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A reason why we are losing

Discussion in 'Activism Discussion and Planning' started by iMagUdspEllr, Apr 1, 2014.

  1. iMagUdspEllr

    iMagUdspEllr Well-Known Member

    Every time I interact with the gun community I meet argumentative, stubborn, and ignorant people that can't stand not having the last word at any cost.

    This is why we are losing the war. You see, the jerks who want to take away our guns are cowards. They are in their element in debates because they fight with tricks and emotional responses instead of being real men (and women) who rely on reason and facts to support their position. When all we are capable of doing in this arena is be emotional and argue like children, they win. That is all they want and what they need. They need to ensure that they portray us as stupid, emotional, and fanatical in order to win.

    If and only if we learn to debate like men (and women) instead of prideful children we can maybe show people on the fence that we are informed, rational, and intelligent human beings. We need to show the rest of the country and the world that we aren't just clinging to guns because we were indoctrinated, but because it is part of our inherent right to defend ourselves.

    I legitimately can't have a debate on this or other gun forums I have been on without having to wade through ad hominems, argumentum ad populums, and countless other logical fallacies that have no place in adult discussions.

    I guess all I'm saying is that the gun community as a whole needs to learn what is a good argument and what is invalid and to stop being so prideful you can't even listen (not just hear) to what the other person is saying.

    I apologize in advance if this is an inappropriate place to post this. But, I really felt compelled to share it for the sake of our rights. Thank you for your time and consideration.
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2014
  2. Cooldill

    Cooldill Well-Known Member

    Oh come on, welcome to EARTH guy! :)

    Honestly no matter how much you wish it so, there are many people out there who aren't going to have a civilized conversation.
  3. iMagUdspEllr

    iMagUdspEllr Well-Known Member

    @Cooldill: Yes, you are right. But, I'm not just talking to random people on the street. I expect better from like-minded people, especially if we want to have a snowball's chance in hell of not just staving off, but reversing the plots to strip us from any and all gun-related rights.

    Furthermore, it happens every time.

    If I make an assertion and support it I can't get anything in response other than the equivalent of , "Nuh uh. That isn't what he said/meant. That is your opinion. You can view things however you want." and so on.

    Seriously, quite often I want to just have a high-level discussion about some juicy gun stuff but I can't because people "who know how it is" can't have a two-way conversation.
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2014
  4. TennJed

    TennJed Well-Known Member

    What makes you think we are losing?
  5. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    (Moved to Activism Discussion and Planning, as this isn't a call to a specific political action.)

    So, do you have any tips a or a suggestion about how to be a more effective debator?

    I doubt the sorts of ignorant types you seem to be directing this toward are going to come to THR and read this and be convinced to change their ways. So what does "Joe THR Member" do to meet your call? Is there a book or something you'd suggest to help folks learn the art of persuasion?

    (And it would indeed be hard to support the argument that we are on a general losing trend, far from it, so one might suggest that, as a fundamental principle of the most effective kind of persuasion, it is important to make sure your basic premise is correct at the outset! :))
  6. Tony k

    Tony k Well-Known Member

    so help us out, Imagudspellr. I know what an ad hominem logical fallicy is, and I can pick out a few others when I see/ hear them. I also agree that it is in our best interest to elevate the discussion above emotional ranting. What say you list some types of logical fallicies, give an example, then explain how we can counter them?

    I'll start:

    an ad hominem logical fallacy is when you attack a person rather than their argument.

    Example: Someone says something like, "Ice-T says we need the Second Amendment because it is the last defense against tyranny, but he's just a stupid jerk."

    A reasonable Counter-argument might be something like: "Regardless of how you feel about Ice-T as a person, his statement about the Second Amendment is very much in line with why the Founders added the 2A."

    Throw some more at us, Imagudspellr. The more savy we are about logical fallacies, the more adept we will be at countering flawed rhetoric. I often hear people say things about guns and the rtkba that I know is logically flawed, but I just can't put my finger on the flaw fast enough to mount a solid response.

    We could all become master debaters! (sorry, couldn't resist the chance to say "master debaters":evil:)
  7. iMagUdspEllr

    iMagUdspEllr Well-Known Member

    @TennJed: New York banned 8+ round magazines, right? I'm not sure but I thought CA did the same. I'm a FL resident now but I'm from California so I guess I feel for them. But, I guess I truly think we are losing because of how the majority of the media is brainwashing everyone to follow the anti-gun agenda and a very large number of people are keeping silent or going anti-gun. One of my bosses in the military is antigun. It seems like we are about *this* close to passing an antigun bill and we are nowhere near repealing any anti-gun bills.

    I am also under the impression that a Republican will never be president ever again because it seems during Obama's two terms the Republican party has been successfully painted as radical, stupid, malicious, "pro-death", et cetera. If we get another Democrat in office I think we will see another AWB.

    I dunno, maybe I'm off-base. Tell me something encouraging.

    @Sam1911: Well, I will attach a couple of pictures to this post that are a very good starting point. Wikipedia has a very extensive list of logical fallacies (Wikipedia logical fallacies). Then at least I can stop having to explain to people how their arguments aren't arguments. People tend to be more persuasive when they aren't wrong by default. Also, being able to identify when someone is appealing to emotion or appealing to the majority it gives you the ability to call them out on it.

    @Tony k: Well an appeal to emotion is a common one used by the antis. e.g. "Kids are dying because of guns on the streets!" That argument is a non sequitur and an appeal to emotion in one. It is a non sequitur (i.e. it doesn't follow) because police and CCL holders carry guns on the "streets" and somehow kids aren't dying due to just their very presence. It is an appeal to emotion because it is trying to illicit an emotional response from someone who hears it (empathy for child victims) instead of actually making an argument supported by fact.

    Now, as far as the whole "countering it" thing. I'm not so good at that part. The reason why is because an appeal to emotion is powerful (because it evokes emotion). My Ben Stein, cold, calm logical response doesn't really "undo" the emotional response that has been evoked by the anti in the people observing the debate. I normally try to tell them they are letting children die because they can't stand to let the people we trust to teach our children put a bullet in the lunatic who is mindlessly murdering kids (because that would be "wrong").

    And, then they go into nonsense about how children will somehow get the guns the teachers have, or the teachers will shoot the children, or that the school would be a prison if people were armed on campus, etc. Of course I rationally respond to every inane appeal to emotion. But, it is like watching a gun segment on Pierce Morgan. The damage is done once they drop an appeal to emotion bomb. I'm also really not talented at it because I am quick to anger. Typing like this is my favorite medium for that reason. It is the only way I can have the opportunity to calm down, process the argument, and then calmly counter it.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 1, 2014
  8. HighExpert

    HighExpert Well-Known Member

    Big increase in gun purchases, ammo purchases, concealed permits, favorable court decisions and increase in NRA memberships. We may not be winning, but we aren't losing, yet. IMO
  9. splattergun

    splattergun Well-Known Member

    iMag, most people, whether on our side, on the other side, or on the fence, simply do not know an ad hominum from hominy. Most people don't debate according to the rules laid down by academia, we argue. Ours is not the only guilty side in this regard, the other side and the fencers also resort to emotional illogic. So what?
  10. barnbwt

    barnbwt Well-Known Member

    We don't lose in debates, and there's actually very little need for persuasion. Honestly, most of our issues are philosophical in nature and, at some point, rely on being 'self-evident' to show their providence.

    The only time we lose is when we;

    -Do not engage in real debates; meaningless online polls, meaningless trolling of anti's in news blogs/etc., show up to get shouted at by Piers Morgan

    -Allow a hostile or ambivalent side to control our visibility and access (all mainstream media, Fox and otherwise)

    In both cases, arguments are moot, regardless of their merits. The first can be defeated by wisely picking battles in places where they will be fair/advantageous to us, or make a difference (town hall/city council, primaries, well-run protests and events). The second is best defeated by an end run around the filters/censors and educating people ourselves (take them shooting, show/tell them how a gun works, describe the difference between legality and illegality in our Byzantine system)

    I don't think it's possible for a rational person to learn some plain truths about our gun laws and not think the whole system is idiotic and criminal. Much like the tax system that way, actually; have you ever met someone who was impressed by the tax code after filing their own paperwork for the first time? No. They are universally disgusted and disappointed that our entire system depends on such a repugnant structure (perfect time to have the Fair Tax talk ;).

    Describe in general detail the difference between sporting and assault weapons, armor piercing 9mm and a hollow point 308, how a part becomes classified a "firearm," and when they start to lose their faith that the laws were intelligently written or prudently enforced, open their eyes to 922r, "constructive possession," and the concept of "readily convertible" as interpreted by our fair ATF G-men. Never met a person yet who wasn't livid about the arrangement after learning about it (even an anti agreed it was profoundly dumb, and set to developing his own set of "reasonable restrictions" that he intended would at least be based in reason of some sort)

    Teach a man to shoot, he will lose the fear of a gun in his own hands
    Teach a man to love his brothers, he will lose his fear of others' guns
    Have him take a gun apart, he will lose his respect for all gun classifications
    Have him build himself a gun, he will want the whole gun law structure repealed

  11. barnbwt

    barnbwt Well-Known Member

    Oh, and we aren't losing, not even close. It seems like the gun owner's movement is the strongest it's been in 230 years or so, and is actually gaining steam (not advocating "revolt" or anything so dumb; just saying that the notion of liberty and armament being intertwined is probably floating about as high as in all of American history)

    It's honestly gotten so heated that I wonder if the ongoing ammo shortage is winning us converts, as unintuitive as that may seem, and as unintentional as it surely was. Lots of people are taking this issue seriously enough to lay down a whole lotta money to protect theirs. I would not be surprised to see ammo prices become a political issue very soon just like gas prices often are.

  12. vamo

    vamo Well-Known Member

    The beauty of the 2 party system is when a party actually takes enough to seats to have real power they inevitably squander or fail miserably at achieving their objectives and make the other guys look like amazing alternatives.

    We aren't losing and the tide is moving in the gun rights direction at this moment. Think about 1994, the assault weapon ban passed with only a small whimper form the opposition. In 2004 there was no chance of it being renewed in either chamber or being signed by the president. There was a time when severely restricting the availability of handguns to civilians was a realistic goal for anti-gunners. Every state now has a conceal carry law on the books, and may issue constitutionality is coming into question. There are cities and states where its still a pain to be a gun owner, but the tide is flowing in our direction especially at the federal level.

    The thing we need to realize is we are not going to wake up tomorrow and be allowed to own newly manufactured full auto ak-47s and bazookas. This is a war by attrition its how the other side has fought it since the NFA in 1934. They weren't able to close the machine gun registry til over 50 years later. Since 94 we've made some great strides. For candidates from one party supporting gun control is political suicide while for the other it can be a risky proposition.
  13. newfalguy101

    newfalguy101 Well-Known Member

    The majority of the issues are a matter of opinion, and thus, in many cases there really are no "right" or "wrong" answers, usually the truth is somewhere in the middle which means each side has to give up something.........which is often viewed as "caving" or "weak willed" or "not having a backbone"
  14. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    At the risk of seeing this drift into two separate threads...

    Concealed carry theoretically possible in every state, and now practically available in nearly every state -- even ILLINOIS, just this year!

    Recall of the Colorado State Senators in response to their ram-rodding strict new gun control laws after Sandy Hook.

    Utter repulse of all federal gun control legislation in the "one last great gasp" moment provided by Sandy Hook.



    Washington DC forced to allow handgun ownership

    Federal Courts of the 9th District strike down CA's "good cause," "may issue" carry permit system, forcing "shall issue" permitting.

    Repeal of the ban on concealed carry in national parks.

    Various shifts for the better in BATFE technical opinions (pistol-to-rifle conversions, SIG "arm brace" stock, 3MR trigger groups and slide-fire stocks ok, etc...)

    Numerous states passing anti-confiscation and "firearms freedom" acts.

    Numerous states passing laws removing places from their concealed-carry-prohibited lists.

    ASTOUNDING record sales of guns and ammunition, one effect being to bring "evil black rifles" into the spot as the most common type of gun sold and used in the US.

    Discussion (at least...that's something!) of a national CCW reciprocity bill in US Congress.

    Increasing numbers of states removing their prohibitions against silencers and SBRs/SBSs.

    (Only somewhat related, but I'll mention it: Various states strengthening their protections for lawful defenders. So-called "stand your ground," and/or "castle doctrine" laws.)

    And the list goes on!

    On the flip side, the antis can point to a few gains (for their side) in NY, MD, CT, CO, ... and I'm thinking that's about it. They're onerous, burdensome, frustrating, and pointless laws, but really they've been mere backwash against the tidal wave of positive motion.
  15. Xyr

    Xyr Member

    The 7 round magazine limit in NY was overturned on appeal. And Cuomo and kin have agreed not to enforce it during its appeal process (both sides are appealing). I live in NY and I hate NY. But home is home. Thankfully I'm not in NYC.

    I disagree that gun owners are "losing". We've seen some serious push back against gun control. And it may be slow but it's working. There will always be politicians with the ideological view of my Governor Cuomo that believes that a disarmed civilian population is the best way forward. Mainstream America disagrees. Not the pundits. Not the networks. Everyday regular people do not want to see that happen.

    Yes, anti-gun types tend to talk about kids dying in mass shootings. Which while I understand the sentiment as I think it's horrible and would like to see it reduced/stopped I can't help but ponder where was all this outrage when kids were gunning each other down left and right in Chicago/Brooklyn/Detroit?

    At the end of the day the solution to mass shootings is serious mental healthcare reforms. Now on a political level I'd like to see both parties take their heads out of their rear ends and deal with THAT issue instead of blaming movies, games, guns.

    But once again, we're not losing. My argument is simply which do you generally believe? It's either:

    a) A citizen is a independent being endowed by their creator/nature with certain inalienable rights and one of which is self defense and the means to self defense. That they are adults and we as a society trust them enough to follow the law correctly but will hold them to account when such time comes that they proven in a court of law (not public opinion) when they break said rules.


    b) A citizen is a dependent subject that is incapable of making choices and following the law correctly without the State involved. That they should rely on only the State for their self defense needs and are too dangerous to be trusted with owning a firearm or making other important decisions that carry a risk of failure.

    Some believe the former, some the latter. While I understand the need for Government I don't believe disarming the civilian populace is a moral position to take. History is full of examples of what can happen to a disarmed population. No hyperbole needed when debating this issue w/ anti types. Just facts, reason and a twang of style.
  16. iMagUdspEllr

    iMagUdspEllr Well-Known Member

    That doesn't really make me feel any better. Because, it doesn't matter if people like you and me buy guns left and right (like I am doing at the moment). The other 2/3 of the population aren't necessarily against guns but they are against 10k people who are murdered with guns per year. And, it doesn't seem like I can explain to them that those 10k people are mostly gang members killing each other and 10k people is like .0033% of the population.

    It isn't really a compelling counter-argument. 'Well only a few people died.' Doesn't sound good.

    What favorable court decisions? I don't really care about NRA memberships because I saw a graphic that compared the NRA, Ruger, Smith and Wesson, Bloomberg, and Feinstein's net worth. Feinstein is a drop in the bucket compared to Bloomberg and she eclipses any of the other entities I named. They have all the funding, all the media, and therefore all the hearts and minds.

    @splattergun: The problem is that if we make bad arguments they can catch us in bad arguments and then write story after story and do show after show about how we are evil, cruel, stupid, conspiring, malicious conspirators that want to kill babies. 'They will do anything to hold onto their death machines!' That is the issue.

    @barnbwt: I'm afraid avoiding the mainstream media gives them all the control. I do understand the problem with engaging the enemy on their turf. However, all of the alternative places you propose we fight don't get the coverage needed or are too slow to undo the damage they do everyday.

    I am confident nobody but us cares about the difference between various firearms or ammunition. I don't think people who are on the fence or the antis care about how they work or care to shoot them. All they know (and all they need to know) is that "they kill people." And, when I say, "Yeah... criminals and lunatics." They STILL aren't on board because they are ON THEIR SIDE. 'Protect the life of the criminals and the lunatics. Human life is sacred. Rehabilitate them.'

    They are literally the enemy in every sense. They don't want people to defend themselves and they don't want the criminals to get theirs (because that would be "wrong").
  17. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    Probably. Possibly. Maybe. Someday. But it is more than pretty likely that there is no foreseeable "solution" to the Sandy Hook and Aurora type killings.

    Billions of people interacting in trillions of ways every day. And a microscopically small percentage of them -- so tiny a percentage that no statistical model would ever make note of it -- kill 5-25 people at once in some spectacular way.

    It is very attention-grabbing and makes everyone who hears about it feel shocked and horrified. But a "solution" is a very tall order. Imagine standing on the edge of a corn field stretching to the horizon, and being told, "There are a couple hundred kernels on every ear of corn in this field, and ten of those kernels -- 10, between here and the horizon -- have a boring worm inside. Find them before they infect another kernel!

    You can't write a program or pass a law that will hope to locate those hidden horrors, the needle-in-a-thousand-haystacks. And whatever law or program you DO institute to try is going to have to disrupt, infringe, intrude upon, and generally make life that much more unpleasant for ALL, in the absurdly hopeless quest to blindly stumble onto any one of that which you were searching for.

    It is simply another facet of "security theater." Trust us, we can make you safe... Life doesn't have to be unfair, and dangerous, and capricious, and occasionally tragic without reason.

    But like the lottery, folks just don't generally have the understanding of mathematical SCALE to understand why they're being sold a ridiculous false promise.
  18. iMagUdspEllr

    iMagUdspEllr Well-Known Member

    @Sam1911: Well, mental care reform is good in my opinion. But, the most direct solution is giving people of-age their legal right to carry even at a school. The next Sandy Hook wannabe will get shot by a teacher, janitor, or the principal. Then the antis will have to do damage control and try to argue, "Well see! Four children STILL died. It doesn't work!" Which is a joke when compared to 26 people. We defend money, the country, politicians, and just the politician's children with guns... so why not our children and everything else for that matter?
  19. Xyr

    Xyr Member

    I can't disagree. And I used the word "Solution" when I really shouldn't have. We as a society may have to accept the fact that we can never cure those that fetishize and fantasize about harming other people.

    But one of the keys to at the least reducing this already rare even is indeed better mental health programs. Teaching people how to recognize certain signs. Cause I mean...when your grown man kid tells you not to talk to them directly and only wants to communicate via email and shuts themselves in their room 24/7 and never comes out there is a serious problem going on.

    At the end of the day society is going to accept "It's pretty rare so nothing to do". We -are- going to try something. I'd rather do something that has a chance of working than the "Ban the bad things!" approach that definitively will not work.

    Personally? We used to put crazy people in crazy places so when they went crazy they would only hurt other crazy people minimally since they'd be quickly sedated and restrained. But we as a society "felt bad" about that and now just leave people with SERIOUS mental disturbances free to roam about. Some need therapy and medication. Others need institutionalization. Unfortunately.

    There have always been atrocious killings of innocents throughout history and it will remain that way. But as a society we will always strive to improve. The key is to do it without removing the rights of the rest of us.
  20. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    No argument, really. We will "do something." That's what we do. Whether it makes a whole lot of sense or not.

    But I apologize for dragging this off into yet a third direction.

    To circle back to one of the main points, read Post 14 and accept that if you're not pretty excited about the direction we're currently headed, you've not been paying attention to the right things! The news media tends to concentrate on the losses, and the most positive thing you'll normally read from them is a bit of hand-wringing about why-oh-why can't we pass some "reasonable" gun control laws? Meanwhile, us out here in "RKBA-land" are finding plenty of occasions for encouragement, enthusiasm, and even the occasional hi-five of celebration when another court case turns our way, or another anti- type senator gets drummed out of office, or...or...or :)

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