Anyone ever had a hard time debating an anti?


December 17, 2005, 11:32 PM
It's a strange question, but, for some strange reason, I've found myself in the middle of several debates recently with different anti's and their positions were just so absurd that the argument they had just seemed to fall apart as quickly as they put it together.

This is not to denegrate the opinions of those such people, but more of an effort to understand a logical argument that anti-gun people could have. My arguments with anti-gun types have even gotten lazy. Most of the time, I just compare owning a gun to owning a car (responsbility in driving, safety, accident numbers, etc.) to take apart the various positions they have as far as guns being unsafe and whatnot.

So, my questions are:

Has anyone else found debating the anti-gun positions ridiculously easy?


What are some, genuinely, viable arguments you've heard that established a position that was somewhat worthwhile?

Edit: As a side note, I live in Palm Beach County in South Florida, it's extremely liberal, so I encounter gun ignorance all the time. Again, I really just would like to know what the credible debates have been, because the ones I've heard, thus far, have been awful.

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December 17, 2005, 11:51 PM
It depends on the Anti.

If they are just misinformed by all of the lies, twisistics, and well funded gun grabbing organizations but otherwise thoughtful, reasonable and intelligent then you can cut down anti-gun arguments all day long.

If they are emotionally charged, fear mongering, and irrational no matter
what evidence is supplied then it is not even worth trying.

Rabid anti-gunners know that pro-gun arguments are right but they don't care, they hate guns, they hate you and they are afraid.

Once you find out what kind of anti you are faced with then you can decide to pound your head against a wall or just state a succinct argument that will plant a seed of doubt that may one day sprout in their mental wasteland.

December 18, 2005, 12:33 AM
I have heard just as many ridiculous statements from gun owners as antis so why bother. I just acknowledge their right to not believe as I do and continue on my merry way.

Tom Servo
December 18, 2005, 01:00 AM
I have heard just as many ridiculous statements from gun owners as antis so why bother. I just acknowledge their right to not believe as I do and continue on my merry way.
Like what? I told you the Magical Mighty .45 will lift a man off his feet and throw him across the room :rolleyes:

Whether or not I debate depends on the person. Some people are just idiots who don't have anything resembling independent thought, and I'm just not going to waste the energy. This group usually includes those who say, "I'm open-minded" at the top of their lungs, ironically. These are the ones who will just recite whatever they've been fed without even running it through the left brain.

OTOH, if it's somebody intelligent who's just been mislead, or somebody who just hasn't given the issue much throught, then I'll take the time to engage. I'm not a paid spokesmodel, so I don't have to convert anybody, but if I think there's some glimmer of hope there, what the heck.

I usually approach it on two fronts: practical and ethical. On the first point, I quote statistics (Kleck/Lott/Mustard studies, disparity of crime stats between pro and anti cities). On the second, I discuss the notion of gun control as oppression, the intent of the founding fathers, the idea of individual determination and the inherent racism and statism of the gun-control agenda.

As always, it helps to know your audience, speak in a calm voice and stick to facts.

December 18, 2005, 01:19 AM
It's always worth calmly stating your point in a civilized way. It's almost impossible to win over an anti in a brief debate, but if we don't take every opportunity to press our case, we WILL watch our 2nd amendment rights eroded to nothing. As has been said before, it's important to evaluate what kind of an anti-gunner you're talking to.
While there are many points that can be made, about the best one I can consistently come up with is to point out the fact that when I was young, one could buy any gun one wanted, short of a machine gun, THROUGH THE MAIL, and drive-bys and school shootings were almost unheard of. Gun crime in general was very low. Something else changed in our society, but it wasn't the availability of guns. All except the most rabid antis will generally concede that that's a valid point.

December 18, 2005, 01:44 AM
just make sure you have the correct facts and that you can prove to them theirs are wrong. they will never believe you anyway, atleast the ones i know.

December 18, 2005, 02:26 AM
Since I've been involved in debating this issue for 30 years, let me share a story with y'all -- and some lessons-learned.

Way back when I lived in So. Cauleefornya, I signed up with the NRA's "debate squad" during the 1982 election cycle... to help fight the Gun-Grabbers' then latest-and-greatest assault on the 2A (called Proposition-15). Our mission was to intelligently debate the issue in front of various civic and professional audiences.

The first group I debated with was a local Mensa chapter. Despite their lofty I.Q.'s, they were nothing less than a collection of blithering Marxist idiots who knew nothing about guns, gun laws, or crime. They shouted me down faster than Anne Coulter at a convention of Ivy league Lesbian Pacifists For Hillary. But I listened to their rants and I took good notes -- and learned. What I learned was to master my facts, anticipate the oppositions' objections in advance, let my opponent "trap" himself with misinformation, then politely but inexorably go for the throat.

The second debate was before a prominent chamber of commerce type org at their monthly luncheon. My opponent was a senior economics prof with a major university. He went first. Nothing he said caught me unprepared. When my turn came, I pretty much demolished his argument's facts (and emotions). However, the obviously biased moderator cut me off (due to "running out of time") when it was clear I had my opponent's number.

For the next debate -- at a major corporation's big employee political action league -- I drew that same "brilliant" econ prof once again! This time, I was really "loaded for bear"... and I confirmed the Ground Rules with the moderator in advance to eliminate any games. Once again, the anti-gun prof went first. And, once again, I let him "trap" himself in a web of half-truths, emotions, and blissninny bull*****. I suddenly began to feel like the George C. Scott character in the movie "Patton" ("Rommel, you smart ba$**** -- I read your book!") anticipating the pending annihlation of the enemy before me.

And then I took the podium. I slowly ripped his silly points to shreads. Gradually, many in the "neutral" audience began to applaud as I scored debate point after point, despite the moderator's attempts to suppress the applause. As I glanced at my shriveling-prof debate opponent, I felt pity for his embarrassing plight. It got so bad that his tiny "cheering-section" (his professor-wife and a handful of her her academic pals) began to "boo" at my devastatingly logical, fact-based thrusts, despite the moderator's attempts to hush the Brady-bunch babes.

Then, when they continued to eat into my time with more booing, I challenged them with this: "Ladies, I salute your verbal aggression. Now, will you promise me you'll use that aggression to defend me the next time a mugger jumps me in a dark parking lot... or can I expect instant protection from one of your political heros -- the captain of the Chappaquiddick Swim Team?"

Ya shoulda seen their jaws drop -- as 75% of the audience laughed at those harpies' dismay. However, they quickly recovered -- and began hissing at my final hammering-home points. In response to their hissing, I countered: "I've just been handed a note from the County Medical Society warning all good citizens to steer clear of local prostitutes afflicted with a social disease that causes them to hiss uncontrollably!"

The hissing ladies walked out in a huff -- to the good-riddance catcalls of the audience.

The anti-gun measure lost. Six months later, a group of customers at the town's busiest gun shop recognized me when I entered. They shook my hand. One of the owners overheard their appreciative comments -- and he offered to sell me any handgun at cost. I took him up on that.


1. Be prepared. Very prepared.
2. Anticipate your opponent's arguments.
3. Don't let your opponent's emotional sways prevail.
4. Maintain greater professional decorum than your opponent. Let HIM default to snarky attacks on your points... and intellect. However...
5. Don't back down from personal attacks. Fight fire with "bigger fire. Right away. Give your likely-a-pacifist opponent a taste of blood (figuratively speaking) from the world of Those Who Don't Back Down. Ever.

Regrettably, I've also learned that to REALLY win in this debate is to make serious enemies. Why? Because if ya do it right, you'll make 'em look really bad in front of others. Watch out, because a lot of those snotty little dip*****$ will stab ya in the back the next chance they get. BTDT/seen the movie.

December 18, 2005, 02:58 AM
I find it to be rediculously easy.

The problem is not really arguments, but the ability of the person to understand logic.

As an example, my mom..

Whenever she's cold, she asks me to wear a jacket. How does her being cold translate to me wearing a jacket?? It doesn't. But she's not after logic.

When you meet people like that, don't bother arguing, you will just get frustrated. Anti's who have reason, are easy to argue with. Those who don't, it's pointless to argue with.

December 18, 2005, 03:36 AM
We need to get all the shooters on the same page, before tackling the anti gunners! Hell, the best thing I have seen in MN was Suburban with with DU and PF stickers placed, along with REPEAL Conceal and Carry!

We need not engage in lengthy discussion with antigunners, just tell them the First Amendment is ensured by the Second Amendment! Game, Set, and Match!

December 18, 2005, 03:56 AM
So far, there's some pretty good advice in this thread, and it dovetails with prior similar threads. I particularly like the suggestions about avoiding (a) brief sound-byte debates, and (b) challenges from clearly illogical people. Those are scenario where the cards are stacked aginst you.

And, to that, I reiterate my prior point about being careful WHO and WHERE you debate. As a Lesson-Learned illustration of this, I recall an incident during a corporate management seminar (taught by a big-name consultant) I once attended with some professional associates.. and bosses.

During the course of this 2-day seminar, the consultant wanted to get us to utilize his methods to achieve "compromise" in complex, often controversial professional situations. So, as a test case, he had us go into "break-out" sessions to develop mutual "compromises" on several hot issues of the day... the hottest being "Gun Control."

After an hour of my group's deliberations, I was elected to present the case AGAINST Gun Control -- to the whole class.

Once again, I let my opponent go first. Knowing pretty much what he'd say, anyway, I let him make a lib-snot fool of himself. And then I demolished him. Used facts to blow gaping holes in all his points.

The consultant then intervened... when he realized that he'd goofed badly. Why? Because any "compromise" was clearly impossible with the issue he'd selected!

However, in the days and weeks after that "management seminar," I noticed that numerous fellow employees in attendance were decidedly cool to me... including my boss.

And that's why I now support legislation to penalize POLITICAL DISCRIMINATION in the workplace, folks. "Diversity" is/should be a 2-way street. But it ain't. So... just be careful who you make look stupid.

December 18, 2005, 09:17 AM
Having been a consultant for many years, I was often faced with the prospect of getting my customers to "see the other side of the argument" in order to get them to go along with what I might be promoting. In many cases they were often emotionally attached to their solution, even though their solution wasn't the best.

STEP ONE: Agree on the problem
--guns need to be kept out of the hands of people that shouldn't have them.

STEP TWO: Agree that in order to address any issue you have to have a pretty good understanding of all of it's components. What kind of guns do responsible gun owners own and why do they own them? How big is the problem in relation to legal uses. Too often gun owners allow gun grabbers to operate on the believe that the only valid uses are hunting and self-defense. But in reality people own guns for LOTS of reasons. It's a hobby and pastime. Target shooting, action shooting, gun collecting, reloading, gunsmithing. The point here is to get them to an understanding of how little they REALLY know about guns and gun owners. Granted, gun grabbers tend to make pretty illogical statements, but that's simply because they haven't been educated. They've got pre-disposed ideas about the gun culture which is typically pretty inaccurate. Take the time and educate them that the vast majority of gun owners are normal, regular people that enjoy collecting, building, owning, and shooting guns as a hobby. No different than golfing. If you can get them to see us as reasonable and responsible people it makes it harder for them to oppress us.

STEP THREE: Agree that complex problems RARELY IF EVER have simple solutions. We operate in the real world. TV and Movies are the only place where complex problems can be solved in an hour or two. We're talking about a relatively small cancer that exists within a universe of legal and useful pastimes. My best example is drinking and driving. The vast majority of drivers don't do it. However, most states have been pretty successful at reducing the small cancer of DUI's (within the universe of legal driving activities) by focusing their attention on ENFORCEMENT, NOT on limiting the rights of the people that abide by the driving laws. Are there still DUI's out there? Of course, but as time goes by we'll find better and better ways of enforcing this issue and reducing the risks.

Once you've made that transition to talking about enforcement you've got a commonality of interest on the problem and can start talking about successful programs like Florida's "10-20-LIFE" program with mandatory sentences for gun-related crimes. There are a LOT of parallels between the successful roadmap that's been laid down for DUI's and what the gun grabbers are really after, even though they don't know it.

Silver Bullet
December 18, 2005, 10:05 AM
Anyone ever had a hard time debating an anti?
Fish in a barrel.

December 18, 2005, 10:09 AM
Anyone ever had a hard time debating an anti?


December 18, 2005, 10:28 AM
heres my favorite:
(for LE guys)

I am a good guy, the United States know this and trusts me. I stop people who would hurt the general public. I have never harmed anyone that was not very capable of harming me and definitely capable (and willing) of harming an unarmed civilian.
When my contract is up, I will quit and be a civilian, I will still carry. My fellow Americans have my loyalty and my protection forever, only then they will have it for free. When I holster my pistol every morning, I have made my choice. Whether I carry a badge or a CCW my duty is clear and binding. If I can not change someones mind, I won't argue, I will just smile and hope someday one of us is there to help them in their time of need.

All my neighbors know I can get to their front door much faster than a local cop could and they like that. I hope we all feel the same sense of duty in our communities.

The best friend a sheep ever had is a vegetarian lion. I don't need a gun to be a good man. But why not?

Many different angles to this topic, this is mine.


Old Dog
December 18, 2005, 10:34 AM
All good advice. I'd like to address one issue that many pro-gun folks believe we shouldn't have to ... image.

Often, gun people are their own worst enemy. Periodically, one of our local radio or television stations will decide to go do a little piece on one of our gun shows. Who gets picked to be interviewed? You got it -- the knuckledragger in full camouflage regalia, unshaven, inarticulate, woefully unprepared to say anything remotely intelligent and often delivering his message with a few well-timed curse words. My belief is ... if you're gonna talk the talk ... you gotta learn to talk. Many gun-owners I know cannot intelligently debate even the most moronic of antis. I think the bottom line is, every gun owner should think about what they will say if confronted by some anti-gun bigot. Sadly, it just seems to me ... that few ever do think beforehand.

And would it kill some of us to actually be presentable in public sometimes? Especially when going to events where there are likely to be anti-gunners in attendance? A few years back, I was down in a state capitol once when there was a public hearing on gun legislation; a few of the guys in attendance automatically disqualified themselves from having any shred of credibility -- the opponents were all clean-shaven, wearing suits and ties ... but many of the pro-gun guys looked as though they'd just returned from a week at deer camp.

Image shouldn't be a substitute for substance, but the reality is -- in our society, image is probably one of the key factors in getting one's message across (hell, look at politics -- some of these folks don't win because of the substance of their messages!).

When debating these issues, as said, stay calm. Keep your voice down. Do NOT use curse words, do NOT use the stupid buzzwords so common among gun people, such as "sheeple" or "blissninnies" You won't win any points that way, and you'll detract for your message. Especially if you're debating a blissninny.

Try and ask more questions than simply preaching. Get your opponent to think for him(her)self -- often, that's the best way to make a point.

One thing I always, always, strive to do in any debate on gun issues is find some commonality with the person with whom I'm debating. It's not that hard. The more your opponent thinks you have in common with him (even if it's superficial) the easier it is to reach him (or her).

December 18, 2005, 10:44 AM
OLD DOG, Im with you on the looking good, talking good part, but if you're implying I can't refer to myself as a vegetarian lion then you lost me.:D
Our cause does have a few "eccentrics", thats for sure....

December 18, 2005, 10:50 AM
There are some excellent posts in this thread.

Whether I'll debate guns depends on the situation. If it's a cocktail party, and someone brings it up, I often will ask if they really want to get into it there, or just shrug it off if there will not be sufficient time to devote to it.

If you have an opportunity to engage in debate in a public forum, with an audience, remember that the goal is not to convince the person you are debating. The goal is NOT to get that person to admit that you are right. The task at hand is to USE that other debater as you educate and persuade the audience.

If you can make the other person lose his/her cool, you are miles ahead. I find that the more reasonable I am, the nuttier the other person becomes. Depending on the format, you can do a lot just by asking questions.

One example from a caller to Gun Talk. It went about like this. (Shortened here.)

Caller: You guys with your guns are terrible.

Me. What's the problem?

C: People with guns kill people.

Me: Oh? Do you know anyone who owns a gun?

C: Yes

Me: Has that person killed anyone?

C: Well, no. But some peope with guns kill other people.

Me: Okay, so what you really have a problem with is people who misuse guns, right?

C: YEAH! That's right!

Me: Well, guess what? We agree on that one. The only difference is that we gun owners are working to improve the situation. Gun accidents have been going down for many years, and is now the lowest it has been in a century.

etc. etc.

NOTE: How to lose the debate. Just say the name Hitler. Period. You lose. "Yeah, well, that's what Hitler did in Germany."

Dumb move. Go home. You lose.

If you remember that you are not trying to get the other debater to agree with you, or even acknowledge the validity of your arguments, you can keep on track, and keep USING that person as a foil, to move the audience to your position.

Be reasonable. Be likeable. SMILE. Don't be a hard case. If they don't like you, they won't listen to you.

December 18, 2005, 11:27 AM
+1 Mr. Gresham, good approach!

December 18, 2005, 11:54 AM
This is one of the best threads on this issue I've seen in a while!

As noted, 'anit's' tend to argue form ignorance, emotion, or a combination of the two.

Ignorance can be cured with facts and logic, so the lesson here is to know your topic and present it well. Stupid is forever, though, and one shouldn't waste time on stupid people, as they drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

Emotion is tougher, so a large part of the drill is to stay calm and cool. If you can calmly find out what they're afraid of, perhaps you can reason with them, deconstruct the 'fear', and maybe agree on 'the problem' and a rational solution. Walk away from the shrill and foaming at the mouth types.

All 'n all, it isn't hard, the trick is knowing how to pick your battles.

December 18, 2005, 01:39 PM
I agree with the advice to inform and not debate. To debate someone, they have to be knowledgable on the subject matter. In my experience, anti-gun people are sadly misinformed, ignorant, and simply hate guns.

December 18, 2005, 01:43 PM
IF someone is genuinely interested, I will discuss the issue for an extended length of time. I don't waste my time creating the interest. I do try to stay armed with information. Always helps to know a little something about which you "debate". Most anti's are already FIXED in their attitude, so when I discover the rigidity, I don't bother.

another okie
December 18, 2005, 02:00 PM
Even if someone is fixed in their positions, just the fact that you stay calm and present facts may plant seeds of doubt that will mature later.

It is true that many anti-gun are simply ignorant, but part of preparation is realizing that some of them may have actually had very unpleasant experiences involving a gun - a suicide in the family, a murder, a violent or unpleasant family member who owned guns. If they tell you what the story is (many won't) be sure to listen carefully and express sympathy. Most of the time the law or rule they are suggesting wouldn't have prevented the harm they describe, and you can gently point that out.

December 18, 2005, 02:09 PM
I try to stay away from stuff like that, one group is afraid of you having something and wants to ban it, but they still want thier choice and you never tried to take that away from them. :confused:

December 18, 2005, 03:47 PM
It is difficult to debate folks that won't debate and concede points of reason. You won't likely change an anti's mind because by definition, he has already refused to form opinions based on reason, and is not looking to have his opinion changed by reason or common sense. As Tom Gresham stated, you may move open minded members of an audience to your side however.
An anti is among a group of people wanting control for their side, and abdicating their position is not in the cards.

December 18, 2005, 04:59 PM
i just use sarcasm and make them feel like an idiot, that usually works best.

anti: "we should ban guns!"
me: "yeah thats a great idea, I mean it worked so well in Washington DC.."
anti: ":cuss: walking away"


December 18, 2005, 08:00 PM
I would bet a week's pay that you could tell 999 out of 1000 anti's that you really like and need your full auto AR26 pump action magnum revolver, and they would have no idea that you made that why bother?

December 18, 2005, 08:49 PM
I've never had much of a hard time, but I will say that one of the best phone calls I got this year was from one of my very "anti" friends right after the news announced that Katrina refugees were on the way to Austin.

"Hey man, it's me. I was wondering if I could come look at some guns. I'm thinking it might be a good idea to be able to protect the house."

This was a guy who had repeatedly announced that guns weren't needed in society.

I've also gotten into some debates with some very intelligent people who are otherwise just uninformed. I go to a bar on Tuesday nights which happens to be frequented by a couple of UT professors. More than once I've been told "You can buy a machine gun on the internet." The nice thing about these guys is that when you tell them to go home and google 'national firearms act" they actually go home and do it. One of them came in a couple months ago and said "You know, I don't own guns, and I don't plan on owning any, but I've done a lot of reading this past week and can find no logical reason how any form of gun control could possibly work."

Standing Wolf
December 18, 2005, 10:00 PM
I generally just offer a modest handful of facts, and see how they're reacted to. People who immediately launch ad hominem attacks or hysterical diatribes aren't worth wasting time discussing anything with. People who respond to facts in a reasonable manner are worth a certain amount of my time and effort.

December 18, 2005, 10:37 PM
I once converted a vegetarian, liberal anti-gun friend into a guy who was not necessarily pro-gun, but who no longer verbally agreed with anti-gun sentiment.
I took him out in a field and let him blow up pumpkins with my garand.
The first time he hit one and it exploded, his face doubled in size owing to a new kind of smile.
He just said one word "cool!"

After that day, he understood that not all gun owners were evil as the anti-gun groups suggest. He also understood the FUN that guns could provide, and liberals are all about fun. If you can push the fun aspect, you may have better luck.

Gordon Fink
December 19, 2005, 04:28 PM
“But if there weren’t any guns, nobody would get killed!”

That’s the anti-gun “argument” I usually hear … often from very bright people. Oh, well …

~G. Fink

December 19, 2005, 04:45 PM
I had a notable intense 3-hour verbal battle with a hardcore anti some years ago. Didn't go anywhere (apparently), ending with "well you've just got an answer for everything don't you" (well, yes, actually - because I've thought about it!). Many months later she admitted a turnaround, based mostly on my responsible actions (training, practice, sensibility - and didn't turn into a bloodthirsty killer), plus a few instances where she felt better thinking "you'd know what to do" in potentially risky situations.

Most people won't conceed to losing an argument. Given time, example, and no pressure, most will correct their errors.

Harry Tuttle
December 20, 2005, 12:14 AM
if you ever get in a debate/interview with the news media

figure out one or two points
and repeat them
over and over again

they will only use a 3 second clip of you

if you go off far ranging the issue, they will pick a choice moment and flay you

December 20, 2005, 07:40 AM
This seems to have evolved a bit into a discussion of debate tactics, so I thought it would be a fine time to post this little gem:

"Give It to Them Straight"
by John Ross Author,
Unintended Consequences

The biggest mistake we make is failing to take the moral high ground on our issue, and letting our enemies define the terms.

THEY SAY: "We'd be better off if no one had guns."

WE SAY: "You can never succeed at that, criminals will always get guns." (FLAW: The implication here is that if you COULD succeed, it would be a reasonable plan.)

WE SHOULD SAY: "So, you want to institute a system where the weak and elderly are at the mercy of the strong, the lone are at the mercy of the gang. You want to give violent criminals a government guarantee that citizens are disarmed. Sorry, that's unacceptable. Better that we should require every citizen to carry a gun."

THEY SAY: "Those assault rifles have no sporting purpose. You don't need a 30-round magazine fro hunting deer -- they're only for killing people."

WE SAY: "I compete in DCM High Power with my AR-15. You need a large-capacity magazine for their course of fire. My SKS is a fine deer rifle, and I've never done anything to give my government reason not to trust me, blah, blah, blah." (FLAW: You have implicitly conceded that it is OK to ban any gun with no sporting use. And eventually they can replace your sporting arms with arcade-game substitutes.)

WE SHOULD SAY: "Your claim that 'they're only for killing people' is imprecise. A gas chamber or electric chair is designed for killing people, and these devices obviously serve different functions than guns. To be precise, a high capacity military-type rifle or handgun is designed for CONFLICT. When I need to protect myself and my freedom, I want the most reliable, most durable, highest capacity weapon possible. The only thing hunting and target shooting have to do with freedom is that they're good practice."

THEY SAY: "If we pass this CCW law, it will be like the Wild West, with shoot-outs all the time for fender-benders, in bars, etc. We need to keep guns off the streets. If doing so saves just one life, it will be worth it."

WE SAY: "Studies have shown blah blah blah." (flaw: You have implied that if studies showed CCW laws equaled more heat-of-passion shooting, CCW should be illegal.

WE SHOULD SAY: "Although no state has experienced what you are describing, that's not important. What is important is our freedom. If saving lives is more important that anything else, why don't we throw out the Fifth amendment? We have the technology to administer an annual truth serum session to the entire population. We'd catch the criminals and mistaken arrest would be a thing of the past. How does that sound?"

THEY SAY: "I don't see what the big deal is about a five day waiting period."

WE SAY: "It doesn't do any good, criminals don't wait five days, it's a waste of resources blah blah blah." (FLAW: You have implied that if waiting periods DID reduce crime, they would be a good idea.)

WHAT WE SHOULD SAY: "How about a 24-hour cooling-off period with a government review board before the news is reported? Wouldn't that prevent lives from being ruined, e.g. Richard Jewell? And the fact that this law applies to people who ALREADY own a handgun tells me that it's not about crime prevention, it's about harassment. Personally, I want to live in a free society, not a 'safe' one with the government as chief nanny."

THEY SAY: "In 1776, citizens had muskets. No one ever envisioned these deadly AK-47s. I suppose you think we should all have atomic bombs."

WE SAY: "Uh, well, uh . . ."

WE SHOULD SAY: "Actually, the Founders discussed this very issue - it's in the Federalist Papers. They wanted the citizens to have the same guns as were the issue weapons of soldiers in a modern infantry. Soldiers in 1776 were each issued muskets, but not the large field pieces with exploding shells. In 1996, soldiers are issued M16s, M249s, etc. but not howitzers and atomic bombs. Furthermore, according to your logic, the laws governing freedom of the press are only valid for newspapers whose presses are hand-operated and use fixed type. After all, no one in 1776 foresaw offset printing or electricity, let alone TV and satellite transmission."

THEY SAY: "We require licenses on cars, but the powerful NRA screams bloody murder if anyone ever suggests licensing these weapons of mass destruction."

WE SAY: Nothing, usually, and just sit there looking dumb.

WE SHOULD SAY: "You know, driving is a luxury, where firearms ownership is a right secured by the Constitution. But let's put that aside for a moment. It's interesting you compared guns and vehicles. Here in the U.S. you can AT ANY AGE go into any state and buy as many motorcycles, cars, or trucks of any size as you want, and you don't need to do anything if you don't use them on public property. If you DO want to use them on public property, you can get a license at age 16. This license is good in all 50 states. NO waiting periods, no background checks, nothing. If we treated guns like cars, a fourteen-year-old could go into any state and legally buy handguns, machine guns, cannons, whatever, cash and carry, and shoot them all with complete legality on private property. And at age 16 he could get a state license good anywhere in the country to shoot these guns on public property."

Final comment, useful with most all arguments:

YOU SAY: "You know, I'm amazed at how little you care about your grandchildren. I would have thought they meant more to you than anything."

THEY SAY: "Huh?"

YOU SAY: "Well, passing this proposal won't have a big immediate effect. I mean, in the next couple of years, neither Bill Clinton nor Newt Gingrich is going to open up internment camps like Roosevelt did fifty-odd years ago. But think of your worst nightmare of a political leader. Isn't it POSSIBLE that a person like that MIGHT be in control here some time in the next 30, 40, or 50 years, with 51% of the Congress and 51% of the Senate behind him? If that does happen, do you REALLY what your grandchildren to have been stripped of their final guarantee of freedom? And do you really want them to have been stripped of it BY YOU?"

December 20, 2005, 10:16 AM
Grimlock - Excellent! Thx.

December 20, 2005, 10:48 AM
Along with John Ross's excellent discussion of debate topics, folks might want to save Alan Korwin's "Politically Corrected" Glossary of gun terms.

It's very good. Consider it ammunition for taking The High Road in any debate.

December 20, 2005, 11:38 AM
It depends on the Anti.

If they are just misinformed by all of the lies, twisistics, and well funded gun grabbing organizations but otherwise thoughtful, reasonable and intelligent then you can cut down anti-gun arguments all day long.

If they are emotionally charged, fear mongering, and irrational no matter
what evidence is supplied then it is not even worth trying.

Rabid anti-gunners know that pro-gun arguments are right but they don't care, they hate guns, they hate you and they are afraid.

Those are the fun ones... If you can't make them blow a blood vessel in their forehead, you might be able to make them cry... Either way is a win :) I dance around them and make them look like monkeys at will...

Once you find out what kind of anti you are faced with then you can decide to pound your head against a wall or just state a succinct argument that will plant a seed of doubt that may one day sprout in their mental wasteland.

December 20, 2005, 12:57 PM
The scarriest anti-gun argument that I have ever heard was not from any rabid liberal or strong anti-gun activist, but a left-of-center, non-shooting friend of mine.

He stated, and wholely believed, "You don't really need all these guns anymore anyways.":eek:

Not only did I spend a good hour telling him about the many responsible uses and need for guns in a modern society, and the fact that many people felt that they DID need guns to protect themselves/families. What really frightend me was the fact that my friend, who has allways been a big supporter of equallity and civil rights, had just said, "we don't really need this right so lets get rid of it."

And its not just my friend, there are many complacent people out there who are willing to see their rights stripped away because they don't see a direct need for them. I wonder how these people would react if some one said:

"You don't really need the right to free speech, the media does all that for you."


December 20, 2005, 01:14 PM
Just tell 'em that we will get rid of the Bill of Rights in the order they were written.

Henry Bowman
December 20, 2005, 01:39 PM
there are many complacent people out there who are willing to see their rights stripped away because they don't see a direct need for them.Actually, they are willing to see your rights stripped away because they do not value them.

December 20, 2005, 01:47 PM
My trouble debating antis is a bit odd. The only antis I know are a couple of my friends...the rest of my friends either think its cool or don't care. These three of my friends confuse me. They have no problem with the fact that two of our other friends not only own guns but go hunting any chance the get away from college. but when they found out that I was leaning how to shoot and concidering a gun for personal/home defense after graduation (and to practice with before) they started in on why guns are bad.

I've asked them why they dont give our two hunter friends a hard time or the "why guns are bad' talk. They couldn't give me an answer. It seems that it is ok for men to be proficient with guns and use them to hunt but when a female wants it as another form of self defense it is evil and/or wrong. i've just stoped debating with them cause any conversations we have on the subject wind up with me feeling like I've been doing this :banghead: ...

Edit: I got this in an e-mail a long while ago and for got about it until now...I think this is a close recreation...
They took away the sixth amendment and I didn’t say anything because I had not committed a crime.
They took away the second amendment and I didn’t say anything because I don’t own a gun.
They took away the first amendment and now I can’t say anything

December 20, 2005, 01:47 PM
I can understand that possition from people like the Brady Co, but they have a vested pollitical interest. I've seen too many apathetic people just parrot what they hear in the news and not even think of the implications.

P.S. After serriously waking my friend up, he no longer thinks that there is no need for the 2A. He's still apathetic, but at least he's not completely blind now.

Harve Curry
December 21, 2005, 12:23 AM
The hardest ones to make any head way with are the anti's who think they ar pro-gun.:uhoh:

December 21, 2005, 12:38 AM
Last time I started with this I asked the anti if they owned a computer...with a modem & internet connection?...scanner? camera? Congratulations! You have the "assalt weapon" of child pornographers. You should turn yourself over to the police because sooner or later blah get the point. This comes right after I'm told I'm gonna' kill some day. :mad: I really don't get into many of these "discussions". Most know my position and attitude. I'm not mean, just blunt.

December 21, 2005, 12:49 AM
I guess with Antis, it comes down to legal rights. Antis are always screaming about their rights being violated. So this is my response to them. I won't infringe on your rights not to own a firearm, don't infringe me of my rights because I do :evil: .

What I find amazing are the folks who are anti-gun that think and trust that the folks with guns can and will protect them, i.e.: the police, the military, and in the case of Rosie O'Donnell armed bodyguards.

December 21, 2005, 01:12 AM
I find it to be rediculously easy.

The problem is not really arguments, but the ability of the person to understand logic.

As an example, my mom..

Whenever she's cold, she asks me to wear a jacket. How does her being cold translate to me wearing a jacket?? It doesn't. But she's not after logic.

When you meet people like that, don't bother arguing, you will just get frustrated. Anti's who have reason, are easy to argue with. Those who don't, it's pointless to argue with.

Hey, all of my children know that jackets are what you wear when your mother gets cold! :)


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