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I’ve made numerous attempts to engage gun control advocates in open debate over the years. After a brief Twitter battle with Brady Campaign campaigner Colin Goddard, I invited the Virginia Tech shooting survivor to continue our “discussion” in front of a live audience. Goddard hemmed and hawed and eventually went radio silent. In May of 2014, I went on Gun Victims Action Council jefe Elliot Fineman’s radio show [click here to listen]. After that confounding confrontation, I asked Elliot for a public rematch. Never happened. More recently . . .

I received a Facebook message from a leader of a national anti-gun group (who shall remain nameless). When he insisted that pro-gunners wanted to deny anti-gunners a platform for their message, I said not true, and put it to you, our Armed Intelligentsia. The line of communication between us went dead the second TTAG’s Question of the Day post on his assertion went live.

This pattern is repeated over and over again. Pro-gunners like NRA commentator Colion Noir reach out to anti-gunners like Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America queen bee Shannon Watts. Let’s hash it out, the pro-folks suggest. The antis ignore the request. At the same time, they ban dissenting voices from their Facebook pages, Twitter feeds and YouTube accounts. They hide from anything remotely resembling honest debate.

Because they’d lose the argument? Yes, well, there is that. When the facts about gun control are clearly presented they clearly favor firearms freedom. But it’s more than that. The antis’ refusal to face the people they seek to disarm reveals significant character weakness. Not to put too fine a point on it, gun control advocates are cowards.

Like all bullies, deep down, gun control advocates are afraid. They’re not afraid of “gun violence,” or armed retaliation, or armed insurrection, or even guns per se. The Truth About Bullies at tells us the truth about anti-gun bullies.

The public perception of bullying is that bullies are acting out to cover their own fears. They may indeed be afraid, but accepting this as a reason makes bullies sound like victims of their fears — like we’re supposed to feel sorry for them and not hold them responsible for their abusive actions.

The issue is not whether bullies are afraid. Bullies bully other people to feel powerful around them and to feel power over them. Bullies start out feeling like zeroes, like nobodies. When they intimidate, threaten or hurt someone else, then they feel like somebody. The key is the feeling of power.

Shannon Watts was “just another stay-at-home mom” before she re-invented herself as the leader of the Million Mom March for Gun Control (as MDA was originally called). Colin Goddard was just another Virginia Tech student before his survival made him a renowned not-to-say-revered anti-gun campaigner. Elliot Fineman was just another dad before his son was brutally murdered by a crazed gunman. And so on.

A proper debate would confront these former nobodies woth people who don’t acknowledge or respect their power – with disastrous results. If a pro-gun Toto pulled back the curtain on an anti’s Great and Powerful Oz act their emotion-driven acolytes might pay attention to the man or woman flipping levers behind that curtain. They’d see the truth about guns. The crusader’s cred would crumble.

Don’t get me wrong: the majority of the people who follow these anti-gun bullies are not cowards. As Jim Hightower observed, the opposite of bravery is not cowardice. It’s conformity. If the pro-gun side can make the right to keep and bear arms gun rights a cultural backdrop for everyday life, the majority will conform to the norm. Of course, that statement, like the ones preceeding it, is open to debate.

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  1. Most antigunners are cowards but not for the reasons you state. They are moral cowards who expect someone else to lay down their lives for them without having to take responsibility for their own safety first.

      • This is spot on. I have read ttag almost every day for the last 1.5 years. Not once have I seen an anti-gun comment. I have been following anti-gun hate since i could buy a gun, not once have I lost an argument.

    • I rolled my eyes at “the reason behind bullying/ anti-gun/whatever” There are a lot of reasons people do a lot of things, but people always want a short, simple, one word answer for life’s most complex problems.

      • The data from Pew show that the huge majority of Democrats, and virtually all female Democrats (and that is the core of the gun control movement) are certain US gun murder is up, when it has plunged.

        That particular flat earth belief points to the movement being based on a paranoid and false view – on the core metric.

        And the Yale cultural cognition project did find that there is a sharp fear/disgust reaction among supporters of gun control to images of guns.

        It is in fact virtually all an irrational, fear based movement. The science and data show it is.

  2. Yes, well, dissenting views may be expressed in (and only in) the provided “Free Speech Zones,” conveniently located a mile or so from the planned motorcade route…

    It’s not even as “noble” as cowardice; their tactic, pure and simple, is to establish and grow their power base by any means necessary. Dissenting views are by definition contrary to that goal will not be tolerated.

    Bush the Junior, Mao, Putin, Watts, Blair and so on.

  3. Like most bullies, anti-gun activists don’t want a fair fight.

    They know that in a fair forum, their fear and anecdotals don’t hold up against logic, science and reason

    Robert, you’re wasting your time with these people. Bigots are going to bigot.


  4. Thank you RF, for all the good you do, and keep up the fine work. You know you are on target when the flak is heaviest, and the battle is not over, but the tide is turning, and we can expect them “to double down to push through the resistance” (Alinsky) while “going under the radar” (Obama to Brady) with more abuse of executive power.

    The proof is that the resperate pushback by the anti’s against all “gun nuts” (as if American gun owners are evil, crazy, etc) is matched only by their fear to engage on the facts, by those who are not afraid to speak the Truth About Guns.

    There is more than individual cowardice going on. Clearly, there are heavily funded corporate interests on the anti-gun lobby side, in the news media industry, first and in the non-profit faux think tanks and echo chambers that depend upon them for revenue, in exchange or access to content.

    When Fedgov access is controlled, and doled out, the news corprations have to comply with the “shaping” and censoring of the story, as in this Obama Administration’s agitprop for progressive power.

    The alternative to propaganda, is truth, and as long as freedom loving citizens thirst for the facts, the truth will out, eventually.

    Note to readers: if you haven’t read “Stonewalled” by Sharyl Atkisson, do yourself a favor and make it a New Years resolution to do so, now.

    You can thank me later.

  5. It’s always about feelings, not facts. And they don’t want to hear facts, because it conflicts with those ‘feelings’.
    They want an open dialogue, yet they ban you from their sites if you try to open that dialogue.
    Yes, they are control freak cowards who want that certain ‘feeling’ to not be disconcerted with or by anyone.

    • One of the most blatant cowards is Rejina Sincic who created that ‘steal Mom’s gun and bring it to school’ YouTube video. The ratings and comments were over 99% negative and she then deletes it and reposts it with ratings and comments disabled!

      • Bob , not only were comments suspended, but as yet no charges have been brought for possession of a real or Co2 pistol on school grounds by Sleeper 13 productions. ( Like David Gregory in DC ) The cowards zero tolerance claims are a one way street. Again.

  6. “Selfishness is not living your life as you wish, it is asking others to live their lives as you wish” — Oscar Wilde

    Pretty much sums up the anti-gun control freaks.

  7. ” A proper debate would confront these former nobodies with people who don’t acknowledge or respect their power – with disastrous results.”

    Excellent statement, I totally agree, and think this is the biggest reason why they wont settle in for a debate. They’re not looking for a debate or argument, they’re looking to preach. Not just preach, but preach to those who are either already converted or those who will not speak back. I find this interesting because I have run across many types of people like this in my life, dealing with many other issues other than gun control or politics in general.

    • “former nobodies” indeed – gun control is one of the few venues where having been a victim somehow makes you an expert on the topic. I’ve had cancer and been in car and motorcycle wrecks – but nobody gives two hoots about my technical opinions on oncology or vehicle safety. But if I got shot in the butt by a gang banger, suddenly I’m an expert on gun control. Unless I don’t happen to support it.

      • I’m surprised no one else supported your comment…your comparison is totally on target! Mind if I use that in my continuing effort to “discuss” Second Amendment rights with the antis?

  8. The truth is treason in the empire of lies…that’s why they don’t want to debate you…or anyone who thinks differently. It would expose their position (and jeopardize their livelihood, in some cases) …like the occupy Wall Street crowd, they have a personal need to feel that they are relevant. That being said, I am sure many truly believe their position is right and justified…they may be misguided, misinformed and/or misdirected, but many feel they are doing the right thing. I do think however, that “we” as the pro-2A crowd (RF et al) should continue their outreach in an attempt to get them to engage in an educated discussion. For one, it helps to undermine the meme that they can’t get our side to have a discussion about the issues, but it also shows that we’re taking the high road and reaching out our hand in an attempt to actually have a factual discussion (rather than just call it a discussion) about some very serious issues. We’ll likely never get many to change their minds, but in the court of public opinion for the remaining citizenry who haven’t taken a staunch position on the issue, any opportunity to enlighten and educate those who have yet to succumb to the siren call of Hoppe’s #9, can only benefit us.

  9. All well said. To add on , We all must counter the ” free pass ” the anti’s get in most types of media. There is an ” entitlement mentality ” to not being called out on the Blatant lies and Distortions that abound. After Giffords was attacked, the left said gun rights folk ,and conservative talk was to blame. Yet when their own ranks call for violence , or dead cop’s , well that’s to be accepted without question. NO. Not gonna happen. If you hear something-say something !!

  10. “…deny anti-gunners a platform.”

    That’s rich! I read several gunnie blogs, sites, compendiums on a daily basis. It seems to be about a 25:1 ratio of items dealing with the anti-gun activities; news articles, LTEs, editorials, etc. And while typing this, Fox News just ran a “safe gun storage” PSA.

    You cannot get away from the antis agitation, propaganda and anger.

    No platform? Gimme a break!

  11. Anyone who has ever seen a hoplophobic twit quake in fear at the mere mention of a gun knows the truth. Like the NYC father of the year who didn’t want his daughter even knowing how to spell “gun,” all wingnuts are cowards. And they’re not too smart either.

    And then there are the men who control the anti-gun “movement” and the useful idiots who join it. Men like Bloomberg and his billionaire pals, the directors of the Joyce Foundation etc. They aren’t cowards and they aren’t stupid. They are, however, among the worst people in the world.

  12. To be fair, it’s just easier to run away from any conflict, instead of facing it head on. Or think someone else should do it for you, preferable with the power of force if necessary.

  13. Some red-neck rules: 1. Always look bullies straight in the eyes. 2. Never back down in front of a bully. 3. If you have to fight, then fight to win. 4. Even if you get butt-whupped, make sure you’ve hit hard enough that the bully knows he’s been in a real fight. Please note that these are transcendent rules which extend far beyond actual physical confrontations. They are as valid for the internecine bureaucratic conflicts of adults as they are for back-yard fist-fights between 12 year-olds. Although they’d probably never admit it, you can even see The Rules at work in the Oxford Union debates. Ted Cruz has my admiration because he both understands and uses The Rules in his politics. Adapted as needed for life’s vicissitudes, they are rules for living a proper life.

    The thing about gun-control activists, Robert, is that they are usually driven by a specific social-psychological condition called “status anxiety”. Simply put, they are deathly afraid that they are losing the respect from others which they are accustomed to having or which they think they deserve. They behave like bullies—are bullies—because the coercion and intimidation we often see gives them an arena were they can feel powerful. Your challenges to a head-up, shields-down, debate takes that essential intimidating influence away from them. So, of course, they don’t want to talk to you. Just the fact you standing there making the challenge is disturbing, enough. You make them pee their pants.

  14. So Shannon must have REALLY started sucking wind when Kroger told her Mommy nanny patrols to take a hike for the umpteenth time.

    Bloomberg must have had heart palpations; good thing his armed guards were nearby to settle him down. Too bad industry building doesn’t satisfy his power ego, life isn’t complete unless he can boss around ALL the little people including those who don’t work for him – for their own good, of course.

  15. I actually began a meaningful debate with a liberal….he/she/it swore we could have a meaningful discussion about gun control and find common ground…..I agreed and began with the softball question of “If the gun control crowd is opposed to guns, why don’t they simply not buy them..sort of like boycotting a product they dont like”. (Because liberals love to do that shit )

    He came back with a comment.. something about my mother… so that pretty much sums up my experience with them…

    • The closest I ever got to an actual debate involved the anti mostly repeating proven-false data and changing the subject when I pointed out the falsity and asked why they couldn’t just use real data if they were really on the factually-right side of the issue. Then at some point, repeating the same proven-false data, and accusing me of “quibbling” when I again pointed out the falsity. Oh, and trying to shore up her not-anti-gun bona fides by invoking her “avid hunter” brother and dad (they are never just hunters, they are always “avid” hunters), who didn’t mind going through a background check on the one or two occasions in their lives (her words) when they bought a gun. So why should anyone else mind? For all its faults, that was the closest thing to a logical argument she made.

    • I’ve had quite a few decent debates with antis on Reddit, whose population is surprisingly largely pro-gun. Mainly the antis are Euros who worship the state and it’s monopoly of force. I had one guy from Germany ask why an example of a local single mother with an infant who defended herself with a shotgun against two armed intruders in rural Oklahoma was not charged with anything. I had to get the floorjack out of my garage to put my jaw back in place. But now, nothing surprises me with antis and their complete disconnect from reality. They believe they live as though it’s at the pleasure of the state.

      But, believe it or not, I’ve had a couple come around to see liberty in a new light.

  16. You know, it’s really true. I went to the Americans for Responsible Solutions site looking for a way to contact them to ask a question. They don’t have a real “contact us” button there, they have a button to click for the press to arrange interviews. they also have a dire warning that if you try to initiate any other kind of contact you will be “reported” to “the authorities” or some such . I’ve never seen the like of it at any other kind of site. They are as afraid of any kind of debate as they are of any kind of firearms.

  17. Elliot Fineman and Colin Goddard can easily be explained:

    “Passionate hatred can give meaning and purpose to an empty life. Thus people haunted by the purposelessness of their lives try to find a new content not only by dedicating themselves to a holy cause but also by nursing a fanatical grievance. A mass movement offers them unlimited opportunities for both.” — Eric Hoffer

    With Shannon Watts, not so much:

    “One day I’m a prostitute and the next day I’m a nun. Where else could you get instant conversion like that?” — Lois Bootsin

  18. Oh, I think the heads of the gun control groups are in the business to make money from their supporting plutocrats and their endowments. Debating is not their style because their is no profit in that. The gun control groups are targeting the sheep. Sort of reminds me of a cult. The plutocrats are interested in gun control as they are not only interested in economic power, but are interested in acquiring government power. Of course government employees and politicians are interested in gun control to cement their power over the masses.

  19. its because they are irrational and they know it. they know they are going to be hit with facts and they can not legitimately respond. its the same thing when you debate fundamentalist/fanatical theists. Eventually they shut down to logic and facts and just say “you just don’t understand”. All we can do is expose them for their irrational mindset. that will show potential followers that they are not reality based concerns/views. Because if they are irrational then by definition they do not value facts, so showing them facts is useless.

  20. I have a friend who is rabidly anti-gun, and every time I try to engage her in a debate I attempt to use logic, and facts to back up my arguments. This quickly devolves into ad hominem attack on her part. She directs her profanity laced diatribes at “people who love guns”, and not me personally, but I know it pisses her off. She’s a Progressive, and I’ve all but given up on converting her. She’s just too invested in the Left-Right paradigm to let go of it.


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