Advice to Gun Control Advocates

Paul Barrett delivers a dose of reality to gun control advocates:

If they are ever to regain political momentum on the national level, gun-control proponents will have to be more honest, and less hysterical, about their opposition. In America, for better or worse, guns are mainstream, and the NRA is not going away.

The article talks about how NRA actually does represent the viewpoint of a large number of Americans, backed up with polling data. I don’t agree with many of Barrett’s observations, which I think come from the point of view of someone who is not a political activist and likely doesn’t have much experience in grassroots politics, but he is correct in assessing the overall situation.

12 Responses to “Advice to Gun Control Advocates”

  1. MicroBalrog says:

    “The gun-owners’ lobby continually (and disingenuously) suggests to its members, and the broader fraternity of firearm fans who take their cues from NRA headquarters in Fairfax, Va., that the federal government is on the verge of confiscating all guns”

    I don’t think he understands what the NRA actually promotes and tells its members.

  2. Wolfman says:

    I keep coming back to a major flaw in the way people think about politics- the idea of homogenous groups. Many people are fed a vision of the NRA being a top-down organization that draws its money from large donors and corporations, which we know to be untrue. Conversely, many conservatives have the same views regarding the Democratic Party- which is also, to a degree, untrue. Much of the upper echelon in all major political groups is made up of small groups of zealots, but the ground level members are a very different group. The hysteric tone of the likes of Piers Morgan and David Gregory looks like a good opening to start movint the active portion of the gun-rights population towards the ground level democrats- people who join that party for reasons such as civil rights and equality, which is a cause we need to embrace as social liberals/fiscal conservatives. I work towards this by pointing out the disconnects between the upper and lower tiers of the DP- things such as gun confiscation v the civil rights act, or the idea of equality v the ‘only ones’ mentality. If we can manage to convince unthinking dems to become thinking dems, they are much more likely to embrace our ideals.

  3. Richard says:

    I didn’t get my belief that the goal of gun control supporters is the complete disarming of the American people from the NRA. I got it from the gun control advocates. Pick an article from the Washington Post or NYT about guns and read the comments section. Stopping them from accomplishing this goal is why we have the NRA and other organizations.

  4. Jacob says:

    The more honest the antis are, the more unpopular they become. That is why they’re hysterical in the first place.

  5. Eck! says:

    I am not NRA, Not a member. Maybe someday. However I am and always have been a believer of the constitution. Anyone that tells me owning a firearm is not a right has started from the premise I don’t have rights. They are wrong.

    I find the NRA position a bit bold. But the other side the control advocates are liars so you have to be a bit bolder and louder.

    Personally I put every gun free zone killing on the heads of the gun control advocates. They made sure the killing zone was sterile, that defense was unlikely if not impossible.
    Its on their hands. See The NRA is a way is right, if there were no gun free zone maybe just maybe an adult with a sense of personal responsibility might have carried and changed the day. However with a pointless, stupid and useless law, its not possible as those said same people are those that obey
    the law.

    Yes, I called gun control a lie and those that espouse it liars. I do find that they believe with no proof that criminals will obey laws. What a concept. It fails on every possible proof or test of logic there is. But undaunted they use a metric, “gun death”, that includes any death by firearm and even makes 26year olds children again. They even include lawful use of a gun such as those of an civilian defense or officer in the course of duty. And suicide by gun. Of course there is no “knife death”, “fist death” or “club or bludgeon death” that we may compare violent crimes as a class to. Its’ all the big lie.

    So yes NRA is bold, maybe impractical. The other guys lie and lie big.


  6. Chas says:

    Markie Marxist sez: “WE ARE NEVER HYSTERICAL!!! And we never lie either, unless like . . . you know . . . it advances our gun ban agenda, but we only dupe people when we need to, so it’s okay like that. Besides, our Comrade President Obama lied to the American people about his stand on gun control to get a second term out of them, so that makes it okay for us leftistas to lie to them too, doesn‘t it? Ha! Ha! You’re not against the President of the United States, are you? Ha! Ha! All your gun control are belong to us! Ha! Ha!”

  7. TheOtherLarry says:

    Yea, let’s just outlaw all guns – just like meth and heroin.

    Yup, that’ll work.

  8. Peter O says:

    Did anyone else think that this line:
    “Favorable opinions of the NRA are much higher than average among the 45 percent of Americans who report having a gun in the household. However, one in four people with a gun at home view the NRA unfavorably.”
    means something completely different than anti-gunners will think it means?
    Major GOA supporters and any who’s primary view of the NRA is ‘mealy-mouthed spineless claim-jumpers’ are going to be in that 25% camp, but are definitely not going to be pro-gun control.

    I encourage MAIG to try to fund outreach to them though. ;)

    • Sebastian says:

      GOA’s membership, if you look at their form 990s, is actually quite paltry. The last time I looked, I estimated about 30,000 people paying dues. Some percentage of those 1 in 4 think NRA is too soft, no doubt, but most of them probably think NRA is too extreme.

      • MicroBalrog says:

        I’m quite sure there’s far more people who think the NRA is too soft than there are actual GOA members.

      • Harold says:

        You moved the goalpost; he said “GOA supporters” and you compared with “GAO membership”.

        Before they went off on not really gun control tangents like Obamacare, I supported them, and I suspect I’ll be back to supporting them now that they have real gun control to fight. And of course my prior lack of support for the NRA was due to them being something in the direction of “mealy-mouthed spineless claim-jumpers” ^_^.

    • Andy B. says:

      I heard it reported on NPR (of all places?) yesterday that recent polls show the American public largely unmoved in their opinions by the tragedy at Newtown, CT.

      If I remember correctly what was said, it was that now 4 percent of those polled list the need for stronger gun control as “our most important national issue,” up from ZERO percent before December 14; and that 54 percent of Americans still look upon the NRA “generally favorably,” down only a couple percent.

      It looks like we still have a lot to work with.