Gun owning "but" heads, the "Big Lie", and the 2nd amendment

I listen to Cam & Company on NRA News online. The interviews of pro-gun leaders and 2nd amendment guiding lights are great and I’d recommend it to anyone. But just as revealing about American opinions as the main content are the Man in the Street interviews which online viewers hear during the breaks.

The Man on the Street interviews involve an NRA news producer approaching random people and asking them questions about the 2nd amendment and gun rights. Naturally there are anti-gun people who repeat the standard paranoia induced anti-gun talking points from “guns promote a wild west mentality” to “it’s more likely the gun will be used against you than the criminal (both of which are ridiculous; there never was a “Wild West” as seen in the movies and Americans successfully defend themselves with firearms every day)

But most annoying are the gun owners and others who say they support the second amendment then caveat that statement with …

  • … but I don’t think that means you should be able to own an assault rifle, I’ve never wanted one.
  • … but that doesn’t mean you can carry a gun around with you.
  • … but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have to register it.
  • … but nobody needs more than one gun a month.
  • … but it’s OK for big cities to restrict the right.
  • … but National Parks should be strictly offlimits.
  • … but {ad nauseum}

In past blogs I’ve given arguments against gun registration, “Assault Weapon” bans,¬† the anti-gun stance of some mainstream Christian churches, and other self-righteous but logically challenged anti-gun rhetoric. Honestly, the anti-gun groups have little but knee-jerk fear and paranoia to draw upon and their bogus studies and proposed laws are easily debated.

But the anti-gun groups have been successful anyway, because they’ve created so much background noise, eagerly picked up on by the Main Stream Media, that gun owners who don’t pay attention to gun politics — the average Joe who owns a firearm for hunting or self defense but for whom gun ownership isn’t high on his/her radar¬† — repeat these points because they’ve never heard the arguments that counter them.

But that’s how the big lie works. You produce numerous stories that are completely libelous about a public figure or group and soon the average person is saying, “I don’t know if it’s all true or not, but with all those stories something must be going on …” The same tactics were used by the Nazi propoganda machine in Germany against the Jews and to a less deadly extent here in the US during the “2nd Red Scare” of the McCarthy era.

With a “Big Lie” continually repeated you can turn society against a minority group, destroy the career of an innocent person, or turn people against a constitutional right that they personally enjoy but are not “political” about.

I try not to be bitter with the gun-owning “but” heads, hard though it may be, but just remind myself that there are important issues that I have not stayed up on as well — at least in terms of day-to-day support.

But what those of us who care MUST do is educate the “but” heads whenever possible. No need to get in their face or get a reputation as a “gun nut,” but just send them an occasional link or force them to ask themselves the questions they can’t answer when they repeat anti-gun debate points (be a pro-gun “but” head). Like:

Statement: “I don’t think anybody needs an assault weapon to go hunting.”
“But don’t some people hunt with those kinds of guns? Like Coyotes in particular? Why is that not OK with you?”
“But if the 2nd amendment is a political right as a balance to a standing army, wouldn’t semi-automatic rifles be exactly the kind of weapons protected? More than bolt action deer rifles?”
“But since you know guns, what do you think makes a weak caliber semi-automatic rifle more dangerous than any other rifle?”
“But would you be more afraid of someone coming after your family with a weak caliber semi-automatic black rifle or a pump shotgun like you use for hunting? Which is more devastating?”

Statement: “I don’t think we need people carrying guns — that’ll just cause more gun fights”
“But how many gun fights has it caused in the last 25 years in the states that allow all Civilians to carry concealed weapons? How many fights over parking spaces?”

And of course a good General Response is:
“But why would you support laws that limit your and my ability to buy guns when you know the criminals could care less about those laws?”

I could go on and on, but you get the gist. We all need to be representatives of the 2nd amendment to our fellow gun owners and hunters, and try to counteract the negative rhetoric that the mainstream media plays unchallenged over and over again — quoting a Brady Campaign spokesman in nearly every tragic story that involves a gun but never looking at the other side or the extremely negative effects of passing the laws the anti-gun groups are blindly pushing for.

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