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Anyone ever had a hard time debating an anti?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Tequila_Sauer, Dec 17, 2005.

  1. Tequila_Sauer

    Tequila_Sauer Well-Known Member

    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.
  2. jsalcedo

    jsalcedo Well-Known Member

    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.
  3. Majic

    Majic Well-Known Member

    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.
  4. Tom Servo

    Tom Servo Well-Known Member

    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.
  5. bumm

    bumm Well-Known Member

    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.
  6. stealthmode

    stealthmode Well-Known Member

    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.
  7. TonkinTwentyMil

    TonkinTwentyMil Well-Known Member

    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$hit. I suddenly began to feel like the George C. Scott character in the movie "Patton" ("Rommel, you smart ba$**** -- 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$hit$ will stab ya in the back the next chance they get. BTDT/seen the movie.
  8. twoblink

    twoblink Well-Known Member

    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.
  9. P0832177

    P0832177 member

    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!
  10. TonkinTwentyMil

    TonkinTwentyMil Well-Known Member

    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.
  11. DunedinDragon

    DunedinDragon Well-Known Member

    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.
  12. Silver Bullet

    Silver Bullet Well-Known Member

    Fish in a barrel.
  13. Alex45ACP

    Alex45ACP Well-Known Member

  14. trueblue1776

    trueblue1776 Well-Known Member

    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.

  15. Old Dog

    Old Dog Well-Known Member

    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).
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2005
  16. trueblue1776

    trueblue1776 Well-Known Member

    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....
  17. Guntalk

    Guntalk Well-Known Member

    The audience

    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.
  18. trueblue1776

    trueblue1776 Well-Known Member

    +1 Mr. Gresham, good approach!
  19. XLMiguel

    XLMiguel Well-Known Member

    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.
  20. Atticus

    Atticus Well-Known Member

    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.

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