AR-15, AKM, AK-47. What is it about the mere mention of these weapons that strikes terror into the heart of the average anti-gunner? So much so that these guns are rapidly becoming legendary as symbols of fear — a fear which is becoming stronger and more irrational each day.
The media is consumed with it. Politicians are controlled by it. Fear is running rampant in our society, and gun control is the obvious result.
🔫 Fearing firearms
If we wish to preserve the right to private gun ownership in this country, we must understand the origin of this fear and learn how to use it to our advantage.
We must first understand the nature of the anti-gunner before planning our strategy. If we examine the culture of our country as it existed 100 or more years ago, we would find that a fear of firearms did not exist — rather, the reverse was true.
Firearms were considered intrinsic to the survival of families who settled the frontier. Much as an axe or a plow, a gun was seen as a tool for daily survival. It provided food, rid farms of pests, and enabled families to defend themselves against intruders, both wild animals and humans.
📄 What has changed?
The way we live, more than anything else. The mass exodus to large cities, which is still going on, and the advent of modern technology have led to a populace which is utterly dependent upon its government for life-sustaining services such as food production, medical care, and especially self- defense.
How many city dwellers are able to make their own clothing, build their own shelters, or make their own bread out of wheat they harvested themselves?
So then why are we surprised that so many people in modern society are totally unfamiliar with firearms?
Yet this is where their fear and hatred of guns first begins!
People are naturally afraid of things they do not understand. And such is the fear that a loaded gun can inspire that many people cannot bear to be in the same room with one. No one is pointing it at them. They are afraid of the gun itself. No longer perceived as a tool for their survival, it has become a threat to it.
Add to this the media’s shameless desire to capitalize on fear by sensationalizing every crime involving a gun, as well as many politicians’ venal penchant for promoting public terror in exchange for votes, and the picture is complete. The fear has become self-perpetuating.
🛑 What can be done to stop this fear?
Public opinion with regard to guns must be changed. It is the single most basic element in the war against gun control. Politicians who support gun bans can be voted out of office only if the majority of the people oppose their policies.
The anti-gun media will lose its monopoly on information and its grip on the hearts and minds of the people only when the majority of Americans recognize gun control propaganda for the hype that it really is. And public opinion is the key to obtaining that majority.
✋ But how do we change public opinion?
There are two ways. One is to control the media. By presenting the public with only that information which supports a certain view, that view becomes public opinion. Unfortunately, the media is presently controlled by gun control advocates.
There is a reason for this.
The media is a business in the most callous sense of the word. Anything that boosts ratings gets top priority. And guess what? Fear sells—fear of death, fear of guns. The will to survive is one of the strongest human instincts. Tap into it on a large scale, and you control public opinion.
Hard as it is to accept, gun control groups have so far used fear as a weapon more effectively than we have. They control the media and refuse to allow equal time for opposing points of view. It has become an uphill struggle and winning it will be anything but easy.
But there is yet another way to change public opinion. And it is far too powerful to ignore.
👁️🗨️ A grassroots campaign
It would be directed solely at people who do not own guns, and its aim would be to convince them of the crucial importance of becoming gun owners themselves. Think about it. People who own guns do not feel threatened by them. Once a person becomes a gun owner, they will naturally see guns as necessary to their security and survival. And they will oppose gun control!
But isn’t this trying to accomplish the impossible?
What argument could possibly compel someone who fears and despises guns to become a gun owner?
Surprisingly, such an argument does exist. And it has a better chance of changing an anti-gunner’s point of view than any other argument — precisely because it, too, is based on fear.
The same fear that causes people to hate guns, and those who own them, in the first place. Before we discuss it, though, we should examine a couple of common arguments against gun control and understand why they have been ineffective in persuading the public that guns should not be banned.
🤔 Valid vs. Compelling
There is a difference, a very great one, between an argument which is correct and one which is able to change someone’s mind. A perfect case in point is the argument that gun control poses a great threat to freedom and liberty in the country.
People who do not own guns have entrusted their personal safety, and the safety of their families, to their government. To suggest to them that America might ever degenerate into tyranny, become their enemy, is more than they are willing to believe. It threatens and undermines their sense of security. They don’t want to believe it, and so they don’t.
Avoid using this argument on anti-gunners. Freedom makes them feel insecure, especially the freedom to own a gun.
This brings us to the 2nd Amendment guarantee of the right to bear arms. Yes, I know. This is a perfectly valid argument, as pro-gun people see it, but it is an abstract and intellectual one. Understand that these people are afraid, terrified of guns, and the threat to their safety that they perceive guns to be.
They know what they want the Constitution to say —if they have to alter its meaning, they will. And they don’t give a damn about what James Madison wrote in Federalist 46, either. They are sure that if we just get rid of all the guns, everyone will be safe.
Do you begin to see what we are up against?
Such is the power of fear that the only argument that will change the mind of the anti-gunner is itself based on fear — but not a fear of guns.
😰 Fear of not having a gun.
This is the scene.
It is past midnight, and a man is suddenly awakened by the sound of glass breaking from the downstairs floor of his home. While his wife grabs their two-month-old daughter up in her arms, he quickly turns the flimsy lock on the bedroom door.
There are voices coming from the floor below, and then the sound of footsteps on the stairs. He fumbles in the dark for the phone to call the police, but there is no signal. The intruders have already taken the extension off the hook. There is no time to escape through the window — someone is trying to force open the bedroom door.
His wife is sobbing, pleading with him to do something. There is a crash against the door and the sickening sound of wood splintering. In a state of panic, he looks around for something, anything to use as a weapon, but he knows with painful certainty that he, and his family, are utterly helpless.
We can only ask ourselves:
What would this man have given for a loaded 12-gauge shotgun and the skill to use it?
Perhaps the victims of scenarios like the one above will become gun owners if they manage to survive. Fear will see to it. Fear of being helpless, of not having a gun. Never again will they allow themselves to live in fear once they discover that peace of mind is thrown in for free with the purchase of a firearm for self-defense.
But the cost of learning this lesson is much too high.
Readers of PW already know that preparedness is the key to survival. The average non-gun-owner can be made to understand this, too. Everyone wants to defend their family against criminal aggression, and a gun is the single most effective way of doing so. It is the duty of every gun owner to make this clear to their non-gun-owning friends. And by doing so, convert their fear of guns into a fear of not having a gun.
But it is important to start off properly. Avoid discussing self-defense with anyone who, for whatever reason, could not take a human life even to save their own. Respect their views and move on to someone who fears guns, but fears violent criminals even more. Do not try to terrify them with crime statistics, or deride them for failing to defend their family.
Instead, let them know you identify with their concerns. Whenever the subject of violent crime comes up, use it as an opportunity to express your interest in home security, and your desire to protect your family. Then mention how purchasing (or owning) a firearm has given you tremendous peace of mind, and that you wouldn’t feel secure now without it.
Ask them if they own a gun.
If not, offer to help them if they ever decide to purchase one. Be patient, and do not try to convert them to gun ownership in a single day. Allow time for the idea to take shape in their mind. Bring up the subject in a casual way every now and then to remind them. If they appear interested in using a gun for self-defense, by all means, offer to help them learn about guns.
Invite them to the range to fire the guns you own, teach them about gun safety, make it easy for them to make gun ownership part of their lives. Take pains to demystify firearms jargon for them. Lend them your books and magazines about guns so that they can learn on their own.
Above all, avoid the desire to boost your own ego by being the “big shot” expert on guns. Your image should be of a responsible, average person interested in self-defense. Make reasonable recommendations regarding the selection of firearms, taking the person’s situation into consideration. Voice your personal preferences, but don’t try to control their final decision.
Remember, the goal is to help them become a gun owner — the choice of a gun should be left to them.
Learn everything you can about firearms for self-defense. Which guns are safest around children? How much money do the various types of guns cost? What are the laws regarding self-defense in your state? These things are important if you really want to succeed in convincing people to become gun owners, in spite of their fear of guns.
Read next: Things To Check Before Buying A Used Firearm
It takes time for people to change their point of view. But once they do, no media campaign will ever again be able to persuade them that guns should be banned. Guns will have become a tool for their survival, and an essential part of their security and peace of mind. Lastly, remember that every person you convert counts for two votes: one against gun control and the one they didn’t place for it.
Q: What gun should I buy as a new gun owner?
A: I recommend starting with a hand-held firearm, and the preferred choice for many seems to be the revolver. It’s reliable, it doesn’t jam and it’s not “as complicated” as a pistol. It may have its week points, but it’s a good start to familiarize yourself with guns. Also, make sure to check out this guide.
Q: How can I keep my kids safe from my own guns?
A: A gun safe is mandatory if you have small children, it should be placed somewhere accessible and only those trained in using the firearms stored inside should have access to it. Some folks prefer to disassemble their guns and keep two or three parts in various locations. Gun trigger locks can also be considered and there are now some that are fingerprint activated.
Q: When should I draw my gun and shoot?
A: Three conditions have to be met before you can even consider drawing your gun:
- somebody has the *intent* of killing or severely hurting you
- they have the *means* of doing so (a knife, pistol, shotgun, their hands, etc.)
- they have the immediate *opportunity* to do so
If each of us convinces only one person to become a gun owner, support for private ownership of guns in this country will double. Fight gun control in every way you can, but don’t ignore the power of fear. Because, as someone once said: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself?’
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