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Lots of Anti-Gun Folks In This World

I seem to have upset some people over at the Firing Pin Journal by suggesting that it’s not too much to ask to be civil to our opponents in this debate. Also at Gun Free Zone. I’ll be honest, as I was introducing myself to the Brady Folks outside the Supreme Court building during McDonald, I was half expecting someone to snap a photo of me shaking hands with Paul Helmke and Peter Hamm and putting it on a web site somewhere “See! This proves everything we ever thought about Sebastian! He’s really one of them!”

But really, it would be hard for me to function in my world if I held people’s differing political beliefs against them. My grandmother was anti-gun. My aunt would ban them all. My mother was not particularly fond of them either. I have a coworker who wouldn’t ban them, but would force you to lock them up a gun club and leave them there. This is a coworker who I’ve long allied with, through good management and bad (mostly bad). I’ve had heated arguments with him about this topic. But we both shared the same vision for what we wanted the company to be and have cooperated to promote hat vision within the company’s internal politics (our vision is winning now, which is why I’ve been so busy). I’ve dated at least one anti-gun girlfriend, who grudgingly worked her way toward ambivalence, and let me take her little brother shooting.

It’s very difficult for me to understand holding any kind of  personal animosity toward the people at the Brady Campaign, or most of the other gun control promoting groups when there are people I am very close with in my personal life who would do worse to my rights given half the chance. I wouldn’t last long if I gave the cold shoulder to everyone once I found out their position on the gun issue if it didn’t agree with mine. I certainly wouldn’t last long if I wouldn’t let the disagreement go.

That’s not to say I don’t understand the resentment of being looked down upon by people who have certain cultural prejudices about the kind of people gun owners are. I do. But the solution to that is to be a functional, normal member of society, and to be up front about what you did this past weekend if they ask. The first time you tell your anti-gun friend or coworker “Shot a match this weekend.” he or she might recoil in horror. By the fifth time they’ll be asking how you did. They may never agree with you, but you can at least start to break down the worst that people think/fear about gun owners and people who shoot.

So showing civility to the other side is something I do believe is part of being a good citizen, but I also think it’s a smart strategy for moving the issue forward as well. If upon finding someone is anti-gun your response is never to speak to them again, you’re missing out on an opportunity to break down preconceptions and prejudices. How do you all deal with anti-gunners in your lives?

38 Responses to “Lots of Anti-Gun Folks In This World”

  1. AntiCitizenOne says:

    I have a lot of friends who are antis mostly out of ignorance/misguided “good intentions” but none of them are control freaks like the Bradyistas, it’s better just to break them down with kindness and variety – I actually do not mention shooting activities a lot but I do mention other activities with them – imagine their surprise when I told them I dance salsa – they don’t know that I have danced with my HK45C strapped to me several times to no detriment and have never been made whatsoever.

    there are people in our med school class who are just like the Bradyistas but I don’t hang out with them because their personality is so wacked out.

  2. Dave says:

    If you recall, I agreed with you about the being cordial part. My opinion of their ideas, goals, and tactics on the subject of gun control are not something I’m apt to sugarcoat if I’m asked directly, but being civil in personal, non political context is no problem for me.

  3. harp1034 says:

    If you live in this world you have to be able to interact with all sorts of people. Most will not have your viewpoint. In time you might even get a few to go shooting.
    So Sebastian is right.

  4. JamesLee says:

    There is nothing wrong with being civil in political debates, no matter what the issue is. At least until such time that there is no other option.

    I have a lot of political opinions. And for the most part, I don’t personally know a lot of the people involved that I’m debating with and/or about. It’s not about that person, it’s about the issue.

    MrsJamesLee was not a fan of firearms at all. While she wasn’t in favor of banning, she would often throw up the what-do-you-need-with-a-gun-like-THAT? arguement. Now, having been around them, realizing that gun people are not wild-eyed crazy militia members from Montana, she actually likes shooting. Even bought one on her own without my input for our anniversary last year.

    Be steadfast, and don’t compromise on core principles, but being hateful to the opposition on steels the resolve of some who may actually be on the fence.

  5. Jay T says:

    Sad really. Sebastian doesn’t understand what I’ve been trying to say because he has changed his responses rapidly as he has been challenged.

    Frankly I don’t care if Sebastian had dinner with the Brady campaign or sends each member a Christmas card every year. He has the right. His right has been guaranteed by those who have served in the military, who have bled while people of the same political vein as the Brady group called veteran “killers” and threw blood on them. Yet, again, I would fight to protect Sebastian’s rights.

    He looks at the issue of the second amendment as a political issue, which it is largely, but he fails to take into account the problems encountered if it ever became policy to prohibit firearms. Then freedom of the press. Next up the fifth amendment.If your ability to protect yourself is removed it is not a political problem anymore. It is a life safety problem because self defense is a human right.

    The founders saw this problem. There is a process to address it and win or lose as long as the process is followed fairly there is no quarrel. If the process fails then the founders also had a solution and they made it clear.

    My own patriotism is firm. I love my country, served her well and would do nothing to harm my country. However, I do not have to mix with a group of people who stand in opposition to freedom to make me feel good. I would never be rude in person but I don’t need to sit down with members of a group who want firearms taken away. In person I know people like that and discuss it with them regularly. Why make a big deal about being friendly with the Brady group?

    Some folks don’t understand harsh lessons. “Why can’t we be friends with the local pedophile rehabilitation group?” “You know, if we just sat down and talked to people who kick in doors and rape women maybe we could convert them to our opinions.” It doesn’t work for anyone who would harm another or deprive that person of their liberty. Groups formed to deny liberty are no friends of mine whether they buy me a cup of coffee or try to charm me.

    What is funny is how Sebastian makes himself out to be the voice of moderation. He’s not. Instead he took a position that some people don’t like and is upset others don’t see it his way. He can play Neville Chamberlain all he wants and attempt to sound elitist with his talk. In my lifetime I have spent more time discussing issues with people in the opposition than most others. I’m always respectful but I am in opposition. I don’t see a need to kiss their asses to make myself feel good and would be insulted if they tried to kiss mine.

    Men and women understand this very well. Apologists are lost.

  6. Sebastian says:

    I have a lot of friends who are antis mostly out of ignorance/misguided “good intentions” but none of them are control freaks like the Bradyistas

    Intensity tends to be the difference between people who work/are active in an issue and people who aren’t. Most people you run into in daily life won’t be that intense, but I think you’ll find most of them would be, for instance, appalled by the idea of you carrying a gun into Starbucks. Even if you got them to the point where they’d admit “OK, OK, you I don’t have a problem with, but just anyone else? That’s just crazy!” they would still side with the Brady folks.

  7. Sebastian says:

    Be steadfast, and don’t compromise on core principles, but being hateful to the opposition on steels the resolve of some who may actually be on the fence.

    This is truth. And even for the true believer, it’s a lot harder to work against someone you think is really a nice guy, than it is to work against someone who you’ve successfully dehumanized.

  8. LC Scotty says:

    Nobody likes rude, arrogant people, and many of those who are ambivalent will make all of their decisions about this issue based more on their perceptions of the individuals involved. I say this because since they are ambivalent, they will not likely invest the time and effort to actually learn the issue, but will rely on impressions. If we come off as angry, rude or flippant we lose credibility with the great mass of people we need to win over. Who want to make friends with the churlish?

    Codrea has an illuminating tale as his GRE column today (http://www.examiner.com/x-1417-Gun-Rights-Examiner~y2010m3d6-Why-did-NJ-youth-baseball-league-rejects-gun-store-sponsorship) describing the need to reach out to the youth and bring them into the shooting sports.This will only happen one of two ways-either we bring the parents into the shooting sports, or we bring their children (with parental approval) into the sports. We need to be the sort of people that others want to join, for if we are not then the parents won’t join and for damn sure won’t let their children join. We must be the sort of people that parents want their children to emulate for this effort to be successful.

    I know that guys like Vanderboegh would probably disagree with me, and perhaps might even have a few nasty names for me (he can be quite cantankerous when he gets riled up), but that’s ok. Those guys do a lot of really great work, and it is important to have men like them in our movement. I have nothing but the highest regard for them.

  9. Sebastian says:

    Sad really. Sebastian doesn’t understand what I’ve been trying to say because he has changed his responses rapidly as he has been challenged.

    My position has been consistent. I think maybe we’re both having a hard time understanding each other.

  10. Jay T says:

    No it hasn’t. However, I’m finished giving the Brady folks something to laugh at as we go at each other. Let’s focus outward from this point on because the issues is bigger than either of us.

    All the best.

  11. Sebastian says:

    LC:

    You know, I forgot to put my Matt Carmel post up yesterday. That reminded me.

  12. Dannytheman says:

    I think civil is doable, until the debate starts and the public is listening. Politicians do it all the time. They are adversaries yet they have ideological differences. I bear no ill towards my opponent in any way. I know he is wrong in his thinking and his argument. I am sure he loves his children and his wife, as I do. I am sue he cares about his cause, as I do. I just happen to be right!

  13. Matthew Carberry says:

    “Civil” is most important when the debate goes public. We need the public to think of us as the ones who aren’t wild-eyed screaming crazies. The ones who make our comments firmly yet civilly and calmly, not with negative chants and rude gestures.

    We are starting with a prejudice of “being dangerous” in many minds due to the Brady’s claptrap and the MSM. By being calm and rational in public, and allowing their crazies to embarass themselves (as they inevitably will) we show that slander as the lie it is.

  14. Dan R says:

    I cant honestly say I have any serious, honest to god ” hatred ” or definable ” ill will ” towards the Pro Victim Hood acolytes. But I seriously doubt I’d ever shake hands with the likes of Bryan Miller or Paul Helmke either. The fact is , they are my enemy , maybe not mortal , but in every other sense of the word they are. I personally view them as domestic enemies, something I swore an oath to defend against.

    I generally like almost everyone, in fact it’s often a source of amazement and a bit of consternation for my wife that I could run into a complete stranger and within 10 or 15 minutes we will be talking like long time friends. But as gregarious and outgoing as I might be, I despise with a capitol D people like Miller and Helmke and Sugarmann because they apparently have little to any ethics at all, or if they do, they turn them on and off like a switch, which is just as bad, if not worse.

    I stopped caring whether people “looked down on me ” or what they thought somewhere back in my early twenties, I am who I am, accept or dont. My overarching problem with Miller , Helmke , et al is their intentional and deliberate lying, incessant manipulation and suppressing of anything at all that is counter to their worldview. Both my Grandfathers were WWII Combat vets, one fought in the Battle of the Buldge,earning a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. I was instilled from a very young age with a strong sense of values like integrity and honor. Of doing the right thing, even when it wasnt in your best interest or when you werent going to gain from it. This would include being honest, even when it might cost you.

    I was raised to believe that respect is something thats earned, not automatically granted. And the Gun Grabbers havent done or uttered a single thing for as long as I’ve been involved in this fight to warrant my respect.

    When Helmke , Hamm, Sugarmann , Miller and the rest start telling the WHOLE truth and ALL the facts, laying it all out there for the general public to see, digest and draw their own conclusions, then and only then will they start to earn my respect.

    I wont be holding my breath

  15. Sebastian says:

    Miller I would agree with. I have fair evidence that he’s world class douch personally. Sugarmann has given off douchtasic vibes too. Helmke has always come across as a paid spokesperson. Different kind of animal.

  16. I’m frequently amazed at how people run with what seem like tiny details in your posts.

    But I get the personal animosity. I don’t think it would be dysfunctional for a black person in the sixties to have a personal animosity toward George Wallace. I don’t think it’d be a sign of irrational stubbornness for a gay person to “not let the issue go” and give the cold shoulder to Pat Robertson. When a person is actively campaigning to destroy your civil rights, that goes beyond difference of opinion.

    That said, I’m on board with being nice for practical reasons. If you look like a douche to the spectators, you lose. Being right isn’t good enough.

  17. Mikee says:

    Once I realized the anti-rights bigots of the gun banning crowd are arguing in bad faith, lying openly and repeatedly, and have no logic behind their positions other than control of others, polite firmness is the best I can manage. And firmness outweighs the politeness by quite a bit.

  18. Roberta X says:

    What Elmo said, “When a person is actively campaigning to destroy your civil rights, that goes beyond difference of opinion.”

    That goes for me, too. I wouldn’t be deliberately mean or rude to Paul Helmke, Peter Hamm or their ilk, but I’m not gonna smile and make small talk with them, either, no more than I would with Klansmen or Pat Robertson. They are an affront to civilization.

  19. Michael Bane says:

    I’m with Roberta X & Elmo on this one…not rude by design, but I have no truck with my sworn enemies or the enemies of my way of life. I once embarrassed a large group of people of the liberal persuasion by refusing to shake hands and share a dinner table with a murderer, a man who had beaten his girlfriend to death with a claw hammer because he was (by his own admission) “having a bad day.” I have had many bad days, but none of them ended in me beating anyone to death with a claw hammer. The newspaper I worked for had helped arrange his release on “good behavior” by guaranteeing him an editing job after his serving a minimum sentence…the murderer told me that he had, indeed, paid his “debt to society.” I told him that until his dead girlfriend came back and personally assured me that everything was spiffy, he was still a piece of murdering crap, may he rot in hell…almost cost me THAT job, but needed to be said nonetheless.

    Brady, VPC and their ilk are swine who have made their career with lies, sleazy deals and media B-S…I would certainly not be overtly rude, but I would not lower myself to pretend they were anything more than dog feces on the bottom of my shoe.

    Michael B

  20. Sebastian says:

    Maybe I just don’t get all that bent out of shape about it, because most interest groups, one way or another, are trying to destroy one civil rights or another. Clean government groups managed to gut a good bit of the First Amendment, at least until the Supreme Court recently reversed it. Lots of religious groups try their damnedest to break down Mr. Jefferson’s “wall of separation.” If you look toward the fourth amendment, law enforcement interests have consistently attempted to undermine it, along with anti-alcohol groups like MADD. Children’s groups and victims groups nearly eviscerated the confrontation clause of the sixth amendment.

    Not saying that any of these are remotely acceptable, and I will fight them all, but I just don’t agree that these evils are up there with murderers, genocidal dictators, and klan members. There are a lot of people out to get our civil rights. All must be resisted, but not all of them are evil. As Americans, we’ve never agreed exactly on what our rights mean. Defining them is a never ending and ongoing struggle.

  21. Jay T says:

    The Brady Campaign wanting to limit our freedom is as evil as any other group ever to walk this land. Just because they dress in a three piece suit and say “Thank you” on your blog doesn’t make them enemies of freedom.

    People like the Brady folks have been trying to undermine our core freedoms for a long time. Do you think Mr. McDonald looks at Helmke or Hamm any different than his ancestors who may have had to look at others who limited their freedom to vote or sit in a dining area with everyone else?

    What will YOU do Sebastian if the government demands your guns next year. All in the name of the public good and with the full support of these “interest” groups? Will you give them up and move on to the next item to surrender? Where is your line in the sand on personal freedom?

    You said “There are a lot of people out to get our civil rights. All must be resisted, but not all of them are evil.”

    What civil rights would you give up and not think those who sought it were evil? Can you name one? Just one and why?

  22. Jay T says:

    Just because they dress in a three piece suit and say “Thank you” on your blog doesn’t make them protectors of freedom.”

    That’s how the line above should read. Sorry for having to clear that up.

  23. Sebastian says:

    People like the Brady folks have been trying to undermine our core freedoms for a long time. Do you think Mr. McDonald looks at Helmke or Hamm any different than his ancestors who may have had to look at others who limited their freedom to vote or sit in a dining area with everyone else?

    I don’t know. The subject didn’t come up when I met with the plaintiffs in DC. But I can McDonald certainly is not an angry or Bitter man, and I didn’t get the impression he’s a seasoned activist. He seemed to me as a guy that just wants to be able to keep a handgun in his home.

    What will YOU do Sebastian if the government demands your guns next year. All in the name of the public good and with the full support of these “interest” groups? Will you give them up and move on to the next item to surrender? Where is your line in the sand on personal freedom?

    That’s none of anyone’s business to be honest. Let me ask you this, what are you doing to preserve your civil rights, other than writing a blog? When was the last time you donated money to a candidate who’s views were favorable to yours? When was the last time you volunteered your time for a candidate who favored civil rights who were important to you? Or tried to coordinate voters in your area to vote for a favored candidate?

    There’s a lot more to supporting civil rights than threatening to shoot the bastards.

  24. Jay T says:

    As to Mr. McDonald you still don’t get it.

    As to what I do for nearly thirty years I have been very active. Just like many of us I have given to candidates, supported gun rights through donations, led voter drives and served my country. I can no longer count the number of times I’ve sent letters and emails to papers, politicians and other people interested in freedom.

    But it doesn’t matter. It’s what I’m doing today that counts and tomorrow it will be even more important.

    As to your last paragraph who said anything about shooting anyone. I asked what you would do. Again I go back to a comment you made:

    You said “There are a lot of people out to get our civil rights. All must be resisted, but not all of them are evil.”

    What civil rights would you give up and not think those who sought it were evil? Can you name one? Just one and why?

  25. Sebastian says:

    A few years ago, a group of clean government folks largely removed part of my free speech rights, to the point where I had to speak with someone who was a lawyer to find out if I’d be running afoul of campaign finance laws by producing and distributing a flyer at my own expense, or would cause others I associate with to violate campaign finance laws.

    Last year I voted for the guy who lead the charge, because as much as that pissed me off, the other guy was, well, what you’ve seen so far from the other guy. These things aren’t black and white issues. The political game almost never is.

  26. Jay T says:

    The problem is it isn’t a game as you state in your last sentence. It is, instead, the human right to self defense.

    While the example you offer isn’t what I’m talking about because I asked for one you would give up and not have partially impacted, the point I made stands.

    If you stand for it you deserve it.

    All the best Sebastian.

  27. I see your point, but would like to toss in a couple more points:

    First, I chose George Wallace over the KKK on purpose; he wasn’t lynching black people at night, but using the legal system to openly oppress their civil rights. I see no material difference between him and the Bradies or MAIG.

    As Americans, we’ve never agreed exactly on what our rights mean.

    The Second Amendment is a bit of a special case in this regard. In other aspects of civil rights we have an amorphous spectrum of liberties that aren’t well defined, but the 2A seems to have been perfectly well understood until anti-gunners deliberately confused the situation in the 20th century. There isn’t a misunderstanding involved (at least, not with the real movers and shakers at Brady and MAIG); they know perfectly well that they’re trying to take away a long-standing right.

    And they know as well as we do that gun control doesn’t make anybody safer. They’re campaigning to take away what they know is a traditional right, in a way that they know is unconstitutional, for no benefit that I can see. If that isn’t evil, I frankly don’t know what is. Do you have to needlessly oppress people _outside_ the legal system to be evil?

    I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with you _not_ having personal animosity towards these folks (on a practical level, it probably makes you a more effective pro-gun advocate), just that animosity doesn’t really strike me as odd or disproportionate in this case.

  28. Michael Bane says:

    Sebastian…I think I can safely stand on 30 years of RKBA activism, including working for pro-gun candidates, pouring money into campaigns, launching the industry’s most successful media program, etc…and so what?

    Dude, doing exactly what you outlined, we were LOSING BIG TIME. The GOP took our money and treated us like the crazy uncle in the closet…remember, the current head of the Repubs, Michael Steele, originally came out in favor of a new assault weapons ban. then flatly refused to do an interview with me on the subject of guns.

    We (me included) put on suits and ties and did thoughtful debates with other guys in suits, patiently replying to lie after lie after lie. And we kept KEPT LOSING.

    What changed was a fascinating shift in the cultural landscape of guns. I refer you to Brian Anse Patrick’s RISE OF THE ANTI-MEDIA on the rise of the concealed carry movement and the creation of a “new” gun culture that was very different from the older gun culture. I think Patrick overlooks 3 other critical factors — the replacement of old style-target shooting with “practical shooting,” which both changed the audience and changed that audience’s expectations; the city lawsuits, which forced the industry to come together and go to a “war footing,” and the Clinton Assault Weapons Ban, which gave the fledgling new gun culture proof positive that the progressives would take the guns away if they got the votes.

    Sebastian, I’m not saying that traditional political machinations are not important (especially on a local level), but I am saying they have not and will not yield the unconditional results you seem to think they will. Politicians are and will always be creatures of the currently accepted cultural narrative…yes, there are exceptions, but they are few and far between. Politicians can NOT change the narrative…Obama has, for example, tried and it has blown up in his face. The new gun culture has, in fact, changed the narrative, and the new narrative is dragging the politicians along with it. Othewise, how do you explain the fact that we have the most antigun President in history with an unstoppable Democratic Congress, yet we have gotten more from them than 8 years of Bush and the Republicans?

    Your friend,

    Michael B

    • Bitter says:

      Othewise, how do you explain the fact that we have the most antigun President in history with an unstoppable Democratic Congress, yet we have gotten more from them than 8 years of Bush and the Republicans?

      We’ll see how that statement holds up post-McDonald. Carry in parks and checked guns on Amtrak are small potatoes compared to Alito and Roberts. Considering Obama gave us Sotomayor, I wouldn’t get too excited about what he and the Senate Dems have given us so far. No to mention, Bush gave us Lawful Commerce in Arms which has saved many of your sponsors.

      We didn’t get the attention we deserved under Bush, I agree with that. On non-gun issues, I couldn’t stand the man as President. But looking strictly at the gun issue, you can’t really argue that a win in Heller for individual rights is worth as much as checking a gun on a train.

  29. Sebastian says:

    I wasn’t at all trying to impugn your creds Michael. You’re the last person I would question on that matter. I’ve read Bryan Anse Patrick’s book, but I’m not sure what that has to do with the subject at hand. I don’t see any reason to tie being ruthless politically with our opponents and being ruthless personally with them as individuals. That’s not to say I’m against taking pot shots when they help the cause, but that’s politics. I think perhaps you think I’m against a certain type of politics that I’m probably not really against.

  30. Michael Bane says:

    Bitter…

    No doubt harder times are ahead…that is why I and many others are pushing our organizations to “institutionalize” our successes and work with us on a long-term strategy that we all buy into. If I may borrow from the Red Queen, if we don’t know where we’re going, any road will do. And we’ve gone down many wrong roads for exactly that reason.

    Politics is politics, but it isn’t the largest, or most important, factor in our RKBA battles. When we were hell-bent on winning only political battles, we came within a fraction of losing the far more important cultural battle. You may belittle guns on trains or in national parks all you want, but the cultural shift they represent is the long-term winner for us.

    And it wouldn’t hurt to keep in mind that Heller was, in effect, an outlier arising from outside the old gun political establishment.

    And yes — whore that I am — my shows have sponsors; those sponsors allow me to reach about a million people a week with shows that, unlike some of my competition, have my very specific political viewpoint imbedded in them. I am not on welfare, the beneficiary of a government job or the recipient of government grants. As a small businessman, my goal is to make a profit both for me and the people who work for me and depend on me….like most of the small businesspeople in the U.S.

    Best,

    Michael B

  31. Sebastian says:

    Politics is politics, but it isn’t the largest, or most important, factor in our RKBA battles. When we were hell-bent on winning only political battles, we came within a fraction of losing the far more important cultural battle

    I don’t see those two things as separate fights or separate issues.

  32. Sebastian says:

    I don’t want to speak for Bitter, but I doubt she was belittling those accomplishments. They are both significant and important. But it’s a reasonable point that if Obama gets to replace one of the Heller five we’re probably done advancing in the courts. The Second Amendment will mean the right to have a handgun in your home, and not much else.

    I would not underestimate the effect having the Supreme Court sanction the limits of the Second Amendment will have on the cultural fight. In those terms, that’s a big deal. If we had lost Heller, every law student, every kid in school, would be learning that the Second Amendment is a right associated with membership in a militia. Over time that’s going to have a huge impact on whether we win or lose on this issue politically.

    The anti-gun folks always made the argument anyway, but we had a good case on our side to throw back at them, and that won the day at the end of the day. We would have lost that. Maybe it wouldn’t have mattered, and we could have corrected the problem with a constitutional amendment, but that wouldn’t have helped define the limits of the right, which is still ahead of us, and which we could still lose.

  33. Clint says:

    For those of us who do not understand the difference between Evil and Rude:

    “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”
    -C.S. Lewis

    We need to be ruthless without being rude.
    Because while they are tyrants, they think of themselves as heroes.

  34. Clint says:

    What is the main topic here?

    I think we need to, as Socrates once said, define our terms. There is a HUGE difference between the common hoplophobe and the lying POS who are manipulating society against us. In between you have people who use the law against use “for our own good.”

    There is a dramatic difference in attitude from, and how we should treat, the coworker who is afraid of the darn thing and someone like Josh Sugarmann.

    Many pro-gun bloggers were once in the first group. While the second group is devious.
    http://blog.joehuffman.org/Trackback.aspx?guid=640ea184-a3b7-4f38-aa45-f24a825e6604

    Now to address the issue of civility, it is much like non-violence. We should always be non-violent whenever possible. But when , and only when, non-violence fails do we use violence.

    We on the pro-gun side should be civil and mature to the full extent possible. Much like Theodore Roosevelt once said:

    “Don’t hit at all if it is honorably possible to avoid hitting; but never hit soft.”

    Furthermore, one does not need to hate the people one fights against in order to fight the good fight and win.

    As the man once said: “Be nice, until it is time to not be nice.”

  35. Sebastian says:

    I think you understand what I’m saying. Take them as individuals when that is appropriate. Be polite when politeness is called for, and when the favor is returned. But I certainly was never saying go easy on them when it comes to opposing their agenda.

    Someone like Sugarmann I suspect isn’t as willing to be cordial. I just get that vibe from him.

  36. Matthew Carberry says:

    I do think there’s a serious case of talking past each other going on.

    For example, if I can use Michael Bane as an example, he, in etiquette terms, “cut” the hammer killer. Even Emily Post wouldn’t call that rude under the circumstances.

    What he didn’t do was launch into him with a tirade, flailing his arms and shouting him down through spittle-flecked lips regardless of the depth of his disdain. He made his point directly and clearly and was done with it. The observers might have thought he was “mean” or “taking it too seriously” but he didn’t appear to be a wild-eyed crazy.

    He didn’t “back down” or “roll over” nor did he show a lack of determination, he simply acted like a sane, mature adult does in public when challenged. No tantrum, just proportional, icy, remorseless dignity and bearing toward an individual who deserves nothing more (and probably less).

    When I talk about public civility, that’s what I mean. The public remembers the crazies as crazy and nobody does crazy like an anti-gunner because feelings are the only weapon they have. In the public eye, in person, the grown-ups win every time. True, if we demonstrate “firm dignity” in front of the press they may not show it every time, but if we show any crazy at all it will be the lead and be presented as the norm. Shouting louder and waving more signs won’t change that.

  37. …he, in etiquette terms, “cut” the hammer killer…. he simply acted like a sane, mature adult does in public when challenged. No tantrum, just proportional, icy, remorseless dignity and bearing…

    Good point. That’s pretty much the definition of “civility” when dealing with abhorrent people, isn’t it?

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