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Stephanie Miller of Atlanta, buys guns and ammunition. Miller said she had been on the fence about guns but with recent events she decided to buy guns. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
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By Kerry Slone

With over 8 million new firearm owners in 2020 (almost half being women), we have an opportunity to make an impact on elected representatives who push for gun control laws. These new gun owners, regardless of their personal reasons for deciding to purchase a firearm, all have one thing in common: the potential to become fierce advocates for the Second Amendment.

While their reasons for ownership no doubt vary greatly, one factor is most often voiced as the underlying motive: fear.

Fear comes in many forms; whether created by the media, witnessing periods of protests, violence and rioting across America, reading that cities are defunding law enforcement, or simply the fear of the unknown, it has brought millions of people to realize that they alone are responsible for their own safety.

While a large majority of longtime firearms owners understand this, there is a huge disconnect regarding the correlation fundamental to the right of self-defense and gun control legislation, especially among new firearm owners.

Knowing this disconnect exists, enter the Giffords Law Center. As The Truth About Guns has reported, Gabby Giffords and her band of merry gun-grabbers have tried to exploit the lack of a cohesive voice amongst gun owners and has created a new organization: Gun Owners for Safety. This ginned up operation is aimed at new firearm owners and the Fudd community in general. They claim to unite “hunters, sport shooters, and collectors who want commonsense gun laws.”

You may be thinking it’s just another AstroTurf anti-gun group. So what? They aren’t going to take MY guns. I don’t care. But you really should.

From many within the gun community, the only reactions were another round of laughter, eye rolls and fingers pointed at the Fudds and those who incessantly post and comment on social media to the effect that, “No one under 21 needs a Gun” and “If you need 30 rounds, you’re a terrible hunter.”

It has become a predictable game being played in plain view. However, the game is changing and the changes are similar to the differences between checkers and chess. Giffords intends to exploit firearm owners’ resistance to change by leveraging the latest group of gun owners who have not yet been inculcated in the gun community.

With gun control groups being very well funded, well organized, and well versed in their talking points, they playing this new game by not focusing on the “old guard” gun owner. Instead, they have their sights on the back line of the chess board, the 8 million-plus people new to firearm ownership within the past year.

They have already started playing a new version of their game, strategically placing their pieces on the board, while the majority of gun owners have no idea this new organization exists, let alone how they are changing the game.

As a firearm instructor and educator, I inevitably have at least four or five students in every class who believe that there are such things as “good gun control laws” and if you are a law-abiding citizen, there’s no reason not to support them. As a way to help reshape the narrative, I explain how those “good gun control laws” can and will negatively impact them and their rights.

Humans are inherently self-focused. Most people who don’t own guns, or those who have recently purchased their first firearm, are likely looking at gun control in part from the perspective of “what’s best for society” or “If it saves just one life, it’s worth it.” These are the justifications gun control activists use to justify their abrogation of individuals’ gun rights.

Individuals who are new to gun ownership don’t usually stop to analyze the impacts of how these laws will affect their lives personally. Once they realize that these “good gun control laws” have the potential to impact their ability to defend themselves and their families, it’s amazing to see the paradigm shift.

While that in itself is a success, they frequently still don’t grasp that even if they don’t support gun control laws, they must also look more critically at the politicians they support.

Part of our responsibility as longtime firearm owners is to help these new gun owners understand that the “D” or “R” behind the politician’s name doesn’t necessarily mean that they won’t support passing limits on their Second Amendment rights.

As Firearms Policy Coalition recently highlighted, January 2021 set a record for the highest number of firearm background checks initiated through the FBI with 4,317,804…quite remarkable. But how do we begin to reach these new gun owners? We always see the statistic that there are over 100 million gun owners in the United States. But the NRA lists only five million members—what about all the others?

First and foremost, we must get out of our own echo chambers. We can give speeches, and create social media posts all day long about the folly and harm of gun control, but the reality is that we are only speaking to those who agree.

We need to look beyond the “2A community” and find ways to reach the 95 plus percent of gun owners in America who aren’t in the industry, or active in “the community.” So how exactly do we accomplish this?

Here are a few ways to reach new firearm owners. Some are easier than others, but all are effective.

The most often overlooked way, but the one with the highest impact potential, is by creating relationships with your community and using the opportunity to become a resource, not an adversary, about firearms and gun control.

When was the last time you spoke to your neighbors for more than a minute or two? Yes, this takes a willingness to engage and a time commitment, but considering your inalienable right to own firearms is at stake, it’s time well spent. Start by doing some community outreach in crime prevention, education of situational awareness, and fundamental safety — in other words: don’t lead with the gun.

A second approach is to become active in local politics. Your city and county are the best places to prevent small scale attacks on Second Amendment rights, as well as blocking politicians who support gun control from moving into state, or national positions where they are harder to defeat and replace.

Finally, consider becoming a firearms instructor. But don’t solely teach operation and maintenance. Incorporate use of force consequences, de-escalation tactics, conflict avoidance, and rather than focusing solely on current gun laws, emphasize to your students how these laws negatively impact them personally.

As both the number and demographics of firearms ownership continue to change, one of the most positive things to happen in the past year is that we as gun owners and Second Amendment advocates have been presented with an unprecedented, unique opportunity to shift from defense to offense regarding the gun control debate.

Through your commitment to outreach and education, we are in a position to prevent organizations like Giffords Courage and others, from manipulating both new firearm owners and longtime owners who remain unengaged, into supporting laws that will infringe upon their ability to defend themselves and their families. We must also realize that the fight to protect our Second Amendment is a marathon, not a sprint, and success lies in longterm commitment.

We must become comfortable being uncomfortable; making the conscious decision to leave our comfort zones, and reach across party lines while embracing and educating new firearm owners to help them realize these politically motivated and well-funded organizations and politicians do not have their best interests in mind.

The future history of the Second Amendment is up to us…We the People. We must be the change we want to see. We must unite to defend our inalienable right to keep and bear arms that’s guaranteed by the Second Amendment and finally end the debate that has been under constant attack since 1791.

 

Kerry Slone is the Founder of We The Female, a non-profit organization created to both empower and provide personal security and firearm safety education to women.

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72 COMMENTS

  1. Yup, they did the easy part, now let’s see how how serious they were! Need to make the new kids understand that without the second, they can do anything they want with the rest!!

  2. The easiest way is to simply expose the inability of enforcement, compesation, and what exactly the gun laws describe as an ‘assault weapon’. A lot of people are flabbergasted when I explain the details of NFA regulations.

    Basically, make anti gunners go into explicit detail of their proposals. It usually turns people off.

  3. Yeap…..like those liberal politicians that carry but are against “WE” the people from carrying.

  4. Here’s how…Gun Control in any shape or form is rooted in racism and genocide. That means the people who march around for Gun Control are marching around for what is a racist and nazi based agenda.
    In other words Gun Control in any shape or form walks hand in hand with slavery, segregation, Jim Crow, lynching, Eugenics, concentration camps and other race based atrocities.

    The ugly history of Gun Control is well documented and the stench of it should be more than enough frighten off both gun owners and non gun owners.

    • Geezus, I really dont think you could be more of a boomer if you tried. No one besides you and idiot leftist retards like Moron69er are thinking about evil NATZEES or Jim Crow laws when it comes to gun control. It’s conservative suburban and urban white, black and brown people seeing communist anarchist shitheels like antifa and blm rioting, looting and assaulting people without consequences in the cities that are making more people buy guns. It’s also idiot leftists like Moron69er and the current kid sniffer in chief who encourage antitfa and blm activity while criticizing or politicizing any white person, aka Kyle Rittenhouse, who uses a firearm to defend themselves from the communist horde. The constant threat of serious gun legislation is also causing more people to buy guns because people on whole want something when they know there is a chance it might be prohibitively harder to get. You boomer conservatives disgust me almost as much as the commies/leftists like Moron69er who infest these comment boards.

      • If this comment was addressed to me, I could care less if you or anybody else on this board consider me racist or not. It’s okay to be White. It’s okay to be White and be proud of being white. I hope that clears up any lingering doubts. As an addendum, if you are commie simp like Moron69er, I detest you regardless of your race.

        • That ain’t addressed to you. It’s for Debbie…. I’m gonna start calling her Alberta Sharpton…..

  5. Some specific ideas of how to deal with “good gun laws”, however….

    Chasing unicorns is, well, chasing unicorns.

    But if it saves only one, maybe it is worth it.

  6. Frankly, I would have assumed that their new ownership of guns (if indeed they didn’t already own weapons) didn’t require that much convincing that their rights require defense.

    But that’s just me.

    • True, it’s largely anecdotal evidence, but a very reasonable conclusion. After 100+ day of non-stop rioting, burning, looting, harassing, followed by “defund the police” & Joey-Jo-Jo Biden, millions of fence-sitters finally got off their collective arse.

  7. O. K…. so I’m kinda torn. My neighbor suspects that I might be one of those “gun guys” and he just got an old ” s&w 38 police revolver” from his f.i.l.’s estate , and he”guesses” that I have an “in” at the nearest gun range, and maybe I could show him “how to shoot ” said recently acquired gun in case “shit cumz down”.So my question is, what’s is the maximum total sum of quotation marks allowed before you tell him “SORRY BRO, you dun screwed the pooch” at the ballot box and you’re one your own…” good luck bro” ?? Not trying to be a dick, because I know I’ve already attained that status… so how much shit do others put up with before you can say “Yeah, fuck off ,douche plunger ?”

      • Might I suggest that you take the plunger to the range for a couple reasons. 1) You can try to instill basic firearms safety so that he doesn’t fire a negligent discharge into your home. 2) Use the time together to correct his political views. “You think it’s hard getting ammo now? Image how hard it will be when the ammo companies are sued out of existence because some criminal used their product to kill somebody, and the Dems repealed PLCAA to let the lawyers sue people who had nothing to do with the crime.”

    • You’re obviously free to do whatever you want, but all of us were new to guns at some point. I had 12 years on active duty before I bought my first pistol – go figure. Take him to the range. You might gain an awesome ally next door.
      If it doesn’t work out, you really haven’t lost anything except part of your ammo stash.

  8. Good ideas presented in the above essay, but there is something even more important: election law and process reform. We all know that Biden is in power and that the Senate was lost to the CCP due to massive, pervasive, illegal, unconstitutional, treasonous cheating. We need rapid, forceful, and effective election reform. Florida did it years ago; their model worked this past November. Texas rejected Dominion voting systems because they were not secure. If we do not fix the electoral process, we cannot hope for a return to a Constitutional government.

    Right now, the CCP:
    — Controls the House
    — Has equal sway in the Senate
    — Controls the Executive branch
    — Controls the Justice Dept. (yes, I know it is under the Executive Branch but it is especially noteworthy that Federal Law enforcement has persistently prosecuted the right while ignoring the riots, arson, and regular violence of the left)
    — Has intimidated the Judiciary into hiding under their beds.

    If we want to preserve not only the 2A, but the entire Constitution, we need a vehement, unwavering, uncompromising, loud, spectacular fight for election reform.

    Yes, I own stock in adjectives. The more I use, the higher the dividends. Gerunds, also.

    • While your condemning Things, It would be nice if you extended that to the nut jobs on our side of the line. Rioters on the Right are not anymore a desired outcome.Nor any thing new gun owners want a association too.

    • “the Senate was lost to the CCP due to massive, pervasive, illegal, unconstitutional, treasonous cheating“

      That’s quite the claim, what is your evidence to back up your assertion?

      Which particular senators were elected through this “treasonous cheating” you speak of?

      Why haven’t you provided this evidence to the authorities so that the criminals can be prosecuted?

  9. Best way to convince new gun owners that we all aren’t waiting to overthrow the republic or take an AR to their kids school just to show we can would be to tone down the rhetoric. The election was not stolen. People who don’t like guns aren’t “fudds” but people like you and me.
    Don’t believe me? Try showing the comments page from this site to a new gun owner. Freaks them out, and not in a good way.

    • joe America,

      I’ve spent too much time looking at the evidence to agree with you about whether the election was stolen. However, if you have not spent dozens of hours (yes, that many) going through it, I can understand why you think that way.

      You are correct, we win hearts-and-minds one person at a time by being friendly, approachable, and courteous. But we need to keep in mind there is a well-organized, highly financed, politically astute, nation-wide effort to disarm the public. Not just to control guns, but to take them away. They are loud; they are persistent; they are politically powerful.

    • “….The election was not stolen..”

      So you would say it was a fair and honest election?, because when the SCOTUS REFUSED to hear a case from a State against another State because of “Standing” the Constitution was severely damaged, maybe unrepairable.
      Roberts must be impeached and removed.

      • Manse,

        Two thumbs up!

        Over 40 courts have refused to hear the evidence. NONE denied there was evidence; ALL found procedural reasons not to hear it. Makes me wonder how many justices received credible threats against their families.

        Agree on Roberts. Dereliction of duty at a minimum.

    • Joe, asking commenters on this site to tone down the rhetoric is a lot like asking Facebook to be non-biased. It’s not going to happen. In my opinion the best way to influence people who had never previously been exposed to firearms is to take them to the range and show them the way to safely use their new firearms. Use yourself as the example of being a responsible firearm owner/user and that not every gun owner is an extremist.

    • If one claims to be a constitutionalist, they must follow the mandate of the United States Constitution which directs that the United States Supreme Court is the ultimate arbiter of all issues under law in the United States of America.

      “According to the Washington Post here , instead of alleging “widespread fraud or election-changing conspiracy” the lawsuits pushed by Trump’s team and allies focused on smaller complaints, which were largely dismissed by judges due to a lack of evidence. “The Republicans did not provide evidence to back up their assertions — just speculation, rumors or hearsay.”

      On Nov 27, 2020 a federal appeals court rejected a Trump campaign proposal to block Biden from being declared the winner of Pennsylvania. ( here ). At the time, Stephanos Bibas, on behalf of the three-judge panel wrote: “Free, fair elections are the lifeblood of our democracy. Charges of unfairness are serious. But calling an election unfair does not make it so.” It added: “Charges require specific allegations and then proof. We have neither here.”

      https://www.google.com/amp/s/mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUSKBN2AF1G1

        • writ of mandamus.
          obvious evidence of fraud is obvious.
          credible threats seem likely.

        • Yep, that decision confirmed the constitutions intent to set the United States Supreme Court as the ultimate ‘judicial review’ of all issues under wall in the United States of America.

          “Madison, legal case in which, on February 24, 1803, the U.S. Supreme Court first declared an act of Congress unconstitutional, thus establishing the doctrine of judicial review. The court’s opinion, written by Chief Justice John Marshall, is considered one of the foundations of U.S. constitutional law.“

          There you have it, it is the courts purview to rule on the constitutionality of any legal issue, including election law.

          The United States Supreme Court considered the issues and ruled against Trump and his allies, end of story.

          Anyone who attempts to undermine the decision of the United States Supreme Court through extra-judicial means is not a patriot, but rather engaging in sedition against our legitimate government.

          Vladimir Putin thanks you for your efforts to destroy America.

        • “obvious evidence of fraud is obvious“

          Here in America, the judgment of some random dude on the inter-web holds no weight under our United States Constitution.

          The United States Constitution sets forth the judicial branch, with the power of judicial review of all issues at law in the United States of America.
          No plaintiff has brought credible evidence before any court that would justify overturning the results of the 2020 election.

          And your violent insurrection failed miserably as well.

        • The Kentucky and Virginia resolutions don’t nullify anything, in fact, the word ‘nullify’ doesn’t appear in the version passed by the legislatures.

          “The chosen response, the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions, was especially controversial because of Jefferson’s claim that states could “nullify” federal action which they believed to be unconstitutional (although that term was deleted from the final version of the resolutions adopted in Kentucky) and Madison’s claim that states could “interpose” to block such federal action.

          The Resolutions garnered support from none of the other fourteen states. Four states made no response to Kentucky and Virginia’s request for support and ten states expressed outright disapproval. Most states insisted that under the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution (Article VI), the states had no power to block enforcement of federal laws and that the courts should be relied upon to strike down unconstitutional laws (a position which both Jefferson and Madison had endorsed in the context of the Bill of Rights).6 In fact, the 1798 elections resulted in an increase in Federalist control of the Congress. Many years later, as states’ rights controversies threatened a sectional divide in the nation, Madison would claim, somewhat disingenuously, that the Resolutions were never intended actually to block application of a federal law but, rather, were intended to rally political opposition to the Alien and Sedition Acts.7“

          https://www.monticello.org/site/research-and-collections/kentucky-and-virginia-resolutions

  10. take any newbie who asks to the range. teach them the 4 rules and help them understand how their new gun works, how to clean it, etc.
    leave the political rhetoric at home, particularly the extremes usually trolled here.
    you’ll get a better voter over time that way, and possibly an ally if/when the shtf…

    • I agree Elrond. Get ’em hooked on shooting first and foremost. Political issues can come up later, and even when they do, don’t denigrate the people pushing gun control, just point out how it eroding their recent decision to exercise their 2 A rights, and that all past legislation hasn’t stopped a single crime.

      In my experience, Newbies can become even stronger supporters than oldtimers if we do it right.

  11. “Frankly, I would have assumed that their new ownership of guns (if indeed they didn’t already own weapons) didn’t require that much convincing that their rights require defense.”

    Think it more likely “they” believe the Trump basket of deplorables will come after them, much as happened in all the Democrat run cities that experienced riots, fires and “mostly peaceful protests” in the Spring and Summer of 2020. Not a matter of rights in jepoardy, just fear of insurrectionists.

  12. “Try showing the comments page from this site to a new gun owner. Freaks them out, and not in a good way.”

    How ’bout this….

    Any person who buys a gun for self-defense has to accept the possibility of taking a life in defense of self. Any person who can make such decision shouldn’t be “freaked out” over comments in a gun/political forum. If words are more intimidating (scary) than accepting responsibility for taking a human life, such a person has no business buying a firearm for defense.

    • The new people I see at our range are not there to plink. They want to learn how to shoot, they want to learn how to protect their family. They are well on their way to understanding what they need to do to get better which is why they are at the range. They’ll keep getting better too! Simply because ‘they’ have made the decision to get extreme. To be the best, to be the fastest, to compete, and to have the proper mindset to defend what they love.

      Being an ‘Extremist’ is a virtue.

      Agree, if a person is soft enough to be freaked out because of mean words then of what good will they be defending their family? –

    • my next door neighbor (brit) says he shot two (irie) dead with a hipower when serving in the royal guard (army? whatevs, not the royal nayvee). ha wants to tool up, but his wife ~won’t let~ him. i asked her, “why?” she replied without hesitation, “because i’d shoot him with it.”

  13. I figure once the 8.4 million realize they become a part of ” the condemned ” they’ll get with the program.

  14. “I figure once the 8.4 million realize they become a part of ” the condemned ” they’ll get with the program.”

    Many here probably would like to believe that. However…..

    More likely the vast majority of the new gun owners will jettison their gats as soon as they believe the basket of deplorables are in jail, or are publicly cancelled for being gun owners. For many new gun owners, a gun is just a tool, not a political cause, a tool to be discarded when it becomes a burden.

    • They’ll get Infringed before the crooks are all locked up.
      First taste of “May I search your vehicle, Ohh what’s this, OUT OF THE VEHICLE DONT MOVE I SAID OUT OF THE VEHICLE YOU FCKING POS DONT MOVE GET ON THE GROUND GWDDAM IT DONT MOVE FCKER I WILL SHOOT YOU!!!”
      Will probably give them a hint

  15. The lady in the picture of the article buying arms and ammo must have been at the beginning of the pandemic, I haven’t seen that much stock being purchased in over a year, the guy behind her in line too and the other cash registers counters all selling the goods…..

  16. I’ve had several people approach me for advice about buying a gun — not about what to buy, but should they buy. I don’t answer the question because I can’t. But I do ask them “Do you think you can kill another human being?” Some come back with “if I had to” and some come back with “i don’t know”. So I tell them the only advice I have is to settle that question in their own heads before they even think about buying a gun — the rest of it will take care of itself pretty much. A little more than half have come back later and asked if I’ll go to the range with them.

  17. IF u own a firearm, you have made a wise step for your right in having a choice for freedom in THIS NATION, the 2nd Amendment makes sure u get to keep that right, and common sense, let’s u know that guns don’t create violence but they can stop violence when used popularly, STAND for Freedom, Protect our rights, Defend the Constitutes and 2nd Amendment rights that our forefathers granted, SO as this country will remain free.

  18. The article sounds good. But, Biden voters do not care about the 2nd Amendment. They would gladly give up their firearms and 2nd Amendment rights when Biden orders it to be eliminated. Just watch and see.

  19. “When was the last time you spoke to your neighbors for more than a minute or two?”

    A while ago, but not long enough. My neighbors are generally morons who would sell their souls for a government handout. I’m betting that you neighbors aren’t very different.

    You are your own first responder. Isn’t that what we always say? So why would you think that your neighbors can be counted on when push comes to shove? Really, they can’t.

  20. Here are the names of the Republicans that co-sponsored with the commiecrats. H.R. 8 Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021. You might want to contact these representatives if you live in that district.

    Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA)
    Christopher Smith (R-NJ)
    Fred Upton (R-MI)

  21. Start with a grassroots movement at the gun stores, Ask them to be a member of a new gun rights org before purchase, or pay more to be without one.

  22. Gun ownership is not a one mind directional issue. Many here want others to believe the way they do. Just because someone owns a gun doesn’t mean that’s going to happen.
    If you can not stay focused on anything more then just the ownership of a weapon and leave ALL the rest of politics, beliefs, desires, groups, race, religion, age, etc out of it then we will never be on a one sided front.

  23. Yes, failing to follow instantly conflicting demands is justification for shooting a person resisting arrest.

  24. No. Anyone who waited this long to get their first firearm is probably the enemy we’re up against. Do not arm your enemy. I’m not interested in speaking to them or teaching them either. And they need to stay in places like NY and CA rather than bringing the poison they voted for to the rest of the country.

  25. Answer? Lose the wing nut fringe. That is the real and hard to accept message. Even this site tends to go more Buffalo Horn hat wearing than Come join my gun range.

  26. “Solution: Get the message to the swing voters, not the D true-believers.”

    A lovely dream, but the inconvenient truth is right before your eyes; Biden was credited with about 7 million more votes than Trump. Was the election “stolen”, who knows? Point is, there are not 7 million, plus one, undecided voters. Nor are there likely 3.5 million undecideds who could bring about a popular vote tie. In short, “undecideds” are too few in number to be entirely converted to a non-Dim vote that represents a popular vote majority in a presidential race.

    Lower ranked offices may be flippable (as some were in 2020). But are there enough undecideds to create a veto-proof majority of non-Dims in House and Senate? Such would require a sustainable super-majority for a generation. All the while, evil breeds at a prodigious rate. Eventually, the slave states will be able to offer nearly free everything, becoming a magnet for people in “red” states who would otherwise reject the evil.

    The Second Amendment is supposed to declare an unlimitable “right” for every individual. Just don’t confuse your motivation to own guns with those who buy guns to protect themselves from you. “Walks like a duck” does not apply here.

  27. “And the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions…”

    All that changed in 1868. The shorthand is, “The United States Are….became The United States is.”

  28. Any numbers regarding new gun owners from CA, NY, etc? I’m guessing if they were able to buy a gun in restricted states, then they might be ok with gun control laws in general.

    You should find out what makes the non-NRA gun owners tick before crafting your message.

  29. RV6Driver, thank you, sir. I think Alquiesha Sharpton would be a perfect nom de plume for boomer Debbie.

  30. More ‘liberals’ are starting to realize that the Democrat agenda is not in their best interests and they are arming themselves to protect themselves and their families. Hopefully, they will see the light and change their voting preferences, especially if they want to keep their guns.

  31. “More ‘liberals’ are starting to realize that the Democrat agenda is not in their best interests and they are arming themselves to protect themselves and their families.”

    From deplorable, Trump-voting, insurrectionists.

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