Saturday, August 11, 2012

How Gun Owners Will Continue to Win the Gun Control Debate

Despite the recent mass murders that have taken place in Aurora and Milwaukee, support for additional gun control remains relatively low. Thankfully, according to recent polling, the majority of Americans support either the same amount of gun control or less gun control.  Nevertheless, it seems that our opponents in the gun control debate are marshalling their forces once again to attack so-called "assualt weapons."

It is the dream of every gun owner to be able to enjoy his Constitutionally-enumerated rights in peace; however, the average AR-15 owner is 35 years old or older.  While our rights seem relatively secure at present, now is the time to vaccinate the next generation of shooters against the twisted "logic" of gun control.  The good news is that we have two big advantages in this: truth and fun.

First, we can keep setting the facts straight any time the subject of gun control rears it's head.  Use correct terminology.  Josh Sugarmann, head of the anti-gun Violence Policy Center made this statement in 1988:

[A]ssault weapons . . . will . . . strengthen the handgun restriction lobby . . . . [H]andgun restriction consistently remains a non-issue with the vast majority of legislators, the press, and public. . . . Assault weapons . . . are a new topic. The weapons’ menacing looks, coupled with the public’s confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons—anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun—can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons. . . . Efforts to restrict assault weapons are more likely to succeed than those to restrict handguns.
As you can see, disinformation is part of the core strategy of our opponents.  We combat this by being firm but polite, and never letting a lie remain unchallenged.  As radio host Tom Gresham likes to say, "A lie that remains unchallenged becomes the truth."  Be polite, but be informed and be engaged.

The second prong of our strategy is the fun part.  Take someone shooting.  It is critical that we be friendly and professional.  Make sure all your guests understand safety before handling any weapons.  Start them out with a .22.  Remember, you are an ambassador for the sport.  You are helping your guests form an opinion about firearms that they will carry into the voting booth.  If instructing others is something you find you like, there are many ways to scratch that itch and serve your neighbors at the same time.  For instance, you can become an NRA-certified instructor and/or teach shooting for an organization such as the Boy Scouts or 4-H.

Gun owners currently have the high ground in the battle for gun rights.  The way to ensure that we hold the high ground is to educate our friends and neighbors that are either undecided or anti-gun.  The good news is that doing so is very rewarding.

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