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When premium pistol purveyor Coonan announced that they’d allied themselves with Evolve, another group that had sprung up in the aftermath of Newtown, we used our considerable Google skillz to try to find out what the then-new-to-us operation was all about. And what we turned up didn’t look good. Based on their Facebook page and website, Evolve appeared to be your standard anti-gun rights operation thinly masking a disarmament agenda behind a poorly articulated message of preventing gun violence. Since then, however, we’ve spent a fair amount of time talking with Rebecca Bond, Evolve’s co-founder, about her reasons for starting the operation and what she hopes to accomplish with it . . .

She’s made a pretty strong case that their original roll-out (handled by people no longer associated with Evolve) wasn’t really all they’d hoped. That they’d jumped into a the middle of a hot gun rights debate a little prematurely, before they’d done all of their homework. That her only goal for Evolve is to make safe, responsible gun ownership a topic of conversation among people who own guns as well as those who don’t. And that Evolve has no agenda for or interest in legislative restrictions on anyone’s gun rights.

So now they’ve hit the re-set button. Bond and her husband Jon have just re-launched Evolve with a new website including what they think is a much clearer, more representative message. And, inspired by the four rules of firearms handling safety, they’ve created what they call The Code, a gun owner’s safety manifesto, as it were.

And as a part of their re-launch, Rebecca has written the following for TTAG’s readership:

Evolve was founded after the tragedy at Sandy Hook. Most people were heartbroken and outraged that such a senseless tragedy could happen here in our own country. Who could have predicted what a galvanizing and polarizing event this would become in the debate surrounding gun rights and gun ownership in America?

Evolve exists to create neutral ground, where a new dialog can take place. Our goal is to reduce gun violence by promoting gun safety and responsibility as a personal choice. This is no small task given the great divide between both sides of the debate. To achieve any real movement towards this middle, both sides need to spend some time walking in each other’s shoes. We’ve found that whether you are a gun owner or not, concerns about gun safety touch us all.

Any time someone makes a poor decision regarding a potentially lethal situation, be that driving a car, drinking, or using firearms, innocent people often pay the price. Gun owners have choices. They have the power to make decisions about how guns are stored, how they are used, who they would sell a gun to, and granting accessibility to guns by those unqualified, or mentally unstable. These individual powers are not dictated by rights, but instead make it incumbent on the individual to make responsible choices. People without the guns don’t have the luxury of making these choices, so they are left to live with trusting a community to make the best choices.

Unfortunately, the term “Gun Safety” has been politicized. The dialog has become so stigmatized that most attempts to create anything new around the idea of gun safety are met with resistance and skepticism, under the assumption that it is a cover for gun control legislation. To make progress towards an America truly safer from gun accidents and violence – letting all people who care about this area specifically have a role in working together — it is critical that the term “Gun Safety” move back to an apolitical position, where it means a reduction in needless tragedy.

Since we began deliberately seeking out gun owners and gun industry professionals for their input, we have not encountered a single individual who is opposed to the concept of promoting more gun safety in the truest sense of the word: to reduce everyday accidents and violence related to choices people make with their guns. How actual behaviors are adopted is where it gets complicated, but we have to be willing to have some of these conversations in order to bridge this divide.

Tragedies such as Newtown can serve as powerful motivators to revisit very polarizing and painful issues. Evolve is not a political or “hidden agenda” initiative. Its purpose is to create a mass communication campaign for responsible gun behavior the way ‘friends don’t let friends drive drunk’ impacted auto fatalities. We believe it begins with conversations in your home, at your kitchen table, and in your community. We believe that the firearms industry could do more to be ambassadors for gun safety, such as advocating among their various segments of owners to consistently make the best personal choices, much like the alcohol industry has done during the past two decades. We support individual rights, and what we are talking about here are individual choices made voluntarily, not prescribed via legislation.  Even the staunchest adversaries should be able to agree on making more people safe, and having fewer people get killed.

We know this is not going to be easy. We have spent many months talking to all ‘sides’, learning as much as we can and walking in other people’s shoes whenever possible. In order to be as neutral as we can be, all of our efforts related to Evolve’s work have been through in-kind creative services or self-funded. We talk to organizations and companies on all sides, but we have no affiliations. We know that many of you may be a bit skeptical, if not downright cynical that a real conversation could ever happen. We hope you will have an open mind, if not now, then eventually. For those of you who are interested in considering new ideas around gun safety and violence reduction, we hope to be as open, respectful and honest as possible, and would love to hear from you.

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  1. Nope, don’t trust them. Feathers, bill, webbed feet, quacking= duck to me. Even if she’s being completely honest, do we need a neutral party in this fight? What, she’s going to tell us not to eye gouge our opponents?

    • Directly from their code:

      “I believe that owning a gun is not just a right, it’s a responsibility.”
      “I believe that while anyone can own a gun, real gun owners use their heads.”
      “I will keep all of my guns unloaded, locked, and properly stored when not in use.”

      I thought this site was started by two Oklahoma grads. Now it’s a white couple? I’m confused. So are they:

      “Saving a life” – that’s the goal. Pure PR sheisters.

      They think we are stupid.

      • I like the word “responsibility”. It has two meanings, and most people only use one or the other at any given time. Thus I agree that gun ownership is a responsibility. it means not only being accountable for it, but that no one else is; I *alone* am responsible for*my* guns, not anyone else. Somehow I doubt they consider that aspect.

        It’s the same thing with being responsible for ourselves. Not only are we accountable for our actions, but no one else is. All those politicians proclaiming responsibility somehow always manage to be responsible for me, but not for themselves.

      • From that cnn video link,
        “We need people who own guns to accept our organization “.

        Hey (D)evolve, I own guns. I’m also a life member of the NRA.
        How does this sound, take your organization and shove it.

        Your new message is crap. You are liars and wanna be hitler, Stalin, Mao, thieves.
        Take your focus groups go get yourself a nice warm cup of “shut the hell up”, then go play a nice game of ” hide and go f**k yourself”

    • Agree. Even if they did “jump into the debate prematurely without doing their homework”, what makes them an authority now? They are still learning what they think they need to know about the gun debate as they go. And as completely neutral folks, entirely innocent of firearms knowledge, what is their motivation? Or a better question: How are they going to make money off it? Maybe they’re waiting for Bloomberg’s help–a few million bucks and a little help in tidying up their message.

    • Agreed JWM.

      “Evolve Re-Launches, Re-Introduces Itself to Gun Owners ”

      And they can re-go f*ck themselves. I barely made it a few lines without the word “dialogue” popping up. Same, dishonest, tired bullshit that she pushed before. A gun control group in everything but name. Manipulative and condescending.

    • Exactly correct.

      The Bill of Rights was NEVER meant to be something that everyone can agree upon. That’s the whole damn point of the thing: that the rights themselves exist prior to the constitution of ANY government. They’re not a matter of consensus.

      SHALL NOT INFRINGE means just that. Not “shall not infringe in the terms of the people who sell themselves as the most neutral observers.”

    • Are they associated with the Oddfellows? Aren’t the three interconnected links their symbol?

      I do remember that back when I was a kid, it was always recommended that guns be stored unloaded and locked up in areas separate from ammunition. This was part of “gun safety” then and no one thought anything of it. I learned that in a hunter’s safety course that was part of my sixth grade science class – and game commission officers brought real guns into our middle school to give us hands-on training as part of the course. I also belonged to a rifle club in that school and we shot at a range under the school gym during our study hall period. Gun safety didn’t used to mean “gun safety” so they have a point about that. That was before Sandy Hook, even before Columbine, and even before the 94 AWB. Since then, gun ownership has gotten way more polarized and anti-gun groups have hi-jacked the term “gun safety.”

      As for why we’d need a neutral group in this discussion, I can see how we could benefit from a middle-ground point of view in the mix. Like it or not, the RKBA community can get out of touch and forget that not everyone thinks like “us.” It is important to remember that – because sometimes “our people” come across like shrieking idiots. We need to not do that. It alienates people and makes look like the proverbial guy walking the streets in rags shouting “the end is near!”
      What do you think that does for our credibility?

      It’s not enough to be right – we also need to be smart.

      • Liars,

        “Evolve exists to create neutral ground”- there is no “neutral ground”….

        AND they say ” Accidents and Gun Violence” in the same sentence….


        • There is no neutral ground to you or me or those in the anti-gun camp, but to lots of Americans, there’s plenty of neutral ground.

          • No, there really isn’t. Perceived neutral ground is just that. When one side (the Left) REFUSES to leave the other side (everyone but the Left) alone, neutral ground becomes just another joke.

            There is good and there is evil. One does not make deals with Evil.

        • Here’s the thing – we’re discussing guns on TTAG. If you care enough to register and post here in these discussions, you are already a minority. Gun rights matter a lot to us, but to a great many Americans, they’re just not that big of a deal. You ask their opinion on guns and they might make up something that sounds logical on the spot, but they don’t think about it on a daily basis like we do.
          So if they mostly don’t care one way or the other, I’d call that neutral.
          I’ve only briefly looked at the Evolve site. I’m not going to be sending them donations or naming my firstborn after their webmaster, but I don’t see any harm in it. And even if I did, what would I do? Take away their birthdays?

          Also, just because someone doesn’t agree with me doesn’t make them “evil.” People hold opinions for lots of reasons. I don’t have to agree with them or abandon my own deeply held beliefs, but to call someone evil because they may have a misguided opinion about what should be done to prevent mass shootings or crime is a stretch.

          • Oh, there are stupid misguided “useful idiots” out there that may not intend evil….but the bastards that drive the useful idiots are through and through EVIL. No middle ground, no compromise, no quit.


        • “Firearms should always be stored securely and unloaded, away from children and careless adults. Use the locking device originally supplied with this firearm for storage.”
          ~ Ruger SP-101 factory manual, page 23.

          “Commandment #2
          Firearms should be unloaded when not actually in use. Firearms should only be loaded when you are in the field or on the target range or shooting area, ready to shoot. When not in use, firearms and ammunition should be secured in a safe place, separate from each other. Remember to unload your firearm completely so that there is no ammunition in the chamber or magazine.”
          ~ Tristar owner’s manual for Canik 55 (CZ-75 clone), page 4.

          “Firearms must be stored unloaded and in a locked location, separate from ammunition.”
          “Store ammunition, reloading supplies, and firearms in separate locked spaces.”
          ~ PA hunter-trapper education online study guide, page 20.

          So no, I’m not being “Jedi mind tricked.”
          I’m not saying I agree with it in every case, but like it or not, this is what gun manufacturers are suggesting as “gun safety.”
          I realize that keeping all your guns unloaded makes you pretty vulnerable if you ever need to quickly access one for self-defense. But if these guys are taking their cues from the owners manuals that manufacturers are putting out with their guns or saying things in line with safety courses offered by our states and calling those suggestions gun safety, you’re going to have a tough time arguing that.

        • Reading your reply I take it back. You’re not “being” jedi mind tricked… you have BEEN fully, thoroughly and completely Jedi mind tricked.

          “As for why we’d need a neutral group in this discussion, I can see how we could benefit from a middle-ground point of view in the mix. Like it or not, the RKBA community can get out of touch and forget that not everyone thinks like “us.” It is important to remember that – because sometimes “our people” come across like shrieking idiots. We need to not do that. It alienates people and makes look like the proverbial guy walking the streets in rags shouting “the end is near!”
          What do you think that does for our credibility?”

          THIS is what I was responding to, not the firearm safety stuff. That you would even think that I was referring to standard firearms safety procedures shows me that your head is in the clouds. Do you think we’re all worked up about this for our health? Do you just think we have tin-foil hats on? You yourself admit to only giving a cursory glance at the CURRENT evolve site; that simply dosn’t give you the context the rest of us have on this organization. It is a thoroughly duplicitous organization that will take your money and donate it to anti-RKBA causes. Do some research before you decide to take to the web supporting an organization you clearly don’t know a damn thing about.

        • Honestly, there isn’t much to see at the site. They’ve only got 8 or so pages and “the Code” seems to be the centerpiece. I got the general idea of what they say they are and I’m watching the FB page to see if any decent discussions develop, so what else is there to do other than watch and wait?

          And maybe they will take someone’s money, but it won’t be mine. I’ve got limited resources and I tend to only expend them on checks to the NRA, the occasional effort to unseat someone like Hudak, a box of ammo when I find it cheap, and a bottle of red wine every other week or so.

          Back on track, what I’m getting at is that the RKBA community needs to remember that “we” are often not a majority. We get tricked into thinking that we are sometimes if we only engage in discussions like the ones here on TTAG, but realistically speaking, even with the growth of the NRA last year, we’re still not a huge segment of the population. How we behave, how we speak, what we say – it all matters. I learned that because I have alienated people I know by not realizing that my rants against gun control don’t resonate with everyone. Of course we’re passionate about defending our rights, but when all we do is breathe fire at the other side, people who don’t have strong opinions get tired of us. They get tired of hearing it.

          Even if you’re right, if you’ve exhausted the people in the middle (the people who potentially can be won over) so much that they aren’t willing to listen to what you have to say, you’ve already lost.

          Some kind of neutral ground, if it ever can be established, may do us all some good.

          • “Some kind of neutral ground, if it ever can be established, may do us all some good.”

            There is no “neutral ground” unless you mean impartially enforcing the Constitution. The Right of the People to Keep and Bear Arms Shall Not Be Infringed. No asterisk, no ifs, no ands, no buts.

            Shall Not Be Infringed.

            If that’s not good enough for you, then maybe you should escape to some nice “gun-free” country like England or Mexico before Our Glorious Beloved Infallible Commissar builds the Berlin Wall II.

        • “Shall Not Be Infringed.

          If that’s not good enough for you, then maybe you should escape to some nice “gun-free” country like England or Mexico before Our Glorious Beloved Infallible Commissar builds the Berlin Wall II.”

          Shall Not Be Infringed…

          Meanwhile, do you have a CCW permit? Isn’t it an infringement to apply to the state and pay a fee to exercise a right?
          Should those of us who have CCW permits allow them to expire and carry illegally instead?
          Is that what “shall not be infringed” means?
          Even if you live in VT or AK, you could protest this infringement by going to NYC and carrying concealed with no permit, then arguing that you just refuse to allow your rights to be infringed. Are you planning to do that?

          If you’re not planning to do that, then you’ve already compromised. If you haven’t constructed an unregistered SBR or suppressor and told the government to stuff the NFA, then you’ve already compromised. If you have complied with the NFA and gotten through the necessary red tape to own a suppressor or short-barreled rifle legally, you have also already compromised.

          Should people who put up with these infringements on the Second Amendment instead of going to prison also pack it up and move to Mexico with me? I’d bet that would be almost all of TTAG’s readership, so at least I’d have someone to split a six-pack with.

    • They love tweeting stories about people with guns screwing up. Not a single positive one about an armed citizen using a firearm to stop a crime.

      Lots of positive tweets about hunting though. I guess that use of firearms is more legitimate in their eyes than self-defense.

    • They aren’t neutral, that’s just their marketing.

      Notice that they use the term “gun violence”. That’s the equivalent of penis-rape, calculator-fraud or spoon-calories.

  2. No gun owner should believe a word they say. They revealed their true intentions before and they think gun owners will be dumb enough to support them now that they have removed any evidence of their evil agenda.

    This is a gun control group desperately trying to dupe gun owners into giving them money.

  3. Her mistake is assuming that gun owners want to move towards the middle. There is no compromise on rights.

    • Yup! Here’s an acceptable compromise:
      Remove all artificial ownership restrictions on guns.
      Then we can talk.

    • Aren’t we already at the middle, anyway? If pure 2A absolutism is on one side, and total civilian disarmament is on the other, wouldn’t that put our current set of laws and regulations somewhere in the middle?

      So, good job, Evolve! You did it! Take a well-deserved vacation and then you can come back and think up another shill organization to solve a problem that doesn’t really exist.

  4. Gentlemen, this reeks. How do you botch the launch of your main product by sending the “wrong message.” These are just thinly veiled antis who are trying to astroturf some support from our side. Divide and conquer. They really do think we are studid. Good luck astroturfing.

    These people are not people of the gun. This whole scheme reeks of “we know what’s best for you” gun “safety” smugness. No thank you.

  5. I really can’t say much until we see where they go with this, but I do have two points I want to speak to:

    “Who could have predicted what a galvanizing and polarizing event [Newtown] would become in the debate surrounding gun rights and gun ownership in America?”

    Lots of people. Some, even, in the comments sections here. Because this was the first time it was “tiny little innocent children.” That is a motivating force far, far beyond high school kids or people in a mall or movie theatre.

    “We believe that the firearms industry could do more to be ambassadors for gun safety, such as advocating among their various segments of owners to consistently make the best personal choices, much like the alcohol industry has done during the past two decades.”

    The problem is, if you think that the alcohol industry came to that position willingly, or through their own volition, you’re fooling yourself. The disappearance of alcohol advertising from television (except during sporting events), and the “Please drink responsibly” notices in ads and on packaging came about through the relentless efforts of the temperance movement, not through any sense of greater civic responsibility by the alcohol producing companies. So if your goal is a “Please shoot responsibly” phrase on every box of ammo, I guess you’ve picked the right model.

    • It always drives me nuts when groups like these blame the industry for a individual’s actions. Just like the parents who blame McDonalds for making their kids fat. Not McDonalds fault, but the dumb parents who kept driving them there and refusing to take responsibility for their actions.

    • I would take that silly little label on my boxes of ammo in exchange for ammo being as commonly sold and cheap as beer.

      • No argument, but in the Amish school shooting he shot 10 and only 5 died. Their ages were a pretty even spread from 7 to 13. Newtown was twenty kids, all 6-7 years old, and they all died. It’s a whole different game. It also allowed the use of phrases like “an entire classroom of children gunned down.” That’s why Newtown was such a big deal in comparison. That’s why it created a debate that didn’t die. Both sides said “Enough.” With different motivations and different solutions, but the same resolution.

      • Yes, they were. And the killing of children by evil people sickens me and probably everyone else posting here.
        But I didn’t pull the trigger and neither did anyone else in this discussion. And no gun company has ever marketed a “school shooter special.” They don’t make guns for the criminal market – criminals just get them. IIRC, the shooter in that case used an Springfield XD 9mm. If he acquired that gun in PA, he either had to have a background check done and the gun registered to him or he acquired it illegally. In PA, all handgun transfers must have a 4473 completed and are registered with the PA State Police. Real registration – not just the de facto stuff we always talk about here. There is a separate form that goes directly to the PSP.
        So that shooter either broke the law (which wouldn’t surprise me since shooting 10 amish school kids is illegal and he had no issue with that) or he passed the background check and had his handgun registered with the police – meaning that those measures didn’t deter him at all from going on a killing spree.
        If background checks and registration don’t save lives, what’s the point?

        As long as guns exist, bad people will use them to do bad things. You can’t uninvent them so the only way to oppose bad people with guns is with good people who have guns. That’s why people call the police when bad people with guns show up – because police officers are good guys with guns (usually).

      • I wasn’t suggesting they’re the same thing, though I find it odd how that shooting didn’t spark the kind of response… I don’t think so much because it involved less kids, either. Maybe because of the otherness of the victims.

        Anyway. Just wanted to put in a word for some other kids slaughtered by a rabid dog.

    • “Who could have predicted what a galvanizing and polarizing event [Newtown] would become in the debate surrounding gun rights and gun ownership in America?”

      Maybe my tinfoil is vibrating too loudly, but I’m betting THEY predicted the galvanizing effect. And, in response to their prediction, saw dollar signs flash before their eyes.

      • “Who could have predicted what a galvanizing and polarizing event this would become in the debate surrounding gun rights and gun ownership in America?” That’s easy: me…

        Within 2 days of Newtown Biden was interviewed using the term “civilian disarmament”…they were waiting in the wings for their opportunity to present itself…this has been in the works for a long time.

    • I always thought the firearms industry did promote the safe use of guns. Every gun I bought new came with a manual where first third was spent beating gun safety rules into your head,

      • Well, much like the alcohol industry stuff, those first five pages of warnings are probably driven more by the lawyers than by any sense of social responsibility.

        • It is irrelevant whether they do it for legal reasons or social responsibility. The firearms industry is very safety conscious.

    • And what about all those poor little Amish girls gunned down in their school? How is THAT lost in this discussion?

      There can be no compromise, no middle ground. You are either prepared to defend yourself and your family/community, or you are a victim.

      The only “gun safety” failure I see in any of these mass shootings was Lanza’s mother’s failure to properly secure her weapons fro a son she knew had mental problems.

  6. Package Rejected:Return to Sender With Prejudice.

    Reason:because it’s a short trip from ‘encouraging gun owner safety’ to ‘forced responsibility via increased regulation’.

    Evolve is a standing invitation requesting us gun owners to provide the Brady’s with rope to hang us with.I think not.

  7. It may help the fudd and or tacticool image that we “suffer”from. You can’t blame us for being highly suss-peeshusss, though.

  8. I didn’t see any obvious way to leave comments on their website. If they want a dialogue/discussion/debate they need to make it possible.

    My biggest concern/objection is that the implication is that law abiding gun owners are responsible for the acts of nutters and criminals. That plays into the hands of those that want to place more restrictions on law abiding gun owners, even though such restrictions would have no impact.

  9. Pray tell, what “new ideas” are there in gun safety that the NRA hasn’t advocated, in a voice that gun owners would rather listen to? If we really are talking about being safer with the guns we own, why do we need “neutral” ground with non gun owners? Why are you reinventing the wheel, rather than advocating existing safety programs?

    • Because despite all the good it actually does, the NRA is not neutral. It’s been the villain to too many people for too long.

      We should consider the possibility that neutral ground doesn’t bring us backward — a “neutral zone” could bring a LOT of other people forward out of the backward, regressive camp of the gun prohibitionists and their mass media propagandists. People who are willing to consider new information but would never have listened to the NRA or visit websites like TTAG.

      • This. So long as this stays in the realm of “friends don’t let friends do drugs” and “drink responsibly” I think it’ll be a net positive. If they start getting political then we’ll probably have issues.

        Some times I think we’re too jaded in this community. We’re overly skeptical and critical of outsiders. That’s no way to grow. I mean, sound the alarm if the alarm needs sounding, just make sure you aren’t alienating a potential ally first!

      • See my second question. They’re claiming it’s about gun owners doing more to keep guns safe. If you’re really trying to do that, why would you care what Mr. and Mrs. Non Gun Owner thinks? If you’re really trying to change carry and storage habits of someone who is a strong 2A person, do you really invite people who don’t own and probably don’t understand guns into “the conversation”? What can those people possibly offer? Keep in mind, they’re not saying that they want to teach gun safety to non gun owners, they’re trying to teach it to us.

        However, if you’re really trying to wave a false flag and pay lip service to “gun safety” while moving towards “gun restrictions”, then this seems like the way to run your outfit.

      • This is a good point. I came from a gun-owning household and as a kid, and hearing snippets about the NRA on the news gave me an instictive negative feeling toward them, and I hardly even knew what the heck the NRA was at that age. Like it or not the NRA has a negative connotation associated with it from years of being the defensive punching bag of the media and anti-gun crowd. The “neutral” among the population actually believe the tripe put out there about it being funded primarily by the gun manufacturers, because they just don’t know any better.

        If this Evolve group is legit it could do a lot of good for the cause. If it isn’t legit, I don’t think we’re losing anything, as it just adds to the pile of BS that POTG already ignore and already dupes the ignorant masses who don’t care to look deeper than the wading pool.

        • I made a very good friend last year but it started off rocky.
          She was visiting and saw my NRA membership card on the coffee table in the mail I’d just brought in. She is a howling PNW liberal, but thankfully, somewhat open-minded. Eventually I let her try the 10/22 out and she was very excited to learn to shoot. She insisted on carrying the rifle when we hiked back to town and I let her (unloaded with the bolt locked open, slung across her back).

          So the idea of something other than the NRA being in the discussion, even though I agree that they’ve done a lot for gun rights, may have some merit.

          This isn’t an endorsement or a plea that we should all make donations – just a suggestion that we maybe watch and see if it’s worth our effort.

    • Agree with Pulatso. My family’s record of teaching gun safety, handling firearms without incident, and (most importantly) raising children responsible enough to handle firearms goes back at least five generations. I don’t claim to know everything, so when a professional instructor or firearms guru speaks, I listen very carefully. I may not agree with everything they say, but I listen.

      However, I have zero interest in the views on gun safety of people who have never owned a gun (and in fact may prefer to see mine confiscated). I doubt that people who do not own firearms would be much interested in what I have to say about gun safety, either.

      I understand the argument that a neutral source of information might be useful to some, but if the topic of interest truly is gun safety instead of regulation/control of some kind, I can’t imagine what Evolve would hope to learn from people like MDA, VPC, etc.

    • We already know what non-gun owners consider acceptable gun safety (when they are not advocating for a total ban):

      1. No civilian CCW under any circumstances (unless you are a celebrity but not a basketball or football player).
      2. No privately owned firearm can hold more than 5 rounds of ammunition at any one time and reloads should be as cumbersome, slow and generally difficult as possible.
      3. Privately owned firearms should be stored in the home in a locked gun safe unloaded and disassembled.
      4. Ammunition must be registered with the government AND stored in a separate locked container not within arms reach of the aforementioned gun safe and preferably in the next county at the Sheriff’s department armory.

      That’s their idea of reasonable compromise for gun safety.

      I do not know and do not care what Evolve thinks it can accomplish to bring these two groups together. I think not very much and I greatly doubt this is an entirely non profit effort conceived out of the pureness of their intentions to resolve the “problem of gun violence.” Color me skeptical.

  10. Why the hell do I need to” Evolve”? Words mean things and I think they just revealed who they are again. DOH!!

    • “Evolve” is the new “Change” that we were all promised by a certain Community Organizer. No thanks.

    • Well, I’ve evolved. I used to think gun rights were merely a good idea. Now I think that they are an essential right never to be compromised. See? I’ve evolved….

  11. So the law-abiding citizens that safely handle their firearms should continue to do exactly what they’re doing to thwart crime? The “proper storage” most think of is a double edged sword. As my concealed carry instructor said, “A gun locked in the gun safe may as well not exist if someone kicks in your door”. I don’t know anyone that has an arsenal loaded and completely open, but having a carry gun and house gun loaded and easily accessible is pretty normal, that’s why they were purchased in the first place. If someone kicks in the door while my wife is home alone I want her to be able to pick up the shotgun and defend herself. That doesn’t seem to be politically correct these days (on multiple levels) but I care about my loved ones and not the amorphous ideals of the tagline “gun safety”.

    They’re certainly “doing something”, but they’re preaching to the choir. I don’t think the gangs of Chicago will embrace this group, not that it would help anything. This stuff won’t impact (let alone stop) incidents like Newtown or criminal activities.

  12. Just another false flag organization that has no interest in our rights but creating so called “compromises” that will do nothing in trying to prevent further tragedies. A big warning sign is the fact they are trying to remain neutral on a topic that you are either for or against. There is no neutral ground in this debate and I am sick of having to give up my rights in order to compromise for a side who has no knowledge of the topic and is blaming the actions of sick individuals on Americans who are simply exercising their rights.

    Also there code is a big red flag if I ever saw one. Especially when it says talk to your children and that all firearms will be stored away properly. I am a big advocate of storing your firearms that you are not using in a safe location. The ones you rely on for your life need to be either on your hip or in a spot easily accessible if you need it. You should teach your kids proper firearm handling and safety. If they are old enough and responsible enough, they need to know how to get to those firearms if someone is threatening their life.

    In short, this is another fake gun rights movement that is really against our freedom and their past actions have exposed them for who they really are. Wouldn’t be surprised if Bloomberg started giving them money in the near future.

  13. If they are what they say? Great. I give them less than a year anyway. There’s no way you can avoid getting jaded when all the crap flinging monkeys come out to play, and believe me, they will.

  14. Mom’s demand action already co-opted “gun safety” as an Orwellian term, so too late there.

    Who is going to donate money to make this group go? The Joyce foundation, Bloomberg, etc. wont fund a group that does not support their legislative agenda.

    Gun rights groups and pro-rights individuals won’t fund a group that does not support their legislative agenda.

    Follow the money, whose money supports this group, thats all you need to know.

    Further, I already see a lot of false flags … like the bit about accidental shootings and whatnot (“to reduce everyday accidents and violence related to choices people make with their guns”). Yes, a lot of people accidentally get shot because the gang (organized crime) targets the wrong person, or misses and gets bystanders. But that’s not a “gun safety” issue due to a lack of training. Thats a drug policy issue that relegates supply to organized crime, and organized crime settles disputes with brute force not the legal system.

  15. You want ‘gun safety’ to again be about responsible ownership? Then campaign to allow the NRA to teach gun safety courses in high schools and middle schools the same way they teach Sex Ed and DARE.

    Politics aside, it makes no sense to me why people can argue that kids are safer knowing how to use a condom but are less safe knowing how to clear a firearm.

  16. > Evolve exists to create neutral ground, where a new dialog can take place.

    There is no neutral ground between “Ban all guns” and “I will not surrender the rights protected by the 2nd amendment”.

    There cannot be such middle ground. One side or the other will eventually have to abandon their position.

    I don’t plan to be on the side that abandons mine… nor will I ever.

  17. In reading their “code,” I’m left wondering what makes them think, I, you, or any of the other tens of millions of gun owners aren’t safe, and instead need to change our ways?

    We already preach gun safety; the 4 rules, training, using our heads, safe storage, etc…

    Do they really think we have anything to do with the gang bangers in the streets of Oakland, Camden, or for that matter we had anything to do with the likes of the mass killing psychos?

  18. The core point out of that rather long letter is this: gun owners need to be able to have open, friendly conversations with non-gun owners about guns, gun politics, and safety. That to me isn’t a bad goal. That being said, I don’t think Evolve or any other group can really make that happen. As they themselves point out, they’re looking for a kitchen-table conversation. The only people who have any power to make that happen are the same kind of people who read TTAG. So if you take their point on it’s face, the best thing you can do is be ready to have a non-argumentative discussion with someone who disagrees with you. Worst case scenario they don’t listen and you lose nothing, best-case you change their mind. Seems fair to me.

  19. I think they sound sincere and I really hope they are. I am not opposed to being a good ambassador for our sport/hobby and think we could do more to promote our passion in a better way. I agree with the analogy that it should be like handled like drunk driving.

    However, the moment I hear “common sense reform”, I am done. I am all for promoting a positive Gun culture, but I am not for compromising any position.

    When the left “compromises” and is willing to eliminate the NFA, or repeal the NY SAFE Act, or the draconian laws in NYC or the Democratic People’s Republic of California, I will not accept any new law. They need to give up something before we do. That is a real compromise.

    • I, for one, am for ‘common sense’ reform. After all, if common sense is the standard there are a hell of a lot of gun control laws that should be repealed. That’s reform I can get behind.

  20. Who needs an organization that is looking to promote gun safety? The truth is, every gun owner I know takes the safe use of their firearms very seriously and they all seem to know the rules for handling guns. If they didn’t, I’m pretty sure they’d get a quick refresher course at the range. I think Evolve wants to devolve into promoting gun control with the message, ‘We’re the gun control group that the gun owners love’. Sounds like cr@p to me.

  21. Ah, the ever popular marketing “re-launch.” I’ve witnessed many of these, and participated in a few. Re-launches are usually the result of not understanding your target market and having to re-spin your messaging – rarely is it because your product changed.

    For these people, their product is their message. With a tangible product, the message is built up from the product’s characteristics. This “recasting” of the message raises questions about why this organization was created. As a couple of marketing professionals who move and shake amongst the social elite (i.e., liberal/progressives), what is their motivation? There is no compelling story for a personal crusade, just a supposedly altruistic desire to bring the two sides together for “dialog.”

    My bet is that they’re in it for the money and that they’ll peel off a substantial portion of whatever money they raise. Sure they’ll deliver on the dialog, but talk is cheap – the rest goes to overhead.

  22. “I believe owning a gun is not just a right, its a responsibility” and “I will be answerable for everygun I own at all tomes” stood out the most to me. In my opinion it makes this look like a crock trying to trick us into saying we dony truly have a right and we should be sued if one of our guns is used in a crime without our permission.

    • And really, isn’t the only way to truly have control of our guns at all times is to have them on our person at all times? There are way too many impediments to doing that.

  23. Words do not mean much. Lets see what they do over time. I do not trust them at the moment. Lets see what actions they take. It is too early to tell if they have a hidden agenda or if money collected will then be diverted to anti-gun organizations. Anyone can say anything and in the world of the Internet deception is both easy and common.

    I will listen once I see they actually do something for the gun community. I do not see how their “safety” initiative is any better than the NRA’s. We already have an Eddie the Eagle Program, the Basic Pistol and Rifle classes and manuals already have safe storage chapters and it is part of the exams. All the Hunter Safety classes teach safe handling in the field and most all of them require that you demonstrate safety in the field.

    The 3 rules of the NRA or the 4 Cooper rules are the rules not sure what calling them “The Code” does. Oh, its not the NRA — BFD!

    Keeping guns away from kids is easy, do they plan a set of national PSA’s about how to properly store guns away from children when not in use? (seems like something Bloomberg’s millions would better be spent on doing than the BS he does spending it on useless politicians)

    Words are great, actions are better — right now at this moment, I see no reason to trust or follow this group. They have a lot to prove first before they can be accepted.

  24. I’m sorry, but the reference to Newtown pretty much gives the game away. Newtown had absolutely nothing to do with gun safety as honest people understand the term. The young man killed his mother as she slept, and stole her guns. It’s pretty safe to say he could have done that even if her guns had all been properly locked up in an approved safe, with ammo stored separately.

    Gun safety is a legitimate topic of conversation, one in which the NRA has always played a leading role. The fact their “conversation” on gun safety revolves around a mass murderer but has nothing to say about Eddie Eagle makes me doubt they have anything constructive to say on the subject. Yes, “Gun Safety” has been politicized. It is they and their fellow-travelers who have politicized it.

    • Pretty much what i came to say. Newtown was no firearm accident. The guns did everything that was asked of them and nothing that was not. Why bring it up?

  25. I’m willing to give nearly anyone the benefit of the doubt, including these folks.

    But. How does a national organization start a kitchen table conversation? Are we talking about legislative or administrative actions to create incentives or disincentives? Are we talking about bringing gun safety classes to schools? How does this differ from the NRA and others own gun safety programs?

    Clear up those (and other) questions, and I’ll consider getting behind the organization, but at this point, it looks like you’re trying to change your failed rollout into something more palatable.

  26. It seems to me that they started their organization to hold a flag for gun control. Then pretty much all the federal gun control plans failed to gain the necessary support. So now they’re trying to get painted as the reasonable ones so that they can be better positioned next time.

  27. This group is a few elitist advertising execs who are so distant from the real world that they actually think they have something innovative or special to offer. Your profession is all about influencing and manipulating people’s choices, and you think you are smart because you’ve had some success doing so. The problem is that you’ve never duped any smart people and you don’t even realize it. You aren’t as smart as you think you are. We aren’t as dumb or manipulable as you think we are.

    “Who could have predicted what a galvanizing and polarizing event this would become in the debate surrounding gun rights and gun ownership in America?”

    Anyone. Anyone could have predicted that. You are either profoundly out of your league on this issue or you are playing stupid. Ignorant or patronizing.

    “Evolve exists to create neutral ground, where a new dialog can take place.”
    There already is a neutral ground where dialog is taking place. It’s called the world. Again, either ignorant or patronizing.

    “Our goal is to reduce gun violence by promoting gun safety and responsibility as a personal choice.”

    This is what the NRA’s role is, this is what every gun ownership promoting organization does. This is what every firearms training class is about. This is what gun people spend most of their time thinking about and practicing. You don’t realize this because you are not one of us. Again, either ignorant or patronizing. And THE GUN IS NOT THE PROBLEM. Any gun owner you could hope to reach is not the problem.

    “This is no small task given the great divide between both sides of the debate. To achieve any real movement towards this middle, both sides need to spend some time walking in each other’s shoes.”

    The middle is that people who want guns have them and people who don’t don’t. Gun owners have their own organizations which train gun use, gun safety, and responsible gun ownership and have been doing so for hundreds of years. One side of the debate are all the responsible gun owners, the other side of the debate are people who want to ban guns, and the people murdering each other are a third side that’s not involved in the debate.

    “Unfortunately, the term “Gun Safety” has been politicized.”
    By people who want to ban guns from law abiding citizens. By the people you think we need to move towards. Turning gun safety into a euphemism for gun regulations is re-branding, it’s a slogan, it’s an advertising appeal. Yeah, unfortunately people with a manipulative advertiser’s mentality confuse issues by changing the meaning of terms to make them more appealing or persuasive. That is indeed an unfortunate problem. People like you are the cause of the problem.

    “Evolve is not a political or “hidden agenda” initiative. Its purpose is to create a mass communication campaign for responsible gun behavior the way ‘friends don’t let friends drive drunk’ impacted auto fatalities.”

    Say it all you want, that’s exactly what Evolve is. Whether you know it or not (again, ignorant or patronizing) You folks are not gun people, you are not part of the gun community, you didn’t grow up with guns, you don’t know what gun culture is beyond anti-gun proliferated stereotypes. Your ignorance is demonstrated by how novel and groundbreaking (and needed) you think your role as a voice promoting safe and responsible gun ownership is. Gun accidents are at a historical low, gun crimes are at a historical low and this has been accomplished by the gun community’s OWN promotion of safety and responsibility. We don’t need you, we don’t want you. You don’t have the tools or knowledge to help us continue to make the progress we are making. Advertising people are not that smart and their bag of tricks does not work on intelligent and independent people. The middle ground you want to hit is between anti-gun extremists and gun moderates. That is a move toward anti-gun extremism and away from moderation.

    “We know this is not going to be easy. We have spent many months talking to all ‘sides’, learning as much as we can and walking in other people’s shoes whenever possible”

    You have no idea. Many months? Guess what, we’ve been involved in this issue for hundreds of years. Walk in our shoes for a few hundred years, sustain the attacks that we’ve sustained, then maybe you can begin to understand. You think you can just talk to a few groups for a few months research and you’ll solve the problem. God damned that’s arrogant.

    • I like the way you think Don. (And you did a bang up job of expressing your thoughts as well.)

      Your point is well taken that everything they claim to be advocating is already being done by other groups. Why don’t they just join up?

      They bear watching to keep an eye out for possible nefarious endeavors. How to best to do that without supplying them the traffic they need to justify their continued existence?

    • Well said, Don! This should be printed out and mailed to them as the official response of the TTAG readership. And maybe Don should write some articles for us too.

  28. The issue is that safe gun owners are not the problem. A homicidal maniac is not going to be deterred by your suggestion that he not point the firearm at anyone else. More “gun safety” is a great idea. But look logically.

    1. Adam Lanza knew his target: Teachers and kids. What was beyond: more kids.
    2. He did not point firearms at anything he did not intend to destroy.
    3. He kept his finger off the trigger until he was ready to shoot (then shot until he was done.)
    4. He treated his guns as loaded (and reloaded them when needed.)

    Where is the solution to homicide and felonious assault hidden in “The Code”?

  29. As far as this letter goes, right on. I haven’t visited their website and other venues yet, so I can’t say whether it looks like they’re really following through.

    I’ll restate a point I made above: it’s very possible that being involved in a neutral space won’t bring us backward. Rather, it could bring a LOT of otherwise uninformed people forward and let them see that gun people are worried about the exact same things they are — and that there’s a better solution than the crap being peddled by the prohibitionists and their propagandists in the mainstream mass media.

    I do have a problem with the letter’s third paragraph, where it says “These individual powers are not dictated by rights, but instead make it incumbent on the individual to make responsible choices.”

    The individual powers they’re talking about ARE rights. And because they’re individual rights, it is incumbent on the individual to make responsible choices. Society can’t do it for us and laws can only restrict us. Whatever the solution to this argument may be, it *must* be based on individuals acting freely in the best interest of all.

  30. Sooo their a Leftist NRA clone sucking money from Bloomberg, is there a Space Cadet involved?’
    BTW did anyone count the # of times Newtown Bloody Shirt was waved?

  31. TO: Evolve

    I’m not sure if I trust you or not. You are pretty new to this area of life, or at least to my awareness of the people discussing this area of life. But, whether I trust you or not, I am willing to talk to you. I am willing to listen, and to respectfully agree, or disagree. I would be willing to talk one-on-one even with Micheal Bloomberg, if he was willing to talk honestly with me. So talk. There is at least one element of common ground. We both agree that the avoidable death of innocents is wrong.

  32. Even if everything they say above is the absolute unvarnished truth, we should be very wary. It is common for an organization like this that develops standards of some sort through the efforts of interested stakeholders to later be co-opted for official use. A prime example is the Electric Reliability Councils developed by utilities after some epic blackouts. Once an organization with voluntary utility members, now NERC acts as a quasi-governmental agency that develops standards, inspect facilities & designs, demands reports, exacts penalties, etc.; all with the “approval” of the regulated entities. The list of regulated entities has been greatly expanded to include much more than the original utilities that started the organization.

    We also see where even meeting with opponents gets twisted into something it is not. Take the gun control meetings Biden had that included reps from the NRA. Biden essentially told them to sit down, shut up, and here’s what we’re going to do. Then he claimed to have come up with ‘solutions’ that included input from all stakeholders.

  33. The premise of evolve is that gun violence is a result of gun owners being stupid or irresponsible.

    If you want any traction with any group, you need to EARN respect with that group. Your central premise makes that impossible.

    You come in, blame violence on gun owners overall state of safety awareness and level of responsibility, and then you say that groups which literally write the book on gun safety that you are cribbing from (e.g. the NRA) aren’t doing a good enough job? You are hopeless and misdirected.

    I feel really passionate about curing cancer but I’m not about to talk to a few doctors and patients for a few months and then proclaim that they’re all not doing it right because I see people with cancer. I’m not a sophomoric child. You would, you are.

  34. Assume she’s being honest. What then?

    The number of gun accidents is at an all-time low. For 2010, the last year CDC data is available, there were 606 accidental gun deaths in the entire country for all age groups. In a country of more than 300 million people. That number is so small statistically that its just insignificant. And in any case, what can these folks do in promoting the four rules of gun safety that the NRA and other groups don’t already do?

    The rest of the ~30k gun deaths per year are 11,400 (homicide, including legally justified shootings) and 19,400 (suicide). What exactly can Evolve do with regard to homicides? Convince drug gangs not to shoot people? Convince crazy people like Adam Lanza not murder people and steal their guns?

    That leaves suicide. Again, what do they plan to do? If I had a friend who is very depressed, I’d try to get them to store their guns elsewhere. That’s common sense. Beyond that, what?

    Accident rates are already super low. I don’t see how Evolve can impact homicides or suicides. Even assuming the best of intentions, I don’t see this going anywhere.

  35. I went and had a look, you guys should check out the USA Today article they wrote “We’re all to blame for Newtown”. Unfortunately they use a Mother Jones article to provide the statistics for some of their positions, which to me removes any credibility, not that I entrusted much to them to start. I really don’t see donations pouring in to their cause, a firm middle of the road position is not going to inspire me to open my wallet.

  36. A new dialog? When did we have the old dialog? I must have missed it. All I heard was a bunch of statists, hoplophobes and gun haters trying to demonize us, take away our rights and stumble all over themselves in their race to be the first to kiss Obama’s ass.

    Hey, leftist shills, we’re all done talking, so FOAD. How’s that for a dialog?

    • Flies and honey, or so the cliche goes… Politeness, at least the pretense of it, makes it actually qualify as ‘dialog.’ So try FOAD, please.Or please FOAD.

  37. “Evolve”? seriously? Let me guess who needs to ‘evolve’. Could they pick a more condescending and passive agressive title for this sham?

    “How actual behaviors are adopted is where it gets complicated, but we have to be willing to have some of these conversations in order to bridge this divide.”

    No we really don’t. What do people who know nothing about firearms possibly have to contribute on the topic of gun safety? The conversation is over, the divide is unbridgeable, get over it. Learn to live in the world that actually exists.

  38. How can there ever be “neutral ground, where a new dialog can take place” with people who characterize us as “bitter clingers”, as evil people who should all just die? With those who think our desire to make our own decisions and exercise the basic human right of self-defense, whether from an individual attacker or a tyrannical government, is somehow to be equated with “terrorism?

    “To achieve any real movement towards this middle, both sides need to spend some time walking in each other’s shoes” implies I can somehow empathize with those who wish nothing more than my total subjection. A slave to the state with an ever larger collar around my neck to ensure my obedience.

    There is no “neutral ground” between right and wrong nor good and evil.

    No one could be so stupid as to believe that the vaunted “gun free zones” protect anyone. Or that the multitude of other gun control measures impact anyone not already a law abiding citizen. The only other choice is that their agenda is perpetuated by evil intent.

    I will continue to attempt to inform and persuade those who have thoughtlessly swallowed the barrage of misinformation and outright lies from our traitorous MSM. I will NOT seek “neutral ground” or to meet in the “middle”: those trying so desperately to disarm me in the face of such obvious threats from enemies both foreign and domestic.

    And to suggest that such a thing is desirable tells me all I need to know about Evolve.

    It also leads me to question my devotion to this website. Zimmermans’ claim to have had substantial conversations with this obvious false flag operation and the suggestion that maybe we should give these poor, misunderstood individuals another chance displays either a staggering lack of judgement or a willingness to sell out that I had not expected to find among the authors here.

  39. No such thing as a middle ground , Either we keep our rights (I want more back) or we give up rights .. lose ground… Give a inch and they take a mile. that is what happens ATF AWAYS goes way past intent of any written laws… NOT A INCH MORE>……………..

  40. I actually do think that owning a gun is a responsibility. Just like voting and jury duty. Every single American citizen should own a gun. And legal penalities for those who won’t. Maybe a heavy fine and a little jail time.

    I also believe in gun “safety.” No child should ever graduate from any school–public or private–in America without having earned a firearm use certificate.

    These are some of my prerequisites for dialog.

  41. The wording of the author seems to paint gun owners at the problem again. It assumes that all gun owners are unsafe in our storage and handling of firearms and if we just raise awareness enough, that accidents will go away. While it is a good goal to work toward safety, eventually we will reach a point of diminished returns. People will have lapses of judgement that can not be trained or educated away.

    Also the whole “dialog” meme being passed around is ridiculous. The anti-rights side does not want to dialog so they can be educated on statistical analysis and critical thinking and reject emotional decision making. Until they reject emotional decision making there is no “dialog”.

    Whenever I see a group mention Newtown, I think about Black Swan events. Newtown was a Black Swan event. Here are three things I snagged from wikipedia on how to classify an event like this. The third bullet is key to the media and their push for civilian disarmament.

    -First, it is an outlier, as it lies outside the realm of regular expectations, because nothing in the past can convincingly point to its possibility.
    -Second, it carries an extreme ‘impact’.
    -Third, in spite of its outlier status, human nature makes us concoct explanations for its occurrence after the fact, making it explainable and predictable.

  42. There was a time when I only owned a 10/22 and it had been disassembled and was stuck in the top of my closet. I had two little kids at the time and lived in a very gun-unfriendly state and had no resources (those two little kids) to even consider buying more guns or getting a gun safe of any kind.

    Those times are past and I now own more weapons. Some are secured. Others are readily available, much like my flashlights and fire extinguishers, located where I may need them. No little kids in my house, though that may change (if my college-age kids ever figure out dating). When that happens, I’ll re-consider where and how weapons are stored.

    I will not lock all of them up, unavailable for use, regardless who or what says I should. Gun safety is not a “one-size-fits-all” proposition. I never lose sight of the fact that guns were designed as portable tools for killing people. That is why I have them. That realization, plus some skills and experience I’ve gained along the way, is all the gun safety I need.

  43. They ain’t reset shit. They seem like a bunch of marketing mavens trying to weasel their way into a culture they do not understand.

    Many people have owned guns, Diane Feinstein owned a little .38 or something… that doesn’t mean she understands gun culture. America’s gun culture stems largely from combat veterans, country folk and their descendants. It stems from a fundamental and profound distrust of big government.

    It is not something you can just declare yourself a part of, unless you are willing to look like a poseur. That is exactly what these people look like, now more than ever. If you are a part of gun culture, you know it. You are invested in it. You don’t need a slick website.

    For example: What is up with that question on their website? “Respect the Code” by not keeping your firearms loaded when they “are not in use?” Evolve is completely and totally patronizing. Nobody needs their Trojan memes. I fear the Greeks, even when they bring slick websites.

  44. “The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality.”

    ― John F. Kennedy

  45. Hey Evolve,
    There’s a conversation happening right here and now. Why aren’t you responding to the very people you’re claiming to want to reach out to?
    A re-launch as successful as the Challenger.

  46. OK, litmus test. Where does Evolve stand on this?
    New York Times Notices Sheriffs’ Refusal to Enforce Unconstitutional Gun Laws

  47. OK, I checked out the new site. The reboot is better, but still ultimately misguided & unnecessary. The “Code” is full of vagaries that sound like marketing bullets intended to reach the widest possible audience, but so watered down as to have no real meaning. Case in point: “I will respect what owning a gun means.” Uh, sure, I already so that. Er, wait…. Owning a gun means what exactly? To whom? I know what owning a gun means to me, and I believe in that, but “The Code” doesn’t get to take credit for my beliefs via nebulously-worded phrase-work.

    Ultimately, Evolve doesn’t excite me, because I’m already doing what they purport to hope to do. I don’t need their help, and I don’t want to sit behind their organization to do the work for me. Perhaps it’s because I’m independent enough to get into guns in the first place, but this is something I’d rather do myself.

    I’ve been bringing the conversation about guns to friends, coworkers and neighbors. That conversation begins with the admission that I own firearms and an open invitation to expose them to the world of gun ownership on their own terms. That has included taking anti-gun people to a gun show, inviting them to the range, and teaching them about the laws and other consequences of gun ownership on me since I became a gun owner. While it’s inevitable that politics enter the picture to a certain degree, I actively avoid political discussion to the maximum extent that I can.

    What I’m really interested in is sharing my firearms hobby with them and giving them a window into the world of gun ownership. I’m not setting out to challenge belief structures; my personal project is more like show and tell. I do well enough to combat the misinformation campaigns of gun control camps with straightforward facts and personal anecdotes and let them incorporate that information on their own terms.

    Evolve is seeking to be yet another fund-gathering, opinion-peddling organization that would use the same old tired methods to broadcast what it thinks might be the middle ground. My approach is better because it’s respectful, personal, and focused on teaching rather than preaching. I’ve got no interest in donating money to some group to do the talking for me; I’d rather invest that money into my personal ammo funds for taking people shooting.

    • Indeed. I also keep loaded guns in my safes. Since I have a family and kids, I can’t leave loaded guns out, but I can keep them locked in my safe. In any kind of confrontation, I’ll move to the safes and grab a long gun at the first opportunity. That’s a violation of Evolves “code,” which they will probably never understand, because they were founded by anti-gunners who don’t understand self defense.

  48. Curious about the current relationship between Evolve and Coonan. Seems Coonan has removed all mention of Evolve from its web page, but Evolve still makes mention of Coonan, or at least did not too long ago. Anybody know if Coonan still remains officially aligned with these clowns? Not that it really matters. Coonan’s blind willingness to pledge their allegiance to such an obvious enemy of the 2nd Amendment was about all I needed to see to forever ignore them.

  49. I don’t trust ’em.

    But let’s say they really are neutral now. If they don’t start out as a pro-gun organization, they will probably “evolve” into an anti-gun one.

  50. I don’t need another group starting a conversation about gun safety and the four rules. NRA, 4H, and even the Boy Scouts are all over that and have been for many decades. We don’t need another “me too” out there lecturing people and trying to make a buck off of tragedies. Now, if they were actually training people and doing something practical on the ground like that, then fine. But just to be another self-appointed talking head? There’s already a glut on the world market, thank you very much.

    These groups that lack core founding principles end up going around looking for something to market. All too often that turns out to be another entrant into the hysteria and “Do something!” industry. Pass.

  51. I’ve said this a million times… Guns are not the proximate cause of shootings. You need to do a root cause analysis to find the underlying issues that cause “generic” violence before you can understand gun violence – like mental health, culture, drugs (both legal and illegal) and poverty. If you want to have a conversation about those then fine. Otherwise there is nothing I can learn from that I can’t learn from someone more trustworthy and knowledgeable. It’s your fear not mine, so stop asking me to go through the 12 step program as if I have a problem.

  52. I have this cake. It is a very nice cake, with “GUN RIGHTS” written across the top in lovely floral icing. I received it from the 2nd amendment and the Dick act of 1902.

    Along you come and say, “Give me that cake.” I say, “No, it’s my cake.” You say, “Let’s compromise. Give me half.” I respond by asking what I get out of this compromise, and you reply that I get to keep half of my cake.

    Okay, we compromise. Let us call this compromise The National Firearms Act of 1934.

    There I am with my half of the cake, and you walk back up and say, “Give me that cake.”

    I say, “No, it’s my cake.”

    You say, “Let’s compromise.” What do I get out of this compromise? Why, I get to keep half of what’s left of the cake I already own.

    So, we have your compromise — let us call this one the Gun Control Act of 1968 — and I’m left holding what is now just a quarter of my cake.

    And I’m sitting in the corner with my quarter piece of cake, and here you come again. You want my cake. Again.

    You say, “Let’s compromise once more.” What do I get out of this compromise? I get to keep one eighth of what’s left of the cake I already own?

    So, we have your compromise — let us call this one the Machine gun ban of 1986 — and I’m left holding what is now just an eighth of my cake.

    I sit back in the corner with just my eighth of cake that I once owned outright and completely, I glance up and here you come once more.

    You say nothing and just grab my cake; This time you take several bites — we’ll call this compromise the Clinton Executive Orders — and I’m left with about a tenth of what has always been MY DAMN CAKE and you’ve got nine-tenths of it.

    Then we compromised with the Lautenberg Act (nibble, nibble), the HUD/Smith and Wesson agreement (nibble, nibble), the Brady Law (NOM NOM NOM), the School Safety and Law Enforcement Improvement Act (sweet tap-dancing Freyja, my finger!)

    I’m left holding crumbs of what was once a large and satisfying cake, and you’re standing there with most of MY CAKE, making anime eyes and whining about being “reasonable”, and wondering “why we won’t compromise”.

  53. “Evolve exists to create neutral ground, where a new dialog can take place….To achieve any real movement towards this middle, both sides need to spend some time walking in each other’s shoes.”

    There is no movement towards any middle, none! Conceding to only a few of the demands by anti folks is no middle ground at all, it’s just backing down two steps, instead of ten. And, we would be fools to think they will not push for the other eight in due time.

    People before me conceded too much as far as I’m concerned, I was not alive, or too young to do anything about it.

    However, now that is not the case. I’m not budging one inch, point of fact, I’m in favor of digging in our heels and pushing back the other way.

  54. Smells like caca, tastes like caca, looks like caca, its a good thing we didn’t step in it!… nice try on the reboot, kind of reminds me of the heathcare website….

  55. Unloaded and locked up when not in use?
    At the ready is “in use” and I usually more than one at home “in use”

    When the grand-daughter visits, then only the one on my hip is “in use”.
    The others are “not usable” but could be in 2 1/2 minutes.

  56. Dear Evolve:

    I would love to believe that you are acting in good faith. But I’m a little skeptical about your re-set button and what that says about how many POTG you actually talked with or to (not at) before your initial launch. We will gladly talk with you about gun safety, Eddie Eagle, mental health issues, and keeping guns away from psychopaths. We will not be lectured to as incompetent boobs or malicious brigands and we will budge not. One. Inch. On our rights.

    Put it like this: A year ago, none of us knew who Shannon Watts was. She could have made the choice to not demonize gun owners or gun culture with crap like #gunbullies and #gunsense. She did not and made her choice. Even if she were to have a road to Damascus moment tomorrow – it’s too late for us to even consider listening to her.

    But hey – hope you’re different. I really do.

    • To set a ‘re-set’ button is harder than trying to spin a story. You may not always agree with us, but we will do everything to talk straight about what we are trying to do and engage as many gun owners in the conversation to talk safety ideas. We are not liberals in ivory creative towers.

  57. So they get caught for their true anti-gun grabbing agenda, so they again pretended to “clean-up” their original gun hate message and say this time that it is just all about safety, not going after the guns….. where did we hear this before!
    WAKE-UP PEOPLE, THIS GROUP IS SUPPORTED BY PIERS MORGAN! That in itself is proof enough who is behind the curtain in this BS group! Just like what happen in the UK when hunting groups sided with the devil assuming that they would get to keep their guns! Total BS! Thw NRA finally has some real balls and standing up to fight for our most treasured firearms (semi-autos) directly because the NRA realized that they almost lost all their support for staying quiet and allowing the 94 assault weapon ban. Now, the NRA is fighting, making up for their past mistakes and due to this they have gained 2 million more members in less than 14 months…. it is scaring the gun grabbers and the PTB and they are extremely worried that we will soon over-turn the NFA and the illegal 1986 Hughes Amendment. If you haven’t watched this blatantly illegal vote, please click this link but be warned, you will be outraged at what they did:

  58. How will Evolve help us in a potential future engagement of Asymmetrical Warfare (the reason for the Second Amendment)?

  59. Anyone who seriously uses the term “gun violence”is lying, ignorant, or debunking agit-prop.

    If you are concerned about accidental deaths through negligence, then swimming pools should be the first concern. If you care about criminal violence then you have to recognize the 88 million non criminal gun owners as a totally separate group from criminals.

    There is no gun violence, there is only violence. Violent people use any weapon that is handy; gun, knife, bat, or fist. A violent person is violent because they are willing to engage in unprovoked violence, not because of what they happen to be holding.

    • We respect your opinion to disagree with our message, approach or not liking the colors of our logo. We can respectfully disagree. That aside, our organization has done every bit of our work through pro-bono volunteer services and self-funding. There are people from all parts of the country — gun owners and not — who have worked together to conceive Evolve. Saatchi&Saatchi is our agency of record and we are completely transparent about how our work is being done. It is categorically wrong to say we have any affiliations or outside funding. We hope that in spite of skepticism you will continue to look at our work and consider any new ideas around safety.

      • “We can respectfully disagree. …”

        No, we can’t. You either agree that the Right of the People to Keep and Bear Arms Shall Not Be Infringed or you’re a traitor to the Constitution of the United States of America.

        “…any new ideas around safety.”

        There is no need. The Four Rules of Firearm Safety are working quite well already, thank you very much. In case you’ve forgotten or never bothered to learn them:


        We’ll welcome anyone who bothers to read and understand the Constitution and the Four Rules.

        Any other “discussion” is nothing more than an attempt to skirt the Constitution, and is unacceptable.

      • Is Saatchi&Saatchi, one of the most expensive advertising agencies on the planet, working for you pro-bono?

      • Really?

        Some guns are probably safer than others, all things being equal. I guess if they are REALLY in favor of safety, logically they should be encouraging people to buy the newest most advanced designs on the market. Basically more Berettas but fewer Tokarevs. What about guns with DA/SA versus glock type firing mechanisms? Why is there no discussion about that?

        When these guys first got started I was curious and contacted them. I recommended that any defensive gun be equipped with a flashlight and a laser to eliminate false or wrong target scenarios. Why no mention of that sensible idea? Again, newer guns have rails for mounting such devices.

        I hear crickets chirping on those issues.

        Of course there is another larger problem–self defense. If your gun is purely for sporting purposes such as marksmanship or hunting, this code might appear to make some sense. If the crime rate is close to zero where you live, this might be harmless or at least the same risk level as keeping a loaded gun locked up. Most gun owners already do this anyway with guns that have no practical application for self defense. It’s not a significant problem. Single shot, black powder, NFA weapons and rimfire guns are already treated this way in the very majority of cases unless there are no alternatives whatsoever.

        Nevertheless, millions of people carry concealed or live in high crime areas. Obviously, in such cases you only have a split second to act. You might even have to shoot from a bent elbow position or fend of an attacker with one hand whilst firing from the other. Keeping a gun locked up and unloaded is foolish under such situations. In times of unrest, you might even have to literally sleep with your gun in a holster, with locked doors or an alarm to wake you up before something happens.

        Let’s say you go for that code. A criminal takes advantage of your lack of speed, maybe just 5 seconds or so. Now a dangerous sociopath has killed or disabled you and NOW has captured your weapons to do whatever they want.

        File that one under unintended consequences!!

        The point is that each of the 85 million gun owners with over 300 million guns between them is an individual with a unique life history, unique problems and lives in a unique location. No two neighborhoods are identical.

        Arrogantly trying to slam one code of conduct on such a diverse group of people and families infringes on the constitution and the 2nd amendment regardless of the innocent intentions of this evolve organization and many of its members.

  60. Well, I didn’t read all the comments so I may be repeating something somebody else said. It was all very clear to me when I read what they wrote for TTAG. All “responsibility” for both accidents and gun violence was to be blamed on gun owners. I knew right away what this was. We aren’t that stupid. I didn’t see anything blaming anti’s for being the friends of murderers and rapists that they are. I didn’t see anything saying they would work to educate antis on how all studies on gun violence show clearly that gun control increases murder and rape in an amount that is statistically significant and proven well with over 100 other variables (possible causes) eliminated through statistical techniques (read Lott’s work and not just articles talking about it – read the criticisms of his work and then read his clear answers – and tell people no when they say that the studies are old – they were updated for data up to 2008 and ask them what they know about Obama’s own study that finished in April of this year – oh, haven’t heard about it? Wonder why?). One of the reasons we have for getting angry is that the evidence is not just a tiny a bit on our side but overwhelmingly on our side. Even in England (where violent crime has nearly doubled and their highly modified murder rate is only 2/10ths of a percent off ours), courts are now allowing lawsuits against the government for the death of innocents because the confiscation of guns essentially caused the deaths. Hopefully, we are close to that here (from a point of view of courts allowing the suits). One of the reasons the antis are so fired up is that the very last measure where England is ahead of us is on track to be worse than us in two to three years. (1.15 per 100,000 and rising versus our 1.35 per 100,000 and falling measure). At that point, they will have no way to point at England and say anything is better with almost 8 times more rape and slightly higher murder and gun crime rates and overall violent crime nearly double. Unfortunately, people aren’t very good at understanding numbers, social science applied to policy decisions, and statistics. Plus, fake stats are used in headlines and assumptions and logical fallacies are used in the media all the time to remove peoples’ ability to think for themselves. The media has also convinced the people in the middle that the second amendment is not all that big a deal. I hope that we can come up with some kind of education campaign that reaches people in the middle with the evidence. The antis have already made it an emotional case and we will have to work much harder with the facts.

  61. Directly from their code:

    “I believe that owning a gun is not just a right, it’s a responsibility.”
    “I believe that while anyone can own a gun, real gun owners use their heads.”
    “I will keep all of my guns unloaded, locked, and properly stored when not in use.”

    If my gun is unloaded, locked, and properly stored when not in use, does that mean I can ask the thugs that just kicked my door in to wait a few minutes until I unlock my gun, load it, then proceed to defend my family? Uh…negative lady, nice try though.

  62. After reading the article, most of the comments and the efforts of my wife and I to introduce others to the shooting sports, I have come to the following two conclusions:
    1: We need to be out among the neutrals. There are a lot of people out there who are truly neutral on the subject of gun ownership. Many of those people have some interest, of varying degrees, about guns and shooting. There are also those with a general negative view, but who are open to having their opinions changed. My wife and I have been fortunate to work with a number of neutrals with some interest in shooting and have brought them into the crowd that is very enthusiastic about safety, shooting, gun ownership and understanding why we have the 2A. If this new organization can help facilitate more of these activities they will prove themselves worthy of our help, support and friendship. If not, then we know that they truly are not our friends.
    2: We need abandon the overly generalized term “Gun Safety” which can mean almost anything the anti’s want to make it and sighted in many of the previous posts. I suggest we adopt “Safe Gun Handling”. This is an action that people must do if they are interested in participating in the shooting sports. It doesn’t mean anything more that the rules that we have all learned, whether it be the NRA rules, Hunter Safety, Appleseed, etc. Because it is an action, it necessitates interaction with a firearm. Many newbie’s are a little afraid of handling a firearm for the first time. This quickly changes to excitement when the rules of “Safe Gun Handling” and firearm operation are explained. These are the people who are soon asking for help shopping for their first firearm and want to know where they can take more classes and wanting to join the gun club that you belong to. This will bring more people to our side than the shrill alarmist anti’s will ever be able to bring to their side.

  63. You know, I am a NRA member and a gun owner. I find it ridiculous that a few numb nuts can be so ignorant as to think that this organization has a secret agenda. What is wrong with promoting gun safety? Why is it hard for my fellow NRA members to believe they are neutral. The few unreasonable people can’t be convinced of anything else. I believe we can actually increase our membership if we can be a little reasonable to this organization. they aren’t gun grabbers like Bloomberg, DiBlassio, and other anti-gunners. I think people who are so staunch in their stance on issues on either side are the problem. People who want to be the gun grabbers and the gun owners who are totally unreasonable and are suspicious of every organization are equally unreasonable and are the reason we will eventually lose our right as gun owners.

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