Ever successfully persuaded an anti?


January 10, 2013, 11:30 AM
my roommate is an anti who is totally opposed to guns and makes this known to me via heated discussions on the topic. He knows nothing of the current laws in place, often arguing that we should be doing things that are already in effect in our laws. He then grabs at straws and says we need to re-enact the AWB and ban high cap magazines. He also argues that pistol grips, thumb hole stocks, and flash hiders make the guns more lethal (lol) and easier to kill more people in quick succession. Then, as a last ditch effort, he argues that the 2 amendment is meant to apply to militias, completely forgetting that our country exists because we fought off our tyrannical government to gain independence.

The problem is I will point to hard evidence that discredit his claims but he still doesn't budge. He doesn't care that the supreme court disagrees with his view on the 2nd amendment. He doesn't care that the murder rate in our country has been steadily declining for some time now, and that our gun ownership has steadily increased over that time. He doesn't care that rifles accounted for about 400 murders last year.

The thing that bothers me is he presents nothing in the way of logical argument and scoffs at any facts I use for my case. I know some people are hopeless, but I am 100% willing to concede points and have an intelligent conversation about gun control but I find that most of the people I have the discussion with are clueless about guns and gun laws.

I don't know if people just don't want to admit they're wrong or what. But I have never been able to sway an anti-gun person to be pro-gun, despite my best efforts. ymmv.

If you have had success, let's hear about it.

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January 10, 2013, 11:48 AM
Yes, fastest way to do it is to convince them to come shooting. Then once you get them out there, away from home at least, you really go over both range and gun safety. Walk them through all the beginner stuff, let them handle the weapon, and go over their stance. Once they get the seriousness of the safety involved in gun use, only then let them shoot. Let them do most of the shooting as well, while you keep a good eye on them and make it very one on one.

Most of the time they will be so excited about the experience afterward. Then optional as to whether you draft them into cleaning the weapons after that first shoot. About half the time if they are real excited they will want to help. The other half... that will have to wait til after the next range trip.

Then just see if they want to go again, and repeat the process. Most of the anti gunners are really just scared of guns. Once you get them to realize that safety and respect for them are paramount, and they actually shoot them themselves then they start to realize that they fostered a lot of misconceptions.

Have successfully brought over several anti gunners into the light.

January 10, 2013, 11:53 AM
Several. My best luck was with who are willing to reason through anti-gun arguments. Take them shooting and be a good example for our sport. I work very hard, (and am constantly working hard) to be the best example I can for safe gun handling, reasonable debate, and to generally be a model gun owning citizen. Guns are my passion and I try to convey that. My Partner is very anti-gun, but even she has moderated heavily just because she cares for me and sees how responsible I am with them and how important an aspect of my life they are.

January 10, 2013, 12:04 PM
Yes, they were all women. Unfortunately all had been recently assaulted.

January 10, 2013, 12:12 PM
assuming you can't take them to the range due to limiting factors, then what? My roommate has no issue with handguns and enjoys skeet shooting. He just has a hard-on for "assault weapons" and loves knee-jerk reactions to public tragedies. typical lib mentality.

January 10, 2013, 12:12 PM
It works, I've done it! As others have said it's usually about misconceptions/fears.

The exception to this is politicians like Fienstein, who have a socialist agenda, and already know the truth about guns (she owns them, has a CCW, carries, and has armed guards - she even has NFA items). They're not going to change what they're saying because their agenda is achieved through gun-control, while gun-control itself is not the end-goal; their end goal is the elimination of personal freedoms, making us all the subjects of an all-powerful state. To achieve this they must eliminate religion and confiscate firearms.

It makes more sense when you consider that gun-ownership is not our end-goal; our's is a secure and prosperous liberty. Our end goals are diametrically opposed.

January 10, 2013, 12:16 PM
If you can't get them to go shooting with you, demand they surrender their car keys - after all, automobiles kill a lot more people and do environmental damage at the same time.

Also remove his reproductive organs - we all know how dangerous THOSE are!

January 10, 2013, 12:25 PM
Biggest misconseption I have run across is the anti's I have talked to believe that I think everyone in the world should have a gun. They seem to jump on the Piers bandwagon of a whole room full of AR's. I explain that is not what it about at all. Just the right that those who want to carry should be allowed to carry all the time. When the teacher argument comes up I first off explain that I absolutely see there point (which I usually dont). Then I explain that I trust my Teachers to expand my childs mind, I trust them to get my child out of a school in case of a fire, I trust them to do drills for tornadoes and now "red drill". And I also trust them to have a gun to protect themselfs and my children. If I felt a gun in the hands of any of my childrens teachers would pose them as a threat to my child I would already be at the school complaining about that teacher now for there would be something that I did not trust about them. Of course usually I always ask do they feel afraid being around a gun. Usual response is yes and then I say you don't seem afraid around me. Then it usually switches to I didn't know you were carrieing. Then I say who said I am???

Also you cant argue with emotions or ignorance....best sometimes just to walk away from it....then they usually will try and start it back up and then you can use it to your side and say I will not have a discussion with you unless you are willing to listen with open eyes and ears. A lot of information on the net about facts and numbers. Use them to your advantage. Be courtious and polite. But firm on your beiliefs.

January 10, 2013, 12:33 PM
I have a couple of friends who surprised me in their support of magazine limits. I already knew they were liberal on social issues, but they have often gone to the gun show with me and have purchased firearms, including ones that would be classified as 'assault weapons'. So I was shocked when one of them stated that they felt magazine limitations would have helped at the CT shooting. I stated that I felt they would not have made a difference, but might help during a home invasion.

At that point they LEAPED on my statement with a very quick stated, "You can't have it both ways! You can't say it would make no difference at time A, but make a difference at time B."

I tried to keep my temper because this is a good friend and I thought I explained myself fairly well. I said to him after a couple of seconds to collect myself. "Look...those kids at the school in CT weren't little vampires. They weren't going to leap on the shooter and rip him to shreds during a magazine change. So no, I don't think it would have made a difference if he had been carrying a 30rd magazine or a 10rd magazine, or 2 six shooters and a machete. But a 30rd magazine MIGHT make a difference if someone wakes up at 2:00 in the morning, groggy, and suddenly realizes that someone has busted into their house and is outside their room. If that someone is not alone--if it is a home invasion with 4, 8, 10 guys--then having a pistol with a 30rd magazine in it might make all the difference in the world if you don't have to worry about a magazine change in the middle of them busting thru your bedroom door." I then suggested this person look at youtube under "defended" and "home invasion" and that they would find a story about an Arizona man who was attacked by 4 home invaders, seen on home security video, and who started shooting at them until the left. Clearly with a high capacity firearm. Then after that I hung up because I was having a tough time controlling my temper. It seemed that a few moments of logical thinking and "gaming" a couple of situations/scenarios would have answered these questions without me having to point them out...but that's not how it went.

So it did strain the friendship for couple of days. But he's not wearing Blue and me Grey yet so there's still time for discussion.

M2 Carbine
January 10, 2013, 03:56 PM
Ever successfully persuaded an anti?
Yes, a number of times.
It's actually quite easy if the person is an intelligent, reasonable person that has a bit of an open mind and responds to truth, common sense and facts.

On the other hand, a hard core, hard headed liberal isn't worth wasting words on. As with "gun control", most everything they believe is wrong and nothing will change their minds. I find talking to a door knob will give you about the same lack of satisfaction as talking to a hard core anti gun individual.

January 10, 2013, 03:59 PM
Yes. I have done several full conversions, the most successful ones were people I took shooting. Most recently on facebook, I have gotten several people to admit that even if they don't like guns, that doesn't justify taking them away from other people. But it's never with strangers, it's with people I already know, and have a relationship of trust of some degree.

January 10, 2013, 04:07 PM
Yes I have been able to turn an anti. The key is to get the person to look objectively at the issue without taking an emotional approach (easier said then done).

Besides the usual facts and stats I have had success with point out that even if we confiscated all firearms the criminals would still have them. Many of the Mexican drug cartels would start running them because they will make money, just like we outlawed drugs, so they smuggle drugs.

Basically keep calm no matter how they react and continue to ask them logical questions that help them conclude that new laws aren't effective as only law-abiding follow the laws.

January 10, 2013, 04:07 PM
I made great mileage with logical arguments on several people who are near and dear to me.... who actually (for the most part) think for themselves.

But I'm noticing, that in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre, these same people are showing signs that they are punting logic and falling back into emotional responses to the overwhelming ground swell going on around them.

January 10, 2013, 04:11 PM
No Never.
Most I have met usually were looking for an argument and have 100% devotion to their belief, which is fine till they start acting like they are just looking for a fight, then I just walk away.

January 10, 2013, 04:18 PM
It's not the antis that worry me. I have shooting buddies who also agree with some magazine limits. Several have guns with magazines that would be restricted, but it seems like they are either willing to give them up or won't mind since they already have their handful of mags.

January 10, 2013, 04:19 PM
Yes. Once I explain that they are the Militia. Miltia means armed citizen.

January 10, 2013, 04:39 PM
The only anti gun person whose opinion I was ever able to change was...Myself!

I was raised being taught that the SA did not protect an individual right to keep and bear arms and that firearms were not useful for self defense.

For various reasons by the time I moved to Texas I was aware that most of my sources of information on important issues like gun control were unreliable at best.

After the store that I worked in was robbed at gunpoint I decided to find out the truth independently of what I had been taught. Today I am a life member of the Texas Rifle Association, Endowment member of the NRA and recently joined the SAF.

I of course CCW as well.

January 10, 2013, 04:40 PM
Yes, a number of times. My approach is to ask a lot of questions - why do they believe that, where does that belief come from, what about variations on that. Many (most?) people don't have well-constructed belief systems and when you start working through the discrepencies and inconsistencies, if they're open-minded, they will ackowledge the holes and start asking themselves "Why DO I believe these things?"

If you approach it as a debate, well, I've had some great debates that way, but that's all they are. I don't argue, I don't present contrary evidence, I just try to completely understand everything about their position and viewpoint At the same time, YOU have to be completely consistent in your approach.

From above:

I tried to keep my temper because this is a good friend and I thought I explained myself fairly well. I said to him after a couple of seconds to collect myself. "Look...those kids at the school in CT weren't little vampires. They weren't going to leap on the shooter and rip him to shreds during a magazine change. So no, I don't think it would have made a difference if he had been carrying a 30rd magazine or a 10rd magazine, or 2 six shooters and a machete. But a 30rd magazine MIGHT make a difference if someone wakes up at 2:00 in the morning, groggy, and suddenly realizes that someone has busted into their house and is outside their room. If that someone is not alone--if it is a home invasion with 4, 8, 10 guys--then having a pistol with a 30rd magazine in it might make all the difference in the world if you don't have to worry about a magazine change in the middle of them busting thru your bedroom door."

In the above dialogue, the poster (IMO) would have been better off acknowledging that larger magazines are typically better for dispensing bullets. There may be a more basic point at which one can start - what is the fundamental role that firearms play in our society? If someone believes guns are "OK for hunting and sport but nothing else" you're not going to get very far with large magazines, military-style weapons, etc. So if that's what they believe, start there and really dig into understanding it.

If they acknowledge that firearms are critical for personal and home protection, that's where you can really start making progress. And if they acknowledge and value the original intent behind the 2nd amendment (that guns in the hands of citizens are a final check on federal power), and place value on that in today's world, then the discussion around military-style weapons can be had in a different contet.

But at the end of the day, there are people who prefer surrendering their power and rights to another. If it doesn't cost them anything for others to retain rights, they don't care, but as soon as there is any cost, they want for others to have their rights stripped away.

I had a roomate who believed traditional weapons of any kind should be outlawed. He was a pacifist and very consistent in his beliefs (he said that he would not injure another person in order to prevent injury to anyone), and he believed everyone else should be the same. We were idealogically too different to agree on any aspect of gun control.

January 10, 2013, 05:06 PM
Couple more points - you will get a lot further if you don't judge, at all, their positions. You can disagree, fundamentally and absolutely, but that doesn't mean you don't respect their right to hold and voice a different opinion. That right is as fundamental a part of our republic as the right to bear arms, so I always keep it front and center in my mind when discussing controversial topics.

Final point - be open to them asking the same types of questions and finding holes in YOUR beliefs or positions, and then question those yourself.


January 10, 2013, 05:10 PM
I don't go into the subject very much. The only person I've had to argue with has the typical die-hard political mindset of "every opinion is right so long as it agrees with mine" or "I believe the Bill of Rights gives you the right to be stupid". Not that this person has flat-out said that, but I pretty much get that idea. However, I love talking with this person at work so I can come on here and say "you won't believe what my anti coworker said!"

Of course, this person also thinks we should do things Britain style (not just guns, she thinks we should be ruled by a monarchy) so I take what she says with a tablespoon of salt.

January 10, 2013, 05:10 PM
Being a victim is a religion for many of these people. Those that don't want to be a victim, are usually able to come around to sanity.

January 10, 2013, 05:22 PM
Print this off from the post "great author, great read" and give it to him. Sounds like he may be one of the subjects of this article.


January 10, 2013, 05:28 PM
I have a couple of hardcore ultra liberal friends, and we do tend to get into rather heated debate on many topics, not just gun control. I have been successful in changing their minds about some of these issues some of the time even some of their feelings on gun issues. However what I generally find is that they back slide particularly if most of the people they associate with are also of a similar mind set. So it is not just about the effort to convert them, you also have to continue to reinforce the conversion, much like supporting a recovering alcoholic.

January 10, 2013, 05:41 PM
I have converted a few, but one in particular I am happy about. He is my brother-in-law and a great guy. He never understood the semi-auto rifles. He was against everyday people owning them. I never pressed it, but found out why. His younger brother was shot to death, when my B-I-L was younger. Evidently he was accidentally hit by a couple of "gang bangers". The weapon used was a 9mm pistol. They never fought the guy who shot, and only had one eye witness account for what happened. .... Anyway to make a long story short, he thought the SR and AK rifles would fire hundreds of rounds a minute because that was what the news had said. I took him shooting and he is actually ok with them now. A side note, his son, my nephew, is now a youth shooter and hunter and loves anything firearms. So it was worth it.

January 10, 2013, 05:46 PM
take him shooting, he will understand.

January 10, 2013, 07:16 PM
Yes, actually, but only the generally open-minded, non-willfully-ignorant ones. Taking them shooting usually seals the deal, but it starts with making them aware that they haven't thought the issue through from every perspective. I don't consider these folks true, dyed-in-the-wool antis, however--the only thing that ever manages to convince those is actually being powerless against somebody who threatens to kill them, and even then many (most?) ardent antis would simply blame guns even more and call for their abolition.

January 10, 2013, 07:45 PM
In my own personal discussions with friends. The most common type that I've had little difficulty in convincing typically fall under two categories:

1) They've grown up in an environment where they know the world isn't just flowers and butterflies. Crazy stuff happens, and sometimes crazy people will try to do you and your family harm.

2) Women that have either been already assaulted or they came within a fine line. E.g. Shady guy following them, etc.

The hardest ones I've found to convince are the people that haven't faced dangers in their life, often middle/upper middle class people that haven't had to live in the more harsh areas of town and they feel that the government will always be there to hold their hand.

January 10, 2013, 07:46 PM

Have him/her explain EXACTLY what an assault weapon is. Is a pencil not an "assault weapon" used under the circumstances of murder? Is an automobile not an "assault weapon" when used by a person/bad guy to attack a LEO? Is a tire iron used to murder a young lady stranded on the road after being brutally attacked and raped not an "assault weapon"? So many more.

In answer to the initial question, yes I have. As with most, it did involve a trip to the range. But on a few, few, occasions, it came with the "spur of the moment" arguments and discussions that prove the Pro point irrefutably.

Not saying they all went out and bought a pistol directly but, more than one came back to me for buying suggestions and guidance.

January 10, 2013, 08:37 PM
It only takes once. My wife is not so much anti-gun as someone who just rolls her eyes about them, and has a "boys with their toys" attitude. When I got my CHL, I carried all the time, but didn't mention it to her. About 6 months later she said something about how I never carry...she was shocked when I told her I am carrying almost every time we are going out (unless we are going somewhere I know I can't carry - hospital, to vote, etc). The nearest Wal-Mart to us is not in a very good part of town. One night when we were getting out of the car, she said "you're packin', right?". When I nodded, she just said "Good!". That was one convert!

January 10, 2013, 09:01 PM
There is an avid hunter that I work with who doesn't believe in "assault weapons". I'm slowly convincing him that any gun ban or restriction against law abiding citizens is not in accordance with the U.S. Constitution. I'm actually his boss, and I'm really walking a tightrope, trying hard not to tell him "what to think", merely encouraging him to think on his own and come to his own conclusions.

It is slow work, but I'm making progress. The key is talking to him instead of talking at him. We agree that violent criminals have no business with firearms. He supports firearms for sporting purposes but doesn't think citizens should own "assault weapons". I've explained how, over several decades, the United Kingdom eroded private gun ownership, targeting the military rifles, semi-autos, handguns, and bolt guns in succession until only break action shotguns, .22 rimfires and air guns were left for gun enthusiasts.

January 10, 2013, 09:34 PM
I have never converted an anti, but I have made them admit that gun regulation has no effect on violent crime. They want to ban them anyway. I generally try to avoid direct conversations with them because it's like arguing with a moon hoaxer. However, in public forums (facebook for example) where others can read and follow the conversation, I make a point to present our side of the argument in hopes of converting their neutral friends.

True antis are pretty rare. Most everyone I've met who isn't pro-gun is gun neutral as opposed to anti. They might be temporarily persuaded by the antis that "something has to be done" but they can be set right with the right information.

I've converted quite a few neutrals to pro-gun people.

January 10, 2013, 09:52 PM
I guess I can say yes, but I can't take all the credit. My older sister has been anti-gun for decades, I've never understood why, we were raised with them in the house, but after many years of talking with her, Myself and some other friends of hers, from her church, have finally turned her. She applied for and received her FOID card a few months ago, and is asking for advice on what gun and if I will teach her to shoot.

January 10, 2013, 10:01 PM
You have a very good argument. You should be working on the NRA's strategy committee!

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