Trying to convert an anti, but messing up.


September 18, 2004, 07:42 AM
Hey guys.

Just got back from my poker night, 4:30 AM. At the end of the night it was just me, another guy with ~same amount of chips(conservative also), and the host(buying liberal san francisco garbage). Host is going to the range with me pretty soon, maybe this week. We cashed out and started talking about guns and gun laws. Had a good conversation for about a half hour discussing gun laws. We were pretty much winning the debate. But then he brought up my six year old nephew being able to break into my safe. I don't know why, but that made me mad. I said(paraphrased), :We've been having a good conversation so far but you have to start saying some ridiculous BS. This conversation is over. Thanks for hosting poker it was great(it was a great poker night). Said my goodbyes then left. I feel like a jerk for not being able to remain calm. But after the ridicuolous statement I saw red. He left a message apologizing. But I'm not sure he has anything to apologize for. Any tips for dealing with outlandish statements or general advice dealing with antis on the edge?

If you enjoyed reading about "Trying to convert an anti, but messing up." here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
Baba Louie
September 18, 2004, 07:58 AM
Outlandish statements...

There's something new we've never encountered before, eh? Blood in the Streets, 43 times more likely, Designed for Killing...
Laughing at outlandish statements is always better than lashing out.

Note to self... Don't have to suffer fools gladly anymore... too old for their nonsense... but always try to keep temper in check.

He called and apologized. Your conversation and friendship must have some value to him. Perchance you too could apologize for losing yer cool or your voice inflection and delivery (if it was out of line or too strident), but maybe not the content of your message.

Maintaining control, moral responsibility, having fun, mastering the moment... it's all good. Life is a series of tests. Enjoy them all. Take him shooting and keep yer cool whilst doing so. Kinda like playing poker.

Andrew Rothman
September 18, 2004, 08:10 AM
There's a concept called "cognitive dissonance."

Essentially, it's easier to believe the most ridiculous notion that reinforces or defends one's core beliefs (I got a great mental image of a 6-year-old with a welding mask and blowtorch) than it is to believe absolutely sensible things that contradict them.

It sounds like your rational dicourse was hurting his brain. You know, but... guns are dangerous! They make people violent! So how can they be used and stored safely? Obviously, they can't, or my core beliefs would be wrong!

Strategy? Gentle, continued logic might work, but then again it might not.

Maybe a nice one-two punch of logic and emotion:

"If a gun safe won't keep my kid out, I guess there's no way to keep my nephew from bleach, ammonia, drain cleaner, knives, rolling pin or my baseball bat!

"But I'll tell you: When that little guy comes over to visit, his safety is a sacred trust that his parents have placed in me. So how dare you imply that I would threaten his safety in any way?

"This can be a rough world, though -- and there have been some violent home invasions around here. I take my safety, and that of my loved ones, seriously enough that I will take precautions necessary to keep us safe. That's why I have dead bolts, smoke detectors, syrup of ipecac and self defense firearms in the house.

"If someone tried to hurt that little guy, I swear I'd rip them in two with my bare hands if I could. I keep a gun to make sure that anyone coming after him will not get through me first.

And if you cared about your loved ones, you would too."

Don't be afraid to get a little heated. Emotion may be what he responds best to.

Good luck.

Old Fuff
September 18, 2004, 08:30 AM
Dear Chick:

I would make two suggestions. First, the person you identified as “host” clearly doesn’t want this incident to ruin either his friendship with you, or the poker nights you both enjoy. He has attempted to reach out to you, and if I were you I would do the same. It’s time for both of you to put this behind you.

I have no idea what happened relative to the six-year-old nephew gaining access to your guns. But if he did do something like this you have a security problem that should be addressed. If you haven’t you should do so now. And in this case I would tell “host” that you do (or did) take this seriously, and that you have already, or will soon will, address the circumstances – and explain exactly what steps you have taken, or will take to see that nothing like that ever happens again.

Never forget that good people can have opposite positions on any public issue – but this doesn’t make them less then good simply because they don’t agree with you. The best way to influence (but not necessarily convert) this anti is through showing him positive experiences with firearms – such as taking him to a shooting range to see for himself what goes on. You seldom gain a convert by having an argument. Keep your cool.

September 18, 2004, 08:32 AM
I have had a similar conversation with DCS or whatever they call themselves these days. I'll modify my comment to fit your conversation
" I'll put a hundred dollar bill in the safe. If you can get to it in 30 minutes which is longer than my non resident nephew would ever concieably be left unattended in my home . If you can open the safe without damageing it you cab have the hundred if not you have to go out and buy a brand new 1911 and a range membership.

September 18, 2004, 08:40 AM
Thanks for the advice guys. I also apologized to him for making him feel uncomortable and stating that I felt that the conversation would have taken a turn for the worst, so I left.

To clarify. My nephew or niece have not been able to break into my safe. My host was stating a hypothetical situation where my six year old relative would have the skill and knowledge to break into my safe and steal my firearms and wreak havok upon the world.

Joab:I win too much money from him playing poker, for him to afford a 1911.:p

September 18, 2004, 08:42 AM
Dude, can I borrow your 6 year old? There are some banks and casinos I want to visit. :p

September 18, 2004, 09:09 AM
My son said something to a classmate about me taking him out to shoot my .22 at a range. Teacher overheard it. Called in the principle who called in DCS or whatever.

Next thing I know an invetigator is at my house commenting on ,my security measures.

I told her if she could in half an hour get to a gun find the ammo for that gun, find the missing piece to the gun or the key to the trigger lock and then load the gun she could have all my guns.

If not she had to kiss my butt in front of the post office at 12noon on a Monday

September 18, 2004, 10:12 AM
So did she use any chapstick before the butt kissing? :neener:

I have the standard "go-to" question for guns... It doesn't work on people who don't have kids, but with parents, it works 99% of the time.

"You are sleeping, you hear a noise, you suddenly hear your child screaming, shouting there's a stranger in his/her room with a knife trying to kill them. You turn on the light, and on your nightstand, there are two items: 1) A cell phone, 2) A gun. What would you reach for?"

If they say the cell phone, they obviously have irrational fear beyond that of a parent's love for their child. At that point, the conversation ends, because the person is irrational.

If they say a gun, then you now have an opening in saying that a gun is nothing more than a mere tool; it can be used for good and it can be used for evil..

7 Card Stud, or Texas Hold'em?

Standing Wolf
September 18, 2004, 11:35 AM
What if this? What if that? What if umpty dozen other silly things?

September 18, 2004, 05:48 PM
You did the right thing. He apologized, you apologized. Friendships are important. So, good for ya! Now you need to remember that dealing with Liberals in general and anti-gun nuts is difficult. They don't think, they "feel". They react emotionally and say provocative things. Don't fall for it!

carp killer
September 18, 2004, 06:12 PM
Next thing I know an invetigator is at my house commenting on ,my security measures.


I wouldn't say one word and close the door. Let 'em get a warrant!

BTW What land do you live in that sends a school investgator to check out some second hand story about shooting a .22?:scrutiny:

September 19, 2004, 12:50 AM
BTW What land do you live in that sends a school investgator to check out some second hand story about shooting a .22?

According to Yahoo, Ocoee is a city in Florida.

September 19, 2004, 07:53 AM
Unbelievable. Florida must be drifting closer to Cuba. Move back to the US, dude. :)

September 19, 2004, 08:11 AM
Why'd he bring up the 6-year old breaking into the safe anyway?

Also, didn't the Jonesboro kids (10 and 8 I think?) break into their dad's 'safe'? I say safe cause I bet it wasn't a safe, just a metal cabinet. But I remember reading about them actually getting out an acetlyne torch and cutting open whatever the guns were in, and then stealing the van and driving to the school. Granted, that may have all been media hype and disinfo at the time...but...ya never know.

September 19, 2004, 08:25 AM
Well, it's the VPC, :barf: but it's the only link I could find.

Basically, I think these kids were psychos. They stole their grandfather's guns, stole a van, drove it all the way to school, and started opening fire on their classmates. That takes calm, deliberate premeditation.

It's sad to say, but if you have the determination to steal someone's car, pack guns and ammo in it, and take it to school, there's not much in heaven or hell that will stop you.

September 19, 2004, 09:04 AM
Ocoee is about 10 miles or so outside of Orlando in Orange county in the Great State of Florida. At the time I lived in Winter Park just inside the county line.

It wasn't a school investigator or a second hand story by the time they got to me. It was a state investigator with the Dept of Child Services that was called in to investigate allogations of child endangerment.

The teacher took the story to the principal who call DCS ( I always thought it was DCF). 2 daysafter the comment was made they brought my then 10 or 11 year old son into a room with I think 4 adults, without ever consulting either parent, and , in my opinion, interogated him. At that age they don't remember things in detail so I have never heard the whole story.The only thing he got out of it was that they said that it was wrong for me to train him with weapons. I wasn't told about it until I was contacted about 2 weeks or so later when the investigator left her busines card in the door. With a note to contact her about a complaint against of child abuse. Roughly 100 people had acess to that note before I got home.

Luckily I called my ex before I called the dept. She begged me to let this one go after I told her that this was why I had rejoined the NRA and they would love to take a case like this. But my son was illegally in the school outside his district. If not he would have had to go to Robinswood in world famos Pine Hills, the originator of the home invasion robbery. The teacher from his elementary school had called my ex and told her that what ever she had to do, do not send him to that school for his own safety. It would have been like sending a black kid into a Klukker rally.

The investigator looked like she wasn't old enough to be out after dark much less investigating dangerous pyscopathic gun gurus. She was very sweet and apologetic about the whole thing. But I still had to stand in the middle of my living room, where she and her assistant could basically keep their eyes on me, while some damn stranger went uninvited and warrentless through my apartment.

I had taken my carry gun off before they got there and left it on the comp desk as she walked by it on the way to the bedroom she glanced over without coming to a complete stop from a distance of around 6ft and said " My grandfather has one like that, but his is a Colt that's a Smith"
DCS does not carry so the fact that she could tell that it was not a Colt at that distance while the gun was still in it's holster and that she IDed a Taurus 85 as Smith , which would be an honest mistake, leads me to believe that it was more than just a pacification comment.

Her only concern, and the one that sparked the semi light hearted butt kissing comment , were my wall hangers. All have either been disabled or are Black Powder for which I have no shot or powder. The explaination satisfied her.

My only real concern came when her assistant who had worked herself over towards my comp, presumably to be between me and the only loaded gun in view in the area , called the investigator over to read a short essay type e-mail I was writing to my other 21 year old son on how to properly pick up girls. Luckily they took it for the joke that it was or I would have been ordered in for pyschiatric evaluation and counceling.

All in all it was not a totally demeaning experience, but still left a bad taste in my mouth and my ex had to apologized and thank me for at least a month afterwards.

September 19, 2004, 02:35 PM
I've gotten pretty good about converting antis. You don't want to debate them, you won't change their mind. You want to teach them. Once they learn about gun safety, how a gun works, and what gun laws usually mean then they sometimes want to try it. Then once you take them out they usually aren't an anti anymore.

September 19, 2004, 04:49 PM
Yeah I bet he changes his tune after the range trip. I'm going to reel him in slowly. I told him he could shoot all the .22 lr he wanted on me. But if he wants to try out my 9mm or 45 he has to pay for the ammo. I think he'll be hooked.

Hold em's the only game for my group.

September 20, 2004, 10:10 AM
Honestly that was a valid question he asked. Today from the time they are toddlers, kids are given learning toys that teaches them to push buttons. My safe has an electronic lock with buttons. So with blind luck, something you can't guard against, a small child could possibly hit the correct sequence for the lock to open. A child can sit and play with an electronic game and in time learn how to operate it without the instructions. The only salvation to the electronic safes is they have a lock out feature that only gives you a few tries, but don't underestimate the determination of a child confronted with a problem. They are a lot smarter than a lot of people give credit and they are constantly watching what others do and try to emulate them.
So if you stop and think about it just why did you get mad?

September 20, 2004, 12:44 PM
Well I still think it's far fetched to suggest gun storage in a real safe is inadequate to keep out a six year old. So I got mad because we were having what I felt was a good conversation. He was bringing up valid questions based on his experience or lack of education on guns. But then he comes in with a totally off the wall comment. I mean even the most hardcore anti-gunner would have a hard time saying that with a straight face.

September 20, 2004, 06:46 PM
Hey, you show me a six year old who can break into a safe.... That be one BAD six year old...

September 20, 2004, 07:01 PM
Well first I'm training the nephew on opening kryptonite bike locks...safes will be later on.
kryptonite cracked (
But by that time he'll be seven and whats so special about a seven year old safe cracker?

September 20, 2004, 07:28 PM
But then he brought up my six year old nephew being able to break into my safe. I don't know why, but that made me mad

Of course I don't know the context of the remark of the situation at all. But, now that you have given the question (and the issue) some thought how would you answer the question?

I have faced some pretty doggone stupid questions from anti gun folk over the years and when I could give a good answer to even the dumbest question I always felt I made some "points". So, given the same question how would you answer it now? Good shooting;)

If you enjoyed reading about "Trying to convert an anti, but messing up." here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!