The above video from Women Against Gun Violence is yet another example of the Civilian Disarmament Industrial Complex waving the bloody shirt for gun control. Even though the people talking to the camera are actors, the WAGV video has some emotional oomph. The pro-gun side’s messaging, not so much.

The Truth About Guns regularly runs features called “It Should Have Been a Defensive Gun Use” and “This is What Happens to a Disarmed Populace.” They’re pretty much what I’m talking about: confronting firearms freedom fence-straddlers with the brutal truth behind gun control. Unarmed citizens are attacked, brutalized and killed.

Only not really. We don’t go full Eastwood. We don’t show/talk about the grisly, emotional aftermath of civilian disarmament. Should we? Should someone? Or should the pro-gun rights side continue to take the high road and make calm, rational arguments for defending and extending Americans’ natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and be arms?

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35 Responses to Question of the Day: Should the Pro-Gun Side Wave the Bloody Shirt?

  1. Better to find people whose lives were saved because they were armed, and have them ask the question “Why do you think the country would be better with me dead?” Because that’s what the anti-gun side is really saying to people they don’t want armed but whose lives continue because they were in fact armed.

    • Yes! This cannot be said enough. Every “bad” shooting is national news, and every “good” self defense using a gun is local news at best or no news at all.

    • Yes! Roymond gets it. Notice how he framed his question, “Why do you think the country would be better with me dead?”

      That is how you work emotion into the facts. Another example would be, “Why are you pro-rape?”

      And if you don’t think this sort of thing is effective, post it on a news website or other liberal blog and watch how fast they remove your comment/question.

    • This is a far, far better approach than the (in my opinion) sort-of-tasteless “Should Have Been A DGU” type approach. The former highlights the kinds of beneficial gun uses that the anti-gunners claim never happen, which both shows that they’re lying and also gives fence-sitters an emotional hook they can identify with – “that could have been me, and unarmed I wouldn’t have been able to stop the attack.”

      The “should have been” approach is too hypothetical, but also can come off as victim-blaming and thus turn off the very people we’re trying to convince.

  2. If it can be done tastefully, yes. And I would say that it would be hard for our side NOT to do such a thing tastefully, because we actually have logic and reason on our side. Anti-gun folks arrived at their anti-gun conclusion via emotion, not facts. Which means that creating the first chinks in that mentality has to be done with emotion as well. And if we can even get them to question their emotional beliefs for just a few minutes, long enough to maybe be receptive to a few little facts, than we might be able to convert them.

  3. Until culture peddlers bleed it’s a game. Rowing the high ground with truth lends moral credibility, however the real test is when they knock at your door not to become a criminal.

  4. Who hwe does not lock up their guns that are not on their person when they have children too young to understand the four rules? It’s called responsible gun ownership.

  5. Should the Pro-Gun Side Wave the Bloody Shirt?

    Yes, because after generations of progressive education, that’s all most Americans can understand.

    • As in: “If it bleeds, it leads.”

      Professional news outlets have spent a lot of years learning what their audience wants, why should we not make use of that knowledge.

      Point 2: We are the side of logic and reasoning – the other side is moved only by emotional reaction, hence the response when they hear the “bloody shirt” mantra. But everybody likes a happy ending so a harrowing situation that is resolved by the intervention of a non-LEO with a pistol at the critical moment might be effective. Perhaps a juxtaposition – show the result of waiting for the cops, 911 operator on speakerphone telling you remain calm, help is on the way, ending in disaster, then the same scenario with a personal ballistic defense ending with the bad guy in the bloody shirt instead.

  6. Winning the presidency showed our message is working. I just hope Trump lives up to the hype…’cause Mike Pence is waiting in the wings. Or just show the thousands slaughtered by “gun control”.

  7. 350 million Americans
    An estimated 220 million firearms (some estimates go as high as 400 million)
    I think the war has already been won…on the population side
    We just have to keep an eagle eye on the legal side of things and never, ever, get lazy.

    • Dale,

      We have most definitely NOT won the war. What we just won was a short reprieve that might last for a few decades if we get some key U.S. Supreme Court decisions in the next few years.

      And before you poo-poo that statement, think about it: had the Democrats fielded a decent candidate and the Republicans fielded anyone other than Trump, the Democrats would have won. Even with a horrific candidate almost everyone expected the Democrats to win anyhow.

      Unless popular support which embraces firearm ownership continues to expand, civilian disarmament will eventually carry the day. Why? Two simple reasons:
      (1) Big Money, which controls the television/movie industries in New York City and Hollywood, Academia (our indoctrination centers), the courts, and urban politics (which includes over 50% of the U.S. population), will always oppose firearm ownership and Big Money is expanding.
      (2) Demographics which habitually oppose firearm ownership are reproducing much faster than demographics which habitually embrace firearm ownership … and there is no reason to expect this trend to ever reverse.

      Eventually, when there is overwhelming support for civilian disarmament, it will be the law/policy of our nation, in spite of the Second Amendment. (With enough popular support gun-grabbers can lead the charge to repeal the Second Amendment.)

  8. Pardon me if I’m a bit perplexed by TTAG’s reaction to this PSA. Have we become so defensive about the unremitting attacks on firearms ownership by the gun-grabbers that we have a knee-jerk negative reaction when they actually advertise something which is indeed “common-sense” and not claptrap? We cannot be in denial that these tragedies have occurred and will continue to occur should firearms owners not exercise common-sense responsibility in the keeping and storage of their guns. Leaving a loaded firearm where a child can access it is the height of irresponsibility for us gun owners and merely gives the gun-grabbers legitimate “ammunition” to bolster their otherwise specious arguments against private firearms ownership. Don’t leave a loaded firearm where a child get to it. It’s as simple as that.

    • To your point. Simple PSA or perhaps as suggested, public schools could teach the four rules of gun safety. Except it’s not what they want to teach. Dead kids are worth more to the Bloombergs than the expense of funding a message that would actually save lives.

    • Plus it seems they’re solution is to

      A) Go after the parents, at what point do you think that punishment outweighs the love or value of a child as a incentive to keep them alive. Do we hold every parent to that standard, in every accidental cause, accidental shooting, drowning, run over by a car in the street.

      B) go after gun owners as a group with safe storage mandates and penalties.

  9. There are two major issues in this whole debate:

    1) Govt and Media-enabled Hoplophobia which goes hand in hand with the lack of personal accountability and responsibly people have for their own safety and the safety of others. People literally don’t know what to do in emergency situations anymore. I mean, seriously, theater warnings tell you to be alert for suspicious people and then walk to an exit. Lowest common denominator solutions. It’s a joke. It’s a lack of education problem.

    2) The second problem is all the legislation which puts people in danger and foster inaction by making it harder for people to defend themselves without fear of social stigma and financial ruin.

    For example, being fired for defending oneself in their places of work is socially acceptable behavior today. I think it’s reprehensible and treasonous.

    • To clarify,

      Issue 1 is what is being taught as the social norm to the current generation. It’s never “fight to survive”, it’s “wait to be rescued”. Unacceptable from a moral standpoint. That’s is literally telling people to wait to die.

      The media and anti-gun politicians should be held personally and financially accountable for every victim of every shooting where their “run and hide” philosophy gets people killed.

      In today’s world where domestic terrorism is a reality and shows no signs of slowing down, the only real responsible response to any sort of attack should always be, “Access, Respond, Fight”. Meaning you don’t HAVE to fight, but it is one of the three core actions you must take.

      I find it hilarious and ironic that the anti-gun community is fine trying to limit gun rights for law-abiding citizens while still expecting and demanding to be rescued by people with guns, so long as those they qualify meet their specifications (ie. are police or govt agents). And yet there are no complaints when that rescuer is an armed citizen…

      Hypocrisy at it’s finest.

  10. No.

    We ought to focus on lives and property defended by legitimate use of deadly force.

    This should be done regardless of whether a shot is fired. Too long we have let the hoplophobes frame the conversation.

    Free people can defend themselves, subjects are never truly defended but controled.

  11. Let’s make a deal, hoplophobes and anti-gunners:

    You can choose to be a victim and you can even choose to die for your hoplophobic beliefs and not fight back against your attacker(s). Go for it. I certainly won’t interfere. I’m perfectly happy to let you die for your beliefs. That’s how much I respect your choice.

    Now, I expect the same respect for my choices:

    You can’t limit or deny the Constitutional rights of myself or others, especially when all you have to argue with are your feelings, mkay?

  12. No, we shouldn’t. Not until we formulate a counter-tactic to counteract the inevitable anti-self-defense tactic of reductionism, bogging the discussion down into irrelevant details of each example of self-defense.

  13. I’m reminded of the powerful and extremely well-delivered testimony of Suzanna Hupp, whose parents were slaughtered before her in a mass shooting in a Texas restaurant. If you are not familiar, look it up on youtube; it’s moving.

  14. All genocides in the twentieth century were preceded with civilian disarmament. I don’t remember the death toll off hand but it was in the 100s of millions. That is a strong emotional argument that should be made more often. After the election of Trump which people on the left truely believe to be Hitler incarnate maybe more inclined to believe it could happen here.

    A site called Jews for the Preservation of Firarm Ownership has some good info. They stop short of saying being anti gun is a mental illness, but some of the reasons for gun control does boarder on it. They have some good points on how to confront hoplophobia.

    • NorincoJay,

      Any time I have tried to float the democide balloon as a compelling reason to embrace responsible firearm ownership, gun-grabbers immediately dismiss the notion with the response, “Pffft, oh come one, that will never happen in the United States. We are better than that. We have checks and balances.”

      You are forgetting that emotion is not the ONLY factor in the minds of gun grabbers. Altruism and fantasy are also prominent. In this case, they employ altruism — that the United States is above democide — to eliminate that reason for embracing firearms ownership.

  15. More leftist disarmament agenda/propaganda.

    http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr65/nvsr65_04.pdf

    Page 87
    Unintentional death:

    Poisoning: 42,032
    Machinery: 37,195
    Motor Vehicle: 33,736
    Fall: 31,959
    Suffocation: 6,580
    Unspecified: 5,848
    Drowning: 3,406
    Fire/hot object: 2,772
    Fire: 2,701
    Other land transport: 1,342
    Other specified, classifiable: 1,323
    Other specified, not elsehwhere classified: 1,096
    Struck by or against: 908
    firearms: 586

    Seems like their efforts at saving lives would be better spent elsewhere, but no, because guns. They hate guns more than they care to save lives (from accidents). How many lives are saved by not having guns locked up? Crimes that were diverted because a firearm was available for defense. Don’t bother locking your guns up. Instead teach your family and children proper firearm safety and feel free to lock up your guns if you have little ones to little to learn. The decision is best made by the parents who know their children’s capability more than the state. Teach you family and children morals and values. Maximize their education as best possible. Education is vastly more important than “locking up your guns.” Does it really matter if your kid kills himself with a gun or a trash bag and some computer dust spray? Talk to your kid about the value of life and help/teach them to overcome the challenges that life presents and to learn to accept the limitations that life entails.

  16. No.

    Several people here have the right answer: focus on net gains from self-defense. Maybe build on “It should have been a DGU” with “It was a DGU.”

    When they wave the bloody shirt, flip them, to make them own the blood. (Which, conveniently, is how things work.) For example, after a school shooting, “Sure would have been nice if someone had protected them.” and “Really it’s horrible to add those dozen deaths to the hundreds, thousands, more from negligence, poisons, drowning…”

    Having a gun isn’t about killing the bad guy. The point is one step beyond that; living your life. Having a gun for self-defense is about being able to stop the bad guy if that’s what it takes to live your life. Having a gun for it’s political influence is about the possible cost of the govt taking too much, backing them off of what they might take, leaving you more of your own life to live. Having a gun for the sake of others is about being able to hold space where they can live their lives, by force if that’s what it takes.

    So, let the anti-folk wave the bloody school uniform. The answer is “Indeed, there’s more life if those kids had lived. We see choosing between evils as inevitable, sometimes. So, we’d like the means to do so, should it come to that, and it’s a choice between those kids and some thug.”

    Yes, persuasion is emotional. Waving the bloody shirt is tempting. But, with a different message, we want to appeal to different emotions: resolve, not fear; competence, not passivity; intent, not reaction; creation, not destruction; in whole agency. Self-defense is about holding the space to create your own life. That’s why it’s a natural, human right.

  17. The pro 2A side should be heard. The situation we have in this country today screams for it, however those in control of the media will not provide the proverbial soapbox. Whether it is radio, newsprint or television, there is no outlet available for the pro side or for that matter the industry at all. When was the last time you saw/heard/read a positive story concerning the right to bear arms, or an ad for any type of equipment/gear which may be seen to be connected to the second amendment via the mainstream media? For that matter what about the sports world allowing open sponsorship by manufacturers or distributors of anything covered by the same? Let there be a request by the the antis, and any one of these will happily come to the rescue, incorrect information or outright lies notwithstanding. Yes, there is the internet, but we know that most people click onto websites which align with their personal ideology, unless they visit with the intent of trolling. In a perfect world the first amendment rights of second amendment supporters would not be subjected to corporate media suppression. Sadly, it is what it is…………..hopefully this changes……

  18. Funny how these propaganda whores give silent acceptance to the pharmaceutical industries destruction of today’s youth.

  19. “We don’t show/talk about the grisly, emotional aftermath of civilian disarmament. Should we? Should someone? ”

    Yes. We should. We ALL should. And while we’re at it we should also talk about what defines a threat. Right now there’s talk that a foreign power undermined our democratic process. Wanna talk about dangers of disarmament? I would like to see the editors here on TTAG start calling spades spades and recognizing that a worse fate than having Hillary in the White House, is having Putin decide that Hillary will not be in the White House.

  20. Why not both? Find people whose lives were saved because they were armed, and wave the bloody shirt. Positive and negative reinforcement.

  21. I prefer not to wave the bloody shirt. I’d rather wave the bloody (as the Brits say) gun.
    In other words, in every discussion with an anti, I point out that it is the gun that enforces every single law. Try cheating on your income tax or refuse to bake a cake for a gay wedding. There is an agency armed and willing to use force against you.
    It is also the gun that restrains the government from further intrusion into private life. It doesn’t always work, but it would be much worse without the 2nd Amendment.
    Another way to wave the bloody gun is to open carry. Not as a tactic of self defense but as a tactic to sway public opinion. Pearl clutchers will shudder at first but if they start seeing good men and women open carrying every time they go out, it will start to just become “culture”. Then, we win.

  22. Humans are not purely rational and not purely emotional. The choice of, “do we want to win the gun debate, or do we want to be right?” is a false dilemma. Do we want to pull the emotional strings in the way that works best for us, or do we want to take some kind of debate team high ground using only the purest logical arguments?

    The answer has to be both.

  23. Things like “It should have been a defensive gun use,” “this is what happens to a disarmed populace,” etc., are fine and all, but so easily discounted by the Left with a simple argument of “but you don’t know that.” Things like the NRA’s “Armed Citizen” section of their magazines, “Gun Hero of the Day, ” etc., show POSITIVE defensive gun use. There needs to be a combined demonstration of what happens to those who could have protected themselves with a gun, and DGUs with a positive outcome. Constantly pushing that dialogue would go a long way to shut up the Left (and even some of the TTAG trolls) who constantly claim that armed citizens are an overall negative and not an overall positive, like we know they are.

  24. You could talk a lot more about what is happing to the people of Venezuela and Mexico. And you could also start putting up stories about Australian rape victims. Y’all have done a bit of that, but you could do more, especially what’s going on in Mexico.

    When you do one of the bigger (or better) waving the blooding shirt stories, you should also pass those links along to Drudge and PJMedia and Instapundit. Even if it’s just in the comment section.

    • Also, I like Bullock’s idea. While “It should have been a DGU” is okay, “It was a DGU” is much more powerful. Some of the “should have been a DGU” article are pretty weak. The best of the should have been is when it involves a notable anti-gunner, or there was an explicated attempt by the victim to be armed but at time of the incident could not be (delayed/rejected carry permit, traveling through an anti-gun state, left gun in car/at home because of no-gun policy).

      On the other hand, successful DGU’s by them selves are a pretty good self contained story and connect directly. No probabilities of what could have/ should have happened, it is what did happen.

      As an occasional compilation, the “It was an unreported DGU” story is good. I enjoyed it last time ya’ll did one. One of the big questions is how often is a gun used to stop a crime before the crime happened and thus no crime, no violence, no use of force occurred and nothing was ever reported.

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