I’ve been asking this question over the past couple of days, and after writing a piece about several of the responses I received, I got so many more that I decided to feature some of your responses on today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co. If you’re interested in continuing the conversation, by all means feel free to e-mail me at [email protected] with your best non-traditional/unconventional argument against gun bans, or even another gun control law. Basically what I’m looking for is an argument that doesn’t center around “shall not be infringed” or “it’s my right.”
Why? Because a lot of the people we have to persuade don’t care that’s a right. Or, even worse, they hate that it is a right. And yet, we have to persuade them, because right now they’re being persuaded that the way to protect their children is to pass these gun control laws that won’t have an impact on them, or if they are gun owners, laws they are told won’t have an impact on them.
Here are a few things that I’d also suggest, just based on some of the responses I’ve received.
- I love a good long email as much as the next guy, but we live in a day and age of shortened attention spans. Your best argument isn’t going to be a a long lengthy treatise quoting Jefferson, Federalist 46, and Cesare Beccaria, as much as I personally might appreciate it as a gun owner. If I didn’t own guns and love history, I’d probably tune out when you said “Federalist 46” if not before. Your best argument ss an elevator pitch. It’s 30 to 60 seconds of speech that, boiled down, amounts to “A gun ban isn’t the answer because ‘x’.”
- Keep it current. Remember your audience is comprised of non-gun owners, and the odds are they, like most Americans, aren’t too familiar with U.S. history nor do they feel any deep-rooted connection to the Founding-era. That is an issue, for sure, but it is not the same issue as protecting our right to keep and bear arms. I’d argue it’s a deeper and more foundational problem that must be addressed, but in the meantime, we have to work in the world as it is, not as we want it to be.
- Don’t be combative. There was one email I talk about on today’s show that had a good appeal to conscience, based on what gun control laws do to to women, the elderly, minorities, and others. The problem was the whole tone was one of “Don’t you see you’re a jackass for supporting these laws?” If we’re talking to friends or family about issues like this around the Thanksgiving table, you don’t want to be the guy that called Uncle Al an a-hole for wanting what he calls a “fully semi-automatic gun ban,” no matter how much you might think it. It’s up to us to be the adults in the room on this issue, because we’re the ones who are trying, ultimately, to impart knowledge to the folks we’re talking to and who might be listening in.
I appreciate all the reader and listener responses so far, and I think we’ll continue the conversation a little longer if you want to share your own ideas. Also on the show today we’ve got the story of an axe-wielding burglar who met a homeowner with a shotgun, a man with a lengthy criminal history who allegedly raped an elderly woman while on probation for a previous crime, and an off-duty officer who was in the right place at the right time to save a boy who had fallen through the ice on an Indiana pond.
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