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Gun Owners' Image.

Discussion in 'Activism Discussion and Planning' started by Trent, Mar 25, 2018.

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  1. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

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    Well, except, that's not a "Fudd."
    A Fudd is anyone who is willing to give up everyone else's rights as long as they get to keep their one "thing." If they are single-shot owners, they are willing to support "no semi autos at all" bans. They refuse to believe that John Donne applies to them as well as "us."

    In some ways they are worse than fence sitters, as they have decided to draw a line in the sand around themselves only. As if standing alone would have any effect once the tide reaches them. They are a significantly harder demographic to reach than the undecided. Which is because they have decided, :mine" not "yours."

    This bothers me no end, as a laic constitutional scholar, "the people" is all the people, even those you don't like, or those you disagree with. There are those among us who are perfectly willing to redefine "the people" to mean "none but those who have passed and achived governmental approval."
     
  2. Trent

    Trent Member

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    Thank you.

    Get involved.

    And by "get involved" I mean - promote civilized shooting events and competitions; get involved with the "next step" beyond "bring a few noobs to the range to learn to shoot" - actually go through instructor training and learn how to do it properly, in a formal environment, for maximum impact.

    You'd be surprised how suddenly everyone in the world knows you are a gun owner, after you become an instructor, or start attending shooting competitions (and posting recaps of events, etc).

    You don't even have to be .. like.. crazy and walk up to people going "YOU OWN GUNS?! I OWN GUNS!" :)

    Heck I've had plenty of strangers come up to me and ask me "where do you teach" when I've been out shopping with an NRA Instructor shirt on.

    And unlike wearing a "FROM MY COLD DEAD HANDS" or some other antagonistic chest-thumping 2nd amendment fervor t-shirt, when you are wearing a shirt that reads PISTOL INSTRUCTOR, I don't tend to worry as much about the "advertisement making me a target" factor.

    No one in their right mind is gonna try to assault a handgun instructor. I mean, that's the dude that TEACHES other people to SHOOT PEOPLE for a living. It practically screams in big flashing neon letters "NOT AN EASY TARGET" to any would be criminals out there going through their target selection process.

    It also makes you pretty approachable for people, you know, wanting to learn to shoot a handgun.

    Try not to take offense at this - but I believe your mindset has shifted at some point to be skewed in to believing that the masses are against you.

    Go read my last post in the general forum Gun Image thread here.

    https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/gun-owner-image.834594/page-4#post-10802758

    The massive self-reinforcement our side lends to one another, the sheer empowerment felt by amassing arms and ammunition, can lead our folks to falling down the rabbit hole.

    Been there. Got the t-shirt. I was neck deep in the Militia movement of the 90's. I'm *still* to this day listed as Armed and Dangerous with the State Police in Illinois, because I was involved with the most extreme of extremist groups. I've had fact to face discussions with special agents of the FBI. (There are ex-police moderators on this forum who can vouch for this past.)

    I'm not preaching as a moderate here trying to "bring y'all in to shape". I'm preaching from a position where I can absolutely, POSITIVELY guarantee you I was more hardcore about fundamentalist individual freedom than 99.9999% of you ever have dreamed of being.

    I saw the light after I became an instructor, and a more dignified activist, got involved with the wider shooting community, and shed the isolationist, extremist, paranoid world view that I held some 20 years ago.

    When I finally realized what tools in my arsenal were available to better influence people, and refined those tools, things started working.

    I started building a reputation as a responsible gun owner, who teaches folks self-defense, who teaches competitive shooting. WITHOUT having to sacrifice any ground on the pressing issues. I'm just as much for legal ownership of suppressors, short barreled rifles, and militaria as anyone you'll meet; but I do not come across as a "gun nut" or "extremist" anymore to folks. I'm approachable in dialog, friendly in demeanor, and don't derail conversations in to paranoid rants, like what I happened to quote you saying above.

    Yes, there are undoubtedly forces who want to implement a socialist regime. This has been around for.. geesh. Since Karl Marx and Friedrich Engles first laid pen to paper back in 1848.

    But I don't base my reality around that anymore. I base my reality around personal freedom, hard work, and community involvement. Setting an example to follow without the mindless paranoid zealotry some of our kind espouse.

    And damn, if it don't work out well. Much better and making friends and winning over enemies than my attitude 20 years ago.
     
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  3. John Joseph

    John Joseph Member

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    Stay classy.
    T shirts and other paraphernalia with threatening words/graphics do serious damage to the 2A.
    A well thought argument on why the 2A is relevant and necessary may win support if you can get an Anti to listen, while a macho t-shirt decidedly won't.
    It is your 1A Freedom of Speech, how will you exercise it?
     
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  4. entropy

    entropy Member

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    Sure they can; they will just do it fast, from behind, and with extreme violence of action. Watch some tape of prison yard attacks sometime. Yes, it make you a harder target, not low hanging fruit, but it's a false sense of security believing that that patch and the training behind it is a 'get out of being assaulted' card. It also tells the smarter members of the criminal class for the small effort of a planned assault, they might acquire a handgun, something I myself prefer not to advertise. Sure, they might end up dead too, but most of them don't care either way, and that is a root cause of the crime problem we face.

    I have more than enough people asking me that than I have time to teach without advertising, as I don't do it for a living. I don't need total strangers asking me also.

    As tor your comment to somethingbenign, he's just starting out himself; he's at that stage in any activity where a newb become an enthusiastic exponent of it. And that's great, we need more of them, and I really am glad to see him on here asking advice. Yours is excellent; develop your skills, and the skills needed to bring others into the sport.

    I will echo John Joseph's previous post. Volunteer with 4-H or Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, etc., any youth group that has shooting sports. These are our next generation of responsible gun owners. I was a 4-H County Leader for over ten years. My kids are grown, and I couldn't put as much time into as I used to, but I still help with Trap and Archery. I also volunteer with a local combined school Trap team (sad that one of the schools won't sanction Trap, so they all joined their rival school's team), their first meet is tonight, and even though freezing drizzle is in the forecast, I will be there.
     
  5. somethingbenign

    somethingbenign Member

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    I was an assistant scout master for awhile but kept getting weird comments and glances about being 20s, single, and spending my free time around a bunch of boys. Just got tired of the veiled accusations of being a pervert so I left. Now I'm married and a decade older maybe I'll get a better reception. Yes I am starting out and honestly don't have to resources to really call myself an enthusiast but I know if I want to really enjoy my hobby when I do have the resources I need to fight for that right now. I'm really frustrated because the attitude of many in the gun community seems to be either "throw money at the problem through the NRA" or "I won't live to see the 2A fall so what do I care?"
    A buddy took the NRA trainer class and keeps nudging me to do so as well. I'll start there and just see what happens.
     
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  6. entropy

    entropy Member

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    That's a great place to start.
     
  7. Trent

    Trent Member

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    These are good points, and why it's important to not neglect the 'non-gun' skills. Develop hand to hand defensive techniques (I've also been a martial arts student for 34 years and a martial arts instructor since 1992). Be aware of people around you, stick to well lit areas, give blind corners you are passing by some clearance, don't travel alone at night down dark alleys, so on, so forth.

    Self defense starts with avoiding conflict, and an underpinning of this is to avoid areas where conflict is more likely.

    That being said, the one time I *was* attacked with lethal force was in my own garage, from head on, by a (now ex-)friend, and my first warning was when I was tackled and found myself underneath a 220 pound man who had just drawn a knife. Bad situation to be in, all around, and I didn't see it coming.

    The only other time I've been attacked as an adult (non-lethal) was from my step father.

    Point there, is friends and family are (statistically) more dangerous to folks, than random crime. Getting picked for random crime is like winning the lottery while getting struck by lightning. Statistically speaking, you are only likely to be involved as a target of a felony once every two lifetimes (I did a study on that probability once). And that *includes* random crime and family both. Between the two, family or acquaintances are far more likely to commit a crime against you than a random stranger. I don't have the stats in front of me, but I remember it was a significant factor when I did the probability study.

    The other takeaway from that is while an individual might only be subject to being a victim of a violent crime (robbery, rape, murder, assault; etc, all of the stats I rolled up) once every two lifetimes; one compelling fact was that there's often more than one person in a household. And if you are only likely of getting attacked once every two lifetimes, that means statistically speaking if there's two people in your household (you and a significant other), ONE of the two of you is likely to be subject to an attack at some point during your lives.

    Every other person will get assaulted at some point in their lives, someone in your immediate family will be a victim at some point over their lives. That's the way the numbers work out.

    You don't get to pick the day or time, someone else does.

    You don't get to pick what form it's going to take - murder, rape, assault, robbery. Someone else does.

    You don't get to pick WHO it is that's attacking you. More than likely will be a friend or family member or some acquaintance you've met in school, work, or a hobby. Or a neighbor.

    You don't even get to pick how many people will be involved in the attack against you. (e.g. My rural neighbor was robbed by *five* armed gangbangers from a nearby city, a few years back. Those are bad odds in anyone's book.)

    All YOU get to pick is:

    * Whether or not you are going to defend yourself
    * Whether you will be prepared for what form it will take (non lethal, vs. lethal; generally speaking you can't draw a gun to defend yourself in a fist fight against someone unless they are overwhelmingly dangerous to you; YOU become the aggressor at that point by escalating it to lethal force, unless there's some factor such as your age, size disparity, etc at work.)
    * Where the event will occur (through elimination; the places you choose not to go to can reduce your risk and exclude a lot of potential venues from the list of probability)
    * Whether you have trained enough to deal with the threat at hand, whether armed, unarmed, and against that many attackers.

    Will wearing a shirt identifying you as an NRA or other form of pistol/rifle instructor change those odds? Probably not significantly enough to matter. It'll dissuade many, might encourage others, but awareness is awareness. If you're going to get caught off guard, you'll get caught off guard. Been there, had it happen. Right in my own garage. You never expect the friend, or the family member, or the good neighbor next door. (Not until it happens, anyway. I keep people in front of me these days and out of arms reach. Even friends. Even family.)

    Not going to stop and change clothes after a range trip or classroom session just to go grab lunch, just because some thug might jump out of the shadows and try to take my gun away. That's paranoia. And I have pretty good reactions and training to deal with that. (Been there, unarmed, got blindsided, on my back with an armed attacker on top of me, and I was the one who walked away.)

    The part about violence that folks seem to not get, is you can't control when it starts or what form it takes. But you can MOST ASSUREDLY control the outcome once it starts, and that is done through training, years of repetitive practice, and diligence to continue training once it has well-exceeded the point of routine. Choosing to wear or not wear a particular shirt that identifies me as an instructor? Not worried about it at all. Thought it through. The economic advantage and over 3 decades of training to deal with threats, combined with the minimal deterrence factor, outweighs the slightly elevated risk of it making me a target.

    Will putting a bumper sticker on your car that's pro gun make your car a more likely target to break in to? You betcha.

    Will putting a sticker on your house window that says "protected by smith & wesson" make your house a burglary target when you are away on vacation? You betcha.

    The difference?

    I'm not around to control the form and intensity of the violence.
     
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  8. John Joseph

    John Joseph Member

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    Another thought. Ask a colleague at work or maybe a member from a fraternal organization if they'd like to go to the range with you. Make it a fun outing, maybe a beer afterwards. If they're enthusiastic enough to want to join you next week so much the better. If not, they'll still witness a realistic sampling of the shooting experience. For god's sake don't wear a kill em all t-shirt though, and avoid ranges with sketchy clientele.
     
  9. DoubleMag

    DoubleMag Member

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    45% of ppl do this
    67% think that

    picture on the left
    now, in this picture they meant

    Mon-o-man we sure showed that computer keyboard din't we. That keyboard knows who's boss

    IF YOU HAVE NOT YET CALLED YOUR REPRESENTATIVES, YOU ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM, NOT A PART OF THE SOLUTION

    In any one of those pictures provided, and yes some are :alien:startling, when they call their Rep, they become as anyone of us. Well, perhaps a bit better than some in this example because they actually called.

    Better yet, if they called and presented green leafy pretty pictures commonly called MONEY, because without it, the Rep that defends them (you) cannot effectively run a campaign.

    No anti-2A Rep ever recoiled in abject fear when someone said, '' Listen to me, I've worn the W, H, and C keys off my keyboard on gun forums'' ......
     
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