In yesterday’s post, I identified six groups of gun grabbers based on their primary motive for opposing gun rights. There are shadings between them. So, I think it is useful to assign certain gun banners to a primary category, it might be useful to imagine the categories as a sort of Myer-Briggs smorgasbord (i.e., Statist/Victim/Legal Eagle). This is especially true of those who go out of their way to ban guns.
Here are a few ideas on how to deal with arguments by and members of these groups.
Hoplophobes are probably the easiest group to reach even though certain individuals may be impossible to convince. These people have an unreasoning fear of guns, but for an unknown number if they become familiar with a gun, shooting it, marrying into a gun owning family, etc. can eliminate their fears. In fact, gun purchases and concealed carry permitees increased after 9/11. Presumably, some of these purchasers were hoplophobes who lost their fear of guns due to increased fears over domestic terrorism. In fact, 9/11 gave gunnies a potent argument against hoplophobia since around 3,000 people were murdered without one gun present. These folks might be reached through offers of trips to shooting ranges, if they can overcome their fears.
Pacifists are hard to reach because most are certain that they’re right and no argument will change their minds. They are very dangerous to gunnies and must be fought head on. They might respond to information that gun control is a necessary precursor to genocide. The example of Darfur shows what happens when a government and their pawns clash with unarmed rivals. To protect ourselves from unrepentant pacifists we must strive to pass laws that strengthen the Second Amendment. If they ever achieve office they can at least face a thicket of laws to cut through before they begin gun grabbing.
Legal Eagles are hard to persuade, but unlike pacifists they can be convinced. Showing them evidence that gun bans don’t work, such as England’s bans, disturbs their worldviews. They will take time to process evidence, but eventually a handful will come around (Laurence Tribe for example). Unlike other groups, people in this category need facts, figures, and a good argument. Since they have a legalistic mindset, they appreciate a good debate. Read up on Second Amendment issues so that when you come up against a legal eagle you can defeat their rote arguments.
Victims cannot be persuaded. They believe in what they are doing and cloak themselves in their grief. At the same time, we must not be unsympathetic to their losses. Bad people do use guns to hurt good people. Telling victims that if they or their loved ones had been armed they would be unhurt or alive today is a slap in the face for them. They have to be fought with laws that protect us from them. We also need to decide what if anything we gunnies can do to reduce gun violence. I am not sure what we can do since I don’t trust Project Exile type solutions, and I don’t accept any form of gun control. Still, we must be willing to listen and not throw their grief back at them.
Opportunists go wherever the wind blows. This group can be very dangerous to us since they speak to perceived wisdom. They get elected and their ideas get noticed because those ideas mirror those shared by certain population segments. The media is our greatest enemy and their best ally. We need to secure friends in the media through journalist shooting classes and other outreach. We have made some strides here.
Elitists are snobs even when they’re gun collectors and avid shooters. Many are relatively harmless to our gun rights, except those who support bans on certain guns and try to limit gun ownership. Massachusetts’ gun control scheme is one example since getting a license is so often dependent on who you know and if you are of "a right sort." We can’t change their minds, so never put one in office and fight any kind of gun licensing scheme. We can reach out to them based on their shooting. If we can get them into shooting and owning fine black rifles they won’t support another “assault weapon” ban.
Statists believe that the state is benevolent and can lead us to a promised land. They will never admit they are wrong even if you show them what’s happening in places like England and Darfur. Like a Legal Eagle, they believe that one more law will solve gun violence only for them it’s actually one more increase in state power. They want registration, licensing, and every other power to “save” us from ourselves. They must be fought head on and on several fronts. For them, any increase in state power even as distant from gun control such as Kyoto Accords is a goal and tool for increased state interference in our lives.
As I said, there may be other categories and there may be different ways to fight anti-gunnies. But, I believe it is easier to fight an enemy one understands. I hope this idea makes at least a small contribution to our success.