Dennis Henigan Discovers the Grassroots

A very honest admission from Dennis Henigan, VP with Brady Center, about the difference between our two communities. He’s speaking of his book, Lethal Logic: Exploding the Myths That Paralyze American Gun Policy:

Third, the “hogwash” votes reflect not only motivation, but organization as well. It is fascinating to me that organized efforts have been underway to sink the book under the weight of “1-star” reviews. On several websites followers are urged to send in negative reviews of the book (without, of course, urging them to read the book first). urges readers to “bury this book,” while giving helpful instructions on how to do customer reviews. The Maryland Shooters Association suggests that its members post some “good” (meaning bad) reviews on amazon. These efforts obviously have had some success. Amazon prominently displays an “average customer review” for each book, which for Lethal Logic struggles to reach “3-stars” against the organized “1-star” campaign.

Two forums does not organization make, I would say. I’m not even sure how highly trafficked those forums are compared to, say, or PAFOA. So if Dennis Henigan is feeling the heat now, I can’t imagine what he would think of a serious Zumbo level campaign. But have no fear Mr. Henigan, we in the gun rights community seem to reserve the greatest ire for our own, rather than you folks on the other side. I would not be so quick to judge a whole community by the actions of a few.

I am of the opinion that we should obtain and read the books and writings of our opponents. A confident movement does not feel the need to elevate itself by disparaging others, hiding from controversy, or seeking to achieve victory in the public debate by shouting down opposing ideas without taking them seriously or understanding them. That’s how we go from a strong and confident movement to a weak one. That’s how new tactics and strategies creep up on us and gain momentum.

Ultimately, without building our own intellectual and academic case for gun rights, and taking the opposing wisdom on guns seriously, we would have lost Heller. What Dennis is witnessing might be a demonstration of grassroots energy, which our side certainly has in spades over their side, but it’s displays a lack of seriousness that I think we need if we’re going to keep this ball moving. If you’re going to give Dennis Henigan’s book a bad review, I think you at least ought to read it and come up with some real arguments for why it’s bad.

13 thoughts on “Dennis Henigan Discovers the Grassroots”

  1. One guy at MDshooters proposed started a thread, and his thread hasn’t been deleted. That is not the same thing as saying “The Maryland Shooters Association suggests that its members post”. There isn’t some forum consensus.

  2. “I am of the opinion that we should obtain and read the books and writings of our opponents.”

    Secondhand. No need to line their pockets.

  3. There’s plenty of ways to get the books if you don’t want to put money into their pockets, but I don’t think it’s a great sin to do so. The money will go to Dennis Henigan personally, and his publisher. It’s not like you’ll be putting money directly into the Brady coffers.

  4. “The money will go to Dennis Henigan personally, and his publisher. It’s not like you’ll be putting money directly into the Brady coffers.”

    But if we go out in droves we DO encourage them to write MORE books.

    Larry Correia wrote Monster Hunter International, which is a pro-gun fiction. When gunnies bought his book in droves the money didn’t go to any pro-gun PAC, but Larry is now working on Monster Hunter 2.

    If Dennis’ book sells well, he’ll write another. If anti-gun books sell well (Even if its the same mechanic why internet trolls generate traffic) publishers become more willing to publish anti-gun books from new Authors.

    Of course market dynamics play a huge factor in larger model, but it can be seen that by putting money in Henigan’s and his publisher’s pockets could put more anti-gun books on bookstore shelves.

    All that being said I own and have read several anti-gun books, all of them I still own, and most of them were bought first-hand or received as gifts from relatives.

    I also deeply enjoy reading them as a means to challenge my beliefs (You’ll note I was once anti-gun but changed my mind, I would be a fool to claim I could not be convinced to swap sides again, and certainly means I don’t trust anything I see on its face as I’ve been fooled in the past) but also it helps me identify and defeat logical fallacies in face-to-face, or electronic arguments.

  5. There is a good argument for reading and knowing what your enemy does and writes. But in the battle for the main narrative it is even more important that the public has less indoctrination of anti gun illogic. The anti gun narrative appeals to the emotional need of people to want a safe and secure society.

    So I do not want the anti guns works to be popular , quoted and used as a narrative why they are right. Understand that they are the enemy and propaganda is an effective tactic for either side.

    The masses are not moved by legal treatises but by propaganda that seems right to them. Pro gun wins on the self defense argument since that fits with the masses conception. Anti gun gun wins with the idea that less guns is better.

    So the less successful propaganda that Brady and their allies has the better.

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