Why do you guys do it???


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jimbo
May 11, 2004, 08:10 PM
I am sincerely confused by it.

Like clockwork someone who hates guns will register and post the same day. You all will respond in good faith to the questions because, well probably because you are good guys and treat the new individual with respect and answer with sincerity.

Now, these people nevers stay. They will post a few anti-gun questions and act like they truly want to learn to appreciate the perspective of those who cherish the 2nd Amendment, believe in the inalienable right to gun ownership and self-defense, and generally support conceal carry laws. But they are always hit-and-run artists who will be gone before the end of the month.

They will never return to ask the attributes of Zeiss vs. Swarovski. They aren't going to request recommendations for loads for a 270 WSM or ask how your Kimber Gold Match stacks up with a Springfield Loaded.

So I ask you all, honestly. Why do you answer? Why do you take these individuals seriously? Why do you attempt to educate these people?

I understand the nobility of your effort to try to enlighten an anti-gun person to the history, necessity and benefits of gun ownership and use in its various forms. But I see it as an exercise in futility and it frustrates me to no end to see those of responding in good faith because I know you are just being toyed with when these persons in their flaming insincerity have absolute no interest in changing their attitudes to one of pro-gun.

Indeed, I applaud your efforts to take an anti-gun friend to the range. I have heard of numerous successes converting friends and wives who were scared of guns, who become pro-gun. Please keep up the good work.

But I cannot thing of one, singe individual in the history of this board or the Firing Line who came to the website hating guns and who's mind you opened simply by explaining why guns are good or why the 2nd Amendment is not obsolete just because we don't use muskets anymore.

Oh, why, why, why, why, why? Please, somebody enlighten me.:banghead:

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Kodiak AK
May 11, 2004, 08:13 PM
The truth will set you free...........

bogie
May 11, 2004, 08:17 PM
Actually, there have been some folks who've stopped by, questioned, and actually thought about the answers they received... It's been a while, and we've been inundated by trolls and folks from the Democratic Underground side of things, but there's always a good chance that someone will actually think.

R.H. Lee
May 11, 2004, 08:19 PM
'Cause we like guns and we like to talk about guns. If somebody else doesn't, oh well, they don't have any power to take my guns and besides that's just more guns for me. :D

If somebody who hates guns comes here to talk and we're civil and rational it just may plant a seed in that hoplophobe's head that gun owners are not the heartless child killers they've always heard about.

It's a good thing. It's The High Road. :)

Hkmp5sd
May 11, 2004, 08:19 PM
But I cannot thing of one, singe individual in the history of this board or the Firing Line who came to the website hating guns and who's mind you opened simply by explaining why guns are good or why the 2nd Amendment is not obsolete just because we don't use muskets anymore.
Some day we might convert one!

Besides, some boards like the Democratic Underground won't allow someone of differing opinion to discuss on their board. This being The High Road, we'll take anyone and politely argue our point for as long as they are willing to stay.

pax
May 11, 2004, 08:26 PM
Not for their sake.

It's for the sake of the curious person who swings by because someone he knows suggested he might learn something here.

It's for the sake of the skeptical-but-interested wife whose husband posts on THR -- and who won't talk about it in person with him, just in case it turns out he's right after all. ;)

It's for the sake of my kids, who are getting old enough that their friends ask them similar questions and say similar things. What arguments shall I arm them with as they get ready to go out into the world?

It's for the sake of folks like my dad, who isn't quite clear on what an "assault weapon" might be, but believes they should be outlawed. He might not ever surf past THR, but maybe I need to hone my arguments in writing here before I try them on him in person.

And it's for the sake of the person who's been hanging out at THR for a couple months, posts rarely, and thinks we are all a bit too ... well, extreme ... about all this freedom stuff. They need to hear the discussion from the ground up -- and they aren't going to ask.

That's why.

pax

Samurai Penguin
May 11, 2004, 08:27 PM
Why do we bother? Because we're taking The High Road.

Most of these people probably came here expecting Billy Bob and Bubba in deep discussion of the fine points of shootin' Bud cans off their kids' heads("Now, don't move, there, Cooter Ray...!"). Instead, they see responsible, intelligent gun owners.

Those who come to "toy with us" after reading through a good chunk of this site may never change their minds...but there are a lot of lurkers around...and their opinions may be greatly influenced by our actions. Those are the people we're really trying to convince, not those whose minds are closed, locked, sealed in concrete and buried under 100 feet of Siberian tundra. And if our polite, civil responses and willingness to give the benefit of the doubt change just one sheep into a free citizen..."it's all woooorrrrthh it!!" {/liberalwhine} ;)

Don Gwinn
May 11, 2004, 08:29 PM
Guns N' Rosie

Miss Demeanors


Those are two reasons. . . . two antis who came to ask questions and leave, but didn't end up leaving. We don't see either one much anymore, but in Sandy's (Miss D) case that's because she is now a moderator at another pro-gun forum! She has also been a representative for Mothers' Arms and the Second Amendment Sisters, and a very good friend even though we don't get to talk much anymore.

Come to think of it, I think I'll hop over to http://www.familyfriendsfirearms.com and see what she's been doing lately. For those who don't know, FFF was essentially created so that people who don't like our relatively strict "On Topic" rules could have a place to hang out and discuss whatever they want. They talk about religion and other topics over there, along with stuff like cars and motorcycles. If you've ever wished THR or TFL had an "Off Topic" forum, check it out.

Anyway, that's why you bother. Every once in awhile one will turn, and more importantly, you don't know who is reading the thread. You may never know how many minds you change--or who you give enough courage and enough facts to stand up for what they've already been thinking but were too afraid to say.

Larry Ashcraft
May 11, 2004, 08:32 PM
But I cannot thing of one, singe individual in the history of this board or the Firing Line who came to the website hating guns and who's mind you opened simply by explaining why guns are good or why the 2nd Amendment is not obsolete just because we don't use muskets anymore.
WyldOne, where are you?

jimbo
May 11, 2004, 08:35 PM
Pax,

I like your answer.

I had seen responding to these guys as an exercise in futility bordering on the insane. Preaching to the choir and little more. But your attitude has genuine value and just may help the occassional lurker who honestly hasn't made up his mind one way or the other. I'll shut-up now.:o :p

All of you have brought up some fine points and I stand corrected.

Gentlemen, KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK! You have more energy and optimism than I. And I applaud you.

jimbo
May 11, 2004, 08:42 PM
Don and Larry,

Thank you for examples of people who have helped educated themselves to the reality of gun ownership at THR. I appreciate your help.

Jimbo

Benjamin
May 11, 2004, 08:44 PM
If not for the other reasons outlined above, it keeps us sharp.

Best,

-Ben

Ben Shepherd
May 11, 2004, 08:47 PM
Pax posted the long term reasons why.

The short term reason is because then I know I took an opportunity presented.

For the mid term reasons see my thread in general discussion titled "Guys this is awesome, warm fuzzies guaranteed. Range day." The whole time I've been working here(several years) I've lived with the title "resident gun nut". But as you can see it's finally paying off. As a matter of fact everyone that I chat with at work regularly are now firmly involved in politics.

gulogulo1970
May 11, 2004, 08:55 PM
Most of the anti's aren't stupid only ignorant or blinded by misguided preconceptions.

So hitting them with the facts my at least swing them from an anti to maybe a middle of the road kind of person. Hey, you may win a convert over time. A lot of minds change over a life time.

firearms_instructor
May 11, 2004, 09:02 PM
Don Gwinn,

Thank you SO MUCH for posting this:

"Those are two reasons. . . . two antis who came to ask questions and leave, but didn't end up leaving. We don't see either one much anymore, but in Sandy's (Miss D) case that's because she is now a moderator at another pro-gun forum!"

In my opinion, any BS anyone had to put up with from anti trolls was worth it, just to have one anti wind up moderating a pro-gun forum. That is so great. To paraphrase the antis, "If we save JUST ONE anti, it was worth it!"

A book I like to recommend to women (anyone, actually) who are unsure about gun ownership is Armed and Female by Paxton Quigley. Paxton was an anti-gun activist until the night one of her friends got raped, and Paxton had to take her friend to the hospital and got to experience her friend's violation and grief firsthand. Something happened to Paxton that night... Paxton decided that there was NO WAY she was going to allow something like that to happen to her. Soon afterwards she happened to be tagging along with someone who was picking up a pistol from a gun shop, and Paxton started to see handguns in a whole new context. She ended up writing an excellent book on self-defense for women!

mnrivrat
May 11, 2004, 09:08 PM
quote:

"Indeed, I applaud your efforts to take an anti-gun friend to the range. I have heard of numerous successes converting friends and wives who were scared of guns, who become pro-gun. Please keep up the good work".

Almost answered your own question there !

:D

PromptCritical
May 11, 2004, 09:20 PM
I find threads started by antis to be helpful to me. The responses and links posted by the fine folks here at THR give me new ideas for ways to make antis and undecideds I meet to see the light, so to speak. If someone wants to know why I have this passion about firearms, I like to have something intelligent and thoughtful to tell them, instead of just "'cause guns are cool."
In addition, I find that it is completely worth it if we can get just one person to see our side of the issue that they can't get just by going to school, or watching TV.
I have lurked on DU, and I really don't like what I see there. And the assumption that they are all anti gun is somewhat wrong. I saw a thread there once about taking up arms for an out and out fight with conservatives. I have only one response to that: "Bring it on!"

magsnubby
May 12, 2004, 12:47 AM
Well we could just ignore 'em and hope they go away or we can take advantage of the oppertunity to educate a person who could be a fence sitter. Or we could just ignore them and let them go away thinking all guns owners are to stupid to give an intelligent argument. Either way we would be missing a good chance to educate a person. If we can sway one person our way it's worth it.,

Sylvilagus Aquaticus
May 12, 2004, 01:10 AM
I answer politely because my grandmother taught me manners and I try to be friendly.


Folks are usually just looking for answers. If I can help, I try. If they're not looking for answers and are trying to stir a stink, my grandmother also taught me about not messing with skunks.

Regards,
Rabbit.

Zeke Menuar
May 12, 2004, 09:46 PM
IMHO, there is an undeserved, stereotypical view that all gun-owners are a cross between Rambo and Deliverance. A much of ignorant right-wing morons that will shoot anything in sight. That perception needs to be changed.
By treating the anti's and the curious that are sincere in their inquiries with respect, gun-enthusiasts like ourselves can hopefully change minds and perceptions one person at a time.

ZM

Black92LX
May 12, 2004, 10:02 PM
even if i only affect one person out of 1,000. i am still happy to do it.

DMK
May 12, 2004, 10:03 PM
So I ask you all, honestly. Why do you answer? Why do you take these individuals seriously? Why do you attempt to educate these people? What's the alternative? Blow off anybody who doesn't see the world exactly the same way we do?

How do we know that they leave never to return? A large number of the members on this forum, as well as those who were members of TFL, hardly ever post. There are a lot of lurkers here, reading and absorbing technical and RKBA knowledge. Hopefully they distribute a little of it among others they have contact with in their life.

MaterDei
May 12, 2004, 10:07 PM
I work in a professional environment where most of those around me are at least as smart as I am. Even when we disagree, they usually have logical reasons for their takes on issues.

I respond to the antis here on THR because it gives me a chance to debate idiots for a change. :D

Just kidding,

Michael

P95Carry
May 12, 2004, 10:12 PM
For the most part ... even if ''they'' turn out to be trolling ...... it is essentially ''something we have to do''.

There is way too much misunderstanding .... and emotional rhetoric from anti's .... a great many of whom if only encouraged to stop and think ..... may just find their ''logical self'' - (if it exists!!) ..... :p

Now and again ... we do succeed I think and as I say ... it needs done .. we HAVE to bring the rationale and gun owner's ''raison d'etre'' to the forefront, at every opportunity.

Shanghai McCoy
May 12, 2004, 10:19 PM
Because being nice takes just as much time as being rude and has a much more pleasant aftertaste.

Stand_Watie
May 12, 2004, 10:40 PM
How about for this reason?

I'll bet that of our 10,000+ members there are just a few of them who are 'borderline' on some issues. Serious hunters who don't see the 'need' for 'assault rifles'. Serious target shooters who don't see the 'need' for concealed carry rights.

Anti-gun new posters, even if they be trolls, make good "straw men" in gun debates to help crystalize in the minds of bordlerline gunnies all the reasons why ill-informed anti-gun arguments are wrong.

Also, some people just like to argue:D :D :D

GigaBuist
May 12, 2004, 11:28 PM
This is the one place where an obviouis troll will be met with polite and civil discussion. The more people that hop onto those threads without going into rabid attack mode the better it makes us look as a whole.

As others have said, at least it helps us hone our "newbie" arguments. I like being forced to think about the issue from time to time from such a stance. It seems to occur in real life with me about once a week, sometimes more. The better I can hone the "argument" the better off we are as a group. I gain perspectives by reading such threads and other THR member's posts.

If the thread doesn't turn the original poster over -- maybe we'll at least make a dent in them. If it fails to do that, well, it was least a fun exercise. Those points can be "taken to the streets" if you will from there on.

Miss Demeanors
May 12, 2004, 11:45 PM
But I cannot thing of one, singe individual in the history of this board or the Firing Line who came to the website hating guns and who's mind you opened simply by explaining why guns are good or why the 2nd Amendment is not obsolete just because we don't use muskets anymore.


Oh really? :D

I came to TFL hating guns. It all started over at the Rosie O'Donnell boards (don't slam me, this was in the PAST ;) ) after Tom Sellek was on her show. Being Rosie fans, 99% of us there were anti-gun. One day a bunch of pro-gunners raided the board (and I am SO thankful that they did!) and we got into some heated debates. There were a few gun owners that actually answered questions, stated facts, and didn't start a flame war with me. Those people I listened to and learned the most. The ones slamming us, just made everything worse.

Eventually they invited me to TFL. When I first posted on 'their' turf, I automatically assumed I'd be caught in the middle of a flame fest, but it was quite the opposite. Everyone was really nice, they answered my stupid questions and showed me a lot of facts. Rich Lucibella welcomed me to his forum and really made me feel comfortable there. Rosie's side couldn't provide any facts, it was all hear say. So obviously things started making more and more sense to me, and I was at the point where I was 'sitting on the fence'. Several months later, JeffOTMG took me shooting and to the Tulsa Gun Show. That did it for me, I became a gun nut within 24 hours. :D

I've been a gun owner for three years now, would love to own many many more, but $$ is tight. I am an NRA member, SAS member, LEAA, and a SAF member. I am one of three admins over at FFF. The other female admin, Ramangel, came from the Rosie Boards too. I try to talk to as many anti's as I can when I see them posting around different forums. I can relate to them because I was in the same spot as they are. I always encourage them to go shooting with an experienced shooter before they debate more. If they do end up going shooting, the debate is normally over. ;)

I do agree, that sometimes people post on forums without any intent on learning anything. They ask questions just to start up a long thread and usually never make more than 1 or 2 posts. People like that won't ever be converted because they don't have an open mind. You have to be willing to listen to the other side when debating. You can usually tell if someone is going to stick around or just leave because they will have a lot to say. If they ask a few questions, then no replies to the comments, they are trolls.

Debating is good up to a point, but the real kicker is taking that person to shoot. The anti's don't want to read long, dragged out, boring threads with a complete lesson in history. Listen to what they are saying, get to the point, show some facts, and more so get them to go shooting! Speaking to them in a friendly, intelligent way is showing them that not all gun owners are crazed out gang bangers. Always take the "high road". ;)

Thanks for the kind words Don. :D Not much online time but I always peek in when I can. You and the family need to come up during the summer for some shooting and Quizmo's. :D

P95Carry
May 12, 2004, 11:51 PM
Miss Demeanors ... a warming ''success'' story if i ever heard one .. but then you are a lady with smarts and a will to think for self ... all you needed was the stimulus and input to make you think further.

Wish that there were more like you. Kudos.:) Good to have you in the family at THR.

sm
May 12, 2004, 11:59 PM
Well for me-

pax 's post answered most questions

Don Gwinn's post answered the rest.

Miss Demeanors post cinched it ! :D

[ Miss D, nice to see you post and appreciate your continued efforts]

PaladinVC
May 13, 2004, 01:49 AM
It's a good excuse to rehash the fundamentals. If you stay in a largely pro-gun community, where the "gun questions" you answer are about reloading, range drills, or concealability, you begin to wonder if you can still answer the big questions, like "Why do you carry a gun?" It's good to get a chance to answer these questions now and again, if only to remind yourself to ask them.

The_Antibubba
May 13, 2004, 02:38 AM
First, they came here to ask. The fact that they came here means that their minds are open enough to inquire. If they had no doubts in their Anti-ness, they wouldn't bother-they'd be harassing John Kerry about his hunting of cute little birdies and bunnies. :D

Second, if we can argue out the basic premise of RKBA with an anti, we will become more articulate in that argument. Most of us here are "the choir", so to speak, and some of our internal arguments aren't exactly the most intellectually stimulating, such as:


AR-15 vs AK47
9mm vs 45
Anything but vs Glock
California vs New Jersey

:rolleyes:

If not us, who?

If not now, when?

P-35/53
May 13, 2004, 03:25 AM
Because I have the time , I hate to see ignorance left alone, and Hope to make the world a better place for my Grandchildren.

cheygriz
May 13, 2004, 03:32 PM
If you respond politely and accurately to 1,000 trolls, and only one listens, uses reason, and comes over to our side, then there's one more of us and one less of them.

TheEgg
May 13, 2004, 05:53 PM
OK, OK, (grumble grumble grumble). You guys convinced me. (grumble grumble grumble).

Penforhire
May 13, 2004, 06:04 PM
I like the answer that maybe we'll help someone ELSE who happens to browse the board but I also think we plant some seeds with the original posters. Even some of the real negative posters show signs of reading and attempting to debate our responses. It also helps break the stereotype they have in their minds (billy bob cooter or whatever).

Gordon Fink
May 13, 2004, 06:53 PM
If it saves even one child … :D

~G. Fink

jAK-47
May 13, 2004, 07:21 PM
I LOVE guns and respect them. In my attic I have a rocking chair from when I was a toddler. When I asked my mom why there were deep scratches on the chair she told me it was from my toy "6 Guns" that I constantly wore when rocking; she used to wait until I fell asleep before she could get them off me. I went on to BB-Guns and the rest is history.

Why this ancient history? It's because I grew up in a very different "world" than the one I am raising my kids in. People are incredibly conditioned by the media and our society wants quick fixes for all our problems. People who don't share our love of guns see the banning of guns as a realistic solution. They believe that their Zack and Wendy will only be safe when getting out of the SUV if all guns are taken away. As much as I love guns, I can understand how people get so riled up after being bombarded by images of death and destruction. Every time I read about a gun related atrocity, I cringe and worry about our rights being taken away.

I'm new to this forum but have been a member of similar forums for years. Initially, my interest was strictly in handguns/IDPA. Because of forums like this one, I went on to collect rifles (look at my "name"). We probably won't make a gun lover out of a gun hater, but if we handle their questions with intelligent, respectful answers, they just might understand where we are coming from. It's possible they might even end up respecting our right to choose. And every once in a great while, we may even get a convert. Either way, it doesn't hurt!

By the way, I do political cartoons and will share one with you as a newbie introduction!

Glad to be here,
jAK-47:D

http://www.gunsnet.net/album/data//500/15916parentsAK.gif

jimbo
May 13, 2004, 07:41 PM
Thanks for all the good reminders why you try.

Miss D., it is nice meeting you. Thank you for your story. Indeed, I occasionally try to recruit friends from work to take a basic shooting class. Few accept the invitation but I have recruited a few new shooters. I keep trying...

And welcome to all the new folks here. I appreciate your contributions. :D

Jimbo

gunsmith
May 13, 2004, 10:04 PM
they make me:D :neener:

45King
May 14, 2004, 09:10 AM
Someone also mentioned WyldOne, and if anybody is interested, I have her e-mail addy. While I don't know if she's come as far as Miss Demeanors did, she seemed to be headed in that direction.

It's always good to keep one's debating skills honed, and there is also a lesson in warfare to be learned: know your enemy.

Majic
May 14, 2004, 11:53 AM
Because we are not snobs walking around with our noses stuck up in the air hanging out in our own little private cliques. We don't belittle anyone who has a question. People here will freely offer their advice and opinions to anyone who asks. Standards are set pretty high here and most everyone follows them.

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