Those of us who argue and fight for our 2nd Amendment rights are all too familiar with the left-wing assault on the the 2nd Amendment, firearms, and firearms related issues and equipment.
And though we’ve told those who view firearms as the bane of society that it’s not guns that are bad, it’s the people and that bad people will always find a way to do bad things regardless of the legal status of firearms, the message always seems to fall on deaf ears.
While I think our message is clear and absolutely needs to be delivered, I think there are two fundemental problems with our approach.
The first is that we have no public audience. Generally speaking, unless someone representing the NRA, NAGR, or NSSF is sitting before a panel of law-makers, the 2nd Amendment movement’s only public audience is itself. No one in the general public is listening to us… no one that is, but us. Most of the public conversation on firearms occurs during volitile cable news network interviews where no one is actually listening. Watch any of these “interviews” and you will see that the entire piece is nothing more than a platform for one side to make it’s case as best and as loud as it can within the contraints of the time allowed. No one is listening… they’re only thinking about what they’re going to say next. That’s not a conversation and we have no audience.
And I must be honest. I’m just as much to blame. I love educating people on the subject. But I don’t really want to engage in a debate or an argument. I have my opinions and my beliefs and (at least as it applies to the 2nd Amendment conversation) I know what’s right… and I want others to listen to me. I know that seems like I’m something of a hypocrite here… and maybe I am. But it’s honest.
The second problem with our approach is that we rarely show the other side what we’re talking about. We’re always telling them. Very few people are auditory learners. Most are tactile or visual learners. So we can tell people all day long that there is no such thing as an “assault” rifle. And we can tell them why that’s true. But unless they see it or touch it, very few will ever really understand.
And since, like I mentioned before, we don’t even have much of an audience willing to listen, how are we ever going to obtain an audience willing to see or touch? Frankly… I don’t know.
But what I can do – what you can do – is use whatever resources are available to you to highlight those instances in which politicians, talking heads, and lawmakers say something that isn’t true.
If you have a blog… write the truth. If you have a Pod-cast… tell the truth. If you make YouTube videos… show the truth. If you meet with a bunch of old ladies on Wednesday nights… be the truth.
When Bill O’Reilly tells the American people that anyone can walk into a gun shop and get an automatic machine gun without the government even knowing about it, show them that he’s either severely misinformed or flat-out lying. Show them the laws… show them all the paperwork that needs to be submitted to both local and federal law enforcement agencies.
When Rep. Carol McCarthey goes on MSNBC and speaks of her support for a bill the would ban firearms with (among other things) barrel shrouds, show people that a barrel shroud is nothing more than an oven mitt for a rifle to stop someone from burning themselves on a hot barrel.
When someone says assault rifles need to be banned, show them (as does the gentleman in the video below) that there is no such thing as an assault rifle.
It’s our responsibility to be truth-tellers regarding firearms and 2nd Amendment issues. If we leave it to someone else don’t be surprised when you no longer have a 2nd Amendment right… or the firearms it protects.
I leave you with a very simple, but one more example of the type of truth-telling that has the potential to truly help our cause.