Why you should keep the faith.
In fact--and this was a shocker when I first learned it--both sides think they're losing! That's right. Sit in on a Tea Party meeting or a liberal coffee klatch, and the conversations tend to run the same way, just in opposite directions. "Why is the other side kicking our butts so hard?" They're all sitting in darkness, candle-less. We can learn from this and use it to our advantage.
Yes, it's hard to endure the nonsense spewing from dyed-in-the-wool anti-rights liberal activists, but it's important to do once in a while. You've heard the one-liners: Know your enemy. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. When you hear, firsthand and up-close, what the political left and the anti-rights forces really think, it's actually encouraging.
I'm not talking here about the massaged, homogenized tripe pouring off your television screen or other mass media, controlled by small powerful groups with an agenda. I'm talking about the misinformed and mal-informed folks who've swallowed the anti-rights lines and "wish all the guns would go away." This is the bulk of the so-called support groups (supported these days by one rich bigot--Michael Bloomberg) we face when defending our right to arms.
They may be fighting hard, making a lot of noise and getting disproportionate airtime and ink, but they feel they're losing and we're winning. This is good. And they can back it up. This is even better. We need to help them along with their feelings.
They Feel Like They're Losing
You should hear them, quietly in living rooms, at political "salons" where politics gets discussed (like in the 17th Century, look up salons for an interesting read and a great idea for modern day), or at left-wing district meetings. It sounds like this:
"Thanks to the powerful gun lobby, we can't get any bills passed. Not even reasonable common-sense ones. Anyone is allowed to walk into a store and buy all the deadly bullets they want without controls. They stockpile dangerous assault weapons nobody needs to hunt deer. And now every state lets people get permits to carry deadly loaded guns in public where there are little children. Those guns could go off!"
You get the gist. They go on like this endlessly. They feel like they're losing.
In truth, the largest and oldest civil rights group on Earth has stopped attempted rights denial of the public, but it's been a tough, continual struggle. American citizens, unlike people repressed elsewhere, are free--not allowed, a dangerous word you must watch out for--to buy quality ammunition (about 10 billion rounds annually in the second biggest participant sport in the nation, larger than golf). Assault is a kind of behavior, not a kind of hardware. Ownership of property in America isn't based on need; it's the communist model. You get the idea.
Don't let the opposition's twisted view distort yours. There's a real struggle for our rights, but their brainwashing leaves their arguments solidly based on nothing solid. When I sit in on such chatter, the slightest amount of actual information undercuts the silliness and lights start to go on. You can do this, too, by reviewing the "Politically Corrected Glossary," at GunLaws.com.
You can't hit them in large bites or you start a fight and get nowhere. You need to be so subtle you aren't noticed; with just the right aplomb, these folks who feel like they're losing can be comforted and their opposition softened.
Shift The Conversation
All the issues swirling around why anyone needs a gun dissolve when you speak about why good people might want guns. The fear so many people have about these obviously dangerous things is defused when you shift conversation from guns to freedom. Turn from death and destruction--which obscures rational discussion--to safety, security, rights and choice.
Our precious right to keep and bear arms is more about the first word than the last one. To the extent you can nudge your thinking toward a rights-based mindset and less toward a guns-based mindset, you put yourself on a path better tuned to the mainstream, bypassing their fears and terror and your own sense of gain and loss. They think they're losing, so they see terror. It's a false fear, but it drives them. Your faith in the grand "American Way" can help salve the festering sore for them.
The salve includes subtle shifts in the language you use, the mindset you bring to the table and compassion you show to the unfortunate individuals who suffer from hoplophobia (morbid fear of weapons, Jeff Cooper's term for it), assuaging their conviction of losing.
When they begin to understand your armed presence increases their safety and you're part of the good guys--like the cops whose guns they actually admire (a sick hypocrisy)--both sides can start to feel like they're winning. Because they are.
Guns save lives. Guns stop crime. Guns are good. And guns are why America is still free. Believe mm* it. Keep the faith, baby.
Alan Korwin, has 14 books to his credit, 10 of them on gun laws, and runs the website GunLaws.com.