Let’s Not Make Up False Claims by Anti-Gunners

I’ve noticed something about some comments that some conservative commentators have been using to frame the new McCarthy-Launtenberg ammo sales ban/restrictions. It gets under my skin because it makes it easier for our opposition to say that we’re delusional and don’t understand their “reasonable” attempts at gun control. We don’t have to misrepresent the anti-gunners to highlight just how creepy and restrictive their proposals really are. We can just give straight up facts and people will find it bothersome!

Take, for example, this tweet from Tim Graham that Cam from NRA News retweeted:

Without having been in NYC to watch the press conference live, I have not read anything that indicates McCarthy, Lautenberg, Bloomberg, or any of the other speakers said Olympic & world record holder Kim Rhode should not be practicing with 1,000 rounds a day – except the post written Tim Graham’s group that tries to make that leap. I hate that they do that. You know why? Because it’s so damn easy for the anti-gun groups to say that they said nothing on that order. In fact, Sen. Lautenberg actually congratulated Matt Emmons and recognized him as an Olympic shooter this week. Now you want to say that he was out attacking Olympic shooters? Yeah, it doesn’t stick and it’s so easy to tear down as an argument.

You know what isn’t so easy to defeat? Telling people what the bill actually does.

Instead of saying that Lautenberg & McCarthy don’t want Rhode to practice as much as she has to in order to compete at the Olympic level, why not emphasize the fact that Senator Lautenberg and Representative McCarthy want Kim Rhode to be reported to law enforcement authorities every single week for the rest of her career?

Most gun owners and non-gun owners alike would find that creepy as hell and consider it a case of government overstepping its bounds. The anti-gunners can’t argue with it. If she’s shooting that many rounds a week, her name and information will be passed on to authorities every single time she stocks up on her practice ammunition. They will be put into the corner of having to defend why our Olympic athletes should be treated like “pre-“criminals. And it’s all factual. No need to make up statements or claim more than what is really in the bill.

Emily Miller reported on Facebook that the bill targets those who buy more than 1,000 rounds at one time. That is factually true. However, even many gun owners wouldn’t buy more than 1,000 rounds at a time. (Let’s face it, many gun owners don’t actively shoot that often.) It’s not unheard of by any means since just a couple of bricks of .22 and even one extra box of anything else would put you over the limit, but it’s not something that’s done all that commonly by many folks. For those who don’t shoot at all, 1,000 rounds seems like a ton of ammunition regardless of the fact that it’s really not.

However, you know what message will really hit home with far more folks – gun owners or not? The mass of paperwork and bureaucratic headaches this reporting requirement will cause for small businesses.

Because, while Emily’s claim is true, it actually leaves out that businesses selling ammunition will have to track every single round you buy since the 1,000+ round reporting requirement actually spans every five business days. That means that JoeBob’s Gun Shop will have to take down your information when you buy that first brick of .22 for your son’s Boy Scout shooting event on Saturday. Then, should you pop in on Tuesday to pick up the boxes of shotgun shells for your club’s Women on Target event, JoeBob will need to write down everything you purchased, find the record for your Saturday sale, and add the two up. If you cross that 1,000 round limit, he has to report you to the authorities. That means at the end of every business day, these licensed ammunition retailers will have to read through all of their paperwork of the previous week to figure out if anyone crossed over the limit.

On top of all this, without having a bill to actually read, we don’t know what happens with chain stores like Dick’s, Cabela’s, Bass Pro, or Wal-Mart. Will they have to calculate the list of buyers and ammunition purchase totals across their entire network or stores, or will the reporting requirement only kick in for each location? Regardless, at high-volume businesses like that, they will likely have to cut workers from other areas to monitor these sales and pay thousands of dollars for new software to track such specific information or just give up and get out of the ammunition sales business altogether. Even gun owners whose rifles have sat in their cases collecting dust for half a decade will understand why that kind of reporting burden is too onerous.

Once again, the point is that we have plenty of ammunition (pun intended) to attack this bill for the incredible burden government wants to put on businesses. It’s not like that hasn’t been a theme of the Obama administration or anything…

My advice to gun owners who oppose this bill is not to put words in the mouths of the sponsors that could set off people’s BS detectors, nor should you simplify the talking points down to something that can give a perception of not impacting many people. Focus on the facts. Connect this bill to feelings of unease about government overreach and attacks on business that people already feel and identify with, and you’ll have more success in highlighting why this bill is not the solution.

25 thoughts on “Let’s Not Make Up False Claims by Anti-Gunners”

  1. I agree with your morals. Not your tactics. In this way, there is no weapon, however blunt that must not be brought to bear

    1. Care to explain how messaging that resonates with voters of just about all stripes is somehow less blunt than messaging that resonates with only a few hardcore voters who would already oppose the bill from the onset?

      1. The tweet was an open ended question about liberals and their beliefs on ammunition restrictions/bans. I’ll explain nothing. It’s thought provoking and timely.

        I can see no reason why this would not resonate with the masses. And serve to at least get the conversation going on legit applications vs the fantasy of stopping criminals.

      1. In the blog post he links, they continue jumping to the same kind of conclusions. They argue as though McCarthy & Lautenberg said that Rhode & her fellow shooters don’t need to use that many rounds. They also try to argue bias in NBC’s coverage of the bill, even though the feature nothing in the way of NBC coverage of the bill to show that they were biased.

        That doesn’t mean I believe NBC wouldn’t be biased, but don’t blame the network for what they haven’t said or done just because you assume they wouldn’t do something. Back it up with facts. Trust me, anti-gun folks do and say enough stupid stuff that we don’t need to start making assumptions or implying that they are being more biased than they really are.

  2. Sebastian —

    First off, the tweet did not name the ass clown legislators, it talked about liberals. I have read any number of columns inthe past week deriding us and gun owners in general about who “needs” 1000 rounds of ammo or 6000 or what ever arbitrary number they pick.

    We don;t necessarily have to atribute it to the legislation, while that may be the focal point now that they are claiming to introduce a bill, but there have been plenty on the liberal side of the political devide who don’t think we should be able to buy more than 100 rounds of ammo.

    Now we can talk about messaging, but I don’t think the tweet was out of line.

    And another message is why do we as gun owners who choose to exercise our rights, have to surrender all of our privacy? Be it for carry permits, reporting on guns we own, having our names published in the news paper, or be kept track of becuase we buy ammo?

    They can use the old stand by the law abiding have nothing to hide, it will just be a phone call or polite query. Fuck you get a warrant. We should use their pet issues as a way to see how they would like it. Want an abortion, you get reported to the State Dept of public health for all people to look up.

    You want to know if I buy 1000 rounds of ammo, every member of congress that owns more than 100 shares of stock most declare all of it publicly.

    1. Bitter here since I wrote the post.

      The tweet may have said liberals, but that was not the content of the post with the same title as the tweet. The post talked about specific lawmakers and only cited those specific lawmakers.

      I agree on the principle of privacy, but I’m just not sure how that plays with voters who otherwise might not be on our side for every little issue. Telling them that our Olympic athletes – some of the first medal winners of the games – must be reported to law enforcement every week, well, that resonates at a level of creepy. But, I don’t discount that the privacy angle could be another good way to attack this bill. I suspect it’s a matter of knowing your audience.

      1. I should add, Todd, that if their post had been filled with examples of liberal pundits calling for restrictions that would hurt Rhode’s training regimen, then I wouldn’t have said anything about it. Ironically, the issue is that Media Research Center which aims to expose media bias let their bias get in the way of their reporting on who actually said what and the actual implications of the bill. I have no problem with spin, but their spin is a little too much without backing it up with enough quotes or examples.

      2. Bitter,
        I think your rhetoric is spot on, and would much better resonate with the non-gunny types. I just don’t think the tweet above is damaging to our cause. Just not as effective as it could be.

      3. Quite frankly, I don’t give a shit about “voters who might not be on our side on every little issue.” I didn’t sweat bullets and fear for my life while serving in the military so voters and politicians could contemplate which parts of the Constitution they thought they should dick with.

        Millions of us swore an oath to the Constitution–not the voters, not the politicians, and not even the American people. The Constitution. The language in the Bill of Rights is succinct and without error.

        Shall Not Be Infringed.

        I’m sick and tired of being told we need to appease the other side and play by THEIR rules. That was tried in SE Asia. I’ll be damned if I try it here at home.

        JD Kinman

  3. Bitter —

    Sorry I didn’t catch you wrote the post. I agree that they way you protrayed our olympic athletes would be reported would hit a nerve. < but then they will try to carve them out like they tried in the Illinois semi-auto ban.

    We take the high ground in laying out the facts. We correct them for magazine vs clip. Semi-auto vs full auto and so on.

    If this was the biggest "oversight" on our side oh well. They take so many liberties with their spin, lies and miss-information, I don't think it's that big a deal, but your point is taken.

  4. All this splitting hairs stuff is too much.

    The only point that matters is that if we don’t confront them at every turn and with every tool in our arsenal, we will be like the UK and our Olympic athletes will have to travel to another country to practice.

    The tweet is fine and factual…as factual as the argument given by liberal socialist antigunners.

    1. Then I guess you and I disagree about what reasonable tools are to win people over to our side. If you have the best arguments that attract the most people without having to use claims that most people would consider to be, at best, “true, but inaccurate” (to reverse a popular phrase), then use the better arguments that are more factually sound. If an anti-gunner has a chance at following up with the person you’re trying to convince and manages to convince them that you’ve manipulated the truth just enough for you to be labeled the liar, then you haven’t won any points to our side.

  5. I guess it’s not occurred to anyone that one of the key reasons the other side has been losing is because they chose dishonest and misleading tactics.

    1. This is true. But its not the only reason. And in my own small way of thinking, not even the major reason for their loss.

      No, the true reason is because their position doesn’t work…if they tell the truth or lie about it, in the end, we have the same conclusion, Gun Control doesn’t work. The examples are around us everywhere, throughout the world and here in our own country.

      1. Just to follow up. I AGREE TOTALLY with the morals of Bitter’s stance. But the tactics….I don’t know. I dont think we should go off the deep end, like the antis, less we sacrifice our credibility.

        I just think the tweet was far from that, and maybe not the poster child Bitter thought it was.

        1. I just don’t think we need to mislead people. The shit the anti-gunners actually come up with is whacky enough, I don’t think we need to embellish it.

      2. “And in my own small way of thinking, not even the major reason for their loss. ”

        I would dispute this. Think about how many of our best voices started out on the other side of this issue, but after discovering they had been deceived by serial liars, looked deeper and found the truth.

        Had we also been feeding them lines of bullshit, they would simply not care either way, or they would have stayed in the anti camp.

  6. ” However, even many gun owners wouldn’t buy more than 1,000 rounds at a time. (Let’s face it, many gun owners don’t actively shoot that often.)”

    FYI I was just looking at a dealer flier, and they have some good deals on some hard-to-find calibers, like 7.62×25, .30 Nagant, 8mm Kurtz (I was amazed at how cheap that stuff was selling for!) and of course the cheap staple of 7.62×39. All were in sealed cans, and because of odd box sizes they were all over 1,000 rounds per can.

    Now I bought a can of 7.62×25 a few years ago…I don’t shoot much of that because my CZ-52 is apparently a MUCH better gun on paper than in production, but a box of 50 new production stuff is expensive, and a can of surplus stuff is cheap, and until I break the seal impervious to time and the elements.

    Just recently re-stocked my 7.62×39 ammo supplies with an order over 1,000, and that was only because that’s how it came packed, and added up to the cheapest price per round. Might take me years to burn through it, but I’m more willing to go shooting when I’m not thinking of how expensive that ammo is.

    1. ^^^ THIS.

      I buy ammo in 500 and 1000 round lots most of the time, whenever I can find a sale on a caliber I happen to need.

      1. Guys, I’m not saying that you can’t ever use your personal experience. I have also bought more than 1,000 rounds at a time without a second thought. I mean, hell, Sebastian & I took a road trip in our first two months of dating with more than 9,000 rounds of ammo for some shootin’ on a Texas ranch. In fact, if you are in a position to try and win someone over on the issues raised by this bill, put the “real” face to the activity.

        I’m just saying that using that you shouldn’t assume that other people also consider 1,000 round purchases to be the norm. It’s not for an awful lot of gun owners. For all you know, the guy or gal you might be talking to about it, even if a gun owner, hasn’t bought a new box since 1995. By the same token, they could also be someone who is extremely active either as a shooter or through training programs and can’t fathom “only” buying 1,000 rounds at a time. :)

  7. I didn’t have a problem with the article, or the tweet. Dems want to limit online ammo purchases of 1000 rounds or more because they can’t conceive of anyone needing that much. And Kim Rhode was used as an example of someone who might have a legitimate need to do exactly that. The article didn’t put words into anyone’s mouth, it just made a practical, real-life application of the suggested regulation.

    I often buy two bulk packs of .22 and some .45acp in one go. I’ve probably done it three times just this year. And I know quite a few people who shoot a hell of a lot more than I do. You go in and buy for your .22, your .45, and your .223, and … well that’s not much ammo for each. And that’s if you’re not buying in bulk to save money.

    1. See, here’s why you should stick to facts. You’re sugarcoating some parts of the proposal and misleading about others.

      1) It’s not about limiting online ammunition purchases. It BANS them. To say it limits sugarcoats the BAN that they have proposed. That catalog order from Cabela’s or email deal from Bass Pro for ammunition won’t be restricted, it will no longer be legal. Don’t sugarcoat the bill and make it sound more “reasonable” than it is – you’re just handing the anti-gunners “ammunition” if you go around spreading that bad information.

      2) The proposal language about the thousand rounds isn’t a limit. If you go around telling people that the round number restriction component of the bill is a hard limit or ban, then they can easily find out that you’re wrong. Crossing the 1,000 round threshold is a trigger for reporting you to authorities. Again, that taps into creepy vibe if someone realizes how easy it is to cross that line.

      This is why I’m suggesting you stick with the facts.

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