This article originally appeared at libertybriefing.com. It’s republished here with permission.
By Jeff Siegel
I’m not sure what’s worse … left-wing anti-gun zealots or irresponsible gun owners. As an unapologetic supporter of the Second Amendment, I have no patience for rules or regulations that trample the rights of U.S citizens to keep and bear arms. This is unwavering for me. There’s no middle ground. That being said, I also have no patience for gun owners who don’t respect firearms . . .
Guns are not toys, as any responsible gun owner will tell you. They are not meant to be worn as accessories, like earrings or bracelets, nor are they meant to be used in a way that violates the rights and safety of other citizens.
To give you an example of what I’m talking about, just this morning I read an article about a man who shot a neighbor’s 6-month-old puppy with a hollow point .22 because it was getting ready to take a crap on his lawn.
Not only is it unacceptable to kill an innocent animal (unless you intend to eat it or it’s a threat to your safety), but it’s also unacceptable to fire off your .22 in the direction of your neighbor’s home – which apparently was the case in this situation.
The sad part, aside from a child’s dead pet, is that every anti-gun liberal who sees this story is going to use it as yet another bullshit reason to dismantle the Second Amendment. And this makes it much harder for those fighting the good fight to protect the Second Amendment.
So today, I’d like to offer five ways gun owners can help defeat the anti-second amendment crowd.
Don’t Be “That Guy”
Who’s “that guy?” I’m talking about the guy that layers himself in camo, walks into a restaurant with an AK hanging off his shoulder, an unholstered 9mm, and a video camera, throws a fit when he’s denied service, then posts a blog about it.
Although I fault no one for exercising his or her Second Amendment rights, when you act in such a manner, all you’re doing is pissing people off. If you want to help the cause, educate, don’t intimidate.
Quit Your Whining
Some retail stores don’t allow folks to enter with firearms. Whatever the reason may be, no amount of whining is going to change these store policies.
If Starbucks won’t let you in with your GLOCK, go around the corner to another coffee shop. That’s the beauty of a free market. You have choices. Make a statement with your purchasing power, not a boring press conference and a show of firepower.
Know How to Use Your Firearm
If I read another story about some nitwit who accidentally shot a family member or friend, I’m going to lose it.
If you’re new to gun ownership, please, please, please follow basic gun safety procedures. Always keep your firearm pointed in a safe direction. Don’t put your finger on the trigger unless you’re actually ready to shoot. Use the correct ammunition. Make sure you’re firearm has been cleaned properly.
I would also recommend getting in some good target practice time at the range before you head off into the sunset. There are few things more frightening than a gun owner with bad aim and bad instincts.
You don’t let your two-year-old get behind the wheel of a car, so please don’t be that person who puts a firearm in your child’s hand. Guns are not photo props.
Be a Role Model
Few of my friends support gun rights. Most don’t understand why it’s important to protect the Second Amendment, and many can get pretty fired up about it.
The truth is, the issue of gun ownership scares a lot of people. Mostly because all they know about guns is what they read, hear and see in the media. Rarely to they have an objective viewpoint because rarely is objectivity found in the mainstream press.
While it’s easy to blow your top when trying to reason with these folks, remember that most of them simply haven’t been educated properly. And if you respond in a hostile manner, you’ll just push them further and further away.
I’ve found that the best way to deal with these folks is simply to lead by example.
Demonstrate proper gun safety. Show them what responsible gun ownership looks like. Don’t try to convince them they need a gun, but reassure them that they are in no danger when in the presence of a responsible gun owner.
To be honest, I’m tired of so many law-abiding gun owners being equated with lunatic behavior and violence. But the only way we’re going to shed this image is to act responsibly, without hostility towards the other side.
And when other gun owners act in an irresponsible manner, use that opportunity as a conversation starter. Use that opportunity to speak up against this behavior. Because in these instances, our silence can be deafening.
If we want to defend the Second Amendment, we must be a part of the conversation in both good times and bad.
We tend to be quick to sing the praises of the business owner who saved his customers from a robbery because he was properly armed. But we also tend to get very defensive when when innocent people are gunned down by folks who don’t represent most law-abiding gun owners.
Those people don’t represent us. And we should never be afraid to call them out on their violent actions. Because if we don’t, we’re no better than the folks who continue to trivialize the importance of the Second Amendment. In fact, we make their job easier.
I agree with the sentiment of being responsible role models. I don’t agree with the exploitative reporting of articles like the one about the puppy being shot. I absolutely believe the 82 year old man went well beyond any reasonable behavior but I don’t condone the celebration of suffering that those articles embody. The detail and emotionalism of the article is in stark contrast to the lack of reporting of instances where people use guns to legitimately defend themselves should speak clearly as to the bias on the topic. Yes the specific instance appears grossly irresponsible but the journalistic intent is to exploit one side of the topic.
For example this article should show what I mean.
Odd, the incident in question happened in Eastern Washington, several hundred miles from Seattle. They gotta get the big stuff right before I pay attention to anything else.
I think it’s good to point out this article. The guy is stupid and paints you and me in a bad light in the eyes of gun grabbing soccer moms and other types of the gun grabbing nature. Logic and reason cease to exist in discussion with those people, or whatever you want to call the unidirectional hysterical shouting/crying waterfall that it usually is.
This news snippet will serve as an example by the anti crowd, so it’s not a bad idea to dig a little deeper ourselves too. Being “that guy” gets exploited by the antis, it’s good for the “good guys” to understand what goes on.
One problem we face is that responsible ownership of firearms are non-events. Millions of firearms owners use or just carry their firearms daily in a responsible manner and nothing bad happens. There is nothing to notice, and when someone is carrying concealed, the public is not even aware that they are in the presence of a firearm being carried responsibly.
It comes down to the fact that the misuse of firearms is news worthy. It’s uncommon, and the results are disastrous. This is an event. This is an attention grabbing headline.
There are 300 million firearms in this country. I don’t know how many millions of them just sit unused, and how many millions are used. If half are used a half a dozen times a year without incident, that’s 900 million responsible uses. Compared to let’s say 100,000 irresponsible uses. That’s .01%.
He thought he had rat shot loaded, should have been a defensive bb gun use.
I lived in Europe half my life, and people there regularly POISON neighbor’s dogs and stray dogs. Someone will get a puppy that turns out to bark a fair amount at night and surprise, it dies. The usual method is anti freeze in a shallow bowl left where the dog can reach it.
The liberty blog has gone full jacka55 on this subject. There are extreme outlier idiots exercisers of every right.
this liberty briefing blog is absurd string of red herrings wrapped in strawmen.
The problem here is that the anti’s today don’t really care how good of a gun owner you are. They will trawl the internet and post every single bad incident with a gun and use it for justification to go after us all. Just being responsible with our actions just isn’t quite enough…
True, but the anti’s are a minority in this country. The undisputed research polls (Pew) show that the nation is moderately pro-2A across every ethnic and gender demographic; meaning, between 51% and 62% in each demographic favor “gun rights” over “gun control”. This is good news for our society. The bad news is, a sizable proportion of these demographics are not ardently pro-gun. Enough idiots could sway them to the other side. This article shows the reasonable precautions gun owners can take to prevent that from happening.
And thus, I direct your attention to the wisdom of the founding fathers in giving us a Constitutional Republic, rather than a Democracy. The whims of the populace are not nearly as disruptive. The natural right of self-defense embodied in the keeping and bearing of arms is Constitutionally protected against the sway of polls.
Except the populace elect politicians, who then appoint judges. And depending on who is appointing those judges, you could end up with judges that think the 2nd Amendment is only talking about the National Guard, and rules accordingly.
The Bill of Rights protects against tyrannical majorities. True, in theory. In practice, we do not want three quarters of the population supporting draconian gun measures, because – guess what,like it or not, those measures will pass into law.
Remember, the Constitution does not prevent amending some of those rights away, so why be stupid about good public relations?
David- I am betting that the responsible gun owners of Washington and other states with draconian emotion based gun laws would disagree, and say that gun owners are the minority. The blatantly unconstitutional laws were passed by the low information liberal majority cities, which effectively renders the honest and decent Americans still residing there defenseless in their pursuits according to the second amendment.
Jason, I’m afraid I’ll have to disagree with this a bit. The Draconian legislation passed in Washington because sufficient gun owners either didn’t get off their butts and vote against it, or even worse, voted FOR it in some misguided belief that it would A.) Do some good and/or B.) Wouldn’t affect them. Had the pro-gun forces sufficiently mobilized, I-594 would have gone down in flames. Of course, the fact that the anti-gunners outspent the gun rights crowd something like 50:1 didn’t help at all.
Now, after the dust has settled, we even have county Sheriff’s offices and county prosecutors publicly stating that they have no intention of enforcing this law.
Your basic premise is true though – if you’re surrounded and outnumbered by the voting opposition, you’re basically screwed. It’s just that sometimes you take part in that screwing by inactivity or the wrong activity.
Let them disagree. They’re in the minority and I am doing my part to make sure they stay there.
2014 was a good year for me. I resolved to convince 10 people who didn’t care about guns to support gun rights. I met my goal. What did I do? I took ten people shooting and showed them how responsible gun ownership works, how to exercise firearm safety, that guns are to be respected, not feared, and showed them how gun ownership can be a positive part of their lives. That’s what works folks.
I’m waiting to hear the hostility about not being hostile.
One very important thing to add: perspective. While it would be nice to remove idiot gun owners from the populace (some do that without any of our help), we must have answers regarding how rare these incidents are. The use of firearms brings about the risk of accidental death or injury. No amount of training can eliminate that risk, just like defensive driving cannot eliminate car crashes.
However, the risk of responsible firearms ownership is much less than car crashe, medical errors, etc. While we consider car crashes, we still hop in, belt up, and fire up our engines. Similarly, we consider safety when strapping on our 9s, 40s, 45s, etc.
The anti gunners simply have zero interest in a complete conversation. Like a vindictive ex-girlfriend, they see only the negative and refuse to accept the positive. Real DGUs and lives saved exceeds the amount of lives lost. Still, the 2nd Amendment is about freedom, not social utility. The fact that responsible gun ownership benefits far exceeds the cost is a feature, not a bug.
We are not going to change opinions of strong anti-gunners but I agree that there are people who “flaunt” their 2A rights and they don’t help our cause. The fact is that there are irresponsible people who do stupid things that harm fellow citizens (driving drunk) and those people are a bigger risk than responsible gun owns. I think part of the educating of folks on the fence is giving them a sense of proportion.
Correction, driving drunk harms noone. It merely makes the possibility that someone will get hurt more likely. This is a pet peeve of mine. Do not mix up condition with action. This is the same as saying someone that carries is hurting everyone because there is a chance you could.
I invite you to investigate a few fatal crashes, notify parents about deaths in the family, and see if you feel the same way. There is nothing responsible, intelligent, or defensible about DUI. Shooting drunk is also asinine.
The statists always rear their ugly heads when DUI is mentioned.
The analogy is flawed from the start. A person who has been drinking above the limit and is driving a car IS IMPAIRED and operating a dangerous weapon. Depending on severity of impairment, physical conditions, distance, etc, they are likely to hurt or kill someone or themselves.
The person who is legally carrying a gun and not drinking, while more likely to shoot someone than a person not in possession of gun merely by the presence of the gun, is not impaired and is much less of a danger to anyone. Add alcohol to the mix and the scene changes immediately and then becomes like the drunk driver..
Prove the impairment, bootlicker.
pigs die: you are either a loose screw or a deliberate troll. You are not welcome here.
You must love handing over your rights and responsibilities.
@ pigs die,
Given that your screen name is a little disconcerting, I’ll just say this: DUI equals jail time. There is no right to drink and drive in the constitution. I’ll also arrest someone who handles a car or a firearm in a sufficiently reckless manner, and I’ll sleep quite well at night after doing so.
If you personally investigate over 1300 crashes, and somehow find that speed, DUI, unsafe turning movements, and reckless driving do not cause or contribute to crashes, you are welcome to let drunk drivers go all you want. You’ll probably lose your job as a police officer, get sued, or both.
Very well said.
There are a lot of idiots in society. We can’t have it both ways-either we confine gun ownership to an elitist few, at which point worrying about negligent handling and poor range wear fashion choices becomes a non-event.
Or , we advocate broader acceptance of gun rights across society, which by definition includes the idiots as well. Thats just life, like death and taxes.Dead pets, dead neighbors, and even dead kids ate horrible things-but they’re also the price of doing business ,in a way.
We don’t step out into the garage and demand everyone driving take a course at Bob Bondurants school, or say everyone driving a Chevy is a dolt who needs to buy a real, foreign car (/sarc) lest vehicle ownership be banned. We simply accept that some folks will do stupid things behind the wheel-and an aircraft load of people die WEEKLY from driving.
So, spare us the speech. Observe that according to the Constitution, the idiot has an equal right to gun ownership as you, I, and the MENSA community. We should accept that as the fact it is.
Thank-you. Well said.
My response to the article…”Nice lecture.”
High horses help us as much as caliber wars do.
This is a more polite version of “I support the 2A, but”…..
It’s typical Farago manure.
While RF may have posted the article, it was written by Jeff Siegel.
In all candor, I suggest that it’s more like “I support the 2A and.”
Why are the antis not screaming for the military and the police to be disarmed? It’s not just the guns they’re actually afraid of — it’s the gun owners (or, in their view, the gun nuts/fondlers/small-weenie-compensators).
Any time you act like “that guy,” you’re simply giving a face to their worst fears. Sure, you’re “right,” but you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to prove the other side wrong, instead of confirming their stereotyped and fear-laden impressions.
Which approach is more likely to rile up opposition to gun ownership, and which is more likely to slowly win people over to our side?
“Why are the antis not screaming for the military and the police to be disarmed?”
They perceive they need them to disarm us.
After us, they will quite likely be next. That, and they will be VERY choosy about who gets the title of “police” and “military.”
But I do agree with your statement that it is not really the gun they fear|hate. It’s subjects that dare think or believe free men should be free and retain some power against tyranny.
I think some of what you’re saying is true, but it’s not quite relevant to this article. The author does not suggest that irresponsible gun owners don’t have the right to own firearms. He’s saying that part of our ongoing struggle against 2a infringement must include efforts to discourage irresponsible behavior with guns. I’m not sure if you’re suggesting such efforts are futile, but if so, I respectfully disagree.
Any time you try to assert some responsibility for some other guy – the ‘irresponsible gun owner in this case – or his behavior, you are asserting some degree of authoritarian control.
Perhaps we should not follow the model of the Statists, Carpetbaggers and other buttinski-ites and try to practice the very essence of “personal” liberty.
It is quite possible to believe in the notion of community and try to persuade your friends, family, and neighbors to alter wrong behavior without attempting to assert authoritarian control and rob them of personal liberty like a dictator.
True enough as a philosophical point.
The problem that enters the picture when this is attempted to be put into practice is “where is the line.” A LOT of stuff PTOG complain about in other gun owners is really just personal taste. For example, we get the fashion police (he’s not wearing a Polo Shirt…OMG!) and garbage like that.
Another approach is to live your life as an example and trust the other guy to exercise his best judgment. Too many on our side are far, far, far too quick to be judgmental and cast stones at stuff that is not right for them, but of no real transcendental harm.
I’ll accede to that. Quibbling over details of personal preference and taste shouldn’t be confused with the more crucial matters. For the record, I took the authors original intent in describing his specific example of the hypothetical OC guy in camo to be a condemnation of those blatantly hostile and confrontational outliers we’ve all seen on YouTube, and not OC in general (I could be mistaken there).
Overall, the articles tone does seem to be one of sarcasm and maybe a little condescension, but i was really just trying to look past that and get to the kernel of it.
Thanks to you for your thoughtfully civil arguments. Maybe I am being a little to philosophical, and I can appreciate your pragmatic stance.
Christians are exhorted to “walk your talk.” (The theme of the book of James.)
In he same manner, each of us must resolve to practice and teach others “Not to be that guy”. There will always be “that guy”, but he’s clearly not the norm. Let’s do our utmost to make him an endangered species.
“Show them what responsible gun ownership looks like” – I could not agree more. The idiotic things I have seen at my local gun range which is supposed to be an area for people to enjoy their second amendment rights is enough for a liberal anti gun zealot to have a field day. The best was a bunch of gangster wannabes on the bench next to me firing their semi auto 9mm pistol sideways as if they are some bad asses in some action movie. Being the idiots they are, they paid absolutely no attention to the fact that their ejecting shells were flying over the to of the partition onto my bench area, until one of their hot shells went down the back of my collar. Needless to say I put my down gun and let them know how unhappy I was and pointed out that if they could not fire their pistol safely I was going to ask the range officer to ask them to leave. Bottom line – this entire scenario should have never happened.
““Show them what responsible gun ownership looks like””
Who is meant by “them?” Because for the most part…
They. Don’t. Care.
Repeat that to yourself. Repeat it as often as it takes for it to soak in.
They don’t care. The agenda is about “control,” not guns.
You can show them all the responsible gun ownership you want to, and the conclusion will STILL be that you are some crazy, racist, misogynistic murderer/rapist if that’s how they need to characterize you to define you as “The Other.”
They HATE us…not because we own guns, but because we don’t bend to their every whim. Get rid of the guns, and they STILL would point their skeletal fingers of accusation at whatever NEW thing they need to point at in order to define us as “The Other.”
That’s absolutely true, we are not going to convince Prog true believers of anything, because they simply don’t care about facts. It’s not that anyone is suggesting that we roll over and show the statists our bellies (I don’t read it that way, at least). It’s saying that civility will serve as better at this stage, and work to marginalize the people who hate us.
The fact that they don’t care does not absolve us of the responsibility to do the best job we can.
“they do not care”
I also agree on that.
While I do wish we could/would present a more clean-cut and unified front I am also completely aware that gun owners are, almost by definition, an independent minded bunch. But ultimately that wish of mine is rendered moot by the “do not care” types. Case in point, when I went from working in/with law enforcement to not doing that job anymore I was literally astounded at the sheer number of people who no longer considered me to be capable/responsible/fill-in-the-term-here enough to have a firearm anymore simply because I had changed jobs. No amount of conversation could get past the “but you’re not a cop anymore”.
I hope someday I can find a way to understand the average person’s conviction that being hired to do a particular job makes a person instantly qualified to carry a gun and make life or death decisions in a split second, regardless of training or experience, and that no other person is so qualified, regardless of training or experience. It has been obvious all my life, and I still can’t understand it. You get a guy just mustered out of the Special Forces after 20 years of firing 10,000 rounds a year, making life or death decisions among people whose language he can’t even understand, and people think, since he’s not a cop, he should not be allowed to own firearms. Kid gets out of high school, joins two bit police force in a town of 500 inhabitants, is suddenly just fine to have a sidearm and a machine gun in his patrol car, though he has never fired a gun in his life. What are they thinking?
I think the majority of people we’d call “anti-gun” aren’t really hardcore about it. They just haven’t given it much critical thought, and have absorbed decades of liberal BS on the topic. True, those who are committed to civilian disarmament won’t be swayed and don’t care how responsible we are. But the ones who are only anti-gun “by default” can be kicked to one side of the fence or the other relatively easily, because they don’t really care either way. Demonstrating to those people that guns can be safely and responsibly owned and used by “untrained” people can go a long way to planting the seeds of doubt in their minds about what they’ve been spoon-fed for all those years.
And if “them” is irresponsible gun owners, they don’t care either. Sure a few are just ignorant and might be able to be reached, but the ones that are moronic enough to leave a pistol out where the 4 year old can get at it are probably going to keep on doing it until reality comes crashing through their window too late.
As it was said, you can’t fix stupid.
Absolutely. Hence the misguided fear about “bullet spraying assault weapons” and “high capacity bullet clips.” Millions of both are present in society without any issues at all, but the antis make the assumption that mere possession of one of these is enough to impel the owner to blow a gasket and go on a killing spree. As long as evil intent is ascribed to the objects themselves, responsible ownership will be less than convincing.
And in the case of a desire simply to control people – responsible ownership is just seen as another thing to legislate around, so that the formerly responsible owner is now a felon for some paper violation, and can now be prosecuted or at least defamed as a crook.
I gotta admit I’ve always wanted to try that just once. Just to see if I can hit anything.
Until you can: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1jx1TOzxrE
Well put, all of this. Though I get weary of refuting the same lies again and again (often from the same source), it’s simply part of the price we must pay for free speech. Might as well be calm and patient, because the lies will keep on coming no matter what we do.
I really like to second the point that all some people know about guns is what they read and see in the media or TV and movies. This inaccurate portrayal of guns has many in the dark about how the guns and shooting really work in reality. We always get the “why couldn’t the person just shoot him in the leg or arm or shoulder”, ignorant blather after a fatal DGU. These folks don’t know any better because they have no experience with guns, so they extrapolate what they see on screen as reality. One day at a range can change that since shooting, in particular, a handgun is nowhere near as easy as depicted in film.
I see we have our holiday season 2014 “new Jim Zumbo”
“Don’t Be “That Guy”
Who’s “that guy?” I’m talking about the guy that layers himself in camo, walks into a restaurant with an AK hanging off his shoulder, an unholstered 9mm, and a video camera, throws a fit when he’s denied service, then posts a blog about it.
Although I fault no one for exercising his or her Second Amendment rights, when you act in such a manner, all you’re doing is pissing people off. If you want to help the cause, educate, don’t intimidate.”
Hey, if you’re going to write about not being “that guy”, and criticize those who you don’t agree with from our community, YOU are THAT GUY.
“quit your whining” ? sounds like you’re saying sit down and shut up. Don’t bother trying. Instead, here’s what I consider a good place to start: Stop criticizing gun owners you don’t agree with or you think are “too extreme”. Let’s call a spade a spade, you don’t like open carry. Whether it’s rifle open carry or all open carry, it scares you. It’s ok. Gun ownership isn’t for everyone and consider that it might not be for you.
Focus your ire on the petty tyrants who legislate, or create public policy and then set up the enforcement of the restrictions putting us all at risk.
Our enemies want us balkanized and fighting amongst ourselves because it lets them win. Washington state’s new gun restrictions are a good example of what balkanized gun owner lobby groups accomplish, and their factionalized supporters. Now imagine us all broken down into tiny, ineffectual groups because we can’t stand each other. That’s what articles with this premise promote and it needs to stop.
It’s bad enough to get preached at by the anti-gunners demanding “common sense” gun control, when they have no common sense. Now we get gun rights Nazi’s who are equally demanding in how we’re all supposed to behave.
Do I agree with some, perhaps even most, of the items in his rant? Sure. Do I need to be schooled on it like some 6 year old child? Decidedly not. Stow the whining to the gun owners and put your efforts into whining at your legislators.
I agree with most of this article. I think there are plenty of dumbass people waiving guns around in public places trying to garner attention for their “rights” and they actually just give responsible gun-owners a bad name. As for “props” in pictures. I see it all the time and it doesn’t bother me. I will say that I believe “Shooting” is becoming an acceptable aspect of a “lifestyle” trend among the populous. No longer are guns “just for MIL/LE,hunting, and protection”. I think that does 2 things depending on which branch you are “perched”… 1. it makes the gun-control advocates EVEN MORE MAD because they think that “taking a girl shooting on a date” means that we carelessly fire weapons as “fun/hobbies/etc” and do not take them (guns) as serious tools for killing. 2. it becomes a lifestyle/culture which younger folks are enjoying and even induces bonding and there becomes a “fashion” aspect to how you outfit your gun (which, if you don’t own a Geissele rail, we cannot be friends…. kidding) and makes it a popularity contest on social media. On the opposite side of that there are probably a bunch of “pissed off old dudes” who think putting FDE furniture on your Ar15 in just plan ol’ malarkey!
Be responsible, be respectful. The beauty of being a conservative or libertarian is that we have a knack for not caring about what doesn’t have anything to do with our lives. Leave the “I am mad about something that doesn’t affect me or anyone that I know” to the Libs.
So it’s ok to shoot your neighbor’s puppy for crapping in your yard as longs as you skin and eat it? Did I misread the author’s point?
Seriously, I understand his points and agree. Simple rule is don’t be an ass. The problem is not everybody agrees with the same definition of an ass. I don’t think a self righteous article is going to effectively enlighten said ass and change their behavior. Freewill is a bitch. YMMV.
I think I see a great step to tackling police puppycide. You kill it, you eat it.
But you may not use hollow point boolit. They are eeevil!
Your five-point advice is sound; your premise is ridiculous.
There are – what? – 100,000,000 gun owners in the US, 11-12 million of whom may carry (concealed or openly) on a daily basis). Accidents and deaths caused by negligent discharges and other stupidity are at historically low rates.
People who do stupid things with guns are the extreme exception, not the rule. If you don’t know whether the extreme exception is worse than anti-gun zealots, then you’re an idiot, and you’re only fueling the flames of the anti-gun zealots’ rhetoric.
I understand where the author is coming from with this article, but the execution is condescending and misguided. We hear about NDs and other firearms-related stupidity only because the media lacks any sense of perspective whatsoever when it comes to guns. All gun owners certainly should learn and incorporate the safety rules as habits (especially the ones about safe directions and trigger fingers). However, there is no kind or quantity of exhortation that will turn true idiots into responsible citizens, and pieces like this that seek to do so by brow-beating the rest of us (after telling us to “Stop Whining!” – damn…) only provide grist for the other side’s mill.
Anti’s don’t care if you’re responsible. I agree we don’t need to give them more ammo.
Where can you legally carry an “unholstered 9mm” in public? What’s wrong with baby gun pics?
Every “right” or “freedom” or “authority” carries risk. Not only does the exercise of the Second Amendment carries grave risks; the exercise of a right to vote carries an even greater risk to the well being of the entire nation, not just the individual or a few around him. The effects are often slower to show, but are deadly indeed. An unrestricted right is given to people to vote that have no idea what they are doing and how their votes affect the society, often with deadly results. Shouldn’t attention be focused on this great danger , in fact, a slow suicide, that our nation is going through?
Thanks for the comments, folks. Even peppered with some hostility, I still appreciate the valid arguments. Certianly my intention was not to offend other gun-owners. My intention has only been to suggest a few things that I believe will help take some of the wind out of the sails of anti-gun folks. Maybe I’m wrong, maybe I’m right. Just an honest opinion, not intended to come off as self-righteous. Thanks for reading!
“My intention has only been to suggest a few things that I believe will help take some of the wind out of the sails of anti-gun folks. “
That’s fine as far as it goes, but I’d say it is mostly misguided effort.
You don’t take wind out of their sails…not the rabid ones that are controlling the narrative in the public media. They will not be convinced; no amount of logic or good behavior on our part will convince them.
Exercise your rights as you see fit. You are not responsible for the other guy. Let’s make offensive actions the offense, and STOP LETTING THEM SET THE NARRATIVE of right and wrong.
Please cite the cases where someone with an unholstered 9mm is throwing a fit for not getting service and writing in a blog about it. I expect more than a few examples since it is enough of a concern to highlight and start with. Please do not bother showing any examples of legal carry.
While whining about wanting others to stop whining and noting the beauty of this system of choices you pretend that there is only one good choice and one bad choice, neither of which are letting the company know directly with words, or whining if you will.
When you start with such dishonest tactics you lose credibility. It just comes across as a rant that applies to a minority of the people that will read it. It might help to at least start with the extremely old and common sense suggestions.
Smug self-serving crap, Jeff.
Appeasers like you have never protected our rights.
ST: The author said nothing about taking away their guns. He only called on gun owners not to act like idiots.
Do idiots have the right to own guns? Yes, mostly. (But not when their idiocy results in a felony such as negligent homicide.)
But idiots have no right to not be called idiots.
But who exactly is he talking to? The criminally negligent? Gangbangers? He isn’t talking to me that’s for sure and I doubt the utility of talking to the rest. Howmany puppy killers are pro 2nd enough to reconsider their ways for the sake of the cause? I for one consider that guy a criminal plain and simple, and we have a legal system for those types whatever tools they use. This just seems to similar to the statements concerning rape that place the responsibility on all men. It’s kinda offensive.
“I’m not sure what’s worse … left-wing anti-gun zealots or irresponsible gun owners”
I am sure, left-wing anti-gun zealots by a far margin. Stopped reading after that sentence.
tldr: Everybody be nice or they’ll take your toys away.
What’s the point of living if we’re all supposed to quietly tip-toe around the asylum lest we upset the patients?
Agree with most of the points made so far but you are missing one. Out here in the Western US shooters seem to think that hauling your computer, TV, couch, mirror or other trash out to some remote spot and shooting it full of holes and then leaving it is OK. We have seen large expanses of safe shooting areas closed due to the trash left behind by irresponsible shooters and unfortunately that is the public face of the shooting community in our State.
I make it a point to take more from my local sites than I came with. It’s not so bad around here but it’s good practice and that is a thing to encourage as we have no right to be granted free shooting spaces so it really dose book down to responsible action by otherwise law abiding gun owners.
I echo other comments that there are no qualifications to our right to keep and bear arms. As long as we do not directly, purposely threaten another person with our firearms, we should be good to go.
Gun grabbers are going to hate us no matter what we say or do.
I get your point.
However, the problem is “that guy” (or “that woman”) is probably too dumb or ignorant to know that they are “that person”, and even exposed to education/instruction, they aren’t going to get it.
I think you have to make the connection that being anti-gun is being anti-gun owner, which is discrimination, and is really no different than racial, religious, or sexual preference discrimination. And none of those are tolerated.
The author is spot on. Talk to any PR person and they will tell you “perception management” is more than half of any fight. If we represent gun owners as responsible and do not intimidate, harass, or otherwise annoy general society, we can expect support every time a pro gun issue comes up.
If we represent ourselves in a negative light, we can expect far more gun control with Joe Q Public cheering on every anti-gun law
“Talk to any PR person and they will tell you “perception management” is more than half of any fight. “
Perception management, huh?
Holding PR folks as the standard? Shannon would be so proud.
All this “image” and “perception” crap is what the anti’s do because they have nothing else.
You can’t fix stupid.
Morons don’t read TTAG, this is the choir.
I like knowing that a fool is just a fool, and businesses that think they should protect themselves from guns won’t, but I glazed over most of what was written – opinions are fine, expressed well, and should make me think, not make me think this is another person trying to get the world his perfect way.
Enjoy you firearms and shooting, do it safely with good friends and family, and know that there are opportunities for improvement – in your marksmanship, experience and sharing the skills and manners.
I know some of you think that this article is “preaching to the choir” but I think it’s right on. We all need a reminder now and then that as responsible gun owners/carriers we (may literally) live or die together as a group and therefore need to not only be mindful of our own actions but also gently suggest to others we see behaving badly that perhaps there is a better way. Yes, there will always be some people that do wrong or stupid things, but if the majority stand out as good examples then the exceptions will be less noticeable. I ride large motorcycles and have for decades. There was a time anyone with a leather jacket and a helmet made people nervous because of the bad actors that rode. Through promotion of the joys of riding, courses in safety, and motorcycling associations those fears have almost completely been laid to rest. I think the same thing is happening with guns, it just will take a bit longer. Stay safe.
I don’t consider my self to be a part of that group any more than gangsters are a part of mine. Gun ownership is not some singular trait that defines the POTG. If that were the case every thug criminal and even Shannon watts would be ” one of us”.
I remind myself of that, every single time I put my holster on my belt, take off the safety, and holster my firearm – not because of some PR nonsense, but because of the awesome power that I carry, that can be used as a tool for good, or misused to great harm. I assume that all but a handful of the 11-12 million of my fellow countrymen who do likewise every day also similarly remind themselves.
I remind myself when I pull out my holstered firearm, and place it in a safe direction, in order to put the holster on my belt. I remind myself when I ensure that my trigger finger is in a safe position as I take off the safety and holster my firearm. I remind myself when I’m driving, and choose (sometimes begrudgingly) to act with patience instead of getting angry at some moron driver who just cut me off. I remind myself when interacting with others, and take every opportunity to de-escalate situations rather than contribute to escalating them. I remind myself when I maintain situational awareness, and avoid what might become opportunities to need to defend myself.
Of the 100,000,000 law-abiding, legal firearm owners in this country, I believe I am typical of about 99,999,900 of them.
We don’t need condescending reminders that equate our actions to gun-grabbers.
I agree with the author. This is a PR war and the deck is stacked we’ve got to present our best face. In general I’ve found the gun guys do a better than average job of welcoming and teaching noobs. But the author’s point of be a good role model with guns and call idiocy “idiocy” (not attempt to restrict rights) are valid points.
We all know we’re not “that guy”, we also know that we’ve seen “that guy”, and the idea is to educate “that guy” so he’s one of us. He probably doesn’t realize he’s that guy. Muzzle discipline, trigger discipline, respect for guns and our fellow citizens. Be the person your dog thinks you are or that your Momma would want you to be, whichever is better.
Stop lumping gun ownership, or gun usage/activity together with “the right”. They aren’t the same…not even close. It’s like saying speaking broken English or bad punctuation is not covered by the first amendment.
Seriously, I think people need a remedial course on what an actual right is.
So no, I don’t think anyone doing anything stupid with a gun puts the 2nd amendment at risk, because the words only protect the right. The right is individual and not subject to restriction. So even if the #2 was removed from the constitution, the right remains.
“With great rights come great responsibility”. This is were we must find a solid foundation. We have the right but we must be responsible. I believe the author was correct that most of the fear comes from not knowing. My brother in law, avid hunter, came out to shoot years ago and I had just bought an AR. He fired one and then another. He looked at me and said “how do you get it to keep firing?” He thought they were all full auto. Even as someone who is safe around guns he still needed taught.
Just yesterday I was in Gander Mountain. I overheard the young clerk behind the counter tell a guy who was buying his first AR and was asking about ammo “the 5.56 came out during the Afghanistan war because it has more pressure than the 223 to eject the round in sandy conditions.” The guy said “good to know, so I can buy either right?” I was in fear of what would come out of the clerks mouth next because of him not knowing the 5.56 came out in 1963, so I involved myself in the conversation and said “the common rule is that 5.56 can fire 5.56 and 223. The 223 can only fire 223. If you have any other guns in 223 then I would stick with just buying 223 unless you are certain you will not get them confused!” The buyer said “that’s a good idea because I have a 223 coyote gun at home”
So here you have a case of a “gun guy” and perceived expert giving the general public somewhat faulty information. Would it been a disaster? Probably not but if something went wrong it would be another headline about a dangerous gun causing injury all by itself.
I’ve explained that there is no gunshow loop hole to several folk. They did the research and realized they had been duped by catch phrases. When they ask what about a moderate fix for some lapses of law, I say the problem isn’t the fix it’s that it keeps going back to the politicians who have something to gain or lose. It’s rarely about the issue.
My concern is that “irresponsible” behavior often ends up being a list of someones’s personal, acceptable list of infringements.
There’s a local (to where I live) gun-store and gun-range owner who insists that he is as “as pro 2A as you can get”, it’s just that he supports all sorts of “responsible” behaviors in the form of laws, like:
– Universal background checks
– 10-day waiting periods
– Magazine capacity restrictions
– Bans on so-called “assault weapons”
– Registration for certain classes of firearms (like those unlike the kind he uses to hunt)
– Mandatory training and permits for certain classes of firearms (except for his duck gun, of course)
Not being wholly in favor of such things, brands one “GUN NUT!” in his view of things … the kind of person who will end up getting all of our (meaning his) guns away!
I have no general beef with the article, I’ve just seen where it can lead.
“left-wing anti-gun zealots” are controlling statists who think they are smarter and better than everyone else and have appointed themselves to the egotist pulpit from which they propose to dictate to everyone else what they can or cannot not do.
“irresponsible gun owners” are morons, who should know better than to do the idiot things they do with firearms and don’t really give a crap about anyone else’s safety and well being.
While both are essentially self-centered and have no respect for the rights of others, the former is willfully evil and the latter is stupidly evil.
A better introduction for your article might have been to just offer your thoughts rather than contrasting villains to village idiots. Most of the points have been discussed here before, but you might be the first person to put them all together in one writing and taken together they make a cogent body of suggestions.
Geez, what a rant! Here’s a hint, Jeff. You’re not only jeopardizing the Second Amendment, you’re also jeopardizing the First.
When some schmuck does something stupid with a gun, it has nothing to do with me even though I own guns. When some schmuck gets drunk and plows his car into a procession of teenage nuns, it has nothing to do with me even though I drink and drive (but never at the same time).
Put a sock in it, Jeff. You’re not helping anything.
The only people that are a threat to the 2A are those that lie through their teeth to distort the public views. An asshole shooting a puppy is an asshole shooting a puppy. It doesn’t matter if he shot it or stabbed it or drove it over with his truck.
If the author is trying to compel appropriate behavior among gun-owners, the first thing he should do is not waste our time writing drivel.
I only read the first bit. He’s tilting at windmills. We cannot stop people from acting irresponsibly. They can face legal ramifications for their actions but these people will always be with us. What we can do is stop government from infringing upon rights. That’s where 99.999% of the effort ought to be focused. IMHO, reading the rest of this article would be a waste of my time but I’ll probably do so anyway.
Edit: Read the rest and, yep, a waste of time.
+ 1Ralph…and didn’t you say most of your friends don’t agree with you? All my friends agree with me or they are not really friends. Just associates.
Great supportive 2A article, I believe the majority get your point. There is no reason to be critical or corrective.
The only sad part is intelligent responsible gun-related articles seem to fall on deaf ears nor garner interest with the broad media.
It is far more likely to create anti-gun sentiment from an idiot who shoots a puppy than a well informed responsible firearm owner who wants the best for and supports the American citizen.
Very true. We are all ambassadors of gun ownership and gun rights. Carry yourself as such.
Wait a minute… We’re talking about a right here. The right exists independent of governments. The purpose of the Second Amendment was to help keep government from infringing upon that right. It would be wonderful if everyone could always have the impression that people who bear arms are the perfect person. That’s not reality and I’ve not been drafted. I reject this “ambassador” status. I’m no ambassador. I’m a man living my life to the best of my ability and my right to keep and bear arms doesn’t depend upon another’s perception of me. The problem isn’t that people are perceiving those who bear arms as something negative. The REAL problem is that the People are allowing government to infringe at all. Public opinion has very little to do with it. If the RKBA is to be considered something up for popular vote then let them repeal the Second Amendment and either start a war or prove how lost the People really are. Regardless, it’s not a popularity contest and I refuse to be a contestant in one.
We are all ambassadors? Really?
Is every person who speaks (or publishes an article, or attends a religious service) an “ambassador” for the first amendment?
“You don’t let your two-year-old get behind the wheel of a car…”
Actually I do. The car is off, the parking break is set, I’m holding the keys, and it’s perfectly safe.
I’ve even ( :gasp: ) taken pictures of my kids, at age two, behind the wheel of the car. Call Children & Youth Services, we’ve got a dangerous parent here! Not.
Err, parking BRAKE.