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Old February 28, 2013, 11:30 PM   #51
44 AMP
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Pointing out the truth, particulaly in a manner where they are forced to see the truth, and best if it can be done in a manner that doesn't get interpreted as a personal attack OR condesention, actually works well with people who do have the integrity of an open mind.

However, a good share of the public has been more or less trained to react like the old joke about art/pornography, "I don't know/can't tell you what it is, but I know it when I see it!"

Some people are so conditioned, we will never reach them.
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Old March 1, 2013, 09:09 AM   #52
overhead
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Logicman
Really? Wow, I'm surprised to see people think this. I'd think it could really put the administration on the defensive. It's just all in how you go about doing it. If you repeatedly, and calmly, and very professionally, refute all such claims about "assault wepaon," politicians and journalists would be hard-pressed to refute any of it.
I do not believe focusing on putting the Administration or others that are ardent gun control supporters on the defensive is very constructive to reaching the goal. The gun community has come a long way since I was a kid and started paying attention to it in the early 80's. People's opinions have been changed, not by the NRA, not by rhetoric, but by reason and statistics. I do not care to interact with them at all as I am not going to change their minds and I prefer to focus on people that can actually impact the discussion. While I enjoy debating with people of this sort, it is nothing more then a mental exercise as I know I am not going to change their minds. Starting off a conversation by correcting word usage, which to the uninformed might come across as rather elitist (probably not the right word, but the best I can do on a Friday morning) is not a positive way to get to the desired end state. That end state, for me, is opening eyes and explaining my position. Not correcting "clip" to "magazine" or any other terms they may use. I will save that stuff for when I take them shooting.

The people I prefer to focus on are the ones that may not hold a strong opinion one way or the other. They tend to be easily swayed by reasonable arguments, assuming they have the ability to reason.
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Old March 1, 2013, 09:41 AM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 44 AMP
However, a good share of the public has been more or less trained to react like the old joke about art/pornography, "I don't know/can't tell you what it is, but I know it when I see it!"

Some people are so conditioned, we will never reach them.
At least not with well reasoned analysis.

Quote:
Originally Posted by overhead
I do not believe focusing on putting the Administration or others that are ardent gun control supporters on the defensive is very constructive to reaching the goal.
On the contrary, putting one's adversary on the defensive, leaving him dispirited, and breaking his will to continue the fight is very constructive if one's goal is to win the issue.

The trick here is to know one's audience. If one's audience is a court, he is more likely to be well served by a clear, compelling, and factually correct analysis. If one's audience is every American over the age of 18 who can fog mirror, one should maintain his fidelity to the truth, but persuasion will require more.

The lesson I take away from public policy disputes over the last few decades is that most people, normal people, do not collect data and then employ a rigorously rational framework to that collected data. Instead, most people, and many courts intuit which result they like better, then formulate an apologetic for that result.

This means that routinely the process of persuasion involves changing the intuition of your audience. For many of us, the best way to accomplish this is to take someone shooting so that they can learn that while arms deserve respect, they are not horrible and frightening to use.

For the public policy debate generally, this can mean that efficacy may be prioritized over perfect and exhaustive accuracy. LBJ's Daisy ad had virtually no public policy content and did not explicitly make any argument; however, it aroused an unreasoned fear that was far more effective politically than a merely correct argument.

Last edited by zukiphile; March 1, 2013 at 10:11 AM.
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Old March 1, 2013, 10:07 AM   #54
overhead
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zukiphile
On the contrary, putting one's adversary on the defensive, leaving him dispirited, and breaking his will to continue the fight is very constructive if one's goal is to win the issue.
I agree, but IMO, you are not going to break the will of Sen. Feinstein or the Brady bunch via rational argument, irrational argument, emotional argument, logical argument, illogical argument etc. I am not really worried about the Peirs Morgan's of the world as I know I am not going to change their minds. I am concerned about those I can influence.

Quote:
The trick here is to know one's audience. If one's audience is a court, he is more likely to be well served by a clear, compelling, and factually correct analysis. If one's audience is every American over the age of 18 who can fog mirror, one should maintain his fidelity to the truth, but persuasion will require more.
I agree. But, when speaking to those in the "middle", I do not think one should begin an argument or an attempt at persuasion with correcting terms that automatically puts them on the defensive or in any way makes them feel as though I think they are stupid, uninformed or silly. My opinion is correcting disputed terms definition tends to do that with many people. Of course, that is just my opinion.

Quote:
The lesson I take away from public policy disputes over the last few decades is that most people, normal people, do not collect data and then employ a rigorously rational framework to that collected data. Instead, most people, and many courts intuit which result they like better, then formulate an apologetic for that result.
This is probably true, but I would still assert correcting terms is not going to sway that apologetic, political cheerleaders, mind.

Quote:
This means that routinely the process of persuasion involves changing the intuition of your audience. For many of us, the best way to accomplish this is to take someone shooting so that they can learn that while arms deserve respect, they are not horrible and frightening to use.

For the public policy debate generally, this can mean that efficacy may be prioritized over perfect and exhaustive accuracy. LBJ's Daisy ad had virtually no public policy content and did not explicitly make any argument; however, it aroused and unreasoned fear that was far more effective politically than a merely correct argument.
I agree.

Very recently I had a discussion with a female friend about guns. She is what I would call a "political cheerleader" in that she essentially supports anything that the person she voted for suggests. I did not bother trying to correct her usage of the word "clip" or "assault weapon" as I knew that would not get me anywhere. Honestly, in the end, I gave up. Her argument was "I don't want to be shot in the head when I go out, I have a right not to worry about being shot in the head". I explained over and over again that the suggested laws would not lower that possibility. In the end, it did not change her mind, though my goal was not really to get her to immediately change her mind. My goal was to "plant a seed" in her brain that hopefully she will consider in the future. If I put her on the defensive or made her feel stupid I have zero chance of getting through to her. If i corrected her misunderstanding of "rights" or the gun terms she used it would have turned the discussion from a constructive to a debate. I did not want to do that. Hopefully I left her with the impression that we are not all "gun nuts" as the gun control folks suggest, we have reasoned arguments and are not just paranoid,scared or dangerous.

All of this is just my opinion, I understand others might feel differently and for all I know, I maybe wrong.
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Old March 1, 2013, 11:58 AM   #55
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So, while pursuing my daily dose of the interwebz, I found this gem.

Rather aggravating to read, condescending tone, and cherry picked statistics. However, to me, it illustrates why the NRA isn't waging a dedicated attack on the term "assualt weapons."

When the NRA is already percieved like this, it doesn't do any good to quiblle over semantics.
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Old March 1, 2013, 12:03 PM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overhead
My goal was to "plant a seed" in her brain that hopefully she will consider in the future. If I put her on the defensive or made her feel stupid I have zero chance of getting through to her. If i corrected her misunderstanding of "rights" or the gun terms she used it would have turned the discussion from a constructive to a debate. I did not want to do that. Hopefully I left her with the impression that we are not all "gun nuts" as the gun control folks suggest, we have reasoned arguments and are not just paranoid,scared or dangerous.
Very well put. It's always polite to deal with people as equals, and in this case, I think it's essential. If the only thing we accomplish in talking to someone on the other side of this issue is to convince them that we're reasonable people, that's a victory. Next time, they'll be that much more likely to listen. I think it's easy to forget that most of the people we label as "antis" are just uninformed, scared of guns, and by extension, of people who own them. If we can convince some of them that we, at least, aren't scary, it's a start.
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