I have a headache… Reading about the gun grabbers, their collaborators and apologists in Washington State last week, and in Texas – not to mention Colorado, Nevada and California over the last few months. Compromise artists like Alan Gottlieb, occasional outbursts of marginally useful to downright nutty OC demonstrations, and the ongoing push/pull of public opinion, usually without much clear reasoning or understanding of the facts… The gun grabber biased media is the Chinese water torture of the decade.
Personally, I consider attempts to deal with this via politics, demonstrations, letters to the editor and so forth to be a waste of time, even if not directly counterproductive. Each person has to do what they think is best, obviously, but if you are not inclined to political games like that, don’t let anyone tell you that you those are the only things you can do to promote or protect your rights. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
What a mess. And, of course one of the big problems is the unrealistic expectations of so many people for a risk free environment regarding guns… when they don’t really even think about demanding that for much of anything else. Oh, the trend is there in a lot of ways, but the difference is that all these folks actually use cars, food, cleaning supplies and so forth. They’ll only put up with so much restriction and fear mongering regarding things they use and understand.
A great many of them do not use guns or know much about them, aside from what the gun grabbers tell them, naturally. So it is easy to fool lots of people, especially young women, to think that guns are somehow either able to act on their own, or that they magically inspire ordinary people to become careless or even predatory. Or both.
But if you ask any of them if they think their vehicle, their baseball bats, their hammers and golf clubs are capable of either, they’ll look at you funny and then laugh… and then are astonished when you can show them that these objects, as well as almost anything else, can be and IS used to harm other people far more than happens with a gun. Quite an astonishing revelation. And, if you are lucky and persistent, you might be able to show them how and why the gun is the most effective defense against predators with any kind of weapon – once they’ve given up on it being magic, of course.
The trick, of course, is to get them to listen to it and think about it. If someone has been indoctrinated to fear guns, for instance, no amount of talk will likely change their minds or their fears unless they’re willing to replace the set of “facts” that mesh with their fears.
The truly conditioned hoplophobe who won’t consider that is probably not someone you can reach, but there seem to be a large number of people who don’t fall into that category and are simply ignorant. Sometimes willfully, but often just because they’ve never had to think about it; never had to deal with the prospect (or harsh reality) of becoming a victim.
And that potential is a compelling argument for self defense and all that goes with it, far more than lectures on the constitution or even history. Those may well become important and useful later, but the approach I’ve found to be the most effective is the face to face, one to one discussion with people, calmly addressing their concerns and offering them concrete, immediate information to fill in the falsehoods that feed their fears.
I would suggest that anyone who wants to make a real difference make the effort to introduce friends and neighbors to an honest dialog about self defense and help them overcome the (to us) irrational phobias and misinformation.
First, of course, you must become well informed yourself, and have demonstrated to your peers and community that you are a reliable, non threatening person in your everyday life and dealings. Demonstrate that you are self responsible, ready and able to defend yourself and those around you if necessary. Integrity and dedication to non-aggression are your finest bona fides.
Second, be prepared for rejection and even ridicule without becoming defensive and hostile yourself. Understand that you will not likely influence very many, especially at the beginning. Be happy with small victories, and work to do better after defeats. Don’t argue, and don’t harass people after they’ve turned you away. If they change their minds later, they should know how to reach you. I print cards and hand them out freely.
Then work out a plan to actually take those who are receptive to the gun range. Encourage your club and community, other shooters, to sponsor training. Volunteer to learn and serve as an instructor. You don’t have to be an expert or spend inordinate amounts of time or money to make this possible, but putting some of your own time and money on the line lends serious credibility to what you are saying and doing.
Start small, perfect your delivery and comportment, remain steadfast and friendly. Practice on your own friends, family and neighbors first. Take your mother-in-law to the range and teach her how to shoot. If you can accomplish that, the sky’s the limit.