Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Fence Sitters

One of the ways I use to discuss firearms w/ people who don't necessarily oppose them but aren't enthusiastic about them is to ask them questions.

One of my favorites is to ask them what they thing an "Assault Weapon" is. I have yet to have someone tell me anything other than the usual variations on "High Powered Machineguns" and everyone has been surprised when I inform them of the reality of them and the deliberate attempts to confuse the public on the issue.

Now I've added one more tailored to Illinois residents. I ask them if they think that the Chicago firearm laws are really intended to stop criminals. Then I tell them about Alderman Mell and his Daley approved personal exemption after he forgot to follow the laws.

So how do you discuss the issue w/ those in the middle?

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Bob S. said...

Lot of it depends on the person or how the subject comes up.

Many times, I hear someone complaining about opposition to a 'reasonable restriction' and ask what they know of current laws.

Always surprises people.

Some times, I'll hear people talking about a friend or family member who bought one of "those guns" and how they don't see a "need" for it.

That leads to the discussion of the shooting sports, training for military and the toughest of the all -- the fundamental reason for the 2nd Amendment.

Mostly, I ask what do they know already; so many turn out to "know" much less then they thought they did.

Steven Covey's "Seek to Understand then Be Understood".

Nate said...

I agree that asking questions is a great strategy. I usually ask them a self-defense-related one. 9 times out of 10 they admit a willingness to protect themselves and their loved ones using a table lamp, baseball bat, frying pan, kitchen knife, or other improvised weapon. From there, it's a simple thing to point out that those are lethal weapons in the right hands, and that if they're okay with using lethal weapons to protect innocent life, what's wrong with using the best and easiest-to-use ones of all? They'll usually respond with some ignorant falsehood like "well, nobody needs an assault weapon to protect themselves!" and you can keep asking more questions.

Sevesteen said...

Fairly similar strategy--ask questions, find out where they are misinformed (they always are) and go from there. I also like to use examples of aspects of gun rights that do not directly affect me--restrictions on barrel shrouds and shoulder things that go up, for instance.

When someone proposes mandatory training, I ask if enough training to be almost as safe as cops would be enough...

JD said...

It usually starts with casual talk of guns or hunting and ends up with the ignorant "nobody needs an assault rifle" cliche'. From that point on I end up educating them with the Kleck DGU study, failure's of gun control, it's the bill of rights not the bill of needs, and why it shouldn't matter to them what kind of gun someone hunts with. I'd say I'm successful 75% of the time getting people to give up on banning what they believe to be assault weapons. The hardest thing I've run into is hunters who poo-poo any thought of hunting with an AR platform rifle. Their main and misinformed reasoning is they believe people who hunt with AR's just unload a 30 rounder into a deer to kill it. Thats not "ethical" they say, and I agree it wouldn't be. But these same people have NO problem shooting a Muley/Whitetail buck up the asshole with a 300 Win mag. We can't win em' all but we gotta try, good luck people.

Weer'd Beard said...

Yeah there are several angles to many fence-sitting antis. (Spoken as a former one m'self)

Be it the emotional fear of strange people carrying loaded guns. (But no fear of those people driving a few feet away from the sidewalk where you're walking at speeds in excess of 30mph)

Fear of "Assault Weapons" (you addressed that very well)

Or clinging to the foolish made-up statistic of "Gun Crime" which can easily be dispelled by asking them if they prefer violent crime done with tools other than guns.

The anti-rights side is a campaign of misinformation and fearmongering. All we need to do is find the darkness each anti fears and shine a light into it to show them there are no monsters under their bed.