Mike Mihalski
Mike Mihalski of Son's Of Liberty Gun Works is a hugger.
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How do you have a conversation with those who want to take your guns? As polarized as this country has become on the Second Amendment, that’s always a heated conversation. There is only one way for us as gun owners to have a chance, and that is to be like Mike Mihalski of Sons Of Liberty Gun Works.

Not only is Mike one of the owners of SOLGW, but he also is one of the more outspoken 2A advocates.

What makes Mike different from most talking heads is that he isn’t afraid to have a conversation with someone with anti-gun views. Mike also can respectfully deliver factual information that is infinitely more effective than screeching “nO cOmPrOmIsE” or the ever-popular “fRoM mY cOlD dEaD hAnDs!” at every opportunity.

Education of those with emotionally charged viewpoints who want to stifle the rights of Americans is the only way that we as gun owners are going to change any minds.

Personally, I believe that all gun laws are infringements and will happily put in the work to ensure that no new restrictions are put on the books. Hell, if supporters of the Second Amendment are able to get some of the overreaching laws off the books, even better.

TLDR: Don’t be a jerk. Don’t spew rote rhetoric. Do use facts. Do educate. Do show up to meetings and town halls. Be respectful.

How Can You Be Like Mike?

Mike showed us exactly how gun owners should conduct themselves during San Antonio city councilman Manny Palaez’s Town Hall on gun violence and mass shootings this week (click here to view the event). He was respectful, well-spoken, and loaded with fact-based opinion. His passion drew hundreds of 2A supporters to the town hall meeting, so many that the organizers of the meeting had to turn away more than 70 people due to the room reaching capacity. There were so many in support of gun rights that officials eventually closed Phil Hardberger Park because it was becoming so crowded.

Why is the turnout so important? Because the previous meeting only had 30 attendees, 2A supporters were outnumbered 5 to 1. This town hall was a different story, 2A supporters outnumbered the anti-gunners 10 to 1! Want to be like Mike? Start taking an interest in the conversation and make time to be at these meetings.

No one ever won an argument with rhetoric. The only way we as gun owners have a chance is to engage in those conversations in a respectful manner and show those of opposing viewpoints actual data in an effort to educate.

Mike walked into the meeting with armed with facts and reason. Each time he was called on, his data-driven point of view was respectfully delivered. Mike even suggested a common-sense measure — prosecute those who lie on a form 4473.

While the 4473 and the accompanying background check is an infringement, it’s the law and the system we are forced to comply with. If the left must do something, why can’t that something be enforcing an existing law rather than enacting a new one?

For every one pro-2A phone call to lawmakers, we should assume there is at least one emotionally-driven person out there who is intent on taking your right to own [insert scary firearm type here] who is also calling.

Be respectful, show up to the meetings, keep the conversation honest on both sides, come prepared with facts, and most of all … be fricking respectful.

Sons of Liberty Gun Works
Courtesy Patrick Roberts

Things That Don’t Help The Pro-2A Argument

I already mentioned some of the typical responses from those who aren’t willing to educate their fellow Americans on the ineffectiveness of new gun laws. If you’re one of those who smash your fingers on the keyboard banging comments like “No Compromise,” “Not one more inch,” “From my cold dead hands,” or some other variation, please stop.

Just because you have a conversation does not mean you have to change your position. It just means you had the chance to deliver some facts to a gun-grabber.  

We all know the Second Amendment isn’t something that you or I am willing to compromise on, but those responses strengthen the desire of anti-gunners to hold their ground.

The same should be said about chest-beating about the Boogaloo or civil war. Talking about the Big Igloo can be a fun topic among friends, but when you start inserting impending civil unrest into a conversation, those who have a contrasting viewpoint are inevitably going to want to take your Boogaloo loadout from you. If you don’t have the tools, you can’t do the thing you’re thinking of.

Just because you don’t use one-line propaganda or talk of civil unrest to show your commitment to protecting the Second Amendment doesn’t mean that you’re any less a patriot. It doesn’t mean that you can’t be willing to fight for your rights any way that’s needed. It just means that you’re taking a smart approach to addressing a differing viewpoint.

What is Son’s Of Liberty Gun Works?

If you aren’t familiar with Mike or his company, here’s the short version. After taking a class from the late William Larson of Semper Paratus Arms an idea was born. Son’s Of Liberty would target the professional-grade rifle buyer like defense-minded citizens and law enforcement. Their aim would be to offer hard-use rifles that allowed the end-user to tailor the build to their needs instead of spending money replacing parts after buying a rifle.

All too often we see 2A supporters calling for boycotts because a giant company did something or a poorly informed CEO said something that gun owners disliked or is perceived as anti-gun. I vote with my wallet a different way. Instead of barely registering as a nuisance and withholding my funds, I decided to spend my money with companies that go out of their way to stand up for the rights that I believe in.

Sadly there are a lot of fair-weather patriots who hide among those who are truly dedicated to ensuring the Second Amendment is as respected as the Founding Fathers intended which makes our ranks appear much larger than they truly are.

There’s a reason that my next rifle will be a SOLGW Liberty series rifle. Support those those who are out there supporting us.


About the Author

Patrick primarily focuses his range time on sharpening his pistol shooting skill but effectively using precision rifles and carbines are also skills he works on polishing as best he can. When he isn’t writing, spending far too much time on the range, maintaining his website, or filming a video he spends his time with his wife, son, and his dog.

Website: FirearmRack.com
YouTube: youtube.com/firearmrack
Instagram:   @thepatrickroberts
Facebook: facebook.com/firearmrack

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  1. I concur, most people have no idea the actual definition of RHETORIC, and what it can be to someone who is well informed, educated, or at least has done some research. And unfortunately, that is seen on these forums daily…

    • Logos. It’s all about logos. Of what use are diplomas if the holder knows nothing? Of what use are feelings if they are based upon false ‘facts’?

    • Thank you. Exactly. None of us want any infringements whatsoever, but just blurting “shall not be infringed” like we see so often here on these forums, from people that clearly have never been into see a representative, is a real problem.

      • If only people would just find out what logos, ethos, and pathos even ARE. It only takes a couple of minutes of reading on a computer. But they just refuse. So there’s that…

  2. This is a great article. I don’t have the time and energy to advocate at his level, but I do try to have rational conversations with fellow parents who happen to be Demmoratic voters and are Anti-gun. Its amazing how wrong their info is which is based off media opinion. Myself, living behind enemy lines kinda teaches us to have rational dialogue face-to-face. They dont want to hear about the Constitution and ma gunz. They need to know the facts like, guns are not the killing all the children, but it’s things like medical errors, obesity, not vaccinating, distracted teen driving, etc.

    • Oh boy. I see you deftly slipped the vaxx into there. You’re channeling you’re inner Pg(two).

      I agree with the author, and have had many productive conversations. However, contrary to your own methods, I myself do come from Constitutional standpoint, which leads into the Founders, the Revolutionary War, tyranny and why we fought against it to free ourselves, etc. I don’t involve obesity or vaxx, but there have been times when a conversation has successfully led to the other person’s eventual understanding of ‘muh gunz’.

      The key is be calm, respectful, knowledgeable, and able to patiently listen to the other person’s argument.

    • Most of the anti gunners I encounter are not interested in facts or actually solving problems. They just want to get rid of guns. This can be clearly demonstrated by all the bald face lies they spew as facts and statistics, and by clearly illogical positions like believing Trump is Hitler and wanting to disarm themselves and the rest of us in the face of Hitler being president.

      The only thing left to do when confronting these people is to point out that if they enact new gun laws we will not obey them. If anyone tries to enforce new gun laws we will defend ourselves. And if we survive defending ourselves we will very shortly be looking for them.

      If we are making a case with facts and statistics and legitimate information, and logical arguments then we are doing so for undecided fence sitters and not for the anti gunners we are arguing with.

  3. The problem is that most people will never understand just how important the 2A is in protecting our natural rights, unless they take the time to study the history of humanity(Not just European history, but all of it) for at least the last 2000 years. There’s a reason weapons were interred with ancient rulers and famous warriors, but not their subjects.

  4. Two of the best books out there on learning to argue effectively with anti-gunners are Dan Wos’ “Good Gun, Bad Guy”, Vol. 1&2. Dan, a former anti-gunner, is one of the most articulate defenders of our right to self-defense and to keep and bear arms available today. His approach is good sense and neighborly argument to calm the emotional and inform the misinformed. Check out his books. You won’t be disappointed.

    • Well how the hell do I do that, because I can’t find them anywhere, nor can I find him. And that seems exactly like something I should read.

      • Really? Took me 5 seconds to type “dan wos” into google, and I instantly had more info than I could handle. Try it!

        • Must have some super secret filter on the computer I used at work. Tried it on my phone and EUREKA, there it all is. Fuck’s sake. Thanks hoss.

  5. “Nobody ever convinced anybody of anything. People only convince themselves.” That’s one of my org change reframes.

    Org change by telling has it’s place, and it’s limitations. You can impose, or inflict, influence, or entice, and get some different behavior, at least while you’re watching. (<- That's a hint for what kind of things you can change in an org by telling.) If you want people to do that thing when you're not around, they need to adopt yr same goals, which comes from yr same understanding, or something close. Which means they have to be convinced; they have to convince themselves.

    "Convincing" is allowing them to convince themselves.

    Facts, data, descriptions of how the world works; commitments made or outcomes hoped; authoritah, or the balking of; hypotheses and refutations (with apologies to Popper) are ways people understand. You present one or the other to someone who is seeking to understand that way right now.

    But, it only gets considered if they hear you, and they only hear you if they want to. If you want to talk about making the world a better place, they have to trust that's what you are about.

    Be admirable.

    This gets you heard. And it comes first from how you engage with them. Being the bigger jerk sometimes makes them withdraw, sometimes draws them for the high; it never convinces.

    Change what they seek to do, by offering what will bring them to convince themselves, in a way they trust, from a source they admire.

    Work this way (and be right, of course), and you can durably convince people, one or a few at a time. Otherwise you can drive people to do what you want, but they'll revert. Even Sauron couldn't keep his Orcs in line when he wasn't watching.

  6. Ya’ll know what’s coming….

    Note that the article reports no facts/data on the number of people, using Mike’s approach, were converted to pro-2A, or even persuaded to at least stop entertaining calls for current, new, or revised restrictions on gun ownership. Are we really to be satisfied that we delivered our message respectfully (like “Never Trumpers”)?

    And, it is important to understand that just because an anti-gunner doesn’t go off on a slogan-laced tirade about how despicable gun owners are doesn’t mean they respect you, your data, or you natural, civil and human right to self-defense. It only means the anti-gunners decided to ignore you, or that the moment wasn’t to their advantage to trash you.

    I will agree, quickly, that our sloganeering is just as ineffective at changing minds as is the sloganeering of the gun-grabber union. If facts and reason and figures could change the minds of the anti-gun cabal, we would not be fending off these constant attacks on the Second Amendment. It is not like gun owners just woke up this last year to the tyranny of the left. It is not like we have spent the last sixty years navel-gazing, only to suddenly open our eyes to what is happening around us.

    Fact is, and it is an insidious fact, there are some horrific events, no matter how rare, that shock the public beyond thinking and rational analysis. Events so shattering that people mark them as evidence that such incidents are becoming “normal”, nearly everyday occurrences. Every day occurrences that mean every person is in high danger of being slaughtered no matter who they are, or where they go. This shattering shapes the mind to view any gun, or gun owner with deep suspicion. Such a view also warps the vision so as to believe a tsunami of mass shootings is at hand.

    Given that facts, figures, data, logic and reasoning are only persuasive to people who can set aside their own prejudices, and be willing to admit error. For everyone else, facts, figures, data, logic and reasoning are filtered through abject fear of discovering they need to change something about themselves. So….

    How do we address that abject fear, and relieve it?

    • An educated population on guns has never feared them. For hundreds of years americans were never afraid of guns. Only when we stopped having rifle teams and stopped having 2A classes in schools, did the population become scared of firearms.

      But try and explain that to gun owners who have no kids and are not married.

      • “But try and explain that to gun owners who have no kids and are not married.”

        I think I understand the drift of your comment (this not a criticism), but maybe 2A supporters need to change how we describe ourselves. POTG are gun owners, but the majority of gun owners are not POTG (with or without spouses or children).

        POTG are well aware that we don’t live in the America of the ’50s. We know what has happened to schooling, and what were roundly understood to be traditional values. All that turned in the ’60s. We are also not unmindful that in the ’50s, gun ownership was not so much about self-defense, or fending off tyranny. Hunting and target shooting were the most popular exercise of the Second Amendment. But times changed.

        Given the subversion of the traditional national values, and the goal of too many people being comfort and entertainment, rather than goals and values, and the fact that the vast majority of gun owners are not likely to ever become POTG, we have a dilemma. How can the minority of gun owners convert, or mitigate, the continuing assault on gun ownership. Facts, data, logic and reason are unfortunately serving mostly to delay the loss of individual rights protected by the Second Amendment. Delay is not victory, because there is no wave of reinforcements being organized while POTG slow the enemy.

        • SAM Quote: “POTG are well aware that we don’t live in the America of the ’50s. We know what has happened to schooling, and what were roundly understood to be traditional values. All that turned in the ’60s. We are also not unmindful that in the ’50s, gun ownership was not so much about self-defense, or fending off tyranny. Hunting and target shooting were the most popular exercise of the Second Amendment. But times changed.”

          You are correct. The reason 50’s gun ownership was like that was because the government was not trying to disarm everyone. Today a significant part of the government and significant percentage of citizens (useful fools) are now working to disarm everyone.

          I grew up in the 1950’s hunting. We carried rifles on the handle bars of our bicycles riding through town, then later in our cars and no one, including police, teachers and administrators, thought anything about it.

          The political far left (communists) have worked for the last 100 years installing their followers in every important institution in America. They are still working to indoctrinate citizens in general and youth in particular to their goals. They took over the democrat party and are now open about it.

          They are winning and unless something major happens to change the direction the country is going we will lose everything we cherish.

          A calm discussion with useful fools may convert a few of them. It will only anger the true believers and you cannot tell them apart.

          Be Prepared !

        • “. Facts, data, logic and reason are unfortunately serving mostly to delay the loss of individual rights protected by the Second Amendment. Delay is not victory, because there is no wave of reinforcements being organized while POTG slow the enemy.”


          You’ve posted some really good stuff in the two posts above.

          • “You’ve posted some really good stuff in the two posts above.”

            Thanks, John.

            Strych9 is always a good mental challenge. Makes me question myself, and work harder to try to get an agreement between us. If those conversation are useful to others, all the better.

      • “Note that the article reports no facts/data on the number of people, using Mike’s approach, were converted to pro-2A, or even persuaded to at least stop entertaining calls for current, new, or revised restrictions on gun ownership. Are we really to be satisfied that we delivered our message respectfully (like “Never Trumpers”)?”

        Who would expect a number of people that are converted? All you need to do is look at polls conducted by a reputable polling company to see that 25% or so of the American people polled are sitting on the fence. That 1/4 of America can be won over. You aren’t going to win over someone who is truly passionate about more firearm legislation, but if you can start converting some of that 25% we have a much better chance at success.

        Yes, you should be satisfied that you took the honorable and respectful route. Give me a better option and I am happy to listen. If we are going to retain our rights, you need to understand that actions that increase how divided we are as a country won’t help.

        • “All you need to do is look at polls conducted by a reputable polling company to see that 25% or so of the American people polled are sitting on the fence.”

          Might want to ask Hilary how valuable polls are.

          All we know about polls is what the polling organization reports people told the polling agents. Given the utter failure of respectable national polling services during the 2016 presidential election, relying on polls as indicators (rather than attempts at driving a narrative) of the real picture is folly.

          Polls also “tell” us that gun ownership continues to drop every year, even though NICS checks continue to rise. This led to the unprovable “truth” that gun ownership is losing popularity, but the increase in NICS checks only indicates the declining number of gun owners own more and more guns.

          Back to 2016…only one pollster understood that there were great numbers of potential voters who were not willing to claim they would vote for Trump. I.E. these people were “invisible” to the pollsters. This one polling organization correctly predicted the Trump win.

          But my original point was that claiming one remained respectful while losing is a loser’s game. Win first, be respectful to the loser after. Beat the opponent with his own stick, then discuss surrender terms. (Or, in the vernacular, “Nice guys finish last”).

  7. Guns are a civil rights issue. Too many gun people are either afraid to make this case or they are just uneducated in the facts of gun history and gun control in America. I have made this argument to Liberals. They get very quiet after my statements. And I never yell at them.

    • Indeed, it is a civil rights issue and it is important to get it recognized as such. Once it is, it should be considered a protected class like the others. Of course, I think there is a snow ball’s chance in hell that the left or even the government will ever let that happen.

  8. Nobody anti-gun wants to talk to me. I was told facts don’t matter, me and my concerns are not important, and that the head of the NRA should be shot. Me too presumably. All this from the United Methodist Church where I was a member. I got kicked out for wanting to talk about magic signs that keep the “bad people” (like me?) away.

  9. Ehhh…the anti-a holes need a “come to Jesus moment”. Ad a victim of crime,rape,robbery or mayhem. Figuratively and literally. I’ve been nice and not so nice. I convinced my wife after an uptick in local crime. I’d rather be like ME…

  10. Education of those with emotionally charged viewpoints … is the only way that we as gun owners are going to change any minds.

    Education of facts is almost entirely ineffective at changing the mind of someone who holds an emotional position.

    • I was reading the comments, waiting for someone to say exactly this. Thank you, sir.

      Emotionally-driven people are virtually immune to facts/logic. I’ve given up on having serious conversations with over 3/4’s of my in-laws (all hardcore Democrats, in case you hadn’t guessed that already) for this very reason. It inevitably devolves into a shouting match, and nothing productive is accomplished.

    • Here are some talking points.

      The 2nd Amendment is fundamentally about the rights of armed citizens to preserve and defend freedom and liberty. It isn’t about hunting, target shooting, or even defending one’s home or one’s self (although these values certainly grow out of the 2nd Amendment). It is, instead, a simply worded statement that recognizes that the nature of government—any government—causes it to be only a few short steps away from tyranny. The 2nd Amendment is a recognition made by a revolutionary government that the existence of a freely armed citizenry is a fundamental protection against the inherent tendency of government to become tyrannical.

      By stating this clearly and unambiguously you will have established a moral position that gun-control argument cannot defeat. Counter arguments about banning “weapons of war” and imposing magazine limitation of necessity fail simply because it is exactly those kinds of weapons that our founders understood were essential to defending liberty and freedom. The Pennsylvania rifled long-gun with its 300 yard accuracy was, for instance, a preeminent weapon of war in revolutionary America.

      There is a clear lineage between the 2nd Amendment’s revolutionary statements and contemporary American life. It is, therefore, not surprising that gun-control arguments seek to weaken that lineage by making counter arguments that ignore this fact. As it was then, however, it is now: the clear intent of the 2nd Amendment is to guarantee to private citizens the right to keep and bear weapons suitable for the defense of freedom and liberty. The linkage between the rifled long-gun and the AR family and similar weapons is clear.

      • “The 2nd Amendment is a recognition made by a revolutionary government that the existence of a freely armed citizenry is a fundamental protection against the inherent tendency of government to become tyrannical. ”

        While true as stated, this is the perfect entry point for arguing “need” and concept obsolescence. Since the founding, government has not generated a tyrant, a despot, a king, determined to make serfs and vassals of the populace…enforced by a standing army. Ergo, the urgent need of the founders to prevent a new tyranny evolving is long gone, and this nation has proved tranny doesn’t always arise when people are disarmed. Therefore, there is no longer a threat as the founders saw it, and no longer a need to defend against that long ago threat.

        • “Ergo, the urgent need of the founders to prevent a new tyranny evolving is long gone, and this nation has proved tranny doesn’t always arise when people are disarmed.”

          Doesn’t matter. You are naturally enough assuming that an assertion by government, “informed sources”, or some other authority has the standing to invalidate an individual citizen’s 2nd Amendment rights. The only way that can happen is through the intervention of some kind of force—exactly the thing that the 2nd fully expected might happen. That’s why the right to keep and bear arms rests with the citizenry and not with government. Even the worst officials, bureaucracies, and governments are careful to avoid admitting that they are tyrannical. What makes the 2nd so unique is that it was written in such a way that it is clear the founders didn’t entirely trust their own government. Neither should we.

          • “You are naturally enough assuming that an assertion by government, “informed sources”, or some other authority has the standing to invalidate an individual citizen’s 2nd Amendment rights.”

            Not actually.

            The point being presented is that when we try to explain the Second Amendment to anti-gunners, defense against tyrannical government is too easy to dispute. The founders had the entirety of Europe as a object lesson in despotism. We, today, do not. Even in the run-up to WW2, what we call Western Europe was not a collection of despots keeping the populace in servitude. And it remains so today. Disarmed populations who are not being rounded up and sent to labor camps for illegitimate speech. Guns are not needed to keep those governments from confiscating all the wealth of their citizenry.

            For too many Americans today, last week is ancient history, with no bearing on today. Reminding them of the state of the western world 200 years ago is speaking gibberish. The operating theory is, “I am a good person, and government will not come after me, unless I become a bad person. In which case I shouldn’t have a gun to fight off the government legally putting me in jail.”

            As someone has written, the issue should be that the Second Amendment, like the First*, fourth, fifth, sixth, eighth and fourteenth Amendments, protects our unalienable human and civil right to self-defense.

            Given the current status of the society, declaring that the constitution permits the possession of guns (including weapons of war) to be used to wage war against the government is completely insane. And proves gun owners are a clear and present danger to the nation.

            *The First Amendment protects only “legitimate speech”, to be determined by whichever protected social group feels offended.

    • I can be kind and respectful to them. I won’t expect the same in return, of course, and I can’t/won’t take the seriously, but I can be kind and respectful, lol.

      • I even try to remain respectful while laughing at them, and occasionally mentioning that they are incorrect, ignorant, or morons.

      • “Yes, being an asshole only makes them dig in deeper and less willing to consider other viewpoints.”

        Your point?

        Anti-gunners are already dug in so deep they cannot be dislodged.

  11. Ive never been able to effectively talk to someone who wasn’t already open minded enough to actual listen… I don’t think the “Beto” (aka, cultural appropriator) O’Rourke types are listening right now

  12. Note: excuse the use of caps here. TTAG’s new system doesn’t much like my italics or the use of quotation marks.

    The only part of this article I dislike is exemplified by statements like ‘…you had the chance to deliver some facts to a gun-grabber’.

    Again, nuance.

    There are two types of pro gun-control folks.

    The first is properly termed a ‘grabber’. These are the people who see a political upside to disarming their opposition. They tend to be in charge of a ‘grabber org’ or the mouthpiece for such. There is no amount of argument that will persuade them on this topic because, ultimately, they’re dishonest about their goals. The goals are not ‘safety’ or ‘violence reduction’ or whatever. The goal for these folks is power and they’ll use every trick in the book to get it.

    The second are people who haven’t really thought about this. They’re what P.T. Barnum was talking about when he referred to ‘suckers’. People who are easily manipulated because they lack facts and a working knowledge of the topic at hand. As such they tend to operate from an emotional point of view and are, as Barnum noted, easily manipulated on this level. BUT THIS DOESN’T MEAN THEY’RE STUPID OR UNREACHABLE.

    The second group here is, by far, the larger. In fact, it’s probably multiple, possibly many, orders of magnitude larger than the former group. It’s people who just want their kid to come home from school without a GSW or in a bag. People who are SCARED. They’re scared BECAUSE THEY LACK FACTS on the topic at hand. Insofar as they’re antigun it’s because they are VICTIMS of manipulation by the first group here.

    This second, larger group is open to reason provided it’s given to them in the right way (blah, blah, blah advertising, emotional hooks etc). They are NOT our enemy. They are the contested ground over which we fight. Often we forget this and we talk to/about them in very patronizing and counterproductive ways that are a huge turn off for them. If they perceive us to be what Shannon Watts and her ilk say we are then we’ve already lost because our message never reaches the audience. So when they expect some fat redneck with an AR to scream “It’s muh Gud given raahhht!” or someone to accuse them of ‘treason’ and we do that… yeah, not gonna be a good day for us.

    This shit is all about salesmanship to the ignorant. But we’re not used car salesman making a quick buck off a overpriced rust bucket on a loan with a predatory APR. We need to remember that and ACT ACCORDINGLY. Leave the outright douchebagery to the douchebags selling shitty cars. Walk the high road even when you really, really don’t want to.

    Mattis said ‘Doctrine is the last refuge of the unimaginative’. It’s also the last refuge of stupid assholes and screaming bumpersticker slogans is about as doctrinaire as it gets.

    You wouldn’t tell a rape victim that she just shouldn’t have worn a skirt and not expect a kick to the nuts. This isn’t very much different. You can’t expect the victims of propaganda and emotional manipulation to simply agree with you right off the bat when you insult them or play into the caricature drawn for you by the propagandists.

    Again, the vast majority of the people who vote ‘anti’ are not actually anti gun. They’re scared. Or they’re not really voting guns but something else in the larger culture war of which guns are a part. I would note that if we lose the culture war on some of those other topics we’ll lose the guns just as surely as if we lost purely on the 2A but that’s another topic.

    As I’ve said before: This one’s for all the fucking marbles (It always is btw. That’s the nature of a Republic). Play accordingly.

    • This seems to be an area where we always disagree, at least to a point.

      Those you identify as people “…who haven’t really thought about this.” One implication is there exists a significant, even game-changing, demographic who, if given the right treatment, would convert from disinterested, to POTG. This same group, I label “Unicorns”. While Unicorns may exist in the hundreds, they are not enough to even move the needle, much less change the game. Why this conclusion? Because these converts would only include a minority of people who would become POTG. To borrow from long ago…there may be “…a more excellent way.”

      Who is more likely to buy from your mythical used car salesman? A person riding a mountain bike, wearing Birkenstocks and flip flops? Or a working couple needing to replace their worn-out Yugo? We actually do have a huge number of people needing to replace their Yugos. Fudds.

      Who is more likely to be approachable about gun ownership and the freedom to own one? An uninformed, disinterested, ambivalent Unicorn, or a person who already owns one or more firearms? The touted number is ~100,000 million gun owners. Let’s call the reported 15 million concealed carriers POTG. That leaves 85 million potential POTG, a far, far cry from an unknowable number of potential non-gun owning converts. Yet….we blow off the ready market as dunderheads (Fudds), nearly as hostile to POTG as committed anti-gunners.

      If POTG take the Fudds seriously, Fudds are as anti-freedom as the gun grabbers. If this is true, POTG are a fading minority, doomed to obscurity. We have zero hope of converting, anti-gunners, Unicorns and Fudds. However, we talk long and long about reaching anti-gunners and Unicorns with “respect and data”, forgoing any effort to ally with Fudds, and convert them.

      • “One implication is there exists a significant, even game-changing, demographic who, if given the right treatment, would convert from disinterested, to POTG.”

        I don’t see that as an implication at all and this is a group that I include FUDDs in.

        Anyone who is, for emotional or lack of experience/knowledge reasons suspectable to anti-gun propaganda, is who I include in this group. That includes A LOT of “you don’t need an AR and I don’t care as long as I get to keep my hunting rifle” types.

        Personally I have no interest in creating more POTG. It’s a free country. If you don’t want a gun, don’t have one. Just don’t bug the law abiding and peaceful folks who DO have a gun.

        I have an interest in a society of people who respect civil rights. Historically speaking what I’m talking about has worked for nearly every minority there is from Catholics and Jews to Irish and Polish to Blacks and gays. It’s also currently working for the decriminalization of pot at the state level. You can see that month to month.

        • “Personally I have no interest in creating more POTG.”

          Not seeing how you perceive establishing a situation where enough people can be persuaded to just leave gun owners alone is possible. The entire thing is so politically charged that without committed 2A supporters, the best outcome is status quo, POTG losing year after year.

          We cannot expect even POTG to put 2A above every other consideration in their lives, and voting for only 2A defenders leaves few real defenders who can win. As noted, this is a culture war, and one culture or the other will prevail. Numbers are needed to prevail. There simply are not enough of the unenlightened, non-partisan, to change things. The anti-gun crowd is not just going to seek peaceful co-existence Leave the undecideds to themselves. Win over the huge untapped resource of uninformed gun owners who see no danger to their myopic interests in firearms.

          The other agencies you noted were not targeting the antagonists, but people looking for something missing. Anti-gunners see nothing missing in their lives that can be provided by defending gun owners and the Second Amendment.

        • ‘Not seeing how you perceive establishing a situation where enough people can be persuaded to just leave gun owners alone is possible. The entire thing is so politically charged that without committed 2A supporters, the best outcome is status quo, POTG losing year after year.’

          None of the groups I mention got to where they wanted to go by turning other people into part of the group. The Irish didn’t need to create more Irish to get to equal political footing. Nor did Blacks or gays. If getting people to realize that majoritarianism isn’t the way to go required somehow recruiting those people then the entire population of the US would be Black, gay, Irish, Catholic Italians. It is not so because for it to be so was impossible but rather it is not so because it didn’t need to be so.

          One need not be of Group X to understand that Group X has the same rights as you/your group does. All one needs is a proper education in Civics, Western History and a basic dose of the underlying philosophy behind Western thought.

          There’s no need to proselytize here. One doesn’t need to dress up like one of the guys from Reservoir Dogs and ride around on a bicycle knocking on doors to spread the good word of our Lord and Savior John Moses Browning. That actually doesn’t win a lot of converts. It just pisses people off.

          • Understand your reference to renegade organizations to force a political settlement. As it unfolded, conservative parties rarely turn to civil disobedience, or application (or threat) of physical force. IOW, 2A supporters will not use forceful tactics (not even talking about physical force) to protect their political positions.

            We are not engaged in a great debate with anti-American politics, but with a declaration of annihilation of non-leftists (single party rule, where opposition can do little but hold meetings in a phone booth). The anti-American groups will lie, cheat and steal. The pro-2A elements will restrain themselves to legal means, facts, reason and data.

            Given POTG are not the majority of gun owners, numbers will outflank us over time. Courts cannot keep up with the speed and regularity of assaults on law by the anti-gun people. The effect of unconstitutional regulations will smother 2A support. The anti-gun people can launch unlimited amounts of regulation. Regulations that will be effective until overturned by courts. The pro-gun elements (if not grown in numbers) will not be able to mount a counter offensive of law suits designed to have unconstitutional laws overturned. We are seeing this today.

        • Also, apologies, my Ctrl+C/P skills are missing today.

          “The other agencies you noted were not targeting the antagonists, but people looking for something missing.”

          I’m thinking I know what this means but I’m probably wrong so I’d ask for a full clarification before responding.

          • “The other agencies you noted were not targeting the antagonists, but people looking for something missing.”

            “I’m thinking I know what this means but I’m probably wrong so I’d ask for a full clarification before responding.”


            The 2A supporters are faced with an opponent determined to destroy a freedom. These antagonists are not simply misinformed sojourners, looking for something missing from their lives. The groups you mentioned were disadvantaged, and looking for a change to positively preserve their group, or add a new dimension. They were, somewhat similar to the anti-gun advocacy of today, pushing against the status quo.

            The agitators against convention had time on their side, as the elements of status quo did not. In short, they were trying to find a way to exist in a world that was antagonistic to them. Today, it is the anti-gun gang that is antagonistic, seeking not to expand freedom, but to smother it. The status quo (pro-2A) elements are seeking only to preserve. Those gun owners who are not POTG, are disengaged, not willing to see “we shall all hang together” as a serious outcome. The anti-gun forces are not seeking to find a way to exist peacefully (as were other groups you mentioned), but to become the status quo – permanently disarmed society. They are, and intend to be a growing force of anti-freedom/liberty.

            You know I dislike being brief, but comparing the struggles of the groups you listed to the current death struggle between pro-America and anti-America forcesis not really a such a good illustration of our current predicament.

            (Does that help, or did I just wrap myself around the axle?)

        • Nah, you’ve avoided any axles.

          I would say that assigning a “status-quo” and a “agitator” status to the groups seems seductive but I don’t think it’s correct, at least not in this instance. On this topic I’m somewhat of the same mind as Cicero except where he saw a lack of virtue as the problem I see the problem being a lack, or perversion, of education.

          I can see the argument that the pro-Civil Rights groups are the ones historically advocating for change against those who would keep the status-quo but ultimately I think the status-quo is a mental construct in politics that doesn’t exist because politics is always shifting.

          That’s kind of the point of having a written Constitution; that society can change and adapt but still adheres to a set of anchor points. Lighthouses or principles, call them what you wish, which do not change. These are the theoretical underpinnings of Western thought that originate in Ancient Egypt and are improved upon through Greek and Roman times, forgotten in the Middle Ages, rediscovered in the Renaissance and really come into their own in middle of the 1600’s. Locke being a notable 17th century advocate of these developed ideas.

          As such the groups engaged in the struggle for Civil Rights, regardless of which group we’re discussing or the exact methods they employed, are not actually advocating a change in the status-quo but rather a return to first principles. As such, if anything in terms of status, they’re the defenders of the status quo fighting those who would cut ties to foundational philosophical principles for the purposes of political expedience.

          I would further argue that the antis pursue arguments along exactly the path I’m talking about here specifically because they never want to discuss amending the Constitution to get rid of the 2A. On some level they know that’s a bridge too far. It’s too much of an attack on first principles for most Americans to accept. So, they use duplicity to make that ‘”I support the 2A but…” argument and seek to split hairs over what is and what is not ‘reasonable regulation’ vs. ‘infringement’. This is the same argument they use against the 1A with ‘hate speech’ bullshit.

          IMHO, they do this because they know that your average person who listens to them isn’t that well versed in nuance or, honestly, very well educated but they ARE well educated enough to be rather protective of the BoR. So antis seek to change the battleground of the argument to one where they can use shifting language to move the goalposts around as convenient, a job made easier when the audience is scared and therefore less likely to notice/protest this.

          My position is fairly simple: Don’t let this fight happen on ground of their choosing. Return to first principles and make them defend their attack on those first principles, as the groups I’ve mentioned before did. That way we’re picking what hill THEY die on.

          • “My position is fairly simple: Don’t let this fight happen on ground of their choosing. ”

            I agree, but…

            We don’t get to choose the ground the public will see. The media controls the argument and the venue. Which is why we need numbers, and numbers.

            The thing to remember when consulting Cicero, Plato, Socrates, Aristotle….none were ever on the battle field, trying to persuade the armies of the enemy to just calm down, learn t accommodate different ideas, return to first principles. In the middle of the battle, thinking to intellectually engage the opposition is futile…you will be assimilated. That’s why we need numbers. Don’t try to debate the enemy, destroy then politically through numbers at the ballot box. We simply need to increase our numbers, not look for anti-gunners to cross the Jordan, and join us on the other side.

        • “We don’t get to choose the ground the public will see.”

          We get the choice. We choose not to make it wisely. There’s a difference.

          Also most of your old-school philosophers were military before they were philosophers. It greatly informed their thinking. Socrates for example was a hoplite in the Peloponnesian War, meaning he was serious enough about his soldiering that he did it all on his own dime for multiple campaigns. It’s probably the root of why he ended up getting executed. Most of your old timey Greeks with big names were soldiers then generals before retiring to private life. That’s just the way it was back then. Cicero was in the Legion too though he hated it. Plato, being born at the start of the Peloponnesian War is a notable exception to this.

          Thinking in combat isn’t a bad thing so long as you don’t overdo it, in fact it’s preferred since the other option, generally speaking, is panic and that never works out well. Martial arts, warfare, battling death as a SAR person or politics the real weapon is ALWAYS between your ears.

          Now, I’d agree that trying to talk down people who are trying to kill you is dumb until you’ve manged to break their will through force but we’re not in a shooting war yet and unless we’re insane we’re trying like hell to avoid that. Convincing enough of the public to return to those first principles, ones they already know AND LIKE, means that the whole majoritarian thinking of the grabbers doesn’t work since they don’t have the majority so even by their own set of *cough* rules, they can fuck off.

          Sun Tzu said that ‘to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill.’

          We should be hoping for the best while preparing for the worst. In otherwords trying the latter half of what Sun Tzu said up front. The simple fact is that we don’t do that. We farm that shit out and then wonder why we don’t get what we want. The root problem isn’t the argument, it’s the hiring of mercs to do the work of patriots.

          • The background of the philosophers you note may have influenced their philosophy, but, as also noted, the did not bring rhetoric and argument to the battlefield, using facts, data, logic, reason to entice their enemies to simply abandon their attack, and go home. And yes, we are in a civil war already. Just as in 1850, before the first cannon fuse was lit. Rhetoric, data, reason, logic did nothing to forestall the shooting war for long.

            While the gun grabbers may be a physical minority, their message is what persuades, and the media (the influencers of culture) is what the majority of people see and hear. Which is why I commented that we do not get to choose the ground for the oral battle; media does. If the media were impotent, we would not even be having this contest about the Second Amendment.

            If the people see and hear only on voice….

            Person-to-person persuasion about the Second Amendment cannot compete with the anti-gun 24/7 megaphone. That is why POTG, who really are the only group dedicated to preserving the Second Amendment, cannot persuade the 100 million current gun owners that the threat is real, how do we reasonably believe that changing a few random minds of Unicorns and neutrals will effectively change the vote tallies?

            The proposition I just do not understand is that “undicideds” are the key to victory, when we continue to ignore our natural market place. The Fudds are not undecideds, they have carved out their own little piece of the Second Amendment. Is it not more profitable to persuade those who have invested in a part of the Second Amendment, rather than continue to look to the lost ones to come over and massively increase our full-on support for preservation of the Second Amendment.

            Looking for the Unicorns to determine the future is the same tactic the Republicrats have been using for decades: the base is secure, go after the “undecideds”. Hasn’t worked very well, and Trump demonstrated that giving loud voice to the undiscovered “base” actually works. Trump expanded the base by appealing to a largely unrecognized demographic the felt abandoned, and their voting pointless. (Admittedly, that approach worked this time; the future will tell us more).

      • I agree, Sam I Am. Additionally, IMO that unicorn class is a shrinking population with each generation. Indoctrination is systemic now. It only takes time for liberty to be a fuzzy memory for many.

        • “…IMO that unicorn class is a shrinking population with each generation.”

          As it happens, so are the Fudds. Our natural market place, even if captured 100%, may not be sustainable.

  13. If you want to take away peoples’ means of self-defense you want them defenseless. If you want them defenseless you want them dead. I don’t converse with people that want to kill me.

      • “You have to be able to have a conversation,”

        Me: 100 million gun owners, 33,000 deaths from gun fire; 250,000 DGUs saved lives.
        Anti-gunner: Guns are made to kill people; no one needs a gun.
        Me: 99,967,000 gun owners killed no one last year.
        Anti-gunner: Even one accidental death is too many; no one needs a gun.
        Me: Only a good guy with a gun stops a bad guy with a gun.
        Anti-gunner: Anyone who wants a gun is a bad guy, just waiting to be exposed.
        Me: Wow, that there was some kinda conversation alright. Glad we had this talk

  14. The problem with the “facts and reason” approach is that, at its core, this isn’t a facts and reason discussion-for either side. This is a clash of values. I’m much less optimistic of the space to persuade on either side.

  15. Trying to negotiate with Anti 2A/Firearms Ownership Proponents is No different than. Trying to negotiate with the terrorists Al Qaeda/Taliban/ISIS. These people are Zealots to a Cause. Nothing you can say will change their minds. Regardless of Law or Reason. Their Cause is Just and Victory by any means is Acceptable. These people want you be complacent at best and eliminated at worst. Attempting to placate these people through reason and/or education is a Fool’s Errand. And Yes I am inferring there is No difference between the aforementioned groups. Up to and Until POTG realize and accept this. The Issue will forever be a danger to Freedom. Keep Your Powder Dry.

    • So the 25% or so of Americans that have shifted their opinion in the last 8 years or so can’t be convinced? They were convinced by someone to change their opinion from being pro-2A to being in favor of more gun laws.

      You aren’t going to win every one, the fence-sitters should be who we are educating.

      • “So the 25% or so of Americans that have shifted their opinion in the last 8 years or so can’t be convinced?”

        Keep it real. Don’t copy the mind of the anti-gunner: 25% of the people polled said they shifted their opinion. How many of that 25% were already pro-gun, just funnin’ with the pollster? How many were committed anti-gunners just funnin’ with the pollsters?

  16. Trying to convert the left into “POTG” is like trying to convince me to not make Jesus Christ the Lord of my life, it’s not going to happen and I’ll gladly give up my life for that belief.
    Our children are our future, we should be teaching THEM the wisdom of our country’s founders and about firearms, not waisting our time/resources trying to convince neo Bolsheviks why (us) “normies” need the 2nd A.

    • Perhaps not convert, but we can demand they respect it.

      Example – If they can demand that we respect gay marriage, whether we like it or not, they can be required to respect gun rights.

      If it’s unacceptable to use derogatory language (example -‘faggot’), we must demand that they not use derisive derogatory language about those who practice their constitutionally gun rights.

      We’re gonna need to get practitioners of gun rights declared a protected class, the same as for Blacks and gays who got their protected class status.

      I’m getting sick and fucking tired of being considered a second-hand citizen by simply being pro gun rights…

      • “Perhaps not convert, but we can demand they respect it.”

        We can “demand it”, but we don’t have the benefit of law/legislation to enforce it (as do the Left).

    • Or it’s like trying to convince the segment of the gun community that flip-flops on individual rights and somehow champions government control over an individuals health care decisions. Not going to happen. Brain washed is brain washed.

  17. Hey, I’m sure it works for some people. Most all of the anti gun people I’ve met are so desperately wrapped in their ideology that they’ll never admit when they’re wrong. My favorite was a guy who admitted that yes, there are all kinds of non monodirectional deadly devices any mass killer can use, but we should still outlaw guns, becuase: “mass killers might use directional explosives.” Ever since then, my policy is to give the antis I meet a chance to demonstrate one of two things. Either, that they have any willingness to expand their knowledge and experience by agreeing to come to the range. Or, to demonstrate that they have any functional understanding of weapons, violence, laws, human nature, daily mission, war, or history, by asking them what is their actionable, realistic and active plan to counter a person who breaks into their house with a sledgehammer and intent to cave in their skull or rape their wife. If they can’t demonstrate either knowledge or willingness to expand their knowledge, then it’s just not worth my time.

  18. As someone who solves problems and communicates ideas for a living, I appreciate the thrust of the author’s argument here. There is something to be said for catching flies with honey than with vinegar. Still, engaging true antis, as opposed to so-called fence-sitters or never-thought-about-it-ers, assumes a degree of good faith is implicit in the occasion. Unfortunately, that is a grossly unfounded assumption.

    These antis are a hateful, ignorant, emotion-driven mob. They aren’t amenable to reason, or else they wouldn’t be rabidly anti-gun to begin with. The high road you think you’re taking, especially by disrespecting and insulting your own side as with the snide tone of this article, is just going to lead us all over the cliff into civilian disarmament. No thanks.

    • Most particularly when the author says; “No one ever won an argument with rhetoric.”
      Obviously unaware that rhetoric IS the art of discourse, and everyone who ever talked anyone else into, or out of, anything used rhetoric. One wonders what else this writer has exactly bass ackwards.
      In any case, I don’t give such foolishness any credence at all. Like the baby talk of a three year old. Just ignore it and pat the infant on the head. Perhaps he will grow up some day, if he’s lucky.

    • “so-called fence-sitters or never-thought-about-it-ers”

      This is exactly the group that we need to pay attention to. If we assume that everyone with an opinion contrary to our is “an anti” and approach them like assholes we not only give them more ammunition to prove how “crazy” we are, but we also create an unwelcoming environment for those fence-sitters.

      • “This is exactly the group that we need to pay attention to…”

        Not enough people in that group to change by a millimeter the political landscape regarding the Second Amendment. Think differently? How many of you favored group exist? Where are they? Do they perhaps wear some sort of symbol?

        Why waste time on a minuscule group when there are ~85,,000,000 gun owners who are not committed Second Amendment supporters? Why are we not scouring the glades for those people? Is it because they want to remain “invisible” so that gun grabbers won’t come for then? Who needs persuading more? Unicorns, or the fearful gun owners?

    • “…engaging true antis, as opposed to so-called fence-sitters or never-thought-about-it-ers, assumes a degree of good faith is implicit in the occasion.”

      As you note, both sides of the conversation must agree from the start that it is possible to come come to a mutual understand, or a non-antagonistic acceptance that both sides have valid positions, and respect the difference.

      We are long beyond the point where a respectful disagreement is possible. (See US politics circa 1850-1860)

  19. Facts don’t matter. Otherwise, parents would be buying their kids lightning rods and water wings instead of bullet-proof backpacks. They would be proposing laws that would actually address the recent shootings that have be propagandized as an urgent call to “do something.'” Instead, they drag out their boilerplate wishist of restrictions on lawful gun owners that won’t have an iota of effect of criminals. It’s all hype and feelings.

  20. Anyone who says this “Mike even suggested a common-sense measure — prosecute those who lie on a form 4473.” is not advocating what they think they are advocating.

    At the risk of repeating myself;
    In Pennsylvania in 2014 the state police started enforcing the laws on those rejected on a background check. Now if you are denied on a background check and do not appeal you will be arrested, charged, and prosecuted.

    What we have discovered is that the vast majority of those caught up in this are ordinary law abiding people who had some minor interaction with law enforcement or the mental health system in their past, often in their youth. The state police treat a VOLUNTARY MENTAL HEALTH OBSERVATION as if it is an involuntary commitment. The state DUI and drug laws have changed over the decades such that if you have ever had a DUI in Pennsylvania a lawyer who specializes in gun law will have to get your official paperwork to get the specific charges, disposition, and dates, and will have to consult 5 different law books to figure it out.

    The state police don’t bother with trying to figure it out or decide if you have cleaned up your act in the decades since a college DUI or mental health observation. You get charged and then have to either defend yourself at great expense or take a plea deal. Most people ending up taking the plea deal, which means that they are then certainly convicted felons and prohibited persons.

    Since PA has it’s own separate form and process for handguns if you were denied for a handgun purchase, which is the majority of these cases, you are facing 2 felonies.

    • “What we have discovered is that the vast majority of those caught up in this are ordinary law abiding people who had some minor interaction with law enforcement or the mental health system in their past, often in their youth.”

      You are pointing out the problem we have with our own shorthand language. The people advocating “enforcing the law” regarding failed BCGs are thinking only of people with criminal records that attempt a purchase through an FFL.

      Both the shorthand assumption, and the situation you identify are capital reasons UBC and BGC are useless, and dangerous systems.

  21. Patrick, both you and Mike are porkers. So you’re halfway there.
    Now all you have to do is start a gun company and treat customers like shit.

  22. You are trying to reason with “True Believers”.
    Some on the anti-2A side might be open minded and want an actual conversation, and those few might be persuaded with fact and figures.
    But the majority are “True Believers” aka fanatics, and for them there is no reasoning with.
    Facts and figures will not sway their fundamental beliefs.
    It is a kind of religion for them, and all the facts figures and info used that goes against all the precepts of that religion, are evil and are being used to harm them, their families/friends/businesses and their beliefs.
    It would be like trying to convince a christian that the devil truly loves them and only wants what is best for them to get them into heaven.

  23. “”In November 2007, San Antonio police responded to a home in the 900 block of W. Summit after receiving an emergency call for a son tearing up the house, public records show.

    On scene, Mihalski’s mother told officers her son was destroying furniture and to be careful because he may reach for their guns.

    Inside the home, officers found Mihalski not wearing a shirt and shoes with disheveled hair and bloodshot and glassy eyes, yelling at another person, records show.

    According to his arrest report, Mihalski looked at his mother and said he just wanted to run his fist through her mouth and see her brains, that she should, “take a very large caliber gun and blow her head off.”

    The report goes on to state that Mihalski said he was feeling “twitchy,” like he wanted to hurt his mother. Officers noted an injury to the woman’s nose, that her glasses had been broken and that she had skin torn off from three or four different places on her arm.

    Mihalski was then taken into custody on charges of family violence and making a terroristic threat against a family member, court records show.

    Mihalski told officers that booked him that he hoped his mother, “gets killed by the devil himself, then burns in hell as a shishkabob with bell peppers on a stick.”

    Three months earlier, in February 2009, Mihalski was arrested on a charge of abusive calls to 911, records show.

    Officers responded to an apartment on N. New Braunfels after Mihalski was accused of continuously calling 911 and threatening to do harm to police officers, according to his arrest report.

    Mihalski used “vulgar profanity” during calls with three different female police dispatchers and referred to the ‘Denny’s shooting,’ the January 2003 incident in which four SAPD officers were injured, two of them critically, and the suspect was killed during a shootout inside a Northeast Side Denny’s restaurant.

    Months later, in February 2010, Mihalski was again taken into custody by SAPD, according to public records.

    During this incident, officers were attempting to take Mihalski into custody outside a downtown wine bar for public intoxication when he began resisting.

    Mihalski was accused of using an expletive and a homophobic slur to refer to one officer before saying that he himself had killed Sergeant Bocko, an apparent reference to late SAPD officer John Bocko.

    Bocko, then the rank of detective, was one of the four officers injured in the Denny’s shooting…””

    I’m betting most of you 2A morons are already like Mike, lol.

  24. Yea, I want to physically assault my mother and be a giant drunk piece of shit! I can’t wait to watch this business crumble. Mediocre parts assembler who tries to act hard and bully his customers when they have issues. This dude is a cuck douche bag.

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