Who is the Enemy?

Caleb asks whether it’s a waste of time talking to anti-gun people. It’s a broad spectrum. For truly anti-gun folks, I would say yeah, it’s waste of time. You’re never going to convince those people, and a lot of them are mouth foamers of the highest order. I’d talk to them only for entertainment value. Beyond that there are people who believe in gun control, but for whom it would be a stretch to classify as anti-gun. Those people might be reachable, but it depends on their level of dedication to their belief. But neither anti-gun types or gun control advocates are the real enemy. The real enemy is ignorance.

Rational political ignorance is something you can read a lot about, and guns as a political topic is no exception to the rule. We have always lost when the gun control proponents are more successful at reaching the ignorant and manipulating them than we are at trying to relieve ignorance. The real threat of highly publicized mass tragedies like Sandy Hook is the re-energization of their own base, and a greater willingness on the part of the ignorant to be manipulated. In terms of talking to people, the best thing we can do as gun owners is try to relieve ignorance, and you can find it everywhere. You can even find it at places like your local gun club or gun shop. It runs especially rampant among people who don’t guns, aren’t familiar with them, and have put very little thought into the topic.

A lot of people on our side often get complacent and cocky because we greatly outnumber the people dedicated to gun control, and the gun control advocates don’t bring much to the table. The former is true, but the latter is not. What gun control advocates bring is a talent for manipulating ignorance in their favor. More importantly, they once again have the willing assistance of the media, and now bring the vast monetary resources of Mike Bloomberg to the table as well. All the focus on demonizing the NRA is part of this manipulation. The goal is to destroy the NRA brand in the eyes of the public, and to damage any lawmaker or policymaker who associates with it. How many people do you think choose who to vote for based on vague impressions and gut instinct about a candidate, rather knowledge actual knowledge of the issues and position? It’s not a small number, and if you wonder why NRA tries hard not to go too far out ahead of public opinion, and why politicians pay any heed to gun control at all, here is your answer.

Unfamiliarity is the soil in which the gun control seed grows, and ignorance is its fertilizer. We have been successful as a movement because of our numbers, and because we’ve evangelized the issue through our own horizontal interpretive communities, and through good old fashioned word of mouth. Instead of having a fake national conversation that only involves political elites and the media, we went and talked to people, took them shooting, and relieved a lot of ignorance in the process. What really keeps people like Mike Bloomberg up at night is the idea, that through more court victories, and further cultural progress, we may be able to begin mission work in his very city, and begin converting the heathen. When we talk, we win.

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