Most of those on the “ban guns” side of the aisle simply don’t understand firearms. They’ve never taken the opportunity to learn; many just assume that a gun holds some sort of magical evil power by virtue of its existence. After spending some time with in-laws far from me politically over the past week, I understand that you can’t change the mind of an anti-gunner quickly. But it can be done.
Once someone brings up the topic of guns, mentioning the democide in Rwanda in 1994 after the banning of weapons tends to make antis visibly uncomfortable. It’s almost like they know they’re wrong, but don’t want to admit it. A lot of anti-gun activists try to defend these actions by governments, which is sickening. But most, like my in-laws, never stop to think that gun control enables mass murder.
Things got a bit awkward on the boat when my son decided to let everyone know that he shot a “big gun.” That wasn’t really true. He’s shot a BB gun, the one we bought him for his birthday last month. I guess it’s big to him though. Honestly, my four- and five-year-olds probably know more about guns than those I talked to about it in the past week.
Obviously, California has all but eliminated the right to keep and bear arms, but I was hoping I could at least get a few people to read a little history and look into democide before continuing to call for things like “no-fly no-buy.” I don’t go around looking to convince people to like guns. I honestly just want them to stop calling for more restrictions on me and others because they don’t like shooting or because a lunatic somewhere used a gun in a manner that’s unnacceptable.
For example, I don’t like vaccinations, but I’m certainly not calling for a ban on them. I assume parents can make their own decisions without the government having to insert themselves into every aspect of our lives.
Little conversations like this can sometimes help the calmer gun-haters to get a little bit of a grip on their ideology, especially when talking to others who largely dislike vaccines as well. Making the comparison to one of their hot button issues tends to at least get them thinking.
None of this means I’ve changed any minds. I don’t know if I have or not. But keeping a cool head and being a gun owner that others can respect goes a long way to get some to listen, at the very least. Even on the high seas.