Regular readers will be familiar with the “arguments” mooted in this video. It’s the usual litany of anti-gun rights cherry-picked data presented with only a casual nod at context. In the run-up to the Presidential election, presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and her allies will no doubt [continue to] churn-out similar anti-gun agitprop. TTAG and other representative of the “alternative” media will be working hard to tell the truth about guns and gun rights. As we prepare for this onslaught, a simple question: what’s the best pro-gun argument in your rhetorical arsenal? How do you counter these myths and misconceptions?

 

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72 Responses to Question of the Day: How Do You Counter Anti-Gun Rights Agitprop? [VIDEO]

    • Instead of getting sucked into hypotheticals and statistics about the possibility of armed citizens defending themselves, or others, point out that armed self-defense DOES happen. If possible, give examples.

      • You cant argue with leftist Obamabots. Its a waste of time and breath. Statistics dont matter to these cultists.

        You need to be as entrenched in your defense of liberty as they are in their plots to take it from you.

        Molon labe.

    • I tried, really, but I had to stop the video when he began to quote “homicide” statistics that included suicides and gang-related shootings in order to pump up the death count. Then he showed how the confiscation of guns reduced the death rate by guns, but failed to mention whether or not the over-all homicide/violent crime rate (using other methods) had been affected. Lies/Damn Lies/Statistics.

      • Also, when the narrator said, “largely blacks” were victims, the image showed a poster of dead guy X with the caption “gunned down by LAPD.”

        Nice little subliminal commentary.

        LAPD may lob a lot of lead, but the leading cause of gunshot woulds in LA is by gang violence, and seriously black on black.

    • Molon labe may be the ultimate argument against gun control. Starting a civil war is not the best way to reduce ‘gun deaths’.

      • William worte on November 9, 2015 at 12:58 hours:

        “Is Gun Control Necessary?”

        “Gun Control” is a proper grip, good trigger control, and hitting your target center mass.

        “Did Rosa Parks need to sit in the front of the bus?”

        “Need to”?

        No.

        Nevertheless she deserved the RIGHT to sit anywhere she wanted on the bus.

  1. Reason. Pointed questions. The context they usually lack.

    I mean it’s a lot of the same tricks they employ. It’s been pointed out time and time again that anti-gun agitprop is largely nonsense.

    Mostly people are anti-gun because feelings, so you won’t sway them too much with this, but it’s fun to try in a civil manner.

    I think largely this battle is won “in the trenches” so to speak. Need to show people in real life that guns can and are a force for good and not twisted soul sucking fragments of satan’s beard.

  2. this is my one rebuttal to these people: so in by making specific things illegal or hard to obtain you are insinuating that those laws will make those illegal activities absent or so drastically reduced that they will be virtually gone from society, correct? they answer “yes” with some caveat. then my retort is ” well then why do we still have murderers? child molester? etc? everyone agrees child molestation is wrong. yet it stil occurs EVEN IN THE MOST PROMINENT AREAS OF THIS COUNTRY (sandusky). if a person doesn’t care about a “no murder law” why would they care about a “no guns of this type law”?”
    then you will actually hear them say 1 of 2 things if not both “well it would just make me FEEL better if these laws were passed” then at which we dismantle that sentiments in about 10 seconds, or they say ” well if it means we save just one life, its worth it” except when a life is saved by the exact means they are saying is trying to stifle.

  3. Would you put a breathalyzer in every car? There are more people killed by drunk drivers than guns. Surely we can inconvenience some law abiding people to prevent just one death. Oh you don’t want to do that…hmmm…well have a nice day.

    • I was actually thinking about this today. We should regulate sex! I mean the abuse of sexuality is a huge burden on our nation. If the government would step in we wouldn’t have any more teen pregnancies or kids in the foster system or any other problems, right?

      Right.

    • Better yet, mandate that every car weigh 10,000 lbs., be built of solid steel with airbags galore, and be mechanically limited to 10 m.p.h. That’ll prevent 99% a vehicle fatalities right there.

      A few wil still drive off cliffs, or drown trying to cross flooded roads, or run over kids in their driveways, but 99% we’ll save.

      Of course, mandates like that may have some adverse effects on the economy, not to mention timeliness of emergency services; but those are the tradeoffs. At least the vehicular fatalities will be better.

    • Well I hate to break it to you but there are quite a few nanny state groups (e.g. MADD) who would love to see a breathalyzer in every car, and they’re actively working on getting that done.

  4. Stay up on the facts and numbers to counter their cherry picked statistics. Logic and reason beat them every time, and eventually result in emotional, incolherent shouting and comments about the size of my manhood. Debate won. Especialy when i tell them to go check with their mother/wife/sister about that. No, i dont stoop that low. Well, maybd once, but he richly deserved it. And keep the “nuclear option” handy: How far are you willing to go? Civil war? Got that one here,and it’s a good one.

  5. It’s important to identify distortions and errors such as:
    a. Number of homicides figure included suicides and DGU. The 30K/year figure is dramatically lowered when these are removed.
    b. IRS records show anti-gun groups spent more than $35M – not $2.5M as claimed in the video.
    c. Overall homicide rates were ignored before and after gun bans were enacted.

    Then there are the propaganda aspects:
    * A calm English accent conveys authority and impartiality to American ears.
    * Visuals of sad, diverse mourners v. angry white protesters
    * Including irrational conspiracy pro-gun claims v. failing to include irrational anti-gun claims.
    * Positioning gun popularity as a money & jobs issue v. a constitutional right.

    While litigation is important, we should follow the example of other successful culture war campaigns.

  6. England and Wales (official government PDF) https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/116483/hosb0212.pdf
    -Strict England and Wales gun control enacted in 1968, 1988, and 1997.
    -The homicide rate in England and Wales had been rising since the 1970s.
    -Homicide rate went from 7.3 per million people (1967) to 11.5 per million people (2010)
    -When looking at the in between years, the homicide rate only kept rising even after major gun control enactment
    -After the January 1997 handgun ban, the England and Wales homicide rate went from 11.5 per million people (1997) to 17.9 per million people (2010)
    -At the 1997 handgun ban, there were 2,636 handgun related offences. In 2012, there were 2,256 offences. In between that time, the numbers rose to as high as 5,549 offences in 2002 then went back down.

  7. Harry Potter: Bad guys with wands stopped by good guys with wands.
    Star Wars: Bad guy with lightsaber and Force powers stopped by good guy with lightsaber and Force Powers
    Crocodile Dundee: Mugger with knife scared off by bush-man with bigger knife
    Iron Man 2: Bad guy in powered armor stopped by good guys in powered armor
    WWII: Bad guy with armies, tanks, and planes stopped by good guys with armies, tanks, and planes
    Notice the pattern?

  8. In this particular case, I would argue that the person making the argument is exactly the sort of person that the 2nd amendment was created to shoot. aka The British.

    • Woah Woah woah sir, i hail from the English isle and I fully support the 2A. I’ve seen the UK going into the toilet and it’s why I firmly support citizenship versus being a subject. You meant a loyalist as we all started out British until the shooting started.

  9. Let me take you to the range. Let me teach you the four rules of real gun safety. Once you learn a bit about guns you won’t be so afraid of the unknown.

    Works pretty much every time.

    • yeah that doesn’t work with the “I grew up shooting guns” or the “I’m a gun owner [a broken 50 year-old break-action 20 gauge shotgun in the closet]” types

      • Can’t do anything about some people that insist on destroying society. There are gun owners that will vote for Hillary and her gun confiscation schemes. They will be happy with their cattle cars and complimentary showers. I’d rather focus my efforts on the rational but misinformed people.

      • I’ve yet to run into either of those, but my immediate response would be a quick confirmation that they know the 4 rules (or at least understand them if they can’t recite them) followed by a line of questioning about why they are [presumably, from this particular example] anti-gun or in favor of gun control.

        I don’t need to disrespect anyone’s opinions or force them to accept mine, but I would be genuinely curious to discover where such a person’s views differ from my own. If I happen to correct a few misconceptions or plant some new liberty seeds, well, bonus.

  10. Counter it the same way you would encounter the growing anti-freedom agitprop from multiple other angles…call it for what it is.

  11. I instead try to take as many newbies as I can to the range. It is the best tool in our arsenal to change hearts and minds.

  12. I try to keep things simple. What I say, “it’s my right, we are a free nation and bad things are going to happen” Then I throw in my favorite statics. Gun deaths, all gun deaths each year, accidental, suicide, cops shooting bad guys, bad guys shooting bad guys is around 30+ thousand a year.
    Tobacco kills 400,000+ each year. How come we as a nation aren’t screaming about that?

    • Reported prescription drug use kills 128,000/year, and that number is admittedly likely to much higher considering studies have shown only 10% of adverse drug events get reported.

  13. In my youth, I tried to be polite and stick to facts, using Socratic dialog, blah, blah.

    Now, I ridicule them. I make it personal, and I make sure that I present the facts in such a way as to make them look stupid and sound like morons. I’m done with being patient and pleasant.

  14. Challenge them to demonstrate that what they’re proposing has actually made a difference anywhere. Force them to deal with raw violent crime numbers and not “gun crime” numbers, and look at the before and after comparisons for countries that have enacted strict gun control in the modern era. Point out that as they’re the ones attempting to restrict the rights of others, the burden of proof is on them to prove that what they want is necessary and effective. Oh, and my favorite; break out the non-gun involved violent crime stats for the US, and compare them to other countries with strict gun control, like Japan, to point out that even assuming no weapon substitution we have a higher crime rate, proving that it’s not the guns, it’s our culture.

    • Yeah. If you ask them for the exact mechanism of gun control they think will work you will pretty much get crickets. Because it clearly and obviously doesn’t exist. Good luck changing hearts and minds with that one, though, sigh…

  15. My thought is that many people in the gun community either don’t understand, or are not willing to accept that the anti-gun campaign is part of a much larger anti-freedom campaign, which has accelerated exponentially since 9/11. Until the average gun owner can visualize the anti-gun crusade as part of the larger picture that it is, he/she has very little chance of retaining gun rights in the longer term.

  16. Well, I’d just say: please stop the video at 1:23. What we are looking at is a terrorist attack on the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya. Kenya has one of the strictest gun control laws on earth, and yet the terrorist had no problem getting their hands on guns.

    Then there goes Charb, editor in chief of Charlie Hebdo that lived in Gun Control Paradise France(TM). His application for CC license was not approved. Meanwhile his killers got consumer loan and bought guns from black market with no problem.

    Then there is Mexico with high gun violence and tough gun laws.

    Not enough? How about Russia – civilian gun ownership next to nonexistent and murder rates way higher than US…

    There are many ways to to counter, but when the agitprop uses CCTV footage from a gun control paradise to make a point… where you have to shove down their throats.

  17. If I had my very few exchanges with antis to do over, I think I would rely a lot more on the Socratic method. It’s a lot harder for them to deny a statement when it comes out of their own mouth. Anti: You can buy a gun over the internet more easily than you can buy a pair of shoes. Me: Have you bought a pair of shoes over the ‘net? Did they have to send the shoes to a shoe store or have you pick them up in person? Have you tried to buy a gun over the ‘net? Do you think you could just have a gun shipped to your house? have you heard of the Gun Control Act of 1968? Etc, etc….Of course, that only works with personal exchanges…

    • “Did they have to send the shoes to a shoe store or have you pick them up in person?”

      Then have to wait while the shoe store salesman checks with the FBSI (Federal Bureau of Shoe Inspectors) to make sure you aren’t a person prohibited from purchasing or possessing shoes???

      That you aren’t a shoe fetish “mental case”?

      That you aren’t making a “strawman” shoe purchase for some shoe fetish mental case or “Prohibited Shoe Felon”?

      Ad infinitum ….

  18. At the end of the video the narrator says, “American lives continue to be at risk.”

    I agree. Thats why you should buy a gun.

  19. H O W
    F – I N G
    D A R E
    Y O U
    gun-grabbers using a gun in your infomercial. LEAST OF ALL A BERETTA 92. Where are the lawyers who can make this extremely expensive for you f-ing a-holes. When they come for you, and ask where you are, I’m going to point to where you and your kids are hiding.

  20. Give your audience a simple comparison like this …

    Fact: every person with matches is a potential arsonist. If someone claims that banning matches will virtually eliminate arson, why is a ban on matches NOT an option? And why is it silly to claim that banning matches will virtually eliminate arson?

    Fact: every person with a firearm is a potential murderer. If someone claims that banning firearms will virtually eliminate murder, why IS a ban on firearms an option when a ban on matches to prevent arson IS NOT an option? And why is it NOT silly to claim that banning firearms will virtually eliminate murder when it IS silly to claim that banning matches will virtually eliminate arson?

    Bonus question: if arsonists killed 50,000 people every year, would that justify a ban on matches? Then why does 1/6 th that number — 8,000 murders with firearms every year — justify a ban on firearms?

    When you ask these questions, you might want to be wearing safety goggles to protect your eyes when their head explodes.

    • I like the arson & matches analogy. Gotta include Bic lighters, too.

      I mean, they’re made with one purpose, and one purpose only, right? to start fires!

      • I was way ahead of you on the Bic lighters thing … that was the inspiration for my question, “And why is it silly to claim that banning matches will virtually eliminate arson?”

        Any person with a pulse and an IQ above room temperature should immediately think of lighters and say, “Well, banning matches would not stop arsonists because they could just use lighters.” After they say that, just stare at them and wait for them to make the connection.

  21. It’s simple. Are we humans violent because we have guns, or do we have guns because we are violent. If you believe the former, then, by all means, proceed. I believe we are the latter. Because I believe that, I also believe that gun control is, at best, nothing but us barking up the wrong tree.

    • Read “Would Banning Firearms Reduce Murders and Suicides?” by Don B. Kates and Gary Mauser. Search for it with your google-fu.

      It addresses this very question, and it concludes that the answer is “No”. But, more importantly, it introduces the idea that we should instead be looking at several other factors in society which seem to be related to violent crime, and that many of those factors probably have a causal relationship with violent crime. If we really want to reduce violent crime, then we should be looking at those factors, not an unrelated issue like guns.

    • Yes! I do that a lot, too. What is the exact mechanism from gun control utiopia that you think will work here? Cue blank stares. :p

  22. The best argument is that it is a civil right.

    The the right of free speech, or assembly, or privacy, or equal treatment are hardly the norm on this planet and different countries have made different choices for them. The 2nd Amendment is one of our choices. I don’t have much to say but that doesn’t mean I’m against free speech. Just because you don’t wish to protect yourself and your family doesn’t mean you should limit my ability to do so.

  23. My stock tweet reply is Translation: “Only the rich and politically connected have a right to self defense” followed by the appropriate hashtags.

  24. I live close enough to Chicago that I can mention the fact that the Windy City became the murder capital of the United States after they enacted their handgun ban in 1982.

    Socratic questioning can be effective sometimes, too.

  25. This british twat cites several “studies” but doesn’t actually list the reference. In short, it’s crap!

  26. Start by challenging them why they are going out of their way to enact legislation that has been proven to result in zero net gains against violent crime, suicide and accidents, while there are plenty of other more serious issues that they could be addressing instead, while alienating a major voting block that places this sole issue as their highest of priorities?

    It just seems so counterintuitive of a position that it is practically unequivocal proof of their inability to lead.

  27. They use hand picked and inaccurate statistics to back up many of the claims in the video. How about taking out the suicides, gang related deaths and deaths from a DGU (some from law inforcement) and then see what the resulting figures show ? Also the “more apt to be killed if you have a gun in the home” statement has been discredited for many years now. The guy that originally came up with that statement even admitted it was wrong. But the Anti-gun crowd does not seem to care about accuracy or old discredited statements. They just keep using them if they suit their purpose. And their purpose appears to be anything that lends itself to their goal of eliminating guns from civilian households.

  28. This appears to be made to frighten silly europeans. I’m especially fond of the montages, they are quite well done. If we’re lucky this will discourage immigration from the second world.

  29. I walk away. Last time I got into one of these conversations, I showed examples of good guys saving the day, shooting a bad guy, and the gun grabber response was “that crime didn’t warrant execution!”

  30. Fact-checking, and logical, reasonable thinking.
    First destroy their bogus facts, studies, and polls. Then destroy the faulty logic they used to produce their faulty conclusions.

    Don’t worry about changing the minds of the die-hard gun control leaders. They are impotent without their followers. Change the minds of their ignorant followers, by showing them the lies coming from their leaders. If your intelligent arguments seem to be colliding against irrational emotions and fear, then taking them to the gun range is very effective. “Deprogramming!”

  31. Most of the discussions I’ve seen or participated in contain repeated ad hominem attacks by the anti crowd against gun rights supporters as a substitute for rational argument. If you cite studies, they ignore them or, as one poster said it, “John Lott is a fraud and he falsified his data.” (Of course no citation to any source.) They must be right because PBS, a wholly unbiased news source, said so. Well, to whom did PBS speak? it is not PBS’ reliability, it is their source’s reliability we are interested in. And of course no sources are cited. (Actually not true: one person cited Mike “the gun guy” Weisser.) I have seen, repeated often, “You assholes seem to forget that the Second Amendment says ‘A well regulated militia’ ” (which means that guns are perforce subject to regulation. Not one has read–or is willing to read–the historical exposition in D.C. v. Heller. Instead, they rely upon Everytown and Moms as their sources of statistical information, failing to consider that this is paid for propaganda by Mike Bloomington.

    The more people are emotionally invested in their opinion, the less likely they are to be susceptible to changing that opinion, even if logic demands it, according to a recent study on the subject. If people are not emotionally invested, logic and rational decision making prevail. The gun debate is an inherently and intensely emotional issue that, I am afraid, is simply not susceptible to reasoned debate or a recognition of the nature of the individual right at stake. Their fear overcomes all opposition.

  32. How do you counter them? You don’t. You want to be a “social media warrior”? Have fun with that.

    The best way to counter a TV ad would be to get our ads on TV.

    But as for Facebook? Just put out positive videos of your own. Don’t get into an argument. Whether you “win” or “lose”, it’s still a dumb idea.

  33. I prefer the human rights argument. I start by pointing out that a person has a right to defend their life and defend their person from grievous harm. They also have a right to defend the lives and persons of their loved ones. I then point out that gun laws, by themselves, have completely failed to prevent criminals from acquiring guns. All of the recent mass shooters with one exception passed the background check. Mexico is awash in guns despite a complete ban. The Charlie Hebdo shooters defeated the gun laws of two countries (they acquired guns in Belgium and smuggled them to France). Despite the antis hysterical claims, the US Constitution does not guarantee anyone’s safety. It does guarantee the right to keep and bear arms so that citizens might provide for their own safety. I finish off the argument by pointing out that our legislators, celebrities, and anti-gun heroes like Michael Bloomberg are protected by armed guards. Then I pose the question: is the right to protect one’s life only for the elite and privileged of our society? Is it equitable if the 99% have to call the police and wait for them while the 1% have armed defense immediately at hand? This usually causes some cognitive dissonance for progressives.

    All that said, I usually find it fruitless to argue with antis. They aren’t interested in facts or reason. They KNOW guns are THE problem, and the problem can be solved by a stroke of the legislative pen. The most satisfaction I can get is watching them squirm a little when I ask them if self defense should only be for the elite. (Usually they fumble through some BS excuse that the elite are at more risk of being targeted.) So I don’t go around looking to have this conversation. If one of my anti gun friends wants to discuss it, then I’m more than happy to engage. Otherwise, I would rather spend my time taking a new person with an open mind to the range. I still think that is the best form of pro-gun advocacy.

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