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Old October 8, 2002, 07:54 AM   #1
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Debating with anti-gun folks

Hello to all, since becoming a gun owner a few months ago and shooting regularity and loving it, I’ve come to the realization that my co-workers are anti gun (University setting). I never knew. I’m sort of weak when it comes to debating someone who has experience and more information that I do. Lets toss around some good points that I can take to the bank. It there a website or something where statistical information can be found? Thanks Caleb
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Old October 8, 2002, 08:36 AM   #2
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It truly is a no win situation.Facts mean nothing to anti's they lie about there own numbers and are quite adept at twisting yours.Don't feed their paranoia.Remember that it is a wise man who remains silent and thought a fool than to open his mouth and remove all doubt.The only facts that you need to know is that you are a rightous man and you and your god will sort things out when the time comes.No amount of dialog will change their minds so don't even try.Fear and ignorace are powerfull emotions which are deeply rooted and seldom overcome with conversation.They won't change your mind so don't try and change theirs.
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Old October 8, 2002, 08:37 AM   #3
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Welcome Caleb. (my little grand bubba is named Caleb)

Your question is asked routinely on this forum. Not to put you off but I strongly suggest doing a TFL search (Its under a little button in the upper right corner of this web page). The search capability is strong and the question has been asked many, many times.

I'll start with 2 quick suggestions:
Download a PDF copy of Gunfacts. I think v 4.0 is now available.

Good luck as you do battle.
"Given a choice between good intentions and human nature, I'll go with human nature every time."--Me, 2002.
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Old October 8, 2002, 08:51 AM   #4
Baba Louie
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Get ready for the sparks to begin flying. is a good start.

Emotion vs. Facts and figures (logic)...You'll lose in their minds.

Obviously, you've already lost it (you own a GUN?) in their minds.

Read Jeff Coopers Commentaries (net), go back to Vol 1,1 and start in. He's now at Vol 10, 10. Lots of good "manly" thoughts to really get your colleagues blood pressure up.

I always recommend Robert Teesdale's site. He's quite articulate and well versed in the art of correct debate/dialogue regarding this issue.

Enjoy yourself.

Start with "The shot heard around the world", and explain the fact that the Brits were marching to confiscate "Arms and Ammunition" when they were confronted at Concord Bridge.

Founding father's quotes, Jefferson and Madison, Adams, Mason, Washington, etc.

Switch to the 20th Century and gun-control and Genocide (see JFPO site)... what; 100 million victims of gun-control genocide in the 20th Cen.?

Invite one or two of them to go shooting (bring a .22 rifle or handgun). Think target and self control. It feels good to master something that's "DANGEROUS".

Welcom to the "Club".

A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government." - George Washington, January 8, 1790, First State of the Union Address
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Old October 8, 2002, 08:57 AM   #5
Bartholomew Roberts
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I think the best place to start is with the basics, there isn't much point in arguing over a basic philosophical difference.

Ask them if they believe in the right to own property.
Ask them if they believe that they have a right to use potentially lethal force to protect themselves from serious injury or death.

If they don't believe in either of those concepts just give them the "uh-huh" nod and move on. If they do believe in both those concepts, then they accept the basic ideas behind gun ownership, they just don't realize it because they haven't thought it through deeply. Once you have them on that path it is possible to walk them to where you are - its just a question of effort.

Edited to add a good resource:

Last edited by Bartholomew Roberts; October 8, 2002 at 10:18 AM.
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Old October 8, 2002, 09:15 AM   #6
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Avoid telling them that they are stupid, evil, weak, "sheeple", etc. You do not win converts through insult.
"No honest man needs a handgun smaller than a canned ham."
Bill Ruger
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Old October 8, 2002, 09:27 AM   #7
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Are they really "anti-gun" or are they just ignorant media lemmings? I believe most everyday folk are the latter and can be debated in some sort of reasonable way. Most haven't done any research on their own--they just believe what the mass media tells them. Try to discover the basis for their beliefs, and if it is mere unfamiliarity, have a private discussion and invite them out for a shoot. The key is to ask them privately. I believe many who think they are anti-gun really just fear the unknown and a little informal range outing teaching them the basics can do wonders. It may not convert them completely, but at least it should make them more neutral.
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Old October 8, 2002, 11:05 AM   #8
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You can change the minds of the Antis

One argument I use is to point out how one must use gun violence to prevent peaceable gun ownership.

At the very core of an issue requireing the restriction of ownership of any object, is who initiates force.

Most antis are liberals. Liberals are not stupid, they are just overly driven by their feelings. However, you can use those feelings to make your arguments.

Most liberals will be willing to accept the premise that starting a fight is wrong.

Use that premise to your advantage.

If I own a maxim machine gun, how will you take that gun from me? Are you justified in doing it personally? If so, you are initiating force against me. You are 'starting' the fight. I simply own the gun, I am not using it against anyone.. I am a peaceful owner. If you start the fight, you are in the wrong, and have become the aggressor. The same goes for voting for government to do it. You are using government as a proxy to 'start' the fight. The role of government is to maintain justice. Starting a fight against a peaceful person is *always* unjust. Therefore, a government cannot maintain justice if it is itself creating injustice.

I've found this argument to work fairly well in getting a liberal to stop their crusade to use government to stop firearm ownership. After all, if they can convince people to destroy their guns, so be it... but using government to force people to disarm is unjust.
"The root of all evil is the willingness to violate the free will of others." - Me
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Old October 8, 2002, 11:36 AM   #9
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Ask your anti-gun collegues how long it takes for their local law enforcement agency to respond to a 911 intruder call. Where I live, out in the hills south of Huntsville, AL, it takes at least 30 minutes for the county to respond to anything. How do I know? Me and my neighbors have had to make a few calls, and we timed them.

Then ask them if they have any idea what can be done to a human being in those few short minutes.

Then ask them if they want their last few moments on Earth to be filled with the screams and gore of loved ones being raped, murdered, tortured, etc while they look on helplessly.

Most of the time, that gets the fence-sitters I've talked to seriously re-evaluating their positions and they eventually come around. The rabid anti-gunners just start to spew forth vitriolic bull-CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED-. So, when I am debating with an anti and it gets to that point, I just call them the cowardly bastards that they are and walk away.
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Old October 8, 2002, 11:46 AM   #10
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Where I live, out in the hills south of Huntsville, AL, it takes at least 30 minutes for the county to respond to anything."

That is one good start for the debate and the necissity of protection ones own self.

About 2 months ago I found my step-daughters father dead at his camp which is not that far removed from fair sized towns etc. I called 911 and it took 36 minutes for an ambulance to arrive and 38 minutes for the sheriff to arrive..................even the sheriff (who is one fine man) apologized and explained ............ it was Sunday morning at 9 AM...............he had 4 patrols running ........... 2 at a traffic accident (with fatalities), one out in the basin in an airboat and one at the far end of the parish stuck on the other side of the intracoastal water way bridge. That is the reason he responded to the call himself.

Not his fault but just a fact of life..............protect ones self.
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Old October 8, 2002, 12:35 PM   #11
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I like to use their so-called enlightenment and education against them. I'll just tell them that owning a gun is a Constitutionally guarranteed right then they'll go into the whole gov't. vs people argument. Then I make a comment on their reading comprehension skills. After all, the liberals' favorite Amendments, 1st and 4th, contain a specific phrase which is also part of the 2nd Amendment. That being 'the right of the people.' So, if it actually means the 'people' in 1 and 4 then how does it mean the government in 2? Of course, it rarely works because when you're more full of crap then a Christmas turkey...well, you know.
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Old October 8, 2002, 12:55 PM   #12
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Waitone had the right idea. Use the search here on TFL and check out the other threads.

Personally I don't think there is much point in debate. They believe if no one had guns there would be no shootings. (Well yeah but...)

Take them (one at a time) to the range with you and let them shoot. This has been suggested lots of times in TFL and it's the suggestion that makes the most sense to me.
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Old October 8, 2002, 01:04 PM   #13
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Me and my neighbors have had to make a few calls, and we timed them.

Thay were serous calls right?
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Old October 8, 2002, 01:58 PM   #14
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It is a total waste of time trying to convert an anti. The best way is to get the ones that are on the fence who really aren't passionate or hardcore anti gun. The people that don't have a solid opinion are the ones to bring over. They can be won over with logic. It is better to bring over 3-4 people who don't have a very strong opinion then spending the same amount of time to bring over 1 hard core person.

Take people skeet or trap shooting. I had a buddy that never shot a gun and would always say "Guns are Bad", but still thought it was ok to for "responsible people" to own guns. Took him to the range, he had a great time. All the guy talks about now is going again and asking what kind of shotgun to buy.

The shotgun is the ultimate converter. Convert 1 person a year, 1 at time.
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Old October 8, 2002, 02:04 PM   #15
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i feel the best way to handle an anti is to convince them that i am not trying to impose my opinions or beliefs upon them. i dont want to change their lives by the decisions i try to make for other people. this is in stark contrast to what the antis try to do to us: prevent us from having the tools necessary to protect ourselves and our loved ones. not to mention the joy we recieve from our hobby of choice. the whole world doesnt have to be armed (but the more the better), and i dont try to make the antis go buy a gun or even go shooting with me. just like i dont want them to stop me from buying my next gun, or going to the range.

same thing as with religion. i do my thing, you do yours, and never shall our dogmas come into contact with one another.
"Every man alone is sincere; at the entrance of a second person hypocrisy begins." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Old October 8, 2002, 02:07 PM   #16
Bartholomew Roberts
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It is better to bring over 3-4 people who don't have a very strong opinion then spending the same amount of time to bring over 1 hard core person.
I don't know that I agree. I've spent some time converting some hard core politically active antis and it was certainly a task I wouldn't want to do regularly; but at the same time, that person is a hard core politically active gun rights person now.

The people who are on the fence are definitely easier to convert; but it seems they often fail to act on their newfound convictions. I think there may be a certain laziness that causes people to be "on the fence" to begin with. Its not like the information isn't out there to make a decision - these people just don't want to do the work of researching both sides.

You can hand that information to them and get them off the fence; but they still remain averse to work and don't contribute much to your cause because they don't write, don't vote, and don't speak out.

Not that I think this holds true for all fence-sitters or even a majority of them; but I think that going the extra mile to get the attention of the politically active is a worthy goal in some cases.
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Old October 8, 2002, 02:13 PM   #17
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Taking a friend to the range is by far the most effective way to "turn" someone.

In fact, my passion with firearms began in that way. A while back a friend of mine recently received his Firearm ID card (it's a NJ thing) and a new Sig 2340. He convinced me to go with him, and i've been an enthusiast ever since. Before than, i was ambivilant about firearms as a whole. While i always defended the constitutionality of the second amendment as an individual right, i never had any interest in purchasing/shooting a firearm.

The fact that i'm on this board, and that my credit card is replete with charges from my local armory is proof that i am sufficiently "turned".
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Old October 8, 2002, 02:17 PM   #18
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I see your point, but what are chances of an Anti converting you over to be anti gun? Pretty slim because they know not to bother with you. I'm saying don't bother with them on the intellectual level.

We are dealing with people that believe in the Socialism. This must always be on our minds. Gun owners who love this country and obey that law always say, "I'll die for my rights". Socialist like to say, "We will kill for our rights (collective rights)."

That is why gun owners will lose to the anti's, anti's are willing to kill to further their cause and gun owners are willing to die.
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Old October 8, 2002, 04:09 PM   #19
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Yes, they were serious calls. Honestly! The first call concerned a couple of people in a pick-up truck robbing the trailer next to my house. Took a little over two hours for a County Sheriff to show up.

The second call concerned the neighbors across the street. They have family in the area and they are, for the most part, bung holes. One of them got drunk and came over to give my friend a hard time. Bad idea. I called the sheriff's office and told them there was gonna be some blood shed if they didn't send someone to get rid of the drunk relative. Of course, it took about an hour-and-a-half, and by that time, Rick had beat the crap outta the guy.

Rick had thoroughly beaten this schmoe, then called the guy's family and told them to pick the drunken fool off the back yard and take him to the hospital. When the cops finally arrived, all they could realistically do was take the report. No charges were ever filed against Rick or the schmoe.

The schmoe, by the way, has not come back since.
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Old October 8, 2002, 04:32 PM   #20
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One technique I have often used is to ask the following questions.

1) If you are confronted by a rapist/attacker in your own home, do you have the right to resist? (Note: they often try to turn this into "is it wise to resist?". Tht's not the issue. The issue is, do you have a RIGHT to resist. Some have said no. That ends the argument, and we agree to disagree.

2) If you have the right to resist, what do you have the right to resist with? Hands? Feet? Stick? Baseball bat? Kitchen knife? Firearm?

The conversation usually dies shortly thereafter, because its hard to argue once you admit there is a right to defend yourself.

Or a more humorous approach, stolen and hacked from someone at TFL.

"I believe in giving peace a chance! I also believe in having a backup plan, in case the other guy doesn't give peace a chance"
I am Pro-Rights (on gun issues).
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