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(courtesy The Truth About Guns)

Evan in RI writes: “I was talking to a left-leaning friend of mine today at our Ivy-League college when she brought up gun control and children hurting themselves with firearms they find. I suggested teaching firearms safety in Health Education, which she predictably scoffed at. So I said to her: ‘Agree or disagree: Teaching teenagers about condoms and birth control leads to teens having sex.’ ‘Of course not.’ ‘So how will teaching teenagers to handle firearms safely lead to teens shooting up schools?’ I’m taking her to the range next weekend for her own firearms safety class, ‘Just in case I have to ever touch one of those barbaric things.’ Well, one step at a time I guess.” What’s you three-step program to convert an anti-gunner to the firearms freedom side of the fence?

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  1. Self-defense. That’s what I push. “Owning guns is about self-defense, especially for women, the elderly, the handicapped, and anyone who isn’t a 6’6″ 250lb black belt. Why would you want to give up your freedom to choose the most effective means of individual self-defense?”

    And start with a fairly simple to use .22LR, a revolver or lever action if you have them. Something that doesn’t look scary, like one of those “eeeevil” black guns.

    • I would argue that even a 6’6″, 250 pound black belt would wish they had a gun when it came to defending themselves against a bad guy with a gun

    • Start off with several short sessions of dry fire and safety rules before going to the range. Lots of dry fire in short sessions over several days time.
      Let us know how it goes.

    • I am 6’6″ and 250lbs. Not a black belt though. lol I carry at all times because you never know when there may be more than one assailant! NEVER GIVE UP AND GO DOWN FIGHTING!!

      • I’m 6’3″ and 275 pounds. I carry all the time because you cannot choose your attacker, or their numbers. Nor can you know ahead of time their skills or state of mind.

        In addition, to utilize any martial arts technique (other than running, which is out of the question for a large number of POTG), you have to be up close and personal with people you would just as soon not have met at all. May be unavoidable at times, but I would just as soon have the option to convince THEM to create distance between us and/or practice their running technique.

        I love to watch the videos where those expensive athletic shoes they like to wear without lacing them up do them absolutely no good in the “Get out of Dodge” competition.

  2. Make them walk through the south side of Chicago at 1am without a cell phone and $500 in their pocket.

    • Why take away the cell phone? Police won’t respond fast enough to save them. Hell, make it an iPhone with those iconic white earbuds that scream “Expensive phone !” and they’d want the gun even more.

  3. most anti’s can not be converted. logic and facts seldom work. range and trigger time is the most effective, but require a commitment. I have found that 99 percent of the time debate is useless. “I never do verbal battle with others, since even if I win an argument I can’t change the other person’s way of life.”

    • Agreed. I have found that even if you win the 2nd amendment argument you still lose in the end. The slave mindset is very hard to overcome. The majority don’t want more individual responsibility. They want less or someone to do it for them.

    • IMO, the minute it becomes an argument you’ve already lost.

      Most of the antis I know are smart, caring, educated people. They simply run in circles where they’re never exposed to stupid people doing stupid things in stupid places (at stupid times of day), so they have no personal connection with the concept of self-defense. The irony is that these are people who value knowledge and making informed decisions, but they simply do not realize how woefully uninformed they are about firearms, gun laws, the benefits of guns to society and the REAL dangers of owning a firearm (by which I mean that it’s actually quite easy to own, carry and handle firearms safely as long as you respect them and pay attention).

      I’ve had pretty good success with converting new shooters and have also managed respectful conversations with some pretty hardcore antis; I even drug a few anti-gun coworkers to the Crossroads of the West gun show last year to show them what gun shows are really like and the realities of purchasing guns, the “gun show loophole” myth, etc. I may not have gotten the hardcore antis to change their minds on guns, but I definitely got them to look at gun control with more skepticism and higher expectations for what the laws might really accomplish.

        • There are some people that really cannot be pushed into seeing the logic.
          “Do not argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.”
          The most honest aphorism ever.

    • I haven’t seen any anti-gun facebook posts or shares from a local liberal politician since I took her out to a range, and even let her shoot some of the guns she’d supported banning.

  4. Converted my wife, now she wants to buy her own gun safe for her collection.

    It was pretty easy. A friend of hers was on the fence as well and her husband paid for her to go to a class that was taught by a gun-loving woman. Both my wife and her went and they were both immediately converted and loved it. They taught proper handling and showed them how to shoot pistols safely. They now both conceal carry and never leave home without them.

  5. Take them shooting
    My 3 step program is:
    1 – .22 “that was cool”
    2 – .38 “that was awesome”
    3 – .357 “whoaaaaaa…”

    • I went from there to letting the person shoot my .308 MBRs. Then I was asked if I could build a black rifle for her.

    • That made me laugh and think about my wife’s first time at the range (she came from a “why do people need guns” family):

      1 – 10/22 – “That was cool, less scary than I thought”
      2 – M&P9 – “Less recoil that I thought, doesn’t seem so scary if you know how to hold it”
      3 – AR – “This rifle is light, its easy to use, I really like it, does it come in pink?”
      4 – 1911 – “You can leave the rest of the ammo with me.”

      Now she has almost as many guns as I do and is very territorial over our supply of range ammo.

  6. For most it’s a one step program, just take them shooting. That alone changes more minds than most debates, you just have to show people the fun that firearms provide and they will generally move to our side.

    • Bingo. Adding perspective is what goes the furthest in my opinion. The trick is getting them to the range.

    • Best to have a system, starting with a .22 rifle and working up. If “just go shooting” was valid, then would my M38 Mosin and some 180 grain yellow tips be a good teaching tool?

  7. I have found three types of anti gun folks:
    1. Those who have never owned or shot a gun. Made “afraid” by the media. These folks can usually be educated and many become gun owners and some really get into shooting.
    2. Left leaning media sponges who think guns are evil. Some can be converted but most cannot. These are ready made crime victims who risk their loved ones safety because they are too stupid to see the facts.
    3. Liberal progressive anti gun traitors. No chance. These folks need to be destroyed. Attack them at every opportunity. Destroy their agenda. Never try to convert them. Never give them an inch of leeway.

    Type 1: Educate, inform and teach.
    Type 2: Enlighten, Inform, teach.
    Type 3: Dismiss, destroy, Disinfect after contact.

    • Very well stated! Some in the 2A community incorrectly identify everyone else as beyond hope, when in fact, they are simply uneducated. If you speak to them in a calm, rational manner and show them the facts, those that are open minded WILL see the light. But, as you said, there is that portion who have no interest in facts or rational discussion.

  8. I tell them I’m gay and suddenly they are okay with me taking them to the range to shoot some of my smaller arms. (Always ends with them shooting my big guns and having a blast.)

    I will never understand the association of being gay as being more trustworthy to my Left-Leaning friends, but I’ve converted many of them over to our side, and some even picked up the hobby with me as well. Whatever floats the boat, I suppose.

    • haha most libs give me a pass on EVERYTHING because I am Hispanic (mexican). these types are the most prejudice people I have ever met.

    • Because your left leaning friends have a pre-programmed image that comes to mind whenever they think of “gun guy” or “man with a gun” or just “gun” and you do not fit that threatening mold.

      Most people who are gun shy don’t see “gun owners” since they are primarily exposed to “gun users” and the images that accompany that type. i.e. someone being dragged out in handcuffs, mug shotted on the news while the talking heads repeat first middle and last name to make sure you never forget and stop being scared, or some guy in bubba camo being loud and red necky.

      You, on the other hand are less threatening because you are gay, and gay means happy.

      • Sadly I 100% agree with you. It is a stereotype they have trained themselves to view as non threatening and friendly/happy.

      • Naturally, because the side that always screams about stereotypes is the first group to stereotype.

        Crap, think I just stereotyped the progs.

    • Because a lot of liberals secretly want to shoot guns but it’s socially unacceptable for them to do so within their group. If they went by themselves or with someone outside the group they’d be criticized and ostracized. With you, they can say they were just hanging out with their gay friend who needs guns to defend himself from gaybashers or rationalize it in some other way that doesn’t harm their progressive street cred.

  9. Why bother trying to convert an anti gunner? A few of the friends that I have that are anti gun and know that I carry I don’t listen to when they bitch at me for carrying in their presence. The one that doesn’t know obviously has no idea I carry around her. The only thing I have a hard time deciding on is what to do if and when the time comes I have to defend myself or one of these liberal asshats I call friends: step in front of them and defend their life with my steel and lead and own life, or stand behind or by them as they choose to be victims. Tough decision.

      • exactly.
        a life is a life. if you can save it and choose not to, what kind of person does that make you? could you live with yourself knowing you could have done something to effect a positive outcome but chose not to? we reach out and take the hand of our enemy and save them from falling off a cliff because we are the GOOD GUYS, even if we know for certain they would not do the same.

    • Why bother?
      1. Because they vote, and if come to see civil rights as important, it will change the way they vote, reducing the political clout of the antis.
      2. Because, if they are your friends, then you don’t want to see them harmed and would like them to choose the ability to defend themselves.
      3. Because, since they’re already your friends, you may acquire another activity to share and have fun doing.

      • The big “YES” for me is reason #1. we want them to NOT VOTE for more silly, useless gun laws/restrictions.

  10. For the seriously anti-gun people I know, I just asked them if they would ever use a gun to keep someone from killing them or a loved one if they absolutely had to. 99% of those I’ve asked say yes and then I say “well I can show you what you need to know in case that ever happens”. A few have gone with me shooting and were not traumatized. One lady said “I’ll figure it out real fast if I ever have to use one.” Some people you can’t help. For those that are on the fence, I relate target shooting to throwing darts or playing golf, then fall back to the self defense question if that doesn’t work.

    • I always compare (target) shooting to bowling, “only faster.” Usually gets some smiles.

  11. They make small penis comment, offer to prove them wrong, if accepted you follow through. Next thing you know, she is stroking your glock all night long and enjoying every second of it.

    • >’Just in case I have to ever touch one of those barbaric things.’

      Er… was this a quote from someone in a health/sex ed class?

      100% agree, drag them to the range. It’s fun. It cannot be denied. “Did you have a good time at the range?” “Well, er, um, I… had a good time.”

  12. Start with a .22 when you take them out. If you have something either bolt action or lever would be best. This is to keep them slow, but also to work on marksmanship. Before you go out, talk about the 4 firearms rules and how to aim. Let them handle the gun before you get to the range. This will help take away any jitters. Have them look through the sites and even dry fire before you go out.

    Once at the range, kindly go over the rules again. Set a target out around 10 feet. You want it close to build confidence. Plus a close range target you can see what they are doing wrong. and correct it. Once you have everything set up, give them 1 round to begin. (You don’t want a live round in a chamber if they swing around in excitement, this is also why you do a lever or bolt action.)

    Once they make their first shot complement them (even if they don’t get a bullseye!) Slowly add more and more rounds to a magazine or tube, and increase distance to the target.

    Once they have have marksmanship down, make it fun. Do bowling pins, balloons or something. That first target should be paper as they might want to keep it.

    Keep it safe, keep it fun. Encourage them!

    • I agree with everything you said (especially handling the gun, unloaded, before actually going out), except for going over the 4 rules. It was only a few years ago that I became acquainted with firearms, so I remember perfectly the nerves and how overwhelmed I felt. As such, the simpler you can keep things, the better. Sure, the 4 rules are important. But two more so than others. Muzzle control and trigger discipline, and of those, you could stick to muzzle control alone and be fine.

      Again, you want to keep it as simple as possible. If the gun is pointed at the ground, any discharge will harmlessly hit the dirt. As for the rule of knowing your target and what is beyond, it’s not necessary at first, because they will be with someone who knows firearms and (hopefully) was responsible enough to find a good, safe place to shoot.

      • “you could stick to muzzle control alone and be fine.”


        3. Keep your finger off the trigger till your sights are on the target. This is the Golden Rule. Its violation is directly responsible for about 60 percent of inadvertent discharges.

        Trigger finger discipline is the one rule that rules them all

      • I’ve found that doing both – teaching the five rules, and letting them handle the gun while teaching them the controls – days or even weeks before taking them to the range helps. The fear and anxiety they feel can be calmed by knowing how to control the thing they’re afraid of, and by knowing how big a deal safety is to me.

  13. I’ll be interested to see other responses.

    Meanwhile, Robert, you seem to have a chronic problem with using “you” for “your”. This glitch appears in the last sentence of “you” post. (“What’s you three-step program…”) AND it still appears in the Leave a Reply: “…instead of you company name or keyword spam” in spite of people griping about it ever since I’ve been here. (Though I believe it used to read “Please use you real name” so at least *that* is fixed.)

  14. Yes – if we continue to challenge their perception that we’re ignorant brutes. Therefore RF – plus de Francais. 🙂

    Et alors – bonne chance!

  15. I just help them logically see that laws WILL NOT stop anyone with bad intent, and that we have the right to defend ourselves.

  16. You cannot “convert” a so-called anti. You can teach someone who is ignorant about guns, but you can’t teach an ignorant person who chooses to remain so.

  17. Focus on SAFETY INSTRUCTION as the reason you are going out to the range. Emphasize the whole “in case you ever have to touch one of those things”.

    You can also appeal to pride and let them know how much better they’ll be prepared to discuss gun issues once they have this “real world” experience.

    Lots of demo/practice on UNLOAD and MAKE SAFE procedures, with dummy rounds.

    You can slip in lots of “this is how REAL gun people do it” while demonstrating, and work in the FOUR RULES.

    Make sure you go over all of the various safety devices, and include mention of how “gun going off from being dropped is just a movie thing, kind of like dinosaurs”

    At some point you get to LOADING the gun so that they can UNLOAD it themselves.

    Curiosity will take over, they’ll want to fire at least ONE shot. Use that as an opportunity to teach basic grip, stance, muzzle discipline (“this is how REAL gun people do it”)

    Learning to use a firearm is inherently an emotionally gratifying experience. Once you get to the point where they fire one shot, you are 70% of the way to a convert.

  18. I once had the misfortune of covering a home invasion during which the man of the house was tied up and forced to watch as his wife was raped and his children were beaten. That guy ultimately fell apart, but the one thing he repeated over and over before the end was that he wished he’d had a gun. He seethed with it, the ultimate Monday morning quarterback. He wished so desperately that he’d been able to protect his family, I’m pretty sure it killed him. His widow has a gun now. In fact, I suspect she has a lot of them.

  19. I ask a simple question “If I am walking along the street with my 2 grandsons and someone threatens to do bodily harm to my grandsons do you seriously believe that I have the moral right to NOT shoot them?”

  20. I dunno, but I may have made a step in that direction the other day by directing someone to a Kirsten Weiss vid on youtube… 😉

  21. Well first I married her. :p All kidding aside, the key is using reason and facts. And plenty of emotional appeal if that’s what they need. Truth is on our side as far as I’ve seen. Just have to help them see that, too.

  22. I stopped worrying about antis. I was ambivalent for many years about owning a gun. Getting old, slow & losing my muscles made me think “hmmm…I’m not the badass I used to be.” I shot some with my dad as a kid & thought it was just a normal part of life. I guess Obama’s election was the tipping point. The GUN SALESMAN AWARD LOL. I don’t argue politics much anymore & don’t CARE if I convert an ANTI.

  23. Converted several. Always consists of continual “no pressure” invites to go to the shooting range. Eventually, they agree “just to see” and invariably leave either being much more comfortable with guns and gun owner or (in several cases) wanting a gun. Basically if I can make their first real firearms experience safe, fun and friendly the fear just sort of evaporates, or at least ebbs significantly.

  24. I inform them of the facts, calmly and politely.

    If that doesn’t work, I simply walk away after they finally shut up (and I always get the last word in). I simply don’t deal with people that vehemently refuse to see reason.

  25. I do the same thing. I am sorta mean, though. I start them off with a Sauer 200 STR. A target .22 rifle (diopter sights, heavy barrel, nice trigger) that weights 5.5 kg or 12 pounds (don’t worry there is also the lightweight version at 3.5 kg or 8 lbs)

  26. ‘Agree or disagree: Teaching teenagers about condoms and birth control leads to teens having sex.’ ‘Of course not.’ ‘So how will teaching teenagers to handle firearms safely lead to teens shooting up schools?

    Back in the early 90s I was debating a paid member of the Handgun Control Inc in front of High School students, and when I brought up teaching firearm safety in schools, he took the line of it will lead to more people using firearms illegally, when I then asked if that means that teaching about birth control means more teens having sex he screamed out “It’s not the same” and literally about 90% of the students screamed back, “It’s exactly the same” or some variant thereof.

    Anti-gun people don’t even recognize their own inconsistencies because they aren’t actually thinking about the situation.

    This HCI didn’t even know you could buy illegal firearms, as in he thought that maybe the head of the mafia could buy an illegal firearm but nobody else, when I asked the students by show of hands how many knew where to buy an illegal firearm today, way more than half raised their hands.

    The anti-gun crowd is operating in a fantasy land of their own delusions. While some can be reached, don’t think they all can, because to many it is a religion, it’s like trying to convert someone.

  27. From personal experience, I’ve found that the quickest way to turn an anti into at least a fence sitter is to get their hands on a gun as soon as possible. No politics, no rants. Just sit them down at the kitchen table with a gun you’ve all ready safety checked, and teach them to do the same. Get them comfortable with handling, disassembling, reassembling, and safety checking again and again. Show them what every part does and how it operates. Then teach them the fundamentals of marksmanship, trigger squeeze, respiratory pauses and all that jazz while still emphasizing the four rules. Go slow and be repetitive; get them comfortable with handling a firearm and they will quickly learn that guns are not the sentient closet monsters Hollywood makes them out to be.

    I spent two hours teaching my friend the ins and outs of a Mosin (I suggested the 22, but he insisted on something historic). When we went shooting the next morning he felt much more comfortable and was grinning ear-to-ear after firing his first five rounds. He didn’t even mind the recoil. I’ve never brought up the politics of gun ownership, those have come naturally to him and he’s grown into a staunch 2nd Amendment supporter completely on his own. Your mileage may vary, but that’s what worked for me.

  28. Well to the picture and question “how do you convert an anti?”
    It looks like you post up outside a fence and shoot cattle (sarc) or prairie dogs.

  29. Many supposed open-minded, acceptance of all, and believers that everyone’s ideas are important self proclaimed liberals and/or progressives are very much the opposite — they are closed minded with preconceived ideas, do not really accept everyone except those in their social group and have no room for anyone else’s ideas but their own. These people can never be changed and there is no point.

    AS is pointed out in some comments above, white males in many cases are just scary stupid people with no hearts. Maybe if you are gay, black, Hispanic or a group which a liberal/progressive self believes as super duper special people, then you could have a chance of convincing the truly closed minded because they consider you “one of them” — for the rest of us scary white males, not so much — we are only here to pay taxes.

    For anyone to change their mind they must have the mental capacity for two things: 1 — Have a truly open mind to new ideas and 2 — have the ability to say “Oh, okay, maybe I was wrong” And finally, they cannot have a pure echo chamber of politically left and far left friends. The following is also true for the far right on social and environmental issues too.

    I have taken my fair share of anti-gun types to the range and had a complete gun safety class full of previously antigun types. Some, have converted and have purchased guns, some are no longer antigun and more neutral to the point of calling many of the new laws “stupid and not fair” , some have openly admitted that they were simply scared of guns and are still scared but understand — and there are a few that are so closed minded they could barely make it through my class and left. Even the “I am scared of guns” crowd at least shot a 22lr rifle and handgun.

    The antigun side lies and uses emotions to fuel those lies because if you turn off your brain you can be fooled into believing almost anything. The truth is a powerful thing and the showing the light of truth on the darkness of lies exposes many things.

    In the end, it is, and will forever be a culture war. The more we can educate those who are willing to learn or at least listen, the better it will be for us because antigun side will continue to dwindle in its support.

    That said — the task is not easy — evangelizing any idea is not easy but can be very rewarding.

  30. This is so simple it’s mind boggling: positive exposure.

    Most centrists that do not own firearms simply buy into the adage that bad things are synonymous with firearms. Once you and only when you break that association can you begin to present the facts without preconceived notions/bias toward firearms.

    As much as I get frustrated and occasionally resort to verbal abuse (a symptom of my frustration), we all get way farther with honey than with vinegar in this decades old debate. And now more than ever with Bloomberg’s multimillion dollar propaganda smear campaign we ALL need to be ambassadors of the 2nd Amendment.

  31. Focus on fun and safety. IFsomeone is open minded enough to have fun and see how easy it is to be safe, their ideas about gun contol will crumble without you even needing to point it out.

    Make sure they understand that while it takes a lifetime to become truly talented with a gun it only takes 5 minutes to learn to be safe.

    I would say especially in the early stages of introducing someone to guns you must AT ALL COSTS avoid sharing ideas like, ‘it’s your responsibility to learn to use this to protect your family’ or ‘you need to know how to use this ar-15 so you can fight a tyranical government’. The reason many people a are not pro gun in the first place is simply because it is not fun to aknowledge the possibility of needing to defending oneself in a terrible situation.

  32. Four people know we are armed and carry. The three people who live here and the gun shop owner we do business with. Not friends, not family not no one. We are protected. Others have to make up th

  33. I repeatedly slap them across the face while screaming at them, “Do you wish you had a gun right now?” (Just kidding!!!!!!!)

  34. I also like the idea of “recruiting” these people; we want them (even if they don’t become “People of the Gun”) to NOT VOTE for more silly, useless gun laws/restrictions. To that end, it makes sense to consider them as “recruits” in a popular movement to allow the “gun culture” the same consideration that they give other groups.

    I believe that it’s to our advantage to try to change the minds of SOME of the “anti-gun” people, especially those who are not frozen in their thinking. I also believe that it makes sense for us to present logical, reasoned arguments when talking to the “antis” about guns and 2nd Amendment Rights, rather than just write them all off as “left-wing nutjobs” who won’t ever change their minds. Recently, I’ve also see several good articles about how to approach them with more emotional language, since these people seem to be more receptive to emotions than logic; unfortunately, I can’t find those references/links right now.
    Anyway, here are some excellent articles about how to change the minds (hearts) of “fence-sitters” and antis:

  35. Good luck converting the coming generations of institutional antis that have been socially engineered by the illegal zero tolerance policies of our public schools. Lenin had it right, all you need is to mentally control the younger generations and who cares what the older people do?

    • I think I understand how you feel but you should realize that there are tons of very young 2a supporters and I believe its one of the fastest growing demographics.

      And a lot of us did not get our ideas from school or our parents.

    • Yep. I’m 18 and a borderline single-issue voter on the issue of gun control. I don’t believe in ANY form of gun control, and I vote according to that belief. I’m also a college student, just FYI.

    • Yes, but that’s for when you have no dissenting points of view. You get the children early, brainwash them, and theni n a totalitarian society, you have them fixed in a mode of thinking for life. But in a free society, when dealing with a logical person, plenty can have been brainwashed only to upon being presented with facts, realize the fallacy of their ways.

      I do not believe that teaching that guns are wrong is the same as with raising a person in a certain religion. A person raised Jewish, Muslim, Christian, etc…probably would be on average far less amenable to agreeing with arguments against their religion, but with regards to guns, people raised with the belief that guns are wrong, when presented with facts, it can be like a light bulb suddenly going on.

  36. I forgot to mention in my previous post: It is important to not talk AT them or try to convince them. You have to let them arrive at the conclusion themselves.

    You can provide the fishing rod, but it is up to them to fish.

  37. My general rule with Anti’s is to focus on the home….I never talk about daily carry. Stick to that single concept of defending hearth/home/family which most anti’s can appreciate to some exent.

    That said, I usually ask them if they know the average 911 response time in their village/town/city. If they don’t, I ask them what they feel would be an honest response time.

    Then I set the alarm on my phone to the time they think is adequate and I talk/walk them through various scenarios. Its amazing how people seem to lose sense of time. That things can happen faster/slower them expected.

    It can be a pretty entertaining exercise depending on where and what type of demonstration you do.

    • What I think is most interesting is the way the gun sense people realize they will never convert the gun needy. There is no need to convert anybody, that’s for religions, a need to change laws? yes. We have a very simple need for things like license, registration and insurance, RFID chips and modern regulations for every gun sold in America. So every person who gets shot can have all medical bills of funerals taken care of without an economic loss directly. Nothing to be afraid of, I have to do the same for my motorcycle. There is no tyrannical government in the USA, some corrupt officers, some laws that need fixing, but ‘tyrannical government’ is still laughing at the gun needy. We don’t even have non-speed limited roads, yet we’re still free. I have seen claims “anti-gun people don’t want to think about the hard reality of tyrannical government” and the reality I see everyday is the gun needy don’t want to talk about the reality they feel they need their guns to protect themselves because of being afraid. ‘anti gun’ people are after simple regulations so at least young people, under 18, can quit suffering at the hands of the amazingly respectful, responsible, knowledgeable, genius, amazingly gracious, hardworking, easy to get along with, nice to negotiate with gun community that makes our country such an amazing place.

      • James- I’m not sure what you are trying to say. Owning a gun shouldn’t be done out of fear, it should be done because you are self reliant.

        When you are hungry, do you feed yourself?
        When you are thirsty do you not fetch yourself a beverage and drink?
        When you have an itch, do you not scratch it?
        When you are tired, do you put yourself to bed?

        All these mundane things, you do for yourself.

        So when it comes to the right to defend yourself, why would you or anyone for that matter possibly want to wait for someone else to do that for you?

        • so self defense only involves guns? OOOOK lol if you only can defend yourself with a gun, you probably should consider if a gun is really going to help defend yourself or be a liability. And *SOME* people go on and on about how the tyrannical government is trying to plot against people in some Nazi scheme or something, and how ready are YOU to go to war for your rights??? LMAO so basically it just SOUNDS like they walk around scared as little kittens because ‘big bad gov oooh no!’ and thats why *they* buy guns and really its everybody else who’s scared? “waiting for somebody to protect them” when YOU are so scared you have to have a gun to protect yourself? or do you just talk the talk because you love the…….? are you even old enough son?

          • How is it you lept from a comment about guns being used for defense to “self defense only involves guns?” It sounds to me like you don’t have any real practical understanding or perspective on what guns are really all about.

            Guns are defensive tools of last resort. Gun owners understand this. In a life-and-death situation, a gun might tip the odds in favor of preserving your own life or protecting someone else. Owning and knowing how to use a gun effectively enables you to make that kind of difference.

            Statements like yours assume that gun owners don’t recognize or appreciate how vanishingly small the odds are that they’ll ever need to actually use their gun to defend a life. If you’re not a gun person, it’s easy to look at those long odds and think, “why would anyone ever need or want a gun? Isn’t that just an invitation to trouble?”

            As a gun person, those long odds are precisely why the notion that fear drove me to buy guns is so ridiculous. Personally, I got into guns because target shooting sounded like fun and I wanted to see if I was any good at it. The low odds of ever seeing a gunfight mean there’s really no point in wasting my energy fearing for my safety. The fact that I’m equipped to deal with a situation even if one does arise is even more reason not to be afraid. When I see someone who wouldn’t go near a gun or would never own one because of what accidents or mishaps might occur, that’s a decision based in fear.

      • I am certain you are kidding, no one could be that silly, but it’s good practice, so here goes.

        Your admittedly simple solution is “simple” because it uses la-la land technology which does not exist and is not likely to. If it could be simulated enough to make you happy (it still wouldn’t work), It would increase the price of any firearm to the point that only the rich could own one, which is the main goal of the concept (removing the possibility of self defense from those who need it the most). The reliability/utility of a firearm would plummet to nearly nothing (another goal).

        And last, government’s obvious place in the discussion is not passing impossible laws, but funding the research. Approach your local and state law enforcement agencies and suggest that they take it upon themselves to adopt this nonexistent technology, and refuse to carry any firearms which do not comply with your dream world. Wear ear plugs, the laughter will be deafening. And if it is not good enough for law enforcement, it is not good enough for anyone.

        • And, lest I forget, motorcycles are dangerous and must be outlawed, especially since I have had my 35 years with them. Government will save us!

        • If Insurance, a license card and registration is really such a crazy concept maybe I should suggest you google what an insurance policy could cover in your life? maybe you haven’t been educated on such products as automobile insurance or property insurance? at one point in time even this wordpress based comment form and the sql database below it didn’t even exist, yet somebody built the database, and another person built the web servers and web browsers used to view it’s visible content, and another person combined it all into a place to express opinions about the truth about guns. See? god DIDN’T create RFID bluetooth wifi or guns on the 8th day. So for ‘lala land technology’ it does actually change. Its simply radio waves turned to data, not sure what’s so crazy about it. An insurance policy and license on every gun sale seems pretty simple to enforce considering the practice we have with motor vehicles. Motorcycles, large trucks and such require extra licensing and training in most places and insurance, guns for some reason still don’t. But look at everything else that changes with time from opinions on marriage, racism and drugs. If you have to make up for your lack of ability to defend yourself and need a gun to feel like you can, you shouldn’t convert people into having that same phobia. It seems mean to force your fears on other people. It’s not MY fault YOU are SO AFRAID of life you NEED a gun. How many times have YOU been shot? It’s really not that bad…what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

  38. Everyone has likes and dislikes. I ride motorcycles, but some people hate them. Some people smoke, others don’t want to be around it. I try to respect others around me. If someone prefers I don’t carry concealed in their home or business, I respect that too.

  39. last i checked it takes two people making a choice to have sex, or it would be considered rape. last i checked it takes two people choosing to allow a minor to access a gun. who chose to get shot? we are all entitled to opinions. and the only way you can convert some ‘anti’ gun people is to remove the scars from their bodies, take events away that forever impacted them, erase the memory of having a foreign object inflict their bodies. it isn’t a matter of ‘whats cool’ or ‘how much i love my gun’ or ‘staying safe’ its a matter of, if you have never gone through the experience of being shot, by a stranger, yet walk around like you know what a gun is capable of, you have a blind eye to reality. if you think ‘everybody who ever got shot just needed a gun to protect themselves’ you have such a high view of yourself and your capability, I hate to say it, you may have lost all sense of reality. You should probably take a really good look in the mirror and ask yourself why you are so afraid you need to have guns? before you start trying to ‘convert anti people’ because anti people are not trying to convert you with the bullets they felt?

      • Dear John,

        The author of this poorly written article made an attempt to compare sex education to gun education, and the two are vastly different, (sex and being shot) so I began my comment with making that clear. Specifically, what did everybody not understand? Or you, let’s start with that, what was it YOU didn’t understand? Do You Read English? You Appear To Type It? I Would
        Speak Slower But I Am Typing. 😉 I Can Convert My Words To Your Native Tongue If You Prefer.


        • youre right, i was needlessly glib and sarcastic, and i apologize for that. ill stop.

          in any case, im no expert in rhetoric. i dont think the author is making the statement that sex ed and firearms safety ed are the same thing, but of the same importance. you might make the argument that not discussing sex with children beyond insisting on abstinence is more desirable than frank, mature, factual discussions about the mechanics and the consequences of the act. it seems to me thats fairly close analogy to the way we are currently handling the reality of guns in public schools. i also dont quite understand your assertion that consent has anything to do with that. is the idea that one must acquire anothers consent before shooting them?

          further, you seem to make the assumption that everyone who opposes the second amendment does so as the result of being shot or maybe knowing someone who was shot. i think we can agree that those are both demonstrably false.

          as far as the rest of your original comment goes, its so rambly and all over the place im having a difficult time responding intelligently, but ill try.

          at first glance, i like the idea of adding firearms safety to the curriculum of public schools. im not sure of the specifics, like what age is appropriate, how much time to set aside for it, and so on, but i think it bears more thought and discussion. it would almost certainly have a more positive impact on accidental child injury/death rates than simply legislating heftier criminal penalties for reckless endangerment or improper firearm storage.

          i do not need to be shot by anyone, stranger or otherwise, to know what a gun is capable of. im going to make the assumption that what you actually mean there is a gunshot wound, and that you would never suggest that a firearm is an object which can perform acts of violence of its own volition. youre certainly smarter than that. i also dont need to know how it feels to fly through my cars windshield before i advise my passengers to wear their seat belt.

          everyone who ever got shot most assuredly should have had the ability to fight back with the best tool available. if i am ever a victim if a crime which makes my use of lethal force for defense lawfully justifiable, i wll most assuredly try. if i fail, then i fail, but im not going to cower and wait for it all to be over, and its unconscionable to expect that behavior of others. thats not a denial of reality, but a stone-faced and sober acceptance of reality.

          what do you mean by “afraid”? as mentioned in an earlier post, refusing to walk around and lazily live my life in perpetual condition white does not make me a paranoid lunatic. it makes me that guy who has decided to make my safety and the safety of my community my own personal responsibility.

          im really not getting you on that last sentence, though. what is the point of discourse if not the exchange of ideas? persuasion seems at least a little inseparable from that to me. and do you mean to suggest that since “antis” dont go around shooting people to convince people that guns are bad? are you sure they dont…? last few times we heard about someone murdering a bunch of people in a school, running a marathon, or working on a military base, they leaned decidedly to the left.

          a better man than me mightve been able to shorten this, and i apologize for the length of it.

    • Alright. I’ll bite.

      You are saying- if I understand you- that only people who have been shot can have an opinion on firearms policy. What then of those who have been shot and don’t support gun control? Does this principle apply to other things?

      You are also saying, because a minor can only encounter a firearm due to an adult improperly storing it, that teaching a child how to be safe is unnecessary.

      Is that fair?

      • I’m saying some people have had their lives altered by other people, and ‘converting’ them is probably not going to happen. because it isn’t a toy or something to use to act cool, I’m saying people who have had their lives altered by another person who owned a gun have the right to not be financially responsible for the actions of the gun owner. I’m saying in a modern society there is no reason why adults shouldn’t have much higher education standards, insurance, registration and license standards before we start giving guns to kids on a public basis, in my opinion that i am entitled to as a non gun owner because I’m not scared for my life so i don’t need a false sense of security from a gun that when relied upon as your only means of defense makes a person extremely vulnerable. I mean honestly some people walk around as if they can’t be touched when a real thug is relying on you having a gun and being to weak, slow and caught off guard to use it, the real gangsta is relying on you to reach for it so it can be turned against you. Bullets don’t hurt that much, it stings for a second, some heat but most people ready for it and when not caught off guard will continue to pursue after being shot, so keep yourself safe son 😉

    • James, I would really like to comment on some of your posts, but you’re all over the map, my friend. I can’t figure out where to begin, to be honest.

      You should try to be more concise with your thoughts, maybe separate things a little better. Use more punctuation, avoid run on sentences, and try breaking your points up into small paragraphs.

      Your posts are hard to follow and respond to as a reader.

      Just some helpful advise.

    • You seem to be an excellent argument in favor of our otherwise ridiculous drug laws. What is your record for days continuously stoned? Feel free to include the days you were in grade school and should have been learning spelling and grammar, as well as the times in high school when you were supposed to be learning to think.

  40. The first thing I do is act normal, none of this over the top operator/militia crap they have come to expect from the media.

    Second, invite them to some range time but explain there will be extensive discussions on how to safely handle my treasures. Emphasize the safe and no reckless people allowed part.

    Third. Get them to the range or in my case the back yard and go through official as you can make it discussion of safety, stance, and operation of the first firearm (usually a .22lr). They enjoy that move up calibers but not beyond what they can handle.

    Fourth… Invite them back for some more trigger time and tell them to bring cash next time to reimburse for the ammo spent.

    I have converted over 30 people with this method. I even changed the minds of a whole bachelor party doing this.

  41. I haven’t had to convert anti gun people, just ignorant “other people can have them but why do need one type people.” My approach to converting them was just making them aware of whats happening to their freedoms, and more aware of crime. That approach has worked on four people I know.

    I am having a hard time converting an elderly relative. I have tried to get her to arm herself, but she is adamant about not doing it. She seemed annoyed the last time I tried so I am holding back for a while. She is not against guns. She just feels like she lives in a very low crime neighborhood and that she would accidentally shoot her dog or get the gun taken from her in a potential dgu.
    I need help knowing how to convert her.

    • Elderly? You should honor the person’s wishes and drop it. Just leave the person with something like you guess at their age it is a valid decision to allow yourself to be raped or murdered rather than harming another, and drop it. Been there.

  42. One trip to the range with a .22 and some form of reactive targets is worth 100 intellectual arguments.

    The trick is getting them to the range.

  43. My Jewish and very liberal ex-wife was starting to come around to the thought of guns being not so evil. Last month I actually took her to a range and she had fun. The latest shootings at a Jewish community center has her back tracking on the issue of guns. When she brings it up again, I will simply ask her “If a nazi idiot comes into Temple with a gun, would you prefer he kill you and your son, or would you prefer that all of the men in Temple pull out a pistol and blow him all the way to hell where he can personally meet Hitler himself?” And I phrase it that way because I don’t believe she is in a place (yet) to defend her life by taking another.

  44. I was wondering if the Shock therapy would work to convert someone.

    Example. Pull a gun on them and ask “Now what do you do?”

    1. Call the police, you are already dead.

    2. Run. Can you outrun a bullet?

    3. Beg for your life? Assailant is amped up on adrenaline and doesn’t care.

    4????????? NO DEFENSE. you are dead, is it worth it to learn now?

  45. One step: be kind and tolerant

    A second: take them plinking

    No third step required, hoplophobia is self-correcting with application of gunpowder.

    Seriously, that’s how I was converted.

  46. My wife’s cousin was super anti until she lived in Alaska for several years, amongst the bears and wild men. She did a complete 180 and owned/carried her own revolver before she moved back to California, where she’s now married to a gun loving dude.

  47. Went shooting with some newb last weekend and after like 2 or 3 shots from an AR…he put the rifle down, smiled ear-to-ear and said he was instantly converted to the AI and was going to be shopping for ARs the next week.

    It’s all about that smile and realization…that’s all it takes to convert!

  48. “How Do YOU Convert an [hot] Anti”

    Great minds think alike or as the academically inclined would like to call it “convergent evolution”.
    Guys figured out along time ago that you can work magic w/ females by drawing out strong emotions via controversial topics.

    “I’m taking her to the range next weekend for her own firearms safety class”

    I know pirate tactics when I see them 🙂

    “Teaching teenagers about condoms and birth control leads to teens having sex.”

    That is the Ivy-League version of throwing rocks at her. And you are a saint on this site for all this. You are not far from hero status in my book.

  49. I would have shot down her claim that guns are “barbaric.” I’d have said that that is like saying the military and police are barbaric, that guns are tools whose primary reason for existence is because of human nature, which makes it where humans kill each other, even within civilized societies, and thus people have a right to possess the basic tools of self-defense.

    • …or you could just ask her if she would prefer to marry a man who can protect her and her children, or one who not only cannot, but makes a conscious decision not to.

  50. I’m not sure about antis. But, for those who just don’t know anything about guns, I think that field stripping a pistol (or even an AR) when you are first pointing out the controls helps to build confidence that these are just tools that are easily mastered.

  51. Love the idea in the article, thanks.

    I’ve found a combination of gently citing facts, in a low pressure manner has been helpful at times. That said, it’s also important to realize when you’re “up against” an anti who simply won’t budge. Pushing the 2A point just doesn’t help, at least not in my experience. In those cases, I do my best to be quiet and let it be.

    I try to remember the adage about trying to teach a pig to sing: it doesn’t work, and it pisses off the pig.


  52. Step 1) Turn off the power source.

    Step 2) Remove and switch positive/negative leads

    Step 3) Reconnect power source and switch on, then go to the range and blast paper while arguing about GLOCK vs 1911. Job done.

  53. In most cases, a group trip to the range not only removes the fear, but most are converted and become shooters as well. Just by seeing the safety precautions and discipline of shooting, not to mention how much fun they have, dispels the fears. I’ve personally converted many, and several of them have later called asking for my advice on what gun to buy. A particularly effective conversion activity is trap or skeet shooting; the thrill of hitting clays is much more effective than just holes in a paper target.

  54. There is some sort of mental barrier constructed in antis; mostly, it is built from the media inwards.

    People are NOT born afraid of guns; the fear must be instilled from without, by family, friends and media. Where do family and friends get this mindset? Partially ignorance through never being exposed to gun-centric culture. But mostly through media manipulation.

    “But you know, it’s a shame and a pity
    that you were raised up in the city
    and you never learned ‘nuthin’ ’bout country ways.”
    – Country Joe and the Fish

  55. Every chance I get, I bring a friend to the range. I recently graduated from a highly liberal college, and have converted three gun-aversive / gun fearing individuals.

    First one didn’t think guns were needed in a civilized society. I did not bring up fear tactics, but fun tactics. She now owns a LCR and a 20ga after loving my crappy little Maverick 88.

    Second came from a family that GAVE AWAY his grandfather’s civil war era muskets TO THE POLICE when he died since they were dangerous and had no right to be in anyone’s hands. The 10/22 to a broken carbon bicycle frame tipped him over the fence toward enjoying guns. He has kinda gone over the deep end and talks more about guns than bikes with me. I’m glad.

    Third – Petite girl, 5’2″, blonde, and biggest rack you’ve ever seen. She was very, very afraid that guns were going to bite or kill her if she looked at them the wrong way. I brought out my 22/45, and my friend’s 22LR LCR. Next, the Bersa Thunder and Beretta Tomcat. After showing her that guns are inanimate objects that cannot bite her tatas off, she loved touching her elbows together, and firing a couple rounds. She did start to get an understanding of self defense purposes too, since her sister was nearly a sexual assault victim. :\ She owns a LCP and some .38sp revolver of some sort.

  56. The easiest way is to have them look up the average 911 hold time for a metro area. Then point out that that isn’t even the response time, but the time it takes to actually get someone on the phone.


  58. Stress to them just how much fun shooting is, and then take them shooting. If it’s a guy with any amount of testosterone, he will get a rush from wearing a holster, drawing a pistol and firing. Teach them to bump fire your AK and you’ll really get a smile out of him. On the way home from the range is a good time to bring up how you can safely store them and how long it takes for cops to respond to a 911 call.

  59. For 90% of the people, if you can get them to the range or outdoors shooting, you have a convert. I always start with a 22 and if possible reactive targets be it metal that makes a sound or some sort of spinning target, or soda cans.

    Many people who will not go to the range to shoot rifles or pistols, will go shooting clays, then they will go to the range to shoot pistols or rifles, also with 90 % conversion rate.

    Hardcore anti will not go to the range.

    I once met a woman who was terrified of guns but wanted some exposure. The first time I showed a pistol to her she started crying and I put it away. A few days later she was apologizing about the incident, I was apologizing also, then I remembered something I read. She agreed to try one more time. I went to the other room and disassembled the pistol (1911) into all 30 parts (or however many there are)and had them in a shoe box. Then I sat across a table from her and I passed her an allen key, then one grip, then the sear and so on till she a had a few non descript parts. Then I asked her to wipe them with a silicone cloth. Then I passed her the frame and asked her to wipe it too. Then I had her drop in the trigger and install the mag release. Then we kept going. In about 45 minutes it was assembled and she was holding it and she was not crying. Fast Forward: We have been to the range 4 times in the last year and she will not say she likes it, but the last two times, she was the one who asked to go.

    I think assembling it allows you to start from just parts that have no emotional meaning, then assembling it shows you that you have control over the parts and that it is still just parts. It is not evil malevolence, it is not a mugger, it is not the father that beat you, it is not whatever bad juju you have poured into the concept of “gun”.

  60. If you’re going to convert someone, the only reasonable approach is to do so politely and respectfully. If the message your tone sends is, “you’re an idiot” then all you’re going to accomplish is to raise the other person’s defenses and close them off to considering your POV.

    In the spirit of the “3 steps” model, I suppose mine would be:

    1. Openly admit that I like and own guns and that I value the RKBA. Follow up with personal stories such as: how I came to own guns, why firearms engineering and the challenge of marksmanship fascinate me, and how I’ve come to appreciate the role guns play in the preservation of life and freedom.

    2. Invite them to share their experiences and opinions about guns, and ask a few leading questions to expose them to the most basic elements of “gun culture.” Have you ever fired a gun? Are you familiar with the safety rules? Were you aware of the crazy and arbitrary laws like VFG + pistol = felony? Or that you can be arrested for carrying an empty casing in D.C.? How about the huge variations from state to state when it comes to what is legal to own / what requirements must be met to own a firearm? Most non-gun people don’t have a clue about what gun laws we already have, but everyone can appreciate the frustration of arbitrary B.S. rules.

    3. Invite them to go shooting or to attend a gun show to see what “gun culture” is all about and to check “fired a gun” off their bucket list.

    That’s really about it. I DO NOT push statistics, since I think doing so may as well be saying “these numbers prove I’m smarter than you.” And I DO NOT ask anyone to change their opinions about guns or gun control laws. I figure that by respecting their right to make their own informed decisions I’m walking the walk of personal responsibility, anyway. Plus I’m confident that enough of the good message will get across that they’ll at least be a little more guarded against completely arbitrary crap like AWB and Mag Cap laws. If I can get them to question gun control then I figure I’ve done my job.

  61. Have a friendly, non-confrontational, all expenses paid, standing offer to go to the local range, along with a pre-trip rundown of the mechanics of a firearm, and a post-trip cleaning session if interested. It’s like fireworks; you don’t care for them until you’ve got them in front of you.

  62. For me, the trick is specificity. Not trying to convince them of grand policy, but that for this one particular person, owning a firearm is reasonable.

  63. Easy take them shooting:)
    For many years I worked as an engineer for a major electronics company. Very anti-gun and very liberal in all aspects aka (we are open and equal as long as it meets our view of open and equal)… I had several Japanese personnel here doing tool installations which I had to oversee. Most very anti-gun as almost no firearms are allowed in Japan. No pushing, a couple of them found out we were going shooting over the weekend and they were not working and decided to come along. A quick safety training period and lots of oversight these guys had a ball. I had a couple of .44 magnums (they all have seen the Dirty Harry movie) and they had way too much fun. Next weekend I had to take the rest of them out as now everyone wanted to shoot. Over the next couple of years every install tech from Japan would look me up on-site to make arrangements to go shooting. These folks were all well educated and very easy to work with. One item I did note is they followed the rules all the time and had to be the safest bunch I ever worked with; think that is part of the culture. I would have to say they all became very progun. I have also found many of the folks from back east (I live in the SW) are anti-gun because of the media, work with them when they decide take them to a range. It is surprising how quickly they come to enjoy the sport and convert once they discover that it can be fun and a great stress reliever.

  64. Married mine.

    She now has a concealed carry permit, a small 9mm, and is a better slow fire shot than I am. Oh, and SHE is the one that bought my lifetime NRA membership!

  65. I don’t convert any anti’s. Anti’s aren’t easily converted if at all. They are by definition against guns for the purpose of their own “utopias, brave new work, 1984, government controls everything and that’s great” ideals. I try to ignore them. Better than to antagonize them and make them hate me more. When I’m feeling frisky, i’ll go to a website like mediaite, huffpo, washpo, or latimes and debate them until their emotions (with which they use to think and make decisions) explode into an inferno of hate, prejudice, intolerance, and pure clarity. Clarity to me – as I can see them for who they are and what they really believe.

    That said, I do convert those that are neither against nor for. They are not familiar with guns. I’ll take them shooting and we’ll have a day of fun out of it. And it is fun – no doubt about that.

  66. Unfortunately due to the fascist thugs that run the country, sorry, scratch that, police state of Scotland, ranges are out of the question. First I ask them their opinion, and really listen, and try and understand their points and reasoning (or lack thereof). Secondly I will point out how invariably illogical their reasons are, point by point. If they are still with me, then I will ask them the cinching question, that makes-or-breaks a potential pro: ‘If you are faced with a bat or knife wielding criminal threatening your loved ones, wouldn’t you want a gun to protect them and yourself?’ If they answer no to that question, then they are a lost cause. If they are won over, then I will point them to this website.

  67. I’ve been thinking a lot about this article and have a few thoughts:

    First, I think it is important to understand precisely where an individual is coming from. I’ve run across a LOT of people who think they are “anti” gun when in fact they are simply uninformed and completely ignorant about them, “I’ve never fired a gun before” is usually what you hear. Or, “I shot a rifle once at a Boy Scout or YMCA camp” — usually a .22. So I’d say these are the “most winnable” types. You just get them out on the range and carefully introduce them to a variety of firearms, helping them “build up” to shooting a larger caliber handgun or rifle.

    Second, you have people who are emotionally “anti” … they mean well. They are peace loving people who cherish their safety and without any opportunity to really think through the issues, think they are “anti-gun” because of the one-sided opinions they have heard expressed in media sources. “I don’t like guns” is their attitude. They too may have never actually had a chance to use any type of firearm and so, again, their position is purely one of ignornace.

    These two groups of “antis” are the ones I’ve had the most success dealing with. And it is always as the case, as so often mentioned in the comments above, that all it takes is taking them to the gun range and being very slow and patient in helping them gain a better understanding of firearms and why it such an enjoyable pastime, hobby, interest for you. I start them carefully out on .22LR rifle and handgun and we move from there as they are comfortable. I’ve always seen big smiles and “Wow, that was fun.”

    I think the first two groups are where our time and attention should be spent.

    There are truly militant anti-gun people who may, or may not, ever be able to be persuaded and it is hard to imagine you could even persuade them to get out to the range. “I hate guns” is their attitude. They are hostile to firearms and anyone who even uses them. Do they fall into an “invincibly ignorant” category here? Perhaps.

    I think every gun owner needs to take responsibility for doing everything they can, personally, to introduce people to firearms in a very friendly, calm, and SAFE manner.

    When I am showing people how to shoot for the first time I completely OVER-do, if that is even possible, safety and demonstrate how to handle the weapons safely long before we ever get close to any live ammo. I create as fun, friendly and safe environment as possible and offer tons of encouragement. We all forget how scary it is to shoot and use firearms for the very first time.

    My .02 on the situation.

  68. I’ve had a lot of success converting former antis. Probably because I’m well-educated, well-spoken, and decidedly not a far-right conservative. Politicians and supporters on both sides of the political aisle have conflated gun ownership with conservatism. It is presented as an “either-or” political situation. But there is more than just “left” and “right”, there is authoritarian and libertarian. Historically the term libertarian just means an absence of laws and regulation, and you can have left-libertarians and right-libertarians, although the Libertarian Party in the US tends to be more economically right-wing. As a left-libertarian and anti-authoritarian, I have no problem making the case for gun ownership. The simplest is this:

    Police can’t be everywhere.

    Additional cases include “The state should not have a monopoly on lethal force”, and “the ruling class and their guards will always have guns, criminals will always have guns, don’t be the one party in this without them.”

    That takes care of the philosophical positions. Taking people to the range converts them quick. Nobody who fires a gun will ever stop loving it.

    Gun control isn’t a left-wing issue, it is an authoritarian issue. Both the Democrats and the Republicans are authoritarian parties. The Republicans pretend to be pro-gun now, but they’re politicians, and politicians support control in the end always. There are a lot of anti-authoritarian people in America right now, on the “left” and the “right”, who aren’t well represented by either of the authoritarian parties. The left-wing anti-authoritarians will always be ready converts from an anti-gun position held merely by political convenience. An anti-authoritarian will never want to hang on to an authoritarian position for long, just because they’re told they should.

  69. You simply take a kid to the range and let them have fun. It’s all about fun. Then they will discover other uses for the guns on their own. I have never taken a girl shooting who didn’t want to go to the range again. As long as they are having fun and feel safe, they will love it and be converted. If someone simply does not want to shoot, then so be it. You shouldn’t push anyone too far. I’ve been taking my daughter’s friends to the range who are in their early 20’s, and my son’s girlfriend. My wife won’t touch a firearm. Once they lose the fear, they will understand that people who are afraid of guns are simply ignorant and fearful without reason.

  70. When I first started dating my wife she was ‘terrified’ of my Glock. She is Canadian and had never been around a pistol, but was OK with rifles/shotguns since her brother was a hunter. She was uncomfortable even being in the house, knowing there was a pistol – no choice, I was a cop.
    Fast forward a couple of years. She had slowly became more used to me carrying OD, but would not go to the range. Her nieces were visiting from Montreal and wanted to go to the range. One had never even SEEN a handgun. My Missus, bless her heart, decided she would pop off a few rounds of my G27. After she did, she turned to me and said, “Wow, that was fun…. can we get something a little smaller for me, this kicks too much.” Got her a .22lr pistol, and now a 9mm — she loves to shoot my AR and I even got her out in the deer blind, unfortunately no deer showed. But, she at least went out, and I couldn’t ask for more.
    I agree with the article — I think if you educate people, there will be less FEAR. Some folks just won’t be swayed, but many, I believe, can have their fears allayed via hands on experience.

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