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Old August 17, 2016, 04:04 PM   #1
5whiskey
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Pro-gun social strategy...

I'm talking how do we champion our cause? I personally believe we need to focus much more on ballot-down elections to ensure that Pro-2A politicians (with a pro-2A voting record) maintain control of congress. I don't even care about the POTUS election so much. I get that the power to nominate justices to the SCOTUS has a lasting effect, but honestly we have one candidate who we know for a fact will fight to enact an AWB and restrict gun rights and another who claims to support the NRA but went on record supporting the former AWB in the past. Because of this, I'm going to pick my local congressmen (that share my views, obviously) and put what little political effort I can muster into helping them. I think that will far better serve our cause than stressing over who will be the next president. After all, a president cannot make law, or a ban.

Next, and the more difficult task. How can we, as a group, counter the political push that is trying to make firearms and firearms enthusiasts social pariahs? Comments in another thread likened it to smoking. Before the 90's, smoking cigarettes was rather common. There was a huge push to portray it as dirty and something that needed to be controlled by the government. Obviously smoking is unhealthy and if you smoke indoors you affect everyone in that building... but it is still an issue of personal freedom. Now smoking is socially unacceptable in many places, and Anti-2A advocates seem to be using the same strategy used by the anti-cigarette lobby in the 90's. After all that strategy worked pretty well. I wouldn't say that we need more smokers, but we do need more people in the shooting sports. I will never forget competing in the FFA matches as a teenager or hunting with my friends. I want my kids and grandkids to have the same experience, but at the rate we're going my grandkids may not be allowed to participate. How do we counter the social stigma? Do you think there is a remote chance that there would be any participation in a youth shooting club organized at your church, or local town parks system?

Somehow we have to create a new generation of firearms enthusiasts, and the ones that become do not become enthusiasts should at least be exposed to the fact that enthusiasts are normal people and not whack job gun nuts. The only way I can think of is to sponsor local marksmanship clubs (if even using only air rifles), but I'm sure others have ideas.
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Old August 17, 2016, 04:19 PM   #2
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Somehow we have to create a new generation of firearms enthusiasts, and the ones that become do not become enthusiasts should at least be exposed to the fact that enthusiasts are normal people and not whack job gun nuts. The only way I can think of is to sponsor local marksmanship clubs (if even using only air rifles), but I'm sure others have ideas.
If every gun owner took a new person to the range this month...

One of the reasons I agreed to run the American Marksman competition was for this very reason. We are seeing 80-90 percent of our participants who have never shot in a competition. Many had never shot a gun. It only takes a small percent to be vocal, and that is what I have been doing (instead of shooting matches myself) this summer. I am having people shake my hand, thank me, even tell me that I have changed their life after they have shot a match.
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Old August 17, 2016, 05:29 PM   #3
Chaz88
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Take a look at the scholastic shooting programs, such as the Scholastic Clay Target Program. These programs have grown substantially the last several years. They are bringing a lot of new young shooters into the shooting sports.

It can be a bit daunting to get started but with a few adult volunteers and some guidance from the state or regional directors it becomes fairly easy to start. To run a robust program that is not cost prohibitive for the shooters it will take a fair amount of dedication to fund raising.
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Old August 17, 2016, 07:44 PM   #4
RowdyCo
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I think it's easy to skim over the suggestion made above to take one non-shooter out to the range this month, and fail to realize the power of that kind of grass-roots effort. Think of the money the NRA spends on ads, with the expectation of influencing what, maybe 1% of those who view them? Compare that to the cost of a box of cartridges and a trip to the range with a friend who is skeptical about guns. Exposure is an effective way do dispel the Lies of the Left.
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Old August 17, 2016, 09:15 PM   #5
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Exposure is an effective way do dispel the Lies of the Left.
True! (and well said)
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Old August 18, 2016, 03:49 AM   #6
Old Bill Dibble
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Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts still shoot.

Honestly it is the highlight of the campouts for the kids who grow up in firearm free homes.

Last edited by Evan Thomas; August 20, 2016 at 10:14 AM. Reason: deleted off-topic content.
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Old August 18, 2016, 08:10 AM   #7
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A couple of things. First, the same tactics used in the '80's and '90's to portray smoking as dirty and the cause of many horrific diseases will not work with guns. For the most part, guns are out-of-sight, out-of-mind and really do not annoy people going about their business. It might resonate with a very small group of generally paranoid people, but not with the public at large. This tactic doesn't concern me all that much.

Second, the Antis are very good at recruiting high-profile celebrities and athletes to champion their anti-gun agenda. This is very effective, especially on women and younger people. The US film, TV and entertainment industry is huge. It is based in the bastion of anti-gun liberalism, Los Angeles. It is back by millionaires and billionaires. It is repetitively in our face daily, even hourly. This does concern me and the Antis have gained tremendous ground within this industry. I don't have an answer on how to effectively fight back here, but I do know that this is really where we need to try and focus our efforts.
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Old August 18, 2016, 10:54 AM   #8
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I think we need to portray gun owners as reasonable, responsible, and concerned citizens. Two things that I think we are doing wrong are, first, portraying this as a left versus right, one party against the other issue. I know the majority goes in one direction, but there are significant minorities in either party that don't toe the party line, and there are people who value firearm rights while leaning to the left on other issues. We need to recognize where our friends and enemies are without prejudicial labels.

Secondly, I would like to see us as individuals, and the groups that represent us, be less dismissive of our opponents. When we conclude that, because they oppose us on this issue, they are idiots, or totalitarians, or inherently evil, we alienate them rather than convert them, to no one's good. Some of our opponents are guilty of nothing worse than believing what they have been told by people who appear to be authoritative. Others genuinely want to see progress in reducing violence but are going about it a wrong way. It will be a slow process, but it seems to me that a more certain course of success would be to engage and discuss and gently argue with good reasoning, rather than lobbing insults.
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Old August 19, 2016, 06:40 AM   #9
Old Bill Dibble
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The problem you run in to most of the time with an anti is they don't want to discuss it or they resort to some kind of irrational emotive argument. I can't account for people's feelings and if someone is not honestly open to discussion than it is pointless out the gate.
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Old August 19, 2016, 11:04 AM   #10
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I'll explain things best I can if queried about why I own/carry guns. It seldom comes up, but once in a while, usually after a sicko shooting out there somewhere, discussion will ensue.

The worst the crime that happens out there the more I feel like I need a fighting chance against those types. I do my best to express that and then that's about it. Some have anti-gun as a sort of religion it seems. Some are just scared of them in general.

And the beat goes on. NRA sticker on my car window is about it for "social strategy."
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Old August 19, 2016, 12:29 PM   #11
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engage and discuss and gently argue with good reasoning, rather than lobbing insults.
Adding to Gators salient point about gentle debate, I think it’s important to avoid attaching any riders to the argument from the pro-gun side. The issue is firearms and the ownership thereof. While many feel passionately that this is a God-given right of man, I think the argument for 2nd Amendment freedom should remain a secular one. There are believers and non-believers on both sides of this issue. Why make the pill larger than it needs to be?
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Old August 19, 2016, 01:09 PM   #12
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I do think expanding High School shooting would be very productive.
High Schools in most of the country want nothing to do with it, even if externally funded.
Many clubs have programs, but many are effectively, even if not technically, restricted to club members kids and their kids friends.
You have to find somewhere to shoot. Without HS or club backing that becomes a problem.

Name a time in history when governments have not killed more people than individuals?

Quote:
they resort to some kind of irrational emotive argument
I've seen the same from pro-gun people. Might have even been guilty myself once or twice when frustrated.

I agree with most other posters that if someone is clearly "anti-gun" you are more than likely wasting your breath.
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Old August 20, 2016, 07:44 AM   #13
5whiskey
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I agree with most other posters that if someone is clearly "anti-gun" you are more than likely wasting your breath.
I agree and don't see a point in bickering with ardent anti-2A types. Their views are likely pretty set same as ours. Gently nudging and providing facts to someone with malleable views is fine.

At any rate, I'm beginning to believe that my calling will be to pass my enthusiasm to as many in the next generation as possible...
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Old August 20, 2016, 09:38 AM   #14
Nathan
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The key to pro-gun social edicate is to educate and not argue. When you have the floor, don't jump to 2A and self defense. Start with fun, family and promotes good character traits. Marksmanship grows skills like focus, self reflection, personal responsibility, safety first mindset, logical thought, adherence to rules, personal success, and reward is in the process. These are all positive "above the line" thinking.

When you engage a hardened anti...., You have to be willing to back away and let others look like blithering idiots. It never hurts to drop a one liner like, "Do you have any factual data to support that point," or "Please help me understand that logic...How exactly does A cause B again?" Never get mad and to focus on researched facts. So, yes, you have to do some research.

When you realize you've said a word is angst or anger, just go silent. No need to create negative impressions.

Avoid the branches and stay on the trunk. Don't get brought into subjects like Obama, Hillary's emails, healthcare...

Last edited by Evan Thomas; August 20, 2016 at 10:11 AM. Reason: deleted off-topic content.
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Old August 20, 2016, 08:38 PM   #15
Old Bill Dibble
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I've seen the same from pro-gun people. Might have even been guilty myself once or twice when frustrated.
Ah, but the difference is that we have truth on our side.
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