Something to emulate, from a pretty unlikely source. (or: How to reach Academia)


August 12, 2011, 01:07 PM
Alright, so this is a bit of a brag, but I figure this should go with Activism, so it can happen more.

First some background:
My wife has a pretty darned debilitating case of social anxiety, bordering on mild phobia. She doesn't talk on phones, very seldom goes out in public without me and doesn't like people she is not very close to. she is heavily tattooed, has a temper, sometimes cusses, has tons of piercings, likes punk, would be a commie, if she didn't know that nobody else really is and is generally about as un-mainstreamy as it comes.
And over the course of ten (or eight, I don['t know) she has turned a professor who is scared of private gun ownership into a potential ally in the continued fight to secure private gun ownership.

Here's how it went down.

My wife began taking her intense ten week italian class at OSU (GO BEAVS!) so that she can put a full school year of italian down as a completed requirement for her German Language and Literature Bachelor's Degree.
the final project that this class was geared towards was that a student should give a 50 minute presentation (she dreads those, with her fear and all) in Italian about something they love about Italy.
She chose Beretta. As some of you may know, she collects these and if I didn't know better, it would seem that she loves them more than me.
The teacher was at first what everyone would suspect. Outspoken against private gun ownership and in the first class session stated something along the lines of "Well, I'm glad people cant bring guns to school."
After ten weeks, the teacher wanted her to bring in one (or more) of her guns as a show and tell piece for the project and was sad that all she could do is bring some barrels, a group from my 92D and her own experience with firearms. One person is going to take the CCW class and get the license, not because they want to carry, but so that they can stop being scared, and the presentation took twenty extra minutes because the class didn't want to stop talking about guns, ballistics, private ownership, how to acquire one, how easy or hard it is to shoot or carry in daily life and of course ... beautiful guns.

This wasn't done through some talk show rhetoric, "facts," ",truths" about the founding fathers, loud and boisterous insistence on one's rights or talking points.

My wife scored a victory with a real passion for the beauty, craftsmanship, skill and discipline involved in gun ownership and usage.

Enough bragging, but if anyone has ever wondered how we can reach academia and show them that gun ownership doesn't lead to mass murders at every corner ... this is how we do it.

Passion, Intellectual Honesty and Rationality.

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August 12, 2011, 01:41 PM
You know, that's pretty darned cool!

August 12, 2011, 01:53 PM

At times we do ourselves a disservice when we approach gun ownership as ideologues instead of as enthusiasts who appreciate the history and beauty of craftstmanship of fine firearms.

August 12, 2011, 02:14 PM
Awesome! I did something very similar in college as well. My Public Speaking prof was the typical Berkenstock wearing, Patchoulli oil smelling, hairty armpit, vegan, gun hating, liberal femynist. We had to have our topics approved by her, which I thought was crazy. I figured she had in for me from the start, as I am a gun toting, meat eating, deoderant wearing, animal shooting, ex-military and probably half a dozen other things she would claim to be flaws. Needless to say, we did not see eye to eye.

so I surprised her when I told her a topic was going to be gun control. She approved. What I failed to mention was the topic was really why gun control is a failure.

At the end of the speech, I could tell she had some respect, gained a little knowledge, and maybe even some interest in firearms. I don't know if any of it held, but for the rest of the semester anyway, she was much more open to "alternative lifestyles".

August 12, 2011, 02:37 PM
I think a speech about gun control is almost too ideological for my tastes. I am glad you proved to your prof that you can do a speech, but as you yourself said, you don't think it stuck.
Guns and the usage thereof as art and a passion ... that's a paradigm shift.

Maybe it's just me being really tired of the pro or anti speeches, but I've rarely found one to be actually enlightening, because by nature of doing a persuasive argument one has to draw hyperbole and leave out what I think worked well here ... intellectual honesty.

You know what I mean? I'm not sure I'm conveying this right.

What I am trying to say is that the issue of guns was utterly depoliticized. Instead of talking politics, her speech was on aesthetics, science, art, workmanship and precision engineering. Which is quite frankly what attracts me to guns in the first place, not the politics between factions like Birkenstock wearers and meat eaters. 8)

Ya dig? Or am I still really unclear?

August 12, 2011, 02:51 PM
Loud and clear.

I'll clarify, gun control was only part of the speech. One topic, mutiple aspects. I also covered a brief history of guns, from the earliest of firearms to the lastest and greatest advancements in technology, like the ABL. also included was the good side of owning guns, armed citizen encounters, and how lawful gun owners have stopped crime.

I'm glad your wife was able to create that paradigm shift in her prof, too. I'm curious though, did it stick with her prof?

August 12, 2011, 02:53 PM
No clue, to be honest, but I'm glad you get my drift. 8)

January 20, 2012, 10:39 AM
Nice! Gotta bump this back to the top...

January 20, 2012, 12:14 PM
Wow a truly open minded teacher of the liberal persuasion. In these days that is different. I also wonder how long it will stick.

January 20, 2012, 03:25 PM
Wow! That's really impressive. Wish I could have been in that class; sounds like it would have been amazing to see that presentation.

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