You've heard me say it before. When it comes to the gun rights debate and the fight, being right doesn't really matter. Winning is the only thing that matters, and while many of our supporters argue positions which are correct, they do it in ways destined to lose. (Hey, we are right, whether we win or lose, so let's learn how to win.) That is, they don't persuade anyone. So, grab a few rounds of "intellectual ammunition" you can have ready when needed.
Choosing words carefully, knowing which words to say first, and knowing when to keep quiet, often makes all the difference. When someone challenges you with "Won't putting guns into the hands of teachers result in more gun accidents?" don't start your answer with, "Well, it could, but ..." Just give a big, friendly smile, and say, "Fortunately, we don't have to wonder what would happen because we have many years in many states of teachers and other staff members carrying guns with pretty much no problems." Then shut up.
When someone challenges you (in person, in the media, or online) with the charge that the Kleck and Lott figures on defensive gun uses are far too high, rather than get into a spitting contest over that, try this. "Well, the lowest number for DGUs in any study is the 108,000 per year found in the National Crime Victimization Survey, and that's almost 300 times a day that someone uses a gun for self protection." Then shut up.
Of course, sometimes one can hardly suppress the urge to be a smart aleck when the gun banners make dumb comments. Usually that's not an effective response, but it can be, if done right. When you get a comment about there being no place for "military style" weapons, tilt your head to one side as though pondering that comment, and ask (curiously), "Well, what STYLE firearms would you approve of?" The point, of course, is that they are talking style and not operation or use.
When the banners say that teachers can't be expected to master the defensive use of guns, ask, "So you are saying women are incapable of learning how to protect themselves and their students?" (By the way, many teachers already own guns -- something lost on the banners.)
There's something sinister going on in this current "conversation." It's been going on a long time, as explained brilliantly in this article. READ HERE
It's the stigmatization of gun owners. It's a public shunning. When national chains cancel their relationships with the NRA, it's public shaming. Make no mistake -- the threats and comments about the NRA are about all gun owners -- you and me. When the haters say "The NRA," they mean all gun owners. The goal is to marginalize us as has been done to other groups in history. They create "the other." We are not them. We are, in fact, not really human. When you have the opportunity to address this explain it this way. "It's a tactic used against blacks, Japanese-Americans, Jews in Europe, and the LBGT community. The systematic oppression of groups." (The order of the groups in this sentence is carefully crafted.)
Shunning and shaming a group manipulates the public to a point where they will imprison and even kill members of "the other." Witness the billboards which currently say "Kill The NRA." Hear them yell "Burn Her!" to Dana Loesch at the CNN "Town Hall Meeting." And we aren't even talking about the real death threats sent to NRA officials, promising or hoping to kill them and their children. Is this my imagination? Ask Congressman Steve Scalise and the Republican Congressmen who were targeted for assassination (and saved only by two officers who where there).
This started at least 25 years ago.
In 1994 (the year the Clinton Gun Ban was passed), Mark Rosenberg was the director of the National Center for Injury Prevention, a division of the National Centers for Disease Control. He admitted that the CDC "research" being done on firearms was designed to move public opinion (rather than actually study anything).
"We need to revolutionize the way we look at guns, like what we did with cigarettes," Said Rosenberg. "It used to be that smoking was a glamour symbol -- cool, sexy, macho. Now it is dirty, deadly -- and banned."
In 1995, when he was a U.S. Attorney and not yet the U.S. Attorney General and over the gun-running cartel inside the ATF, Eric Holder was captured on C-SPAN video talking about using influential figures (cocaine-snorting D.C. Mayor Marion Barry) as well as TV and movies to change how Americas feel about guns and gun owners. The goal, he said, was to “really brainwash people into thinking about guns in a vastly different way.”
They want to portray us as different. Strange. Dangerous. That's just one of the reasons we must redouble our efforts to get more women into the shooting sports and also training with guns for self protection. It's nearly impossible for the banners to paint women as paranoid. Same with the Pink Pistols -- the national LBGT group of shooters.
For more intellectual ammunition, follow me on Twitter, where I'm @guntalk. ~ Tom
Author, outdoorsman, gun rights activist, and firearms enthusiast for more than five decades, Tom Gresham hosts Tom Gresham's Gun Talk, the first nationally-syndicated radio show about guns and the shooting sports, and is also the producer and co-host of the Guns & Gear, GunVenture and First Person Defender television series.