We all have one. Be it a friend, someone on Facebook, a family member or a co-worker—everyone has someone in their life who is anti-gun. In the weeks following the Sandy Hook tragedy, many angry voices spoke out through the various media outlets.
For example, this Facebook post showed up on CTD Scott’s newsfeed, “This is the third mass murder in the past 6 months, total body count of 42 people. Killed at worship, school, and a theatre. ALL of the weapons were obtained legally. Clearly having easily available guns increases the body deaths of innocents. Guns f****ing kill people. If you think otherwise, you are a child stamping on the ground with your fingers in your ears. Wake. Up.”
Further, a University of Rhode Island Professor repeatedly tweeted angrily calling for Wayne LaPierre’s “head on a stick” and for anyone who advocated teachers be armed be “beaten to death.” How does it make sense for someone who is anti-gun to threaten death on anyone?
It happened on the other end, too. Pro-gun radio host Alex Jones appeared on Piers Morgan’s CNN show and immediately got angry and yelled. At one point he interrupts Morgan shouting, “I want to blame the real culprit—suicide pills. Mass murder pills.” Jones also told Morgan the gun used in Sandy Hook was a “.223 M4.” This sounds crazy and perpetuates wrong information.
Anger and irrationality have never won an argument.
What I find in my personal Facebook news feed is many emotional responses to the current gun debate. Some comments have gotten me heated quickly, but I have chosen not to respond. If I read something that angers me immediately then I would respond with just as much emotion and less rational facts than the person who posted did. So I just don’t respond. However, I do not necessarily believe that ignoring the issue is the answer.
I think I might be doing a disservice to the gun community by remaining silent on my friend’s Facebook posts when they regurgitate the wrong information.
There is a right way and a wrong way to approach your liberal friends. As we can see, yelling, anger and attacking the opposition is not a successful way to get someone to see your side of the story. Emotions are running high and if you choose to respond, the best way to approach is calmly and with empathy. Don’t be angry, defensive, attacking or call people names. The best start is by being a good listener. When someone perceives you as a good listener, you are more likely to gain their trust and respect. This means you have a better chance of them listening to you when you present them with your side of the debate.
A good listener reiterates what someone says, does not interrupt, and asks questions for clarification. When it is your turn, do not make the other person feel stupid or tell them they are wrong. Present facts in a calm and logical manner. Don’t ever raise your voice, type in all caps or use inappropriate language. To learn more about arguing with someone who is anti-gun, read our blog post Arguing with Anti-Gunners.
I appreciate my friends who are starting to think about guns who never did so before. Remember, the majority of them are uneducated on guns. They only know what the TV tells them. Think of this is an opportunity to educate and maybe… just maybe…. introduce a new shooter into the world.
Unfortunately, some will never change their mind. In that case, maybe radio silence is best. Evaluate who that person is to you. Is it worth losing a friendship, a family member or peace in the office? The best you can do is lead by example. Be kind, be patient. You are rational, respectful and a law-abiding person who also happens to be a gun owner.
My father—not a gun guy—said he saw an interview with a customer leaving a gun store answer the question, “Why do you own an AR-15?” with a not-very-well-thought out response of “because they’re fun.” Liberals and anti-gunners will hear, “it’s fun to kill babies.” What I am asking you to do is think long and hard why you are a gun owner. Give a better reason than “it’s fun.” I would like to believe we can have this discussion with respect for each other’s view.
What are your experiences with the liberals in your life? Tell us about it in the comment section.
The opinions and statements contained within this article are solely those of the author and in no way should be construed to be reflective of Cheaper Than Dirt, its management or employees.The mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!’s blog, “The Shooter’s Log,” is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!