecting yourself and the ones you love – it’s not about being blood-thirsty or being deathly afraid of everything around us.

  9. While a noble effort, this looks to be an attempt to out-doublespeak the doublespeakers. Like Humpty Dumpty in ‘Alice in Wonderland’ — “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”

    While the author may dislike the term ‘slave state’ I was turned off by the use of ‘optics.’ It is an example of ‘re-purposing’ of words to confuse and deflect a argument. There is no way you will be able to win a word twisting contest with a word twister. You will only succeed in corrupting your own vocabulary.

    • I think it is more an effort to “speak their language”. Liberals tend to view the world differently than conservatives and elevate somewhat different values (equality over efficiency for example). To convince them that they have an interest in a robust RKBA you will need to show how the RKBA protects and enhances those values, which is doable but you need to make the case.

    • It’s not so much doublespeak as it is talking to people in a language they understand. Facts and sheer numbers are great, but when people’s eyes glaze over, you’ve lost.

      We know that a minority of the mass/mainstream media are anti-2A, yet they manage to control the message. Why? Because they know how to get past the glazed eyes.

      If the message doesn’t sink in, you change it until it does. Is it propaganda? Doublespeak? Call it what you want, but the anti-2A side has been doing that for decades. If we don’t adapt our message, we’ll eventually be defeated.

    • +1 Maynard

      The manipulation of words and language is a tool most commonly used by authoritarians.

      • And by people who issue compelling reasons for doing something. My proof is in any successful advertisement in Guns and Ammo magazine. Do you think a Kahr advertisement with a sexy babe sells handguns to moms? Or do you think they go more with the Taurus ads?

        Persuasion is an artform that uses language in a way that is effective. Some people, for example in Marketing, actually have developed methods for objectively measuring its effectiveness.

        The Republican Party does the same on this regard, hence the transition from Estate Tax to Death Tax. Yeah, its swarmy, but people don’t do it for any other reason than it works.

    • I wrote some thing below as well on this but essentially, if Pro Choice has meaning to someone, all that is suggested is not to twist words but that we put our issue in the same box which they think they own. The link is made and some may have a “aha” moment. It might make them realize they have to respect both. The cost of this is that we may have to respect their definition as well.
      Self examine people, self examine!

  10. I’m glad you are, or about to be, a gun owner (Post was a bit unclear on that point.). That makes you my brother.

    But if you help to continue to elect these gun grabbing, liberty killing “progressives”, that makes you the enemy.

    This battle is not about guns. I love my guns. They are beautiful, masterful works of engineering. They provide me with hours of harmless, joyful, relaxing entertainment. But most important, they ensure my freedom. My freedom from anxiety about attacks on my person, or that of my loved ones. And my freedom from being helpless before ultimate tyranny. No cattle cars or camps for this fat boy, ever.

    And I would give them up in a heartbeat to live in a utopian world where everyone respects one another and we all live in peace and harmony forever, amen. But that’s not, nor has it ever been, the world in which we live.

    If you support a government that targets it’s opponents with the agencies of the state, squelches free speech at every opportunity, spies on it’s citizens, bypasses the checks and balances built into our form of government by passing executive orders, and in every way possible coerces it’s citizens into conformity with the socialist agenda, you are my enemy. And I’m WAY past the point of desiring a quiet dialogue with those who wish to enslave me.

    Slave state is a useful descriptor. Disarming the populace ensures their compliance. When you no longer have the option to invoke a basic human right, defense of your person and property, are you a free citizen? When anyone with the strength to do so can violate your person and take your property, how can you be said to be free? And the state has more power than any band of thugs.

    You sir, are a dilatant. You want to play with your new toys, but would allow the state to force your every other decision. How much of your income you are allowed to keep, what you can and cannot say, what choices you make about your healthcare, how big a soda you can buy. How long will that kind of government allow you to dabble with your “martial arts”? Guess we aren’t brothers after all.

    • But isn’t an entrenched audience just part of regular life? EVERYONE entrenches on some things. People of the Gun do it as much as anyone (consider the ceaseless and LOUD debate on effective handgun stopping power).

      Perhaps we cannot turn Bloomberg’s croneys. I’ll grant you that’s a lost cause, and they just make me so pissed off I couldn’t do it anyway. But what about people who lean that direction? If we cannot “turn” them in allies, perhaps we can at least condition them to our perspective.

      Consider the recent nanny-cam of that horribly violent home invasion that has been much shown and discussed recently. Some mom is going to see that and make the connection, “oh my god, but that coul happen to me!”

      We should be the first people they reach out to when they want to learn more. And our response should be accepting, informative, and persuasive. She may not take the step to truly accept her own responsibility for self defense, but she may. Guaranteed she won’t if the first voice from our community is “well it’s about time, you dummy!”

  11. It’s sad that certain political terms have been so badly hijacked and corrupted to have lost their true meaning. Somehow, “liberal” has come to mean one who supports higher taxes, higher gov’t spending & employment, restrictions on freedom of speech, silencing any opposition, and trampling the RKBA and our ability to defend themselves.

    I’m glad to see there are still some true “liberals” out there who may still advocate for gay marriage and abortion but are at least intellectually honest in that they hold the RKBA to be just as important.

    As a “conservative” myself I can say that when I rip on liberals I am intending to target the statists and elitists who seek to control every aspect of our lives.

    What’s important to me are my guns and my paycheck. To others out there I know they may have equally strong feelings, but it may be about guns and gay rights.

    Perhaps many on both sides are much closer to being classical liberals than liberals or conservatives. Hopefully we can wake more people up so they stop silo-ing themselves under the rigid lines of R and D party doctrine.

  12. 2nd Amendment Rights (or Self Defense Rights if you will) are the only areas where I can call myself Pro-Choice (advocating our right choose which firearm and related accessories we want to use for self-defense) and Pro-Life (advocating for self-defense rights and thus choosing the weapon I feel is most appropriate to defend others and myself).

  13. I, personally, would like to see our focus shift a bit, from constant defense of the RKBA to promoting positive 2A friendly solutions to combating gun violence and the criminals that perpetrate it.

    • I agree but how do we approach that? Anything we do to promote (aside from bringing a fence sitter or anti to the range) is mostly preaching to the choir. Even the extremist antis on the offense are mostly preaching to their own choir.

    • +1 Most criminals that commit homicide already have a felony record. Instead of letting DA’s get away with offering plea bargains to keep their conviction rates hovering near 100%, they need to be held accountable for those that die due to the individuals that plead to lesser charges. Then, maybe, the DA’s will attempt to prosecute criminals to the max instead of kids who wear an NRA shirt to school.

  14. Heidi Yewman a fellow gun owner? Sort of like calling David Gregory a fellow AR-15 30 round magazine owner. Yewman was hoping her reckless and silly stunt would be the standard by which all gun owners would be judged. Her motivation was more gun control. She is not a fellow gun owner–not even by the loosest of definitions.

  15. I think of LBJ here. “Better them inside your tent pissing out, than outside your tent pissing in”.

    • LBJ was/is the enemy/part of the problem.

      if you want a camel – “if you let the camel get his nose under the tent flap the next you know the whole damn thing is inside and knocking the tent down.”

      Better to hit the camal between the eyes with the flat side of your scimitar. If it doesn’t underside use the edge.

  16. I’m not sure what liberal or ‘leftist’ means anymore. Going with the times, it means ‘statist’. I’m not down with progressive statism.

    That said, I agree with much of what the you (the author) have written. My only issue is your #1 point. I identify both as a bulwark against overeager authority and as a practitioner of a particular martial skill.

    I’m not sure I see why you’re trying to force a decision between one or the other in this case. I don’t practice said martial skill because an overeager authority has condoned it or found it acceptable; I practice with firearms both because it is wise and beneficial for me to do so, and they do (should) not have any authority to decide whether or not I can practice it.

  17. You’re over thinking this people. The battle for 2A rights will be won or lost in the halls of congress. As much as left leaning gun owners hate to admit it, a win for the D’s in Federal and State legislatures will result in further attacks on the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. The decision for you liberals is what’s more important to you………….. your RKBA or marriage equality, climate change initiatives, abortion rights, (the list can go on and on). Sure, there are pro 2A D’s but not many. My strategy is pretty simple;

    Support the NRA. They’re not perfect but they have held politician’s feet to the fire and prevented a lot of anti 2A legislation.
    Support lawmakers who are pro 2A with time and money.

    So take some of your liberal, anti gun friends to the range for a day of shooting if it makes you feel good but that is probably not going to change their minds when it come time to vote. Change your approach, re-frame your pro 2A argument, debate your ass off. Ain’t gonna help. Get out the vote for the true gun owner’s rights politicians and punish the anti gun crowd in 2014!

  18. “When asked, “Do you really NEED an assault weapon?”, the answer is “Sometimes. Just like sometimes I need a can opener.”

    Except for the fact that it’s not an assault weapon, it’s a semi-automatic firearm. I’m not going to go into what constitutes “assault weapons”, because it’s a crock. We also really need to stop using that phrase. I understand the writer is using it from the anti gun argument but I would hope he/she doesn’t refer to it that way. I would like to think that if we correct people every time a gun that’s called a “assault weapon”, and instead have them call it a semi auto firearm then maybe we could take it back and get it out of our vernacular. But that’s wishful thinking.

  19. Brilliant!
    I love the use of “Pro Choice” concept because “liberals” know that that means FREEDOM of choice. Nicely pointed out in the article above. It just might cross over in a reciprocal manner. I also think for it to be reciprocal it needs to be just that. I know the “other issue” in Pro Choice is a difficult one but if we put the Pro Choice concept into the self-defense issue, it may also help us understand the passion behind Pro Choice for both .
    I would consider myself a Libertarian which advocates freedom to choose, thus I am “Pro Choice”

  20. “Gun shaming” should not be the correct term. The term should make the people who do the shaming feel ashamed themselves, and they want people to be ashamed to have a gun.

    You need a better term… maybe “security shaming”, or “self-defense shaming”.

  21. Liberal gun owner here. Agree with this. But, apparently because of my feelings on healthcare, sexual orientation, abortion and religion some folks here would be willing to ‘toss me over the side’.

    “What good will it do if an ‘odd’ Liberal gun owner votes for say, Obama” — That’s not the issue. The issue is making Liberal gun owners not “odd”, and the issue is for future candidates to see “the gun issue” differently than they do now.

    (By the way, when I say ‘Liberal gun owner’, I don’t mean I have a Biden-style shotgun somewhere in a case. 6 AR-pattern rifles, 4 bolt action rifles, 11 Sig Sauer pistols and 2 Glocks. )

    It is possible to *disagree* with some of the standings of the philosophy you identify with. Yeah, I’m an atheist. That’s got nothing to do with 2A. Yeah, I think gays should be able to marry. That’s got nothing to do with 2A. Yeah, I think healthcare probably shouldn’t be for-profit. Again. Nothing to do with 2A. I’m not really that keen on ‘authoritarianism’ either, and I don’t believe that “the police or government are going to save me”

    I worked my *ass off* to help on the effort to recall two (Actually worked on 3) Dem state senators here in Colorado. And I hope they get recalled. And yeah, I even voted for one before I thought “gun control” was even on the radar, thinking it was a non-issue. And yeah, after writing to them as a constituent and saying “Look. Don’t. Some of -your- voters don’t want gun control” and getting ignored completely, I’m none too happy about the situation.

    And yeah. It’ll make me reconsider how I vote in the future. But we all have to go through a learning process on this stuff. And anyone’s trust can be betrayed by politicians.

    The problem is, I’ve stayed silent here (mostly) on TTAG because I know that if I said too much I’d likely be hoisted up and tossed out (by some).

    Yes, we are out there and we aren’t as odd as folks would (like to?) believe, but you can be damn sure we don’t want to kick the hornet’s nest so we stay quiet. Arguments on other issues can happen on other issues.

    But just like some conservatives don’t agree with everything that’s party-line, I don’t agree with the anti 2A stuff. I’ve worked with both Republican and pro-2A dems on this issue (there were some dems who voted no on the recent CO laws, just not enough.) to see what we can do to change this stuff in the coming few years.

    And yes, I have, and will do the legwork to fight it. Because honestly? The more liberal 2A supporters who do stand up even within their own circles and say “Yeah, don’t touch this” – the more likely they are to not touch it. Because opinons and stigmas CAN be changed, and sometimes that has to be done from the inside out, in addition to other methods. (For example, I can’t wait to see the outcome of the July 1 ‘Civil Disobedience Mag Transfer’ here. And yeah I’ll be outraged if people are arrested for it.)

    Flame on, if you want.

    I’ll be here doing what I can to work the recalls in Colorado and push for a repeal of the recent bills.

    • Not going to flame you Michi. If you can change a left leaning politician’s views on gun control, more power to you. I don’t see that happening in any of the “blue” states though. So to repeat myself, you will probably have a dilemma when it comes around to election time. Just as a further observation, if the tragedy at Sandy Hook had occurred during the first two years of the Obama administration when the Dem’s controlled both Houses of Congress, we’d be looking at UK style gun control by now. They’d have shoved it through Obamacare style.

      • Well, Colorado is “”purple”” as they say, so, Colorado is not a lost cause; and honestly each one of the 50 that doesn’t go down, is one less domino to fall.

        Out here there are more pro-2A dems than in most places. The recent laws passed by one vote. Not even the (D) reps were elected on gun control; that became a “thing” for them slightly after November, so a lot of us were blindsided by it — especially due to the external influences from outside of CO. (MAIG, thanks…)

        When I was growing up here, things were “live and let live”. I don’t want to see that change, and I’m not the sort to ‘take my toys and go home’, so I’m going to fight.

    • Good post. You are truly valuable to the RKBA. Maybe it shouldn’t be this way but honestly your opinion, knowledge and experience with the RKBA is just going to get a lot more credit and exposure from the people who could really benefit from it.

    • Nice post. The people who want to “throw you overboard” are just being reactionary. Politics and culture involve a long game, in addition to the short game. We need you, and people like you, to show that the RKBA cuts across cultural and ideological lines. It’s how you make inroads and make a minority position dominant. As a somewhat related tangent, I’ve often marvelled at how very left leaning folk bristle when I ask them if they’d be okay being disarmed by President Palin, if she were ever to become elected. The resultant shock and outrage usually have reminds them that this is an issue of individual rights, and that the RKBA means you don’t have to trust those in power for your personal security and safety because you can take of that yourself.

      • Correct – this shouldn’t be a Left/Right issue; it is because the leadership has “phrased” it that way. (AFAIK, nobody, left or right, that I know is thrilled with the idea of being a ‘subject’.) What the OP was talking about was just that: political marketing speak.

        This kind of ‘talk’ and ‘wordsmithing’ is simply how it’s been “sold” by the political leadership. The ‘sales pitch’ has to be decoded and turned on its head, and sometimes that involves counter-language.

    • +100

      Making the 2A a non-issue is the ultimate solution. Making “both sides” look at it as a rights issue is the key. The irony of the following quote is astounding:

      “No state shall deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protections of the laws—even if lots of people in that state want to. It‘s not up for a vote…. Rights are not supposed to be put up for a vote. They‘re not a popularity contest. They‘re supposed to be subject to a test of their constitutionality….. And the Constitution restricts the things that Americans can make laws about so those laws don‘t infringe on our constitutionally protected rights.” ~ Rachel Maddow

    • Thanks for your work on behalf of the constitution. I don’t wish to toss you overboard, but I’m sure you understand that more and more, liberal thought and gun rights are ideas at odds. It’s not necessary it be that way, but it is.

      • Yeah, well, there’s got to be a solution then. Maybe a third party, but I know that’s worse than a long shot.

        I just refuse to accept that there’s no way to strike a balance between civil rights for everyone and civil liberties.

        What I’ve learned in the last few months is that, for the most part, I can’t trust politicians in general, and they don’t really represent “us” at all. (Occasionally they do, but overall, it seems to just be theatre, so we have to pick and choose based on the issues at the time.)

    • I agree with you on many things you mentioned but I consider myself much more Libertarian minded in my political philosophy, however I hate boxes and labels so I just like to consider myself a “rights” loving American. And honestly most Republicans are one spree-killing away from voting against our 2A rights.

      I worked many years in a very left leaning industry, I’d always secretly find liberal gun owners, in fact many. The thing I always noticed, most of them never wanted to talk about it for fear of being shamed by other liberals. What’s funny is I never talked about it because I thought a liberal wouldn’t give me a job. Point is, there are tons of liberal gun owners, but many of them stay quiet like you did here. In my book, 2A supporter is a 2A supporter we can’t reject any of them. It’s so fascinating how “gun” became such a dirty word.

  22. I’ve converted quite a few “anti” gun people – through their kids. Working with youth shooting teams not only teaches kids responsible gun ownership and safety, but also convinces a lot of moms and dads, grandparents, friends, relatives, etc. that not all gun owners live in trailers and wear camo and combat boots (nothing against my friends in trailers, camo, and combat boots, but you get my point!). I urge every one of you to get out in the public as a responsible gun owner through a youth program. If there’s not one in your area, create one. If you look around, there probably is one in your area that you don’t know about – search for youth trap/skeet teams, pistol teams, 4H Shooting Sports, Boy Scouts, and a number of other clubs and groups. Donate money, donate your time, take an instructor’s course, volunteer for anything you can. I feel comfortable speaking for all youth teams – we are hurting for money with the cost of ammo!!

    I just left my son’s dentist office. The dentist is/was anti. His eleven year old grandson is a first year member on my trap team and had never fired a gun before. He visited our practice last night and could not believe what he saw and spoke to me at length about it. He couldn’t say enough about seeing polite, respectful, responsible, and safe KIDS handling firearms….

    We don’t need to pound on the antis. Invite them to a shoot. Offer to take them to the range. Have them just watch! You don’t have to convince them to go buy a gun, but at least SHOW them that 99.9% of gun owners are polite, responsible people.

    • I used to be anti until I got to know some gun people. People I respected took me to the range. People I respected talked to me about RBKA. People I respected exposed me to opposing points of view. I thought about it and changed my mind. Then I changed some of my anti friends minds.

      Somewhat “anti” household of 3, changed to 3 gun owners. Because yes, people’s minds can be changed. One of my (D) friends went recently from ‘anti’ to ‘so when can I go to the gun store with you to get this revolver I’ve had my eye on…’

      Very few people who aren’t fully invested in politics (i.e., average Dem Joe or Repub Bob) are committed enough to ‘party line’ to not have their minds changed.

      Normal people of any stripe: show them what the reality is, and they’re likely to go “Hmm.” Even if they don’t become gun owners, they’re likely to say, next time – “Well, actually, I have a friend who’s a gun owner — and they’re not like that.”

      And that’s a start. That’s a pause at the ballot box. That’s erasing, slightly, of “Stigma”, and it does matter.

  23. We don’t have to convert people to be shooters, we only have to convince most non-shooters to except RKBA and then leave us alone. Being “Pro Choice” is one way to do that.

  24. You say you are Left-leaning, but the use of “slave state” is a turn off?
    If you’re Left-leaning, then you’re leaning towards a statist slave state.
    That’s the Left. That’s who they are, and all they want, is all they want.

    The statist forms of government have been purging this planet of more
    humans than the plague, and it continues apace in various slave states
    around the globe, the biggest violators being those that have disarmed
    their own citizens. The worst of them have been those with populations
    that exceed 100 million, and have large areas of land to be controlled.
    Maybe we pro-gun people would be willing to trust you if you weren’t
    spending so much time and effort to deny and nuance out of existence
    the wholesale murder of 200 million people by Leftist ideologies in the
    20th century alone. The Left, and Left-leaning have been suffering from
    HDDD(History-Denial Disarmament Disorder) as they promise that they
    will never repeat the mistakes of evil Leftist states. Ya, talk to the hand!

    Do you ever stop to think about the names the pro-gun people are called
    by those who are Left, or Left-leaning? Fascists! Nazi’s! Brown-shirts!
    They accuse the Right of being like the Leftist ideologies associated with
    those names; ideologies that are more aligned with THEM, than with us.
    Nuanced tones have never convinced the Left-leaning of the existential
    dangers they are courting by promoting gun control and disarmament.
    If so many of the Left-leaning hadn’t lied to us repeatedly about what
    they really want to do with the 2nd amendment, then maybe we wouldn’t
    be so distrustful when one of the Left-leaning tells us they’re a gun owner,
    but they are uncomfortable with our message and warning about what
    the gun-grabbing Left really wants. When we see a young child reach for
    a hot stove, we yell “STOP!” Like most young children, you have to yell
    STOP until the child understands the danger of touching a hot stove.
    We all assume that if we can teach a young child not to hurt themselves,
    maybe we can accomplish the same for liberals and the Left-leaning.

    • Azimuth, I’ve never called pro-gun people “brown shirts” etc; and *no really* I do not want the 2A to be gutted. (Nor does the ‘slave state’ term really turn me off.)

      You’re talking mostly about politicians with a personal agenda, who jump on to a prescribed set of talking points. Not everyone who has some left-leaning tendencies feels this way.

      There’s the political stance and then there’s your “Everyday person” who likely doesn’t follow lockstep with everything that’s blasted out of the media’s speakers.

      You and I probably disagree on a lot. But not on 2A. If I’m lying, I sure am dedicated to that ‘lie’ as I spent $10,000+ on firearms to support it.

      • Azimuth and others with similar views are the main reason I, a pro-gun-rights leftist, pretty much gave up commenting on TTAG a couple of years ago. My forehead was bloody and there was a big hole in the sheetrock. I just didn’t need the aggravation, and focused my energy more toward nagging my elected reps, etc. I’ve still been a regular reader, especially when gun issues are big in the news. A lot of people here assume “Liberal” or “Leftist” = “Statist,” end of story. This ignores most of the history of the Left in the U.S. Left wing groups and individuals have been constantly targeted by the government, the FBI in particular. Consider MLK. Consider those early gun-rights advocates, the Black Panther Party (google Mulford Act). Consider who was protesting the Vietnam War. Consider the Occupy movement, a popular punching bag for the Right (bunch of lazy hippies), even though they addressed many of the same issues that motivated the Tea Party – government largess for the big banks, etc. It’s weird hearing people say in one breath that they’ll fight to the death (in a glorious shootout with some poor LEO schmucks) for their guns, but in the next breath dismiss non-violent civil disobedience as “whining.” The real “Statists” are the people who have bought and paid for the government, and they ain’t the Left. They inhabit the towers of Wall Street, not the towers of Academia. Bloomberg is their standard bearer. I live in Portland, OR, and I know a lot of hard-core leftists (I mean people far, far to the left of the Democratic Party), socialists, anarchists, etc., and most of them don’t really have strong opinions about guns, and if they do have strong opinions, they’re likely more pro than anti – a lot of this has to do with mistrust of the police. Hardcore anti-gun people seem to be more affluent centrist Democrat types, soccer moms and dads who live in “safe” neighborhoods and get quick 911 response in the unlikely event they ever call. It gets really tiresome saying “No, really, I agree with you about gun rights…” That said, TTAG seems to have broadened in the last couple of years, a bigger tent.

      • I was only responding the unknown author of the article.

        You may have never called the Right-wing fascists, and Nazi’s, but so many on the liberal-Left have, and still do. Please don’t pretend that you haven’t seen or heard the liberal-Left doing it in the countless photos and news videos in the public domain. The Left, and yes, the Left-leaning, have a well documented past of using provably false rhetorical flourishes aimed at distracting the public from the historical lineage that liberalism has to the fascist and Nazi (national socialist) ideologies. For me, it’s after 30 years of listening to the same shameless liberal projection, that I now have an expectation of deliberate deception and deceit from liberals, whether they’re leaning or not. Washington is populated with liberals who say that they support the 2nd amendment, but… They always have a “but” and what immediately follows, are more calls, for more registration, more restriction, and more confiscation. They assure us that it’s not really an infringement, it’s only common sense.
        Yes, it is common sense…if you have dreams of creating an all-powerful authoritarian tyranny, disarming your own citizens is absolutely common sense. If you are a country organized as a Constitutional republic, not so much.
        You do see why we of the gun, have the level of distrust we have of liberals, even liberals who own guns. I have 2 liberal friends who have guns, and claim they support the 2nd A, but they still voted for Obama…twice. Does that make any sense, either common or otherwise? Obama is a student of Marxism, by his own words, which places him in the same column as history’s greatest Leftist mass-murderers. So we have plenty of reasons to be skeptical of liberals who claim to love the 2nd A, when they regularly elect, and re-elect people who don’t. How do you manage to close that square?
        We of the gun, just can’t see how you do it. Not if you are willing to sacrifice objective principles for subjective values.
        I you’re mad because you believe I’ve mischaracterized you, all I can say is tough s**t, I’ve(we’ve) spent the last 30+ years now being brazenly; intentionally mischaracterized by Left-leaning liberals as being the fascists, Nazis, and Brown-shirts of historical 20th century socialist dictators. Man-up.
        Our distrust of liberals is too well founded.

        • Careful with those labels! The RINOs (Republicans In Name Only) and CINOs (Conservatives In Name Only) are just as bad as the “Left wing” when it comes to trampling the Constitutional Protections of our Creator-Given Rights.

        • Azimuth, you make my point for me. You think authoritarianism is strictly a left-wing phenomenon, and that’s a dangerous view. Authoritarianism is not so much about idealogy as it is control, although I would argue that the Right is more prone to the Authoritarian mindset – the strong patriarch thing, if you will. From my perspective, Obama is a tool of an authoriarian National-Security-Industrial-Complex (as Ike warned us about) which has thrived and expanded under every administration since WWII. To you, Obama is a Nazi Communist Muslim, or something like that, and if we could just get the right Republican elected everything would be just fine. Go ahead and draw that Hitler mustache on Obama if it makes you feel better, but the real power, and the real threat to liberty, lies elsewhere. Ironically, another reason I gave up commenting on TTAG was the general acceptance of White Supremacists . By which I mean actual NAZIs. Still plenty of nudge-and-wink racism here, as with the Right in general, something y’all ought to confront and deal with, just as the Left should doubtless face up to its own foibles.

          That said, I certainly will not call you a NAZI, Brownshirt or any other name.

    • Fascism is a right wing ideology, moron. Communists were attacked by the fascist states, and modern neo-nazis, when the pop up, inevitably target left leaning groups (“muli-culturalists,” “socialists,” etc). Recent examples include the resurgence of Ukranian cossacks, the golden dawn in greece, the recent pro-authoritarian neonazis in Brazil.

      To say otherwise requires a dimwitted, skewed understanding of history. A right wing one, basically.

      • Sorry to be the one to break it to you, but fascism, Nazism, socialism, communism are all ideologies of the statist-Left.
        You either should read Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism,
        or try to refrain from expounding on subjects in which you have limited or no understanding. Ignorance is not a virtue.

        All of them; Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Mao, were Leftists who
        believed in the all powerful, centralized command model of government, just like our Marxist president, the liberal-Left agitator Obama. And all of them believed in one uniting act: disarming the populations they sought to rule over as a king, emperor, Caesar, dictator, god on earth and absolute power.
        The natural, or traditional order on this planet for many millennia, has been the collectivist oligarchy of conquerors and kings. This video link will explain it better than I can.
        http://www.wimp.com/thegovernment/

        Who’s the moron? PWNED!

  25. I appreciated the article. People tend to tune out the shouting. Die-hard anti-gunners are not going to change their minds through discourse, no matter how loud or well-reasoned it is. They just don’t like guns and the people that own them. Fortunately, such people are a minority. A lot of people that lean to gun control are unfamiliar with guns, a little scared of them (they always seem to be going off by themselves), but usually a little curious (perhaps the personal ads will have “gun curious” as a category). These people on the fence are open to our arguments on guns, if we show them we are not stereotypes. There’s an old Saturday Night Live skit with Tom Hanks involving the Gay Socialist Gun Club. We need to welcome such groups and keep them on-board. If we want to ensure our rights into the future, we need people of all stripes and persuasions to support the 2nd Amendment; not just the choir.

  26. I appreciate the effort, but I can’t agree with the overall tone. I will not give up speaking plain truth to seemingly win someone to my position with platitudes and watered-down focus-tested language, because then my position has become such. I won’t sacrifice clear principles for additional low-information votes. Those are subversive and shady tactics most often employed by leftist Alinsky ideologues with end-justifies-means beliefs. I, for one, would rather an honest loss over a dishonest victory, as I’m unwilling to gain the world if it costs my soul.

    • That’s not his point. His point is that you must consider the audience. And the point is valid, even if you disagree with his approach. It’s a simple fact that the things that RKBA crowd nod their heads sagely when talking to one another will likely either have no effect or be off-putting to their ideological adversaries. If you want to win the other person over, you need to speak to them from where they are, not just assume they respond just like you. That’s not selling your soul, that’s just smart advocacy. The truth does not win in and of itself (if it did, we wouldn’t be having this conversation); it needs to be presented properly if it’s going to be believed.

      • I agree with smart advocacy and knowing your audience. I just took much of what he said to mean ‘pretend you aren’t what you are in order to fool people into being somewhat on your side’. ‘Tone down your principles to appeal to more people’. An average politician in other words. That idea is what I’m staunchly against.

  27. As someone living in a deep blue state, personally the only hope i see is widening outreach to minorities and generally the courts. 97% in the courts though, you never get freedom back once you lose it, personally i’m resting my faith in the SCOTUS striking down the AWB and that being like a Roe v Wade type event where it’s made clear to the anti’s they can’t ban guns. I think that could honestly happen within the next two years given the amount of identical separate cases that our going through the lower courts and the fact that Scalia said in January that he was “sick” of all the hoplophobia these days and that the SCOTUS will be taking up a 2A case “very soon”.Of course they’ll take revenge on us and try to make it as difficult or expensive as possible to own guns, but we’ll atleast be able to have them. Until then we just have to fight them at every turn to the bitter end, but my grizzly prediction is that if we lose in the courts and the 2A becomes meaningless, the 2A will be repealed eventually after its made so difficult to get a gun, that very few people own them so the gun culture dies and no one will be there to defend it. That IS, their plan btw.

    • Not to be a doom and gloom guy, but even a Supreme Court ruling won’t end it. Then we’ll be squabbling over judicial nominations based on this issue. It WILL happen because that’s how this works. If they lose, they will either work to change the rules or change the officials (judges). Repeat until you win. That is why this must be fought at every level and with every angle.

  28. The OP is a typical educated liberal who thinks he knows more than everyone else. He just happens to like guns too. I know several gun owners who are complete dooshbags and I wouldn’t lift a finger for them either.

    • Isn’t “liking guns” (and further: supporting 2A and RBKA) why we’re here? Personally I don’t care if someone is obsessed with giant pink stuffed animals, if they’re helping with the 2A cause, then I say go for it? Otherwise, I think there’s a baby in your bathwater.

      Or maybe I’m missing something where broadening support for 2A and RBKA is suddenly not important if you disagree on something like religion, or have an ego about, say, academia. Plenty of folks here have rather large egos about other things – so who cares if he feels he’s “more educated”?

      If he pulls the lever for 2A support, then, well… good.

      • Why should we have to “pull the lever” for a right that was given to us by our forefathers and was written into the Bill Of Rights?

        • Would you rather do nothing and just say “Well it shouldn’t be this way” ? There are plenty of things we “shouldn’t have to do” – but the way stuff works out, we have to do something about them.

          Besides, we’re not pulling a lever for the right itself. We’re pulling a lever for someone who believes in said right, or doesn’t believe in it.

  29. I know you like guns, but can you move back to California? You will ruin Alabama and eventually turn it into California. Thanks from a concerned citizen from Alabama.

    • Seems like he doesn’t agree with California’s laws? I’m from New Jersey originally, and I’m certainly not trying to get Colorado to follow in -their- footsteps as far as gun control goes.

      Quite the opposite, in fact.

      Are you aware of the “80% Lower CNC parties” that go on in California? The Calguns group who tries (unsuccessfully) to fight this stuff?

      This ain’t binary. I still don’t understand this attitude of “If you aren’t 100% like me, even in non-2A/RBKA issues, we don’t NEED ya!”

      Wrong. Gun advocacy needs to be normalized, *across party lines*, not made fringe.

  30. Some good points here. Make use of the positive opportunities to influence others with positive terms. Words do make a difference.

    #2) was very good.

    Good post.

  31. Yes, yes- most gun owners aren’t as enlightened or intelligent as this obviously brilliant leftist TTAG reader. I bow before your superior knowledge, insight and reason. And becuz I don’t own no diktionary I kan’t red the rest of your pomposity.

  32. I appreciate the OP’s point, but this thread has neatly illustrated that gun rights are lost in the culture wars. The pols who want it are the ones supporting regressive, hateful policy towards women, gays, etc. Just look at rand paul: he takes a correct, libertarian position on snowden, but then lurches back to the 19th century with his invective against gays.

    The problem is, Paul represents the most progressive extreme of the right wing. Most voters don’t even support his more libertarian views. Progressives see this, and of course they’re willing to throw gun rights under the bus and elect statists like Pelosi and Feinstein. To them, it is a lesser right than the ones right wingers would strip; or at the very least, Dems will strip fewer rights than the GOP.

    The Democratic party only really represents the interests of the center-right, and conservatives don’t see or comprehend this because the are so far to the extreme right. You want to sway more people to pro-2A causes? Move from a conservative, oppressively theocratic position toward a Libertarian one. Greens and Libertarians may disagree, but can have a conversation. Greens will never have a conversation with the extreme right, because the extreme right would rather the Greens simply not exist at all.

  33. The negative rhetoric, the heavy-handed emotional replies, the insults; these are the behaviors and exclusive attitudes that fuel anti-gun movements. The elitist man behind the counter at your LGS is another. Why anyone would want to get into the sport with these people representing the industry, I don’t know. However, these things, these behaviors and attitudes is what will be the demise of the 2nd amendment.

  34. What the hell do we need this “debate” for? The grabbers are fearful, ignorant, control freaks.

    When Gun Controllers decide to leave law abiding citizens alone maybe there can be an honest debate. When their premise is “We have to do SOMETHING!!” and “Ban scary things” there is no need/room for debate.

  35. “Appropriate their own messaging. Personal safety is a personal responsibility, ”

    So I’m supposed to talk about personal responsibility with someone who LOATHES THE VERY THOUGHT of personal responsibility, and wants the GOVERNMENT to take care of everything?

    Why should I do THAT?

    • Because the idea that “all liberals loathe personal responsibility” is a characature, not a fact, and makes about as much sense as saying “all conservatives hate black people”; which is also just an overblown shouting point, and not a fact.

      There’s a difference between folks on TV who spout an ‘agenda’, or politicians on the party line who talk a manifesto – and real people getting through life every day.

      My grandfather was a Democrat who worked his fingers to the bone for Raytheon until he couldn’t move anymore, and never took a “handout” and never would.

      And I’m a Democrat who doesn’t believe that the “police are going to come and save me”; and I’ve never even taken unemployment, forget welfare. And, yes, I’m working for the recall effort here in Colorado, and tried as hard as I could to sway votes when HB-1229 and HB-1224 were up here in Colorado.

      Again, we may disagree on some items like religion, gay rights, whatever – but we agree on 2A.

      People are not binary, they aren’t born (R) or (D) with a predefined set of values. REAL people are a mix of these.

      • Many of my family live in the Panhandle in Texas outside of Amarillo and have been farming in Texas in that area before 1900. They grew up as Dems because (from what they have told me), then that was who was willing to help subsidize farming to help ensure better production every year.

        However, the party then is surely not the party now. I refuse to identify with any political party because the 2 party system has been part of the problem with the complete lack of new blood and ideas in our political system. Your point about people not fitting into any sort of pre defined niche is spot on, humans arent made from a mold.

        Admitting to being a democrat immediately raises the question of when did you stop voting democrat and aiding in the attempted disarmament of our country?

        Its great working against John Morse and the new CO gun control legislature, and I completely commend you for wanting to help correct your state and putting in your

        My dad told me this many times while growing up: “If you hang around a gang of theives, It wont matter that youve never stolen anything when the cops come, because now youre part of the gang.”

        • I vote on issues now, and on individual candidates. I do consider myself liberal, but for example, here in CO; Morse outright lied, saying he was a 2A supporter.

          Tochtrop (D), on the other hand, in CO, voted against most of this crap. And though I may not agree with Sen. Brophy (R) on some things, he seems spot-on on the 2A issues, and there needs to be some kickback in response to what happened this year, so I’m going to support him.

          No, I’ve never hit the “straight ticket” button in my life and never plan to. Additionally, until recently, there was a bit of a ‘western difference’ even with CO Dems. Now, it seems to be all Californian and NYC influx; the state’s will be damned.

          So, the recalls are happening in response to that, and I’m expecting a power shift; and hopefully these gun control laws will be repealed, and in the future, due to the kickback that did happen (Giron and Morse recalls; and the Sheriffs lawsuit, which I’m still holding out hope for some sort of injunction) – they’ll know not to go there in the future.

  36. The Pro-2A community does itself a grave disservice by hitching its wagon to the GOP. Support for the Republican platform among young voters is at an all time low, and it’s only a matter of time before these youngsters take over leadership of this country. Considered alongside the demographic challenges the GOP faces in certain communities (e.g. women, Latinos, LGBT, …) it is clear that the only winning strategy in the long run is to have strong supporters on both sides of the aisle. In other words, our goal should be to have our interests defended in Washington at all times regardless of which party controls any particular branch of the government.

    It is therefore counter-productive to dismiss liberal gun owners, and even liberal voices in general from this conversation. They should instead be welcomed graciously and even actively recruited to our cause whether we take issue with some small part of their opinion or not. The truth is they are on our side in this fight, and sooner or later we will lose without them.

  37. “The whole “slave state” stuff is a turn off.”

    Why? It is an accurate description of what the Leftists are creating in this country.

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