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Holding Them Accountable

I’ve decided that I’d like to engage with more anti-gun people online. However, I’m not going to try and argue with them on the issue of actual gun ownership. That’s largely a lost cause with someone who is passionate enough about it to get into debates online. What I’ve decided to target is anti-gunners who are so extreme in their hatred of civilian gun ownership that they want to silence all who oppose them. In other words, I’m making an effort to hold them accountable for the things they are actually demanding.

My response? “I respect your dedication to free political speech by calling for people to get rid of political opposition.” Seriously, he doesn’t want to win the debate. He doesn’t want to win an election. He wants to “get rid” of NRA members. There are more than 4 million of us, so what are his exact methods for “get[ting] rid” of us? It’s a fair question to ask him since he’s making such an extreme statement about his political opponents.

You can also look to this tweet from a Labour MP who seems distressed about a feature of the UN Arms Trade Treaty discussions:

I responded: “Is that a bad thing? Free speech should be welcome from all sides, at least I would hope it is welcome.” Is this a member of British government who is willing to say that those he disagrees with shouldn’t be recognized in a political debate? It seems like an awfully silly thing to get upset over even if he’s not an NRA supporter. He’s not challenging the arguments presented by NRA, but seemingly their mere existence as a recognized organization with a voice to represent their members.

Finally, there’s this example:

If you click through to the article, it states that NRA said they will tell voters in the respective Congressional districts how their elected officials voted. It would seem that ‏@thinkincolornow finds this to be something we should ban from politics, so I asked her for a little clarification. I posed a couple of questions: “What exactly should not be in politics? The right to petition government or right to speak to members of a political org?” She hasn’t been willing to respond at this point.

On the positive side of tracking the NRA hashtag, I did find this awesome post:

I sent my congratulations to my fellow NRA member. We are winning. And we’re doing it without actually trying to restrict the free speech rights of our opponents.

8 Responses to “Holding Them Accountable”

  1. Greg Camp says:

    I’ve spent some time arguing with control freaks. It can often feel like using your forehead as a jackhammer, but the good news is that others are reading the debate. While we can’t change the minds of a committed activist, we do influence those who are sitting on the fence.

    And scoring rhetorical points is just plain fun, sometimes.

    • Andy B. says:

      “but the good news is that others are reading the debate. . .”

      After many, many years of doing similar things, I still wonder how many people are really influenced by doing that, and whether it’s worth the energy. It can be fun at times, but still I wonder.

      Most people who go to any given site have a preconceived notion of what they want to hear there, and most of them are not intellectual giants. They want to hear someone who they are already a fan of, score some good rhetoric that will make them feel good about themselves and their cause. If you wound their guru, they hate you, while not taking the guru’s failings to heart.

      All of us who do that sort of thing hope we’re planting seeds that will someday sprout in the minds of others, but really if it were possible to objectively assess it in terms or time and energy expended versus people swayed, it would be insignificant. But as long as you justify it as fun (as I do) and feel compelled to do it, it seldom does any harm.

      (Just thinking out loud.)

  2. George says:

    Good for you, Bitter. You have a lot more patience than I do!

  3. Weer'd Beard says:

    Great example of the large-picture point: Anti-Freedom, not Anti-Gun.

    If somebody is against the 2nd Amendment, they’re against the other 9 as well, and they really don’t make much effort to conceal it.

  4. Matthew Carberry says:

    I think posting on anti-gun boards or sites is likely to hit an echo chamber but non-antigun Twitter feeds are so eclectic in subject that I’m sure there are more receptive readers available.

    • RuffRidr says:

      I agree. Posting on anti-gun sites, especially those that moderate the posts, is a futile endeavor. You are not likely to change the bigot’s minds. And through use of moderation, they are likely to shape the discussion in their favor. It’s a no-win proposition.

      Twitter, on the other hand, does not allow them to conceal the facts so easily. In my opinion, this is a much better medium for fighting their propaganda.

  5. Greg says:

    I mostly lol at them knowing how strong support for the 2nd has become lately. A bit of an awakening in America that I pray will continue to spread. Meanwhile the UPS just pulled in with the AR15 parts that I will use to build a new rifle with my grandson this weekend. His mom & dad with hold onto it for him till he is old enough, next year my granddaughter gets hers.

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