Imagine if you will meeting an individual with incredibly strong negative feelings about a large group of people.
This individual has a laundry list of complaints about the group. You immediately notice that the complaints seem to be as thin as onion-skin and just as transparent.
Curious, you start asking the individual questions about his experience with that group.
You quickly discover that the individual’s first-hand experience with that targeted group is virtually non-existent. He’s seen them at a distance, but once he identifies someone as belonging to that group, he curses them, and runs away. He’s found solace in an insular clique of like-minded souls, and they likewise have next to no experience of their own with the group they collectively hate so much.
You point out that you have considerable experience with that targeted group, and point out that their stereotypes are both shallow and contrary to actual documented facts that are easily proven. The individual and his clique brands you as a “nut” and asserts that your ability to understand and find common ground with the other group is due to some shared sexual perversity, not actual cultural knowledge, education, and shared experience .
Welcome my world as a firearms news journalist who frequently finds himself in debates with supporters of gun control.
Let me be very clear in that I don’t hold myself to be a gun “expert.” I know far too many actual experts to consider myself to be one. I do however, have some relevant education and experience in my lifetime.
I’ve been through simulators both day and night, have participated in force-on-force scenarios with Simunitions, and even participated in mock assaults on “enemy” positions with live ammunition. I’ve also been a big game hunter for more than 20 years, and a concealed carrier for a number of years. I’ve shot with the best shooters in the world (Julie Golob, Jerry & Kay Miculek, Rob Leatham, Dianna and Ryan Muller, SWAT team members and commanders, Navy SEALs, MARSOC Marines, Army Special Forces).
I also have solid industry contacts with experts, in case I need to ask and answer specific questions.
What I haven’t been able to find is a similar level of expertise and training among those who support gun control.
Q: Are there any gun control supporters who have substantial training in the defensive use of firearms in a civilian context?#gunsense
— Bob Owens (@bob_owens) August 25, 2016
Not. One. Soul.
The closest I’ve been able to find to a group with some level of training is a small subset of the gun control group Americans for Responsible Solutions calling themselves the “Veterans Coalition for Common Sense” that appears to be made up of a literal handful of military officers.
Other that this one subgroup of six named men (out of 320 million Americans), the most prevalent supporters of gun control seem to have no discernable firearms training or experience at all.
Does it strike anyone else as odd?
Michael Bloomberg’s various gun control projects, including Everytown, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Moms Demand Action, and The Trace, don’t have a single soul in a position of responsibility that appears to have any discernable level of firearms training. The same holds true for the Coalition the Stop Gun Violence, the Brady Campaign, the Law Center to Stop Gun Violence, the Violence Police Center, and other gun control groups. This widespread ignorance also applies to progressive think tanks, mainstream media outlets, and left-wing politicians.
Like the individual in our hypothetical example, the leaders and followers in these groups have very strong opinions driven by biases, ignorance, and bigotry, but it is very difficult to find individuals in these organizations who have taken even basic gun safety classes, much less developed any proficiency or first-hand experience.
People are are well-trained and experienced with firearms rarely support gun control.
People who have no experience at all, or who have a singular limited experience with armed criminals, form the backbone of the gun control movement.
I simply want to know why American citizens should listen to people who opine on a subject they aren’t educated enough to understand, and who lack the relevant training and experiences to see beyond their deep-seated and irrational bigotry.