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Old January 14, 2010, 08:34 AM   #1
longlane
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A New Activism by Gun Owners?

While the sticky guide for posting to this forum/area is rather ominous (be sure to read it before responding)--
http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/...d.php?t=313714
--gun owners need to note our own behaviors in aiding and abetting growing anti-gun trends. I post this as a call to arms if you will--for responsible gun owners to consider. I would appreciate an intelligent back and forth around this thread. I've heard all my life that word-of-mouth is the best form of advertising and that you can catch more flies with sugar than vinegar. Perhaps these old aphorisms can help to guide us out of our current anti-gun milieu...

Let us operate on a few assumptions for a moment:
[admittedly these are from my own well-traveled experience]

1) The number of people rearing children to be responsible gun owners seems to have fallen.

2) The number of people who have actually held a gun--much less fired one or enjoyed gun ownership--seems to be shrinking at an alarming rate.

3) We (gun owners) seem to have helped this trend along through over-sized machismo, grunting bravado, and occasional arrogance.
[Too many of my gun shop or show visits have included at least one individual (customer or employee) actively doing all they can to dissuade new (possible) gun owners by dismissing questions and concerns or just being rude.]

4) We (gun owners) have also helped these trends along by behaving like bulls on parade in the few public ranges wherein new gun owners can go to practice and learn.
[Too many times at public ranges, an obviously inexperienced, new gun owner appears--only to be spoken to badly, ignored, or treated like an unwelcome newbie.]

5) We (gun owners) have aided anti-gun organizations with our actions, inactions, and our money. As an example, see James Cameron's script notes for the movie Avatar: http://bighollywood.breitbart.com/jj...ters-they-are/
The actual script can be downloaded here:
http://www.foxscreenings.com/media/p...eronAVATAR.pdf
[And you'll also be viewing the reason I'm boycotting the movie.]

Based on the above statements/assumptions of varying quality and articulation--

A) I'm interested in hearing what others are noticing in their lives as gun owners (new and long-term) regarding the downward trend of gun ownership (real or imagined by popular media and politicians).

B) I'm interested in other corporate entities that need to be spoken to by losing gun owners' business (With a link to information regarding the entity's anti-gun ownership stance). I'll trust the moderators to remove posts lacking a news article, corporate press release, or other relatively reliable source regarding the business or business owner's anti-gun stance.

C) What other forms of ‘new activism’ can we use to help the cause of 2nd amendment rights? An operating definition of ‘new activism’ would include legal, ethical, and moral methods to help reassure the populace (and counter anti-gun propaganda) that gun owners are not unreasonable, unintelligent people—that we are a cross-section of the country that encompasses intelligent, educated citizens—that we are a welcoming community of good people willing to include and assist other citizens.

I post all of the above, because we cannot win the fight for 2nd amendment rights without showing what sort of people we really are, rather than allowing ourselves to be grouped together into a large, easily demonized, marginal group.

Thanks for your time and your thoughts.
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Old January 14, 2010, 12:24 PM   #2
carguychris
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Quote:
Let us operate on a few assumptions for a moment:
[admittedly these are from my own well-traveled experience]

1) The number of people rearing children to be responsible gun owners seems to have fallen.

2) The number of people who have actually held a gun--much less fired one or enjoyed gun ownership--seems to be shrinking at an alarming rate.
I'm not sure that I agree with either of these two assumptions, considering that firearms sales have recently been at an all-time high and public surveys show that Americans generally support the RKBA at a higher rate than anytime in modern history. Although some of the recent sales have obviously been generated by previous gun owners buying more guns, my experience shows that there are plenty of new shooters too, and it's encouraging that many of them are women.

That said, some degree of public education can't hurt.
Quote:
3) We (gun owners) seem to have helped this trend along through over-sized machismo, grunting bravado, and occasional arrogance.
[Too many of my gun shop or show visits have included at least one individual (customer or employee) actively doing all they can to dissuade new (possible) gun owners by dismissing questions and concerns or just being rude.]
True, although I don't want this thread to degenerate into another "Stupid Gun Store Clerk" thread as seen in General Discussion.
Quote:
4) We (gun owners) have also helped these trends along by behaving like bulls on parade in the few public ranges wherein new gun owners can go to practice and learn.
[Too many times at public ranges, an obviously inexperienced, new gun owner appears--only to be spoken to badly, ignored, or treated like an unwelcome newbie.]
I think a reasonable goal should be to reintroduce the shooting sports in a school setting, under strict adult supervision of course.
Quote:
5) We (gun owners) have aided anti-gun organizations with our actions, inactions, and our money. As an example, see James Cameron's script notes for the movie Avatar: http://bighollywood.breitbart.com/jj...ters-they-are/
I'm not sure I'm with you there. IMHO organized boycotts are only effective when a wide spectrum of society will participate, not just a small contingent of activists. If a boycott is pushed too hard by said small contingent, it can backfire by focusing public ridicule at them.

In this case, we've got a movie by a director who privately shows contempt for gun owners and possibly an anti-gun and anti-military attitude in general, yet the movie features shooting and military activity galore. (So do his past movies; "Aliens" springs to mind.) Like most in Hollywood, Jim Cameron is obviously willing to sacrifice his private feelings at the altar of the Almighty Dollar Sign. Yawn.

OTOH I'm encouraged that Jim Cameron implies that the NRA still exists in the year 2154 or whatever.
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Old January 19, 2010, 02:48 PM   #3
zukiphile
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Quote:
3) We (gun owners) seem to have helped this trend along through over-sized machismo, grunting bravado, and occasional arrogance.
[Too many of my gun shop or show visits have included at least one individual (customer or employee) actively doing all they can to dissuade new (possible) gun owners by dismissing questions and concerns or just being rude.]
While this may be largely true of neophytes who can feel a need to prove something, I've not found it to be true of regular shooters. When I spent hours at the range every week, I found the people I shot with to be more honest, modest and eager to help than average. I don't know whether this is because people who dislike dealing in BS gravitate toward an activity in which performance shows up on the paper, or whether shooters all eventually learn that BS will always be exposed to other shooters.

I find that frequent shooters are often fine people.
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Old January 19, 2010, 03:03 PM   #4
johnwilliamson062
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I think there is a resurgent realization that the government can not protect you 24/7. CHL has become so popular in Ohio that there are just a lot of people who now realize they know AND TRUST someone who shoots. This isn't the nineties anymore.

I think things are getting better.

Quote:
redblooded redneck NRA supporters they are
Not every NRA member I know is a redneck, but every redneck I know is an NRA member who flaunts his membership by wearing hats/shirts etc. Most of the non-redneck members don't wear those items. Having that image of the NRA isn't that absurd for someone not involved in shooting. This is a problem the NRA needs to address, not ignorant people in California.
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Old January 20, 2010, 10:07 AM   #5
longlane
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Thanks, and keep it going!

Carguychris: I like the way you are thinking about the shooting sports in high schools, though I live in SC and it seems that--with admittedly some exceptions--the majority of school districts wouldn't touch this with a 10 foot pole, sad to say. Still support for this is a good idea.

Zukiphile: I absolutely agree with you. I just worry that the jerks at the public ranges are often what new good folks seem to remember. I guess I'm just advocating some self-policing among fellow decent firearm owners--and hoping to see a more welcoming attitude towards decent new folks who honestly want to learn and become more knowledgeable.

Johnwilliamson062: I hope that you're right about things getting better, and I agree that the NRA could do with some PR work (though that would mean less $$$ to fight the good fight I suppose). Though I can't help but wonder how many appreciative gun owners don't support the NRA because of the organization's image.

Thanks for your thoughts and time in posting, and I welcome others to join the conversation too!
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Old January 20, 2010, 10:48 AM   #6
CowTowner
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Quote:
my experience shows that there are plenty of new shooters too, and it's encouraging that many of them are women.
I must agree. I'm a part-time RSO and find myself assisting new gun owners every weekend. And many of them are women that are really interested in learning to shoot for self defense. They don't want to have to depend or wait on anyone else to "rescue" them.

No I'm not an instructor for SD. I simply make a point to give them basic safety knowledge and how to's.
There are instructors available to them at their request.
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Old January 20, 2010, 11:30 AM   #7
stargazer65
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Quote:
1) The number of people rearing children to be responsible gun owners seems to have fallen.
Just last year my wife and I decided to raise our five children to be responsible gun owners as a form of activism (along with other reasons). I encourage you young responsible gun owners to get married to like minded spouses & have lots of babies (or have fun trying), and teach them as a form of activism.

Spoken in a context of humor but also food for thought. Don't neglect to have and teach the next generation or eventually the RTKBA will just die off due to indifference. The larger the next generation, the more loud the voice, and we won't even have to yell if there's enough like minded people.

Other option is to volunteer to teach other people's children when the parents are willing.
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Last edited by stargazer65; January 20, 2010 at 11:51 AM.
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