Thanksgiving dinner argument gun control
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The quote of the day is presented by

Many may consider talking politics at the dinner table to be ‘bad manners,’ but (civilian gun ownership) has transformed into a major domestic problem. We definitely need to talk about it. You may not be able to avoid an overzealous family member and their shaky opinions, but you can be prepared to intelligently and civilly serve up the facts as you enjoy a well-deserved slice of pie.

– Samantha Chavarria in How to talk about gun control with your family at Thanksgiving dinner

[ED: This post originally ran in 2017, but some things never change.]

Shannon Watts loves Thanksgiving
Courtesy Twitter

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  1. Did you get the blank stare too? Like when my parent’s were talking about a neighbor that they were worried her boyfriend might come harass her so they told her to come to their house at any sign of trouble. The blank stare when I asked “and what can you do for her, you don’t even have a gun?”. They just blankly looked at me.

  2. “…reformists cite the history of violence that has followed increased gun ownership. While it can be hard to separate feelings from this issue, repeating the hard facts will help you in this debate.”
    The irony….

  3. Everyone in the family shoots, hunts and collects guns, needless to say we talk about guns a lot. A thanksgiving get together is just a good excuse to show off your latest toy.

    • lol i would love to join your family for thanksgiving. Coming from australia i would have to be careful not to drool over the new toys :). And no not asking for an invite just i love my guns of all sorts including full auto not just semi auto or select fire or bolt, lever etc etc. i love them all. I love them for all the decent uses like sporting and just having fun at the range, I love them for the fact that they can be used for self defence even against stronger and/or more numerous opponents up to and including if necessary as your forefathers did, the government, which sad to say is the greatest reason of all for free men and women to go armed.

    • The last time I talked to an anti in Montana, was a decade ago. She was from Wisconsin.
      Its really nice to live in a (somewhat) free State surrounded by armed people. We don’t have mass shootings (murders yes, mass shootings, no) here. Gee, I wonder why?
      We did have a guy right here in Glasgow try to shoot up the hospital with a 10/22 about ten years back.
      He killed an EMT coming out of the ambulance barn while heading for the emergency entrance. Her name was Melissa Greenhagen if anyone wants to search the details. The papers called him the “Glasgow Sniper” even though he shot her at point blank range with a .22. So, typical journalism. Accuracy sadly lacking.
      That was as far as he got. A man in the parking lot waiting to pick up his wife popped him in the thigh from 50 yards with a .357 mag over the hood of his pickup truck. The perp dropped the 10/22 and discovered urgent business elsewhere. The police killed him hiding in a sheep shed a half mile away on the Milk River an hour later. We might HAVE mass shooters, but they don’t get enough victims to qualify as “mass” killers. Its real hard to keep shooting people once they’ve assumed room temperature (which in this case was about 5 below zero F.) Little need to shoot him, as he would’ve soon frozen to death with those sheep anyway.
      Granted, that wouldn’t have been nearly as much fun for the local LEOs.

  4. … “but you can be prepared to intelligently and civilly serve up the facts as you enjoy a well-deserved slice of pie.”

    If you actually are armed with facts then you are going to have a difficult time advocating for gun control. For instance, in the last 25 to 30 years the number of privately owned firearms in the US has increased by more than 5 million per year, far outpacing the rate of population growth. During that time period, gun control – particularly at the federal level – has decreased. Also during that same period, violent crime rates have steadily declined – to near historic lows. So, in summary, more guns = less crime. Pass the potatoes, please.

    • Correlation does not necessarily equal causation. So we can’t really say more guns equals less crime. What we CAN say however is that more guns does not equal more crime.

      • Actually, no. The dose-response effect is at play here and it confirms that more guns do indeed result in less crime.

        • Uh no, it doesn’t. At all. Unless you have eliminated all other variables- and you absolutely have not- you have no basis on which to make such a conclusion. Except your ideology.

      • Yes, I am aware of the differences between correlation and causation, I was employing a bit of short hand and, at the same time, referencing the work of John Lott.

  5. About half way through dinner. By the way that turkey you all are eating. Killed it myself. Yea shot it with my 12 gauge shot gun. Wait for it… Happiest of Thanksgivings… Peace Be With You and Those You Love.

  6. Skipping the family turkey day even though my whole family owns firearms of some sort.
    Got a turkey breast in the smoker and should be done shortly. No talk about anything political or otherwise.

  7. I’m taking a new group of newbies to the range this weekend. They’re fence-sitters, but were curious when I mentioned I’d rather spend time at the shooting range than the other option they were suggesting. Suddenly, all the guys in the group perked up, and even two wives. They’ve gone their entire lives without the benefit of knowing anyone (in SoCal) who enjoys shooting and know little about the subject other than what the media has told them. So for the third time this year, I’ll be introducing some curious newbies to the world of POTG.

    As always, we’ll start with some safety pointers with a ‘red gun’, then have fun for a while plinking with .22LR, then move up to larger calibers, then long guns, then targets, etc. Always ends with happy people asking for more.

    And gun control suddenly becomes a topic of the past.

    • I Haz a Question,

      Kudos to you sir or ma’am!

      I have taken two newbies out shooting so far this year. I am glad to hear that you will beat me not only in terms of how many times you have taken newbies out — also the total number of people you have taken out shooting!

      This is how we win. If every person who is enthusiastic about firearm ownership would take just two newbies out shooting every year, we would have introduced all newbies to shooting within something like 5 years depending on your specific assumptions. That would create a groundswell of firearms ownership advocacy the likes of which this nation has never seen.

      The alternative: sending money to the National Rifle Make Wayne LaPierre Rich Association these days is no better than flushing money down the toilet. Nope. Instead, take people out shooting.

      • Good point, uncommon. Instead of sending money to organizations for the purpose of fighting gun control in the courts, we can take the other route and treat “newbies” to the range. In the likelihood that they convert and become POTG, they will also likely vote pro-2A down the road, which (if the numbers swell as uncommon suggests above) would theoretically prevent the election of anti-gunners to office in the first place, thereby avoiding the passage of gun control laws, and hence the need to have to fight anything in court…which costs money.

        • Guesty McGuesterson,

          I advocate this strategy because I believe it is the most EFFECTIVE strategy for multiple reasons:
          (1) We cannot even rely on the courts to take cases, much less find in our favor.
          (2) Multiple jurisdictions and lower courts ignore favorable United States Supreme Court decisions.
          (3) Emboldened governments create laws FAR faster than we can challenge them.
          (4) It takes several years for cases to go to court.
          (5) Experience tells us that MOST newbies who go to a shooting range and have a positive experience WILL become firearm ownership advocates.
          (6) If a clear majority of public support drives governments to repeal firearm laws (or never pass them in the first place), law enforcement will most assuredly NOT enforce laws which do not exist.

  8. I know, why doesn’t everybody shut up about all this divisive shit for 2 lousy days a year (Thanksgiving and Christmas) and just enjoy the food, family and friends. You’re probably not going to change anyone’s mind any way.

  9. The folks at my dinner table are all POTG so that won’t be a problem and is usually a topic of discussion.

    • In some families talking about guns over the Thanksgiving dinner table will reduce the number of attendees next year! It’s your table so the subject matter of discussions is your choice.

    • lol I have done just that, after barbed remarks were sent in my direction. No i stand my ground and if that is the way they feel about rights and liberties then no matter if they are family i would rather not spend time with them. In the words of the forefathers, “Begone from us if you dont value liberty over life, enjoy the free exchange of ideas even when it becomes heated”. Not exact words I know but it is the gist of it.

      People who try to force their views on me are shown the door right smartly no matter who they are to me. i am willing to discuss things but as soon as the law gets laid down and a line is drawn in the sand it could be parents, siblings, partner, adult child etc they will loose me from their life. This is also not exclusively about firearms either but many other “taboo” or otherwise topics as well.

  10. Ever notice that it’s always the gun controllers who want to have a “discussion” about gun control? They don’t really want a discussion; they want you to shut up, listen to their lecture, and abide by what they TELL you – for your own good of course.

    “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

    C. S. Lewis

    • And the rest of the quote: They may be more likely to go to heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult.To be “cured” against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles and domestic animals.
      C.S. Lewis, God in the Dock: Essays on Theology (Making of Modern Theology)

  11. Even I a man of no religious beliefs. Understand the importance of the words spoken here. Especially in reference to the founding of the greatness nation in history. How a People had a belief and a desire to live a life Free from the bounds of Tyranny. And Yet had a belief in something greater than Themselves. Each person was allowed to make that choice. Right or Wrong. The choice was theirs to make. Not dictated nor mandated by a Government or King. These are the Things that should be discussed around the table on this day. Bless this day and These families. My the desire to be Free guide you in all your days.

    What George Washington was thankful for might shock you
    Lathan Watts
    By Lathan Watts | Fox News

    George Washington letter on God and the Constitution surfaces

    A very rare letter written by George Washington in which he praises God for the ratification of the U.S. Constitution is up for auction.

    In October 1789, long before Americans made it a national holiday, President George Washington issued a proclamation calling for a National Day of Thanksgiving.

    In recent years I have expanded my practice of reading this proclamation personally to include reading it aloud to my family before we say grace and sit down to our Thanksgiving meal.


    The man known as the father of our nation proclaimed:
    “Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor…. For the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted; for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed…”

    Just weeks after the Bill of Rights was sent to the states for ratification and during a time when their adoption was still very much in question, Washington recognized and called on Americans to thank God for rights that too many Americans today don’t understand – and are even willing to sacrifice – like religious liberty.

    He went on:

    “And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions … to render our national government a blessing to all the People, by constantly being a government of wise, just and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed … and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord, to promote the knowledge and practice of the true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and Us, and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.”

    Washington’s Thanksgiving proclamation, much like the man himself, is profound in both brevity and eloquence. Yet, the greatest value to the modern reader might just be the stark contrast it provides between our founding generation’s vision for their infant nation and the wandering prodigal son into which we have grown. Indeed, Washington repeatedly referenced the Divine as the source of our rights, peace, and prosperity.

    Perhaps most shocking to many Americans today is Washington’s specific admonition that that “good government” would promote “the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue.” For Washington, religious liberty didn’t mean government neutrality toward religion. To him and his fellow founders, religion, virtue, and liberty were inexorably linked.

    Consider some of the other fundamental realities in Washington’s call to gratitude: there is a God; that God is not neutral in the affairs of men and nations; unity through gratitude to our Creator; Americans as individuals and collectively have duties to perform; that government should be a blessing to the people through wise, just, and constitutional laws.

    Those concepts summarize volumes of self-evident truths found elsewhere in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Federalist Papers. These are the birthright of our nation upon which a national renewal could be built.

    Despite our nation’s shortcomings there is much for which to be thankful. We still enjoy more freedom, peace, and prosperity than any people in the world. If we are to maintain these for ourselves and our posterity we could start by reclaiming our national identity through renewed respect for our founding principles, like religious liberty, and yes, even the imperfect men like George Washington who imparted them to us.

    If so, future generations might consider us among the blessings for which they are thankful. Again, in Washington’s words:

    “Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be – That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks – for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation.”


    • just earlier this morning i watched a hillsdale college youtube video of the president of the college presenting the same letter and talking about it. beautiful indeed even though i am not religious

  12. Just say obesity is over 40x more likely to kill them than being murdered by a gun and ask for the gravy.

  13. Just got back from Old Country Buffet in Indiana-surprisingly good!. NO political talk. And Bears win!

  14. Politically-charged holiday blow-ups usually happen because somebody made a somewhat snarky comment and it escalates out of control. The strongest person is the one who can let a little snark from a tipsy in-law slide, in order to preserve the harmony. Thanksgiving dinner table should not be a combat arena.

  15. The only gun control discussion we are like.y to have around my families Thanksgiving table involves planning a family “range day” before Christmas.

  16. This is a good advertisement to make sure thanksgiving is at your house. If someone is dumb enough to talk politics and then is upset that you’re not agreeing with them, they can choose to leave.

    Make no mistake, that’s the goal of this propaganda, though: to try and isolate gun owners and make everyone else who might be on the fence avoid them.

    “Are you now, are have you ever been, a member of the gun club?”

    • “Make no mistake, that’s the goal of this propaganda, though: to try and isolate gun owners and make everyone else who might be on the fence avoid them.”

      Yup, just like cigarettes, the same playbook. Ostracize the gun owners. Refuse to play that game. Demand your right be respected. I refuse to sit “In the back of the bus” any longer…

  17. Do we have any weapons and how do we store them? We are freemen as The Founders intended, so yes, we have effective weapons in abundance, stored In the safest way possible, always following the Four Firearm Safety Rules: fully loaded and ready for defensive action. That’s how.

    If you object, then go home from us in peace. We ask not for your sides nor desserts. Crouch down and lick the hands that feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen, you evil, Commie scumbag.

    If you are good with our weapons, then you and your firearm(s) are always welcome, provided your weapon(s) are holstered until needed, and your aim is careful and true.

    Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year to all good people who cherish liberty.

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